The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future Presents: Welcome to 2020!! (Or, The Sixth Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Yesterday, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year!]

Iron Man 2020

Sigh… I remember the 80’s, when Iron Man 2020 seemed so far away…

Happy Clix-Mas everyone!

Early December brought us a flurry of new release announcements, so tonight, we’re going to take a brief look at everything we know is coming in 2020 (so far, that is… )!!

 

JANUARY 2020:

DC GA And JSA.jpg

Just one release in January, and it’s the DC Heroclix: The Green Arrow and the Justice Society Monthly OP Kit, which will give us a new LE Green Arrow, Black Canary and Wildcat (Those appear to be the Joker’s Wild sculpts for Green Arrow and Wildcat, which makes Black Canary your new sculpt)!

ESTIMATED IN-SHOP DATE: January 29th, 2020!

 

FEBRUARY 2020:

Very busy month! This is when Heroclix in 2020 will fully kick into gear!

First off, we have…

marvel-heroclix-fantastic-four-cosmic-clash-figures

Marvel Heroclix: Fantastic Four: Cosmic Clash Starter Set!!

The Rock Finally

… the Fantastic Four have COME BACK… to Heroclix!!

Now that the Disney/Fox merger is complete, Wizkids apparently finally got the go-ahead to start printing more Fantastic Four Clix! Rather than making us wait for a specific set 5-figure booster set (which I’m sure is also probably being planned), they’ve sped out this new 6-figure Starter Set, and it looks gorgeous!

ESTIMATED IN-SHOP DATE: First week of February, 2020!

Cap and the Avengers

Marvel Heroclix: Captain America and the Avengers!!

We’re getting the 5-figure booster set, a Fast Forces and a Dice & Token Pack! Plus a release day OP kit featuring some kind of Baron Zemo piece.

ESTIMATED IN-SHOP DATE: First week of February, 2020!

Queen Mera OP Kit

And lastly, we’re getting the DC Heroclix: Queen Mera and the Atlantis Civil War OP Kit, which brings us King Trench, Mera and an Atlantean General (that King Trench sculpt looks a lil different than the Trinity War Trench pieces we got, so I’m assuming that’s the new sculpt. Mera and the Atlantean General sculpts both look like they were recycled from Trinity War, although one of Mera’s arms is in a different position, so who really knows?)!

ESTIMATED IN-SHOP DATE: February 26th, 2020!

 

MARCH 2020:

 

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DC Heroclix: Batman and Catwoman: Everyone Loves Ivy Monthly OP Kit!

Looks like Catwoman is the new sculpt there.

ESTIMATED IN-SHOP DATE: Last week of March, 2020!

 

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Marvel Heroclix: Deep Cuts Unpainted Minatures!!

All of the Regenesis pieces from last year are getting new, unpainted Switchclix dials that you can paint at home!

 

APRIL 2020:

 

Black Widow Movie.png

Black Widow Movie Set!!

Yes!! I’m a huge fan of the MCU Heroclix sets, and after we didn’t get any Infinity War or Endgame clix, I was worried that Wizkids had somehow lost interest in movie Clix! So for me, this is an extremely welcome announcement (now go back and get me a Chase MCU Thanos please, Wizkids! Or a Con LE. SOMETHING!!)!

Plus, we’re also getting a MCU Black Widow and her Motorcycle special release as well!

ESTIMATED IN-SHOP DATE: Early April, 2020! (For both)

 

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DC Heroclix: Justice League Unlimited!!

One of the most beloved cartoons of all time comes to Heroclix in April! Hot off the heels of the success of 2018’s Batman: The Animated Series release, JLU should take animated Clix to the next level. Expect this one to be really popular! Just like with every other set, we’re gonna get a Starter Set, Dice & Token Pack and a Hawkgirl Release Day OP Kit!

ESTIMATED IN-SHOP DATE: April 2020!

 

AND… BEYOND:

We also have seen recent a recent fan event announcement for Spiderman/Venom: Absolute Carnage. I haven’t seen this confirmed anywhere else, but it would make sense since Spidey is still in the MCU and the latest Spidey set has already rotated out.

 

Okay! So that’s all I have for tonight? Which announced 2020 Heroclix release has you the most excited? Sound off in the Comments below!

And come right back here for more content tomorrow as we continue the 12 Nights of Clix-mas!!

 

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Present Once Again… uh… PRESENTS: Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year!! (Or, The Fifth Night of Clix-mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!!]

Where did I go right

Welcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Y’know, I spend a decent amount of time complaining about the state of the game in this space; but to be fair, there’s a lot Wizkids does right. I mean, we’re all still playing the damn game, aren’t we? So the designers have to be doing something right, I’d say.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today! Things Wizkids did this year that I think should be called out as positive situations within the game.

So, without further ado, here are five things that I think Wizkids did right this year!

 

Madrox Daredevil Sculpt Hulk Earth X Sculpt

5. Sculpts!!!!!

Look, it’s an often overlooked part of the game since it’s primarily aesthetic, but once again, Wizkids took sculpts to the next level this year.

Loki Earth X.jpg Heroclix-Earth-X-Captain-Marvel-067-Ultra-Chase

Wizkids has always produced great Colossal Sculpts, but I was blown away by some of the standard size looks this year.

tHANOS UC Sculpt.jpg

2019 was a banner year for Wizkids on the Production side.

Speaking of…

 

ABPI boxes

4. Print Runs!!!!

Remember about two years ago when Wizkids came out with The Mighty Thor and filled it with crazy powerful Chases, Colossals and Equipment?

And then remember when they made, like, two cases of it and people practically had to fight each other just for packs?

I do.

Now, obviously everyone’s experience with product availability differs depending on their locale, but my Lord, people were fighting each other for Bricks just to try and resell them on eBay or Amazon for triple the price. Everyone was hunting Mjolnirs and Carnage Colossals!

Well, this summer, Wizkids released another Marvel Heroclix expansion chock full of insanely powerful pieces and Equipment, except this time there was enough to go around. Heck, my local store still has about a Brick or so in stock.

And many of the singles still hold a decent value!

Sometimes, like with “What If… ?” and Elseworlds, Wizkids seriously overestimates demand and/or cheaps out on production costs. But Earth X, ABPI and X-Men: The Animated Series all had great production value AND seemed to be right in the middle of the Supply/Demand curve.

I’ve complained about Wizkids screwing these things up in the past; this year, I thought they knocked it out of the park.

 

Q Prime

3. Star Trek Clix That People Actually Wanted!!!

Yes, I was just as bummed as everyone else that the Star Trek: TNG full booster set was broken into 2 Gravity Feeds. Not sure why that happened, but the first set, “Resistance Is Futile,” actually contains a bevy of interesting pieces that I’ve played several times already.

SR Q.jpg

Q Prime is still like $300, and SR Q is still hovering around $50, so there’s still great value there at the high end. But there’s lots of great Federation Bridge Crew pieces (Uncommon Reginald Barclay, Rare Geordi La Forge, Rare Wesley Crusher, etc.) that I’ve taken into both fun and competitive games and won Matches with.

SR Data

Rare William Riker is an interesting piece to play, the various Shifting Focus Datas are almost Meta and Lore is a brutally effective addition to any Robot or Borg team at only 60 Points!

Plus, Chase Mirror Beverly Crusher is quite useful also!

I didn’t find as much to love in the second ST: TNG release (“To Boldly Go”), but there’s still so much material to cover that I hope we get more future releases from this franchise!

 

HC-RulesAddendum.jpg

2. Lemme See Your Cards!!

So… I still don’t love this new rule. But it really hasn’t turned into the disaster that I predicted it would be, either.

Also, the more I play games with this new stipulation, the more I’ve noticed that my opponent’s turns–and my turns–are going by slightly quicker (not a lot, but definitely slightly). I think it’s because decisions that we use to agonize and debate over are now much more clear cut.

It’s no longer “Hmmm… should I use RCE and add 1 to Attack, 1 to Damage? Or all on Damage? Damn, I can’t remember if his character has 6 or 7 Clicks. Hmmm… ”

Now you just politely ask to see your opponent’s card, and there’s no more guesswork, so you can make the correct decision much more often and much more quickly.

Also, some of the (relatively) newer players at my venue have in fact stated that getting to see opposing dials as the game progresses has made Heroclix easier to learn and play for them.

I still think there’s a strategy cost to this change that hasn’t been fully realized or appreciated yet, but I also have to admit it wasn’t the end of the world, either.

 

Pauper.jpg

1. Pauper Steps Into the Heroclix Mainstream!

Okay, this is a little bit of a cheat, since Pauper was sort of developed outside of Wizkids’s purview, and it really emerged as an official tournament format at the ROC State Championships this Fall, which I guess isn’t strictly Wizkids, but there is a connection there now, so… I’m counting it.

Pauper was fun! It was probably the most fun I’ve had at a Constructed Meta event in quite some time. It helped I’m sure that I happened to be playing Ninwashui’s Brotherhood Build, which turned out to be one of the best Builds in the format, but still!

In addition to the Pauper tournament, I’ve used versions of that team in other formats and done pretty well.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And Ninwashui himself just wrote about that on Night Four!!]

I never would have considered a team like that had I not played it in Pauper!

 

What about you? What do you think Wizkids did right this year? Sound off in the Comments below!

And stay tuned right here for more 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

 

 

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Present Presents: Team Ideas: From Pauper to Meta!! (Or, the Fourth Day of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Four of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; yesterday, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And now, here’s a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!!]

Brotherhood TWO

If you don’t remember the Brotherhood team that Roberto and HypeFox ran at the ROC Pauper events in October, they looked like this:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Vought
300 points (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

That team was run twice at that event and ended up taking 4th and 6th place that day. While it was not the only Juggernaut build, I am relatively certain it was the only Brotherhood build. In a world with colossal retaliation figures, location bonuses, and ID cards, The Brotherhood of Mutants just can’t compete in the Meta. I mean, none of them are Cosmic, so that should disqualify them right there.

Kobik 616

I am the living embodiment of the meta…

But, what if the Brotherhood did try to compete? What would that team look like? My answer would be “largely the same as pauper”.

First lets keep what worked from the Pauper Team. That would be:

  • XDPSG007R Juggernaut (100 points)
  • XDPS011B Magneto (50 points)
  • XDPS019 Amelia Vought (45 points)
  • XDPS023B Sabretooth (45 points)

That gives us a total of 240 points. So what do we do with the other 60? Lets start off by adding some additional offense since that what’s it seemed to be lacking in the pauper tournament. Sabretooth and Magneto are hard to kill, but they are also are hard to get kills with. Since this is a Meta team we’ll add offense the same way every other meta team does it… with ID cards.

Now, I don’t see Juggernaut ever not attacking since he’s the Juggernaut and that’s what he does. And it’s all he does. Using a card never seems like the right move for him.

By the same token, though, Amelia Vought should be doing absolutely nothing and using cards hurts her effectiveness. That leaves 50 point Magneto and 45 point Sabretooth. I can add up to 4 cards with the team I have so far so I’ll choose:

  • WKMVID-017 Beast Student ID – 3 points (WCR005E Beast – 40 points) – He can come into play with 11 att and 4 dam and use his charge to attack, or come into play with one less att and dam and be the teams only source of Outwit.
  • Stunner

    Stone Cold Stunner

  • WKMVID-019 Iceman Student ID – 3 points (XDPSG025P Iceman – 15 points) – What’s this, A colossal retaliation piece as a call in? Iceman has 3 dam and 11 att for his Colossal Retaliation attack and regardless of whether he hits he can use incapacitate as a free action on any opposing figure within reach. From there Iceman can simply walk off into the sunset (more than 5 squares away from the piece that called him in) to deny the other team points. Alternatively, Iceman can OPEN A SIX PACK OF STUNNERS on opposing Colossal figures with his trait that states “CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)” That’s huge upside for a 3 point investment.
  • WKMVID-020 Jean Grey Student ID – 3 points (XDPSG010P Phoenix – 25 points) – This is who you should summon if you are near 1 or more opposing figures that are vulnerable to poison. After using Poison, Phoenix can use her colossal retaliation to hopefully deal some penetrating damage and lower some combat values. Following that she can attack an opposing colossal figure, use her Telekinesis, or just walk off into the sunset.
  • WKMDOFP-005 Storm Wanted Poster – 5 points (XDPSG023BP Storm – 25 points) – Arguably the best sub 50 point call in and one of the best retaliation figures. Her colossal retaliation starts with an 11 att close combat attack. If you hit, then the fun begins and you get a free action triple target mind control at +3 att! Regardless of whether she hits she can then use her trait stating, “SUMMON A VORTEX OF WIND:  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.” And everything I just mentioned so far is just the free actions. From there she can she can still use a standard action to attack ANY opposing character, or walk off into the sunset.

Then Lets Get This Started

Those 4 cards total 14 points which brings us to a total of 254. Let’s look at equipment next. Juggernaut can’t use equipment, and Amelia Vought doesn’t need it since she spends all her time doing nothing. That leaves Sabretooth and Magneto. I’ll put in the ABPIS002 Time Gem for Sabretooth and the ABPIS001 Reality Gem for Magneto. This will give the team some additional support powers it was lacking and help it deal with the inevitable dice altering powers it will face.

Those 2 gems total 20 points which brings us up to a total of 274. It looks like the only thing left to do is add another figure. Let’s add support figure XDPSG015P Magneto (25 points). The first thing you’ll notice about this Magneto is colossal retaliation and if you judge him like one of those pieces you will be sorely disappointed. What he really is, is a support figure with Telekenisis and Sidestep – which is a great combo. Compare him to TREKOS006 Lt. Kyle which is one of my favorite characters from the first trek set. This Magneto is there to position your figures, use theme team Prob Control and provide Leadership so that when you start calling in figures you aren’t short on actions. He can also take the occasional shot at the enemy via Colossal Retaliation (followed usually by running away).

Conclusion:

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Can this team compete with the primarily Cosmic Meta? Maybe. With some testing, tweaking, and practice – this team could potentially place high at a future event. One thing’s for sure, though… your opponent definitely won’t see this coming.

Unless, you know, your opponent read this article. In that case then you are probably out of luck.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought about this team in the comments below!

 

 

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Past Presents: The Ten Best Chases of 2019!! (Or, the Third Day of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Three of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; yesterday, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty!]

Chase Stein Image

Ironically NOT a Chase…

Every time a set is announced, the most intense speculation always surrounds the same question… What are the Chases going to be?

In some cases, the speculation is justified. Elseworlds’s DKR Chases were all great; the World’s Finest Kingdom Come Chases almost all ended up in the Modern Age Meta of their day. In other sets, though, the Chases end up being a huge letdown. And yes, I’m looking at you, Joker’s Wild, and your crappy, no-good Bizarro Chases. Even the best of the bunch, Bizarro Green Arrow, only showed up in the Meta to essentially make games take forever. And What If’s Chases only became moderately useful in Modern AFTER Earth X released earlier this year, nearly two years after they debuted!

With that said, let’s take a look at which Chases from this year’s sets hit the mark and etched a spot in Heroclix history!

These are the best 10 Chases from 2019!!

 

Kobik

Thanos

 

Mirror Bev

10. TREKRF033 Mirror Beverly Crusher100 PointsChase: 100 Points is a lot to pay for a support piece. Like, a LOT a lot, which is why I can’t put her higher on this list than 10. But… if you ARE going to put 1/3 of your points into a supporting figure, you’re going to want that figure to have a Special Damage Power kind of like Bev’s (USE MY SON’S GENIUS TO ADVANCE MY CAREER: Outwit, Perplex, Probability Control, Support.)

That is literally EVERY support power you could ever want. And you can use them all, every turn. None of this Alex Wilder “I can only use two support powers at a time and my opponent gets to pick which two” horse puckey.

Pitch Meeting 2

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You know Alex Wilder only costs, like, a fourth of what ol’ Bev costs, right?]

Pitch Meeting 1.jpg

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: What?]

Pitch Meeting 2

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, he’s only like 25 points.]

Pitch Meeting 3.jpg

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Okay, but Mirror Beverly has more powers I haven’t mentioned yet.]

Pitch Meeting 2

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh, please continue then.]

She’s also got Poison, Mystics (via her Mirror Universe TA), Sidestep and a not-insignificant 3 Damage showing top dial if an opposing fig tries to base her, and her special Shape Change Trait [MIRROR, MIRROR: Shape Change. When Mirror Beverly Crusher uses Shape Change and succeeds, give her a Mirror token, and if she fails, remove all Mirror tokens. When she uses Shape Change, increase the result by +1 for each Mirror token (a roll of 1 always fails).] makes her even harder to pin down. There’s actually a lot of risk associated in opposing characters targeting her.

Pitch Meeting 2

[EDITOR’S NOTE: So Outwit, Perp, Prob, Sidestep, Shape Change… yeah, Alex Wilder has access to all of those powers. Plus, y’know, Stealth.]

Pitch Meeting 4.jpg

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Oh really? Well, Alex Wilder isn’t a Chase, so if you want me to ever finish this article and post it,  I’m going to need you to get alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way off my back about this pick.]

Pitch Meeting 2

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Well okay then! Lemme just go ahead and get off of that thing!]

 

Venom Iron Man.jpg

9. EAX064 Venom Iron Man — 100 Points — Chase: Short 6-Clix dial. Only a 6 Range. Buuuuut… he’s also got a laundry list of powers a mile long on his top dial. To wit:

Running Shot; Pen/Psy; Invincible; Shape Change; Plasticity; he also Auto breaks AND sees through Hindering. Plus, if you’re attacking a piece with two action tokens, he’s a 12/4 on offense. If you can roll a 6, you can potentially one-shot a Meta support piece like Unseen.

 

Black Panther incarnation

8. ABPI072 Black Panther — 85 Points — Chase: Hypersonic Speed with sky-high Attack (12) and Defense (19) values. Plus, your opponent won’t even be able to target him if you play him on the right map due to his first Trait (THE PANTHER GOD: Stealth. Opposing lines of fire can’t be drawn to Black Panther if he occupies printed hindering terrain. Protected: Pulse Wave.).

His only downside is that his damage output is heavily dependent on Blades/Claws/Fangs, which is obviously unreliable.

PRO TIP: Pay the extra 30 points for Kobik’s Cosmic Cube and equip it on Black Panther for all sorts of fun shenanigans.

 

Jean Grey Chase.jpg

7. XDPS047 Jean Grey — 75 Points — Chase: There’s her normal dial, with Sidestep, a Pen/Psy, 11 Attack and 4 Damage top dial with a 7 Range–all in all, pretty solid for 75 Points. But when you dig into her Traits, a really cool, subversive shadow dial emerges that lets you play her in a totally different way.

Her first 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.)] gives her the ability to mentally stomp the entire freaking yard with Mind Control and then Outwit your opponent’s most potent Special Power.

Jean’s Special Movement Power (JASON WYNGARDE HAS SHOWN US THE WAY: Sidestep. Other friendly characters can target Jean Grey when using Mind Control.) offers you a way to get her into position and make more attacks than she should normally be allowed to make.

Her dial finishes off with a Stop Click that gives you the opportunity to morph her into the Colossal Dark Phoenix, which is one of the best Colossals in the game.

This is one of those pieces that needs a really skilled player to maximize her effectiveness, but if you can master her abilities, she’ll be darn near broken!

 

Barbatos 2.jpg

6. RE068E Barbatos — 100 Points — Chase: Both of his dials are great, but for 100 Points, you get a piece with the Batman TA, Batman Enemy TA, 8 Range, Pen/Psy, Impervious and the ability to Phase 4 squares and still attack.

He also has the Quintessence TA and the ability to shut down Ranged Attacks by giving Battle Fury to opposing figures within six squares. Being able to shoot opposing characters while they can’t shoot you has ALWAYS been good in Heroclix.

All of these powers combine to give you a high-ceiling Secondary Attacker who can help you control your positioning on the board.

 

Jason Wyngarde

5. XDPS048 Jason Wyngarde — 75 Points — Chase: His stats aren’t as good as Jean Grey’s, but he does have two Traits that make up for that fact. First, his Mind Control Trait (DON’T LET THE DREAMS OF ANOTHER LIFE TROUBLE YOU: Mind Control. When Jason Wyngarde uses it as RANGE, he may count range and draw line of fire from any character he hit this turn and if he hits, after resolutions he can use Mind Control at no cost, but only to target a character he hasn’t targeted with Mind Control this turn. (He may repeat this.)] lets you potentially Mind Control the whole opposing team. Which, y’know, is pretty good. It’s the MC version of Chase Movie Yondu’s “Whistling Arrow Attack” or Chase HawkGuy’s “Rapid-Fire Trick Shooting.”

It’s just got a waaaaay cooler name.

Wyngarde’s Second Trait (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.) lets you pop out some of the best Bystander Tokens in the game as long as you had the foresight to put those pieces on your Sideline. Want some Iron Avengers on your Hellfire Club team? Now you can!

 

CaptainMarvel_06.png

4. CMM021 Captain Marvel — 150 Points — Chase: When you absolutely have to murder the entire opposing team, accept no substitutes. Where to begin?

She’s got great stats, a high Threat Range (14 Squares before any Perplexes, plus the Avengers Initiative Team Ability lets her target through Hindering), a Special that lets her attack twice in one turn (STRAFING RUN: [Improved Movement: Characters], Running Shot. When Captain Marvel uses it, after resolutions she may use Charge at no cost, but can’t target the same character.) and a Trait that grants her and certain buddies both Prob AND an immunity to opposing Prob!

And if your opponent manages to deal her two or more damage, she supercharges into a Hypersonic, Pulse Wave, 12 Attack and 5 Damage demon-woman who can neither be stopped nor reasoned with.

The only reason she’s not Top 3 on this list is her vulnerability to Outwit in certain circumstances. In a Meta or tournament environment, 150 Points is a lot to sink into a piece that doesn’t have some form of “Protected: Outwit” for the entire dial, so it’s a little dicey building around her (although certainly not impossible).

But for friendly games, she’s a powerhouse!

 

Captain Venom

3. EAX062E Captain Venom — 50 Points — Chase: Just a boatload of stats and powers for 50 Points. Top dial, we’re talking Charge, Quake, Combat Reflexes, Plasticity, Shape Change and a Special Leadership (READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES: Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.) that improves his entire team on offense WHETHER OR NOT HE ACTUALLY HITS THE LEADERSHIP!

He has the “Call in Help from the Venom-Verse” Trait and also ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain on movement and Auto breaks from opposing characters.

But the craziest thing about him is that all those powers I just listed are really just icing on the cake! He’s almost completely earned his points before the game actually begins, thanks to his Build Trait (EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED: During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.).

Now, for 50 Points, you can group any amount of disparate Monster-keyworded characters together and get not just a Map bonus but also a bunch of free Themed Team Probs!

 

Kobik 616.jpg

2. ABPI069 Kobik (w/”Hi, I’m Kobik) — 115 Points — Chase: Pretty much the best support character in the game, with Mind Control, Super Senses (with a 19 Defense) and a great Special Damage Power (DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?: Perplex, Probability Control, Shape Change.) that makes her a nightmare for opponents.

And then she adds in a pretty filthy Trait (REWRITE AFFILIATIONS: FREE: Choose both a friendly character and an opposing character with printed team abilities. Those characters can use the team abilities printed on the other character instead of their own printed team abilities until your next turn.) that lets you steal opposing Power Cosmic TA’s.

She also starts with one of the best Equipments in the game (ABPIS008 Cosmic Cube: FREE: Choose one: Place this character up to 3 squares away from its current square; -or- Until your next turn, [Improved Targeting: Elevated, Hindering] and modify range +2; -or- Give an action token to an adjacent opposing character. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage.)

And her 100 Point cost actually serves as an advantage in a Call-In Meta environment, since she can Call-In heavy hitters and still pull off her other tricks as Free Actions.

There’s a reason she’s shown up on so many Top 8 teams in pro tournaments already!

 

Thanos UC

1. ABPI074 Thanos — 160 Points — Ultra-Chase: I mean, his 110 Point level is arguably even better, but holy cow! Hands down the best Ultra-Chase Wizkids has ever made.

His stats are great, he’s got one of the best Perplex Specials they’ve ever thought up (THE BIOLOGICAL APPLICATION OF COSMIC POWER: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Thanos uses it to target a friendly character, that character can use [Power Cosmic] until your next turn. When Thanos uses it to target an opposing character, that character can’t use Willpower or PROTECTED: Outwit or Protected: Outwit until your next turn.), and then he spits out a Skreet Bystander Token that’s nearly impossible to kill (20 Defense with Impervious at Range) and who possesses arguably an EVEN BETTER Perplex (CHAOS MITE: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Skreet uses it, she modifies a value +2 or -2 instead, then rolls a d6. [1-2]: The modifier becomes 0 instead.) than Thanos’s Perplex, which you just thought was the best Perp ever.

I mean, seriously, when else does Wizkids let you use a +2 Perp on Damage? Almost never.

And the Ego Gem he starts with is probably the second best piece of Equipment they’ve ever made, since it not only gives you a second Perplex-style source, but it allows Thanos to go out and collect more gems!

I could go on and on about how much I love this piece, but we’ve already passed 2000 words, so I just leave it right here.

 

Which were your favorite Chases? Let us know in the Comments below, and we’ll see your right here for the Fourth Night of Clix-Mas real soon!

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Past Presents: The 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures! (Or, the Second Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Two of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! Yesterday, we reviewed the ground rules; today, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty!]

Over the Hill club

Little Known Fact: For a time, Wizkids toyed with Call-In cards for pieces from Undead

2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures

by Roberto Ty

Having 2020 Vision

As 2019 closes, I thought this would be a good time to look at the best ID Call-In figures in Heroclix for 2020. Quicker than a Thanos finger snap, the rotation will be upon us (most likely in July) and the value of your tightly-held meta pieces will drop faster than Thor’s Hammer on a Frost Giant. The time to sell is now, but can you really make a Nationals run without these ID cards?

The Call-In Sequence

Deadpool ID.jpg

But first, let’s start at the beginning. For newer players, a typical call-in sequence looks like this:

  1. A friendly character (the summoner) uses a POWER action for the Call-In Help ability from the ID card. Your opponent scores the ID card.
    1. Call-In Help – Friendly characters have “POWER: If no other friendly characters have been given this same action this turn and this character is equal or more points than the ID character, place the ID character adjacent, then remove this ID card from the game and your opponent scores it. The ID character returns to your Sideline: at the beginning of your next turn, immediately if no square it occupies is within 5 squares of this character, or it is removed from the map by another effect. ID characters can’t: be carried, be equipped, be given DOUBLE POWER actions, replace, or be replaced. ID characters can be KO’d.
    2. Note the restrictions: The Call-In figure must remain within 5 squares of the summoner. The Call-In cannot be Carried, use Equipment, or be given DOUBLE POWER actions.
  2. In most Meta encounters, typically a team will have Perplex (or multiple Perplexes) at the ready to modify attack and/or damage on the Call-In figure.
  3. Call-in would perform a POWER action.
  4. Ideally, the Call-in would then be removed from the map to prevent being KO’d and scored by the opponent. This is done by moving the call-in 6 squares away from the summoner through Sidestep or Telekinesis. Not always possible though. 

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

Alright, with the basic rules and strategies for Call-Ins covered, the top ID Cards and Call-In figures to rotate out in 2020 are:

  1. TIER I
    1. XXSXID-020 Jean Grey ID (5 points) and 60-point XXS065E Jean Grey
    2. XXSXID-018 Cyclops ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS052E Cyclops
    3. XXSXID-025 Wolverine ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS053E Wolverine
    4. WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn ID (5 points) and 60-point HQ049 Harley Quinn
  2. TIER II
    1. 50-point XXS037AE Professor X and 50-point XXS037BE Professor X
    2. XXSXID-010 Chamber ID (3 points) and 70-point XXS041 Chamber
    3. XXSXID-004 Rusty ID (3 points) and 50-point FFXXS005 Rusty
    4. XXSXID-012 Jubilee ID (3 points) and 50-point XXS026 Jubilee

While this list of retiring ID cards and call-in figures isn’t comprehensive, I focused on the most used cards and Call-In Figures. Let’s look forward to 2020 and the changing landscape of call-in figures.

The Future of Call-In Figures

We go from 43 ID Cards and Wanted Posters to just 18 after rotation. How many are usable? We need to evaluate what abilities the post-rotation call-in figures bring.

ID / WANTED POSTER PTS INSPIRATION / INTIMIDATION OTHER IDENTITIES
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 5 Blades/Claws/Fangs Logan, Old Man Logan, Colonel Logan
WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 5 Exploit Weakness Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite
WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 5 Charge
WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 5 Running Shot Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 5 Penetrating/Psychic Blast
WKMVID-011 Colossus 5 Impervious
WKMVID-012 Professor X 5 Shape Change
WKMVID-013 Banshee 5 When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.
WKMVID-014 Rogue 5 Steal Energy
WKMVID-015 Psylocke 5 Exploit Weakness
WKMVID-016 Angel 3 No Inspiration Archangel
WKMVID-017 Beast 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-018 Cyclops 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-019 Iceman 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 3 No Inspiration Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 5 Exploit Weakness Dr. Harleen Quinzel
WKDCID-009 The Joker 5 Perplex
WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze 5 Incapacitate
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 5 Poison, Smoke Cloud
WKDCID-012 Two-Face 5 Probability Control Harvey Dent

FIGURE 1 | Post-rotation ID cards, point cost, and their Inspiration or Intimidation.

The Call-In Value Proposition

In deciding on ID cards and Call-In options, the goal is to look for value. I like figures around 50-points. At this point cost, the Call-In Help ability can be used by a lower cost support figure. While a higher cost Call-In sometimes has better combat values, its higher cost requires a figure of equal value to call it in. This means that a POWER action is being used by a primary attacker just to call in another attacker. It’s a bad two-for-one tradeoff. Still, you may find value in a higher cost Call-In, depending on its abilities. I just don’t like the value proposition.

Now not all Call-In figures are for attacking. You can supplement utility powers in your Build by calling-in characters with support powers like Perplex, Telekinesis, Support, Outwit, Enhancement, Empower, Probability Control, etc.

Furthermore, you not only have to evaluate what the Call-In brings, but whether or not the piece itself is a liability. Can you protect it from being scored? Can you remove it from the map through Sidestep or Telekinesis? 

Since most ID cards are scored once they’re used, you need to factor these things into your evaluation. Points matter and you don’t want to concede them easily.

With that said, ID cards are prevalent because of the high value proposition for a low point investment (3-5 points).

Wanted Posters

The Wanted Posters differ from ID cards because of the Bounty mechanic, which reads:

Bounty: When an opposing character hits this ID character, immediately return it to your sideline and, after resolutions, heal the attacking character 1 click. If this ID character is returned at the beginning of your next turn, heal the character that used “Call In Help” 1 click.

Because of this mechanic, you may opt to use a higher-cost Call-In, hoping your opponent can’t hit. If the Call-In survives, then you can heal the summoner 1 click on your next turn. To me, it’s risky. I don’t want to concede any points and would prefer to just “poof” the Call-In. 

Let’s look at some low-cost options for the Wanted Posters. I won’t review every possible Call-In, but instead recommend what I think is the best option.

Wolvie Wanted poster

WKMDOFP-001 WOLVERINE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Blades/Claws/Fangs

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point WKM19-003 Wolverine

 

  • 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

 

  1. 70-point WCR001E Wolverine
  2. 70-point WCR101E Wolverine
  3. 75-point WCR107 Wolverine

The best options are 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine and 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine.

FFXDPS001E Wolverine. Wolverine has Improved Movement: Hindering, TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE special power with 8 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His value is in his Special Movement Power:

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE: Charge, Flurry.

50-point XDPS001 Wolverine. While Wolverine’s damage isn’t as good (no Flurry), he does brings value with his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE NOSE KNOWS, BUB: Opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

This stealth-busting, Shape Change-denying Wolverine has Charge with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with an incredible 12 attack, Toughness with 18 defense and 2 damage. I ranked him lower than the Fast Forces version, but remember that you can list multiple options for each ID/Wanted Poster. You just need to declare which one you’re using at the beginning of the game.

Kate Pryde

WKMDOFP-002 KATE PRYDE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Other Identities: Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite

Call-In Options:

 

  • 60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WKMP18-006 Shadowcat

60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde. Kitty can be used as a 60-point or a 40-point call-in. The only changes in combat values are her attack (11 to 10) and her defense (18 to 17).

With 0 range and only Sidestep, she’ll need to be close to attack. Her real value comes from her trait:

(☆ TRAIT) LOCKHEED: FREE: Once per game, generate a Lockheed Bystander.

Lockheed is the main threat. He has 5 range with a single target, Running Shot with 8 movement, Energy Explosion with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with a 17 defense, and 1 damage. Kitty is called in, Sidesteps, and generates Lockheed. Lockheed uses Running Shot and targets an opponent 5 squares away with Energy Explosion. That’s a 12-square reach (2 from Kitty’s Sidestep, 1 form being placed adjacent, 4 from Running Shot, and 5 from range). You’ll always use Energy Explosion because of his 1 printed damage. By using Energy Explosion that damage becomes 2.

ENERGY EXPLOSION RANGE: Make a range attack, and all other characters adjacent to an original target also become targets. Hit characters are dealt 2 damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus.jpg

WKMDOFP-003 COLOSSUS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Charge

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus

 

  • 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus. Colossus is a Giant Colossal Retaliator without Colossal Indifference. This means he can attack smaller characters normally and not just by Colossal Retaliation. Colossus has:

+ Improved Movement: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through. This character can move through squares adjacent to or occupied by opposing characters without stopping, and automatically breaks away, even if adjacent to a character than can use Plasticity. 

He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Colossus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. If that character is within the same row or column as Colossus, place Colossus adjacent to that character and make a close combat attack targeting all characters in the rows or columns between where Colossus began this action and his current square, regardless of adjacency. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus will be mainly as a call-in to retaliate. Because his retaliation has a condition of being in the same row or column of the opposing attacker, you’ll need to pay attention to his placement. If you do a non-retaliation attack first, it may help position Colossus for his retaliation. Bottom line: pay attention to position.

Rachel Summers ID

WKMDOFP-004 RACHEL SUMMERS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Running Shot

Other Identities: Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point WCR009E Rachel Summers

 

  • 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix. Between the two, Phoenix call-in is the better call-in. Phoenix has Colossal Indifference and can’t attack smaller characters unless it’s through retaliation. She has 10 range with 3 targets, Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with a 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Phoenix’s traits are:

(☆ TRAIT) COSMIC ENTITY: Phoenix can’t be the target of an attack with more than one target.

(☆ TRAIT) ETERNAL FLAME OF DESTRUCTION AND REBIRTH: Energy Shield/Deflection, Poison. When Phoenix uses Poison and an opposing character took damage from it, after resolutions choose one: heal 1 click for each opposing character damaged this way -or- heal each adjacent friendly character 1 click.

The first trait is situational while her second trait is Poison.

POISON: FREE: If this character hasn’t moved or been placed this turn, deal 1 damage to all adjacent opposing characters.

It’s important to note that being placed on the map from the sideline isn’t the same being moved or placed when on the map. Therefore, Phoenix can use Poison before she retaliates.

Now, let’s look at her special powers:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. If Phoenix starts on the 25-point line, she can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Phoenix within 3 squares of the chosen character then make a ranged attack targeting that character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares, regardless of line of fire. Instead of normal damage, deal each hit character 1 penetrating damage for each action token they have. Hit targets that can use Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast modify their combat values -1 until your next turn.

Her retaliation is where Phoenix increases her value. She deals 1 penetrating damage for each token on each hit target! Incredibly potent if timed right.

Magneto.jpg

WKMDOFP-006 MAGNETO WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Penetrating/Psychic Blast

Call-In Options:

  1. 50-point XDPS011B Magneto
  2. 65-point XDPS100 Magneto
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto (OUR PICK!)

25-point XDPSG015P Magneto. Another fantastic colossal retaliator call-in! It’s important to note that Magneto is a standard size, even though he has a 2×2 base. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference, which means he can make normal attacks and not just through retaliation. Magneto has 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage.

Let’s look at his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE FORCE OF MAGNETISM IS AT MY COMMAND: Leadership. FREE: Choose a character within range and line of fire. Place that character in a square adjacent to its current square.

Magneto increases his value with his Leadership. His trait also allows him to reposition one of your opponent’s characters. Now for his retaliation:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM: FREE: If no other friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Magneto or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Magneto such that he can make a ranged attack targeting the chosen character then do so.

His retaliation power is good, but isn’t the the main reason he will be used.

 

ID CARDS

 

colossus id

WKMVID-011 COLOSSUS ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Impervious

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)
  3. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

We reviewed our Colossus pick earlier under the Wanted Posters.

Prof X ID.jpg

WKMVID-012 PROFESSOR X ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Shape Change

Call-In Options: Uhhhh… none, actually. There is a 100-point XDPS035 Professor X, but I don’t recommend him.

Banshee ID.jpg

WKMVID-013 BANSHEE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.

Call-In Options: No options available post-rotation. 

Rogue ID.jpg

WKMVID-014 ROGUE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Steal Energy

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point FFXDPS002E Rogue
    2. 60-point XDPS002 Rogue

 

  • 60-point WCR011E Rogue (OUR PICK!)

 

60-point WCR011E Rogue. Rogue has flight, Charge with 9 movement, Quake with 11 attack, SOUTHERN BELLE special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her combat values are on a par with the other Rogue call-ins, but it’s her trait adds additional value to make her our selection. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) LET ME GIVE YOUR POWERS A SPIN FOR A WHILE, SUGAH: When Rogue hits a single opposing character with a close attack, after resolutions you may choose a standard power that character can use. Until you choose again, Rogue can use the chosen power and has the printed range value of the hit character.

(SPECIAL POWER) SOUTHERN BELLE: Invulnerability, Willpower.

True to the Rogue in the comics, when she hits she steals a standard power. In most cases, you’ll target a character with support powers like Perplex, Outwit, and Probability Control..

Psylocke ID.jpg

WKMVID-015 PSYLOCKE (5-POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Call-In Options:

    1. 45-point DCXM009 Psylocke

 

  • 40-point WCR020E Psylocke (OUR PICK!)

 

40-point WCR020E Psylocke. Psylocke has Improved Movement: Hindering, 6 range with 2 targets, NINJA TRAINING special power with an 8 movement, Precision Strike with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Perplex with 2 damage. Her trait gives her Incapacitate that can disable an opponent’s attack or defense powers.

(☆ TRAIT) PSYCHIC BOW: Incapacitate. When she uses it and hits, after resolutions, choose a standard attack or defense power the hit character can use and that character can’t use that power until your next turn.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) NINJA TRAINING: Sidestep, Stealth.

Both these abilities make this Psylocke our pick. She can Sidestep, Perplex her attack up for Incapacitate, then when she hits, she can choose an attack or defense power to turn off? Yes, please! It’s a great way to get around pesky defenses! Unfortunately, she’s a Chase.

Angel ID.jpg

WKMVID-016 ANGEL (3-POINTS)

Other Identities: Archangel

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point WCR015E Angel (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WCR105E Archangel

40-point WCR015E Angel. Angel has flight, RETURN TO EARTH special power with 10 movement, 10 attack, DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE? Special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) RETURN TO EARTH: Charge. When Angel uses it, you may choose to not half his speed. If you do, he has PASSENGER: 0

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE?: Super Senses, Willpower.

While the 80-point version of this character has a 12 movement and an 18 defense, the other stats are the same.  It’s why I recommend using the 40-point version—less risk of your opponent scoring him.

Beast ID.jpg

WKMVID-017 BEAST (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 FFXDPS003E Beast

 

  • 50 XDPS003 Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 40 WCR005E Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

 

50 XDPS003 Beast. Our first double selection. Both call-in options bring different value to a team. This Beast supplies Perplex and has Improved Movement: Elevated, Hindering, and Characters. He has Sidestep with 10 movement, 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME special power with 2 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Beast uses it, if the target shares a keyword with him, you may instead modify the value except damage +2 or -2.

40 WCR005E Beast. Beast provides Outwit or Battle Fury to attack those pesky Shape Change characters. If he chooses Battle Fury, he modifies his combat values by +1. He has Improved Movement: Elevated Hindering and Charge with 8 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(☆ TRAIT)  LETTING THE BEAST OUT: FREE: Chose one: Outwit -or- Battle Fury and modify Beast’s combat values +1. Beast can use the chosen effect(s) until your next turn.

Cyclops ID

WKMVID-018 CYCLOPS (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

 

  • 70 XDPS013 Cyclops (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70 WCR002E Cyclops
  2. 70 WCR102E Cyclops
  3. 75 WCR108 Cyclops

70 XDPS013 Cyclops. The first ID where we feel the pain of rotation. The post-rotation call-in options for Cyclops just can’t compare to the 50-point XXS052E Cyclops. This version has 8 range with a single target, OPTIC BEAMS special power with 10 movement, Penetrating/Psychic Blast with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and COMMANDING LEADER special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) OPTIC BEAMS: Running Shot, Force Blast.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COMMANDING LEADER: Leadership. When Cyclops use it and succeeds, after resolutions chose another friendly character that shares a keyword and has 0 action tokens. This turn, that character has “FREE: Halve speed, then Move.”

While the special movement power is nice, his damage power only benefits X-Men teams (Cyclops’ only keyword: X-Men).

Iceman ID.jpg

WKMVID-019 ICEMAN (3-POINTS

Call-In Options:

 

  • 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point WCR013E Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

 

15-point XDPSG025P Iceman. Both Iceman options are excellent and bring different utility. This Iceman is a colossal Ice Voltron and has Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 3 damage. His abilities aret:

(☆ TRAIT) CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT!: STOP. If Iceman started the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Iceman or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Iceman such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. After resolutions, he can immediately use Incapacitate at no cost, but may target smaller characters.

Voltron Iceman’s trait is can potentially take out multiple colossal retaliators. While he has Colossal Indifference, his retaliation power allows him to use Incapacitate at no cost on smaller characters.

 

50-point WCR013E Iceman. Iceman has 5 range with 2 targets, Hypersonic Speed with 9 movement, 10 attack, MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT…EVENTUALLY special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WATCH YOUR STEP…IT’S SLIPPERY: When Iceman hits one or more opposing characters with a range attack, choose one for all hit characters: speed -2 -or- attack -1. Hit characters modify the chosen combat value until your next turn.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT… EVENTUALLY: Barrier, Toughness, Willpower. Whenever Iceman moves, after the resolution of each move, you may immediately place a Blocking terrain marker in a square he moved through. Remove that marker at the beginning of your next turn (even if this is lost).

Iceman’s trait and special defense increase his value. While he can only move 5 squares with his Hypersonic Speed since he must be close to the summoner, he can make a ranged attack, targeting an opponent 3 squares away (half his 5 range, rounded up). His special defense can be used strategically to place a blocking terrain in a square he moved through.

Jean Grey ID.jpg

WKMVID-020 JEAN GREY (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 XDPS014 Jean Grey
    2. 75 XDPS047 Jean Grey

 

  • 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50 FFXXS004E Jean Grey

For the XDPSG010P Phoenix call-in, refer to the review above.

harley Quinn ID

WKDCID-008 HARLEY QUINN (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Exploit Weakness.

Call-In Options:

 

  • 65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

 

These two Harley Quinn options don’t compare to the title character, but each one should still see play.

65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn. Harley has 5 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Poison with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Outwit with 3 damage. While having no move and attack, Harley is a good secondary character that can bring a Outwit to a team.

50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn. Where the other Harley brought Outwit this one supplies Perplex. She has a 5 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with 17 defense, and AIN’T WE THE GREATEST? special power with 2 damage.

AIN’T WE THE GREATEST?: Perplex. When Harley Quinn uses it, if she does not choose damage and targets a friendly character named Poison Ivy, Catwoman or The Joker, modify the chosen value by +2 instead.

Joker ID

WKDCID-009 THE JOKER (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Perplex

Call-In Options:

    1. 100-point WKDP18-009 The Joker

 

  • 30-point BTAS003 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

    1. 80-point BTAS042 The Joker

 

  • 75-point BTAS054 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point FFBTAS103 The Joker

With two solid call-in options for Joker, I prefer the 30-point version. Both are worth reviewing.

30-point BTAS003 The Joker. Joker has 4 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS? special power with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, Probability Control with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) 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.

This Joker packs a lot of neat tricks that make him an asset beyond his Probability Control.

 

75-point BTAS054 The Joker. I always hesitate calling in higher-point figures for my opponent to potentially score, but this Joker brings Plasticity, Perplex, and Outwit. He starts with 0 range, JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG… special power with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG…: Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY: Outwit, Perplex. When the Joker uses either, his minimum range value is 9.

Mr Freeze ID

WKDCID-010 MR. FREEZE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Incapacitate

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point BTAS009 Mr. Freeze
  2. 100-point BTAS022 Mr. Freeze

At these high-point levels, I can’t really recommend any.

Poison Ivy ID.jpg

WKDCID-011 POISON IVY (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Poison, Smoke Cloud

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50-point BTAS031 Poison Ivy
  2. 65-point BTAS043 Poison Ivy
  3. 75-point FFBTAS104 Poison Ivy

 

40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy. As a call-in for Perplex, Poison Ivy brings 3 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Incapacitate with 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and Perplex with 1 damage.

Two Face ID

WKDCID-012 TWO-FACE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Probability Control

Other Identities: Harvey Dent

Call-in Options:

 

  • 55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point BTAS008 Two-Face

55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent. Harvey has nice support: the Police team ability and Probability Control. Dent has 6 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and Probability Control with 2 damage. He also has the Batman Ally team ability that gives him Stealth.

 

Final Call

While we don’t know all that 2020 will bring, we can assume that there won’t be too many more X-Men options. My recommendation is to practice and test which call-in options work for your play style. While I tend to use lower-cost call-in figures, you may find that a higher-point option might be the better for your team. Just remember to value and protect points! 

The chart below shows the ID cards with our call-in selections.

ID / WANTED POSTER CALL-IN
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 50 FFXDPS001E Wolverine

IM: Hindering, Charge, Flurry, BFC

50 XDPS001 Wolverine

Charge. Opposing within 3 can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 60 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

40 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 25 XDPSG015P Magneto

Sidestep. TK. FREE place a character within range and line of fire in an adjacent square from its current square.

Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters.

WKMVID-011 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMVID-012 Professor X NONE
WKMVID-013 Banshee NONE
WKMVID-014 Rogue 60 WCR011E Rogue

Flight, Charge, Quake. Can pick a standard power that a hit character can use, Rogue can use that power.

WKMVID-015 Psylocke 40 WCR020.1E Psylocke

IM: Hindering, Stealth, Precision Strike, Incapacitate. Choose attack or defense power on hit character. Hit character can’t use the chosen power.

WKMVID-016 Angel 40 WCR015E Angel

Flight, Charge.

WKMVID-017 Beast 50 XDPS003 Beast

Sidestep. IM: Elevation, Hindering, Characters. Perplex, modify +2/-2 if target shares a keyword.

40 WCR005E Beast

IM: Hindering, Elevated. Charge. Outwit or Battle Fury and +1 combat values on Beast.

WKMVID-018 Cyclops 70 XDPS013 Cyclops

8 range, RS, Force Blast, PPB.

WKMVID-019 Iceman 15 XDPSG025P Iceman

BFC trait. When Iceman KO’s a Giant/Colossal, can charge at no cost another Giant/Colossal. Colossal Retaliator, can use Incapacitate for FREE on smaller characters after retaliating resolves.

50 WCR013E Iceman

HSS, Hit Characters -2 speed or -1 attack. 1 Barrier Marker on movement path.

WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 65 BTAS014 Harley Quinn

Stealth, Outwit.

50 FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn

Sidestep, Quake, Perplex.

WKDCID-009 The Joker 30 BTAS003 The Joker

Sidestep, PC, Smoke Cloud. Free close attack on opposing in his smoke cloud, give an action token instead of normal damage.

75 BTAS054 The Joker

Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep. Outwit/Perplex with a 9 range.

WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze NONE
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 40 BTAS004 Poison Ivy

Stealth, Perplex.

WKDCID-012 Two-Face 55 BTAS021 Harvey Dent

Batman Ally/Police TAs, Sidestep, PC.

And that’s all I have for tonight! Thanks for reading!

Another Year, Another… 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!! (Or, The First Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

Superhero Christmas Stan Lee style

RIP Stan The Man Lee

Welcome everybody to this year’s installment of… the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

By now, most of you are familiar with the drill; instead of our usual drip-feed of content from our ragtag writing and editorial team, we endeavor to provide you, dear reader, with 12 different articles in 12 days!

And we’ve been successful for the last two years running!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Did you just jinx us? I think you just jinxed us.]

–Remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean a new article every day; some days may have no new content while some days will have two or even three posts!

After a couple of down years, this new posting format has led to better outcomes for all involved in 2017 and 2018.

Okay, with the ground rules set, I’ll just wish everybody a safe and happy holiday season, and check back with this space soon for the first ever Clix-mas article not written by HypeFox or Ninwashui…

META Diary: December ROC Win-A-Map!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberto Ty is back with another META Diary including a breakdown of the team he used and the detailed planning he put into the role of every piece on his team! Roberto’s already on some other column ideas, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

By Roberto Ty

December 1, 2019

RoC November 2019.jpg

Garden City, MI — What qualifies as a great attendance for a Heroclix event? Looking at the numbers from the various ROC States Championship, a great turnout is 12 players (Michigan had 26). It’s reasonable to expect a smaller crowd for a less prestigious event like a ROC Win-A-Map. Today’s competition drew a great crowd of 13 players.

Restricted Win-A-Map

The local shop hosting the Win-A-Map prefers to run major events with restrictions. Usually they  ban Colossal Retaliators (cannot start on their lower-point retaliation-click) and ID cards along with one-man-army Uni-mind and the annoying Q Prime.

WIN-A-MAP FORMAT

  • 500-point Modern
  • Highlander Rule (Primes are primes, all other characters are considered to be silver ring)
  • Ban List: ID cards, Special Terrain, Colossal Retaliators starting on their lower-point retaliation-click, Uni-mind, and Q Prime.

After brainstorming some builds, I gravitated toward a monster team with Onslaught. There was little time to practice with Thanksgiving, but I managed to put in four hours of testing on Black Friday. I tried a couple Onslaught-based teams and a Cosmic team nested around Dark Phoenix. Woefully under-practiced and feeling my usual stress before a competitive meta event, I rolled the dice and stuck with Onslaught.

Breaking Down My Monster Mash Team

MY MONSTER TEAM
200 RE068 Barbatos
125 XDPSG006R Onslaught
50 EAX062E Captain Venom
– 5 WKMP19-S105 Nightbringer (Mandarin Ring)
75 XDPSG022R Mojo
35 RE014 Prez Rickard
– 5 WKMP19-s103 Spin (Mandarin Ring)
5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble
500

Suffering the Onslaught

Onslaught images

By now most meta players (which I’m not) have experienced just how annoyingly good Onslaught is (I have), but in case you’re not as lucky, I will highlight his abilities:

  1. (☆TRAIT) BEHIND THE SCENES: Onslaught can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.
  2. (☆TRAIT) PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.
  3. (SPECIAL ATTACK) “KILL YOU, CAIN MARKO? WHAT A SPLENDID IDEA!”: Onslaught can knock back characters that can use Charge or Combat Reflexes. // When Onslaught hits with a close attack, a hit character unequips all equipment and drops any held objects and after resolutions, Onslaught knocks back a hit character 9 squares.
  4. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) RESHAPING REALITY: Probability Control, Shape Change. When Onslaught uses Probability Control to reroll an opposing character’s attack roll and the final result is a miss, after resolutions you may place that opposing character up to 3 squares away from their current square.
  5. Improved Targeting: Hindering and Characters with nine range and three targets.
  6. Brotherhood of Mutants and X-Men Team Ability

Having seen enough of this guy in the X-Men Animated Series pre-release and release day events and in the ROC States Championship, I wanted to build around his strengths. With the format being 500-modern, I would have plenty of room to include more formidable attackers and complementary support.

The Bad Mofo

Barbatos.jpg

Barbatos is exactly that: one bad Mofo. He is the must-have of the Rebirth chases. At 100-points he is more of a secondary attacker with some unique abilities that can be useful on the right build. However, the correct move was to use him at the full 200-points as the primary attacker on my monster team. What makes him such a bad-ass:

  1. (☆TRAIT) ASSEMBLE AN ARMY OF NIGHTMARES: Friendly characters with the Monster keyword can use the Batman Enemy team ability. Friendly characters with the Dark Knights keyword can use the Batman Ally team ability.
  2. (☆TRAIT) DRAG YOU INTO THE DARK MULTIVERSE: Phasing/Teleport. Phasing/Teleport as FREE, but only to move up to 4 squares and when he does, after resolutions adjacent opposing characters have Immobile until your next turn.
  3. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) SO FALLS THE REALM OF LIGHT: Opposing characters within 6 squares that can use Outwit, Perplex or Support can use Battle Fury.
  4. Improved Targeting: Hindering
  5. Quintessence Team Ability
  6. Giant

On top click he has a 12 movement, 8 range, 12 Penetrating Psychic Blast, 19 Invincible, and 4 Damage. The idea was to free phase 4 squares, immobilize adjacent opposing characters and/or attack with Penetrating Psychic Blast. Then I could use Onslaught’s FREE Telekinesis to place him in hindering terrain for his Stealth via the Batman Ally team ability. Additionally, Barbatos gave monster keyword friendlies, the Batman Enemy team ability. With his top attack of 12, my entire team got a bump to their attack when they were adjacent to Barbatos.

The Director

aug180908__82487.1538762497

Now that I had my bad Mofo, it was time for a behind-the-scenes maestro and what better director than the Electrifyin’ Mojo? What he brings to the team:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) BEHIND THE SCENES: Mojo can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) 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.
  3. (SPECIAL MOVEMENT) KEEP THE CAMERAS ON THEM!: Sidestep. When an opposing characters uses Sidestep, after resolutions Mojo may move up to 2 squares.

You can begin to see that my team doesn’t have the traditional move and attack capability (i.e. Running Shot, Hypersonic Speed, or Charge), but there’s a lot of mobility inherent to each monster’s special trait. With the prevalence of Sidestep in the game, Mojo takes incredible advantage of this fact by being able to move after the resolution of my opponent’s Sidestep. A subtle, but very effective special damage power that could help control positioning. Additionally, Mojo would help place Barbatos through his own Telekinesis. Like a good director, Mojo sets the battle scene.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Venom Cap

The minute Captain Venom was introduced, the monster keyword got a huge bump. Let’s breakdown why:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) ALIEN SYMBIOTE: Plasticity, Shape Change. Captain Venom automatically breaks away.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED: During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.
  3. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES: Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.

Captain Venom is the natural leader for my monster band. He makes the generic monster keyword into a named one. This would provide me with additional sources of Probability Control through Theme Team Probability Control. It also gave me a fighting chance to win the map and gain control of the environment my team would battle on. As I mentioned in the previous Meta Diary, a good map can neutralize an advantage your opponent’s team possesses (i.e. XDPSG007 Juggernaut is incredibly weak on a map like Galador Promenade that has no blocking terrain). Captain Venom’s role wouldn’t be on the front lines, but as a commander providing the support for a victory. I decided to play him at his 50-point level, where he’s only four clicks long. My foot soldiers would have to rally around him to keep him alive. Despite his short dial, most of my opponents never thought to target him for a quick kill. This often was to my advantage because Captain Venom just needed to attack in a turn and all monster keyword friendlies would get a +1 to their attack.

The Human

Prez Rickard.jpg

In monster movies, there’s always one human that sympathizes with the monster’s plight. By playing Captain Venom at his lower point value, I was able to include my version of the human monster sympathizer: Prez Rickard. Kudos to Jose Rodrigo Rosales Guerrero, the 2016 Mexican Heroclix Champion,  for designing such a capable figure. At 35-points Prez Rickard has the best Leadership in the game. His two traits and low point cost make him an easy addition to any team:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) EVERYONE’S FAVORITE TEENAGE PRESIDENT: Prez Rickard doesn’t count for or against themed teams.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICA: Leadership, but succeeds on [4-6]. When Prez Rickard uses it and succeeds, instead you may remove one action token each from any number of opposing characters. For each one removed, remove an action token from a friendly character within 6 squares. In all my games, he was well-worth his points.

Final Team Building Thoughts

The strategy would be to attack my opponent from range while not being able to be targeted at distances greater than four squares away. To further help control the battlefield, I added the following game elements:

  1. IRON AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE MAP LOCATION BONUS FROM EARTH X STAR TOWER INDOOR MAP. With only a +4 to map roll, there was a good chance I wouldn’t win map since all the teams had to be themed. Including this map location bonus meant that at the very least I could generate a Crimson Sage bystander for her Probability Control if I didn’t win the map roll. If I won map, then I would use Captain Venom’s Indomitable to POWER action in consecutive turns to roll a d6 to potentially generate a bystander (d6 result: 1-Tank, 3-Crimson Sage, or 5-Bolt).
  2. NIGHTBRINGER (MANDARIN RING). I would equip this to Captain Venom to give him Stealth and the ability to generate 2 Smoke Cloud markers for FREE.
  3. ZERO (MANDARIN RING). I would equip this to Prez Rickard to give him Barrier. He could generate 1 Barrier marker for FREE.

Swiss Rounds

Phoenix Mags.jpg

GAME 1 — My first round opponent was a regular at the venue. He thought that we were required to bring a named theme team and therefore had built an X-Men team that consisted of the Convention Exclusive WKMP19-002 Phoenix Force Magneto, which he would equip with the Red Skull’s s007 Cosmic Cube, OP WKM19-013 Wakanda Queen Storm, XDPS003 Beast, XXS053E Wolverine at the 50-point starting line, XXS007A Moira MacTaggart, ABPIS001 Reality Gem (Infinity Gem), and WKMP19-S101 Remaker (Mandarin Ring). He won map and chose X-Men Regenesis Lombard Street Outdoor Map. I generated a Crimson Sage bystander for my consolation. I chose the side with the higher elevation 3. In all my games, my first turn is usually spent using Onslaught’s and Mojo’s Telekinesis to equip the Mandarin Rings to Captain Venom and Prez Rickard. His team was pretty scary with a lot of Perplex abilities to boot. Magento would present the greatest challenge with his Running Shot 11 Movement and 8 Range with 2 Targets. He could easily get into the radius necessary to target Onslaught with a few Perplex modifications to his movement. The Storm is also a nice addition to his team because she gives Stealth to characters within three squares that share a keyword with her. Unfortunately for him, both Onslaught and Barabatos has Improved Targeting: Hindering. We both positioned conservatively at first, but once he moved his team midway I went after his Wolverine with Barbatos hitting him to his STOP click. I tried to follow that up with Onslaught’s Mind Control, but Wolverine had Battle Fury. I had to choose a different target, Storm, but failed to hit due to her defense being Perplexed up. He would try to retaliate using his Magneto, but I successfully rolled for Shape Change with Onslaught. I then would KO his Wolverine with Barbatos and move my team away from the Magneto threat. I won 50-0. Record: 1-0.

Loki.jpg

GAME 2 — Game 1 was a low-scoring affair and was proof that I hadn’t practiced enough with my team. Despite this I learned a few things that I hoped to correct in my Game 2 matchup with a well-known Clix player. He has an incredible track record locally, winning several major events and usually placing in the Top 4. Most recently he placed 2nd in the Michigan ROC States Championship. He brought a mystical swarm team in the form of TMT002 Loki with TMT002T God of Trickery that allowed him to generate two faux Lokis, TMT053A Hela, EW040 Al Jhor Dan, SWB031 Alex Wilder, RE026E Billy Batson, TMNT4024 Shredder with TMNT4024A ILLUSIONARY DOUBLE, RE014 Prez Rickard, and WKMP19-S107 Incandescence (Mandarin Ring). He was a +8 to map roll, a net of +4. I rolled a 12! Quickly looking at his team I knew that he would definitely force the action by basing me with his Lokis. They are really annoying tie-up pieces that generate more Lokis if they successfully hit their Shape Change rolls. Then if I managed to KO them, Hela would bring out a Warrior Soul in their place. After first turn positioning and equipping, the action started with his Loki basing my Onslaught. This was definitely a faux Loki and I spent a couple actions killing it, not realizing that I didn’t score the points for them. Once that was explained to me, I decided to simply avoid them. He managed to land some damage on Captain Venom and I knew I would have to carry him away with Onslaught. I really used the map to my advantage to isolate his swarming ability and placed Captain Venom in a safe location protected by a wall and Onslaught. At this point, he had moved Al Jhor Dan into position where he could choose Telekinesis through his pick-a-power ability to place Hela within 4 of Onslaught. Unfortunately, his rolls were terrible. When he needed a 5, he would roll a 4. This allowed me to come in with Barbatos and immobilize his Hela. Because of her Mystics Team Ability I didn’t necessarily feel a need to attack and instead one-shot his Alex Wilder, killing him, and because he’s a traitor figure, he was now friendly to my force. This gave me two of the following powers: Perplex, Probability Control, or Outwit, depending on the power my opponent chose that I couldn’t use. He gave me Perplex and Probability Control. This allowed me to modify Onslaught with all my Perplexes and kill Al Jhor Dan in a single shot. Win 115-0. Record: 2-0.

Thanos UC

GAME 3 — Another matchup with a well-known and highly-skilled player. Because of my low point total, I knew I had to win this game to make Top 4. His Cosmic team consisted of full-point Ultra Chase ABPI074 Thanos equipped with the Ego Gem (Infinity Gem) and ABPIS002 Time Gem (Infinity Gem), Chase CMM021 Captain Marvel with the TMTS005 Enchanted Crowbar, ABPI048 Astronomer with ABPIT006 Bearer of the Power Gem, ABPI064 Collector with ABPIT003 Bearer of the Reality Gem and ABPIS003 Power Gem (Infinity Gem), and WKD17-B003 Ape Green Lantern bystander. I win map roll. Much of the game was positioning and I knew he had excellent sources of Telekinesis in Astronomer and Collector with the Reality Gem. I would have to use the walls to prevent line of sight and use Prez Rickard’s Barrier through the Zero ring to prevent him taking a running shot with Captain Marvel. Ultimately I made a couple errors that cost me the game. The first error was not anticipating that Captain Marvel’s ability to Charge at no cost after using Running Shot was not dependent on hitting. He used Telekinesis to position Captain Marvel to Running Shot and destroy my Barrier. She then Charged on Barbatos landing a huge hit. This forced me to retreat to keep him alive. I decided to retaliate and Mind Control his Thanos to attack his own team, which I did successfully, but not enough to KO anyone. He then placed Thanos into position with Telekinesis where he could Sidestep within Onslaught’s radius. Having used Thanos only once myself, I forgot about his awesome Perplex, which essentially neutralizes PROTECTED: Outwit when he uses it on an opponent. He Perplexed Onslaught’s defense down then proceeded to Outwit my Shape Change and defense. He then modified Thanos’ damage and hit Onslaught, killing him  in one shot as last action was called. Loss 0-125. Record: 2-1. Final placement was 6 of 13 players.

Twilight of the Monsters

Progenitus.jpg

I really enjoyed my team and felt it mostly performed as I had anticipated. My strategy was sound. I do believe that if I had practiced more I could have possibly placed even higher. I forgot a few other items that could have helped my team. Particularly Mojo’s bored tokens that he accrues when any characters miss an attack, including my own team. Mojo then can remove two bored tokens to either be placed anywhere on the map or to make a close attack. I had utilized this in practice, but forgot it on my own missed attacks on game day. Overall, I’m not sure I would change much to my team since each element served a purpose and all my pieces worked well together. About the only adjustment I could make was to the equipment, but even then I thought they did well. I did forget to use normal Barrier from the Zero Ring and not just the free 1 Barrier marker. This definitely could have helped in my third game, where I could have put up a Barrier that was 2 squares deep. I would like to possibly consider adding the Pym Pocket Tank, but that would force me to either drop both Mandarin rings or the map location bonus and a ring. Overall, it wasn’t the day for Monsters, but then again you never know when they might return to rule the day.

Thanks for reading another Meta Diary installment.

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.)

 

 

 

 

META Diary: Michigan ROC State Championship!!

Danger Room Dice Masters

Right concept, wrong game. Hmmm…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We have a guest columnist today! This is a firsthand account of Southeastern Michigan Meta player Roberto Ty and his run last week at the Michigan ROC State Championship! We’re hoping to feature Roberto semi-regularly on this site, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

Michigan ROC State Championship

November 9, 2019

By Roberto Ty

Warren, MI – Twenty-six players brought a wide range of teams for the ROC Michigan State Championship at Eternal Games. There was a lot of mystery in the days leading up to this event in part due to the new Pauper format where players are restricted to using game elements of a common or uncommon rarity level. Convention exclusives and OP figures are excluded and a Highlander rule is in effect. The most impactful rule, however, was not a restriction, but rather the inclusion of the WWE Universe figures. Released only two weeks earlier, the WWE characters brought their own multiverse abilities (such as Grand Entrance) and an even greater X-Factor–the WWE Ring–to the event that rivaled the latest Pauper meta contenders from the X-Men The Animated Series: Dark Phoenix Saga set like Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs, Nimrod, and Onslaught.

 

Brotherhood Pauper

It’s A Team Decision

A month before the event, I practiced several teams to gain insight both for my final build and to become familiar with character dials. The latter became moot as WizKids made a controversial decision: players were allowed to look at the back of an opponent’s card. This would go into effect on November 6, just three days before the event.

Juggernaut Pauper

Juggernaut, The… Quite Stoppable One-Man Army

What looks good on paper (for Pauper)… maybe should just stay on paper. Nothing exemplified this more than XDPS-G007 Juggernaut. He dominated many pre-release and release events and was the one-man army that seemed likely to dominate the Pauper format…until you practiced with him. At 300-points, he may be unstoppable, but he certainly wasn’t unbeatable. And just like the comics, he is easily overwhelmed by a team… and that team didn’t even have to be the X-Men. I lost to a Star Trek team that won map roll and placed us on a map without blocking terrain. Juggernaut needs blocking terrain to win because of his two synchronous Traits:

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.

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.

Juggernaut can’t win map–certainly not consistently. So I shelved him and formed a new plan.

Nimrod Animated

Nimrod and My Dice

While map matters, so does a plan. The Juggernaut practice emphasized the importance of winning map and to win map I needed a Themed Team. I gravitated toward 175-point XDPS-G003 Nimrod and supported him with XDPS011b Magneto and XDPS-G002 Sentinel Squad One or XDPS011b Magneto,  XDPS023b Sabretooth, and XDPS-G001 Sentinel. While Magneto and Sabretooth were hard to kill due to their Danger Room Construct Traits, they also didn’t have the offensive output I typically like on my builds. 

DANGER ROOM CONSTRUCT TRAIT: When Magneto makes an attack, after resolutions give him an Error token for each [1] in the attack roll (maximum 3). // If Magneto has 2 or less Error tokens, characters take a maximum of 1 damage from Magneto’s attacks, Magneto takes a maximum of 1 damage from opponent’s attacks, and he can’t be healed or chosen for Mastermind. Protected: Pulse Wave.

Using Magneto as the pilot circumvented the damage restriction and allowed Sentinel Squad One to use the pilot’s offensive values (8 range, 12 attack, and 4 damage). Despite this, I didn’t feel the team was very strong: Nimrod didn’t have a move and attack, the team was only a +3 or a +4 (depending on the build) map roll, and there was no Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control. Without these support powers, a lot was left to my dice rolls. Nimrod’s Running Comparative Evaluation Of Reference Data trait offered him additional protection when being attacked…but only if I could roll higher than my opponent. The trait reads:

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.

I didn’t roll higher than my opponent’s attack roll in my practice games. I couldn’t even roll a 1 to get Error Tokens on my Constructs either. Leaving it to chance was risky and I needed to come up with another plan.

Phoenix Rise and Fall

Rachel Summers Phoenix

More lessons on paper. On paper, I didn’t like XDPS-G010 Phoenix because she had a short dial for 175 points, only had a move and attack on her top click, and a very hittable 17 defense up close (she has Energy Shield Deflection). Even with a STOP click, I wasn’t that impressed…until I played against my friend, who used her to great effect on a non-theme team. His team had a lot of options that centered on supporting her effectiveness and her incredible 10 range. Another practice friend use the XDPS Fast Forces X-Men, which also opened my eyes on their usefulness as main force characters and not just as Call-In options. I decided to go with Phoenix, XDPS03 Beast, FFXDPS005 Gambit, and XXS007 Moira McTaggert. This build offered the ability to Perplex by +4 (+2 from Beast, +1 Moira McTaggert, +1 Phoenix), +4 Named Theme Team Probability Control, X-Men Team Ability for healing, Leadership, and decent secondary attackers. Additionally, Gambit’s trait gave the entire team Probability Control against attacks from Great Size characters. His trait:

HUNTED AND ON THE RUN: Friendly characters that are adjacent or have the X-Men keyword can use Probability Control when attacked by characters with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol].

The team proved quite effective and won a lot of the practice matches, but despite this I was hesitant after playing a 300-point modern game that was restricted to non-Marvel and non-DC characters. My build was: TREKRF028r Q, TREKOS044 Trelane, TREKBG016 Miles O’Brien, WWE012 Asuka, and WWE017 Eddie Guerrero. This team exposed me to the effectiveness of the WWE characters and it gnawed on me up to the week of the event.

Brotherhood TWO

The Return of Juggernaut in The Brotherhood of Mutants

I had a competitive Pauper event prior to the ROC that was essentially a practice run. My friend, who couldn’t attend the ROC, offered me his team, which was 100-point Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, Blob, and Amelia Vought for a Brotherhood of Mutants named theme team.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This friend was indeed our own Ninwashui.]

This team build was a hard-to -kill and point-denial team. I went 1-1, losing the first game 0-0 in a roll off and winning the second game 13-0. These results didn’t offer me the certainty I needed. In fact, going into Saturday, I found myself returning back to the Phoenix team.

Juggernaut Bitch

“I’m the Juggernaut, B****”

Game Time Decision

Be prepared. I brought my Phoenix and Brotherhood teams and it wasn’t until I filled out my build sheet that I decided to go with Juggernaut. I was seeing enough WWE characters that I was concerned that Phoenix wouldn’t be able to target them because of the WWE rules:

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 ranged attack this turn. Protected: Pulse Wave.

So, then this was my…

FINAL TEAM:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Voght
300 (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

Maps: Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns, Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map, The Mighty Thor Jotunheim Lake

Having a plan. Based on the two games I played on Thursday, I would engage my opponent primarily with Magneto and Sabretooth, forcing the action. Blob would be a tie-up piece and a tertiary attacker. Juggernaut would break grouped formations with Quake and Amelia Vought would provide him support through her Mutant Messiah trait and her special defense power, Transmute Out of Danger.

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.

TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voghtor 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.

Swiss Rounds

Giant-Girl images.jpg

GAME 1—The matchup was with a friend and judge at a local venue I play at. I actually played him at the Thursday Pauper event and beat him 13-0. This was a nice first-round pairing since it would be a fun, low-stress, and friendly match that would allow me to ease into a potentially intense, strategic-thinking kind of day. He won map roll with his Avengers team—Voyager, Hulk, Medusa, Crystal, AIM White and Red, 2 Giant-Girls, several IDs, WWE Ring, and Iron Avenger Assemble (Stark Tower Location Bonus). We did a lot of positioning for the first few turns. I initially was going to engage him with one of my Constructs, but he left his Giant-Girl partly exposed and I took advantage with Magneto’s incredible range. Knocking her out. He then called in Kitty to generate Lockheed for an Energy Explosion, which missed. The game ended 13-0. Record:1-0.

Deathstroke images.png

GAME 2—Because of my low points, I was placed at one of the lower tables and was matched up against my brother-in-law, who ran a non-theme team that consisted of ABPI010 S.H.I.E.L.D. Diplomat, RE001 Deathstroke, EAX030 The Skull, AI004 Hawkeye, AIG001-20 Giant-Girl, and HQ029 Batman. It was an atypical build and I wasn’t sure initially what the main threat was, outside of Deathstroke. I didn’t worry about The Skull’s across the map Mind Control because I knew I would win map and put us on Underground Caverns. I positioned conservatively and managed to siphon his team in the middle of the map. The blocking terrain really hindered his team and I took advantage by targeting his Giant-Girl with Magneto. I then set to work on Deathstroke and took him out in a couple turns. His team really got locked down and he wasn’t able to really make a dent in my hard-to-damage team. Record: 2-0

Onslaught images.jpg

GAME 3—My next opponent was someone I played before at the major events. He ran one of the teams that I didn’t want to see, an Onslaught team that included Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, HQ004 Big Tony, BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins, and XDPSG004p Proteus. What I feared about Onslaught was his trait:

PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. // Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.

While Juggernaut could potentially charge right in on Onslaught, it was risky if he hit his Shape Change roll. If Onslaught failed his Shape Change roll, then Ensign Crusher’s special attack power allowed Onslaught the ability to reroll it once per turn. Crusher’s power:

I GOT IT, CAPTAIN!: Once per turn, when a friendly character that’s adjacent or has the Starfleet keyword rolls for Leadership, Shape Change, Super Senses, or Impervious they may re-roll that roll.

Onslaught could then attack and get Juggernaut off his top click and his special defense power:

SHIELDED BY MY HELMET: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.

This would have made Juggernaut susceptible to Onslaught’s Mind Control. With all this in mind, we both used the first few turns to position, until I made what could have been a fatal error. He blew out a piece of blocking terrain with Magneto that allowed him to hit Juggernaut with Onslaught. I forgot to Mastermind the damage to Amelia Voght. This forced me to retreat so I could heal by destroying blocking terrain and removing an action token from Juggernaut.

My Magneto then struck back on Onslaught, getting him off his top click, which was important so that he no longer had Shape Change. He was still formidable since he now had Super Senses, which Ensign Crusher allowed him to also reroll once per turn. I knew I had to take out his support out and I largely used Juggernaut to do this with:

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.

I won, killing Ensign Crusher, Big Tony, Leslie Thompkins, and Proteus. Record: 3-0.

Mirror Match

GAME 4—The Mirror Match. I faced the brother of my friend who had built our Brotherhood teams.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This was our own HypeFox!]

He initially was playing a very good Onslaught team during the week and like me, decided to go Brotherhood. I won map roll and decided to change the map to Stark Tower because I wanted to limit the amount of healing either of us could do. I took out his Amelia Voght early and thought I had gained the advantage, but he quickly turned the game around thanks to me missing the first attack with Juggernaut. This was par for the course all day unfortunately. In each of my matches, Juggernaut missed his very first attack when it would have done the most damage. I battled, but he was able to make several Impervious rolls in a row and that cost me the win. Record: 3-1.

Top 16

Wakanda images.jpg

GAME 5—This was the 8-9 matchup. I was 8th due to my low point total and my opponent was 2-2 with a lot of points. He rocked a very cool Wakanda team: FFABPI003 Shuri, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, ABPI007 Wakandan Scientist, ABPI029A Black Panther, 75 FFABPI006 Okoye, and 30 ABPI021 Ayo. He won map and chose Rebirth Metal Arena with no blocking terrain! Juggernaut would be severely handicapped and I would need to use him judiciously.

This type of team is built to take you by surprise and I was really surprised. First, Shuri’s trait:

SCIENTIST OF WAKANDA: UNIQUE MODIFIER-Friendly characters with the Wakanda keyword modify defense +1 if they are closer to your starting area than any other starting area.

We of course battled closer to his starting area. I positioned midway on the map while he placed Okoye next to the Dune Buggy for added protection. I had to be wary not to get within her full charge special power:

THE DORA MILAJE ARE FIRST TO FIGHT: Charge, but do not halve speed.

Magneto would use Ranged Combat Expert to modify his attack to a 14 so he could hit Okoye’s high defense, dealing his 1 maximum damage. He knew this would be a problem because I wasn’t going to move my team in to be swarmed. His team had a ton of Perplex on his team that could do serious damage to Juggernaut. With the ability to look at the back of the cards, I knew that Black Panther and Okoye had middle-dial Outwit, which would be dangerous if Juggernaut was knocked off his special defense power that gave him PROTECTED: Outwit.

I knew I would have to move my team around to force him to come chase me. He approached my team with Black Panther and Okoye—his main attackers—but they didn’t have the reach to get there in one turn. Next turn I moved my team away and tried to hit his support and KO them with Juggernaut, but I missed badly. Again.

He then came back with Black Panther, but made a positioning error that allowed me to pummel him with Juggernaut rolling a critical hit with a heavy object. I followed up with a range attack from Magneto. I was up 95-0 and won. Record: 4-1.

Top 8

Wesley-Crusher-3.jpg

GAME 6—My opponent was another player I knew from a local venue. I was impressed by his performance. He was a new player and it was his first major event. Despite being new, he had gone undefeated for the day. His practice and diligence was paying off. 

I knew this was going to be a difficult matchup. It was another Onslaught build, but this time it consisted of TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, XDPS023A Sabretooth, RE024 Veronica Cale, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, AIG005 Dune Buggy Special Terrain, and EAXLB-SC I Keep The Trains Running (Location Bonus).

I won map and chose Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns Indoor Map. A good portion of this game was positioning, with neither of us willing to overextend our teams to get swarmed.

I had left my Blob exposed to Onslaught’s Mind Control, which he made. He used Blob to attack Sabretooth, but missed. Since Blob wasn’t friendly to my force, he was not Immobile from his trait and rolled for a breakaway that he was successful on.

NOTHING MOVES THE BLOB: Immobile, but only if it’s not your turn. // At the end of your turn, if the Blob was not moved or placed this turn, give him a Stability token. Blob modifies defense +1 for each Stability token. When he moves or is placed, remove his Stability tokens.

He was able to kill my Amelia Voght, which put me down on points. I had to get more aggressive and kill his support with Juggernaut’s move and quake. I moved and last action was called. I made my free Quake and was able to kill off a couple of support pieces for the win. It was a low-scoring affair that I won. Record: 5-1.

Top 4

Crystal

GAME 7—This matchup was against a well-known player and former World Champion. His team was Avengers: AIG001-10 Giant-Girl, FFAIG001P Giant-Girl, ABPI012 Crystal, ABPI017 Voyager, TMT106E Hulk, ABPI030 Medusa, TMT023 Eric Masterson, FFAI001E Iron Man, TMTS001 Bloodaxe, and 5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble  (Location Bonus).

My opponent won map and placed us on Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map. As I mentioned earlier, I was worried about this match up because the build has so many options for dealing with different teams. It also has multiple ways to hurt you with free attacks either from Crystal’s free Quakes or through multiple attacks from Medusa’s Living Hair. If that weren’t enough then Hulk comes in with a 12 attack and 4 damage.

I tried to position strategically again, but in hindsight should have been more aggressive from the opening bell. I took out his Giant-Girls early, but failed to make critical attacks with Juggernaut when I needed to in order to change the outcome of the game. Once he was able to get Juggernaut off his top defense power, he quickly pressed his advantage and Outwitted his defense. Once he took out Juggernaut, it was pretty much an uphill battle for my Danger Room Constructs and Blob. I got 1 Error Token the entire game and was never ever able to deal enough damage to his team while in contrast he was whittling me down with all his free attacks. Final Record: 5-2, 4th Place Finish.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui’s design finished the day at 10-3. Not a bad record for a Meta-rich environment!]

Final Thoughts

My 4th Place was not my highest finish in a major event, but it was my highest in constructed. While the Pauper format, did introduce a variety of interesting builds, there were still clear archetypes that were followed (Avengers, Nimrod, and Onslaught). It will be interesting to see what other winning builds will show up in other states. I wouldn’t be surprised if a WWE team winds up winning. They are that good, especially in this format.

Will Pauper catch on? I hope so, it can offer a more affordable game to newer players. I still think it could use more tweaking so that we see more creative and unique builds, but overall the format reinvigorated the game from my perspective. It really was fun to sit down across a team that wasn’t Cosmic with Colossal Retaliators and equipment.

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.