[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 5! If you missed The First Night of Clix-Mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, and you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here.]
So in my Mirror Master Team Build article, I lamented the fact that nowhere online does there exist a list showing all 329 possible character Call-Ins available in Modern Age play from the 56 currently available ID cards (we’ll cross the Justice League ID Card bridge when we come to it).
What? How did I know that there are 329 possible Call-Ins? Because I just finished building that list!
So before I get to actually publishing said list, as a special 12 Nights of Clix-Mas treat, I’d like share with you now the Top 3 Call-Ins in Modern Age at each 50 point interval (from 50 to 300)!
The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 1 to 50 Point Range:
Looks like something else just called-in Jemma…
FFNFAOS005 Simmons — 50 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7: If you call Jemma in with her ID card, she has Outwit and can give the person who called her in another yet another use of Outwit. She also has the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and the FIELD TEAM BACKUP ability if you are using her with other Field Team members. Since she is called in via the Level 7 card, she also gives anyone next to her the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA and modifies their Attack Value by +1 when making a ranged combat attack.
NFAOS014B Hydra Agent H — 30 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-008 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 1: She has 7 Range, 10 Attack and Ranged Combat Expert. She has both the Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. TA’s and the combination of the ID card and her Trait means that she shares those two TA’s with whomever is next to her. Plus, at 30 points, she can be called in by almost anyone (including WOL099 Despotellis).
AOU204EYellowjacket— 50 Points — Called-In via FFOAAUID-100 Hank Pym: Yellowjacket is capable of dealing Penetrating Damage in both close and ranged combat situations with automatic Knockback from Force Blast. In addition, when he comes into play you get a free AOUB001 Ant Swarm Bystander Token that stays in play even after Yellowjacket is removed from the game. The Hank Pym ID Card also gives the following Inspiration: “Modify range value by +3 when using Outwit or Perplex. Modify defense value by +3 when attacked by an opposing character with the Robot keyword.” The Robot clause is obviously situational, but the stipulation-less Range boost to Outwit and Perplex can really catch your opponent by surprise.
The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 51 to 100 Point Range:
AVAS013B3-D Man— 90 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-015 Triathlon: I could continue to beat this drum and describe to you again why this is possibly the best ID Card character out there, but I already did that once in my Avengers Assemble top 10 article.
GOTG031Nova— 60 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-007 Nova: His dial is 60 points so you will likely have 2 or 3 characters on a 300 point team that can call him in. And when they do, you’ll have one of the best Pulse Wave pieces in the game. He’s only got a 10 attack, but unlike everyone else in the game when he uses Pulse Wave he does 2 damage (not just 1) to everyone he hits when he targets more than one character. We all know Pulse Wave is the game’s strongest basic power, so access to an improved version of it at a crucial point in the game for just 5 points seems like a great deal to me.
AOU020 Captain America— 65 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-103 Captain America: He’s a great character to play as well as Call-In. His Special Mmovement Power states, “CAP’S MOTORCYCLE: Captain America can use Defend and has “transporter boot speed symbol”. He doesn’t modify his attack value by -2 from the Move and Attack ability.” On the defensive side, his Trait says “TAKE COVER!: Adjacent friendly characters modify their defense values by +1 against ranged combat attacks, if not already modified by this effect.” Just to review, he has 17 Defense with Defend, his ID card grants ESD to all adjacent figures, and his trait grants +1 versus ranged attacks. Taken together that means that any character standing next to him that turn will have a minimum 20 Defense against ranged attacks.
The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 101 to 150 Point Range:
NFAOS056Nick Fury— 120 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7: As recent ROC results are starting to show, NFAOS056 Nick Fury is the probably the most powerful figure in the game right now (just like I predicted he would be in my Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Top Ten article). Calling him in as a 5 point ID character practically guarantees that he will put a 4-damage-sized hole into your opponent’s most costly figure, and he can do that while shooting through Elevated Terrain, Hindering Terrain and/or characters from 9 spaces away. If you aren’t playing Nick Fury on your team, then there is almost no excuse to not run him as an ID character.
AOU047EQuasar — 125 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-004 Quasar: If an opposing figure is closing in then you can use Quasar’s Pulse Wave, but the real selling point with him is when you target a single opponent. Assuming you hit, you can completely block off your opponent with “CONTAIN STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE: When Quasar targets and damages a single opposing character, after action resolve, he can use Barrier as a free action, but may only place blocking terrain markers adjacent to the hit character.” As an added bonus Quasar’s inspiration also gives adjacent characters telekinesis.
NFAOS051Steve Rogers— 150 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-103 Captain America: He’s not the most damaging attacker with only three base Damage and double target Energy Explosion, but what he is good for is all of the support he can give to other ranged attackers around him. If he hits with his attack (he has a 12 Attack Value), then all other friendly attackers can use Probability Control on their own rolls. He also has Enhancement and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA. Best of all, on defense he gives everyone Energy Shield/Deflection.
The Top 3 Call Ins in the 151 to 200 Point Range:
AOU26 War Machine — 200 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-010 War Machine: War Machine’s major weakness when played in an army is his lack of Willpower. Thankfully that’s not a problem with ID Card characters. His VARIABLE THREAT RESPONSE power allows you to choose Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, Precision Strike, or Triple target Energy Explosion! In addition,he ignores Hindering Terrain and if he is attacking more than one character at range, he can use Probability Control.
AOU018 Thor — 200 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-104 Thor: Thor has double ranged targets and the following power: “GOD OF THUNDER: Thor can use Energy Explosion, when he does, damage dealt is penetrating damage.” He also ignores Hindering Terrain for targeting. But, the real reason to use him is “FOR MY HEART BELONGS TO THEE: Once per game, give Thor a free action and place a Jane Foster bystander token as described on this card into an adjacent square.“
AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man–175 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: This guy has a great power, “HERE GOES NUTHIN’: Phoenixbuster Iron Man’s attacks deal penetrating damage if the target character is assigned a relic or a resource or possesses any of the following: “Giant damage symbol”, “Colossal damage symbol”, the Power Cosmic team ability, the Cosmic or Phoenix Force keyword, or the word Phoenix in its name as a separate word.” As a backup plan he has Running Shot and Pulse Wave, which, historically speaking, is a damn good backup plan.
The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 201 to 250 Point Range:
AOU033 Hercules— 220 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-004 Hercules: There are two great reasons to choose Hercules. The first is his offense, “IF IT IS BATTLE YOU CRAVE, HERCULES SHALL OBLIGE!: Hercules can use Charge, Flurry, and Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores blocking terrain and destroys blocking terrain as the character moves through it.” “Oh, you thought you were safe from my team because you were hiding behind two-square-thick Blocking Terrain? I think not, scoundrel!” The second is his ability to tie up and weaken the opposing team with “GRAPPLING THE LERNAEAN HYDRA: Hercules can use Plasticity. Each opposing character adjacent to Hercules modifies its attack and damage values by -1 if it has any action tokens.” If you put Hercules next to the opposing army, they will likely just have to pass that next turn. And dead turns for your opponent = victory for you.
AVAS053AThor— 228 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-104 Thor: I picked this character in this point range because of his great ability to deal damage with Pulse Wave. In addition, he also has some great support with Enhancement and the ability to grant adjacent Avengers Energy Explosion.
AAOU001 Iron Man — 250 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: Iron Man has Avengers Initiative TA, Outwit, 12 Attack and Precision Strike. If you end up hitting an opposing figure, you also get to use his Trait: “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.“
The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 251 to 300 Point Range:
AAOU008 Hulk — 300 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-102 Hulk: With 6 Damage, 13 Attack, Charge and Super Strength, Hulk can deal up to 9 damage in a single hit! With raw stats like that he doesn’t need any other reasons to be on this list. Sadly you won’t be able to call him in during a 300 point game.
WXM058Namor— 295 Points — Called-In via WKMVID-006 Namor: Namor is the highest point level character possible to call in for a 300 point game. He has 12 Attack, 5 Damage, and a Trait “PHOENIX FIVE: Opposing characters targeted by friendly characters with the Phoenix Force keyword subtract 1 from their d6 roll when using Impervious, Shape Change, or Super Senses.“
IIM043 Iron Man and War Machine— 265 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: This figure has 11 Attack, 4 Damage, triple target Energy Explosion, and–most importantly–Duo Attack!
That’s it for this article. I am going to see about getting my ID Card Call-In list published online and I’ll let everyone know about THAT… a little later.
Age of Ultron Month Three was played earlier this month at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan, and we’ve got the results!
This was the first month to use the Wave 2 boosters, so the set felt fresh and new again. I have to say, as hard as it makes collecting the entire set, releasing two waves of boosters for an OP event is definitely a good way to keep things fresh and exciting. It was fun last year with WoL, and it’s fun again this year with the (much) smaller Age of Ultron set.
What are the Wave 2 (Non-Chase) highlights? Let’s take a look (with the help of random cosplay images from around the net–hey, if Marvel can do a whole cosplay variant month, why can’t we?)!
AOU010 Mockingbird — 52 Points — Common: And here is your Modern Age Mockingbird! You may now dust off your Avengers Assemble Mockingbird Avengers ID Card that you’ve kept in that old sock drawer since May. As long as you can keep her next to a higher point friendly, she’s well worth her 52-Point investment. Alternatively, if you choose to use that ol’ ID Card, she’ll bring Empower, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and +1 to Defense for adjacent characters with her Inspire ability, along with her native 10 Attack and 3 Damage.
AOU020 Captain America — 65 Points — Uncommon: A Cap that basically starts with Carry, Hypersonic Speed AND costs less than Rick Jones?!?! Sign me up! Down dial, he turns into a sniper, then gets real support-y. Unlike other figures that do that, though, Cap is only 65 Points, so he’s probably already filling that supporting character slot anyway!
(Not gonna lie, there’s not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)
AOU024 Ant-Man — 65 Points — Uncommon: Apparently 65 Points is the new 50 Points, in that if a character from this set comes in at 65 Points he’s probably an auto-play in Sealed and even worth a look in Constructed. Scott Lang comes packing Outwit, Super Senses, an 18 Defense (19 against ranged attacks with his “Tiny” size) and Stealth. Also, he’s easy to move around via his AWESOME Trait (RIDING ON HAWKEYE’S ARROW:When an adjacent friendly character that shares a keyword with Ant-Man makes a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, you may place Ant-Man adjacent to the target.). Literally, you can have Hawkeye (or any Avenger, really) shoot at a character, place Ant-Man right next to that character, Outwit that character’s defensive power and then attack them for 2 more damage. All at the cost of just 2 actions.
(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here’s his traditional visage.)
AOU032 Wonder Man — 120 Points — Rare: I always loved these characters with two dials who get better AFTER they would normally be KO’d (Spider-Man 2099 and Sodam Yat are other examples). The crazy thing is, Wonder Man might be the cheapest one they’ve ever made! He’s actually 5 Points CHEAPER than Sodam Yat’s NON-Ion dial!
Once he gets past his first dial, he hits a Stop Click and gains Charge, 11 Attack, Invincible, Poison and–oh yeah–when attacking, ALL OF HIS DAMAGE IS PENETRATING!!
But here’s the other big difference–unlike some of those other figs, your opponent really can’t afford to ignore Wonder Man at the beginning of the game–not when he can Charge for up to 7 Damage! A great piece for his points.
And, of course, the Chases are sick… but we’ll deal with them in a future article.
Alright, let’s get to the Month 3 results!
There were a TON of Thors being played (more on that in a bit), the Six-Armed Chase was pulled like three times (including twice by the same player!), and Captain America was fielded quite a bit as well (in fact, I used both Thor AND Cap!).
In the end, Tim guided his Iron Fist/Luke Cage/Captain America trio to victory over Matt’s Thor (100-Point dial)/ War Machine squad.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: For whatever reason, anyone who played Thor ended up losing hard at one point because their dice quit on them, myself included. For everyone who thinks the AoU Thor is great for his points, just remember, WizKids has apparently included an ancient dice curse attached to the base of every AoU Thor. You’ve been warned.)
Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. Once again, we’ve broken the standings down into tiers.
But first, a scoring system refresher:
For the first three events, you score:
1 Point for Attending;
1 Point for a Loss;
2 Points for a Win;
3 Points for Winning the Event!!
If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.
Quest for the Quinjet Standings:
(Through Month 3)
In the Pilot’s Seat:
(We have a tie! But with his 900 Victory Points accumulated, Tim actually has the lead with tiebreakers… )
Okay! So that’s where things stand after three months! Tim and Darren tied for the lead, with Andrew close behind and Carl and Nicholas within shouting distance! It will all be settled on September 16th at Comics & More in Madison Heights!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!
Age of Ultron Month Two went down at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan on July 8th, and we’ve got the results!
Just as everyone was competing for Grandmaster in Month One, in addition to playing for Quest for the Quinjet Points, players were also going for the monthly prize:
We again had 10 competitors (including myself, although, as the Judge, I was, as always, not allowed to accumulate points).
For the most part, we followed the WizKids Instruction Sheet and played 300 Point Builds while allowing players to use the Round Table Resource and any Avengers ID card the had accumulated the previous month (by paying its Point cost) or the Hank Pym ID Card if they had bought the Classic Avengers Fast Forces pack. Having said that, players could only play figures that they pulled this month. This basically means that you could play any Avengers ID card you pulled in either month on the Round Table Resource, but to Call-In a figure, you had to actually pull an eligible figure.
(For example, I played a Round Table with four cards: Iron Man, Hank Pym, Jocasta and Protector. If I rolled any of those slots, I could use that card’s Inspiration power for a turn. However, the only corresponding figure I pulled this month was Iron Man, so he was the only piece I could actually call in with the Resource.)
We also decided to allow the use of the Pym Particles Light Object from the Avengers Assemble LE kit (again, by paying its Point cost), as we deemed it as a group to be thematically appropriate.
Some Observations About Age of Ultron, Month 2:
–I played a team that revolved around She-Hulk and Yellowjacket. Having actually got to play She-Hulk this time, I saw nothing to dampen my enthusiasm from Month One. She’s fun to play, and she came through for me in 2 out of the 3 games I played (a little more on that later). I think her Rookie dial has a lot to offer in Constructed, so I’m glad I pulled her.
–Phalanx Ultron went 1-2. I was surprised, but the consensus seemed to be that it’s too easy for certain Builds to out-action him, even in a Sealed Event. I don’t know if I completely agree, but it’s hard to argue when the results were so one-sided this month…
–This whole set seems to be a bit schizophrenic. All of the pieces are either ONLY viable in Sealed or kinda suck in Sealed but good be game-changers in Constructed. We’ll see if Wave 2 brings a bit more balance…
–It’s still tough to make an all-Drone army. Again, the mechanic just isn’t as much fun as it seems like it should be to play…
Artist’s rendering of Month Two winner “Carl,” based on descriptions provided by other Comics & More competitors…
This month ALSO came down to a pitched battle of unbeatens (mathematically, that wasn’t a huge surprise), and this time, Carl and his Hank Pym/Yellowjacket/Black Knight trio beat Tim’s double Iron Man plus Protector delight! I actually played against Carl’s Build and lost. I went all in with She-Hulk and it didn’t work out too well for me–Hank Pym was able to keep her Movement Power Outwitted after that first miss, which made things a lot tougher, although calling in Iron Man almost completely flipped the script.
I really love Tim’s Build; I think it was smart to double up on ol’ Shellhead, but he just ran up against a team that had a decent counter to that strategy with Carl’s Build. If Carl was able to get Black Knight going, those Iron Men weren’t going to last long…
Actual footage from the final match.
Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. After two months, we’ve now got enough data to break the standings down into tiers.
But first, a scoring system refresher:
For the first three events, you score:
1 Point for Attending;
1 Point for a Loss;
2 Points for a Win;
3 Points for Winning the Event!!
If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.
I still don’t have any information yet on what–if anything–will change in terms of scoring for the fourth month. Nevertheless, here are the…
Okay! So that’s where things stand after two months!
The fact that Carl attended Month One, immediately dropped and THEN went on to win Month Two means that things are actually WIDE OPEN at the moment. Darren is still King of the Mountain thanks to his spectacular showing in Month One, but Andrew, Roberto and Tim’s consistent play over the first two months has them right in the thick of things.
Even Matt, who was great in Month One but wasn’t able to attend Month Two, still has a shot–but he’s probably gonna have to win Months Three AND Four! It’s even trickier for Brian and Shant, but again, if someone pulls off two event victories in a row, anything is possible.
And if you expect to find yourself somewhere near southeastern Michigan next month and want to join in on the action (even if you didn’t play in the first two contests), Month Three is currently scheduled to go down at 6:15pm on August 5th, right back at Comics & More in Madison Heights!!
And for Month Three, in addition to the Quest for the Quinjet points, competitors will also be playing for this guy:
Also, all participants will receive Captain America’s Avengers ID Card!! Hope to see you there! And keep an eye on this space to read about the results next month!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!
Not what we mean when we say we’re going to call in the Avengers…
After debuting in Avengers Assemble back in May, the Avengers ID Cards have quickly become ubiquitous in both casual and Meta play (if you’re new to the ID Cards, or just want an elaboration on how they work, see this video from WizKids for more details!). But the debate has already started about which figures should be paired with the more popular ID Cards as the corresponding Sideline figure in Modern Age games.
Now, this sort of choice isn’t a problem if you’re planning on using, say, Protector’s card–you’ve got all of one option.
But for certain Avengers, you’re choices are much more varied, and will depend on a number of different factors, such as:
–Is it a Modern Age game, or a Golden Age game? Obviously Modern Age games will have a much narrower roster to choose from.
–Are you using the cards by themselves, with the Round Table Resource or are using the cards without the Round Table but with another Resource (with its own advantages and disadvantages that need to be enhanced/accounted for)?
–What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Build that your looking to enhance with ID Cards?
–What are the individual point totals of the figures in your Build? This matters a great deal when calling figures in, obviously, since it’s, y’know, part of the rules.
There’s probably a dozen more things you could ask yourself before making the proper Card choice, but that’s more relevant for Meta Builds. But even for more casual, fun Builds, you still need to put some thought into how your incorporate ID Cards. If you pick the wrong Cards for your Build, usually one of two things will happen:
–They’ll sit on your Sideline, completely unused (which is no fun–and, at best, a waste of Bystander/Horde points…). Or–
–They’ll slow you down, cost you actions, and ultimately get you no closer to winning.
With all of that on our minds, let’s look at the best Avengers ID Cards and see if we can find some unconventional options that might otherwise go overlooked!
Inspiration: Can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain. Modify attack value by +1 when making a ranged combat attack.
This is an awesome Inspiration power. If you can’t find another way to get some Stealth-busting on ranged Build, this is just what the doctor ordered. But there is a metric poop-ton of available Iron Men out there, even after the retirement of Iron Man 3, so which piece should you put on your sideline?
Do you want your Call-In Iron Man to… :
—Stick around via the Avengers Assemble Trait?: Okay, this one’s easy. Your best Modern Age Iron Man piece is going to be either IIM001A Iron Man, a 300-point monster that features a 12 Attack, 4 Damage w/ Running Shot, Precision Strike, Perplex AND the ability to shoot through BOTH Hindering Terrain or Blocking Terrain; or AVAS050 Iron Man, a 242-point behemoth that sports an 11 Attack Value and 5 Damage with Running Shot, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Invincible (so he can’t be damaged off the board by something small like Poison), Probability Control, the ability to target through Hindering Terrain AND a Trait that lets him use Defend if you’re sporting some other Avengers (IT’S AN AVENGERS WORLD:Iron Man and adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Avengers keyword can use Defend. If they are named Captain America or Thor, they don’t have to be adjacent or lower point value.). Either way, if you can get the Round Table to this point and call-in either of these figures, you’re probably going to win the game. Handily.
—Or do you want him to provide as much defense as he does offense?: So, take a look at the brand-spanking new Age of Ultron Iron Man–AOU017 Iron Man. I’ve already talked about how much I like this piece in Sealed. Well, I like him twice as much as a Call-In piece. I think he’s Meta when used this way. Why?
He may be a close combatant with no Range value, but he does come into play packing Charge, Super Strength and Outwit. And he’s damn easy to call in at only 90 Points–there are many Builds that can meet that threshold with a Secondary Attacker!
More importantly, he increases the efficiency of your Range attacks (or, if an opposing figure is Stealthed, allows you to make the damn attack in the first place!) while making it extremely difficult for your opponent to counter attack your pieces in a meaningful way because of his Trait (THE ORIGINAL INVINCIBLE IRON MAN!:If the first ranged combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Iron Man, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.). Moreover, since he’s a close combat piece, he’s probably going to Charge and base your opponent’s best pieces anyway. Yup! This piece gives adjacent figures a ranged attack bonus AND THEN gets to Charge in for an attack himself. So many other Call-In figures require all kinds of positioning gymnastics so that your other pieces can benefit from the Inspiration bonus while still letting the Call-In figure make their own attack. Not this Iron Man. You just make your ranged attack first, then send in ol’ Shellhead, cuz his bonus won’t be needed anymore!
For all the reasons we just discussed, I believe that this Iron Man is potentially another Time Walk piece for ranged-based teams when used as a Call-In!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: For those who don’t play Magic: The Gathering, “Time Walk” was an early, massively undercosted card from the game’s first few print runs that allowed you to talk another turn after your current turn. Within a few years, the card was essentially retired from modern tournament play. A new version called “Time Warp” eventually made it’s way into the game–and cost more than twice as much mana to cast. Oops.
When used in a Heroclix context, a “Time Walk” piece is any figure that can potentially shut down your opponent’s pieces for a turn–or, more specifically, prevent your opponent’s pieces from attacking your own for at least a turn. To go back to a previous example, using Protector as a Call-In piece for a turn immediately gives all friendly pieces adjacent to him an 18 Defense and Probability Control (when they are attacked). Protector himself has Prob as well, so depending on the proximity of the attacker, unless that figure has access to Pulse Wave, he may have to hit an 18 Defense anywhere from two to four times in a row. Even with a 12 Attack, that’s far from a sure thing, which leads to your opponent having to decide whether he wants to risk missing with one or more of his best attackers, or just pass and try again next turn–a true Time Warp. Both of those choices are bad, and if your opponent opts to go ahead with the attack–and thus gain an action token–and still misses, it takes his bad decision and makes it a potential disaster.
There are many ways to enact the “Time Walk” concept–Chase Rick Jones has a proprietary Trait (GALACTIC BURST OF IMMOBILIZING LIGHT: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.) that can definitely function as a “Time Walk” if used at the proper (read: most devastating) time.
Felix Faust is basically a “Time Walk” piece on Super Turbo Overdrive, which is a thing I just made up. But the main reason he’s broken is because he gives you the potential to “Time Walk” as a Free Action every turn. Come to think of it, even the original Magic card cost two mana–maybe we should start calling them “Faust” pieces.
Now, having expounded all that, the real fun (I believe–Ninwashui thinks the Meta will go in a different direction) in the current Modern Meta is going to be trying to duplicate Faust’s shutdown effect with pieces that aren’t banned (or gutted by the Watch List, which will almost certainly happen to Faust). I think this will occur with people “chaining” together shutdown pieces via the Call-In ability and other means. It becomes a viable option when you remember that ID Cards by themselves only cost 5 Points, and you probably only need to shut your opponent down for two or three turns in order to put the game out of reach. But more on this concept in a future article! Okay, end of longestEDITOR’S NOTEever!]
For 5 points and one power action, you really CAN’T afford NOT to bring him along!
Inspiration: Can use Charge. Modify attack value by +1 when making a close combat attack.
So this is a little good. But isn’t this just like having half a Hammer? And for just one turn at that? Well, yes. Yes it is. But let me remind you, in Modern Age, Hammers are now bye-bye. And in Golden Age, this bonus would actually stack with the Hammer bonus, so it’s all good. Again, 5 Points is a cheap, cheap price to pay to give a character a move-and-attack ability [EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s not to be confused with the actual ability that’s called “Move and Attack,” natch.] for the turn when it’s most desperately needed and most completely unexpected.
Now, there are, of course, a ton of options out there, so let’s look at the best pieces to fill the different roles you might be looking for.
Do you want your Call-In Hulk to… :
—Stick around via the Avengers Assemble Trait?: Once again, you have two reeeeeeeaaaaallly nasty choices. AVAS064 Hulk is an absolute nightmare. A Chase, he costs 325 Points, can Charge 11 squares through just about any terrain in the game (and also Ignores Characters) with a 12 Attack Value with Super Strength and 5 top dial Damage with Battle Fury, so Shape Change will not help your opponent in the least. He also has Giant Reach, so he really has a 13-Square Threat Range–pretty damn good for a close combatant. And if that Chase Hulk is a nightmare, then the main set Age of Ultron Movie Hulk (AAOU008 Hulk) at least a very bad dream, if not an actual night terror [EDITOR’S NOTE: Of 1927?]. At 300 Points, he gives you top dial stats that you would normally only see on a Colossal: 13 Attack, 6 Damage, 19 Defense with Impervious, 9 Movement with Charge, Super Strength and Traited Battle Fury. That 9 Movement is the only low stat, really, but as a Call-In he has to stay within 5 squares of the figure who called him in, so getting him to the target is something you should have worked out before you called him in.
—Smash someone on the head?: Well, pretty much all Hulks do this, but where it gets tricky is the Point Cost Threshold. Right now in Modern Age, you have two Hulk options that cost 100 Points or less (Yup! Just two–I was as surprised as you were!). This matters if you have any inclination to summon him with a Secondary Attacker (which would presumably then let your Primary Attacker Charge into the fray, giving you two big close combat attacks in one turn).
Your first option is, once again, a brand new figure. AOU019Hulk costs just 80 Points and brings Charge, an 11 Attack with Super Strength and a native 4 Damage into the game for you to smack someone around with. That’s a pretty potent attack to pull out of thin air. His first Trait (THE ORIGINAL INCREDIBLE HULK:If the first close combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Hulk, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.) also can protect you from close combat retaliations in the same way that Age of Ultron Iron Man we just discussed protects your pieces from ranged reciprocity. Best of all, one of this Hulk’s major weaknesses–his lack of Willpower or Indomitable–doesn’t matter one bit when used as a Call-In figure.
But there is a catch (sort of *): Hulk’s second Trait (WITH EACH NEW DAWN, THE WEAKLING BANNER COMES BACK: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1 – 2, until your next turn modify Hulk’s combat values by -2, he can use Outwit, Perplex and Shape Change and can’t use any other power he possesses. This ability can’t be ignored.) may mean that 1/3 of the time you call him in, Hulk will just stand there and look pretty. And maybe, y’know, Perplex or Outwit something. That’s not nothing, but it’s not a 4-Damage Charge attack, either. Also of note is the fact that this Hulk comes with neither Battle Fury (a calm, rational Hulk? Huh?!) nor Giant Reach, so these are things you’ll have to keep in mind a turn or two prior to actually calling him in so that you can position your pieces accordingly.
Because, as we all know:
[*EDITOR’S NOTE: Man, it seems like we have more Editor’s Notes per paragraph in this article than any other piece we’ve ever done, doesn’t it? Anyway, Heroclix has some very nebulous “At the beginning of your turn” rules. While you can choose the order in which different effects happen on your turn, you can’t actually STOP any from happening or choose not to activate certain effects unless a game effect says otherwise. So, my interpretation would be that you would still have to roll Hulk’s Trait once he comes into play, since the whole “Call-in Help” ability by definition happens at the beginning of turn phase (when Hulk’s Trait would still be active). Sort of makes sense, right? Well, maybe. Having said all that, I have indeed submitted an inquiry to the WizKids Rules Forum to verify the timing of all this, and I’ll update this space as more information becomes available.]
Your lone 100 Point option is FFOA004R Hulk from the recent Original Avengers Fast Forces. While he doesn’t have any useful Traits (unless you’re playing an army composed of Original Avengers Fast Forces pieces–in which case, great! Go with God.), he does still offer Charge with an 11 Attack and 4 Damage–this time with Battle Fury. That’s not a huge addition for the extra 20 Points, but it’s worth noting that you’ll get what you pay for 100% of the time–this Hulk never reverts to Banner.
So now, you might be saying to yourself, or to me, I guess, through the computer screen, or whatever: “Hey, what if I don’t mind using actions from my Primary Attacker to bring Avengers in to help me! What kind of Hulk can I get for 150 Points?” Unfortunately, the answer is, pretty much nothing that you couldn’t get for 100. That Original Avengers Hulk? Top dial at 150 Points, he adds Flurry and Sidestep. And a lower Attack Value (10) than his cheaper version. And Close Combat Expert, which is useless for Charge and Flurry. Chase Hulk has a 150 Point level that gets you Charge, Quake, Super Strength and 4 Damage with Battle Fury. And another 10 Attack. Finally, Age of Ultron Movie Starter Hulk has a 150 Point dial that nets you… literally everything that 100 Point Original Avenger dial does. Like, almost a carbon copy.
Which is why your better off just using one of the other two I just mentioned.
Inspiration: Can use Energy Shield/Deflection. Whenever this character hits an opposing character, add an action to your action total.
This is one of my favorite Inspiration abilities in the game. For some reason, when I’m creating Builds I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to give my pieces Energy Shield/Deflection, so Cap’s card is going to be a welcome addition to my tool kit. The second part of his Inspiration will be an extraordinary boon to Swarm teams, or it might just enable a balanced squad to get that one extra attack off that it needs to take control the game.
Like his Avengers brethren, there are a poop-ton of Caps out there, and he offers a variety of services. Of all the Avengers you can Call-in, Cap is easily the most versatile, so let’s take a look at some of the best Call-In options!
Do you want your Call-In Captain America to… :
—Stick around via the Avengers Assemble Trait?: Admittedly Cap isn’t the best Avenger to choose for this Trait; having said that, your best choice is going to be AVAS061 Steve Rogers, or “Nova Cap.” For 250 Points, he Flies, has Sharpshooter, Running Shot and Pulse Wave and he sports a 20 Defense against most ranged attacks, which should help keep him around awhile. Don’t sleep on AVAS049 Captain America, though. For 150 Points, he also has a 20 Defense from most ranged attacks but adds Sidestep, Precision Strike (with a 12 Attack), Close Combat Expert and Empower. Plus, he pretty much turns every other Avenger adjacent to him into an instant leader–and remember, with all of this happening at the beginning of turn, you get to roll all those Leaderships right away! Depending on how many you hit, it’s conceivable that this Cap can be called in and actually save you a clearing turn somewhere down the line.
—Pull a mini-Juston Seyfert?: Yup. There’s a Cap that can do that now. Well, at least the free move part. If you have someone free who costs 50 Points or more, you can give them a power action and Call-in FFOA006R Captain America. While he offers a 6 Range, 10 Attack and Precision Strike, the best reason to call this version in is to use his Damage Special (AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE:Give Captain America a power action and choose another friendly character that shares a keyword with him and doesn’t have 2 action tokens. That character is immediately given a move action as a free action with their speed value halved for this action.) to get your heaviest hitter in a better position on the board.
Imagine this scenario:
I should probably mention that in this scenario, the part of YOUwill be played by our future Purple Man and resident Time Lord himself, David Tennant.
You: “So, you thought you were two squares out of Thor’s Range, eh? Well, this Captain America I’m calling in doesn’t think so. Alright, so I’m going to go ahead and move Thor 5 squares as a free action, and then double Energy Explode for the Alpha Strike on your candy ass.”
Oh, and playing the part of YOUR OPPONENT in the scenario will be this annoyed baby.
Your Opponent: “What? It’s only turn 2! These stupid ID cards are completely broken.”
You: “Oooo, look, I crit hit! By the way, pretty much the rest of my force has Energy Shield/Deflection now.”
Your Opponent: “You know, I really hate playing with you.”
—Hit two birds with one stone shield?: So, there are two characters you need to hit, but your down to your last character. Just call Steve Rogers. The experienced version of Juston Seyfert Cap (aka FFOA006 Captain America) has an awesome Attack Special (SHIELD RICOCHET:Give Captain America a ranged combat action and his damage value is locked at his printed value until actions resolve. After the ranged combat attack resolves, he may make a second ranged combat attack as a free action.) that will even the playing field real quick as long as you can call someone in for 100 Points. For 125 Points, you can call in CATWS001 Captain America to do the same trick a little better with his Attack Special (I’M PRETTY GOOD WITH THE SHIELD:When Captain America makes a ranged combat attack and hits, after actions resolve, he may make a second ranged attack with a locked damage value of 2 as a free action. When he does, he draws lines of fire and counts range from the hit character’s square.).
—Deal some penetrating close combat damage?: In addition to the Traited Leadership tricks (IT’S AN AVENGERS WORLD:Captain America and adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Avengers keyword can use Leadership. If they are named Iron Man or Thor, they don’t have to be adjacent or lower point value.) of the Veteran piece, AVAS049E Captain America can still Charge 4 squares and deal 3 Damage with Exploit Weakness. He only has a 10 Attack, but the Threshold to call him in is just 75 Points.
—Try and fling action tokens all over your opponent’s force?: Yup. This is actually a thing, too. 80 Point AAOU003R Captain America has Charge, a 4 Range with the ability to Ignore Hindering Terrain on Movement as well as Targeting, an 11 Attack Value and 3 Damage, but probably what’s most interesting about him is his Damage Special (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM:Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.).
So, in addition to attacking, he also has a 33% chance to steal an action from one of your opponent’s best pieces (or a bunch of his ‘eep ‘eeps). His Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Captain America hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Captain America may modify the damage value of a friendly character by +1 this turn or, all opposing characters modify their attack value by -1 until your next turn.) can also either set your team up for a big turn, or really rain on your opponent’s parade the following turn as well.
Clearly, whether you’re using the Round Table, or just playing Cap’s card by itself, he offers a ton of trickeration options in addition to some close combat damage and tie-up potential. You just have to decide which tool you want in your toolbox!
That’s all for today. We’ll be back soon with a look at Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow Call-In options, as well as a Preview of the second wave of Age of Ultron!
Until Then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!
Did you here that? Age of Ultron hit southeastern Michigan hard last Wednesday (June 10th), and we’ve got the full report!
Wave One of the new Marvel Heroclix Storyline Organized Play set has released, and I was privileged to run Month One at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan. In all, we had 10* competitors hit the tables to compete for the Month One Grandmaster LE!
(*One competitor bought in, but had to bow out before dice started rolling. I took his place to make our numbers even, but as the Judge, I’m obviously not allowed to accumulate points.)
For the most part, we followed the WizKids Instruction Sheet and played 300 Point Builds while allowing players to use the Hank Pym Avengers ID card as well (by paying its Point cost) if they had bought the Classic Avengers Fast Forces pack. We also decided to allow the use of the Pym Particles Light Object from the Avengers Assemble LE kit (again, by paying its Point cost), as we deemed it as a group to be thematically appropriate.
Some Observations About Age of Ultron, Month 1:
–In our Age of Ultron SLOP Preview, I mentioned that my biggest personal wants from this first Wave were Black Panther (Super Rare), Jocasta (Rare with the “Entity Possession” Trait) and the Protector ID card. Well, someone upstairs loves me, because in my two packs, I pulled… Black Panther, Jocasta and the Protector ID card. I can’t make this stuff up.
–The “Thebes, Egypt” side of the Wave One Map (remember, there is no Month Two Map, so all Month Two games will still be played on Month One Maps) seemed almost tailored to the powers of Black Panther. There were multiple tracts of Blocking Terrain to activate his Trait (CLOAKING TECH:Black Panther can use Stealth and Toughness. When it isn’t your turn, lines of fire to him are blocked if he is adjacent to blocking terrain.) and Special Attack Power (SPRING FROM THE SHADOWS:Black Panther can use Charge. When Black Panther occupies hindering terrain or is adjacent to blocking terrain, he can use Sidestep.).
Black Panther already has an awesome Dial and Power Set; the possibility of playing on the “Thebes, Egypt” Map really elevates Black Panther into a must-play if you pull him.
–For that matter, watching the players at my venue, in terms of Wave One Primary Attackers, my personal Top Five would now look like this:
5. AOU023 She-Hulk (Uncommon): While I was more concerned in our Preview about how she’d interact with AVAS044 Arcade in Constructed formats, I have to say that her full dial Damage Output Potential is frightening. Her top dial Attack Value is middling (it’s a 10), but there are enough supporting pieces with Perplex or Prob in this set to boost that. If you can grab a heavy object on your way, there’s not many figures in this set that She-Hulk can’t one-shot with that opening Charge/Flurry click.
In fact, I personally went 2-1, and the one game I lost was to a She-Hulk team that wrecked my Black Panther with a Heavy item hit. If I saw She-Hulk in my Uncommon slot and didn’t pull any of the next 4 pieces, I would revolve my team around Jennifer Walters.
4. AOU033 Hercules (Rare): Like She-Hulk on steroids. He can Charge and Flurry THROUGH Blocking Terrain, which almost makes him a silver bullet for Black Panther, except for his one glaring weakness: Outwit can just RUIN him, and there’s a significant amount of it in the set–including on Black Panther’s first click.
3. AOU045 Black Panther (Super Rare): I talked at length about him already; he gives you both trickeration, solid (if not spectacular) stats and an excellent amount of avoidance (through his improved Stealth Trait and down dial Super Senses).
2. AOU047 Quasar (Super Rare): This set has so little range it’s almost ridiculous. That’s why you can revolve your team around a close combatant and do quite well in a Wave One event. But Quasar is the Outlier.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: As much as I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s books, I still have no idea if I used “outlier” correctly. It’s a fun word though, and I feel like it makes me seem smarter–even if this admission confirms my stupidity.]
He gives you everything you could ask for in a Primary Attacker for a Constructed Build–in a limited environment like this, he and his 9 Range is virtually unstoppable.
1. AOU055A Ultron (Phalanx) (Chase):
We had competitors pull both Chases; the player who pulled Ultron from his time as leader of the Phalanx decided playing his 300 Point dial would be a little too cheesy and elected instead to play his Drone dial (he went 1-2, so he still found some success). I can’t say I would have been as charitable if I had pulled him!
Phalanx Ultron just would not work as a one-man army in Constructed. It would just be to easy to out-action him and chew through his dial, even with the back-to-back Stop Clicks.
But in Sealed? Yikes. He’s a monster with an extreme amount of survivability, and his 19 Impervious that shows up with his Stop Clicks would be EXTREMELY tough for most teams to even hit. Maybe you can play keep away with someone like Quasar, but man, it will not be easy…
— Ultron-7 (the other Chase) and Goliath (Super Rare) would probably be the sixth and seventh figures on this list in terms of best pieces to build around. So counting them, of the seven best Primary Attackers in the entire Wave, 1 is an Uncommon, 1 is a Rare, 3 are Super Rares and 2 are Chases. All of which is to say, it’s entirely possible that you won’t get one of the “Power 7” figures in your two boosters, which will make for some pretty tough sledding.
If you pull a Jocasta, you might be able to turn Victor Mancha or Tess-One or Iron Man into a Primary Attacker, but you really need to back them up with some heavy support if that’s the way you’re going. Hmmm… maybe, like, Protector and Wasp, or something. I mean, y’know, just spitballing there…
–The whole Main Dial/Drone Dial thing with the Ultron pieces (including the Chases) seems like an interesting idea that never reached it’s full potential in the design stage.
Now, we still have a bunch of Ultron dials to come (including two more Chases, I’m assuming, even though I’d prefer an alternate timeline Morgan Le Fay!), so that may make the Drones more viable in Constructed. But in Sealed, it’s still tough to do much with them unless your lucky enough to pull two.
Now, if you pull a Vision or Jocasta alongside them, it may suddenly be worth it to play some Drone dials…
After a pitched battle of unbeatens, Darren piloted his Jocasta on Victor Mancha/Protector/Wasp Build to victory against Matt’s She-Hulk/Black Knight/Ant-Man squad to take not just the Grandmaster First Prize, but also the points lead in the Quest for the Quinjet!!
After some deliberation, it has been determined that we will follow WizKids suggested scoring scheme to determine our Quinjet winner at the end of the Storyline. That means that for the first three events, the scoring system looks like this:
1 Point for Attending;
1 Point for a Loss;
2 Points for a Win;
3 Points for Winning the Event!!
If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.
I don’t have information yet on what–if anything–will change in terms of scoring for the fourth month. Nevertheless, here are the…
Okay! So that’s where things stand after Month One! And if you expect to find yourself somewhere near southeastern Michigan next month and want to join in on the action (even if you didn’t play Month One, if you join us for Month Two and win, you’ll be right in the thick of things!!), Month Two is currently scheduled to go down at 6:15pm on July 8th, right back at Comics & More in Madison Heights!!
And for Month Two, in addition to the Quest for the Quinjet points, competitors will also be playing for this guy:
Hope to see you there! And keep an eye on this space to read about the results next month!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!
Today we’re gonna take a look at the figure rundown for the first Wave of Age of Ultron, which will be coming to a venue near you in the next few weeks!! We’ll be looking at them mostly in the context of Sealed play, since that’s how most of you will be introduced to them, but we will offer our take on how we think a few key pieces will impact Modern Age as well.
Now that we’re this close to the event, folks have already started opening booster Bricks prematurely (and probably in violation of their vendor agreement) to sell singles on eBay and on other platforms.
Nope. Not these guys. They had permission to open their Brick, and produced a mighty fine Preview for us all.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: We at Critical Missives have never opened Bricks early, and we do NOT encourage, support or condone other entities breaking vendor agreements to do so. But, since the information is now out there, we have made the editorial decision to report on it.]
Additionally, WizKids themselves have released some previews, so we now know most of the figures in Wave 1.
If you want to go into Month 1 blind and unspoiled, turn away now! Otherwise, sail on!!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: All of the Wave 1 figures are odd-numbered.]
AGE OF ULTRON: WAVE 1 FIGURE LIST:
AAOU001 Hank Pym — 100/50 Points — Common: Not a lot needs to be said. He was already spoiled by WizKids, and you can see his whole dial and power set in the Units tab of HCRealms.com. Or, y’know, in the tiny picture above. There will be Morphing in this set. Oh yes. [Best Yoda Voice] There… will… be…
AAOU003 Ant-Man — 100/50 Points — Common: Once again, a dial that’s already been spoiled. There will be more Hank Pym’s to come, by the way, for anyone who is, y’know, completely obsessed with Hank Pym. And whose Hank Pym love was not satiated by the Hank Pym Boxed set, which featured, like, six more Hank Pyms.
AAOU005 Wasp — 70 Points — Common: So this is actually Janet, not Hank Pym. She does sport the ever popular Lady Liberators keyword to go with her expected Avengers and Celebrity keywords. No Traits, she obviously is a Flyer, and she of course has the “Tiny” Symbol. She starts with (not pictured) an 8 Movement (with Running Shot), 10 Attack Value (with Incapoopitate), 17 native Defense (with Super Senses) and 2 Damage with a Special Power (Founding Member: Wasp can use Shape Change. When she does, she may increase the result by 1 for each adjacent friendly character with a shared keyword (a roll of 1 still fails).).
Like her, don’t love her. Super Senses and Improved Shape Change are normally a great combo, but with so much Precision Strike running around in this Wave, often times it’ll just be the Shape Change. She’s probably most useful as a tie-up piece with Incapacitate, but if you send her away from her teammates to tie-up other pieces, she’ll basically just have regular Shape Change and a very hittable 17 Defense.
In Constructed, I can see some uses for her, but I’d stay away in AOU Sealed unless she was the only fig that fit the point structure of my Build.
AAOU007 Yellowjacket — 85 Points — Common: This looks like the Rita DeMara version. She comes with two really good Traits. The first (Criminal Past, Reluctant Avenger, and Future Guardian: Yellowjacket can use Shape Change and is a Wild Card.) gives her some defensive options; the second (Stolen Pym Particle Technology: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose “Normal Size” or “Tiny Size.” Yellowjacket possesses the chosen combat symbol until you choose again.) lets her float between two different sizes, so she can be Carried out initially (if she’s Tiny Sized) and then spring back to Normal Size if you need to, say, block line of fire or something.
Her top dial features an 11 Movement (with Sidestep), 10 Attack (with Precision Strike), 17 Defense (with Super Senses) and 2 Damage (with Perplex!). She has a 6 Range. Plus, she’s got a truckload of great keywords, including Avengers, Masters of Evil, Guardians of the Galaxy and Scientist, one of the best generic keywords right now.
I expect to see her played a lot in AOU Sealed, especially since she’s a Common that features top dial Perplex (Perp and Outwit are gold in Sealed). She may also see a lot of house play at your local venue, too, since she fits on so many different teams.
So far, Yellowjacket is the early contender for this year’s “White Ranger Iron Fist Memorial Commendation” award, which is given annually to the best Storyline Organized Play Common Figure.
“Memorial? Uhhh, guys? I’m not dead yet. In fact, I haven’t even been retired! I’m still Modern Age!“
Suuuuure you are, Danny. Sure you are.
AAOU009 Alexis — 65 Points — Common: Another character I wasn’t too familiar with, Alexis is actually a newer creation that came out of the pages of AvengersAI. If ol’ Rita doesn’t win this year’s White Ranger, then Alexis almost surely will.
For 65 Points, you get an Avenger (and Robot-) keyworded figure who is a Flyer (read: Taxi), starts with 9 Movement (with Phasing), 10 Attack (and she’s another piece with Precision Strike–Heaven help you if you just have Super Senses, like most of the other Commons in this set), 17 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection and a native 3 Damage with Probability Control (uh, what I just said about Perp and Outwit in Sealed? That goes double for Prob Control)!!
Now, she has no Traits, no Improved Targeting of any kind, no Willpower/Indomitable and only a 4 Range. But securing a Taxi that also offers Prob and is a more-than-capable Tertiary Attacker for only 65 Points? You are going to be seeing a lot of her in AOU Sealed.
AAOU011 Monica Chang — 65 Points — Common: Another AvengersA.I. character. I actually think she debuted in the Ultimate universe first, but I could be wrong. Regardless, she was an important UnClix’d S.H.I.E.L.D. character that WizKids has finally made for us.
No Traits, No Improved Targeting. Her Range is 6 with 1 Bolt. She does have the S.H.I.E.L.D. and Scientist keywords, along with the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA, and she starts with Stealth and the odd combination of Penetrating/Psychic Blast and Combat Reflexes. I like the Stealth/Combat Reflexes combo, but Pen/Psy won’t help her when she’s based.
Where she really earns her keep is with her Damage Special Power (SHIELD Division Chief: Counter Cyber-Terrorism: Monica Chang can use Enhancement and Perplex. When she uses Perplex, she may modify a combat value by -2 instead if the target has the Armor or Robot keyword.).
In Constructed, there are better options. In Sealed, wow!! She can shut down a LOT of pieces in this set. I personally like Alexis a little bit better for the points, but Monica will be EXTREMELY useful in AOU Sealed.
AAOU013 Victor Mancha — 100 Points — Common: A somewhat odd piece in the context of the whole set. Victor has Avengers, Robot and Runaways keywords, and he’s a Flyer with top dial Sidestep. He also has Indomitable and an 11 Attack with TK, which are all things that the other Commons in this set mostly lack. He can also do 3 Damage, which is never a bad thing.
But at 100 Points, there are better attackers and cheaper Taxi’s in this Wave. Down dial, he becomes both a better supporting piece with a Special Defense Power (Magnetic Bubble:Victor Mancha can use Barrier, ESD, and Toughness. Friendly characters adjacent to Victor Mancha when he uses Barrier can use Sidestep this turn.) and a better attacker, since he picks up a Running Shot/Pulse Wave combination.
He’s solid for his points, but I think there are better options in this set.
AAOU015 Ultron Drone — 50 Points — Common: Not much to say here. He’s your basic Swarm-bot that gets (slightly) better the closer it is to other characters with “Ultron” in their name.
AAOU017 Iron Man — 90 Points — Uncommon: This Iron Man comes with a lightning rod Trait (The Original Invincible Iron Man!:If the first ranged combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Iron Man, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.) that makes him somewhat compelling. Just keeping him in the back while you press the rest of your forces forward almost makes him worth his points for that alone.
He does also offer Charge, Super Strength and Outwit, so he’s an average secondary attacker as well.
AAOU019 Hulk — 80 Points — Uncommon: Basically the close combat version of the Iron Man above, Hulk even comes with a very similar Trait (The Original Incredible Hulk:If the first close combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Hulk, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.).
His combat values are outstanding for his cost (he even does 4 Damage top dial), but he’s extremely schizophrenic, due to his other Trait (With Each New Dawn, the Weakling Banner Comes Back:At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1-2, until your next turn modify Hulk’s combat values by -2 can he can use Outwit, Perplex, and Shape Change and can’t use any other power he possesses. This ability can’t be ignored.).
So basically, you have either a phenomenally good Secondary Attacker (relative to what it costs to field him) or a PRETTY good supporting piece. The problem is, you may not know which figure you have until it’s too late.
AAOU021 Black Knight — 115 Points — Uncommon: Charge and Exploit Weakness are always good, and he starts with an 11 Attack Value. The problem is that he immediately loses that 11 Attack by click 2, he has no Willpower unless he’s already KO’d a character, and one of his Traits (By Sersi’s Side, From One Universe to the Next:If Black Knight is adjacent to a friendly character named Sersi, both characters modify their defense values by +1 unless already modified by this effect.) is completely useless in this set (since the only Modern Sersi we have is in Avengers Assemble. Theoretically, it is possible that your venue might give you one AOU Wave 1 Booster and one AA booster, and that you MIGHT pull both of those characters, but even then they may not be worth playing together).
He has Traited B/C/F and Steal Energy, which will help offset the fact that he doesn’t have Willpower, but it just seems like there are much better ways to spend 115 Points in this set.
AAOU023 She-Hulk — 130/75 Points — Uncommon: Another figure that’s already been previewed on Heroclix.com. I love her Trait (File for Change of Venue:If She-Hulk isn’t part of a themed team, the first time this game you wouldn’t win the roll for first player, you may roll again and add +1 to the result.), especially when used on an Arcade team. It’s not clear if you would get the +1 modifier on the second roll for Map Choice, but just the ability to try for Arcade’s map a second time if you lose the first roll is huge.
AAOU025 Machine Man — 120 Points — Uncommon: More of a novelty attacker than anything else, Machine Man is a close combatant without Charge or a very high Damage Value. His Trait (Extendable Body Parts:When Machine Man makes a close combat attack, squares within a range of 3 and line of fire are considered adjacent.) somewhat mitigates the first problem, and Super Strength will help with the second.
120 Points seems about right for what he does, and he has some versatility to him, but if he’s your Secondary Attacker, you Damage Output Potential is probably low.
AAOU027 TESS-One — 150 Points — Uncommon: Once again, we have a close combat figure with a significant cost that doesn’t have Charge. Sidestep is better than nothing, but it ain’t Charge.
The ability to move through (and destroy) Blocking Terrain is a big plus, but again we have another figure that’s saddled with yet another narrowly useful Trait (Total Elimination of Super-Soldiers:As long as an opposing character on the map is 100 or more points and named Captain America, TESS-One can use Willpower. When attacking such a character, TESS-One’s damage value is modified by +1.) that will NEVER help you in AOU Sealed. Why? Because, SPOILER ALERT: There is no Captain America in Wave 1.
Frankly, you’re paying for a lot of powers abilities in this dial that you’ll probably never get a chance to effectively use. RCE? Great! Only a 5 Range? Less great (although Sidestep actually will help here…).
The one real positive with TESS-One is that it is really hard to kill. It’s Defense actually gets better (a LOT better) down dial, and it picks up a Movement Special (Rebuilding From The Rubble:At the beginning of your turn, if TESS-One occupies a square containing a debris marker, heal TESS-One of 1 damage.) that gives it a way to (somewhat) reliably heal a click every turn.
AAOU029 Ultron-8 — 120/30 Points — Uncommon: And now we have our first real Ultron. Get used to seeing his Trait (Autonomous or Drone Mode:Ultron-8 costs 120 points, or costs 30 points and begins on the click #1 after the orange KO. Until KO’d, Ultron-8 is considered 120 points.), cuz most of the Ultrons have some form of it. The idea is to play multiple versions of a single Ultron, and your opponent will really have no way of knowing which one is which, because their dials will be exact replicas of each other… except that the Drones only have 2 clicks of life.
As for the dial itself, it’s pretty solid. I’d rather play this Ultron at 120 Points than Machine Man, that’s for sure.
AAOU031 Vision — 100 Points — Rare: This is the semi-evil, fresh on the scene, son-of-Ultron version of Vision, and he’s exactly as he should be! If you pull him in Sealed, just pray that you also pull an Ultron–ANY Ultron!
His Trait (Secret Programming:When a friendly character whose name includes Ultron is given a move action and actions resolve, Vision may be given a move action as a free action.) pretty much completely makes up for the fact that he only starts with Sidestep, and his Movement Special Power (He’s Coming… Through the Wall!: Vision can use Sidestep. When Vision uses Sidestep or is given a move action, he can use Improved Movement:Ignores Blocking Terrain.) works quite gracefully with his Trait.
He also adds Indomitable, Super Senses and Shape Change to go with his Penetrating/Psychic Blast. His 10 Attack is pretty pedestrian, but in this set that’s really par for the course.
This is a much better Vision than his Age of Ultron Movie cousin, even though they cost the same amount of points.
AAOU033 Hercules — 220/130 Points — Rare: The first real solid close combat brick of the set, with improved Charge, Traited Super Strength, Impervious or Invincible for much of his dial and a lot of CCE and Battle Fury (which will help with the surprising amount of Shape Change in this set). If you pull him, you’re probably playing him.
I like his 220 Dial in a 400 Point event, but I LOVE his 130 Point dial in just about any format. Yes, he’s a little top heavy at 130, but man, he is going to be scary to face.
He also gives us a Modern Age Herc to bring in with his Avengers ID card, which is great as well. Definitely a needed figure.
AAOU035 Protector — 100 Points — Rare: There are two big things to remember about Protector. The first is that he’s one of the few (gosh, there’s like, I dunno, 3 or 4) characters to appear in the same Set/Wave as his Avengers ID Card. So, theoretically, you COULD pull both Protector AND his ID card.
Secondly, when it comes to calling for his help via an ID card… that’s probably the best way to play him! On his own, there’s nothing very special about him. He has Sidestep, he flies, he has a 10 Attack with NO Attack powers and he does a ho-hum 3 Damage. He does offer Probability Control and an 18 Defense Value (with Defend), which is nice, but hardly game breaking.
If you could get all that for just one important turn, however, and you only had to spend 5 Points to do it… well, Protector just became very exciting, didn’t he? All of a sudden, you’re opponent has to hit an 18 Defense to hit anybody, and he probably has to do it at least twice, since Protector has that Prob at his disposal.
In Constructed, he offers another alternative for Avengers and Kree teams, but honestly, he’s one of the best ID Card Call-Ins, so that’s how I’d expect to see him used most often.
AAOU037 Grim Reaper — 119 Points — Rare: Wow. Another Trait (Deadly Sibling Rivalry:Give Grim Reaper a free action when he is within 4 squares of a character named Wonder Man and modify all of Grim Reaper’s combat values except damage by +1 until your next turn. When you do, deal Grim Reaper 1 unavoidable damage at the end of this turn.) that gives its owner NOTHING in Sealed. I’m betting we’ll probably see a Wonder Man in Wave 2, which will mean nothing to you if you happen to pull Grim Reaper here in one of your packs.
He’s basically a 119 Point gamble. While he has a tiny amount of Range (4 squares), if you play him, you’re planning on Charging folks and hitting them with his special Energy Stealing B/C/F, since his native Damage never climbs above 2. If he were, say, 79 Points, he might at least be interesting. At 119 Points, he just doesn’t do enough to effect the game (even the Prob Control they gave him doesn’t show up until his last two clicks).
We needed a new Grim Reaper, but this is the one Rare/Super Rare/Chase that I’m hoping I never see in a box that I’m opening for Sealed.
AAOU039 Jocasta — 130/25 Points — Rare: Jocasta was already previewed by WizKids, so there isn’t a lot more to say. Since she can work like an Entity, she’s definitely one of the “buzziest” pieces in the set, but her real talents will shine through more in Constructed that they will in Sealed.
Very solid piece, and a nice tweak of the Entity Possession Trait. This is one of my personal “big wants” from the set.
AAOU041 A & B Ultron-5 — 120/60/30 Points — Rare: AAOU41A is basically a (slightly overcosted) Leadership engine for Masters of Evil teams, while the B-side is very much a swarm dial that operates as a Switch Clix with the same Autonomous or Drone Mode Trait that all the Ultrons have in this set.
AAOU043 Goliath — 140/100/50 Points — Super Rare: A SR Hank Pym. Yay?
Well, you might be cheering after you see his dial. For 140 Points, he actually has one of the the best Close Combat dials in the set. The Morph power is nice, but in most cases, your better off just sticking with Goliath. His top dial Movement Special is amazing (Trample:Goliath can use Charge. When he does and moves in a direct line, after actions resolve, he may make an additional close combat attack targeting all opposing characters whose square he moved through but didn’t already target with an attack this turn. For this attack, each hit character is dealt 3 damage.), but he only keeps it for one click. He does pick it back up on clicks 3 and 4, though, and with top dial Invincible, it’ll be tough for someone to knock him all the way past those “money” clicks (God, especially in this set).
Goliath brings a lot to the table AND leaves you a bunch of room for supporting figs. If your lucky enough to pull him in Sealed, he’s a definite play.
AAOU045 Black Panther — 140 Points — Super Rare: Wow. The hits keep coming with the Super Rares! This is pretty much the quintessential version of Black Panther. He was Previewed by WizKids already, but I’m going to go through his dial anyway because I really love this T’Challa.
First of all, his keyword line is jammed pack with everything from great names like Avengers and Illuminati to the best generics like Mystical and Scientist.
He ignores Elevated and Hindering Terrain on movement, so his mobility is awesome, and he’s also going to be extremely difficult to find at range due to his fantastic Trait (Cloaking Tech:Black Panther can use Stealth and Toughness. When it isn’t your turn, lines of fire to him are blocked if he is adjacent to Blocking Terrain.). Pay very close attention to that wording–it’s very similar to the wording on IIM038 Iron Man‘s Personal Cloaking Device Trait. WizKids already ruled that Iron Man’s Trait gets around Pulse Wave, and I’d imagine they’ll rule that T’Challa’s works the same way.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: On second look, Black Panther’s Trait says Lines of Fire are “BLOCKED,” while Iron Man’s says they “CAN’T BE DRAWN.” It’s a slight difference; we’ll have to wait and see what comes up in the Event System Rules Forum to know for sure.]
All of which means that if you can keep T’Challa adjacent to Blocking Terrain (maybe with a supporting character who sports Barrier?), he’s pretty much invulnerable to any sort of ranged attack.
His Movement Special Power (Spring from the Shadows:Black Panther can use Charge. When Black Panther occupies Hindering Terrain or is adjacent to Blocking Terrain, he can use Sidestep.) goes hand in hand with his Trait, and his Damage Special adds Leadership and Outwit.
On top of all that… he probably has the best sculpt in the set. Another of my biggest wants from the set.
He’s an absolute monster in Sealed, especially with the right supporting pieces behind him (or, really, the right map), and I think he even has potential in the Meta (maybe not a lot, but still) simply based on that ridiculously good Trait. You can’t KO what you can’t see.
AAOU047 Quasar — 225/125 Points — Super Rare: Wow! Now this is a ranged Primary Attacker! His dial almost feels like something out of Justice League: Trinity War or Guardians of the Galaxy rather than this current cycle of Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron.
He has two dial options, and they’re both terrific. At 225 Points, he is going to be a heavy hitter that can fling 5 natural, penetrating damage up to 9 squares away. In this set, that might as well be 100 damage. He’s going to one-shot some opposing support characters, and it’s going to be tough to retaliate effectively over that distance.
Plus, his first three (of NINE!!) clicks feature Invincible, so even if your opponent retaliates heavy, it’s going to be tough to make any headway. Especially since Quasar has the Power Cosmic TA, so you can’t counter his defenses.
His 125 Point dial is great as well, but for different reasons. His Defense actually gets BETTER against ranged attacks, and he picks up a Damage Special that partially imprisons anyone he hits (Contain Standard Operating Procedure:When Quasar targets and damages a single opposing character, after action resolve, he can use Barrier as a free action, but may only place blocking terrain markers adjacent to the hit character.).
On top of all that, if your opponent does hit him, Quasar goes right into an Attack Special Power that allows him to Steal Energy even with ranged attacks!
Basically, the only piece Quasar really needs to fear in this Wave is probably Black Panther, only because T’Challa is impossible to hit from range.
If you pull Quasar and don’t play him, you’re either an idiot or you’re trying to impress someone for some reason, even though you’ll really just come off as an annoying D-bag. Don’t be either of those guys. They’re A-holes. Play Quasar if you get him.
This is what you look like if you pull Quasar and don’t play him.
AAOU049 M.O.D.A.M. — 131 Points — Super Rare: The latest Preview from WizKids. She’s a fun character, but she’s also limited in what she wants to do by her 5 Range.
AAOU051 A & B Ultron-1 — 120/60/30 Points — Super Rare: Okay, so if Black Panther has the best sculpt, this is probably a close second.
The A-dial is a nifty little trickster who comes packing a couple of cool Traits, including one that really narrows your opponent’s options if you hit (Total Mind Wipe:Once per game, when Ultron-1 hits an opposing character, you may give that character a Mind-Wipe token. A character with a Mind-Wipe token can’t attack Ultron-1 unless that character and Ultron-1 are the only characters on the map.).
His down dial Defense Special (Self-Upgrade:Ultron-1 can use Impervious and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration and the result is 5 or 6, place an Upgrade token on this card.) offers the chance to gain Upgrade tokens, each of which gives him +1 to all combat values.
He’s not the bruiser that some of the other pieces in this set are, but the longer he’s left alone, the deadlier he gets.
The B-Dial offers the normal Autonomous or Drone options and adds a fantastic Defense Special (The True Creator of Me is… Myself:When a friendly character with the Autonomous or Drone Mode trait is KO’d, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 4-6, place that character in your starting zone on its click #1 after the orange KO.) that can keep the Ultron assembly line going.
AAOU053 A & B Ultron-7 — 150/125/30 Points — Chase: Ultron-7 A is a close combat bruiser who turns into a ranged attacker with a Running Shot/Special Pulse Wave power in the middle of his dial. He has a top dial Damage Special that helps teammates (Hatred of the Horde:Ultron-7 can use Battle Fury and Leadership. Opposing characters that are adjacent to a character friendly to your force can’t use Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.), but otherwise his dial is surprisingly straightforward for a Chase.
The B-dial is a surprisingly sturdy (for its points) ranged attacker, but nothing to write home about. Someone is going to find a way to break all these Drones into a great army, but it’s not going to be me.
AAOU55 A & B Ultron — 300/120/30 Points — Chase: Here he is–Ultron himself. At 300 Points, you’d expect a lot from his A-dial, and you might end up a bit disappointed. He doesn’t even have a move-and-attack power top dial–just Phasing/Teleport. And his Attack Value never goes above an 11–until you get to his two Stop Clicks (they appear on consecutive clicks).
Once you get to his Stop Clicks, Ultron will wreck house–provided there is an opposing character within 5 squares that he can Charge (or 8 Squares if you’d rather Quake fools).
In Sealed, you can probably get away with this–especially in a 400 Point game. In Constructed, he’s so easily outmaneuvered that it’s almost comical.
The B-Dial is a glorified Robot Taxi that can moonlight as a Secondary Attacker.
So there you have it! Last year’s Storyline OP featured Chases that were so good they were broken and had to be (mildly) nerfed by a Watch List fix. This year, the Chases are confusing and almost a waste of time, in my opinion. The Super Rare slot is definitely where it’s at. Outside of, say, M.O.D.A.M., there’s not a loser in the bunch (even the Ultron was pretty unique and original).
Good luck with your Month One pulls, and we’ll see you back here soon for our traditional dueling Top Ten Set Reviews for Avengers Assemble! Those should start dropping next week!
Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Or a Happy Passover, or, if you’re not a person of faith, or at least not a person of a faith that celebrated this season, I hope you had, uh, a Happy Sunday!
As our belated gift to you, Ninwashui and I are teaming up to rip through the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron Gravity Feed Movie Set! We’re gonna go figure by figure using our popular and patented [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, it’s really neither of those things.] Oxygen Filtration Mask Numeric Scale!
It’s all part of our month-long ramp up celebrating the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! In addition to today’s article, we’re also going to review the Starter pack and write and play a scenario based on the movie (or, y’know, what little we know about the movie since it hasn’t released yet).
But today is about the Age of Ultron Gravity Feed, so let’s get it rolling!
SOME QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE SET:
–The whole set actually gets its flavor not just from AoU but also from prior Marvel movies as well. Iron Man (Iron Man 3), Iron Legion (Iron Man 3) and Nick Fury (Avengers) all have power sets and costumes that reference previous MCU outings. Conversely, Hawkeye and Black Widow are definitely in their Age of Ultron costumes (note Hawkeye’s longer tunic, which gets him a little bit closer to his comic book look), but their power sets almost seem like they’re taken directly from the first Avengers film (going back to Hawkeye, he has Traits and Powers with names like “Rooftop Maneuvers” and “Vantage Point.” He could certainly spend a lot of time on rooftops in Age of Ultron, but these really sound like Hawkeye’s abilities taken from the Battle of Manhattan sequence in the first Avengers film).
–Meanwhile, it seems like the designers went out of their way to make the most generic Cap, Thor and Hulk pieces they could possibly imagine (I’m speaking strictly from a flavor/sculpt standpoint–see each figure’s individual entry to see how we think they stand up as Heroclix figures!). Cap gets an abilities like “Rebounding Shield” and “His Enemies Fear Him,” while Hulk has “Fueled by Anger” and “He Only Leaves Rubble.”
–For those keeping score at home, we finally have MCU Clix for: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Baron Strucker and Ultron. First time generics include Test Subject and Iron Legion (although IM3 had at least 4 Armor Shell versions from the “House Party Protocol” scene at the end of the movie).
Alright, enough notes about the set! Let’s dig into the dials!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry bro, we need one more note.As always with Movie Set Reviews, we’re saving the Starter Review for a separate article, since we’re already over 7000 words on the Main Set alone, making this our largest single article ever!]
AAOU001 Iron Man — 250/185 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: At 250 Points, Iron Man here is certainly beefy, starting with a 12 Attack and an 18 Defense Value with Invincible. His awesomely-named second Trait (THE HOUSE PARTY PROTOCOL, SIR?:Give Iron Man a power action if there are less than 4 friendly undefeated characters named Iron Legion. If you do, place a AAOU002 Iron Legion in your starting area from outside the game.) allows him to bring in armor shells that are two clicks deep, but they come into play in your starting area. Depending on where the action’s centered, the battle may be lost before you can even get the shells into play. This is a bit of a problem, especially since there’s another figure in this set who does the same trick better. Similarly, his Avengers Assemble Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.) is a nifty lil’ bonus, but there are better versions of the same Trait on almost every other Avenger.
In a Modern Age environment that also includes Ultron Prime and Trinity War Superman at the 250 Point level, I just don’t know that you’re getting enough damage out of this Iron Man and his Iron Legion shells to really keep up with number of effective actions your opponent will be taking in a 300 Point game. Also, while any piece with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability is going to be a nuisance, his 7 Range is below average for a piece in his price range.
Now, at 185 Points… he’s still over costed. With five clicks of life and middling Attack Values (again, for the points), he still offers the same two Traits as his higher-costed version and the ability to target through Stealth. Still, this feels much more like a 150 or 160 Point dial. 185 is just a rip-off, frankly. Not the worst dial in the world, but not one that I would choose to play, especially with all of the other Iron Man options out there.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
Pretty short dials for both versions, actually. Both Traits are more fun than competitive. The Iron Legions he can bring into play hit hard enough, sure, but they’re easy to KO and award 50 Points to your opponent for each one that’s KO’d. And really, the Transport Symbol is pretty much wasted on figures that already fly and have top dial Running Shot.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
AAOU002 Iron Legion — 50 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Mildly effective for his points, but you’re probably not playing him this way very often. He’s useable, but far from groundbreaking. Actually, he’s kind of a boring way to use 50 points, but at least he can Taxi, too.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: Yeah, he’s only got 4 Clicks, but for 50 Points I get Running Shot, 10 Attack and a Damage Value that never drops below 3 AND never loses Enhancement. A great Tertiary Attacker with a mild amount of support with Enhancement and the ability to Taxi. I think he’s damn effective for 50 Points–I’d put him right up there with some of the better Lantern Recruits we just got.
GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU003 Captain America —125/80 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: One of the most creative Caps we’ve seen in awhile. The 125 Point dial is a brutally effective mid-range piece to start. He’s actually at his most deadly when he’s at least two squares away from an opposing figure, even though Cap is normally thought of as a close combatant. His Avengers Assemble Trait is pretty one-sided (there will be very few circumstances when your opponent would rather take a -1 hit to the Attack Value of all his pieces versus letting you give one of your pieces +1 to Damage). His top dial vanilla Leadership is somewhat wasted when the majority of Avengers cost more than him (or at least the majority of Avengers who can Carry him and keep him adjacent–yes, you can sometimes end up adjacent to a friendly after a Running Shot to set up Leadership next turn, but that’s a lil’ tricky to do usually). If he ignored characters on movement (instead of or in addition to) I’d love him; as it is, I merely like this dial.
His Rookie dial, on the other hand, offers a ton of value for 80 Points–and also plays way differently than his Blue dial. Now that’s a great design! He starts with a Leadership Special Power (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM:Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.) that he keeps his whole dial. He doesn’t even need line of fire to dish out tokens–opposing characters merely need to be within 4 Squares.
His Attack Value never descends below 10, and even gets up to 11 more than once. The only problem is a lack of Indomitable, but the last half of his dial features Willpower anyway. And top dial, once he gets in close on someone, they’re gonna need a 20 to hit him with a Close Combat attack.
This is a fun piece and one of my favorites from the set.
GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: Really dig his 125 Point dial. He’s difficult to hit at range, which should allow him to use his Avengers Initiative Team Ability to slowly close in on his opponents. After that first hit he magically transforms into an equally hard to hit close combat headache for your opponent.
His 80 Point dial is almost as good, but his Leadership Special–as powerful as it can potentially be–will only go off 33% of the time. And with no native damage reducers, it’s possible for a heavy hitter like AAOU005 Thor to knock him out with one lucky hit.
GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)
AAOU004 Test Subject —30 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Ugh. The first real loser of the set. Don’t let the 3 separate dials fool you–even for a generic, this is a bit uninspired. Their Trait (THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE YIELDING… INTERESTING… RESULTS:When Test Subject is first placed on the map, roll a d6 and click the character to the indicated starting line: 1 – 2 red; 3 – 4 blue; 5 – 6 yellow) ensures that you’ll never know which of their dials you’ll actually be playing, which is a problem when you are, y’know, TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLEMENTARY TEAM! These guys need help to be anything more than even just a tie-up piece for a turn. But with such limited mobility, it’ll take them forever just to get next to an opposing figure to tie them up in the first place. I can’t see 4 of these pieces ever taking out any 120 Point figure I can think of.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: Okay, taken on their own merits, they’re not the best use of 30 Points. However, what if I told you there was a way to easily get them within range of an opposing figure, to the point that they’d be all but guaranteed an Alpha Strike? Then would you be interested? If you can find a way around their awful mobility, these guys suddenly become pretty dangerous–especially since they’re only 30 Points. Having said that, no one is ever going to play them for 30 Points, for reasons we will get into as we get a bit further down the list…
GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU005 Thor —200/150 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: Wow. We’ve gotten a ton of 4-Star Thors in the past couple years, but this version might just be a cut above. His AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Thor hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters modify their damage values by -1 until your next turn or, opposing characters can’t make ranged combat attacks until your next turn.) is absolutely brutal.
You: “So, would you prefer to do way less damage next turn, or would you prefer to do no damage next turn?”
Your Opponent: “Uhhh… is that a real power? That doesn’t sound like a real power.”
You: “It’s a Trait, not a power.”
Your Opponent: “I hate you.”
I mean, what kind of choice is that? But beyond that, he starts with 5 native Damage, an 11 Attack Value that alternates between Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion (with an 8 Range and 2 Bolts) and an 18 Defense Value that’s boosted by both Invincible and his second Trait (MJOLNIR TO CARRY ME: When Thor has one or more action tokens, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection.). And remember, he sees through Stealth via his AI Team Ability. The only thing keeping him from 5 Masks at this point is his one glaring weakness: no Willpower.
Still, in a Tactics format, this is pretty easily fixed, and in a No Tactics format, he hits so heavy that it may not even matter. If you only push him once or twice, you’ll be fine–heck, that first push basically just puts him on Pulse Wave. He only loses one Movement and one Defense.
His Rookie dial is a little more subtle, but just as effective.
GRADE(S): 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: User UncorkedMonk on HCRealms.com said “Hes an indom symbol away from being great. As is hes alright. But theres enough ways to give him willpower I spose.” Despite his clear vendetta against apostrophes, I have to completely agree. Outside of the normal Resource/Relic route, let’s remember that Thor is an Asgardian. For 5 Points, their ATA explicitly GIVES him Willpower on his first click. That’s right. The Asgardian ATA: it’s not just for Splitlip anymore.
His Rookie dial finds him switching from a 5 Damage Primary Attacker to a 4 Damage sniper squad leader. And while he plays differently than his higher point version, he’s just as effective. Especially if you put the right team around him, which you’ll have 50 more points to do with this version.
GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)
AAOU006 Hydra Soldier — 40 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: I think this was the only character in the set I wasn’t looking forward to getting (so guess who I’ve pulled 4 of so far… ). Even in groups, I don’t see this guy ever lasting long enough to hit anyone. I can see what they were trying to do with his Minion power that bestows Leadership (MINION: HAIL HYDRA:When a friendly character with the HYDRA keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, Hydra Soldier can use Charge. When that character uses Leadership and succeeds, remove an action token from all characters named Hydra Soldier within that character’s range and line of fire unless one has already been removed this turn from that character from this effect.), but the low inherent Movement and the existence of DP006 Hand Ninja means that this guy will likely never see play from me. On the plus side, he’s got a pretty cool sculpt though.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: For the first time in this article, I think I finally agree with Ninwa. His TA only works for ranged attacks (well, unless your running him with Wolverine, Agent of Hydra) but his skill set is only viable for close combat attacks. Come to think of it, running him with Hydra Wolvie is really the only way to make him work. Even then, as Ninwashui mentioned, DP006 Hand Ninja is pretty much a better choice all the way around.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU007 Ultron Sentry — 40 — Common:
HypeFox Says: 3 Clicks for 40 Points doesn’t instill a ton of confidence until you look a little closer at those three Clicks. Top dial they have Pen/Psy and Enhancement (although only a 4 Range) with a native 3 Damage. In other words, as they multiply, they can start dishing out 4-5 Penetrating Damage. That’s a huge amount of Damage output for a 40 Point figure. Yes, they can be destroyed quite easily with just a 15 Defense Value, but their Movement Special on Click 2 (THERE’S NO END IN SIGHT!:Once per turn, for all characters with this power, give Ultron Sentry a double power action. Place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry from outside the game in an adjacent square on click number 3.) means that they can replicate themselves over and over. In other words, for 40 Points, you can create a whole army INSIDE your army.
GRADE: 4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: It’s a 40 point character that can duplicate itself as soon as turn 4. And it can keep doing it until you run out of them on your sidelines with no outside help required. And when one dies, a double power action can put that guy right back out. Unlike Iron Legion, the duplicate figures are the exact same strength as the original. And they have two Traits that make it so they can work together to become far more powerful the more of them there are (COMBINED EFFORTS: Modify Ultron Sentry’s attack value by +1 for each adjacent friendly character named Ultron Sentry. Modify Ultron Sentry’s damage value by +1 for each 2 adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry AND CONSISTENT PROGRAMMING: When using the Carry ability, Ultron Sentry may carry any number of adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry regardless of their combat symbols.).
They also have additional Trait that works well with the other versions of Ultron: HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Sentry is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area:
3 – 4, place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry on its starting line; 5, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line; 6, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its blue starting line.”
Try to imagine this: Starting on Turn 4, Ultron Sentry makes another Ultron Sentry. Turn 5, the first Sentry you made makes another. Turn 6, the original makes another. You can just keep doing this in your starting area until you feel like you have enough. A 40 point investment can bring 8 more of these things into play and descend on the opponent as a cloud of nine sentries. Nothing in the game anywhere near 40 points can take that on. If you own enough of these you can bring a 900 point army to a 300 point game.
GRADE: 5Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU008 Hulk — 300/250/200 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Going in, you have to know a couple things. First, you’re paying a metric poop-ton of points for a character that has absolutely no range AND that has absolutely NO OUTWIT PROTECTION!! These are major issues. It’s true that if Hulk gets Outwitted, he gets the small bonus of an Anger Token via his Trait (ENORMOUS GREEN MONSTER:Hulk can use Battle Fury. Each time Hulk takes damage from an opponent’s attack or one of his powers or combat abilities is countered, put an Anger token on this card.), but that’s not really Outwit protection, is it?
His 300 Point dial has an awesome top dial, but the chances of you being able to get to swing with that top dial in a 300 or even 400 Point game is minimal. He’ll most likely be picked apart on his approach.
At 250, he runs into the same problems. While his dial is fun, one Outwit can just absolutely ruin his day.
Finally, his Rookie dial actually gets a half-mask more from me because it leaves room for supporting figs (just from this set, adding AAOU015 Nick Fury and AAOU010 Scarlet Witch will form a perfect 300 Point team) that can really help Hulk deal maximum damage.
Just make sure that whichever dial you play, you use Colossal Stamina whenever there is a meaningful action to take UNLESS that would put you on a Stop Click.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: For a Hulk dial, there is a lot going on here, most of which I like. Traited Battle Fury means that Shape Change will not help you–and with a figure that costs this much (no matter which dial you play), any ability that can eliminate the possibility of wasted actions is a very good thing. His Avengers Assemble Trait is good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hulk hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Deal one target 1 unavoidable damage and give it an action token or, put an Anger token on this card.), but again, it’s pretty much one-sided (no opponent is going to choose to take an additional damage AND lose an action as opposed to giving Hulk a token that lets him increase a potential Regeneration roll somewhere down the line by +1 or increase the chance Hulk won’t take Colossal Stamina damage by just over 16%.). The first choice wreaks havoc on his team right now, while the second option might subtly benefit you at some unspecified juncture down the line. Not much of a choice there. Having said that, getting the Anger Token bonus is better than not having that Trait at all, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.
I like his Rookie dial a little more than Ninwashui, since I believe that his Defense Special Stop Click (HIS ANGER SUSTAINS HIM: When this click is revealed due to taking damage, stop turning the dial and remove all actions tokens from Hulk. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a little bit of Outwit protection (and Pulse Wave protection). And it shows up twice, in tandem with his Damage Special Power (HE ONLY LEAVES RUBBLE:Hulk can use Invincible and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration, you may remove any number of Anger tokens from this card. If you do, the d6 roll can’t be rerolled and you may increase the result by 1 for each token removed.).
So while he doesn’t have Outwit protection, he does have some built-in survivability.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 and 1/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
First of all, he’s got arguably the best AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Hawkeye hits one or more characters with an attack, the opposing player chooses: Hit characters are each dealt 1 unavoidable damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye isn’t given an action token for this action.). Finally, an Avengers Assemble! where both of the choices really suck for your opponent! Remember, Hawkeye has 3 Bolts and Precision Strike, so chances are he’s already dealt 1 Penetrating Damage to two or three of your opponent’s characters (and keep in mind that Stealth won’t help them, because Clint has Avengers Initiative). Now, does your opponent want each of the hit characters to each take ANOTHER Unavoidable Damage? Or do you want to keep Hawkeye from getting an action token, which means he can do the whole thing over again next turn?
This is an actual dramatization of your next opponent trying to decide which of these options to go with after 3 of his characters have been hit by Hawkeye.
Now before you start worrying about his top dial 10 Attack Value, take a look at his second Trait (VANTAGE POINT:When making a ranged combat attack, modify Hawkeye’s attack value by +1 for each target of the attack. When he hits 3 characters, he may give one hit character an action token if he doesn’t assign that character any damage.). All of which means that it shouldn’t be hard to get Hawkeye a +2 or even +3 modifier to his Attack Value. Forget Perplex–this Hawkeye takes care of his own modifiers.
Finally, Ninwashui is probably gonna come on here and trash Hawkeye’s Movement Value. Sure, it’s a bit low at just 6 Squares, but even that, too, is deceiving. When you break it down, you’ll see that his starting Movement Special (ROOFTOP MANEUVER:Hawkeye can use Sidestep and Stealth. When he uses Sidestep, he can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain.) means that he can actually cover 8 Squares a turn AND he can change elevation, too (AND he can make an Attack afterwards, since it’s Sidestep!)! And since he already ignores Hindering Terrain on movement (again, thanks to the AI Team Ability), you actually have a figure who’s much more nimble than a lot of other figures with higher Movement Values.
Now, I can’t quite give him 5 Masks in an environment where Banshee is still Modern (he’s even more beastly for just 4 more points), but Hawkeye here is darn close. He offers a bunch of powers and abilities that you can’t get from Resources or Relics, and what he lacks CAN be fixed by Resources and Relics (The Phoenix Force or especially the new Pandora’s Box Resource should work wonders with this Hawkeye. If you use Pandora’s Box, I’d recommend it’s first setting–the Path of the Hunter. It’s got pretty easy early access to the abilities that Clint needs the most, like Energy Explosion and Running Shot, and it’s also pretty easy to get Hawkeye permanent access to both ES/D AND Combat Reflexes).
GRADE: 4 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: Low Movement Value, no dampeners or anything to help his Defense beyond Stealth and a lack of Running Shot hurt this guy. That being said, if your opponent can’t find a way to hide two or three of his pieces (and it’s admittedly tough to hide guys from a dude who has 8 Range, Sidestep, 3 Bolts and the ability to see through Stealth), then this guy could suddenly be the star of your team. All his is missing is Energy Explosion to be the best figure ever made at taking out clusters of opponents at a time. And AAOU015 Nick Fury (who will get to in a minute) has a Special Attack Power that goes great with this guy.
Ninwashui Says: Her Trait (UNCAGING THE BEAST: Give Scarlet Witch a free action when she has two action tokens and choose a friendly character within range and line of fire. Modify the chosen character’s combat values by +1 until the end of the turn, and, at the end of the turn, deal Scarlet Witch 1 unavoidable damage and don’t clear her action tokens. If the chosen character’s name is Hulk, you may modify the chosen character’s combat values by +2 instead.) seems to be begging for you to play her with some version of the Hulk to make her reach her full potential, but I think she’ll end up seeing a lot of play on a variety of tournament teams regardless of the presence of a Hulk. Even just a +1 boost to all stats is no joke, and she could technically do that for five turns in a row before being KO’d. That ability might be worth 55 Points by itself.
Factor in her 8 Range, 10 Attack and 3 Damage with Perplex top dial and you have a piece that’s useful even before her crazy-good Trait starts to kick in!
GRADE: 4 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: She has no Avengers Assemble! Trait on her own, which is a bit of a bummer. Her Point Cost is reasonable, but if Ninwashui thought that Hawkeye was too crunchy with only Stealth to protect him, I can only imagine what he thinks about a figure with one less Click of life and an even worse Defense Value. If you can get some mileage out of her Trait, she’ll make her cost worth it; if she gets destroyed before that, well… sorry.
GRADE: 3 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU011 Vision — 100 Points — Core Hobby Rare:
HypeFox Says: First of all, this is an awesome sculpt and paint job!! Second… yeah, I have no second. At 50 Points, he’d be amazing. Unfortunately he costs double that. Somehow, a figure with no Traits or Improved Movement or Targeting of any kind and with only six Clicks of life costs 100 Points.
He does fly and he has Indomitable, but he doesn’t do enough to be a Secondary Attacker and he costs WAAAAYYY too much to be a Taxi. And he has 0 Range. I’m glad that he has the Avengers keyword, but he is a Theme play only; he’s not turning up in any sort of competitive environment. Even with Hydra Soldier’s existence, this is probably the worst piece in the set (especially since he costs so much more).
GRADE: 1 and 3/4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: He’s not as bad as HypeFox makes him out to be, but I have to agree with the idea that if you are actually playing him, you’re playing him because you like the character and not because you think he’s a powerful HeroClix figure. He does have 3 Clicks of Outwit followed by 3 Clicks of Perplex, so I can tell why he’s clocking in at 100 Points. But in a world where even a 43 Point Hand Ninja has Traits and Special Powers [EDITOR’S NOTE: And a Team Ability!], it’s hard to justify a dial that costs more than double and has none of those things unless the power set is just top notch. Vision’s power set, alas, is not.
Ninwashui Says: For 120 Points you get a character that hits hard, but with a low Attack Value. He also is good at absorbing damage with four clicks of Invuln, but he doesn’t match well with other figures in his point range unless you take his Trait into account (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING:Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Mk 1 is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: (4)-(5), place 012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line. (6), place either 012 Ultron Mk 1 or 018 Ultron Prime on its blue starting line.). Basically, if you’re running any other Age of Ultron versions of him, then you will likely get him back in your Starting Area on Click one. His stats by themselves are average, but his synergy with other Ultron pieces is the real reason to play him.
His Rookie dial is kind of more of the same. You’d play it to fit in another Ultron on your force, but this dial will never see play otherwise.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (120 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (65 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: Kind of a must have piece if you’re trying to create an Ultron swarm. On its own, it’s average, but when you start running it with Ultron Prime or Ultron Sentry, it can really start to wear your opponent down.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial)
AAOU013 Black Widow — 80 Points — Mass Market Rare:
HypeFox Says: This is one of the stranger Black Widows we’ve gotten in recent years. On the plus side, she’s got a pretty decent AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Black Widow hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters can’t attack Black Widow until your next turn or opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage until your next turn.) and a cool Attack Special (WIDOW’S STING:When Black Widow hits with a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 4 – 6, Black Widow can use Incapacitate twice, each as a free action, but only to target a hit character.). On the negative side, she’s pretty much set up as a ranged attacker, but she’s only got a 4 Range and no move and attack. And if she can’t attack, her special powers are all wasted.
Having said that, like her former S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddy Hawkeye, much of what ails her can be fixed with a Resource or Relic (Mokk’s Hammer would solve almost all of her top dial problems).
So she has some potential in a Tactics environment, but in a game where you can’t use Resources or Relics, she’s gonna be a tough piece to use effectively. Chances are high that you won’t get out of her what you put into her.
GRADE: 2 and 3/4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: She can really shine with an Avengers Themed Team around her, but you’re gonna have to team her up with a really effective Primary Attacker to distract the other team’s best offensive pieces and let her get a ranged attack (or two) off. Nearly full dial Stealth and intermittent Perplex make me like this version slightly more that her Starter pack counterpart (AAOU105 Black Widow, natch!). And, once again, AAOU015 Nick Fury‘s Special Power works really well with her as well.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU014 Quicksilver — 63 Points — Mass Market Rare
Ninwashui Says: He’s the cheapest character in Modern right now with top dial Hypersonic Speed. When you compare him to 65 point FL001A The Flash you’ll see that he moves much farther and has a better chance of hitting because of his ability to use Probability Control on himself. This is also one of the few instances where I think it’s really nice for this character to have Force Blast. I can just imagine him flinging opposing support figures off rooftops or into walls. And let’s be honest, 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection is pretty damn impressive for someone at his point level.
GRADE: 4Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: He’s been growing on me. I still don’t like that his Attack Value never exceeds “meh,” but his Damage Special (FAST ENOUGH TO TRY AGAIN:Quicksilver can use Probability Control, but only to reroll his own rolls.) means that he gets two shots at every attack roll. And an 18 Defense with ES/D is EXTREMELY good for any figure under 80 Points. He’s never going to do much damage, but at 63 Points he’s always going to be a Secondary Attacker at most. But depending on how you construct your army, he might even just be a third attacker on a 300 Point squad. And he’s perfect for that.
GRADE: 3 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45 Points — Mass Market Rare:
HypeFox Says: So, we’ve already mentioned this guy three or four times, so you probably had an inkling that he’d be good. I think he’s possibly Meta, although he necessitates building an Avengers Themed Team around him. His Trait is great (I STILL BELIEVE IN HEROES:If Nick Fury is part of an Avengers Themed Team and has the lowest point value character on your starting force, he can use Leadership and Outwit. When he uses Leadership, he is considered 300 points.), since at 45 Points he will almost ALWAYS be the lowest point value character on an Avengers Themed Team. So you don’t even really need to alter your team any to fit him in, and in a 300 Point game his Leadership is guaranteed to work on whoever he’s next to as long as you make the roll. On top of that, since he has Avengers Initiative, his Outwit sees through Hindering Terrain!!
Oh, and speaking of rolls, Fury Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…:When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! Trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) gives him a 33% chance to just completely wreck your opponent’s day. Remember how we mentioned how one-sided some of the Avengers Assemble! Traits were on the figures in this set? Well, if YOU suddenly get to make the choice for your opponent, those AA Traits become stratospherically better!
On top of all that, he has Willpower, Shape Change, Stealth and a native 3 Damage. This is a great package for just 45 Points.
GRADE: 4 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: He is really only viable on an Avengers Themed Team, but if you’re playing one, he is almost an auto-include if you have the points. Even if your not using his Attack Special because you’re running him with non-AoU Avengers, just the fact that he gives you a working Leadership and Outwit while also being a competent Tertiary Attacker is pretty amazing. I’m not sure if Avengers Themed Teams will start showing up at major tournaments, but if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll be running this Nick Fury.
GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU016 Baron Strucker — 95 Points — Mass Market Rare:
Ninwashui Says: And finally we come to my top Want from this set. Sporting a creative and efficient dial, Baron Strucker is capable of changing a game just by himself. Like AAOU001 Iron Man, he can make himself a small army with just a few power actions via his Special Attack Power (WE LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM…:Give Baron Strucker a power action if there are less than 4 friendly characters with the Test Subject keyword on the map. When you do, place a friendly AAOU004 Test Subject from outside the game on the map within 6 squares of him.). Unlike Iron Man, when Baron Strucker’s army dies, his Trait (THEIR SACRIFICE ENSURES OUR FUTURE:When a friendly character with the Test Subject keyword is KO’d put an Evolution token on Baron Strucker’s card. Modify Baron Strucker’s combat values +1 for every two Evolution tokens on his card.) ensures that the Baron gets stronger! Keep in mind that for a 95 Point piece, he was already sitting on some pretty good stats to begin with. Several of his Clicks sport a 10 Attack Value with 4 Damage. Now imagine if that got pumped up to a 13 Attack and 7 Damage–those are Hulk Smash numbers!
And he has Mastermind, so, depending on how you place your Test Subjects, it’ll be damn near impossible for most of your opponents NOT to KO some Test Subjects along the way to Baron Strucker, unless their pieces are just dripping with Precision Strike. And you get all this for just 1/3 of your 300 Point Build!!
I am already dreaming of playing this guy with DP054 Arnim Zola for some friendly Mind Control shenanigans or IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0 to turn those Test Subjects into Claymore mines. Oh, the destruction I’ll wreak…
GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: This is the piece I was referencing in my AAOU001 Iron Man writeup. Whereas the Iron Legion pieces have to come into play all the way back at your Starting Zone, Strucker here can place his Test Subjects wherever the hell he likes within a 6-Square radius! Think about how useful that is! Can’t get through that wall and into the room where your opponent is trying to heal his Primary Attacker back to full? Boom–now there’s a Test Subject adjacent to his healer. Who can make an attack on that same healer THIS TURN!! This ability is kind of like Deadpool’s Sheep Gun Word Balloon, only it’s about a thousand times more useful.
If Strucker’s Dial was crap except for that power, he’d still be good. But he’s got a great dial, and he gets stronger for every Test Subject that’s killed! You just need to get this man some Willpower!
I hate to say it again, but this is another near-Meta piece for me. More importantly, he’s going to be poop-tons of fun at house games…
HypeFox Says: Sort of a disappointing Chase, especially since we know we’re getting a comic version of the Hulkbuster armor one piece at a time in the Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. boosters this summer. But beyond that, his dial seems much more like a 200-250 Point character; at 300, you’re really only playing him in fun, epic games where you think you’re gonna run into other big’uns.
His AA Trait is actually pretty good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:Once per turn, when Hulkbuster hits one or more characters with a close combat attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Modify Hulkbuster’s defense value by +2 until your next turn or Hulkbuster may make a close combat attack as a free action against a hit target, modifying his attack value by -2 for the attack.), but his other Trait (DESIGNED TO PUT YOU DOWN, BRUCE:At the beginning of the game for all characters with this trait, choose an opposing character with :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:. That character can’t ignore pushing damage or have its combat values increased.) and his Defense Special Power (SHE IS BUILT TO FIGHT THE BIG ONES:Hulkbuster can use Invincible. When Hulkbuster is hit by an attack from a character with the :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:, modify that’s character’s damage value by -1 for the attack.)are geared specifically towards putting down Giant-sized or Colossal figures, Team Bases or Vehicles. If you’re playing 1000 Point Brawl where those figures are allowed, he’s well worth his Points. If you’re playing almost any other format, you probably overpayed for this dial by at least 50 Points.
His Rookie version is a little bit better, if only because it’s 75 Points cheaper. You lose two really good Clicks, but you’re also closer to his Hypersonic slots.
These pieces are slight misfires for me.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: I have to agree. You should only play this guy if you know in advance that you have a good shot at facing Giants or Team Bases–and even then I’m not sure that he’ll win that fight. Against Colossals, you’d do much better playing AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man.
It’s not that this guy can’t win; it’s just that he’s a close combat piece that’s likely to get shot crossing the board and his combat values don’t hold up like they do with AAOU008 Hulk. He is also yet another figure above 200 points with no Outwit protection of any kind.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)
AAOU018 Ultron Prime — 250/125 Points — Mass Market Chase:
Ninwashui Says: At 250 points there won’t be much room for support (other than maybe an AAOU007 Ultron Sentry) He can use Energy Explosion with 3 Bolts, but he doesn’t have Running Shot until his third Click. Until then, he’s stuck with Charge or Hypersonic Speed with a 9 Attack. Not horrible, but not worth 250 Points, either.
He’s meant to be a close combat figure and just like AAOU008 Hulk he will have a hard time crossing the board without being weakened (this seems to be a Chase theme this set!). And he’s 250 Points with no Outwit protection (another Chase theme!), only an 18 starting Defense Value and no Stop Clicks. Again, Transport Symbol is really wasted points here, unless you’re in love with low Attack Values for some reason.
His Experienced dial is a little better just by virtue of being able to pack in a lot more compatible supporting figs. His actual power set is still mostly incompatible (and, again, no Running Shot ’til Click 3), and Transport Symbol is still wasted here.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: I think I like him a little better than you do. Yes, he does not have an efficient power mix, but he’s not a pushover, either, and his Trait (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING:Once per game, when Ultron Prime is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 5 – 6 place this character in your starting area on its blue starting line.) gives him a 33% chance to come back and haunt your opponent all over again.
That Trait works even better on his Experienced dial, since it brings him back all the way to his Starting Line.
GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)
Alrighty! There you have it–the longest article (by word count) we’ve ever published! We hope you enjoyed this look into Avengers: Age of Ultron, and make sure to come back for our Starter Review!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!
This started off as a really long comment/reply to Hypefox’s last Mid-Weekly Roundup. With everything he brought up, my reply ended up being long enough to be it’s own article.
What follows is in no particular order…
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D:
–I read an article today theorizing that the Inhumans are coming to Agents of S.H.I. E.L.D. . The author theorized that the blue alien that healed Coulson was a Kree and that Skye was an Inhuman. That’s why Skye shared some DNA with the blue alien (being that the Inhumans were the result of Kree genetic experiments on humans). They also theorized that the obelisk is actually a Terrigan Crystal. Various characters in the series have also mentioned several times that Skye and her father were from the Himalayas. That was the original location of the home of the Inhumans (before it moved to the moon and before it blew up). Now, the author of the article thought Skye’s father would either be Mr. Hyde (retconned to now be an Inhuman), Maximus, or the Unspoken! The first one would make Skye into “Daisy” from Marvel’s Secret Warriors and the last two would actually make Skye part of the Inhuman royal family!
I think it will turn out that Mr. Hyde will be Skye’s father. There is talk of an Inhumans movie and if that’s true then Mr. Hyde would be the least likely character that would be needed for such an endeavor, which in turn would mean that the showrunners would have free rein to do whatever they wanted to with the character. That’s why I think Season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t feature more recognizable super people–they didn’t know which characters would and would not be needed for MCU films in the near future. Having a major villain debut on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pretty much ensures that character won’t make it into the movies (at least not in any meaningful way, i.e. the primary antagonist).
Can you imagine if, say, a Hawkeye movie featured as the main villain someone that Phil Coulson’s team fought (and ostensibly beat) during an episode of MAoS? There could definitely be a feeling of ‘been there, done that’ to the proceedings, which could cause ticket sales to suffer, which is just about the last thing you would want for a tentpole flick that would cost a minimum of $150 million to produce.
However, if the MCU movies used some of the characters who were first established on TV (or, say, one of the upcoming Netflix series) to fill in the edges of some of their stories, well, that could be really cool. For example, if, say, Absorbing Man showed up as bit player in the next Avengers movie then I think that would drive the up popularity of both media, and would make the TV series “matter” in the movie universe. Can you imagine Avengers 2 opening with the already-established-on-Agents-of-S.H.I.E.L.D.-Absorbing Man fighting the Hulk in Times Square before the opening credits? Then Ultron reveals him himself after the Avengers assemble post-fight back at the tower. I don’t think they’ll do it, but it’s awesome to think about. Really, the possibilities for this sort of thing are endless…
The Detroit Lions – These guys have been known in years past (really every other year previous to now) to lead fans on and make them start to believe only to yank the football away at the last second like Lucy does with Charlie Brown. Their defense this year will be remembered as one of the best the team has ever had. The offense will likely not be remembered at all. They won their latest game in incredible fashion, or more accurately the Falcons lost their latest game in incredible fashion. On the plus side this week no major player injured themselves celebrating, and our field goal kicker proved he can actually make a field goal if you give him a free do-over. Seriously I would love it if Jason Hanson came back. I think the Lions are getting kickers from the same place that the Tigers get closers.
Marvel Cartoon Series – I don’t have any new news here. I just wanted to bring these to your attention in case you haven’t been checking them out. When Marvel connected everything in their movie universe by releasing the Avengers, the cartoon universe made that same move. In 2013, the current (at that time) Avengers cartoon was based off of the comics. It was replaced by Avengers Assemble, which started in episode one with the events of the Avengers movie. From there it diverges wildly (like adding falcon to the team in episode 1), but it’s nice for new viewers to have the movie starting point. Being in cartoon form also allows them to do things that wouldn’t fly in the movies – like having Dracula (yes that Dracula) be a reoccurring villain. Avengers Assemble also connects with Ultimate Spider-man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in the same cartoon Universe. This allows them to guest star characters frequently between series and keep the same voice actors for characters regardless of show. For example, Iron Man is always voiced by Adrian Pasdar (who is also Glen Talbot on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) regardless of which of the shows he’s appearing on at the time. That inter-connectedness makes it cool.
On Blu-Ray this month – I’ve got kids so I miss a ton of movies in theatres. I took a chance and rented Godzilla this week. I loved Pacific Rim and I was hoping this would be similarly fun. That ended up not being the case. The director made the incomprehensible decision to shoot the movie with realistic lighting conditions. Like maybe the monsters would be a lot scarier if you couldn’t really see them. Except in other movies that do that there is something else for the viewers to watch. This was just dark and hard to see. Can you imagine if the original Star Wars used realistic lighting conditions and you could barely see the Death Star the whole movie? Ridiculous. The plot also was absurd and that’s coming from someone who thought the Mathew Brodrick version was decent. HISHE has a wonderful spoof on this movie. The part with the “let them fight” line was dead on.
I’m hoping to rent The Edge of Tomorrow and 1000 Ways to Die in the West soon. I have higher hopes for those movies.
The Entire Flash set Versus Speed Demon – They’ve revealed five Hypersonic Speed-based character dials for The Flash set so far. While they each have some interesting powers, they all require you to hit an opponent before you can really do anything special. There are faster pieces in this set, but so far it looks like Speed Demon will remain the best Hypersonic HeroClix character [EDITOR’S NOTE: All characters get better with Entities, obviously, but he is damn near broken! Ion is great with him; Ophidian might be just as good, if not better (keep in mind, if you can find a way to give Speed Demon Sidestep, his Trait still activates! So in addition to your normal attack and first Speed Cyclone Uplift victim, if you’re careful enough with your positioning, you would have a 1 in 6 chance to do another 1 damage to an opposing figure. That’s three freaking chances to deal damage to opposing figures, and two of them don’t even need attack rolls. Sick, sick SICK!!]
On an unrelated note, FL204Central City Police Captain has a power that reads “LAW ENFORCEMENT CONSULTANT: When building your force, all characters with the Police keyword have the Central City keyword.” With the Batman and Streets of Gotham sets still being legal, Police teams might be a thing again. As always, stay tuned…
Team of the week – I’ve had reason to study the Krampus/Helspont combo recently and I’m finding the only teams truly resistant are teams that feature a tent pole that costs over 199 points (because Helspont can’t switch with them). To that end I put together this quick team.
“Deadpool is Just the Man to Teachethetheth Thee.”
DP055Deadpool (w/DPW003“4th Wall? What 4th Wall?”)
FIR100The Book of the Skull
Total = 299 points
If someone tries to “Krampus” this team they won’t be able to touch Deadpool due to his point cost. That leaves Fandral. Fandral can use his perplex to raise his defense by one and then Krampus would need hit a 20 defense to get his Capture. It’s still very possible Krampus makes that roll, but it’s a certainly not a “lock”. That’s not really even the worst part for the Krampus player. If Helspont switches with Fandral, he’ll end up double tokened next to Deadpool. Deadpool has outwit, pulse wave, and an attack of 14. He’s not going to miss except on snake eyes. Helspont will be near the end of his dial very quickly.
Against non-Krampus teams, Deadpool is still a killer and Fandral is still a very competent backup attacker. If Fandral rolls low on Blades then Deadpool gets a free close combat attack via Fandrals’s Feint special power . If Fandral rolls high on Blades, then he rolls high on Blades. Isn’t that enough?
The approach on the battlefield against other teams might hurt because Deadpool only has a six range, but once you close with another team you will be incredibly deadly.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Any team using the Yellow Power Battery has the possibility to give Krampus fits as well, provided your figures are over 79 Points. The Hal Jordan Parallax team from the first “Let’s Be Lanterns” should be able to mop the floor with a Krampus/Helspont team. Having said that, yeah, there’s not a lot that effectively counters Krampus/Helspont. Props to you again, Andrew!]
Well, that’s it for now. Man, that was a lot of randomness that I just scribbled down. I feel like Larry King! Now if only I got paid like him…
Welcome back my friend, to the game that never ends! Step inside, step inside!
Has it really been three weeks since we updated the week that was in Heroclix? I believe it has! Well, it’s time that ended! My Tigers have regained first place, I can’t stop pulling Zombie Chases from the new set (always choose the “Guardians” artwork over the Thanos artwork when you’re pulling packs–just trust me, this is clearly a thing–and you’re almost guaranteed a Super Rare at least, and an increased shot at a Zombie Chase or Prime. Flash Fact!), and they just announced three new Marvel sets for next year (but we’ll get to that in a lil’ bit)!!
Yep. This is what first place looks like here in the Central. Oy.
So after digesting… that, we’re back this week with a Weekly Roundup to catch you up on everything that’s been going on in the world of Heroclix for the last 3 weeks! Here is your…
–Oh, look who’s back again! Of course Dial H for Heroclix was new once more! They’re now up to Episode 62, I believe, wherein they talk about all the new Avengers goodness for next year that’s just been announced at the Alliance Tradeshow.
–Push to Regen is still working on 2.07. In the meantime, you can give a listen to Season 2, Episode 6 right here!
–The Quarry has released Episode 25 & Episode 26! 25 covers the Owensboro ROC with winner Zachery Brazier; 26 features a roundtable dissection of everything that went on at GenCon & World’s!
–Meet the new boss, same as the old boss; Patrick Yapjoco has won the ROC Championship. This just in: he is good at Heroclix. Despite the logo I used for this segment, I believe that brings an end to the 2014 ROC season; everything from here on out should feature the 2015 ROC logo.
–Speaking of, you can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!
–We also have previews for some of the OP Team Base replacement figs! Here’s Angel (who fits onto the X-Men: Gold Team Base) and John Lynch (who can replace Grunge on the Gen 13 base). I actually love that in addition to alternate versions of some of the Team Base characters they’ve already published, WizKids is offering 1 new figure sculpt (or in some cases, like with John Lynch, a totally new figure) in each kit who wasn’t part of the team originally and who can replace a member of that team. Really cool. And for the record, both of these figs are good in their own right (although Lynch is a bit more of a subtle piece that takes some finesse to play). Oh, and if you want to know what the new Psylocke will be bringing, click here!
Other new figures/sculpts that will arrive later this year or early next year include a brand new Pete Wisdom for the already awesome Excalibur Team Base and a Black Canary for the JLA Team Base! Really liking this new OP program!
–Oh boy, did we ever get some announcements!! We are getting an Avengers Assemble set with 25 never-before-Clix’d characters along with next year’s OP set: Age of Ultron!! Oh, and we’re getting an Age of Ultron Movie Set as well. In addition, it appears that BOTH sets will use Avengers ID cards (randomly inserted in boosters?) that will work with the Avengers Roundtable Resource. How this will all play out, I don’t know. But what I do know is that somewhere along the way (probably but not definitely as the main prize from Age of Ultron) we will finally get… a Quinjet! Yep, Marvel’s finally getting a vehicle (at least one that didn’t start as a figure like Warlock)!
Avengers Assemble should hit around May, and will be a normal 5-figure Booster set. Age of Ultron will come in two different waves of 5-Figure boosters. Wheeee!
You can find a link to the Alliance pictures HERE!!
Army of the Week:
This week, we’re gonna look at… another Patrick Yapjoco army! Since he won the whole damn ROC at DragonCon, I figure he deserves one more shout-out here! Here’s his winning Build Sheet:
Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!
–Comics are invading your small screen again real soon!
Here are the Fall premiere dates for:
Gotham (Fox): Monday, September 22nd (Debut!)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC): Tuesday, September 23rd (Second Season Premiere)
The Flash (CW): Tuesday, October 7th (Debut!)
Arrow (CW): Wednesday, October 8th (Third Season Premiere)
Constantine (NBC): Friday, October 24th (Debut!)
Agent Carter (ABC): Sometime in January, 2015 (Debut!)
Happy viewing! Which comic book-based show are you most excited for?
–Ninwashui and I finished our Magnum Opus!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 of “Let’s Be Lanterns!!” can be viewed at your leisure! Keep an eye out for next week’s Roundup to find out who won our little bet (see Part 3 for more details!).
–As always, here’s another reminder that we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles and get the occasional preview of things to come, or even the occasional tip or two!
And that’s it for this week’s Weekly Roundup!! We’ll be back later this week with a Top Ten Set Review for Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ninwashui will be back soon with a Build idea he calls “The Immovable Objects!”
Until then, once again, stay safe (and DRY!!), and watch where you draw your lines of fire!