Who Watches the Watchlist? (Or, The 6th Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 6! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here, and Night 5 went down right here!]

Watchmen by monkeybiziu.

Uh… the Watcher? Banner art by monkeybiziu.

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

Tonight, we’re gonna go back and look at the first Watchlist that dropped this year and the changes that it brought with it. Did those changes make the game better? Did they course correct too far in some cases? Let’s take a look!

(And yes, we’ll take a brief look at the most recent Watchlist from this year very soon in one of the coming 12 Nights of Clix-Mas articles!)

2014 Q4 WATCHLIST:

Ah, come back with me now, back to last January. It was a time when men were men, and Entities still transferred all of their keywords to the piece they were possessing! Yup! That was the main reason for the Q4 Watchlist: the Entity issue! Let’s go point by point and see what worked, and what didn’t!

Ion War of Light Butcher Entity

  • Entities: The main change here was that Entities would no longer transfer all of their keywords–particularly the “Entity” keyword. All they would transfer from here on out was their Lantern Corps keyword. Verdict: This was actually a very successful change that brought a bunch of balance to the game. The Entities were already powerful enough; by allowing them to transfer the “Entity” keyword to the piece they were Possessing, it allowed power players to make really overpowered Themed Teams out of characters who should never grant Theme when paired together. Entities were still played heavily after this change, but the playing field was leveled just a bit, which is exactly what a Watchlist fix should do. Selfishly, I wish that they’d still let them transfer their “Cosmic” keyword as well (all but Black Hand have it, I believe), as that would have kept a few more interesting Build options available, but that’s a small complaint when so much good was accomplished here.

bill-agent-of-aim

  • Bill, Agent of A.I.M.: The reason most people played him was his Special Attack Power (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING:Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character without line of fire to that opposing character.) that shows up on Click 2. This power was changed so that the character getting the benefit of Bill’s technology has to be adjacent to Bill. Verdict: This was a pretty reasonable change, and while it did make Bill slightly less useful, his power was still good enough to keep Bill in the Meta rotation.

Iron Pharaoh cover

  • Iron Pharaoh: This one really hit me hard. His special Trait (GOLDEN FALCON, SOARING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.) was just absolutely gutted. After the Watchlist, the Pharaoh had to choose to either move OR attack, something the figure was never really designed to do. Verdict: While Iron Pharaoh was certainly a powerful force in the Meta, an occasional ROC win doth not a broken piece make. But even if you accept that Iron Pharaoh was a problem piece (and ignore the fact that within a year, WizKids would have published several silver bullet pieces for the Pharaoh, like Jack Hawksmoor), the official change really destroyed this piece, to the point that he was almost unplayable afterwards. This particular change was probably WizKids’s biggest overreach since they’d been publishing a Watchlist.
This is how Iron Pharaoh owners felt after the Watchlist dropped.

This is how Iron Pharaoh owners felt after the Watchlist dropped.

Bizarro

  • Bizarro: This was another pretty simple pair of fixes. WizKids decided that he could only be played in 25 Point increments up to 150 Points (as opposed to playing him all the way up to 300). Also, it was decreed that Bizarro could ONLY be healed through the use of Support. Verdict: This was another winner. It’s hard to describe how dominant Bizarro was in the Meta back in 2014 if you’re a newer player, but he was everywhere. He still turns up on certain Meta teams to this day, so he’s still a quality piece, but at least he’s fair now.

Proxima Midnight

  • Proxima Midnight: Proxima was reviewed, but it was decided that she was working as intended. Verdict: Sanity prevails. There’s nothing wrong with being a good piece–it’s when a piece becomes gamebreaking that a designer really needs to get involved. If only they’d been as levelheaded about Iron Pharaoh…

Well, that’s all for tonight! And yes, we’re running a few days behind if we’re gonna get everything out by Christmas. Just stay tuned, though, and we should have articles coming fast and furious in the next two days!

War Is Coming… I Can See It!! (Or, a Brief Look at What We Know About Justice League: Trinity War!!)

The picked-up flag from the Dallas-Detroit playoff game  continues to wreak havoc throughout the DCU...

The picked-up flag from the Dallas-Detroit playoff game continues to wreak havoc throughout the DCU…

Hello Again!!

Today we’re filing a brief post to make sure you folks are all aware of the breaking Justice League: Trinity War news! DC All Access has just released the first Trinity War Unboxing video and spoiled a whole bunch of figures from the set!

Characters revealed from the single Brick (i.e. 10 Packs) Unboxing (among others):

Ultraman

Atomica (cool lil’ tiny sculpt)

Sinestro (Rare–Gold cape sculpt)

Black Orchid

Deadman (Rare)

The Outsider (Appeared to be the Uncommon Prime, but this was not discussed in detail. The sculpt seemed to be of the Pre-Crisis pasty-white skin version, which might lead one to suspect that the normal Uncommon slot is the New 52-era Outsider who aided the Crime Syndicate. Which would make a ton of sense given what else we know about the set.)

DEO Agent

Blackgate Inmate

Bizarro (rarity unknown, but probably Common or Uncommon)

Blight (Super Rare)

Shaggy Man (Rare)

Wonder Woman (Super Rare)

FullSizeRender

Pride (CHASE!! This would seem to confirm the rumor that the Seven Deadly Sins are in fact the Chases for this set, and why the Trinity of Sin were actually pushed up into The Flash set. Now to get all Zapruder-filmy on you. If you stop the video at approximately 2:40, you get a glimpse of Pride’s Point Value–and there appears to just be one number. If that is true, then that would mean that they won’t have a Possession Mechanic similar to the War of Light Entities, or at the very least that the mechanic would function quite differently. Again, this is SUPPOSITION from a somewhat blurry screenshot (although it appears clearer when you watch it in real time.). Now having said that, the figure base does appear to be a slightly different shade of tan/gold than the actual dial; does this mean it’s a SwitchClix of some sort that will interact with either of the new Resources we’re getting or a separate Team Base (ala the Zombies)? Almost certainly not, but I’m going to start that rumor right now!!

Vibe

Batman (Super Rare)

The Grid (Rare)

Sea King (Common)

The Trench (Rare?)

PLUS

3 3D Special Objects:

Pride

Lust

Envy

 

IMPLICATIONS:

Whew!! Okay, so it looks like the DC Trinity (as it were) of Superman (already Previewed), Batman and Wonder Woman are all Super Rares in this set. The Chases still hold a lot of intrigue, especially since it seems that they’ll mirror the 3D Special Objects.

Speaking of the Chases–or more specifically, the distribution of the Chases–the brick opened by the host featured a Chase AND a Prime. Will this be typical of the rest of the Bricks? I suspect not, but if it is, that would be a welcome change!

So what do you guys think? Does this make you more excited for this set, or less? Even as a Marvel guy, I have to say this Unboxing definitely made me more excited. Feel free to post your immediate reactions in the Comment section below.

Well that’s all for today. We will be back soon with our annual “You’re Simply The Best” Year-End wrap-up. Until then…

Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!

ROC’ing the Meta 2: Electric Boogaloo… PART 2!! (Or, a Look at Where the Meta Might Be Heading!!)

"Hmmm... well, 1 or 2 of these guys might be Meta. Someday... "

“Hmmm… well, 1 or 2 of these guys might be Meta. Someday… “

[To Be Read In Your Best Kiefer Sutherland Voice]

Previously, on Critical Missives:

 

Bill Agent of Aim Soranik Natu Void Tomar Tu Despotellis

–‘Anakin, NO!’

–‘Iron Pharaoh is still a thing, going forward.’

Abin Sur Kyle Raynor ION 2 Shatterstar Helspont

–‘Hail Hydra!

–‘Highfather is a losing strategy.’

ROC  "I;m back?! My dear, I never left!" Krampus 2

This should explain everything.

This should explain everything.

—————————————————————

 

And Now… The Conclusion.”

 

Whew!! Okay! Now that we’re all caught up, let’s look at some figs that ain’t what they used to be when it comes to the ROC, and some figs that people should be looking really closely at that haven’t yet had their day in the sun. Finally, we’ll talk a bit about what we can expect to show up in the Meta now that FLASH has been released!

 

Ain’t What They Used to Be Division:

This is what a good idea poorly executed looks like.

Suuuuure you do, Sweetie…

–DP038 Copycat: Wow. Some idiot was predicting doom and gloom for this ROC season because Copycat would dominate in an environment without Resources and Entities. What’s that? Oh, it was me? And what’s happened (at least so far)? Copycat is nowhere to be seen? Oh. And the lesson, as always? I’m an idiot?

Yup!

So, every now and then, some jackass will Copycat in a ROC now, but they won’t advance even into the Top 8. Why? Well, it’s because of the Construct ability that lets you start with the Nurse on a piece like Abin Sur or Tomar Tu. And Construct pieces are EVERYWHERE! And because of this, if you’re running a Copycat, it’s useless to switch, because your opponent will just put her in a horrible position and then Regenerate (remember, any attachments or effects on the targeted character transfer to Copycat), thus ending the effect. And if you don’t switch, you’ve got 90 Points (basically a third of your force) that’s next to useless. 90 Points that’s so bad that you thought giving it to your opponent for almost ANY qualifying figure they had was a winning strategy.

It doesn’t help her either that the New Mutants Team Base–her best running buddy–is disallowed in the current format.

So yeah, you may run into one or two teams that you can wreck with Copycat, but more often than not you’re cutting your own throat by playing her in this format. I couldn’t have been more mistaken in where I thought this Meta was heading, and I’ve never been happier to be so wrong!

"He's better than me?Wait, doesn't Speed Demon know that I'M supposed to be the Prime?"

He’s better than me? Wait, doesn’t Speed Demon know that I’M supposed to be the Prime?

–DP053B Whizzer: Hell of a dial. Hell of a power set. Hell of a piece! It’s just that Speed Demon does everything Whizzer does, but better. And without taking up that valuable Prime slot that most folks are using for Brother Voodoo, Tomar Tu or Abin Sur.

Just as a refresher for those of you keeping score at home, let’s talk for a minute about the differences between Whizzer and Speed Demon (you can follow along at HCRealms.com):

–Whizzer ignores Elevated, Water and Blocking Terrain (and Characters, but so does Speed Demon); Speed Demon ignores Hindering Terrain. This is pretty much a wash; you’ll certainly encounter more Hindering Terrain than anything else, but the ability to run up walls or through them, or over water in a pinch with Whizzer is pretty cool. ADVANTAGE: EVEN

–Whizzer can make TWO attacks during his Hypersonic movement, but only during his first two clicks. Speed Demon knows the same trick ON HIS LAST FOUR CLICKS. ADVANTAGE: SPEED DEMON.

–Whizzer has Indomitable. Speed Demon doesn’t. ADVANTAGE: WHIZZER

–Speed Demon has the Speed Cyclone Uplift Trait, arguably one of the ten best Traits Wizkids has ever made. Whizzer has no Traits. MASSIVE ADVANTAGE: SPEED DEMON

Whizzer here gets a lil’ closer to his non-Prime brother in a format where keywords don’t matter (Speed Demon’s are waaaay better), but otherwise, save the 10 Points and go with Speed Demon.

FINAL TALLY: Speed Demon wins, 2-1.

And that is why Whizzer is in this category. He was great when the ROC was just starting to roll out, but–especially with almost every team running some sort of Prime secondary figure–Whizzer is just too expensive at the moment, especially since we know how good Speed Demon is now.

"No, I've not seen the Earthen cinema classic 'Basic Instinct.' Why do you ask?"

No, I’ve not seen the Earthen cinema classic ‘Basic Instinct.’ Why do you ask?”

–SLOSH052 Highfather: Actually, I think we discussed him in Part 1! But he’s kind of in the same boat as Copycat for me; if you’re playing a Highfather team, you’re hoping to face one specific kind of team the whole tournament (any Build that revolves around a big bruiser–the more points, the better) that you can basically screw over before the game begins. If you run into a balanced team or really any team with a solid secondary attacker, you’re probably gonna lose. That’s why I think Highfather and Copycat are losing strategies; it’s not that you’ll lose every game, but you have almost no shot to actually win the tournament (or even make a Top 4). And if you’re not playing to win, you’re playing to lose–Ricky Bobby taught us this!

"Bizarro am Meta this season!"

“Bizarro am Meta this season!”

–SLOSH039X Bizarro: Unfortunately, no, Bizarro is not Meta right now. And no, that’s not me saying the reverse of what I actually mean. Bizarro’s still got his un-ignorable Stop Click-y goodness Trait, but without access to Resources, Relics or Entities, he’s a bit more inconsistent in terms of the stats on his dial, and he can’t heal as easily. There’s also been an increase in the number of Meta-Worthy figures who can do damage to him twice in one turn (Speed Demon, Proxima Midnight, etc.).

Now, when Resources, Entities and everything else returns in the second half season, Bizarro will once again be Meta, but until then, he just isn’t going to be a consistent enough performer to structure a team around.

(Having said that, you WILL occasionally see 25 Point Bizarro included in some Builds as a Taxi/Tertiary Attacker. I never loved Bizarro at 25 Points simply because with only 1 Orrazib Token on his card, Bizarro can’t take advantage of his best power–that Traited, un-ignorable Stop Click! But at 25 Points, he’s kinda like a pull on a slot machine–if you roll him onto one of his best clicks, you can do some serious damage for very little Build cost.)

 

Modern Age Figures That Have So Far Been Ignored in the ROC:

 

Speed Demon

DP053A Speed Demon: So far, ROC results indicate that strong ranged-base pieces are at the center of the Meta right now. But Hypersonic Speed came back in a big way this year (more on that later), and as of yet seems really untapped! And of all the great speedsters WizKids released this year, Speed Demon is pound for pound the best of the lot! He’s placed in ROC Top 8’s before, and even in this format, I don’t see why he can’t be dominant again. As always, it’s his awesome Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) that lets him potentially deal damage twice in one turn (or up to three times a turn down dial!). The fact that his Trait can go off without having to make an attack roll is just awesome, and it’s a great way to deal with potentially problematic figs like Despotellis who have Defense Values that are really tough to reach.

Also, at 110 Points, he can be used as either a Primary Attacker or a Secondary Attacker, depending on which way you want to go with your build.

Captain Marvel Marvel 2

–007B Captain Marvel: So, this was kind of an omission from Part One, since he has shown up on multiple ROC teams, but we’ll talk about him here. Captain Marvel Prime is stupidly, ridiculously good. He was #1 on my GotG Top Ten Review, and he’s only gonna grow in popularity. His usefulness knows almost no bounds; he offers taxi services, Running Shot, 6 Range, Energy Explosion, Pen/Psy and Incapacitate, and if he hits with any of those attacks, the hit character CANNOT ATTACK during the next turn. He also has an 18 Defense with uncounterable Defend and Super Senses, and he adds +1 to the Defense of any non-Kree. Whew!! That’s a ton of stuff for only 82 Points!

His only drawback is his RELATIVELY short Range of 6 and his lack of Indomitable. That’s it. Try teaming him with AVX007 Black Panther and some other supporting folks to grant him Willpower to unleash his full potential!

Maxwell_Dillon_(Earth-2149)

–DP064 Electro: Zombie Chase Electro! Yay! In addition to being fun to play, Zombie Electro here has the potential to deal boatloads of damage. His attack isn’t necessarily consistently high enough to to be a Primary Attacker, but he’s damn dangerous as a secondary attacker. Try teaming him with Meta staples Super-Skrull and Headpool to get the most out of him. Either one will gives Virus tokens to any opposing character they hit, and once that happens, Electro can zap them from any square on the map as long as they’re within his Range–line of fire is no longer required! Also, Zombie Super-Skrull, Zombie Electro and Headpool is 298 Points, so they all fit together!

"I thought I was clear before, but, to reiterate... Y'all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!"

“I thought I was clear before, but, to reiterate… Y’all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!”

–IIM040 Shaman: Okay, I’ve been pitching this guy as a Secondary Attacker/Support piece for over a year now, but he is still REALLY good. And his “No Flights” ability can really screw over some Builds, especially on certain maps. We’ll have a Build featuring this guy, Iron Pharaoh and some NEW blood a little bit later!

"Oh man, look at those lines! Maybe coming to San Diego in character was a bad idea!"

“Oh man, look at those lines! Maybe coming to San Diego in character was a bad idea!”

–CATWS Captain America and Black Widow: Get this Duo some TK and Perplex and let them go to work. They have Traited Stealth and can see and move through Hindering themselves. Duo attack plus Precision Strike is nice. Sidestep + Improved Movement: Ignores Characters is also awesome! The best part about these two is that they only cost you 130 Points, which is really low for everything they offer. With the right supporting pieces, they can be straight deadly!

 

And What to Expect From The Flash:

 

Well, I don’t want to step on our Flash Top Ten Reviews coming later this month, but this is a really solid set, and there’s more than a few figures you’re going to have to know if you have hopes of competing in the ROC!

 

Turtle

–FL031 Turtle: I love this figure! His Trait is so flavorful, and I love that his name is Turtle and that he, y’know, helps your team “turtle.” He gives you a Stealthy Outwitter for 50 Points, but the best reason to play him is his Trait (Slowness as a Way of Life: Turtle can use plasticity. when another character moves at least 5 squares and actions resolve, give them an action token. if you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage.), which pairs absolutely PERFECTLY with that Iron Pharaoh/Shaman team I mentioned earlier:

Team Name: Slowness as a Way of Death!

Theme: N/A

Roster:

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110 Points

IIM040 Shaman92

DP020 Weasel27

FI001 Thule Society Priest21

FL031 Turtle50

=300 (Exactly! Yay!)

How to Play: This works like any other Pharaoh team. If you win Map Roll, you want to choose Wundagore Mountain (from AvX) or any other map that is a bear to cross. Hole up in your Starting Area, send out your Falcon, stop anyone else from flying with Shaman and destroy any who would oppose you. And with Turtle’s Trait, the faster they try and get to you, the longer it will actually take.

You’ll have 2 Outwits (IP, Turtle), 1 Perplex (Shaman), Enhancement (Weasel) and the possibility of a Prob Control (Thule Society Priest on his last click). Weasel will also pump up Iron Pharaoh’s Attack by 1 and let him reroll if Iron Pharaoh misses by 1! When the enemy closes in, Shaman makes a decent Secondary Attacker. Alternatively, his Defense Special (GLACIAL WALL: Shaman can use Barrier and Energy Shield/Deflection. When he uses Barrier, the blocking terrain markers can’t be targeted with an attack by characters marked with one or more action tokens.) lets him pump out an improved Barrier. Thule Society Priest can also be used as a tie-up/annoyance piece, especially since he can copy Mystics from Shaman and deal an unavoidable damage to whichever opposing figure has to spend an action killing him.

Now, Flash has also seen the release of Jack Hawksmoor, an Authority character who has a Trait that deals 1 Penetrating Damage to any character still in a Starting Area during Turn 3 or later. To me, though, this is hardly a deterrent to playing a Pharaoh team. Moving Pharaoh (especially with Shaman as a Taxi) and the rest of the team just outside their own starting area in the first couple turns is child’s play, and sometimes it leads to even better positioning for “turtling” (depending on the Map). At the end of the day, all Jack Hawksmoor is really going to stop is Blind Al.

So there ya go! The Slowest Team Ever Devised!! And its main flaw–it’s not a Themed Team–doesn’t matter in the current ROC format because Themed Team rules are not in effect!

–Finally, keep an eye out for FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician (possibly the best pure all around support piece in the game right now!); FL202 Flash (once he gets going, there’s almost no safe place on the map for your opponent!); FL053B Zoom (the Prime; he’s a beast who can use Blades/Claws/Fangs AND either Flurry OR Exploit Weakness WHILE HE’S USING HYPERSONIC SPEED! Yup! Another piece who can attack twice in a turn. AND he’s a Black Lantern!); and FL050 Flash (aka Kingdom Come Flash; once he gets some Speed Force tokens going, he can absolutely END even some of the hardiest figures IN ONE TURN!).

Kingdom Come Flash's KO rate when using his "Who Would Dare Be A Criminal in this City?" special Attack Power.

Kingdom Come Flash’s KO rate when using his “Who Would Dare Be A Criminal in this City?” special Attack Power.

For more specifics on exactly why you need to be ready for these pieces and more, check out our Flash Top Ten Review coming later this month!

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw those lines of fire!

 

 

 

ROC’ing the Meta 2: Electric Boogaloo!! (Or, a Look at the Top Meta Figures for the 2014-2015 ROC Season!)

ROC

Okay! So it’s been awhile since I wrote anything that wasn’t a Weekly Roundup (or that had the “Electric Boogaloo” subtitle!), and I noticed that we really haven’t addressed the new ROC season format in any real detail yet. Well, that changes today!!

In this article, we’re going to look at which figures are doing well–basically, what you can expect to see at the next few ROC’s. In part 2, we’ll discuss which figures are not working like they use to in the Meta, and which figures might yet have their day in sun!

This should explain everything.

This should explain everything.

 

First, let’s take a look at the format the ROC is using this year. I mean, you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is, right?

From HCRealms, here is the current format:

1.2.1: The first half of this season the format will be “300 Points, Modern Age, and “No Tactics” “No Entity Possession”.

No figure with a base larger than a double base (peanut). Runs Sep 2014-Mar 2015.

What is “No Tactics?” Again, from the rules:

“Part 4: TACTICS
Tactics are optional elements of HeroClix that you can choose to play in your HeroClix games. Each brings new strategic depth and exciting opportunities to the game, but also additional rules and complexity.
Tactics should be added to your game only when you feel you’ve mastered all other aspects of the HeroClix rules. Even then, you and those you play with might want to add only one Tactic at a time, learning each in turn. Tactics covered in this section include:

• Special Objects
• Resources
• Feats
• Battlefield Conditions
• Event Dials
• Bystanders Tokens
• Themed Teams

That’s right. No Resources, Relics, Colossals or Entities. No Bystander Tokens! No ATA’s, even! Yikes! Annnnd, you have to declare three maps on your Build sheet to choose from if you win Map Roll, so it’s a lot harder to hose teams simply via Map Choice. So what does that leave you? Well, quite a bit, actually, with one mechanic rising above the rest–at least so far. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Looking at the results of the few ROC’s that have been run so far under these rules (you can see the results of the FAT OGRE ROC right here, and the Dial H guys have talked at length about the ROC they ran in their last couple episodes), here is what you can expect to see.

SUPPORTING CAST:

Ranged figures are at such an advantage in this format. Probably because of that, everyone is looking for supporting figures that aid in targeting and pump up Range, Attack and/or Damage. Also, TK and Support are two KEY abilities that almost every team needs to have or needs to deal with. Healing, especially, is hard to come by in today’s Meta without a Power Battery. As such, these are the solutions some high level players have turned to in order to solve for X so far in this early part of the ROC season:

The Dead Set:

Deadpool Supporting Cast

DP018 Blind Al: She’s cheap (just 13 Points) and she enables shenanigans. She’s only got 2 clicks, but that doesn’t matter. Do you need to get a figure to its second click in a hurry? Do you want the cheapest Perplex in the game for your turtle (read: Iron Pharaoh) team? One of her main drawbacks–her keywords–doesn’t matter a lick in this format, since Theme Teams are disallowed.

DP020 Weasel: Now we’re up to 27 Points and 3 clicks of life! Again, his dial is so useful it doesn’t matter. He’s got 2 specials that just make him the best supporting piece for ranged attackers in the game (Well, a case could be made for the next fig on this list, but I’m getting ahead of myself). Weasel’s Tech-Guru to the Underworld Damage Special essentially allows him to give an adjacent friendly attacker +1 to their Range, Attack AND Damage. His top dial Attack Special is slightly less useful, but it will let you reroll a nearby friendly character’s missed range attack roll if you miss by 1 (unless it’s a critical miss). As a nice little bonus, Weasel has Pulse Wave on the last two clicks of his dial. He only has an 8 Attack to go with his 5 Range (3 on the Pulse Wave), but when you remember that Pulse Wave ignores opposing Shape Change, Super Senses, Energy Shield/Deflection and Probability Control (if the Prob’er is in the area of effect), it’s not inconceivable that  Weasel could actually hit someone with it.

Bill Agent of Aim

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M.: 3 clicks of life for 30 Points! Bill does just about everything Blind Al does, only better! His Defense Special (I’M NOT ACTUALLY A QUALIFIED BLIMP PILOT, IT TURNS OUT: Bill, Agent of A.I.M. can use the Carry ability to carry any number of characters. After he carries a character and actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 3-6, deal him and the carried characters 1 damage.) will actually let you move most of your figures into place, and it also gets Bill to his two back clicks, which are absurdly useful for the points. He has the Hydra TA, Sidestep, Willpower and Outwit, but it’s his Attack Special that makes him a must play for a lot of folks (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING: Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character without line of fire to that opposing character.). Bascially, as long as your Primary Attacker is in range, he can attack your opponent’s best figure regardless of Terrain or Stealth or whatever, which is never not useful.

Again, Bill’s keywords aren’t the greatest (his best is probably Scientist), but that doesn’t matter a lick in this format.

The War Veterans:

War of Light is one of the largest sets they’ve ever made (actually, it’s gotta be the largest, right?), so just on shear numbers, it would have to offer a ton of great pieces for every role in a Build. As far as supporting pieces go, there’s definitely a few that you will run into again and again:

Soranik Natu

–WOL016 Soranik Natu: This is neither here nor there, but man, as I was looking for Soranik Natu images to put at the top of this entry, I noticed that half of what I found were Cosplay photos. I guess Soranik and her rather boobilicious uniform hit the Cosplay target right in the Bullseye. She’s alien, yet she basically looks like a sunburnt human; her costume wouldn’t be too hard to throw together, and dressing up as Ms. Natu offers the chance to display a lot o’ cleavage. There ya go–I think we just worked out a Cosplay algorithm that solves for the basic elements that need to be satisfied when choosing a character to Cosplay! Well done, us!

Anyway, Soranik Natu is a 70-Point Lantern from Wave 2 offers decent stats for her cost; what makes her Meta-worthy is the back half of her Trait (TANGLED LIVES: Opposing characters named Sinestro modify their combat values by -1 if not already modified by this effect. When Soranik Natu is adjacent to a character named Kyle Rayner, they both modify their attack values by +1 if not already modified by this effect.) and her top dial Attack Special (BATTLEFIELD MEDIC: Soranik Natu can use Telekinesis and Support. When she uses Telekinesis and places a friendly character next to her, she can use Support as a free action, but only to heal that character.). Please believe me when I say that there are very few good characters with Support in this format. Many teams in the normal Meta rely on the Power Battery for Support, or use Agrir’s Hammer for some Steal Energy/Quake shenanigans. Well, you can’t use either of those in the ROC right now. But Soranik here can fit right in with what a lot of Meta teams are already doing, and a 10 Attack Support as a FREE ACTION is a Godsend. Her TK also opens up a lot of doors in terms of your plan of attack.

As far as her Trait goes, we’ll see why that matters (if only a little) a little further on in this article.

Brother Hymn

–WOL029 Brother Hymn: He’s a bit pricey at 85 Points, but he will have just about every supporting power in the game (except maybe Empower, which doesn’t do much for you in the current environment anyway) somewhere on his dial. Top dial, he can use Perplex (only to increase values, but still), Enhancement (that also gives +1 to Range, not unlike Weasel), Barrier and Probability Control. Down dial he also morphs into a warrior monk with Running Shot and 3 damage along with Support (that he can occasionally use as–you guessed it–a Free Action!). He also flies, which means he’s a decent taxi, too.

Sister Sercy

–WOL033 Sister Sercy: She costs less than Brother Hymn (66 Points to his 85), but you get less, too. 1 less click of life, 2 less range, and less damage output throughout her whole dial. What you do get, however, is a phenomenal top click. Flight with 9 Movement and the Blue Lantern Perplex (can only Perplex values UP), 10 Attack with TK (so useful in this format), 17 Defense with Willpower and Prob with 2 Damage. She does pick up the same Support Special at the end of her dial that Brother Hymn has, but with an essentially naked 17 Defense and only 5 clicks, it is very possible someone can one shot her. Still, she is someone that you may see at a ROC.

The Old School:

Void

–SOG035 Void: At 70 Points with Flight and Phasing on all five of her clicks, along with the ability to Carry up to four friendly characters (with no keyword requirement, which, again, works brilliantly in a no Themed Teams environment), she’s one of the best Taxis in the game. She also gives you a (all together now!) Free Action Support after she resolves a move action. If her attack wasn’t stuck at 8 for her whole dial, she’d be nearly broken. She also possesses a wonderful Damage Special (PRECOGNITION: Void can use Outwit, Probability Control, and Super Senses; when an action resolves after she uses any of these powers, roll a d6 that cannot be rerolled and on a result of ‘one’ deal Void 1 unavoidable damage.) that might eat away at her over time, but chances are the game will already be decided before that damage really hurts her enough to matter.

SECONDARY ATTACKERS:

Modern Age currently has a good number of figures (thanks primarily to War of Light) that can act as very efficient Secondary Attackers who cost a pittance compared to what you used to have to pay. Most are Primes, but not all. If you’re going to a ROC soon, expect to see one of these pieces backing up the Primary Attacker:

The Lanterns:

Abin Sur

–WOL046B Abin Sur (Prime): Okay! Now we get to that mechanic I was talking about earlier–the one that’s been rising above the rest. It’s the Construct mechanic (CONSTRUCT: When building your force, you may attach a construct to this character by paying its point cost. Give this character a power action and replace the construct with any other construct, up to 2 points higher than the original construct. If this character has no action tokens and the new construct is a lower point value than the original construct, this is a free action instead.)! And Abin Sur here has it! He also has Running Shot, Energy Explosion, an 8 Range, 3 native Damage and some down dial Support (so useful!) and Perplex. Now, all that might seem pedestrian enough, but there are two MAJOR things to think about with Abin Sur here.

First, consider the WIDE range of abilities Abin’s Construct ability grants him (RCE, ES/D, Free Action Barrier, Free Action Smoke Cloud, Regen, CCE, Exploit Weakness, Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, etc., etc. … ). He can evolve with the game for the low, low price of 10 extra points when building your force (that’s the cost of the most expensive Construct, and he can switch them out at will by using a Power Action or a Free Action depending on which Construct you’re attaching.

Second, you’ll have that extra 10 Points (and more) to spend since Abin Sur ONLY COSTS 50 FREAKING POINTS!! Whaaa… ?!?!? Yep. He’s INSANELY good for his points. The other Construct pieces from War of Light are really good for their points, but 50 Points for everything Abin Sur brings you is just stupid.

Tomar Tu

–WOL013B Tomar Tu (Prime): 99 Points of awesome. He has the Construct ability, a mid-dial mini-Highfather-esque shenanigans-baiting Movement Special (FINAL STAND AGAINST HAL JORDAN: Give Tomar Tu a power action and choose an opposing character within 6 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t target any friendly character with an attack.), an absurd 9 Range, 18 Defense with Super Senses and Running Shot/Pulse Wave top dial. He can also use Willpower and has a conditional Outwit! You will be seeing this piece QUITE a lot in future ROC’s.

The Lil’ Guys:

Despotellis

–WOL099 Despotellis: Despotellis is sometimes referred to as a supporting piece, but make no mistake–his only purpose is dealing damage. Now, a 30-Point Hockey Puck with a 20 Defense is hard to deal with in the normal Meta; take away Resources and Relics, and his 20-Defense becomes ridiculously difficult to deal with. His Penetrating Poison is a great way to bust through particularly tough to deal with defensive abilities like Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and so on. Additionally, some of the Construct-sporting Lanterns can get up to a 20+ Defense from Range with the Shield, so having a way to knock them through their clicks without having to roll attack dice is key.

Headpool

–DP002 Headpool: Okay, he’s more of a tertiary attacker/tie-up piece, but he makes this list because you’re going to see him a lot. While he doesn’t have the Construct ability, he does have the Merc With a Mouth ability, which lets him attach Word Balloons (not as good as Constructs, but useful in and of themselves). He’s easy to get into the fray, and his Exploit Weakness should allow him to get through most defenses. Plus, his Defense Special (IMMORTAL ZOMBIE HEAD THAT EVERYONE WANTS: Headpool ignores other characters’ Poison and all but 1 damage that would be dealt to him. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) will keep him around far longer than his 3 clicks of life might suggest he would stay. The fact that he has the ability to dish out Virus tokens as well is something that might also be exploited, but we’ll touch on that a little more next time in Part 2…

PRIMARY PIECES:

These are the main pieces to watch out for. Not every army will feature one of these, but most will. They’re also not all Primary Attackers–there’s a couple Meta Builds that revolve around pieces that change the game without attacking. Either way, whatever Build you come up with, you are gonna need a way to deal with these guys (and gal) if and when you encounter them.

Yup. More Lanterns:

Kyle Raynor ION 2

–WOL107 Kyle Raynor (Green Lantern): They finally made a good Kyle Raynor?! Yup. His 180 Point cost is worth it, especially since Kyle can use the Construct ability. He can deal a ton of damage his first two clicks, but then a Stop Click (ION: When this click is revealed due to an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Kyle Rayner can use Impervious and the Quintessence team ability. This power can’t be ignored.) on Click 3 kicks things into overdrive. It bumps Kyle up to a 19 native Defense along with 5 Damage and Outwit. But it’s his Movement Special that’s really bonkers (I CAN BE EVERYWHERE I NEED TO BE: Kyle Rayner can use the Duo Attack Ability. When he does, before making each attack, you may place him in a legal square up to half his speed value away.). Read that ability again. It’s stupid, it’s so good. And you still have 110-ish Points (depending on what Construct you buy Kyle) left for supporting pieces. He is fully capable of doing 9 Damage or more while using that crazy Duo Attack of his, and there’s next to nothing that your opponent can do to tie him down!

John Stewart

–WOL105 John Stewart: A more traditional from-range beatstick who becomes more interesting in this format since he has the Construct ability. His top dial includes Running Shot, Precision Strike, RCE and the ability to use RCE as a ranged combat action instead of a power action. He also naturally sees through Hindering Terrain and other characters. For those reasons, he’s better than the 160 Point Hal Jordan that came with the Scenario Pack. He doesn’t have the crazy movement powers that Kyle Raynor does, but he’s damn good in his own right and he still packs a serious punch.

The Kool-Aid Kult Member:

Proxima Midnight

–GOTG050 Proxima Midnight: First of all, how awesome is her sculpt? It’s the exact image above, including the fallen victim at her feet. But I digress. Proxima is 100 points of aggression; her dial has 7 Clicks that start out range-based, then turn to close combat before finishing with some clicks that are somewhere in between. Top dial she has 10 Movement with Running Shot, 11 Attack with Pen/Psy (and Sharpshooter), 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes and 3 native damage. Her Range is dependent on her first Trait (THREE TRACERS OF BLACK LIGHT: Proxima Midnight begins the game with 3 Tracer tokens on this card. Proxima Midnight has a range value equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card times 3, and has a number of bolts equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card.), but it’s her second Trait that makes her so useful against foes with strong defensive abilities (THE SPEAR OF PROXIMA MIDNIGHT: When Proxima Midnight hits with a ranged combat attack, remove a Tracer token from this card and place it on a hit character’s card if it doesn’t already have one. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 for each of her Tracer tokens on other character’s cards, and on a result of 3-6 deal 1 penetrating damage to the character with that Tracer token on its card. When a character with her Tracer token on its card is KO’d, place the Tracer token on Proxima Midnight’s card.). Yup. Depending on that Spear roll, you could potentially do two separate packets of penetrating damage to a character. For pieces with Stop Clicks or other shenanigans (Bizarro, the Kyle Raynor from above that we just talked about), this is a huge headache.

With her combination of Sharpshooter, Pen/Psy and Combat Reflexes, sometimes your best move is to simply Running Shot right next to your target and stay there–if they don’t have an available Outwit, it’s going to be very tough for most pieces to hit a 20 Defense–especially if Proxima hits them first and they’re mid-dial.

Lots of folks have been teaming her with Bill, Agent of A.I.M. to get that first shot in from a safe place where it’s hard or even impossible for the enemy to return fire. This is certainly a valid strategy; just be ever mindful of your positioning with her, because she can get chewed up from range real quick. Her native 18 Defense isn’t bad by any stretch, but she has no reducers of any kind. Of course, even if she does go down hard, she still has her final Trait (CULL OBSIDIAN: When Proxima Midnight is KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, deal damage to that character equal to the last amount of damage dealt to Proxima Midnight. This damage can’t be reduced below 1.) to leave as a parting gift. Oh, and Ninwashui is kind of a fan.

The Shapeshifter:

Zombie Super Skrull

GOTG062 Super Skrull: This was the winning Primary Piece at the Dial H ROC event, I believe. He’s 170 Points and possesses all the same Zombie Traits that every other Zombie Chase has. Those alone make him pretty good, but what he’s really good at is mimicking that Green Lantern Construct ability! Super Skrull’s Trait (IT’S HARD TO EMULATE FOUR POWERS WITH HALF MY LIMBS: Give Super Skrull a free action and choose up to one each of standard speed, attack, defense, and damage powers. Super Skrull can use the chosen powers until your next turn. For each power chosen this way, place a Power token on his card. At the end of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, and subtract 1 for each Power token on his card and remove all Power tokens from his card. On a result of 1 or less, deal Super Skrull 1 unavoidable damage.) lets him actually choose up to FOUR standard abilities to pick up on the fly, and he does it all AS A FREE ACTION (not every Construct flip with the Lanterns is gonna be a Free Action). He’s a multi-tool for every occasion! And with his Zombie Traits, you frankly don’t care about taking one measly damage, since you have multiple ways to get it back!

And he teams very well with Headpool and some of the other Z-Virus figs like–well, we’ll get into that in Part 2 when we talk about some possibly overlooked figures!

The Ol’ Standards:

"I;m back?! My dear, I never left!"

“I’m back?! My dear, I never left!”

–IIM051 Iron Pharaoh: He is still a thing, going forward. I don’t know if there’s a piece I’ve discussed more on this site. He’s one of my favorites to use, and he’s not going anywhere until he’s rotated out. There’s not really a format that he’s not at least above average in. Krampus/Helspont teams (and, to a lesser extent, Shatterstar teams) are probably his main weakness at the moment, but even then, he probably still has a 40%-50% of coming out on top. I’ll take those odds if I’m matched up against a team designed to exploit my fatal flaw. And while he keywords are actually pretty good, the fact that you can play whoever you want with him in this environment only makes him better–he doesn’t have any NAMED keywords, so he was never gonna get those Theme Team probs anyway!

Shatterstar

–WXM010 Shatterstar: At 73 Points, he seems like he should be considered a Secondary Attacker. And on many builds, he probably will be. However, there’s a good chance that his team is going to revolve around him anyway thanks to his easily exploitable Trait (X PORTAL: Once per game, give Shatterstar a power action. Place Shatterstar and an adjacent friendly character of a lower point value in any adjacent squares on the map.) and the fact that, top dial, he can Charge 5 squares, has an 11 Attack with both Flurry AND B/C/F (Yup. If the rolls go your way, a 73 Point character can dish out 12 Clicks of raw damage on the second freaking turn no matter where your opponent is on the map. And once he’s up close and personal with an opposing figure, they’ll have to hit a 19 to Damage him (17 native Defense plus Combat Reflexes). Hell, you can run two of him and still have almost 150 Points leftover for the rest of your army. He’s that good. And just like the comics, he pairs really well with Rictor, especially since they both have top dial Charge (and Rictor pumps up their Attack values).

Highfather

–SLOSH052 Highfather: Yes, he’s still hanging around. He’s a supporting piece masquerading as a primary figure. His top dial TK , Prob and Support are somewhat useful, but the only reason he’s really played is his Trait (THE PACT: At the beginning of the game, you may announce a pact. If you do, the highest point character on your force and the highest point character on your opponent’s force (300 points or less) can’t target opposing characters with an attack until one of them has taken damage from an attack or they are the only 2 characters on the map. This ability can’t be ignored.). He can shut down Tentpole pieces, but it’s very rare in this environment that you’re going to find yourself facing a really heavy-costed piece outside of Kyle or Zombie Super Skrull. And even then, it’s not inconceivable that they won’t have a supporting piece who can get a shot in on Highfather.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I think Highfather is a losing strategy at this point. If you go this route, you will run into a few games where he guides you to an easy win. You may even make Top 8, but usually by then you’re gonna face some really well-put-together teams that will have not one but MULTIPLE answers for Highfather, and your day will be done right quick. But I have to include him on this list because he is still out there and you may run into him.

Helspont Krampus 2

WK002 Krampus/SLOSH042 Helspont: These guys come as a pair. An unlikely one, I grant you, but they’re pretty effective. The basic idea here is to use these two along with Blind Al. You Perplex Krampus twice with Blind Al and Helspont (who also has Perplex) to get Krampus to a 12 Attack, then you give Blind Al a power action to activate her Booby Trap power and expel Helspont from the starting area and deal him one unavoidable damage. The tricky part here is to find a spot to place Helspont that’s outside of your starting area yet adjacent to Krampus (not all maps will have a good spot, so winning Map Roll will definitely help you here). Then you activate Helspont’s Movement Special (I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO: Give Helspont a double power action and select an opposing character of a lower point value. Place Helspont and the chosen character in each other’s squares, and after actions resolve, Helspont may be given a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) to trade places with a key member of your opponent’s force who’s 199 Points or less. If at all possible, you want to choose someone who doesn’t have Shape Change, Super Senses or Probability Control (again, with no Themed Teams, Probability Control will be a lil’ easier to avoid) to take as many variables out of the equation as you can.

Then you activate Krampus’s special Capture Trait (NAUGHTY CHILDREN ARE MY HOLIDAY FEAST: Krampus can use the Capture ability. He can use it normally or, if the target is a higher point value, he must be given a double power action instead of a power action. When Krampus releases a captured character in his starting area, in addition to the normal effects, heal Krampus to his starting line.) and hope to all that is holy (or maybe unholy) that you hit. Krampus’s Attack Special gives him +1 to hit as well for each token on the target, so that will help you as well. With a 12-13 Attack, you should have a fighting chance against most figures.

You’ll probably have to wait through one round of clearing before you can release your Captive, but if you can succeed at all those steps, there’s a high probability that the game will be effectively over, especially if you were also able to take a Free Action shot with Helspont at another figure on your opponent’s team (and since there’s no chance of a Colossal-Sized Power Battery being in the way in their starting area in this environment, you should be good to go). Because Krampus never left his starting area, he’s still there, and he can release his Captive as soon as he has the ability to take a Power Action.

Now, if you miss with Krampus, you’re not doomed, since his Plasticity will keep most figures right where they’re at and he other Special Powers that grant him Super Senses and the ability to Perplex Attack Values down by -2, but you’ll also be giving your opponent a LOT more time to react, which is never good with this sort of combo team. There was also a ruling recently in the WizKids rules forum where they basically expanded the first turn Immunity rule to prevent you from doing this on your first turn; waiting until turn two isn’t exactly a dealbreaker, though–if you hit your rolls, crippling your opponent on turn two is just as effective as crippling him on turn one.

Hypersonic Speed is also a horrible matchup for this team (Speed Demon in particular, who people seem to have forgotten about so soon after his domination last season. But with his ability to cross the map in two turns, attack Krampus for 3 Damage AND also catch the creature in a Speed Cyclone Uplift, it’s possible he can KO Krampus in that token-clearing turn after he Captures someone but before he can release them.), but so far, we haven’t seen a ton of those figs show up in this specific Meta (outside of Super Skrull, who can gain it if he wants it). Having said all that, this is still a wickedly viable Build. I’d suspect you’d have much better results playing this than Highfather, at the very least.

The Best of the Rest:

Briefly, IIM001B Silver Centurion, ASM017B Brother Voodoo and WOL104 & WOL104R Guy Gardner are a few other figures you may run into in your ROC travels that are definitely still viable in the Meta.

Okay! So there you have it. Almost 5000 words on what you can expect to run into if you attend a ROC this season. Next time, we’ll discuss which former Meta figures you should avoid, and which figures and Builds you can try that haven’t really shown up yet this season.

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

Straight, With CHASEr!! (Or, 4600 Words About the Top Ten Most Effective CHASE Pieces in Heroclix Modern Age!!)

"Even consumed by my darkest demons, I have all the power of a million exploding suns. Oh, and I'm like $55 on eBay."

“Even consumed by my darkest demons, I still have all the power of a million exploding suns! Oh, and I’m like $55 on eBay.”

Hello again! We’re gonna go off the beaten path for a just a moment this week (don’t worry–the Deadpool Top Ten set review is coming soon!) with a JOINT column that takes a look at those figures that are the hardest to find, yet create the most excitement when you stumble into a store and find them buried deep inside a tall pack. We’re talking, of course, about Lone Ranger Heroclix Chases.

These weren't hard to find and they created no excitement. Wait, a whole Gravity Feed set that had just four #$@&!ng pieces? Why did they bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that's probably a wide target market. Okay, you win WizKids!

Wait, did they really make a Gravity Feed set that had just FOUR f$@&!ng pieces? Why did they even bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that was probably a wide target market. Okay WizKids, you win!

Chases, by their very nature, are usually pretty expensive. Often that’s just because of their scarcity. But occasionally, WizKids will publish a Chase figure that dominates most of the pieces it encounters and becomes significant in the Meta (or dominant in higher point games). This is our list of those pieces. We’ll tell you why we like them, we’ll create a quick and fun build featuring that piece, and we’ll let you know how much you’re going to have to invest to get each piece if you haven’t had the luck to pull one!

We give you… THE TOP TEN CHASE PIECES IN MODERN AGE!!

 

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face...

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face…

10. SLOSH059 Guardian – 207 Points: Most of the recent full sets in the current Modern Age all feature Chases that share at least one (and in a lot of cases, more) Trait or ability. The SLoSH Chase pieces were all granted one of the most Meta-baiting Traits yet (THE GROWING DARKNESS: At the beginning of the game for all friendly characters with this trait, you may remove one attached game element from an opponent’s resource and, if it is a relic, assign it to a character with this trait. At the beginning of your turn, roll 2d6 for all friendly characters with this trait. If the result is lower than the sum total of all of these characters’ click numbers, then modify all opposing characters’ combat values by -1 until your next turn.), which is ridiculous enough (in the Meta, unless the whole tourney is No Resources or Relics, at least 75% of all teams will feature something these Chases can steal), but all the SLoSH Chasers also get a special Stop Click (SPACE WARP: When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial. Guardian can use Phasing/Teleport. When he does, after actions resolve, he may immediately use Regeneration as a free action.). But Guardian here has a couple things going for him that his SLoSH Chase brethren do not have.

Firstly, he has a 9 Range with 2 Bolts, which goes great with his top dial Psychic Blast and 4 damage! Running Shot (with an 11 Movement) and Enhancement mean that he can act as a Primary Attacker, Support Piece and Taxi, all at once. Secondly, that Stop Click I mentioned? Guardian gets 2 of them! He’s the only one from the set who does–every other SLoSH piece has only one. His 207 Point cost doesn’t leave a lot of room for the rest of your force, but his Enhancement definitely helps that. And in Epic Games (400 Points or more) his versatility makes him even more valuable. Let’s see what Ninwashui’s cooked

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Not my favorite of the SLoSH Chases, but if I were forced to use him in a 300 Point army (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: You’re forced to. That’s kind of the gimmick here, genius!), I’d do this:

Team Name: Guarding Skadi

Theme: Monster

SLOSH059 Guardian 207

GG026 Mole Man47

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot 30

IIMR100 The Power Plant10

IIMR003 White Light Ring2

IIMRoo7 Matter Rearranger Ring2

IIMR009 Electro Blast Ring 2

=300

As of this writing, Mole Man is still Modern Age, so giving Guardian two actions a turn seems like a good idea to me. If you keep Skadi’s Warbot adjacent to Guardian, it can do 4 damage with Psychic Blast. 18 Defense with Super Senses makes him difficult to bring down. Even before you start messing around with rings, you have the possibility of doing 8 penetrating damage a turn between Guardian and Skadi’s Warbot (and with the Matter Rearranger ring, even Stealth shouldn’t bother your pieces too much). Throw in some abbreviated Power Plant goodness, and you’ll have an army that can compete with just about anything it might run into.  You won’t win every game, but you should at least take out a significant figure of your opponent’s army just about every time.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Actually, not much. About $15-$20.

 

"Hmmm... I think this mirror is broken!"

“Hmmm… I think this mirror is broken!”

9. IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200 Points: There’s a lot to like here. Running Shot with an 11 Attack, Energy Explosion and a standard 4 damage. This is the type of figure that’s just begging to get its hands on some Resource goodness. Hammers make the most sense, since you can team ’em with Splitlip and still have a Stark Industries Theme Team.

Also, Duo Attack is one of the best attack abilities in the game, and the fact that they have an enhanced Duo Attack Trait (TRYING TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER: When Iron Man and War Machine use the Duo attack ability, you may give them a ranged combat action instead of the second attack.) makes it even better. Even better, uh, ER, these guys are on a single base (and can therefore be TK’d)! Their other Trait (WATCH EACH OTHER’S BACKS: When Iron Man and War Machine do not have two tokens, Iron Man and War Machine can use Energy Shield/Deflection.) combines with their top dial 18 Defense with Impervious to give them at least 20 D at range (for most turns). HypeFox in particular loves these guys, and uses them every chance he gets.

 

HypeFox Says:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

As noted, I love these guys. Probably the Duo piece I’ve played the most. Heck, they’re probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Tell that to Iron Pharaoh, you jackwagon!). Our venue usually doesn’t allow resources, so I haven’t played this army exactly as written, but I definitely would like to. If you’re in an event that doesn’t allow relics or resources, sub out Bethany Cabe and the BotS for IIM002 Rescue, and you’ll be almost as deadly!”

Team NameDwarven But Deadly

Theme: Stark Industries

IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200

FI301 Splitlip – 20

IIM102 Bethany Cabe – 39

DOFPH002 Sentinel Sentry – 14

FIR100 The Book of the Skull – 6

Plus 7 Hammers (every Hammer except Greithoth’s)21

=300

Iron Man and War Machine carry Splitlip around, which pumps their ranged damage up to 5, and if they get to Duo Attack, they can do up to 9 freaking damage a turn. If you can get Hammers on both Iron Man and War Machine AND Splitlip (keep in mind, that gives IM & WM a 13 FREAKING ATTACK), you may find yourself choosing Splitlip as the ‘dial’ character most turns. Even on Click 1, the BotS dial gives Splitlip Smoke Cloud, Barrier AND Perplex to go along with his native Enhancement. Usually you’ll be dumping Splitlip 1 square behind Iron Man and War Machine so that you can slip Bethany Cabe in front of the lil’ guy and adjacent to IM & WM. This gives everyone +1 to their Defense (and with her Police Team Ability, she can make it so that Iron Man and War Machine basically only miss on a roll of 2 against characters with 17 Defense or less!). The Sentinel Sentry is really just there to round out your points and help you get out the maximum amount of Hammers quickly and to provide cover mid-game (if he’s still around) with Smoke Cloud (especially if you’ve gone beyond the Smoke Cloud clicks on the resource).

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These dudes are still popular. You don’t see more than 2 or 3 being auctioned at a time, and they still command $25-35.

 

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course...

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course…

8. DP064 Electro 90 Points: The most recent entry on this list and the best of the DeadPool Chases that just released this month. He is offense in a bottle. If left unchecked, he can take over a game real quick. What’s special about Mr. Dillion in his Zombie form here is that his Zombie Traits (ZOMBIE HUNGER: When Electro damages an opposing character, place a Food token on this card if there are less than 5 Food tokens. When Electro would be KO’d by an opponent’s attack, turn to its first KO click, remove all Food tokens from this card, and heal it that many clicks. & ZOMBIE INFECTION: When Electro damages an opposing character, give that character a Virus token if it has less than 5 Virus tokens. When an opposing character is KO’d by this character, you may add it to your force, turn to its first KO click, remove all of its Virus tokens and heal it that many clicks.) actually work perfectly with his dial. He starts out with Psychic Blast top dial and a special damage power (LIGHTNING ROD OF THE DAMNED: Electro can use Energy Explosion. When he does, he does not need a line of fire to one target within range if that character has a Virus token.) that is nearly broken when combined with everything else. Why? BECAUSE ALL OF HIS FREAKING POWERS COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER! He has top dial Running Shot with a 10 Attack Psychic Blast, 7 Range and THREE FREAKING BOLTS!! Combined with his Damage Special that we just mentioned, this means that Electro can split 3 PENTRATING Damage in up to 3 different directions, and any hit characters will splash 3 more damage onto adjacent figures! This is insane! In one attack, he could potentially fill up his “Zombie Hunger” meter! And then, he can keep pounding them with shots REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE! Just freaking insane. Lots of “Iron Pharaoh” type of potential here, and I would not be surprised to see him show up in the Meta. His ES/D gives him a 19 Defense against ranged retaliation, but even if he’s damaged to the point of being KO’d, that Zombie Hunger Trait means he’ll come right back at nearly full strength!! And we haven’t even touched on the fact that every figure he KO’s JOINS YOUR TEAM!! Or that you can’t really base him to shut him down BECAUSE HE IGNORES CHARACTERS FOR MOVEMENT!! This is a piece that could get real stupid real fast.

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Like this guy. I still have my Zombie Power Cosmic Wolverine that I think would be fun to play with this guy. For a quick, fun team, try this:

Team Name: Meat-ster Sinister

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP064 Electro – 90

DP053A Speed Demon – 110

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven – 70

IIMR100C Power Plant (with any 4 Rings plus the Electro Blast Ring) – 20

ATA090 Sinister Six x3 – 9

=299

If this doesn’t end up being the most expensive team on this list, I’ll be surprised (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Geeee, the best of the brand new crop of Chases, a brand new Super Rare that’s even rarer cuz it’s the front half of a Prime slot and a Meta-level Rare Prime. Expensive? Y’think?!). Still, lots of versatility here, Electro’s damage output starts out very strong and should only get better as the game goes on. If you want to set up a shot for him, you can use Speed Demon’s Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) to Cyclone opposing figs next to each other for maximum lightning madness. Alyosha and his pet lion are insane on their own, but with the ATA, if Alyosha can use his superior Attack value to score a couple of hits, things will be that much easier for Electro. The Power Plant is just there to fill out points effectively; you’ll probably find yourself draining rings for an emergency Outwit or +1 to all stats as much as you will find yourself using them for their native abilities. Having said that, giving Electro the “Electro Blast” ring is basically broken–which is the polite way of saying that you should do it as often as you can.

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: The word is out on Zombie Maxwell Dillon. When you can even find him, he usually starts at $55 and ends up in the $70-$80 range.

 

"We're only #7? Then how broken are the pieces ahead of us?"

“We’re only #7? Jesus, how broken are the pieces ahead of us?”

7. CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130 Points: Another HypeFox favorite, this Duo fig came out only a few months ago in the ridiculously good Captain America and the Winter Soldier Gravity Feed set. If nothing else, what have we learned so far in this article? Duo Attack is gooooood. Duo Attack that ignores damage modifiers (WORKING TOGETHER: When Captain America and Black Widow use the Duo Attack Ability, they may target more then one character with a ranged combat attack and ignore damage modifiers from the Duo Attack ability.)? Hooooo, boy! They also possess two of the best TA’s in the game (Avengers Initiative and S.H.I.E.L.D.), they occupy a single base so they can be TK’d, they have Sidestep, Precision Strike, Traited Stealth–actually, just read this before we spend another 1000 words repeating ourselves!

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Man, I know what I said last time, but I think this may be the Chase figure that I play most often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Seriously?). They’re great as is, but they get even better with the Phoenix Force!

Team Name: The Soldiers and the S.H.I.E.L.D.

Theme: Avengers.

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130

(w/ the Magik Fragment) – 3

CW039 Hawkeye 98

(w/ the Cyclops Fragment) – 3

FFCW005R Mockingbird25

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support 10

The Phoenix Force12

3 Fragments Left On 9

2 Assigned Characters6

=296

With the TA’s granted by Cap and Black Widow, Hawkeye becomes a Stealth busting machine, and even if you go up against a team that messes with resources, he can still move through Hindering Terrain without an issue. Cap and Black Widow now have access to Invuln and, more importantly, un-Outwittable Running Shot! Mockingbird pairs with Hawkeye to pump up his attack and pop off the occasional Theme Team Prob.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These two are consistently available in the $17-$22 range.

 

"Does that dude know he's in the shot?"

“Does that dude know he’s in the shot?”

 6. IM3017R Iron Man and Iron Patriot200 Points: Okay, everything we said about Iron Man and War Machine? That goes double for these guys. Another single based Duo fig, these two have even better defensive Traits than their counterparts (I’VE GOT YOUR BACK. NO, I’VE GOT YOUR BACK: Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Defend. Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use the Sharpshooter ability and may target non-adjacent characters with a ranged combat attack even when they are adjacent to an opposing character.), and their Duo Attack Trait is even better as well (THIS LONE GUNSLINGER ACT IS UNNECESSARY…YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE!: When Iron Man and Iron Patriot use Duo attack ability, each attack may use 2 targets instead of 1 target and one of their attacks may be a ranged combat action instead.). They are, in a word, sick and wrong. Which is two words, actually. But there ya go!

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

“I like this Duo better than Iron Man and War Machine. This Build is simple and fun. Enough of these Theme Teams and Resources and ATA’s–we’re keeping this as simple as possible. Here goes nuthin’!

Team Name: Leftover Parts

Theme: None

IM3017 Iron Man and Iron Patriot200

DP019B Evil DeadPool – 100

=300

Simple, right? Evil DeadPool’s only real weakness is his erratic Defense, which we’ve fixed to some degree with Iron Man and Iron Patriot’s top dial Defend. Point and shoot, basically. Then repeat. And, y’know, repeat, uh, again.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: This Duo, while more powerful than their IM3 counterparts, were not as popular. You can find them for $18-$20.

 

"Wait, I thought we were just posing!"

“Wait, I thought we were just posing!”

5. CW060R Avengers Prime300 Points: This is the biggest kitchen sink piece in the game. It’s not quite good enough to stand on its own in a 300 Point game, but in larger builds, man, these guys are TOUGH. But the main reason they’re this high on this list is their ability to take a three actions in one turn (TRIO ATTACK: Give Avengers Prime a double power action. They can be given 3 close or ranged combat actions as free actions, each targeting a single character. These free actions may be used to activate the same effect.). Yes, it’s as nuts as it sounds. But the ability to do that while holding a couple of Hammers is even crazier, as HypeFox is about to discuss:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Avengers Prime needs very little help to be competitive in Epic Games. That said, for a 400 Point game, I’d surround ’em with some Asgardian love.

Team Name: As-Whoop-ians

Theme: Asgardian

CW060R Avengers Prime300

FI301 Splitlip20

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot 10

The Book of the Skull (Complete)30

=400

You know the drill. Avengers Prime is basically carrying Splitlip after picking up a couple Hammers. You can hook the Warbots up with Hammers too if you like, but honestly they’re really just there as distractions until you can pull off a Trio Attack that will cripple your opponent’s best figures. Yes, you only get two Theme Team Probs, but with two Hammers, Avengers Prime has a 15 attack. If you’re constantly missing with a 15 Attack, I really can’t help you.

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: I’ve seen them go occasionally in the $50 range, but it’s rare. Usually you’re spending at least $65 to get them to your door.

 

"Well hello again, you mewling quim."

“Well hello again, you mewling quims.”

4. AVM211 Loki – 220 Points: Another figure we’ve talked about at length before! His ridiculous number of TA’s (Power Cosmic, Mystics and ANY COPYABLE TA’S POSSESSED BY YOUR OPPONENT’S FIGURES), Traited Toughness, 18 Defense with Super Senses AND Shape Change (dampeners are great, but Super Senses AND Shape Change is a great way to avoid having to dampen any damage), Pulse Wave with a Range of 9… and that’s before you hook him up with a Resource. He’s great in Epic games, but even in 300 Point contests, he’s not a bad fig to hang your hat on. Plus, I mean, it’s Movie Loki, and he’s holding the Tesserect! Pretty much the definition of awesome, as Ninwashui is about to discuss:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Normally I wouldn’t play a piece this expensive in a 300 Point game, but if Resources are allowed, it’s viable. Still wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket though.

Team Name: All Your Eggs in Loki’s Basket

Theme: Asgardian

AVM211 Loki220

FI301 Splitlip20

Skadi’s Warbot30

Store Clerk3

The Book of the Skull (with 7 Hammers)27

=300

Loki gets Charge and Running Shot after picking up his dual Hammers (I’d start with Mokk’s Hammer, and then have him grab Angrir’s once you start your second wave of Hammer distribution), and he can still be carried by Splitlip if you turn your lil’ dwarf into a Greithoth-powered monster (Greithoth’s Hammer grants, among other things, Giant Reach). We’ve talked about how good Skadi’s Warbot is; the Store Clerk is just there to dish out Hammers. But basically, you’re banking on a hopped-up Loki going nuts with his Running Shot, 13 Attack, 5 Damage (with Splitlip’s Enhancement) Pulse Wave (and don’t forget that you gain a Perplex from the Resource dial at the start as well).

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Loki can be found for $21 and up.

 

"Tonight on FOX--When X-Rays Go Wrong!"

“Tonight on FOX–When X-Rays Go Wrong!”

3. CW057 Sentry and Void300 Points: And now we come to someone–or someTHING–who COULD hold his own in a 300 Point game with no backup. Sentry and Void’s list of abusive powers starts with their Multiattack Trait–yes, not just Multiattack, but a Multiattack TRAIT (EMERGENT EVIL: Sentry and Void can use Multiattack ability. Give Sentry and Void a power action if it has no tokens and replace it with CW #035 Sentry or CW #045 Void on the same click number. When the replacement character would be KO’d, you may instead return this character to the map on click #10.), because Multiattack clearly isn’t good enough on its own. Then you add in top dial Hypersonic Speed, Psychic Blast, 18 Defense with Impervious and 5 native damage and, frankly, you start to feel guilty just for playing him/them/it. Sentry and Void has finished in the Top 16 of several ROC tourneys in the last year–and again, since they’re 300 Points, that means there is NO BACKUP in those games. And it was still a pretty successful piece. Pretty amazing. In larger point games, where you have extra points for a resource or relic, this piece gets downright stupid.

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This one’s an easy inclusion for me. This is one of my favorite pieces ever made, and Sentry and Void is probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: I’m not talking to you any more.). This piece is ridiculously good in Epic Games. But we’ll keep it simple:

Team Name: What About Bob?

Theme: None

CW057 Sentry and Void300

=300

You run around with Sentry and Void. You kill stuff. Then you rinse off the blood and repeat.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Sentry and Void can be yours, too! Y’know, for the low, low price of $55 to $80.00.

 

"Is it cold in here?"

“We’re sure I’m Lydea Mallor and not Lyssa Drak?”

2. SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79 Points: She’s got the same broken Trait that Guardian has, except she’s only 79 FREAKING points–the cheapest of the SLoSH Chases. Her dial without the Trait would easily be worth that investment–when you add in her ability to steal Relics right off of their Resource base, she starts to get silly. On top of that, good luck finding her with her top dial Movement Special (WRAPPED IN SHADOW: Lydea Mallor can use Smoke Cloud and Stealth. Once per turn, when Lydea Mallor occupies hindering terrain and is given a non-free action, before the action begins or after actions resolve, you may place Lydea Mallor in any square of hindering terrain within 5 squares and line of fire.). Basically, she’s the best way to spend 79 Points this side of Brother Voodoo.

At any ROC that allows Resources and Relics, you can expect her to turn up somewhere in the Top 16–probably multiple times, actually. There’s a lot of different ways you can go with her; let’s check in with Ninwashui for his way:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

She’s the most used Chase from SLoSH, that’s for sure. But I wouldn’t necessarily say she’s the best; people are just playing her as the cheapest way to acquire that Trait for their Build. Having said that, it’s hard to argue with the results she’s consistently showed at ROC tourneys across the globe.

Team Name: Smoke and Mallor

Theme: Monster

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79

ASM101 Frankencastle102

SLOSH039X Bizarro – 100

FIR100 The Book of the Skull (with 4 Hammers)18

=299 Points

Hopefully you’re able to steal a key piece from your opponent’s Resource. Either way, you’ve got a pretty balanced yet unpredictable team to go against whatever your opponent has in store for you. Bizarro, with his 3 Stop Clicks and the possibilities that his ever-spinning dial represents, can get really crazy when you start tossing him Hammers. Lydea will be hard to find until your ready for her to attack, and Frankencastle’s Leadership could work on any of these pieces. Happy hunting.

What She’ll Cost You on eBay: Lydea Mallor will run you about $60 right now.

 

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward...

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward…

1. IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110 Points: He’s stupid good. He’s been the winning figure on a winning ROC team not too long ago. He’s great with Resources, but in matches and at venues that don’t support the use of Resources… he gets even better. For those who don’t know, his Trait (GOLDEN FALCON, SHARTING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.) is what makes him so exploitable. Barrier Tech teams in the Meta generally feature either Fantomex or Iron Pharoah. Iron Pharaoh’s inherent stat-boosting Trait (FIGHT THE FUTURE: Iron Pharaoh modifies his attack and damage values by +1 when attacking a character that shares a keyword with him.) works on a LOT of the best figures in the Meta, and there’s a bunch of figures <cough>Shaman<cough> that make him even stupider to deal with. Versatility combined with overall usefulness for the points make Iron Pharaoh our #1 Chase figure in Modern Age (at least as of this writing).

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This is another of my favorite pieces in the game (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: A-HA! Finally!); I just wish I got to play him more often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Oh c’mon!!). Having said that, winning Map Choice can sometimes straight win you the game with Iron Pharaoh–the longer you make your opponent take to get to you, the easier it will be to pick him off with IP’s Golden Falcon. With that in mind, for the final Build of the article, I’m actually going to steal from myself! This army originally appeared in my look back at the Invincible Iron Man set article that ran a few weeks ago:

Team NameNo Flights, No Tights

Theme: Mystical

Map ChoiceAvX Month 1 (Wundagore Mountain)

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110

(w/Cyclops Fragment) – 3

IIM040 Shaman92

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

The Phoenix Force12

1 Assigned Character3

=300

What I wrote before: ‘This team can double Barrier to protect Iron Pharaoh while his Golden Falcon goes out and treats the map like a Seagull treats a parking lot after a big lunch. If you win Map Roll, yikes. Your opponent better have a non-flying piece equipped with Phasing/Teleport and the Carry ability–essentially, Cloak from ASM (there’s a couple others, but he’s the best). If not, he or she will have to take the long way around a freaking mountain only to be met by a double Barrier tandem who each have the Mystics TA when AND IF you can actually hit them. All the while, Iron Pharaoh will be chilling like the Boss that he is and taking pot shots of at least 5 damage (and it’s quite easy to make that even more) at your best figs after he’s Outwitted their defense. This is the definition of “a bucket of yuck” for your opponent.’

Yup! Pretty much that!”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Iron Pharaoh could have been had for about $25 awhile back. Now that he’s a Meta hero, he’ll run you about $40-$60.

 

Well then! Hope you enjoyed this look at a bunch of different armies that were all strangely built around Skadi’s Warbot some of the harder-to-acquire pieces in the game. Agree? Disagree? Hit us up in the Comment section below!

Getting Warmer (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 04/06/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Well hello there Batman!! This is the first week of the year that us Michiganders haven’t been completely f-ing snowed in!! We set all kinds of snowfall records. I usually love Winter, but I’m done. 50 degrees Fahrenheit is like Heaven right now…

But enough weather talk. That’s not what you came here for! You’re here for…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!! Here we go, ‘Clix Nation!

 

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was back again with another short-ish episode (well, short for them–it’s still over an hour). This week the guys discuss the buildup of spoilers over the last week, including some Gen Con exclusives. Additionally, their new Best Build Contest for April is live. I kinda like the army I cooked up, but you can check out everyone’s army (and, more importantly, the build parameters so you can construct your own entry) right here (mine is posted under the User Name “The Underneath”). If you want to see what entries have been inspired by the Dial H April Dial Design Contest (this thing seems to grow every month!), you can do so right here (the idea this month is for all the competitors to design their own Fast Forces team! I’m working on a Cull Obsidian Fast Forces as I write this. Proxima Midnight was Week 1, and now I’m working on Ebony Maw).

Clixcast

ClixCast was dark again this week. This is as long as they’ve gone without a show in a while now…

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still on its two-month hiatus. Which might actually be a three-month hiatus–wait, what? They’re back?! Oh, my stars and garters! Alrighty then! Welcome back guys!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry is back with some freshly mined content. I give you… Episode 15! Wherein all the madness of Clixathon is broken down by a roundtable of experts…

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right here!

 

Preview

Previews:

–Well, with Improved Targeting now a THING, you knew it was only a matter of time before we saw another Bullseye. He’s a rare from the upcoming Deadpool set, and for 110 points, I really like him. His dial is short but sweet, with only 6 total clicks but sporting Running Shot, an 8 Range, 12 Attack and 3 Damage with Prob top dial. With the Phoenix Force or the Book of the Skull, he can be very deadly.

–The 2014 Convention Exclusive figures have been announced, and it is an ECLECTIC mix to say the least. But soon to be legal at a tournament near you are:

Doop (Gee, I wonder if he’ll be like this awesome amateur dial someone cooked up on HCRealms… I don’t know who THEUNDERNEATH is, but he must be one handsome genius! Oh, wait, they spoiled the dial… and he’s not. Frowny face. But, his sculpt is awesome! Happy Face!)

Hulk & Red She-Hulk (Okay…)

Whiplash (Huh?!)

Impossible Man (Okay, he could be cool… and I don’t think he’s been ‘Clix’d since Secret Invasion…)

ZOMBIE FREAKING GALACTUS on a 2×2 Colossal Base (AWESOME!!)

Amazo (I still remember his original version–he was a badass with Hypersonic Speed back when Hypersonic Speed was darn near broken!)

Jonah Hex (Click the link for his dial–nice lil’ secondary attacker for 100 points. The best Jonah yet, although that is saying almost nothing.)

World’s Finest (Power Girl & Huntress–the New 52 version. They also set them up like Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, where you can play individually or as a Duo)

Resurrection Man (Yeah! About time!)

Black Lantern Anti-Monitor Collossal (Lol. Another Zombie Colossal. Both are beyond cool. Both will be had by me somehow!!)

-And as if all that wasn’t enough, DoFP revealed… Senator Kelly.

 

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for "Entertainment News."

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for “Entertainment News.”

Entertainment News:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out and it is awesome! There are two scenes AFTER the credits start rolling, it moves the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a bold new direction, but most of all… it was fun! Great story, some great reveals… I’ll be going back for a second helping at some point. And it looks like I’m not alone–the movie debuted to almost $100 million, a record for April. No SPOILERS though–maybe next week, after everyone’s had a chance or two to see it!

-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is brand new tomorrow, and its “UPRISING” storyline ties right into Cap 2. Should be explosive! Look for Bill Paxton and a host of guest stars to help/hinder our heroes tomorrow night on ABC!

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article this week, expounding on the brokenness of SLoSH main set Bizarro!

 

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print here in ClixLand! See ya later this week!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

How Bizarre, How Bizarre!! (Or, What to Make of Bizarro and the Flash Figure Review #1!!)

Bizarro Ted from How I Met Your Mother.

Bizarro Ted from How I Met Your Mother. Or maybe Bizarro Grimm?

And now for something completely different! Occasionally, certain figures need to be talked about at lengths that don’t quite jibe with the brief write-ups we get when we do Set Reviews. When that happens, we’ll sometimes omit those figures from the actual Set Reviews altogether so that we can have a little more room to expound on things–in this case, almost 900 words. It’s something we like to call a:

FLASH FIGURE REVIEW!!

Or should I say, “Me am Flash Figure Review #1!!”

So after discussing the SLoSH Top 10, I mentioned that Slosh039 Bizarro really needed a column all his own, and thus I wasn’t going to include him in the set review itself. Well, his day has come!

Wow! Bizarro is at times the best use of points you’ll ever field. His Trait is his major asset: “ME AM NOT BIZARRO!: Bizarro costs 25 points for each Orrazib token you place on his card, up to 12 tokens. When Bizarro takes damage, remove one Orrazib token from his card. When Bizarro is healed, add one Orrazib token to his card (no more than the initial amount). When there are no Orrazib tokens on this card, KO Bizarro. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 and click Bizarro that many times. This ability can’t be ignored.”

Did you take all that in? 25 Points for a Orrazib token–you can pay as little as 25 Points for 1 token or 300 Points for 12. So far so good. Interesting mechanic, and the fact that you roll through his 12 clicks is both good and bad (or great if you continually land on Click #7). Looking at Bizarro’s dial, he has great defensive powers (if not a great defensive value) throughout his whole dial (8 Clicks of Super Senses, 4 Clicks of Impervious). He’s always gonna have at least 3 damage showing, and he can frequently augment that with Super Strength or RCE (or sometimes both). The point of all this is to say that yes, pretty much every one of these clicks is worth 25 Points. But his stats and standard powers aren’t what make Bizarro so unstoppable. Look at the Trait again.

“When Bizarro takes damage, remove one Orrazib token from his card.” This power is what makes Bizarro so damn near to broken. Every packet of 25 Points you spend (beyond the first) on Bizarro nets you all of his stats and standard powers… AND A STOP CLICK! That’s right, one of the best–if not THE best–defensive mechanics in the game is thrown in on every click beyond the first… FOR FREE! What?! Outwit all of his defensive powers if you want, but each attack you aim at Bizarro will–at most–do one damage. There’s not another figure in the game with access to 11 Stop Clicks. As far as I know, in Modern, there’s a couple figures–MAYBE–with access to two Stop Clicks: TAB APP Wolverine and Chase Guardian from SL0SH (yes, there may be a couple more that are escaping my brain at the moment–but you get the point). Chase Guardian is more than 200 Points. A 200 Point Bizarro would have SEVEN Stop Clicks! That is unreal!

I don’t know how WizKids values Stop Clicks in terms of Point Cost, but I can argue that a Stop Click should cost at least 10 Points all by itself (it’s forcing your opponent to invest at least one more action–and possibly more–to KO a figure that would have otherwise already been KO’d. It’s like a football game going to overtime; anything can happen, which is good for you, but terrible for your opponent). Well, we just looked at Bizarro’s dial–each of those clicks seems to be worth 25 Points as they sit. When you add in the Stop Clicks, you are exceeding 25 Points worth of value ON EACH CLICK YOU PAY FOR AFTER THE FIRST. And what am I always telling people? Don’t pay retail point costs when you can get better value if you just shop around (ie, do your research). Well, Bizarro is like the Costco of Heroclix figures–the more you spend, the more you save. In building your army, it is always to your advantage when you field a team that’s within the build rules of the game you’re playing yet contains more points than the game’s build allows. Well, Bizarro is one way to do that (Primes are another way).

Me am no have seven stop clicks? Me am think that not ridiculous!

Me am no have down to eleven start clicks? Me am think that not ridiculous!

And it’s also the reason Bizarro has been showing up so much in the Meta! The sweet spot in terms of his casting cost seems to be somewhere between 3 and 7 Orrazib tokens. In that range, he becomes SO damn hard to kill unless his opponent is playing some sort of swarm team. His only drawback is the possibility you’ll land on one of his four clicks of Sidestep (instead of the 8 clicks of Charge and Hypersonic Speed he has). But even that’s not too bad, especially when Bizarro has a Range of 6.

To make matters more broken, Bizarro has the Superman Enemy TA, which means that if you partner him with someone else who has that TA (cough-Luthor) or a Wildcard TA (Like the entire freaking SLoSH set), you can start all sorts of Outwit shenanigans.

His adaptable cost also make him really popular as a “filler” piece in a lot of armies that come up slightly short in points. I’ve played against Bizarro a couple times now, and I didn’t enjoy either game much because Bizarro was nigh impossible for my guys to take down. For all the fuss everyone has made about Slosh026 Mr. Miracle being hard to take down, Bizarro is almost as difficult to hurt in any substantial way.

So, in conclusion, he is definitely worth seeking out if you want to field a really good Legion of Doom team. Or if you just like 5 star figures. Will he end up on Watchist 2? Possibly. But for now, you can use him to your heart’s content!!

Army Build:

For some fun and basic (“basic” meaning “resource-less”) shenanigans with this character, try:

Slosh039 Bizarro @ 75 Points

Slosh011 Sensor Girl @75 Points

Slosh024 Lex Luthor@ 150 Points

 

Well, that’s all for today–see you this weekend for the Weekly Roundup!!

 

Revenge of the Nerfed…

X-Force's teams haven't quite been as cool since the Watch List nerfs.

X-Force teams haven’t been quite as cool since the Watch List nerfs.

Everyone remembers WXM010 Shatterstar. No one uses him now because he had an awesome trait that was nerfed to heck. It was the exact same way with his teammate WXM041 Spiral. What if I told you there was a way to use them that would let you beat the well-nigh unstoppable IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC) at his own game? If only I had thought of this team before my last game versus the Pharaoh.

The combo pieces are Shatterstar and WXM042 Fantomex. Just teleport Fantomex to the other side of the map and shoot Iron Pharaoh on like turn 3. There you win… Opps! I’m being told that won’t work at all. Fantomex is too many points for Shatterstar to teleport with and the watch list made it so anyone teleported can’t take a non-free action that same turn. Obviously none of this works and I should stop writing now… But wait, I’m still writing so I must know something.

Here’s the deal. It’s true you can’t teleport Fantomex, but nothing says you can’t teleport WXM042BT E.V.A.! So start on turn three with your characters un-tokened and together (because it takes Fantomex a turn to make an E.V.A). Have Shatterstar teleport and base Iron Pharaoh. Put E.V.A. in line of fire one square away. Try to position so you aren’t in the line of fire of the rest of the opposing team. E.V.A. can’t use a non free action that turn, but she can use her outwit to counter the Pharaoh’s defensive ability. Fantomex can now shoot through E.V.A using ranged combat expert to attack the Pharaoh with a 12 attack and hit for 4 damage (which is the sweet spot on the Pharaoh). But what if you miss your Alpha strike? That’s why I mentioned using Spiral earlier. Stand her next to Fantomex and use her probability control to get a second shot. The best part is that an opponent’s probability control is useless, because Fantomex will be well out of range. Include AVX005R Wolverine on your team to round it out to 396 points that can be used in the AvX event.

We’ve gone over what Fantomex and Shatterstar will be doing, but what about your other two characters? Well the same turn that Shatterstar teleports to the other side of the board Spiral should make a portal with one side under Wolverine so that he can use a free action to cross through it on his next turn and come out swinging. You’ll need to put the opposite end of the portal some place where your opponent either can’t move a character over the top of it (like deep in hindering), or where they won’t want to put a character (like adjacent to Shatterstar).

The turn following your Alpha Strike Wolverine and Shatterstar get their chance to chop your opponents to bits in close quarters. The turn after that Fantomex and Spiral will have cleared and can move into the fray via the spiral portal or by just using their advanced movement abilities. Hopefully by then your opponent won’t have much fight left in him.

This team can obviously be adapted to alpha strike any piece that’s necessary to your opponent’s game plan. SLOSH005B Mon-El and SLOSH048 Tellus come to mind as pieces to target, but just about any piece is vulnerable. Don’t try this on SLOSH039 Bizarro

WizKids top executives initial reaction to the reveal of Toyman's dial...

This is what it looked like the last time someone used this plan on Bizarro…

You can change the team to 300 points by dropping Spiral and adding the X-Force ATA. You can also make it close to 500 by adding WXM011A Deathlok. Just like the  Iron Pharaoh combo team I posted here, to the best of my knowledge no one has thought of this combo at the time I published it. If you take this to your local venue it’s likely no one will see this coming. In fact, you might be underestimated by other players for using “nerfed” pieces. Good luck. If you use this team, leave a comment to let me know how you did.

Local Tournament Report – 3/19/14 Comics & More

That's why there's no Superman in this set.

That’s why there is no Superman in this set.

The Format: 400 SLoSH sealed. No outside anything.

What I played:

SLOSH003 Lightning Lad

SLOSH011 Sensor Girl

SLOSH024 Lex Luthor

SLOSH041 Universo

Total = 400 Points

Round 1: Facing SLOSH039 Bizarro (at 150 points) and SLOSH055 Validus.

The map we played on featured a large patch of elevated on the left side of the center of the map. My opponent was able to take up a position on the elevated terrain that wouldn’t let me get off a running shot with Luthor or Lightning Lad. I could try moving further towards his starting area, but he could also move closer to his starting area and nothing would change.

I knew my team was defensive minded. I put myself in a position near my starting area where Validus could charge my characters next turn and Bizarro might be 1 square out of range depending on what he randomly rolled at the start of his turn. It worked. Bizarro ended up on a charge click with low speed and couldn’t move and attack me in the same turn. Validus charged the front of my group which was Universo and Sensor girl. He asked what the defensive powers were on each and made the decision to attack Universo. I missed shape change. He attacked and rolled an 8. I used prob from Sensor Girl. He rolled a 7. Prob from Luthor (who could see Validus because he was a giant). He rolled a 4 which was a miss.

On my turn and based by both Valiudus and Bizarro, things weren’t looking great. Even less so when I realized he was going to Pulse wave my whole team for 2 damage as a free action the beginning of my next turn. Used Luther’s TA to outwit defense on Validus and Lightning Lad to RCE him from the back row for 4 damage (RCE for +1 damage and +1 attack). That softened him up, but I was still going to get pulse waved. At that point I remember my opponent telling me a story before the game that he played Validus once before and someone mind controlled him to just run away. He disliked Validus for that reason. I used Universo to pull exactly that trick again. Suddenly my 400 point team was just facing a 150 point Bizarro. Things were definitely looking up. Luthor did a running shot on Bizzaro and hit for 1 token worth of damage.

On my opponents turn he swung with Bizzaro. Facing two probs, he missed. Validus moved to charge range and stopped. On my turn I had my available guys take two more tokens off of Bizzarro. Bizarro and Validus cleared. Another outwit from Luthor and a attack from him and Lightning Lad finished Validus. Bizarro fell a few turns later after hitting Luthor with an RCE attack and knocking him to click 4.

Luck was on my side this match and Luthor was the only one hit with an attack.

Round 2: Facing Hypefox withSLOSH054 Persuader and SLOSH040 Emerald Empress.

This time I took the elevated patch in the middle, but HypeFox got off the first attacks. Emerald Empress flew in and hit everyone on my team with a 1 damage Pulse Wave that I can’t use prob on. Persuader charged Sensor Girl and rolled a 5, just missing. Luthor gets a Successful Psyblast off on Emerald Empress knocking her to click 3. Due to his traited combat reflexes I’m having a hard time hitting Persauder. That is until I roll a 2 which I prob and get a 4. I prob again and get a 12. Turning a crit miss into a crit hit really turns things around. Persuader does manage to quake my entire team off a building, but only Universo takes damage. Eventually Universo is KOed, but I take out Hypefox’s team with time to spare in the round. My defensive abilities and prob control really shine this battle.

Round 3: Facing SLOSH002 Saturn Girl, SLOSH012 Tyroc, SLOSH026 Mister Miracle, and SLOSH036 Glorith

My opponent and I met on the elevated terrain in the center of the map. I got off the first shots this time with Lightning lad and Luthor both targeting Saturn girl. Only Luthor ends up hitting. On my opponents turn he attacked with everyone available, but with my probs and defensive abilities he couldn’t touch me. Sensor girl even probed a stealthy Mister Miracle into missing. The next round I took out Saturn girl and damage Tyroc. The round after that Tyroc is KOed and the round after that Glorith goes down. He doesn’t touch me with a single attack.

With At least 30 minutes left in the round my opponent decides to forgo attacking for the rest of the game and starts what shall forever be referred to as the Mr. Miracle dance. I fire all out at the stealthy Mr. Miracle after having Universo and Sensor Girl combine to outwit his stealth with the Superman Enemy TA. If I hit he adds an action token. If I haven’t hit him last round and he has no tokens he runs to a different position. Over the next 30 minutes with my whole team firing, I manage to make Mr Miracle push only twice. At that point he picks up side step and can just start dancing over some blocking terrain and make it real hard for me to keep up. I finally get the bright idea to push lightning lad to get precision strike when the judge calls time.

I actually liked the Mr. Miracle dance on my opponent’s part. It turned what was otherwise a one sided match into something fun and challenging that I’m going to remember a lot longer than any of my other matches that night. Kudos to my opponent.

What I learned

  • The team I chose was possibly the best one I have ever fielded in a sealed event. I knew I wanted to use Universo and Luthor since I had named them some of the best characters in the set. Lightning Lad I liked for adding damage. Sensor Girl I threw in because the points fit. They worked together better than I ever dreamed. They were a defensive powerhouse with just enough damage to win.
  • Sensor Girl didn’t look like much when I added her to my team but she turned out to be my MVP. The ability to use prob on just about anyone near her regardless of how pieces were placed was just huge. She would target someone in stealth from behind two other pieces. Just ridiculous. She was a little short on offense, but exceptional in every other way. I will definitely look for a reason to play her again.
  • Luthor was the Glue holding the team together. His TA was incredibly useful since everyone else on the team was a wildcard. His 18 defend was just dominating when combined with his prob and Sensor Girl’s prob. Also at the time I didn’t realize his powers were uncounterable. He was great without even noticing that. I will definitely look for a reason to play him again.
  • Universo was everything I said he was in my set review article. Standing at the front of my team he was almost completely unhittable.
  • Lightning Lad was Lightning Lad. Exactly what you think he is. Decent for the points but there really is nothing new to learn about him.
  • Bizarro’s  only taking one damage at a time is really great. It took my whole 400 point team 3 rounds of focus fire to KO the 150 version of him. I would love a chance to use that character if I happen to get one. I see why he did well at a recent ROC.
  • Validus almost ate my team in match one. If not for Universo he would have done it. My opponent wasn’t thrilled with Validus and actually traded him to me at the end of the night. I would love to try him out myself except I traded him to Hypefox for FI029 Colossus that same night. If I happen across another one, I’m totally going to play him.
  • Mister Miracle won’t win you many matches with offense. But if you can get your opponent fixated with him, he makes a hell a distraction. If you aren’t adding tokens to him with useless actions like attacking, your opponent won’t be able to KO him before time is called.