Feedback!! (Or, The First Night of Clix-Mas!!)

Christmas Marvel Peanuts

Hello! And welcome to the first NIGHT of Clix-Mas (the gimmick seems a little less stolen if I just change it from the 12 DAYS of Clix-mas to the 12 NIGHTS of Clix-mas! Yay! A Festivus for the rest of us!).

For today’s entry, we’re gonna talk about some direct feedback I received from local venue-goer–and fellow Nekron winner!–Matt, who pointed out that Black Talon wasn’t among the figures I highlighted when we were ROC’ing the Meta a month ago (Part 2 can be found right here).

Matt made his case that the ability to Mind Control friendly figures in general is still a viable strategy in the Meta, even with the retirement rotation of GG Mole Man.

"What?! I'm not legal in Modern Age unless I'm undead? What sense does that make?"

“What?! Retire?! But I’m in the best shape of my life!”

Also, he felt that Black Talon brought a lot to the table beyond that and, thus, was definitely a Meta-worthy fig. And you know what?

He’s not wrong.

I just don’t agree with him.

Insomuch as Black Talon being a difference maker in the current ROC formats (like many pieces, you can rapidly fix a lot of his flaws with an Entity or Resource).

But there’s many who would with Matt–including some very high-level players. Heck, the Dial H for Heroclix crew just listed Black Talon as one of the top Support pieces out there, considering everything he’s capable of.

Let’s take a quick look at him:

"Yessss! The only thing more effective than the original X-Men: actual ex-men! Cuz... cuz they're dead. Get it?  Yeah, that was a long way to go for nothing."

“Yessss! The only thing more effective than the original X-Men: actual ex-men! Cuz… cuz they’re dead. Get it? <Sigh> Yeah, that was a long way to go for nothing.”

–DP043 Black TalonRare — 60 Points

He has five clicks total, but he starts out with Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs with a 10 Attack, so he can definitely be a Tertiary Attacker or even a fringe-y Secondary Attacker (to use a baseball scouting term). But the best reasons to play him are his Trait (POWER OF THE LIVING LOA: When Black Talon uses Mind Control, you may place a KO’d opposing character in an adjacent square on its starting click, and that character becomes the target. After actions resolve, that character is removed from the game.) and his Special Damage Power (CONTROL OF THE MINDLESS UNDEAD: Black Talon can use Mind Control with a range value of 8, and when he does he may target friendly characters. If all of his targets are friendly, a lower point value, and have the Monster keyword, he may use it as if had 3 bolts.).

Forget that last part of “Control of the Mindless Undead”–you’d almost have to hamstring your Build just to have a chance to get it to go off. No, the reason people play him is for the first part of that power–the ability to target friendly characters with Mind Control (and with a very healthy Range of 8, at that!).

So, the concept behind armies that feature “friendly Mind Control” is to, essentially, cheat the batting order. Basically, you want to play your friendly Mind Control piece with a heavy hitter that you think can break the game if they get to attack more than their fair share during a turn. To continue the baseball metaphor, in other words, you’re trying to fix it so that your Triple Crown-winning All-Star first baseman best attacker(s) will attack bat twice in one inning Round.

Yup! This man is the face of our franchise (and the best hitter on the planet!).

Yup! This man is the face of our franchise (and the best hitter on the planet!).

One of the problems with this strategy is that you can most definitely miss with the Mind Control roll, and suddenly you’ve wasted an action from one of your support pieces AND a potential strike from one of your Heavy Hitters.

Also, specifically in Black Talon’s case, he doesn’t give you ANYTHING in terms of actual supporting powers such as Support, Prob, Perplex or Outwit. Not unless you outfit him with an Entity or a Resource or something.

So you REALLY need to make those Mind Control roles. Which means that you always need to make sure Black Talon is within 8 Squares and can draw a line of fire to your best attacker. And keep in mind, Mole Man IGNORED MIND CONTROL DAMAGE and pumped up his Mind Control rolls by a staggering +3! Black Talon does neither. With only 5 clicks, Mind Control damage can become a problem very quickly.

The Meta (as far as the ROC goes, I mean) has shifted away (for the most part) from this strategy recently because there are now a lot of options to get multiple attacks in one turn with a really good figure who doesn’t have to rely on a dice roll to be able to make that second attack.

Figures like:

–Anyone who can Charge or Hypersonic Speed and Flurry. Best Example: WOL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

–Any figure who starts with or can get Duo Attack. Best Examples: WOL107 Kyle Rayner or CATWS018 Captain America and Black Widow

–Figures who have other Special Traits or Powers that let them attack or cause damage twice in one turn. Best Examples: GOTG050 Proxima MidnightDP053A Speed Demon, DP053B Whizzer or DP057 Tiamat

–Figures with Penetrating Poison (or even just Poison). Best Examples: Like, every Red Lantern.

What do most of these figures have in common? Yup! You can find most of them being used by high-level players in the latest ROC results. Now, just because serious tournament players are using the heck out of a certain piece doesn’t mean it’s necessarily awesome–sometimes people screw up, even at that level. But it usually means there’s something very efficiently exploitable about a piece.

All of which is to say, Black Talon is good. Great, even, and he IS viable in the Meta–so Matt was right.

However, if you really want to win a tourney like the ROC, leaving yourself flexible options while taking as much risk as possible OUT of your gameplan is key. That’s why I prefer figures with built-in mechanisms for multiple attacks, as opposed to having to roll for it.

"Psssh. I never gotta 'roll' for it. Heh. You know what I mean. See? This guy gets it."

“Psssh. I never gotta ‘roll’ for it. Heh. You know what I mean. See? This guy gets it.”

 

Well, that’s all for Day Night One of the Twelve Days Nights of Clix-Mas!

Join us tomorrow for a special (and long overdue!) Tourney Report!

 

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

 

Let’s Be Lanterns, Too!! (Or, Let’s Build an Army for Each Lantern Corps–PART 2 of 3!!)

War of Light Alt Members

Welcome Back!

If you missed Part 1 a few days ago, Ninwashui and I are trying to put together competitive Builds for each Lantern Corps, but we’re throwing in a twist–each Build must feature a character who isn’t normally associated with that color of the emotional spectrum and its related Corps.

To recap, there are two main rules:

1. Each Build has to be a Theme Team (although that Theme doesn’t necessarily have to be for the corresponding Corps keyword) that features a character who isn’t known for being a member of the featured color (Hal Jordan Parallax, for example; or someone who’s never been a Lantern of any color in the comics–like a Marvel character!);

2. For each color, each member of a team has to either start with the corresponding Corps keyword, or they must be able to get it during the game.

There are several ways to do this: use a character from War of Light who’s been made in a color different from the norm (Parallax Hal or Kyle Rayner, Orange Lantern Hal or Blue Lantern Hal, White Lantern Kyle Rayner, Red Lantern Guy Gardner, and so on and so forth); use an Entity to bring any other character in the game into that Entity’s color; or just make a general Theme Team and use the Lantern Power Battery to distribute rings during the game and give each member of a team that color’s keyword (along with some kickass powers!).

In part one, we featured the Sinestro Corps, Indigo Tribe and the Orange Lantern Corps.

Today, Ninwashui is starting us off with… the Blue Lantern Corps!! He thinks he’s come up with some Meta-worthy Build. It’s probably terrible, but whatever. Here it is!!

 

"I HOPE I rid myself of that weakling Parker... "

“I HOPE… that I can rid myself of that weakling Parker!”

BLUE LANTERN CORPS (Ninwashui Build)

Team Name: The Brooklyn Dodgers

Theme: Scientist

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Blue Lantern Corps: Superior Spider-Man!! Old School Captain Marvel!!

Roster:

DP060 Superior Spider-Man – 160 Points

w/ Secret Avengers ATA – 5

GOTG007B Captain Marvel – 82

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M. – 30

WOLR107 Power Battery (Blue Lantern Corps)2

WOLR307 Blue Lantern Ring4

WOLR207.06 Blue Decoy6

WOLR207.11 Blue Bulldozer – 4

WOLR207.14 Blue Sniper Rifle6

=299 (Gah! So inefficient!! This must be Parker’s doing somehow…)

 

How It Plays: So, in Magic: The Gathering, blue is the color of counterspells and unsummons–basically, it shuts down offense. Really, it can derail your opponent’s entire strategy. Well, we’re gonna take that idea to Heroclix and run with it!! So if you thought Hal Jordan Parallax was hard to hit with his 19 Defense and -2 to just about every opposing character’s Attack Value, well… meet Superior Spider-Man.

He starts out with an 18 Defense (that bumps up to 19 when he’s next to Captain Marvel, but we will get to the good Captain in a minute) and has Super Senses down his whole dial (which will be important!). He also has a Trait that lets him spit out Spider-Bots for free and attach them with a Power Action. There are two types of Spider-Bots in the game, but you’re really only going to need to make a couple of Mark 1’s at the beginning of the game and attach them. Why? Because each one you attach adds +1 to any Super Senses roll that Spidey makes. Which means that with two Spider-Bots attached, Spidey will straight out AVOID any attack that manages to beat his 18-19 Defense a whopping 66.6% of the time!

But wait! There’s more–a lot more! We’re giving Spidey the Blue Decoy, which adds Shape Change to his repertoire–another 1 in 3 chance that he can’t be attacked. So, to recap, we have a 33.3% chance that Spidey can’t even be attacked, followed by a 66.6% that any attack roll that somehow manages to hit him actually ends up missing him completely! That’s pretty good, right? Nope–not good enough! That’s where the Blue Power Battery comes in! The Battery’s Trait (EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM: HOPE: If the Power Battery, attached Power Ring, and Constructs are all the same color, during each of your opponent’s turns, one friendly Corps member may reroll a roll made for itself.) lets you reroll that 66.6% Super Senses roll. Whew!!

Again, to review, when your opponent declares an attack targeting Spidey, there’s instantly a 33.3% chance that he can’t proceed with that attack. Then, he has to hit at least an 18 Defense (minimum). THEN, if he somehow hits, you get TWO chances at rolling a 3, 4, 5 or 6. Spidey also has the Secret Avengers keyword, which makes it very difficult to Outwit any of his powers. ANNNND Spidey himself has an Outwit to get rid of opposing character’s problem powers (Outwit opposing Precision Strike, Poison or Pulse Wave like it’s the Plague!!).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not a statistician, but Jerry Seinfeld clearly is, and–as always–he has this advice:]

Seinfeld Good Luck

Um… yeah. I think what Jerry is trying to say is that (assuming a 7 is needed to even hit Spidey in the first place–which means your opponent’s primary attacker better be packing an 11 or 12 Attack Value) for every 30 attacks announced with Spidey as the target, roughly 4 will get through. That’s about a 13.33% chance to deal damage. To put that in perspective, that same theoretical opponent would have a roughly 18% to damage the IIM Absorbing Man LE. BUUUUUUUUT, when we factor in the Blue Power Battery Super Senses reroll, that Spidey number changes to roughly 4 out of every 90 announced attacks that get through–or 4.4%.

Let me type that again: 4 POINT 4 FREAKING PERCENT!! Those are lights out, game over and thanks for playing sorts of numbers! Meanwhile, Spidey is swinging away for 3 damage or more (he has Super Strength) every turn. Yikes. Now, taking all that into account, consider this:

Spidey is not your Primary Attacker.

"What am I, chopped liver? I save galaxies, dammit!"

“What am I, chopped liver? I save galaxies, dammit!”

And now we come to Captain Marvel!! Cap’s Defense Special (DEFEND HUMANITY FROM MY PEOPLE: Captain Marvel can use Defend and Super Senses. Modify the Defense Values of adjacent friendly characters without the Kree keyword by +1. This power can’t be countered.) combined with his native 18 Defense means that Spidey and Bill, Agent of A.I.M. each have a 19 Defense when adjacent to him! But that’s not the best part of Captain Marvel’s arsenal. Nooooo, sir! His Attack Special (UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.) means that your opponent’s best figures may not even get to announce those attacks against Spidey or take a spin on the 4 out of 90 Wheel of (Mis)Fortune! He doesn’t even need to do damage–he just needs to hit! Does that power sound like fun? Great!

Now give Captain Marvel the Sniper Rifle and watch him do it from 10 Squares away. What’s that, you say? Your opponent’s best piece has Stealth or keeps hiding behind Barrier tokens? Well, that’s why you brought Deadpool’s idiot friend Bill along. On his second click he gets an Attack Special (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 is pretty much game over, especially when you consider that every character with a Blue Construct also has the Blue Ring-granted limited Perplex (which means Captain Marvel’s Attack Value could theoretically go to 14!). Captain Marvel can keep your opponent’s best figure locked down every other turn for the entire game!!

To quote the noted philosopher Dane Cook, “Good game America.”

 

Astonished HypeFox

ASTOUNDED HypeFox Says: “…. I… uh, … $#!%. I can’t believe you came up with something this good! I really have nothing to add. This team is stupid. This is like that South Park episode where “Wall-Mart” ran rampant and almost destroyed the world. I don’t think you realize what you’ve done! This team is an abomination! It must never see the light of day! It must be banished back to the depths from whence it came, before it’s too late!!

… I mean, I’m still gonna publish it though. I just have to figure out how to take credit for it first. Hmmmm... ”

 

Superboy Prime Red Lantern

RED LANTERN CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name: The Petulant Children

Theme: Red Lantern Corps

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Blue Lantern Corps: Superboy Prime (As far as the Red Lanterns and Superboy Prime goI mean, really, it was just the one time… he didn’t even really like it…) and Black Talon!!

Roster:

WOL057B Superboy Prime (Red Lantern) – 190 Points

w/ Kryptonian ATA – 2

DP043 Black Talon – 60

possessed by Butcher25

WOLR102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps)2

WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring8

WOLR202.12 Red Spotlight6

WOLR207.14 Red Sniper Rifle6

=299 (GRRRRRRRRRRRRR… )

 

How It Plays: This might be the simplest Build of this whole series. The premise is really basic: the only thing better than one Superboy Prime Hypersonic Speed attack each turn is two! Putting the Butcher AND a Construct on Black Talon raises his Attack Value to a 12; a roll of 6 or 7 will give a successful Mind Control hit on SBP, with which you can wreak havoc on the whole board. Superboy Prime’s Movement and Attack will each get +1 with a Construct (giving Superboy a 12 Attack!), and if he hits with his first attack (4 Damage minus any dampeners), you can keep him in range and INSTANTLY ATTACK AGAIN–THIS TIME WITH RANGED COMBAT EXPERT!!

And you can probably just keep Black Talon near the Power Battery so that you can keep healing the damage he takes from Mind Controlling Superboy Prime. And if anyone decides to break off and attack him, he’s packing Charge, B/C/F, and Attack Value that can be modified to 12 (on his top click) along with access to Butcher’s Special Damage Power (HEAT OF RAGE: Once per turn, a friendly character may reroll the d6 roll for Blades/Claws/Fangs.). On Click 3, just when your opponent might expect Black Talon to LOSE B/C/F, he actually picks up access to an Attack Special (BLADES OF THE BUTCHER: Butcher can use Blades/Claws/Fangs. When he does, add 2 to the result.) that gives him B/C/F back AND makes it kinda filthy (I mean, you roll a 6 and all of the sudden it’s Black Talon who’s doing 8 freaking damage in one turn as opposed to SBP, who’s more than capable of that himself.

Of all the teams we’ve designed so far for this series, this team has the highest damage potential. They may not be the best team, but each member is capable of KO’ing even substantial point pieces in one blow!

 

Doctor Who What

UNIMPRESSED TENTH DOCTOR Ninwashui Says: “What? That’s it? That’s what you cobble together after I create one of the greatest Builds known to mankind?! Psssh. My Blue Lantern Build would wipe the floor with this Red Lantern nonsense you’ve come up with here.”

 

Unimpressed DMX

ANGRY AVATAR OF RAGE DMX HypeFox Retorts: “Oh, really? OH REALLY!! I SMELL A CHALLENGE COMING ON!!”

 

Tenth Doctor Ninwashui

AWKWARDLY CLOSE TENTH DOCTOR NINWASHUI CALMLY REPLIES: “Name your terms.”

 

Askewed Beanie

ASKEWED BEANIE’D DMX HYPEFOX States: “Well, we’ve have four Builds left. That’s two apiece. Winner take all! I’ll take the Green Lantern Corps and the Black Lantern Corps.”

 

Tenth Doctor Eyeglasses

INTRIGUED TENTH DOCTOR Ninwashui: “So that leaves me the White Lanterns and the Star Sapphires, eh? Very well then. I accept your challenge, sir! Although there’s one thing you forgot!”

 

Forgetful DMX

POSTURING DMX HypeFox Says: “Oh? And what’s that, playa?”

 

Drunk Raccoon 5

NINWASHUI DROPS A FINAL BOMBSHELL!!: “I’ve been a raccoon the whole time! MWA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAAAA! I hope you’re ready… and I’ll see you next time!!

Modern Is the New Silver!! (Or, The Best Replacement Figures for Recently Retired Meta Staples!!)

For some pieces, it's just time to retire...

For some pieces, it’s just time to retire…

So, WizKids announced recently that they will be rotating (read: RETIRING) a whole chunk of recent sets from being Modern Age eligible. Why? For starters, they do it to promote the idea that we who play Heroclix need to keep buying new Clix products to compete in Modern Age games (although getting us to buy new Clix hasn’t been much of an issue so far, I’d wager…), and two, they need to keep new pieces away from unintended and possibly Meta-breaking interactions with older figures. Okay, there’s waaaay more reasons than that, but those are two big ones. Two other reasons, however, are a little bit more subtle.

Before we get into the meat of this article (the figure comparisons), we need some context, so we’re going to look at game design for just a few paragraphs here. Now, every time a game like Heroclix releases new products, it evolves just a little bit. And it does so in two interesting ways. First, collectible games of all types–if they stick around long enough–all go through phases where they deal with “Power Creep,” where each successive set release brings with it elements which, on average, are slightly more powerful than those released in the previous set or expansion, which in turn was just a little more powerful than its predecessor, and so on. For example, you can compare almost any Modern Age figure with a similar figure from Infinity Challenge, the first ever set, and see that things have changed drastically. Back then, an Attack Value of 8 was a fairly common top dial stat. Now, 8 AV’s are reserved for the deep end of cheap support figure dials. And so on and so on.

This should explain everything...

This should explain everything.

Power Creep is just a natural by-product of game designers trying new and different things with the intention of making their game better with each release. The very much missed WoW TCG from Cryptozoic was constantly dealing with Power Creep, and at one point they actively made it known that they were consciously lowering the power of Quests (a card type that’s kinda like Lands in Magic) in future sets because that particular card type had crept to absurdly powerful levels at that point in the game’s life cycle.

Sometimes, the opposite can also be true. Occasionally, the designers look back at some of the early cards/figures/whatever and realize that they drastically under costed certain tropes in the past. They may like a certain mechanic or effect of a particular piece, but there not about to reprint it as is, since they now know its effects to cost ratio is to high as is. To solve this, the designers basically create a new version of that element that contains almost the exact same effect yet costs slightly more to play. I call this “Cost Correction.” Magic: The Gathering is constantly doing this.

One of the famous early examples of Cost Correction in gaming was when Magic’s R&D department took a look at many of the staples from the early Alpha/Beta/Unlimited/Revised era as they started preparing a rotating block of “Core” sets from which players could draw familiar cards to combine with the current expansion set inventory to create Type II (read “Modern Age”) decks. The folks in charge of balancing the game quickly decided that a card like Lightning Bolt, for example, was too powerful (3 Red Damage for 1 Red Mana) to stay in the Type II environment, so it was replaced with the Ice Age common Incinerate (3 Damage and the prevention of Regeneration for 1 Red Mana and 1 Colorless Mana) by the time Magic published its “Fifth Edition.”

Great...

This is great…

... but just about as good!

… but this is still pretty damn good!

This was awesome, because it allowed the folks in charge of Magic to fix an under costed staple (quick Red damage dealing) with something that would still effectively to the job for a little more cost. Incinerate was still a great card and was widely adopted. Problem solved (well, until it was deemed that Incinerate was too good, and it was replaced with a different staple, and so it goes).

The savvy tournament players in Magic weren’t just the players who came up with “killer combos” by exploiting certain card interactions; they were actually usually the ones who could spot both the Power Creep cards AND the Cost Correction cards that were still extremely efficient for their cost. See, a lot of times, players can smell Cost Correction pieces a mile away, and they don’t want any part of them. Incinerate wasn’t universally accepted when Fifth Edition rolled around.

Sometimes they’re right; but sometimes, the Cost Correction version of something is still really powerful and should still be used regardless of the cost.

"Back in my day, if you wanted to shoot a bolt o' lightning at a feller, it cost ya just 1 red mana, and if'n ya had a Mana Flare, ya got change!!"

“Back in my day, if you wanted to shoot a bolt o’ lightning at a feller, it cost ya just 1 red mana, and if’n ya had a Mana Flare out, ya got change!!”

Okay! Enough amateur game theory lecture! Let’s apply our discussion to Heroclix! We’re going to be looking at some of the retiring staples and theorize about which–if any–Modern Age piece can take the place of the retiring figure. Then after we review the replacement candidate, we’ll decide if the new figure is better than its forebear (Power Creep), worse (Cost Correction) or about the same (uh… Static?).

SUPERMAN:

"Fly away, Superman. Fly free."

“Fly away, Superman. Fly free.”

SM001R Superman150 PointsCommon: Supes was a Meta staple waaaay back in the Dark Ages of 2011, because his base stats and mix of powers were so great. Flight, 9 Movement with Hypersonic, 11 Attack with Super Strength, 17 Defense with Impervious and 4 Damage with Outwit. One of the all-time great top clicks, especially for a Common 150 piece! Superman Team Ability means he can see through Stealth, too. Bonus! His keywords are quite pedestrian by today’s standards (no JLA?), but there was a time when Scientist teams were a thing!

Replacement Candidate:

IIM001AE Iron Man150 Points – Common: Hmmm, stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Flight, 9 Movement, 11 Attack, 17 Defense and 4 Damage with Outwit! His move-and-attack ability is Running Shot where Supes had Hypersonic; I’ll actually take Iron Man’s Precision Strike over Supes’s Super Strength, but whatever. You’re mileage may vary. Finally, Iron Man has Invuln where Supes has Impervious. But Iron Man can see through Hindering Terrain AND Blocking Terrain; Supes’s X-Ray vision doesn’t work on walls like Tony’s Thermal Imaging Array does, so Mr. Stark can get up to all sorts of see-through shenanigans. Kind of a bummer for Superman. Iron Man also has much better keywords (Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Scientist, Armor and Stark Industries are all great) and he has the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA, so he can help your support guys do damage in a pinch as well. With resources and Entities, Iron Man here gets pretty filthy pretty fast….

 The Verdict: A Static replacement that features just a tiny touch of Power Creep. The Meta has become much more sophisticated since Supes was a major player, but Iron Man 001 is just as good; maybe even a lil’ better!

Pink is the new nuclear fallout.

Pink is the new nuclear fallout.

SM035 Magog172 Points – Rare: A close combat beatstick who turns into a mid-dial mid-range sniper and a back dial healer (how’s that for a powers mix?), Magog left team builders enough points to still be an effective Primary Attacker; his lack of Willpower wasn’t great, but his Trait (EXCESSIVE FORCE: Once per turn, when Magog KO’s an opposing character, after actions resolve Magog may take one action as a free action.) meant that his teams were very tough to out-action, particularly if opposing teams ran several small support figures or Bystander tokens that Magog could snipe in one shot.

Replacement Candidate:

DP057 Tiamat 255 Points – Super Rare: Tiamat cannot be stopped. He cannot be reasoned with. He’s a double-based son of a gun whose extra-action Trait (CHAMPION AND STEED: Once per turn, when an opposing character has taken damage from his attack, give Tiamat any action as a free action. When you do, after action resolve, remove an action token from Tiamat.) is as good as any they’ve ever made. With Power Cosmic, he’s all but impossible to Outwit, too, so the opposition will have to chew through his 4 clicks of Invincible–if they’re able to hit his 18 Defense!

The Verdict: Even with the dramatic increase in cost, there’s still some Power Creep going on with Tiamat. His Trait is just sick. Like Magog though, this is still more of a fringe Meta piece. But he’s a lot of fun to field.

An old movie poster for the 70's exploitation flick "Black Adam... White Lighting!"

An old movie poster for the 70’s exploitation flick “Black Adam… White Lighting!”

SM054E Black Adam – 200 Points – Super Rare: An out and out beast, Black Adam was nigh unstoppable. He had no Range, but he made up for that with a ridiculous Charge Special that let him move up to 10 spaces for a close combat attack, and when he lost that, he gained Hypersonic Speed! Not a bad backup plan! 18 Defense with a Special that lets him reduce 3 damage with his Imperious instead of 2 and an end 0f dial Regeneration that does 1 Penetrating damage to adjacent opposing figures!

Replacement Candidate:

IIM041BE Hyperion – 200 Points – Prime Super Rare: Top dial Hypersonic, same Attack (11) as Black Adam only with Precision Strike, 18 Defense with merely Invuln and 4 Damage instead of Black Adam’s 5. Also his keywords are fine (Avengers is very useful, Squadron Supreme is useless, as the only other Modern Ager with that keyword is also Prime), but Black Adam’s are great. Having said all that, Hyperion has two things going for him that Black Adam doesn’t. Power Cosmic TA and 8 Range! Also, Hyperion picks up almost every good Improved Targeting ability in the game on his second click, which actually makes the Marvel man more versatile than the heavy duty dude who sometimes runs with Captain Marvel.

The Verdict: Again, a fairly Static replacement with a hint of Power Creep. What you lose in top end damage, you more than make up for with the 8 Range and Power Cosmic TA. The Improved Targeting shenanigans are where the Power Creep creeps in.

INCREDIBLE HULK:

Now that... is a creeper 'stache.

Now that… is a creeper ‘stache!

IH102 Major Glenn Talbot33 Points – LE: The good Major here powered up Soldier teams for the last couple of years. His top dial Enhancement for only 33 Points was a bigger deal pre-Fear Itself (Splitlip now gives you top dial Enhancement for a measly 20 #$#@ing points), but even post-FI, if you wanted to play a Soldier Theme Team and you wanted a top dial Enhancer, he was still your best option. The S.H.I.E.L.D. TA he carries also has proven to be quite useful in a pinch, and if you play him on the right team, his Mastermind top dial will keep him around for a while longer than he should.

Replacement Candidate:

DP204 Secret Empire Number 9 35 Points – Common (Gravity Feed): Stop laughing! This robed menace is the real deal, and one of the best figs in the Deadpool Gravity Feed assortment. Everyone so far has focused on the fact that he has the Secret Empire keyword, and how useless that is. Well, they’re right. You can’t do much with that. But look at his SECOND KEYWORD–that’s right, it’s “Soldier!” Which means you have your Soldier Theme Team support figure back–and he can even do some damage of him own if you get into trouble. A 9 Attack isn’t great, but Penetrating/Psychic Blast means that his two damage will get through. And while he has no S.H.I.E.L.D. TA, he does have the Hydra TA, which is almost as useful for ranged attacks.

The Verdict: Even at three more points, I’m still gonna classify SE#9 as a Power Creeper! He just gives you more bang for your buck, and you still have the one keyword you need to keep it Theme!

GALACTIC GUARDIANS:

Noted Detroit Pistons fan Mole Man watching the NBA Draft Lottery last month...

Noted Prince Oberyn Martell fan Mole Man immediately after watching the Trial By Combat scene on his DVR from the fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

GG026 Mole Man47 Points – Uncommon: Now, you want to talk about a Meta staple? Here is a Meta STAPLE!! Hans Moleman here was the engine that powered the Shuma-Gorath monstrosities that ruled the ROC for awhile at the end of last year and early this year. How important was his souped-up, I-can-Mind-Control-a-friendly-Monster Special Power? So important that everyone’s predicting the end of Shuma as a viable Meta piece, simply because Mole Man’s going Golden Age, which would imply that Mole Man was doing the heavy lifting all along. The fact that he was a top dial Outwitter and had some close combat applications down dial was just icing on the cake.

Replacement Candidate:

DP043 Black Talon 60 Points – Rare: There really wasn’t a replacement candidate until Deadpool was released. Black Talon allows you to Mind Control a friendly character from up to 8 squares away, and he also lets you Mind Control opposing figures that have already been KO’d! Still… his keywords are incongruent with most of the teams with which you’d like to play him. I mean, Masters of Evil is okay, and Mystical has slipped a lil’ bit but is certainly still viable, but that’s it for useful keywords, unless you’re looking to dominate the Meta with a Lethal Legion team. And hey, if you are, good luck to you. Here’s the last guy to try that at a big tournament:

It takes a special kind of crazy to run Lethal Legion at a ROC...

It takes a special kind of crazy to run a Lethal Legion at a ROC…

The Verdict: This is a Cost Correction piece. But it’s a First Generation Cost Correction piece; you could argue that WizKids still is not valuing the ability to Mind Control your own characters highly enough (in one of the early episodes of The Quarry, one high level player who was an early Mole Man/Shuma adopter said that after playtesting those two together with his friends, they all came to the conclusion that the ability to Mind Control friendly characters–even with a keyword restriction–should not appear on pieces less than, like, 100 or 125 Points. Thus, Black Talon is still extremely good and he’s definitely Meta-worthy. He’s just not as balls to the wall insane as Mole Man. Jumping from 47 to 60 may not seem like much, but that 13 Point hike could possibly cost you the space you need for a resource or the exact right support piece. That’s another reason it was so key for Mole Man to be under 50 Points. He left you plenty of room to get creative–or to run a full Booklip, if you didn’t care about Theme. Black Talon, not so much…

 CHAOS WAR:

"Go ahead. Try and look this good in purple. I dare you."

“Go ahead. Try and look this good in purple. I dare you.”

CW039 Hawkeye98 Points – Rare: This is one of the most discussed pieces in the history of Critical Missives (NINWASHUI NOTE: Iron Pharaoh would beg to differ.), but we’re gonna have to talk about him at least one more time! His top dial 12 Attack with an INSANE 9 Range w/ 3 Bolts, Sharpshooter, Wildcard TA (and Thunderbolts keyword, which means that between the two you can give him almost any TA in the game), Stealth and Running Shot and 3 Damage with Leadership. If this dial cost 130 Points, it’d be worth it. He costs 98!! Insane. Great keywords (Thunderbolts, Avengers, and S.H.I.E.L.D. with GLA just thrown in for fun). Just stupidly good.

Replacement Candidate:

DP036 Bullseye110 Points – Rare: Right down to rarity, Bullseye is almost a clone of that silly Hawkeye piece. Running Shot with 8 Range and 3 Bolts, 12 Attack with Precision Strike instead of Sharpshooter, 17 Defense with Combat Reflexes instead of Willpower, 3 Damage with Probability Control instead of Leadership (I’ll take that deal everyday!) and some okay keywords (Thunderbolts, Assassin) mean Bullseye is gonna show up in the Meta SOONER RATHER THAN LATER!! Oh, and his Improved Targeting: The Phone Book makes it really hard to hide from him…

The Verdict: Even with all the goodness on Bullseye’s dial, this is a Cost Correction dial. Just 12 Points more than Hawkeye, but you also lose the Avengers keyword, the Spidey (Wildcard) TA and 1 Range. I think WizKids knows that they undervalued that Hawkeye by a significant amount. Bullseye they only underestimated by a less significant amount. Which, as always, means you should play Bullseye as much as you can.

FAST FORCES: CHAOS WAR:

"Hey! My eyes are up here! What? You pig! You know what? No more mutants! There! I said it. I hope you're happy."

“Hey! My eyes are up here! What? You pig! You know what? No more mutants! There! I said it. I hope you’re happy.”

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch50 Points – Fast Forces (Fixed Rarity): You know what she does; Mystics TA, Pen/Psy, Barrier, Perplex and Prob Control with an 8 Range. With Avengers and Mystical keywords (among others). One of the most used figures in ROC history, I’m sure.

Replacement Candidate:

FFDP006R Mercy50 Points – Fast Forces (Fixed Rarity): 7 Range, Wing Symbol (so she can Carry!) with Phasing, TK, Barrier and Prob top dial with Support on her second click. Her lone keyword (Thunderbolts) is also where she’ll see the most play–on a Thunderbolts team.

The Verdict: Another Cost Correction piece. We won’t see the like of FFCW Scarlet Witch again, methinks. Mercy is missing the Mystics TA AND the Mystical keyword, but she is still very playable. Thunderbolts is probably the keyword that gained the most from this set, so if you’re fielding such a squad, pick up a Mercy for some support in a bottle!

There were also several other figures you could use in this role, but none of them were as good as Mercy (Sister Sercy, I’m looking at you with your 66 Point Cost and your measly lone keyword: Blue Lantern Corps. But hey, at least her name RHYMES with Mercy’s!).

Before we finish, one final note about keywords in general. We’re coming out of an era where Avengers, GCPD and S.H.I.E.L.D. were some of the dominant named keywords, and Mystical, Armor and Monster fueled some of the best generic keyworded teams. Those keywords still offer a lot of options, but Chaos War (an EXTREMELY Avengers-heavy set) rotating out does hurt Avengers teams a little bit. New keywords that have recently become a lot stronger include Thunderbolts, Heroes for Hire and Sinestro Corps. (with Guardians of the Galaxy about to get a double boost from the movie set that just dropped and the upcoming 5-figure booster full set in due in August!). Mystical and Armor are still great generics, but Martial Artist has gotten a big boost between AvX, Days of Future Past and Deadpool, and Cosmic is set to explode with the 4 Entities that have been released in War of Light already (with 4 more to come) and, again, the Guardians of the Galaxy set that’s just around the corner (and the Collector from the GotG Target Exclusive set already offers some intriguing possibilities for Cosmic teams with his unique win condition–but more about that set later this week!)!

"I know it's hard to believe, but all I do is win! If, you know, several specific conditions are met, and I've collected my tokens--y'know what? We'll talk about this later."

“I know it’s hard to believe, but all I do is win! If, you know, several specific conditions are met, and I’ve collected my tokens–y’know what? We’ll talk about this later.”

 

So there ya go! What important retired figures do YOU think WizKids has already published replacements for? Sound of in the Comments section below!

 

The Build 5!! (Or, What I’d Play At The 6/28/14 ROC at Gamer’s Gauntlet!!)

ROCSo Gamer’s Gauntlet is the first (and maybe only) place in Michigan to hold a ROC tournament. As you can tell from my ROC top ten article, I’m a big fan. Now I have a chance to go to one that’s only a few miles from my house. HypeFox can’t go because he has a family event. Ha-ha! The bad news… we’re in the same family. So unfortunately the article below will be what I would have been playing because I also won’t be able to attend. Bummer. Ah well, on with the article.

 

The Format: 300 point modern. Anything goes. The meaner the better. Resources. Entities. Shuma Gorath. Galactus. Cop Cars. Sentry and Void… Yikes.

 

My Team: (That I would be playing)

 

We're back!

We’re back!

Revenge of the Nerfed 2.0

  • WXM042 Fantomex
  • WXM010 Shatterstar
  • DP043 Black Talon
  • WOL063P Ophidian (possessing Fantomex) (If I had access to the Parallax Entity, I would use that instead.)
  • Total = 300 points

This team is more than it appears at face value. It’s hides two powerful power interactions. The first power interaction is one that I published here first in March. Shatterstar was nerfed so that the person he teleports can’t take an action the same turn he teleports. Fantomex can get around that by having WXM042BT E.V.A. take the trip with Shatterstar. That means Shatterstar can teleport E.V.A. and Fantomex can make a surprise attack on anyone anywhere on the board. This combo was designed to cross the board even faster than the Iron Pharaoh’s Falcon and Assassinate him. Shatter Star can’t attack, but hey it’s still pretty cool.

A few weeks ago a guy on hcrealms posted a team he went to nationals with and lost. His team featured two cool combos. WOL067P Adara and WOL099 Despotellis together give any adjacent team members 20 defense. Pretty awesome, but I’m not using it here. His other combo was Shatterstar and Black Talon. If Black Talon mind controls Shatterstar he can then give Shatterstar the once per game teleport to move anywhere on the map. Then because Shatterstar hasn’t taken an action that turn there is nothing keeping him from attacking. So Imagine teleporting across the board next to someone like SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor and just opening up with Blade/Claws/Fangs and Flurry. That’s likely a kill shot.

Now think about combining those two power interactions I talked about. On turn 3 Black Talon mind controls Shatterstar. Shatterstar teleports E.V.A. across the board. E.V.A. uses outwit, Shatterstar uses BCF/flurry, and Fantomex uses RCE before your opponent has a chance to do anything. In a 300 point game, what is your opponent going to have left after that? And using Ophidian (again, I’d prefer Parallax, but Ophidian works nicely too, and he’s who I’d have access to) actually gives me access to Pulse Wave. So if I Charge with Shatterstar to get him out of the way, I can Pulse Wave if there’s a particularly hard to hit fig that I’m just dying to reach out and touch! At the end of your first attack, even if everything goes wrong and your opponent KO’s everything you teleport over to him, you’ve still only lost 73 points. Fantomex and Black Talon were never really there and those two pieces together make a hell of a plan B in a 300 point game.

 

Writing this article makes me wish I could attend, but it’s just not in the cards. If anyone does get a chance to go, post a comment and let me know. I’m curious as to what teams will show up in the top 4.

National Origins!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 06/15/2014!!)

Roundup

Hey There!!

No, you haven’t stumbled upon the never-before-seen prequel script for some Nicholas Cage-starring Indiana Jones clone! We’re here to talk about Heroclix!

And the World Cup. Team USA over Ghana? Did not see that coming! Course, I don’t follow soccer/futbol too much outside of the World Cup, so I’d probably be the last guy you’d want to predict these things. Between baseball, football, basketball and hockey, I just never got into it.

"Wait, Delta Force-era Chuck Norris plays soccer? I'm in!"

“Wait, Delta Force-era Chuck Norris plays soccer? I’m in!”

All of which is to say, sorry for the delay; but it looks like this is gonna be a…

MID-WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix just released Episode 49! Lots of great discussion about recent significant tourney winners and runners up, as well as a discussion about the Return of the King pieces that just released.

Also, June’s Best Build Contest is underway; I finally found time to submit (mine’s the Iron Pharaoh/Fantomex/Shaman team; yeah, I basically submitted a version of the same team I’m always on about–sue me. We’ll take a look at a Modern age version of that team in just a little bit).

Push to Regen

Episode 2.4 is still Push to Regen’s most recent podcast. You can also check their Podbean for updates and the first three episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is … still Episode 20, which sees the return of the Round Table!! Also, if you missed the announcement last week, Hunter Smith let it be known on last week’s Dial H For Heroclix Podcast that he unfortunately will be leaving as a regular on the Quarry Round Table episodes; while he didn’t rule out an occasional pop-in, Hunter is done after this month as a continual presence due to nothing other than not enough time.


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

-Catch up with most of the recent ROC upcoming tourney announcements right here!

-Not that I’ll be able to attend, unfortunately, but local venue Gamer’s Gauntlet has a ROC event scheduled for the end of this month. I’ve heard nothing else about this from any other source; check out their website for more details (via the link above).

-If you missed it a couple weeks ago, a brief announcement was made that the recent “Watchlist 2: Electric Bugaloo” changes will go into effect, well, immediately.

-And once again, if you want to know what the most frequently used ROC figures are, check out Ninwashui’s latest article that dropped a couple weeks ago!

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

-Origins has come and gone, which means there is a newly crowned U.S. National Champion! Check the link to see what he played…

-A U.K. Champion was also crowned!!

-Also, if you were living under a rock last week, or just, y’know, away from the internet (that’ll learn ya for going camping with the family!!), WizKids is rotating sets finally, which should juice the Meta starting July 1st!! Pretty much everything Marvel and DC BEFORE M:10 and DC:10

-A general FYI: a few weeks ago, WizKids announced a monthly New OP kit system!


Preview

Previews:

–No previews of any note this week, which is fine, since there was a lot else going on!

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay, like I said before, this week we’re going to revisit an old build and add some new pieces. At the U.S. National Heroclix Championships (see above), Tim Bold piloted a team that featured Iron Pharaoh and Black Talon to a 2nd place finish (similar in concept to Ninwashui’s “Who’s the Boss? Tony is the Boss!” column). Well, I’m going to take that concept and merge it with my old Iron Pharaoh/Shaman concept. Let’s see what it looks like:

Team Name: Lockheed and Loaded

Theme: Mystical (+4 to Map Roll)

Build Roster:

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110 Points

(with the Cyclops Fragment)

IIM0040 Shaman – 92 

DP043 Black Talon- 60

WXM080 Lockheed16

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force – 12

(with the Colossus Fragment still Attached) – 3

1 Assigned Character – 3

=299

So, the strategy here is the same as it is every time with this group, really–delay and conquer. The harder you can make it for your opponent to get to you, the more body blows you can throw at their best pieces with the Pharaoh and the better your chances of success will be. If you win Map Roll, you’re gonna choose something like the Wundagore Mountain (hard to move around without flying or the ability to ignore Elevated Terrain) or K’un Lun maps (lots of blocking terrain to set up impassable Barriers).

When it comes time to attack, Iron Pharaoh will have 1 Outwit (his own), 1 Perplex (Shaman’s), a native 10 Attack and 3 Damage as well as RCE to split however he wants, and a possible +1 to Damage and Attack depending on the keywords of his target, all while seeing through just about everything via his Falcon… and then Black Talon gets to try and Mind Control him to do it all over again. Wash, Rinse and Repeat!

Shaman is your secondary attacker and support piece all in one, and Lockheed is there to provide another figure for Map Roll, to act as a tertiary attacker if your opponent approaches in any sort of Enhance Ball (he has EE) and to fly peeps away four squares if it’s not to your advantage to use “No Flights” for some reason (no, he’s not tiny, so he can Carry… up until Shaman does his thing.). 80% of the time, you’ll probably want to bust it off first turn, but if your opponent is using taxis who don’t depend on the Wing Symbol to Carry, it might behoove you to hold off.

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–No big Hollywood news to speak of this past week.

Critical Missives:

–Another week gone by, another couple big articles by yours truly (a postmortem on the AvX set, now that it’s all finished) and a look at GW Bridge and the various Build possibilities he opens up by Ninwashui (as promised three weeks ago in his Deadpool set review!).

–In other big news… we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Wait–it’s already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

So until the next article (which–just a guess–will have something to do with War of the Light),

Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

 

The Merc and The Meta (Or, A Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in Deadpool!!)

"Good Morning!"

“Good Morning!”

So, Ninwashui has chimed in with his Top Ten list for the new Deadpool set, WITH NO REGARD TO MY OWN OPINION!! Obviously, I could not let this besmirchment stand!

Here then, for the DeadPool set, is your…

Second Opinion!!

That's high praise!!

“That’s high praise!!”

 Some General Notes About the Set:

–While there are obviously some powerful individual pieces, I thought that the overall “Power Level” of this set fell slightly below Invincible Iron Man and SL0SH… and that’s OKAY! The fact that we got a ton of weird characters that I never thought I’d see made (Grasshopper? Sweet! Now my GLA team can–wait, there was more than one Grasshopper?), plus some much-needed Modern Age updates to some figures who have been conspicuously absent until now.

–Having said that, I would still agree with Ninwashui’s assessment that this set was more consistent in terms of the usefulness of the characters; I just feel that the previous two sets both had higher ceilings in terms of the power level of their best pieces. Still, since most of the characters were consistently useful, coming up with a Top Ten (and 5 Honorable Mentions) was pretty tough; so tough, in fact, that I was forced to cheat and list a TOP TWELVE!! Even still, there are some good figures in this set that just aren’t gonna get mentioned here, cuz there’s a lot to like.

–After getting to play a couple games with WizKids’s brand new mechanic, I can say that the Word Balloon feature turned out better than I expected. I thought these were all going to be kitschy, trite add-ons that simply granted silly powers that would only be used once in a blue moon, especially after seeing the “I Never Miss With the Sheep Gun” balloon (Man, I’ve had so many theoretical conversations about the impossibly far flung, Rube Goldberg Machine-induced scenarios in which plopping a Sheep token next to an opposing figure will turn the tide of a game, and while it’s early days yet, I think I’ll be okay if that’s the one Balloon I never pull). Boy, was I wrong.

"I was wrong on this one."

“I was wrong–this is awesome.”

First of all, they’ve made it really flavorful and probably avoided themselves future headaches by creating such a small pool of eligible characters (Deadpool Corps. members and Ultimate DeadPool and ThorPool, etc.). Fewer affected characters means there’s a lot less chance to break the game. And then, within that framework, they created some Word Balloons that are good enough to make you WANT to play a DeadPool. “Hammer Time,” “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?,” “My Common Sense is Tingling” and “ ” are all really good, especially when used with DP019A DeadPool, DP019B Evil DeadPool or DP055 DeadPool. In my opinion, those three figs are already all worth their Points to begin with; throw “Hammer Time” on any one of them (for example) and I believe that you’re actually fielding more points than you’re being charged for (remember, Balloons are NOT Resources in and of themselves, so they can be used in tandem with Resources and Relics. And don’t get me started about the “Possessed” ability on the new War of the Light Chases coming this month (Y’know, just when I finish a 4600-word column on Modern Age Chases, WizKids goes ahead and releases these “Entity” Chase pieces that are probably all gonna be Meta in some way–particularly through the aforementioned “Possessed” Trait).

Remember, if there’s one thing that this site has tried to teach ‘Clixers everywhere, it’s Critical Missives Army Build Axiom #1:

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #1: DO NOT PAY “RETAIL” POINT PRICES FOR FIGURES WHEN THERE’S A VALUE-PRICED OPTION AVAILABLE!!

Now, the corollary to that is this: Free Points Are Awesome!!

Again, CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM COROLLARY #1A: WHEN BUILDING YOUR ARMY, FREE POINTS ARE AWESOME!!

If you accept that the 3 DeadPools from this set that I just mentioned are already worth their points, and if you accept that Resources in general are EXTREMELY under costed, then you would have to conclude that the DeadPool set–and the various Merc With a Mouth Traited characters–offer a LOT of value for opportunistic builders. I’ll get into this a little more in the individual profiles, but you can create some RIDICULOUSLY powerful characters who can get bonuses from 2 or even 3 sources that aren’t really even on the map–or at the very least, sources that your opponent can do little to nothing about.

–No ChampionPool? C’mon!! How will we ever have a complete DeadPool Corps.?!

–Probably the most useful group of Super Rares ever. Cable is probably the only Super Rare you’d be disappointed to pull in Sealed (well, maybe Kingpin, but Kingpin is really useful in Modern), and there’s a TON of awesome SR’s that people will be playing even years from now…

The Chases. Yikes! While the Z-Virus mechanic is cool, Marvel Zombies was never really my hot sauce, so I could kind of take or leave them. I think it’s cool that they’ll have their own Zombie Team Base, but… we don’t get that Team Base until August’s Guardians of the Galaxy set, and with the info that’s been released so far, it seems like that set’s gonna have ANOTHER 8 ZOMBIE CHASES!! Blleeecccch! Enough already! Guardians should have 6 Chases–all 6 of the members of the Cull Obsidian from last year’s Infinity storyline. Those are the Chases everyone wants and expects–and it’s about 99% for sure that it’s not gonna happen. It would have been so simple and so appropriate to do the Black Order figures that I have to wonder if WizKids has gone completely insane (Hunter on Dial H for Heroclix has stated that this has dimmed his enthusiasm for the set so much that he probably won’t even buy his customary Brick of GotG, much less a case–and I can’t say I blame him). Grrrr… but enough about the NEXT Marvel set! I’m here today to talk about the set that’s actually been released!

So let’s start with the…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Dude... I'm'a 'bout ready to smash the $#!t out this flag over here."

“I punch flags! Then I paint them black and wear them!”

5. DP025 Flag-Smasher119 Points Uncommon: Okay, my understanding of flags as a concept is that they are generally emblems of some significance that have been made out of some sort of flexible cloth material. So how exactly does one “smash” a flag? Flag-Tearer? Okay. Flag-Ripper? Sounds menacing, unless you mumble it out loud, in which case it comes dangerously close to sounding like “Fart-Ripper.” Regardless, either name seems like it would make more sense than the perplexing “Flag-Smasher.” Although, maybe that’s why he has top dial Perplex? All I know for sure is that Flag-Puncher here has a couple of devastating abilities that get him close to my Top Ten (but not quite in it). First, his Trait (WE SHALL BE ONE PEOPLE, AND I SHALL LEAD: Flag-Smasher can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, choose a copyable Marvel Team ability. Friendly characters with a lower point value can use that ability until your next turn.) is fantastic! You make your Leadership roll, and all of the sudden all your characters have the Mystics TA. Or Avengers Initiative, or any useful copyable TA you can think of. That’s pretty damn fantastic. And while his starting attack is a 10, he has Running Shot, Pulse Wave and Perplex to go with it, so if your opponent isn’t careful, he could be in for a world of hurt.

Even though Flag-Smasher doesn’t have Willpower, that’s okay as well since pushing him onto his second click gives him a fantastic Movement Special (THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD SHALL CRUMBLE, AND BE ONE: Opposing characters that possess or can use a team ability modify their attack and defense value by -1 unless already modified by this effect.). I mean, if he was nine points less, you could team him with Cul Borson and give most of your opponent’s figs -2 to their Attack!

But that Point total is a problem. I would have loved this character at 90-95 points, or maybe an even hundred. At 119, as great as his abilities happen to be, I think he’s a bit over-costed. If he were 20 Points less, he probably would have made my top 5. Still, his skill set is unique enough to keep him on the Honorable Mentions list.

"Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!"

“Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!”

4. DP053B Whizzer120 Points – Super Rare Prime: Obviously has one of the best Improved Movement abilities in the game (he ignores just about everything), especially when he can use Hypersonic Speed his whole dial. Hypersonic Speed + Flurry on his first three clicks is damn good. On his own, he’s a great piece who’s probably worthy of a Top Ten slot. But he’s an Honorable Mention instead for a few different reasons.

First, he’s got the Squadron Supreme keyword, but he still can’t team with Hyperion from IIM because they’re both Primes. That kinda sorta really sucks.

Second, as cool as his Hypersonic Speed + Flurry Special Movement Power is, his defense is predicated on being right next to the character taking a swing at him (since he has Combat Relfexes), which means that it’s almost NOT in your best interest to speed around the board, attack, and then hide. Not the worst thing in the world, and he does have Super Senses as well, but he definitely needs a different play style from how most people play HS characters to be effective.

And finally, Speed Demon’s just got a better Trait for 10 less points, so as far as speedsters go, I’m’a stick with Speed Demon. Which means this is one of the rare instances when the non-Prime actually offers more goodness for less points than the Prime…

"Rawr."

“Now this doesn’t seem safe at all.”

3. DP003 Dogpool 65 Points – Common: Love this lil’ pup. For 65 Points, you can totally nerf Stealth for one of your opponent’s pieces every turn (“BARK” WHAT’D YA FIND BOY? TIMMY IN THE WELL AGAIN?: Dogpool can use Perplex, but only to decrease a defense value. When he uses Perplex, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain and targeted characters can’t use Stealth this turn.). But what’s really neat is that with a 10 Attack and Precision Strke, he can even sneak some damage in on the biggest of foes! And he picks up Blades/Claws/Fangs further down dial–in Sealed, my opponent nailed one of my best figures twice with that. Unfortunately for him, he rolled 1 twice (and that opponent may or may not have been Ninwashui). Still, he more than proved his worth, and that’s even without a full compliment of Word Balloons (I mean, “Hammer Time” on a dog is just fun…).

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

2. DP019A DeadPool135 Points – Uncommon: The star of the set, Deadpool at 135 is like a nice blob of clay that you can mold into whatever sort of primary attacker you need him to be. Want to create mass causalities? Throw on “Hammer Time.” Want to make him harder to hurt? Throw on “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?!” or “Quick! Shield Me With Your Bodies!” Or turn him into a Wildcard–the possibilities are nigh endless (okay, there’s only like 12 different Word Balloons or so, so the possibilities definitely have an end), and that’s before you start adding in bonuses from Resources or Possessing Entities. The fact that there are two even crazier versions of DeadPool in this set is the only reason he’s not in the Top Ten.

I'll be honest, this could even be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

I’ll be honest, this might be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

1. DP204 Secret Empire Number 935 Points – Common: Actually, for once, the comments on HCRealms.com’s Units page explain this fig better than I ever could. A user named MrDgreen: “man, enhance and the Hydra TA, these guys are basically walking relics.” Hydra TA, Enhancement (with a respectable 2 damage), Pyschic Blast and ES/D to prolong their already pretty good 5 clicks of life… Their only drawback is that Soldier is their lone useful keyword (no one is fielding any decent Secret Empire Theme Teams, I promise you).

Alright!! We’re done with the appetizer–here’s the Main Course!

THE TOP TEN TWELVE FIGURES IN DEADPOOL!!

The next character in Sprint's "Framily" commercials.

The next character in Sprint’s “Framily” commercials.

12. DP057 Tiamat – 255 Points – Super Rare: The Beast with Two… bases. Tiamat comes on a peanut base, and he/she/it is a complete badass. 9 Clicks that are all painted, plus 1 ridiculous Trait (CHAMPION AND STEED: Once per turn, when an opposing character has taken damage from his attack, give Tiamat any action as a free action. When you do, after action resolve, remove an action token from Tiamat.). Besides the boatload of points it takes to field Tiamat, the only drawback is that Tiamat can’t account for Hindering or Elevated Terrain when he moves (that’s why we have Hammers though, right?). Close Combat figs are always gonna take a backseat to Ranged-Based figures, but man, this is a Monnnnnnnnster!!

"I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!"

“I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!”

11. DP057A/057B Typhoid Mary/Bloody Mary100 Points – Super Rare: One of the most unique figures WizKids has turned out in a while now, due to her Trait (I’M JUST MARY WALKER, SOAP OPERA ACTRESS/ BLOODY MARY, PSYCHOTIC BUTCHER: Each time a new click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponents attack, roll a d6. On a result of 6 stop turning the dial, and Typhoid Mary ignores all further damage dealt this turn. On a result of 4-5 you may replace her with DP #058b Bloody Mary on the same click number and then deal her the remaining damage minus 1.) and the fact that both bases come together! She’s slightly over-costed given that’s she’s mostly a supporting piece to start, but as she gets down dial she turns into a solid damage dealer as well.

WizKids's sculpts get more and more lifelike each set...

WizKids’s sculpts get more and more lifelike each set…

10. DP050 Wolverine and X-23168 Points – Super Rare: Another Close Combat figure that has been gifted with so many abilities that Ranged-based attackers won’t necessarily have the Alpha Strike advantage on them. Their best powers come from an awesome Trait (SNEAK AND KILL: Wolverine and X-Men can use Sidestep and Stealth. Unhindered lines of fire drawn to Wolverine and X-23 during an opponent’s turn are blocked unless Wolverine and X-23 have 2 action tokens or are adjacent to an opposing character not on its starting click.) that combines with their Special Attack Power (SLICE AND DICE: Wolverine and X-23 can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and Flurry. When using Blades/Claws/Fangs, their minimum d6 result is 3. If they hit a character twice during a turn, they may use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting that character.) to give them the coveted Charge, Flurry and Blades/Claws/Fangs combo. So, to review: Top dial, they can move up to 7 squares in one turn and still attack between their Sidestep and Charge, then they get to attack you twice with Flurry and–if they hit both times (not unreasonable to think they will with that 12 Attack)–they also plop an action token on their target. Easy ways for them to heal once they hit Click 3 means that their 7 Clicks of life will seem like it’s almost double that. I can’t quite say that they’ll be a Meta piece, since their Point cost is fairly high even for a Primary Attacker, but man, if I sat down at a ROC and saw this Duo in my opponent’s starting area, I wouldn’t exactly feel too comfortable either.

 

"Rawr!"

“Rawr!”

9. DP060 Superior Spider-Man160 Points – Super Rare: The most powerful Spidey since ASM’s Spider-Man 2099, Sup Spidey is basically Toyman from SL0SH done right. Depending on which Spider Bots you attach, you can either give him a 50-66.6% to evade all attacks not made by Banshee or someone with Precision Strike (and that’s assuming that they hit his 18 Defense to begin with), or you can double his Outwit and Perplex Range. Either choice makes him really hard to deal with (although I’d go with the Super Senses bonus myself). So hard, in fact, we’re gonna do a quick Flash Build with him!

Team NameA Superior Way to Die!!

Theme: Scientist

DP060 Superior Spider-Man160

(w/ the Secret Avengers ATA) – 5

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0135

Sideline: Like a bazillion Spider-Bots (both Mark 1 and Mark 2).

=300 (Exactly! Yeah!)

This may be one of the most self-explanatory armies we’ve ever published. Iron Monger 2.0’s Trait (REWIRE YOU FOR EXPLOSIVES: When a friendly character is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, you may deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character adjacent to that character.) makes friendly characters (like, say, little disposable Spider-Bots) go boom when your opponent deals damage to them. Superior Spider-Man spits out a Spider-Bot as a free action (depending on your d6 roll) every turn, and if your opponent doesn’t kill them, they can start surrounding his figures and causing serious problems (like jacking up each other’s Attack Value and firing off a bunch of Incaps right in a row. A classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. It will take a minute to get everything going, so you’d want a map that slows your opponents roll out a little bit (like that crazy Fires of Apokolips map or whatever it was called from the SLoSH kit).

"Wheeeee."

“Wheeeee.”

8. DP055 DeadPool215 Points – Super Rare: Insanity in a box. He comes with the “Hammer Time” Word Balloon, which pumps his attack up to a 13 and lets him mix some Energy Explosion Marshmellows in with his Pulse Wave Lucky Charms. If you play him with a TK’er, he’s devastating on most maps. You’d want to pull him anyway just for his Word Balloon; the fact that he’s one of the best figures in the set is just gravy. 215 is a lot to sink into one figure, but damn! Keep in mind, too, that he has the Asgardian keyword, so Splitlip and the Book of the Skull sits you down at 265 with a Theme Team and 35 Points left to spend in a 300 Point game. He’s even better in Epic Games.

"The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally."

“The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally.”

7. DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra90 Points – LE: This is the engine that Hand swarm teams needed. He’s less than 100 Points and enables the Hydra TA to work for Close Combat attacks as well. Since most Hand characters (even the generics) already have this TA, it basically turns your Hand swarm into a mobile meat grinder. Hook him up with the Hand ATA to make it nearly impossible to target him until its too late. One of the best Wolverines currently in Modern Age (and since there’s roughly 2000, that’s saying something!). He also has one of the best Charge Special Movement Powers in the game (especially considering his point level).

"I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off."

“I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off.”

6. DP047A Shang-Chi90 Points – Rare: Why does this entire set either cost 90, 100 or 110 Points? Weird. Anyway, Shang-Chi is a Close Combat nightmare. If sets were measured in the effectiveness of their Close Combat pieces, Deadpool would be the best set ever released! Shang-Chi is the beneficiary of another near-broken Trait (COUNTER-BLOCK: Each time an opposing character targets and misses Shag-Chi with an attack, put a Counter token on this card. Give Shang-Chi a free action and remove all Counter tokens to make that many close combat attacks with a locked damage value of 2. At the end of your turn, remove all Counter tokens.). Add in some GREAT keywords (Avengers, Martial Artist and HfH, among others), Empower, a couple of Improved Movements (including Elevated), a 12 Attack, and an 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes, and you have the Phone Book of Modern Age Close Combat abilities. His dial should be in the 120-135 Range; in reality, it’s 90. There ya go.

"Yep! I'm back!"

“Yep! Zombie Electro. Again.”

5. DP064 Electro – 90 Points – Chase: And now we start to get into the figs you can build competitive teams around. Check out my column on the most effective Chase pieces in Modern Age from last week for some suggestions on the shenanigans you can get into with Zombie Maxwell Dillon.

The cover to "Black Talon and the Ex-X-Men #1," the least selling X-book of all time.

The cover to “Ex-X-Men #1,” the least selling X-book of all time.

4. DP043 Black Talon60 Points – Rare: They should call him Black Shenanigans, except that sounds like it could be the title of a racist D.W. Griffith propaganda film from the early-1900’s. So scratch that. But the point remains–with his Damage Special Power (CONTROL OF THE MINDLESS UNDEAD: Black Talon can use Mind Control with a range value of 8, and when he does he may target friendly characters. If all of his targets are friendly, a lower point value, and have the Monster keyword, he may use it as if had 3 bolts.) & Trait (POWER OF THE LIVING LOA: When Black Talon uses Mind Control, you may place a KO’d opposing character in an adjacent square on its starting click, and that character becomes the target. After actions resolve, that character is removed from the game.) someone (as Ninwashui always likes to say) is gonna find a way to break him. One of the early episodes of the Quarry featured an interview with a ROC winner (or judge–I can’t remember) who had determined within his playgroup that the ability to Mind Control friendly characters shouldn’t appear on figures less than, like, 110 Points or something. He had all kinds of mathmatical reasoning and whatnot, I’m sure–just like I’m sure that WizKids heard that interview, chuckled, and then said “Oh yeah?” out loud and to no one in particular. Whether you agree with my half-remembered anecdote or not, giving a friendly Mind Control ability to a 60 Point figure is damn near absurd. Never mind the fact that he can also use Mind Control to target opposing characters WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN KO’D AND THUS REMOVED FROM THE GAME!! I mean, that’s almost an afterthought, and it’s also a near-gamebreaking ability. He will power some ROC Top 16 teams in the near future–count on it.

"The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice... like rainbows?"

“The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice… like rainbows?”

3. DP053A Speed Demon110 Points – Super Rare: Here’s what you need to know: his 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.) is among the most broken currently in Modern and allows him to sneak in a second attack in one turn, except that you don’t even actually make an attack; assuming you can devote six squares out of your 14-square Movement to circle an opposing figure, this will go off on anything less than a roll of 6. Again, this Trait works WHILE HE’S USING HIS HYPERSONIC SPEED and it allows you to place an opposing character where you want him to be, which can really screw up your opponent’s positioning. It’s also probably the best way to go when you need to damage someone without making an attack (to get around the Mystics TA, for example). It’s sick and wrong.

Like his Prime version, the Whizzer, Speed Demon also has an 11 starting Attack with 3 damage. But unlike his Prime version, as Speedy gets down dial he only gets better, picking up a +2 Perplex (on anything but damage) and a Movement Special that keeps HS but adds in a second attack. This means that he’s actually as good–if not BETTER–on click 4 as he is top dial. That’s pretty sick on a 110 Point character. He’s another piece you should be seeing at an ROC soon, given everything that he does and the fact that his insanely good keywords (Among others, HfH, Sinister Syndicate AND Thunderbolts–plenty of options just with those!) make him eligible for a bevy of different armies. Let’s look at a basic Sinister Syndicate Build:

Team Name: Sinister Six-ish

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP053A Speed Demon110 Points

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM019 Vulture 61

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIR100 The Book of the Skull6

(w/ 7 Hammers attached–all except Greithoth’s) – 21

=300 (Exact-a-mundo again!)

You’ll get +3 to Map Roll and 3 Theme Team Probs. So, with Gulyadkin the Lion’s token, you should have 6 characters at the start of the game, which will hopefully be at least one more than your opponent so that your Sinister Twelve ATA’s go off. Vulture can taxi Alyosha, who can give his pet a free move every turn too, and Speed Demon is, well, Speed Demon, so once you Hammer Up, mobility shouldn’t be an issue. Speed Demon in particular (with a now 12 Attack) should run amok. Not ROC-worthy, because you’re team would be too vulnerable from Range (depending on Map Choice), but this team can dish out a ton of damage!

Gotta love the backwards arm.

Gotta love the backwards arm.

2. DP019B Evil DeadPool100 Points – Uncommon Prime: Just looking at his stats and powers, you’d think his dial was made up of rejected SLoSH Bizarro clicks. But when you look closer, you’ll see an amazing damage dealer whose main flaw–low top dial defense–is easily fixable with a Resource and/or Word Balloon, and his Regeneration Special (WEIRD REGENERATION FROM LEFTOVER PARTS: Evil Deadpool can use Regeneration. Choose an opponent to roll another d6. If the opponent’s roll is higher than your d6 roll, add the two results together and subtract 2. Evil Deadpool is healed of damage equal to this amount instead. Each time Evil Deadpool would heal past his starting click in this way, modify his combat values by +1 for the rest of the game, even if this power is lost.) means that he can survive almost anything that gets thrown at him and actually come back stronger! Put him on a Book of the Skull team, give him “Hammer Time” when he attacks and suddenly you’re opponent is in for a world of hurt–and you still have 170 Points left to support him. Awesome piece!

"Get used to seeing me around, homies."

“Get used to seeing me at every ROC, homies.”

1.DP051 Banshee98 Points – Super Rare: Just stupid for his Points. His Trait (IT’S GOING TO GET A LITTLE LOUD: Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Super Senses. Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Impervious, Invincible, or Invulnerability but can use Toughness instead. When Banshee hits a character that can’t use a power due to this trait, increase damage dealt to that character by 1.) shuts down just about every good defensive power and in a lot of cases increases Banshee’s damage by one. I talked about how stupid broken he gets the more Resources etc. that you add to him in last week’s Weekly Roundup. At this point, you should either buy one yourself or be prepared to deal with him–a lot.

(One Final Note: Fast Forces: Deadpool is technically it’s own Micro Set; having said that, I should note that the Elektra and the Rookie Mercy figs from that set would have made my Honorable Mention and Top Ten, respectively had then been part of Deadpool proper. In other words, you’re gonna want that Fast Forces…)

Whew!! 4500 words on Deadpool, and there’s still so much we didn’t cover. But I hope this helps–now get out there and dominate!

Heroclix – Now with extra Deadpool (A set review for Deadpool)

DEADPOOL-CANADA-HEALTHHABITS

About the Set:

I really liked the 12 attack Assassin subtheme (DP036 Bullseye, DP057 TiamatDP201 Deadpool) and 12 attack martial arts sub theme (DP031 Elektra, DP047A Shang-Chi, DP047B Cat). Actually, I like 12 attack on exceptionally skilled characters that have great story reasons for being that skillful or powerful.

Plus I hate missing.

The Chases are cool to have, but not so uber that my team of scrubs has no chance. Which is how they should be. There are some characters that are sub-par (DP002 Headpool), but for the most part it’s a very good set for sealed. Not too many unusable characters like I thought were in the Incredible Iron Man set. Even the weird ones that I’ve never heard of (DP024 Number One, DP025 Flag-Smasher, DP040 Doctor Bong) seem playable for their costs.

A Note on the Current Meta:

The current meta seems to be:

1. Play Shuma Gorath, Mole Man, and a power plant.

2. Play Splitlip, and the BOS.

3. Play Phantom Girl and the belt.

4 ????

My 5 Honorable Mentions for Best Figures in the Set:

*DP041 G.W. Bridge would have made the list here, but look for a different article featuring him soon.

5. DP059 Kingpin – I wouldn’t play this piece without a plan (like including DP021 Outlaw, FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot, SOG038 David Cain to make a good 300 point team). You need to use his white power a lot to make him worthwhile to field. A fun piece to build a team around, especially since he has the assassin keyword.

4. DP020 Weasel – The Weasel in the Deadpool set (who isn’t Pauley Shore – I double checked) is really just a walking relic. In fact, think of him as a hammer that walks next to your primary attacker instead of being equipped. The bonuses he gives are +1  to range, +1 to damage, and essentially +2 to attack! All for 27 points. He’ll mess up your theme team, but for what he brings to the table it’s worth it. Imagine playing two or three of him. Try using him to build (and then power) a doomsday weapon for AVM016 Red Skull.

Not that weasel...

Not that weasel…

3. DP038 Copycat – Mess up your opponent’s theme team. Grab his SLOSH048 Tellus. Have your opponent’s DP019B Evil Deadpool fight right next to yours. The more powerful your opponent’s figures are the better you will get In exchange. Anything under 101 points is fair game.

2. DP048 Blink – To make the most of her powers, the rest of your team needs to share a keyword with her. If they do she will be your team taxi and then your teams close combat expert. She has a way of moving around the board that is unique to her in all of HeroClix. If she had indomitable, she would be in my top 10.

1. DP202 Daredevil – He’s not too flashy, but he is very well rounded with both improved targeting and movement. He is also the only piece for the entire Deadpool set to have made a top 4 team at an ROC tournament.

The top ten figures from the Deadpool set:

10. DP019A Deadpool – Every time I have faced this guy in combat he has done well. Especially when equipped with this his DPW003 “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?” word bubble. He has great up front stats and a long dial. His RIDICULOUS REGENERATION looks confusing, but it’s really just improved super senses (no damage on 4-6) that can’t be countered or bypassed with precision strike. I call that a great power. Compare him to similar IIM029A War Machine and you’ll see you get a lot more for that extra 10 points.

deadpool common sense

9. DP060 Superior Spider-Man – After a few turns of making and attaching DP099A Spider-Bot (Mark 1), the Superior Spider-Man is going to have +2 to all super senses rolls. (missing only on a 1 or 2). After that you can make DP099B Spider-Bot (Mark 2) for free and use the plasticity to hold opposing forces in place until Doc Occ has a chance to deal with them.

Electro: For when you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY HAVE TO ZOMBIFY EVERY M*TH*RF*CK*R IN THE ROOM--ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!

Electro: For when you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY HAVE TO ZOMBIFY EVERY M*TH*RF*CK*R IN THE ROOM–ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!

8. DP064 Electro – Electro is the best of the zombie chases because of his unparalleled ability to spread the zombie plague and earn food tokens for himself. Left unchecked your opponents forces will look they are in the Thriller video very quickly.

7. DP043 Black Talon – When SLOSH048 Tellus came out I said there was a way to break him and I just don’t know what it is yet. The same thing goes for this character. He’s very similar to the soon to be retired Mole Man, except he works with ANYONE. Want to get that wrecking crew team off the ground that’s never been powerful enough before? This is your answer. The same goes with just about anything else. Two actions in a one turn is really powerful when it can be used on anyone. For extra fun use him with DP019B Evil Deadpool whose low defense and high damage potential are perfect to be mind controlled.

Don’t forget he can also mind control your opponents characters at an 8 range. And with his trait even your opponents KOed characters are potential targets. I actually used his charge and BCF to KO an opposing character in sealed, but it felt like I wasn’t using this guy to his full potential that turn.

6. DP057 Tiamat – With Tiamat fronting your team I can see you winning 300 to nothing in short order. I can also see you whiffing the first couple of attacks and losing in short order. At his point level he is the whole team and if he doesn’t hit (and attack twice) then you could be in big trouble. On the other hand, his ability to mow down characters with soft defenses is nothing short of obscene. I played against him in sealed and lost 300 to nothing. You experiences may vary.

5. DP031 Elektra – HCrealm’s ‘Snake Eyes Again’ jokingly gave her the following trait, “Fanboy frenzy: Elektra can use every standard power in the PAC.” He wasn’t far off. On her 4th click she can use Charge, Flurry, Stealth, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Incapacitate, Precision Strike, Close Combat Expert, Exploit Weakness and Ranged Combat Expert. Add to that her improved movement and the fact that the first time she is KOed you can resurrect her and you’ve got a winner. She and four DP006 Hand Ninja are 287 points. That sounds like a lot of fun to me.

4. DP019B Evil Deadpool – You get a lot here for the cost and that’s the key. At 100 points he is likely your secondary attacker. If he gets a chance to regenerate even once then he’s worth far more that that. If you want to make this guy really work for you, you need to control the damage he takes to get him to his regen clicks and not past them. Mastermind looks like a good way to do that. Once Evil Deadpool takes enough damage stop sending it his way for a turn. It seems like IIM042 Iron Doom would make a good partner for this guy.

3. DP055 Deadpool – I took a while comparing this guy to DP049 Deadpool and Bob and in the end decided he brought more to the table. AVX014 Magneto showed me how fun running shot is with Pulse Wave. This guy has a better attack, decent defens and built in prob with his DPW003 “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?” word bubble for those times your opponents actually hit an 18-19 D. Magneto’s starting defenses are better, but “Thorpool” is much more dangerous mid to late dial.

2. DP047A Shang-Chi – With Improved movement, an awesome trait, and more offense this guy is just plain better than SOG039 Lady Shiva. He needs other close combat attackers around to get the best use out of his empower (like AVX102 Lei-Kung the Thunderer), but his stats and power level are unmatched in his price range.

1. DP051 Banshee – If he was 50 points more he would still be darn good. Banshee’s stats are great for his price range and his trait is very good, but the real reason to play him is his improved targeting: ignore elevated. That power is super rare and it’s never been on a figure even half this good. Imagine blasting someone from the other side of Wundagore Mountain while ignoring the mountain completely. That targeting advantage is what makes this character the best in the set.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: And for a slightly different take on the Deadpool set, be sure to check out HypeFox’s Second Opinion article!)