Some Assembly Required (Or, A Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Avengers Assemble)

Avengers Assemble Ninwashui Byline

Some General Notes About the Set:

  • It seems like Attack Values are being subtly lowered by WizKids in this set. There are a lot of 10 Attacks in this set where 11 seemed to be the norm for sets like Flash and Trinity War. Thankfully, they seem to be compensating for this by subtly ramping up the powers. For example, In another set I think AVAS007 Mettle would have just given AVAS006 Hazmat Mastermind and called it a day. Instead, in this set he actually teleports to her side from any distance whenever she is attacked to absorb damage for her. That’s a huge step up in effect.
  • All of the Movie Avengers got both a regular version and an ultra powerful Chase version. Black Widow with Thor’s Hammer. Steve Rogers with a Nova helmet, Tony Stark with… armor so thick it doesn’t move around very well. Some of these ideas were better than others.
  • The new cosmic Avengers from Hickman’s recent 3-year run are in the set, but for the most part their dials underwhelmed me. AVAS041A Starbrand, AVAS043 Abyss, AVAS054 Nightmask, AVAS056 Ex Nihilo, and AVAS036 Captain Universe all have great looking sculpts to go with dials that are so underpowered they will never be played at any real tournament. I mean, obviously not every figure is going to be a tournament piece, but c’mon. “Ooo, watch out! My 190 point Ex Nihilo is going to grow grass around your Ragnarok! It will be angry grass!” Sigh…
  • Not only were the new Cosmic Avengers underpowered for their cost, they were underpowered compared to what they do in the comics. For example, in the comics, Star Brand knocked the Hulk into orbit and almost beat the rest of the Avengers roster combined (including Thor and Hyperion) by himself. In HeroClix Wiz Kids decided that amount of power translated into having a 10 attack and… 3 damage. 3 damage? Really WizKids? Really?

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Hulk Last Titan

5. AVAS064E Hulk – He is the best No-Tactics 300 point one-man army in Modern Age. Rivaled possibly only by… himself (AAOU008 Hulk). While I think he would lose against his movie version one-on-one, I think the Hulk in Avengers Assemble would do better in a tournament for two very important reasons. First, his powers can’t be countered. Secondly, his Stop Click can’t be ignored by Pulse Wave. Add to that his Movement Special Power that lets you Charge 10 squares up a mountain while carrying an ultra heavy object, and this Hulk is really good at what every Hulk should be good at… Smashing!

Echo_as_Ronin

4. AVAS010 Echo I love figures with Super Senses and Shape Change. I tend to use those figures to tie up my opponent’s big hitter because no matter its Attack Value, those defenses will always be just as effective.

So I love that Echo has has Super Senses and Traited Combat Reflexes and that in addition to those two powers she can copy a power, like, say, Shape Change, from someone on your team or even an opposing figure. Sure she can copy any Attack or Damage power (even Telekinesis, which is weird for that character), but copying Shape Change gives her a third defensive ability which is just awesome for a character under 100 points. Plus, unlike another recent, cheap defensive powerhouse (JLTW034 Element Woman), she actually has a decent offense. 11 attack (with her own Perplex) and Blades/Claws/Fangs.

I’ll take that all day. Her downside is her lack of Willpower and the fact that while she has Stealth, she doesn’t ignore Hindering Terrain on movement. Both issues can generally be solved by a good taxi. In a No-Tactics environment she’d do well with Chase AVAS065 Black Widow.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America

3. FFCA006R Captain America Whenever I see a character cost 50 points, I know my writing partner Hypefox tends to pay attention. How he missed this guy I’ll never know. Didn’t he remember my Trinity War Top Ten Article where he said we’d be including Fast Forces figures in our Top Ten Lists from now on

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Absolutely! But I decided not to use any Fast Forces: Classic Avengers pieces BECAUSE THEY’RE ASSOCIATED WITH AGE OF ULTRON, NOT AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!]

Uh… what?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Look at the set symbol for any Avengers Assemble piece.]

Um, okay. It’s a slanty “Avengers-A.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Now look at the set symbol for any Age of Ultron SLOP piece.]

It’s Ultron’s face.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And as we all know, all of the Fast Forces pieces feature the Fast Forces symbols–which looks kind of like a blocky, italicized “6,” plus a smaller version of the set that it’s supplementing.]

Oh crap. So, since the Classic Avengers feature the Fast Forces symbol with an Ultron head in the middle…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: They would be considered a supplement to Age of Ultron, not Avengers Assemble. Which is probably why the Age of Ultron Wave 1 Instructions allowed the use of the Hank Pym ID card from the Classic Avengers pack.]

Hmmm… it’s just…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, I know. You’re kind of pot-committed at this point, so you might as well just go with it.]

<Ahem> So, there isn’t too much to say about this version of Cap that isn’t obvious. His special power will let another Avenger move 4 or 5 squares without that figure taking an action and that can just be huge. But the real interesting thing about this guy is that he can do that from any distance. You can leave him in the (relative) safety of your starting area and he is just as effective. If you do want to bring him into battle, for 50 points his Precision Strike will give him a chance to hurt characters well above his point cost.

Black Widow AVAS

2. AVAS001 Black WidowI love figures with Super Senses and Shape Change–did I mention that before? And Natasha’s Shape Change is especially good. It’s Traited so it can’t be Outwitted and if you hit make the roll then she can’t be attacked for the rest of the turn. She could have 5 other figures around her and they will just have to sit and stare at her. Making that roll a few turns in a row could be back breaking to your opponent in terms of lost actions.

Her Damage Value is low for a Primary Attacker, but she makes a great Secondary Attacker on any team. Willpower, Stealth, Improved Movement, Perplex, Precision Strike… everything else you would want besides a high Damage Value. If you can compensate for that, then she will do quite well.

1. AVAS037 Manifold  He is the #1 best way to Carry around groups of Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D or Hydra keyworded figures. Only a lack of willpower kept him out of my Top Ten. For more on this figure, see this article.

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

Red Wolf AVAS

10. AVAS051 Red WolfWho is this guy? I have to say, I’ve read a lot of comics and I’ve never even heard of him. He has conditional willpower and good defense to go along with both Super Senses and Combat Reflexes. Which is okay as it is.

But then I looked at his offense. In the right circumstances, this guy can deal more close combat damage than any Wolverine I’ve ever seen in HeroClix. Is that a wooden spear he’s holding, or a light saber? He can Flurry for two shots at 3 damage. Then he can drop his pet, Lobo, who can attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs. That’s up to 12 damage without a critical hit or even using his Super Strength… and he’s only 80 points! Did this guy beat up Odin in the comics and I just missed reading that issue?

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man

9. AVAS050E Iron Man – Even in today’s game, 18 defense with Defend in nothing to sneeze at. It was good when they released CT043 Invisible Girl and it’s still good now. Add to that fact that any adjacent Avenger also gets Defend and you’ve got two ways to exploit Iron Man’s Trait. He could Carry around pieces with Combat Reflexes or Energy Shield/Deflection–AVAS049E Captain America is a great example of that. Or, he Carry Avengers that have the Tiny combat symbol and have a Defense Value higher than 18 like FFCA002R Wasp.

Beyond his Defend tricks, this Iron Man also packs 4 damage, Hypersonic Speed, Indomitable, Invincible, and Ranged Combat Expert. He could fly in to punch an opposing figure and land one square away while dropping a figure like AVAS010 Echo to tie up the figure he just smashed. Then, the following turn, he can follow up with an Ranged Combat Expert attack for big damage. Always use your Hypersonic Speed to strike and then leave him behind the rest of your team. He doesn’t take a hit very well at the 125 point level.

Something else that lead to his high placement on this list is that at his 125 point level he makes a great ID card call in figure–especially at the end of his dial.

Charles_Barton_(Earth-616)_0001

8. AVAS048 Trick Shot – Compare him to DP036 Bullseye and I think he’ll compare favorably. We all remember how good Bullseye was when the Deadpool set came out. Trick Shot is 6 points cheaper and has much better defensive powers. Instead of Bullseye’s Probability Control, Barney Barton gets Stealth and Shape Change, which means he ends a lot of strikebacks before they begin.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not sure if “strikebacks” is a word, but I like it.]

But, even better then comparing the two, play them together–they share two named keywords (Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts, the latter of which opens up all kinds of possibilities). Any opposing figure will be full of holes before they even know what’s happening.

3082549-black+swan+from+new+avengers+v3+6

7AVAS045 Black Swan – Probably the coolest new character to be introduced in the last few years. She has also been given one of the coolest dials in her point range.

Her opening movement power states, “HURRY TO EACH THREATENED WORLD: Black Swan can use Phasing/Teleport. When she does, after actions resolve she can make a close combat attack as a free action.” This means she can move up to 10 squares through buildings, mountains, water, or whatever else is in your way and still make an attack by dropping an ultra heavy on someone’s head for 7 damage! When she gets targeted by opposing teams she has Invincible, which eventually turns into Impervious. And remember, her powers can’t be countered thanks to her Power Cosmic Team Ability.

However, the power that has everyone excited about her is “YOU HAVE FAILED TO STOP THE INCURSION: Unless this click is revealed due to taking damage from an opposing character, immediately deal Black Swan 1 unavoidable damage. At the beginning of your turn, if Black Swan is the only character on your force, KO all opposing characters. This power can’t be ignored.” As of yet, no one has thought of a way to get around the formidable restriction on that power and activate it on a less random basis, but people are working on it.

In the mean time, I like to think of it a nice bonus on an already efficient figure. 

Thor_Odinson_(Ragnarok)_(Earth-12131)

6. AVAS053B Ragnarok – Marvel’s Thor/Terminator combo character. For 200 points you get a ranged Primary Attacker with all of the attributes you’d want. 12 attack, 5 damage, Indomitable, Impervious, Shape Change and Running Shot. You get great stats and great powers for a bargain price. Being Outwittable is really his only true weakness.

This best part of his dial isn’t even anything I’ve mentioned above, It’s his keywords. Specifically the “Robot” keyword. They got a huge boost this set (more on that later). Ragnarok may the best character in Modern with that keyword.

Which means you’re going to be seeing him a lot.

new-avengers-27

5. AVAS052 Ronin – This spot on my list was going to be either Ronin or AVAS066 Goliath. I ended up going with Ronin. Here’s why. If either figure needs to make a ranged combat attack, they both will likely turn into AAOU009 Hawkeye. So that’s even, or even a little slanted to Goliath due to the heal when replacing to Hawkeye.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A “little slanted?!” That’s up to a 3-Click heal!!]

But, If Ronin or Goliath were to be in a close combat battle then I would rather have Ronin (or even Echo), hands down. Another thing to keep in mind is that compared to the Stealthy Ronin, Goliath is a Giant-symbol-ed target when moving across the board.

Ronin brings to the table Charge, Blades/Claws/Fangs and either Exploit Weakness or Flurry depending on what the situation demands. That’s some high powered offense for only 109 points. Later in the dial Ronin also has some nice Outwit. Also, until set retirement later this year he can change into Blade from Amazing Spider-Man and use Regeneration if he has taken too much damage. That’s another option Goliath doesn’t have.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, that’s a good point.]

Rick Jones

4. AVAS067 Rick Jones – This spot on my list was going to be either Rick Jones or AVAS047 Master Pandemonium. Even though Master Pandemonium was the king of sealed at my local venue, I went with Rick Jones due to his much lower point cost and the fact that Rick doesn’t have to use a power action to resummon his Bystander Tokens when they are destroyed.

What Rick Jones brings to the table for 75 points is 10 range and three bolts (wow!) with Telekinesis, Psychic Blast, Mind Control, Perplex, a 19 Defense from ranged attacks, an 11 Attack Value and a never ending stream of his own personal tie up Bystander Tokens.

If that’s not enough to impress you, he’s a got a unique Trait that states: “GALACTIC BURST OF IMMOBILIZING LIGHT: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.”

Loki AVAS

3. AVAS046R Loki – 120 points of Asgardian support figure with no Willpower or damage reducers or move-and-attack and a starting damage of two? Why do I like him again?

Because he is awesome. To be more specific, he’s the best defensive character in this set, and sometimes, the best offense is a good defense–especially if that defense makes your opponent waste turns.

His Trait reads, “MASTER OF ILLUSIONS AND TRICKERY: Loki can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When an opposing character targets Loki with Outwit or Perplex, he can use Shape Change as if he were targeted with an attack. When Loki makes a successful Shape Change roll, he can’t be targeted for the remainder of the turn.” So Loki is just waiting for an excuse to shut down your opponent’s attacks against him this turn. You could try to Outwit his Super Senses or Perplex down his defense, but you’d be stupid to do so. That Perplex or Outwit might shut down your attack before you even declare one!

Offensively his damage is low, but you probably won’t be making many standard attacks. His Mind Control Special Power reads, “TO TRICK MY BROTHER…AND HIS FRIENDS: Loki can use Mind Control. When he does, he isn’t dealt damage from it and, if he targets only a single character, modify Loki’s attack value by +2 and he may target a character that can use Battle Fury.” He has double targets, 8 range, 13 attack (with the bonus) and he can use that to Mind Control pretty much any piece(s) in the game–2 at a time–without taking feedback damage for it! When your opponent only has one piece left on his team, then you can feel free to go and Poison him.

If you are looking for ideas for teams I have two suggestions:

"Stop trying to hit me AND HIT ME!"

“Stop trying to hit me AND HIT ME!”

Team Name: “Try to Hit Me… If You Can.”

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS046R Loki120 Points

(w/ ATA055 Asgardian) — 5

IIM103 Absorbing Man153

(w/ ATA055 Asgardian) — 5

=283

Which means you have 17 Points left to add in whatever Bystander tokens or Resource pieces you want. Hammers would be fun. But the funnest part of this Build is watching your opponent’s attacks do absolutely nothing turn after turn.

Or…

"AAUGH!! Not the Blue Battery again!"

“AAUGH!! Not the Blue Battery again!”

You can work him into the old Blue Battery team with Superior Spider-Man (you’d be taking out Captain Marvel and some Constructs). Give Superior Spidey the Decoy and Loki the Net and just have fun with your opponent finally hitting only to have the Blue Emotional Spectrum Power take it away again. I call it my “Charlie Brown and Lucy Kicking the Football” team. Feel free to call your opponent a “Blockhead”. Click here to see more info about using Superior Spider-Man and the blue battery.

Juston Seyfert AVAS

2AVAS020 Juston Seyfert – Okay, so, everyone remembers GG026 Mole Man and what he did for monsters. Well he and his three similar friends DP043 Black Talon, GOTG003 Mantis, and IIM015 Tony Stark all share a similar power. They can all Mind Control certain types of friendly figures and, if they make the Mind Control roll, assign that figure one action.

When WizKids made Juston Seyfert, they made him similar to those other guys except THERE IS NO ROLL REQUIRED AND ZERO CHANCE OF FAILURE!! And the cost to activate–a Power Action for Juston or a Close or Ranged Combat Action for the others–is exactly the same!! That alone makes him better than all of those other guys I mentioned.

At 40 points he is also cheaper, too! Then, just to add insult to injury, they let Justin give any Robot a full move AND a close or ranged combat attack all with one action. That is two actions instead of the one that everyone else ever made like him before gets. That’s not power creep, that’s a power leap!

If you want team ideas go to the HCrealms units section and get a list of every robot in Modern with a point value between 140 and 260. They are now suddenly all tournament viable. All of them. You don’t even have to try and pick a good one. Honestly, sometimes it’s funner if you pick a crappy one–it stings your opponent more when you win.

Wtf?! How in God’s name did I lose to a team featuring Ladytron and Computo?!”

Expect to see Juston on Top 8 army lists until he is retired.

3D Man AVAS

1AVAS013B 3-D Man – For 90 points you get a Hypersonic piece with 9 movement, 11 Attack, 18 Defense, and 3 Damage. Those are pretty good stats for that point level. He’s missing Willpower, but what he does have is the game’s first Perplex that can be used three times! Even the ASMS102 Dr. Octopus Arms Relic only lets you use Perplex twice! The drawback is that he can only target himself and that Outwit ruins his day. The good news is that with his 9 Movement, often times he can strike before your opponent can get within Outwit range.

This gives him some incredible utility. For example, you can increase your Damage by one and Movement by 2 and then suddenly you’ll have a near carbon copy of the 110 point FL037B Dark Flash Prime! Or you could add +1 to Damage and +2 to Attack and land a massive 13 attack 4 damage Hypersonic blow. Or you can do what I would likely do all game and just Perplex his defense to 21… every… single… turn! That’s a 90 point character that can get to a the highest Defense Value that has ever been printed on any HeroClix figure ever. The Spectre, Galactus, and Dr. Manhatten all seem like great company to be in for a 90 point character!

However he uses his Perplex, he is still a great scout for the other 210 points of your team. His trait reads, “SEE A PERSON’S TRUE FORM AND INTENT: Opposing Characters within 6 squares and line of fire can’t use Shape Change or Stealth. Friendly characters within line of fire may modify their defense values by +2 when targeted by Mind Control.” That means that as long as he’s around your whole team will be ignoring opposing Shape Change and Stealth. That would absolutely wreck the defense for a ton of different characters and it’s not even an action, he just has to be standing near the opposing team, just nodding and saying “What’s up?”

Everything I’ve listed above is still not enough to make him my number one figure in the set. What makes him the top figure is that he is also the best ID Card character to call in that is under 100 points. When you summon him for a turn, any figure within 6 spaces of him has their Shape Change and Stealth spoiled by his Trait. Then you get to do a giant 13 attack value 4 damage Hypersonic hit. And after all that any friendly figure next to him when the dust settles gets the Triathlon inspiration which states, “Modify speed value by +1. Modify attack value by +1 when making a close combat attack. Modify defense value by +1 against close combat attacks.”

That is a plethora of effects for a 5 point investment and that’s why he is the best figure in the Avengers Assembled set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Alright! We hope you enjoyed this counter look at Avengers Assemble! We’ll have an upcoming local game announcement here in the next couple days, followed by some new articles next week! Thanks for reading.]

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments section below!

How to Summon the Heroes You Grew Up Reading About!! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Avengers Assemble!!)

"Whaddaya mean I'm the only one who didn't make the Chase cut? Who beat me out? Falcon? War Machine? Captain Marvel? I mean, as long as it's not, like, Rick $#!@&%( Jones."

Whaddaya mean I’m the only one who didn’t make the Chase cut?  I’m Nick Fury, dammit! Who the hell beat me out? Falcon? War Machine? Captain Marvel? I mean, as long as it’s not some Z-lister like 3-D Man or, God forbid, Rick $#!@&%( Jones… 

Welcome back!

We’ve been living in what Jonathan Hickman might call an “Avengers World” for almost a month now, so you know what that means…

IT’S TIME FOR AN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE TOP TEN SET REVIEW!!

You know the rules. I’m going to give you 5 Honorable Mentions, then we’ll roll right into counting down the 10 best figures in the set!

But first, as always, I have…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–I was pretty pleased with the roster of figures in this set. Nice mix of the old and new. Are you a fan of classic Avengers villains Michael Korvac or Immortus? They’re both here. Did you like the more recent Avengers Academy series? There’s a ton of them in this set; everyone from Hazmat and Mettle to Turbo and Thunderstrike. And there’s also a ton of great, almost forgotten characters in this set that all debuted or had their heyday in the early-to-mid 2000’s and that I, frankly, never thought we’d see (I’m looking at you, Cammi and Juston Seyfert! I mean, yeah, Juston had a cameo or two in AA, but still, he kinda came out of nowhere!).

–The sculpts in this set are pretty solid–reminded me of a more toned down Flash set for some reason–although I thought that the Trinity War sculpts were a little more risky and dynamic than anything we got here (with the exception of the Chase Rick Jones, which is complete Bonkerssauce–in a good way!).

–This may be the best set of C/U/R dials ever, ahem, assembled. Especially the Commons. You don’t actually have to break the bank to grab some reeeeeallly cool figures this time around. While the Chases were once again very strong (4 out of 7 made the cut), I believe you will find only two Super Rares in this article. That might be a record low for them. And this might be the strongest set of Rares we’ve had in a loooooong, long time.

Okay. That’s it for all of my notes and musings–let’s get to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Black Widow AVAS

5. AVAS001 Black Widow110 PointsCommon: Yep. Another Modern Age Black Widow. But you know what? She’s kind of my favorite of the recent Widow iterations. She’s a lil’ more costly, but she offers a great power set. First of all, her Stealth is part of a Trait (DOUBLE AGENT: Black Widow can use Shape Change and Stealth. When she uses Shape Change and succeeds, Black Widow can’t be targeted by opposing characters this turn.), so it ain’t gonna be Outwitted. Moreover, she also has Traited Shape Change to go with her top dial Super Senses, which, when combined with her Stealth, means she’s going to be reeeeallly tough to pick off at range (especially since she isn’t slowed down by green squares since she has Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain).

She’s only got 6 clicks of life, but 4 of those clicks are extremely productive, especially when she picks up her “anytime” Special Poison power (WIDOW’S BITE: Black Widow can use Poison, but may be given the free action to activate it at any time during your turn.) in the back half of her dial. And I haven’t even gotten to her top dial Perplex or Precision Strike! Moreover, just from a “storytelling” perspective, this just FEELS like a Widow dial. While her teammates are usually hammers, Widow should always be a scalpel (well, except for the OTHER version of her from this set…).

I’d love it if Natasha was 90 or 100 Points; but even at 110, she’s still an elusive, solid secondary attacker who offers a variety of offensive options.

AVAS Hawkeye

4. AVAS002 Hawkeye85 PointsCommon: Apparently this will be the easiest Top Ten Review ever. I just have to go right in order from the beginning! Now I know what you’re saying. “We just got 2 Hawkeyes from the AOU Movie set that were both better!” And you know what? I agree with you. But just because those RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME Hawkeyes were better, that doesn’t mean that THIS Hawkeye isn’t very good in his own right.

He sees through Stealth with his Improved Targeting, and his two Traits separate him from the average Secondary Attacker. His first Trait (LIKE FISH IN A BARREL: If Hawkeye targets a single character when making a ranged combat attack, modify his attack value by +1.) means that just about whenever he attacks, he’ll have at least an 11 Attack Value. But it’s his second Trait that everyone is talking about (TRICK SHOOTING: Give Hawkeye a power action to place an Aim token on this card. At the beginning of your turn, if he has 1 or more Aim tokens on this card you may remove them and choose one effect that Hawkeye can use this turn: Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Improved Targeting: Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, or a locked range value of 14.).

Remember all that drama last set about whether or not the Prime Doctor Light could Running Shot for, like, 16 Squares? Well, as long as you spend one turn setting things up, Hawkeye can run 5 Squares, shoot 14 #$&^#$% Squares, shoot through an opposing figure’s Stealth if need be AND Energy Explode!! Whaaa… ?

Now, he only has 5 clicks of life. No top dial Willpower (he’s got one of those annoying dials where Willpower shows up in the Defense slot at all the wrong times). His Movement slot alternates between Running Shot and Stealth (as opposed to having at least one of those powers Traited, like some of his other versions), which isn’t as big a deal as it might be for other characters who don’t have his Trick Shooting Trait, but still. Finally, his native 3 Damage is fine, but it’s nothing to jump over the moon about when you consider that he doesn’t have a built-in way to break through reducers.

Still, it’s an innovative and creative take on a figure that’s already been Clix’d quite a bit in the last 3 years.

Aleph

3. AVAS003 Aleph140 PointsCommon: I swear I’m not doing this on purpose. It’s just working out extraordinarily well.

But I’ve played against this guy, and he is an absolute brick. He’s got 9 simple clicks; no Traits, Improvements or Special Powers. But he’s almost like the perfect blank canvas on which to throw an Entity and/or a Resource. He comes standard with the Wing Symbol, Sidestep, a 10 Attack with Pulse Wave, 17 Defense with Invincible and the Indomitable Combat Symbol. If you hook him up with a Battery and an Entity, he gets real imposing real fast.

For example:

Team Name: Al-eph You Up!!

Theme: None

Roster:

 AVAS003 Aleph 140 Points

AAOU039 Jocasta — 25 (Possessing Aleph)

AVAS020 Juston Seyfert40

AVAS044 Arcade70

WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR300 Green Lantern Corps Ring8

WOLR200.04 Wall (Green) — 10

WOLR200.03 Mallet (Green) — 4

=297

How It Plays: Jocasta’s Possession ability works just fine on Aleph, since he has the Robot keyword. With Jocasta, Aleph has the option of pumping up his Movement or Attack Value, and he can grab Running Shot, Precision Strike or Jocasta’s Special Damage Power (Sensors Coming Online: Jocasta can use Outwit and Perplex, but only to target characters within 3 squares.). All of which are great options.

Juston Seyfert hypercharges any Robot-keyworded character he assigns as his Sentinel. And since Juston Seyfert prevents us from fielding a Themed Team, we might as well level the playing field with Arcade. He’s a good supporting piece for his points if you lose the opening role; if you win it, you suddenly have a deadly and effective Secondary Attacker who is very hard to kill because of his Defensive Special Power (THIS IS MY WORLD, YOU’RE JUST LIVING IN IT. FOR NOW.: Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square within any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.).

The biggest weaknesses for this Build are the average to below average Defense values of all three characters and the lack of Probability Control. If your dice go cold, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But with Aleph’s rotating Pulse Wave and Penetrating/Psychic Blast, you should be able to cut right through most of your opponent’s defenses in short order.

Now this is just one of a myriad of ways you can take an Aleph Build. There are plenty of other options; as I said before, he’s kind of a blank canvas.

And that’s why he’s number 3 on the Honorable Mention list!

Now if Number Two is Son of the Serpent, then you’ll really know something’s up…

Turbo

2. AVAS009 Turbo — 50 PointsCommon: Long-time readers know that whenever I see a character whose cost is exactly 50 Points, my interest gets piqued. Turbo here is the latest in a long line of great 50 Points supporting characters. In her case, she’s a very effective Taxi who can also fill the role of Tertiary Attacker. Because of her Trait (THIS ARMOR IS AWSOME: Turbo can use Energy Shield/Deflection. When Turbo makes a close combat attack and hits, after actions resolve she can use Force Blast as a free action targeting a single hit character.) and her starting Defense Value of 17 (with Toughness), she’s really hard to hit at range (your opponent needs to hit a 19 Defense just to hit your Taxi!). She starts with a native 3 Damage and a 10 Attack (although that drops down to a measly 8 if you wish to use her Transporter-granted Move-and-Attack). Top dial Sidestep is also arguably the best standard Movement power for a taxi, as well, and she’s got it.

What holds her back slightly for me are her complete lack of Range and–more importantly–her keywords. The generic Armor keyword is probably her best; her named keywords (Initiative, Loners and New Warriors) all have very narrow Build options. Initiative is probably the best of those, and that’s really only because there were so many in this set (although previous sets had some very random entries as well, like Sleepwalker from GotG and Bloody Mary–but not Typhoid Mary–from Deadpool). Down dial she picks up CCE, so if your opponent moves up to attack her (to get around her ES/D), they could be in for a rude awakening. And I haven’t even brought up her Trait-granted Free Action Force Blast (which is, really, the only way to use Force Blast, since it kinda sucks.).

She is sort of a new flavor for Taxi’s, and really efficient for her points.

DMan AVAS

1. AVAS024 D-Man84 PointsUncommon: Finally, a non-Common! D-Man makes his, uh, long-awaited Clix debut, and you know what? He’s pretty damn good. He has a solid, uncomplicated dial with no Improvements or Special Powers. His Attack Value is average to low, but he’s got some great Damage Output Potential for his Point Cost… and one very special Trait (HEADLOCK TAKEDOWN: D-Man can use Plasticity. When he hits an opposing character with a close combat attack, put a Headlock token on their card. Remove all Headlock tokens from characters not adjacent to D-Man. Characters with any Headlock tokens on their card must roll a d6 when given an action. If the result is: 1 – 3, the action ends immediately.; 4 – 6, remove all Headlock tokens from that character’s card an the action resolves normally.). Yeah, that’s basically the Handcuffs from the Utility Belt, which was among the most useful items you could equip. D-Man adds Plasticity on top of all that, which means he kind of hoses Hypersonic speedsters, too.

Is D-Man Meta? No, no he is not. Is D-Man fun as hell to play? Yes, yes he is. You have not lived until you’ve held down the 300 Point, Chase “Last Titan” Hulk with a little headlock from an 84 Point D-Man. This is a great concept for a Clix, and he’s a great addition to the game.

Okay! Enough foreplay. It’s time for…

THE TOP TEN FIFTEEN!! FIGURES IN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!

Yup! Once again, we have a set that was just too packed with goodness for a straight Top Ten list, so we’ve expanded it to a Top FIFTEEN countdown… AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU!!

You’re welcome.

And even with five extra slots, I still have to leave Hybrid (juuuuuust missed the cut) and Cammi (arguably deserves to be here over a couple of the other dials, and I love the character; but I’m bumping her up to her own future Build article, since she opens up a lot of Guardians Builds with her Drax Trait) off the list–there’s just a ton going on in this set.

Since we have so much to talk about, let’s keep countin’ ’em down!

Hulk Last Titan

15. AVAS064E Hulk300 PointsChase: As I mentioned in “Straight, With CHASEr 3,” I think this dial is the closest we’ve gotten since AVXG001R Dark Phoenix Cyclops to a viable 1-Man Army for 300 Point Modern Age games. Now, that doesn’t mean he’ll win every game, or even most games; it just means that you’ll have a chance, even though you’ll likely be hideously out-actioned. He’s that powerful in the right hands.

As a 1-Man Army, you have three things in your favor with this Hulk. First, his Trait (THE LAST TITAN: Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) finally gives you a Hulk that can’t be Outwitted. Second, his top click (and his last click) feature one of the best Movement Specials ever (HULK HATES WORLD: Hulk can use Charge. When he does, he doesn’t halve his speed value and can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.). If you can manage to pick up an Ultra-Heavy object, you should have a fighting chance to one-shot a significant piece on your opponent’s side before he can really get going. And finally, his Defense Special (ONLY ONE THERE IS: Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a ton of survivability at the end of his dial–no Pulse Wave for the win here.

That last click grows in effectiveness every time Hulk smashes something, so try to make sure your first target doesn’t have too many avoidance powers (Super Senses, Shape Change, etc.).

He’s a lot of fun to play, which is another reason he’s on this list.

Black Widow as Thor

14. AVAS065 Black Widow200 PointsChase: A second entry for Natasha? Yup. Look, no one ever looks at a Thor dial and goes, “Hmmm… not much offense there.” Thor is all about offense. It’s usually his Defense that’s a problem–even if it’s average, often you have to leave Thor out there to make a ranged attack, and if you miss, your opponent can kind of gang up on the Norse God to take him down quickly.

Well, what if Thor had Traited Stealth? And the means to continually place down Hindering Terrain tokens to hide in? All of a sudden, Thor would get a lot more interesting. Which is exactly what happens here when Natasha picks up Thor’s Hammer. Her Trait (DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS: Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.) does exactly what we just talked about for, really, no additional cost (most Thor dials–most GOOD Thor dials–are already 200 Points anyway).

She’s got great Damage Output Potential, and she’s left plenty of room for decent support and even a Resource. One of the more underrated pieces in the whole set.

Abyss AVAS

13. AVAS043 Abyss139 PointsRare: As a fan of Hickman’s Avengers run, this was one of the characters I really wanted to see in this set (along with her brother, Ex Nihilo). For 139 Points, you get a tricky Secondary Attacker (which means you’ll have to find a Primary Attacker who’s 100 Points or less–someone in the mold of, say, Banshee, but maybe with the Avengers keyword. Maybe the next guy on this list?) who has one of the best Poison Specials in the game (CREEPING DARKNESS: Abyss can use Poison. When she does, deal each adjacent opposing character damage equal to its printed damage value, instead of 1.) on her second click.

She starts with Power Cosmic, Traited Invuln and an Outsiders TA-like Damage Special (MOLECULAR LOCKDOWN: Give Abyss a free action and target a character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, the chosen character can’t use Shape Change or have its combat values modified.). Now, unfortunately her Range is only 4, but she Flies AND Phases, so getting her in position should be simple enough. Down dial, her Damage spikes at 4, so she’s capable of dishing out some hurt as well. In addition to the Avengers keyword, she also sports the Cosmic keyword, so depending on how you assemble your team, you could conceivably put together at Themed Team with her that also featured Entities (which would help her in particular A LOT).

Red Wolf AVAS

12. AVAS051 Red Wolf80 PointsSuper Rare: Arguably more effective than the underrated WOL037 Karu-Sil, but for 15 less Points! He’s got the Avengers, Soldier, Warrior and Animal keywords, which opens up a lot of possibilities for him. Like Karu-Sil, Red Wolf comes packed with an attachable Wolf token which Red Wolf can deploy to devastating effect with his Trait (LOBO, FAITHFUL WOLF COMPANION: Red Wolf begins the game with Lobo attached. While Lobo is attached, Red Wolf can use Flurry. Give Red Wolf a free action to remove and place Lobo in an adjacent square.). If Lobo gets KO’d, a simple Power Action brings him right back to Red Wolf’s base (where he can then be re-deployed as a Free Action).

Red Wolf himself also Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and anytime he finishes an action in Hindering he has Willpower thanks to his Defense Special (OWAYODATA CAME TO ME: Red Wolf can use Combat Reflexes and Super Senses. If he’s occupying hindering terrain, he can use Willpower.). He’s a wonderful Secondary Attacker who brings a great Tertiary Attacker with him FOR FREE! I really like this design!

To me, the most fun would be to play him with his cosmic DC Universe rival and see how many pet tokens you can get on the board! Which means it’s time for another Quick Build!!

Team Name: The Wolfpack

ThemeAnimal

Roster:

AVAS051 Red Wolf80 Points

(with ATA057 Avengers Response Unit) — 3

WOL037 Karu-Sil95

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

WOL102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring8

WOLR202.06 Decoy (Red) — 6

WOLR202.09 Nurse (Red) — 10

WOLR202.13 Stop Sign (Red) — 8

WOLR202.04 Wall (Red) — 10

WOLR202.01 Net (Red) — 8

=300

How It Plays: Each of these figures has the Animal keyword AND the ability to put out a bystander token of some sort. Alyosha is the engine that drives this Free Action car; each turn he’s given a non-free action, one of the other two figures can be given a move action for free!! Karu-Sil Flies, so she can also Carry if she needs to.

You have 5 Constructs to cover a potential 6 characters, so make sure you’re loading up every character (including tokens) you can with Constructs. Each Construct grants a specific power (obviously) PLUS Giant Reach and Penetrating Poison, two wonderful powers for this Build!

We’re also giving Red Wolf the Avengers Response Unit ATA (When one or more characters using this team ability is adjacent to a friendly character making a close combat attack, modify the characters attack value by +1.), which you don’t see very often but will, again, work perfectly with a close combat Build like this one.

You’ll have +3 to Map Roll, so if you win the roll, hopefully you can choose something that’s easy to traverse while still providing a modicum of Hindering Terrain cover. Elevation changes aren’t a complete dealbreaker, but they aren’t necessarily your friend, either.

This is a bit of a swarm team, but I love that your opponent will need to waste attacks on figures like The Pack and Lobo that can come right back the next turn. And your opponent will score 0 Points for their effort!

Starbrand Prime AVAS

11. AVAS041B Starbrand150 Points Rare PRIME: So, this isn’t the recent version that joined the Avengers during Hickman’s run and took a Beyonder with him when he died; this is the original “New Universe” Starbrand from the 80’s. But that origin does explain his major weakness: no Avengers keyword. He also has a pretty miserable Range Value (just 5 Squares, although with top dial Charge, this Starbrand is clearly meant to be a close combat bruiser) and his attack never goes above a 10–and remember, with Hammers most likely rotating in just over a month, Attack Value is once again gonna be really tough to fix. So that’s a problem.

So why is he this high on the list? Well, he’s got the Wing Symbol, the Power Cosmic Team Ability and 4 Damage top dial with Perplex (so you can fix his Attack if you need to). And starting with click 3, he gets a ridiculously good Damage Special (MAJOR EXPLOSION: Give Starbrand a double power action. Deal 2 penetrating damage to each other character within 2 squares and destroy all blocking terrain within 2 squares.).

That’s right. 2 Penetrating Damage WITHOUT HAVING TO ROLL ANY ATTACK DICE! I cannot overstate how awesome that is. Even the highest Attack Value in the game doesn’t guarantee you’ll hit, so there’s always a risk when you roll the dice. This power completely dissolves that risk–you can’t miss with it.

Then there’s his Trait (THE PITT: When Starbrand is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, minimum result 2. Deal 3 penetrating damage to all characters within that many squares and then choose another friendly character. That character modifies its combat values by +1 this game.). If your opponent does manage to kill Starbrand, he sets off a chain reaction that has the possibility of dealing a metric poop-ton of virtually unstoppable damage. So for half the game, he’s trying to keep you from exploding 2 Penetrating damage all over his team, and when he finally succeeds at KO’ing Starbrand, your opponent’s reward is EVEN MORE PENETRATING DAMAGE!

"That is a LOT of penetrating... damage."

That is a LOT of penetrating… damage. See what I did there? You did? Pervert.

Finally, while his New Universe keyword is pretty much worthless (at least right now), he also has the Cosmic keyword, which is still pretty strong (and lets him be on a Themed Team with Entities!).

Overall, a solid, if unorthodox, package of powers and abilities.

3D Man AVAS

10. AVAS013B 3-D Man90 PointsCommon PRIME: And now we arrive at the Top Ten!! Triathlon is good; 3-D man is better. He starts with Hypersonic Speed (always good), 11 Attack, an 18 Defense (with Toughness) and 3 native damage. But his Damage Special [THREE TIMES PEAK HUMAN : 3-D Man can use Perplex, but only to target himself. He can use it up to 3 times per turn, but can’t modify his damage value more than once. When he uses Perplex (no matter how many times), at the end of your turn, roll a d6 and on a result of 1, deal him 1 unavoidable damage.] is what really puts him over the top. Three freaking Perplexes a turn?!?! That’s borderline insane. You want a 13 Attack and 4 Damage from your 90 Point Hypersonic Speed character? You got it!

He obviously has the Avengers keyword, and if you can play him on a team with, like, Pandora’s Box–which would allow you to give 3-D Man the Wrath Token and Willpower–he becomes a very dangerous man. Especially a that 90 Point price! He’s not as good as Speed Demon, but he is poised to become one of the best Secondary Attackers in Modern Age.

Living Lightning

9. AVAS015 Living Lightning80 PointsCommon: So everything I just said about 3-D Man possibly becoming the preeminent Secondary Attacker in Modern? Well, meet his competition. For 10 less points, you get an Avenger-keyworded livewire who is a nightmare from range. He’s basically Zombie Electro with an ever-so-slightly better stat and power mix but without any of the awesome Zombie Traits.

He Flies, moves from Running Shot to Hypersonic as he goes down dial and he’s packing both Penetrating/Psychic Blast AND a Traited, Improved triple bolt Energy Explosion top dial (FLASH-FRY YOUR CIRCUITS: Living Lightning can use Energy Explosion. When Living Lightning hits an opposing character with the Armor or Robot keyword, increase the damage dealt to that character by 2.). And before you dismiss the second part of that power, let me assure you, because of the #1 figure on this list, Robots are going to be a thing for at least the next six months and they are NOT going away.

Living Lightning was one of the most popular UnClix’d Avengers, and the developers did a fantastic job interpreting him for Avengers Assemble.

Jarvis AVAS

8. AVAS034 Jarvis40 PointsRare: Most of what Jarvis brings to the table happens before the game even begins. One of his Traits (I TIDIED UP: Friendly characters can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, but only if they occupy indoor terrain.) will help immensely if you win the Map Roll (and he has the Avengers keyword himself, so he’ll fit right on your Themed Team). The other (THERE’S STILL A FEW AVENGERS IN THE MANSION LEFT TO HELP: Jarvis counts as 3 characters for determining how many ID Cards can be added to your force. You don’t pay the cost for up to 3 ID Cards added to your force. Your opponent scores these ID Cards normally.) allows you to pack slightly more than 300 Points into your 300 Point Build!! I cannot tell you the exact number of pieces that allow you to pack more points than your supposed to into your Build, but it’s small. I mean, if you think about it, it’s almost like Jarvis’s actual dial is only costing you 25 Points. What do you get for that investment?

Four clicks of life, which is about par for the course, top dial Perplex and Stealth and a Defense Special (THE HEART OF THE AVENGERS: When Jarvis is adjacent to a friendly character with the Avengers keyword, reduce all damage dealt to him to 1. If Jarvis has taken damage from an opposing character since the beginning of your last turn, he ignores all damage dealt by opposing characters. This power can’t be countered.) that is fantastic, especially if you can find a way to funnel opposing damage towards him. Now, Masterminding damage to Jarvis won’t activate the second clause of his Defense Special, but it WILL reduce all the damage to 1, provided the keyword threshold is met. For the record, Mastermind is an exceedingly rare power to find on “good guys” like the Avengers, but AVX008 Professor X, CATWS015 Nick Fury and the new AOU201E Hank Pym all sport Mastermind top dial. Of those, I think Professor X and Nick Fury are the most interesting to pair with Jarvis–particularly the Professor, since survivability is one of the biggest question marks about that piece.

Hmmm… that might be worth exploring in another article…

Finally, Jarvis also has the Avengers Team Ability in case you need to move him into place but your running out of actions. It’s a terrible Team Ability for normal Avengers staples like Cap, Iron Man or Thor, but it’s occasionally useful on a pure support piece like Jarvis in 300 Point games.

Loki AVAS

7. AVAS046R Loki120 PointsRare: Wow! While his 225 Point version is good, this Rookie dial takes the cake. Top dial Super Senses combined with an Improved Traited Shape Change (Master of Illusions and Trickery: Loki can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When an opposing character targets Loki with Outwit or Perplex, he can use Shape Change as if he were targeted with an attack. When Loki makes a successful Shape Change roll, he can’t be targeted for the remainder of the turn.means that Loki is going to be reeeeeaaaal tough to pin down. Think about that. Every turn, Loki basically has a 50% chance to be untargetable by your opponent! 

He also sees through Hindering Terrain and Characters with his Improved Targeting, and his Special Movement Power (To Trick My Brother… And His Friends: Loki can use Mind Control. When he does, he isn’t dealt damage from it and, if he targets only a single character, modify Loki’s Attack Value by +2 and he may target a character that can use Battle Fury.) grants him an awesome form of Mind Control.  Now, Ninwashui has mentioned before that Mind Control can be a dangerous strategy, but with Loki’s improvements on the power via his Special and the fact that he has top dial Perplex, it’s a much less risky proposition (at the top of his dial, Loki has a 13! Attack Value when Mind Controlling a single character). Loki also has the Mystics Team Ability, so taking him out is going to require some blood, sweat and tears on the part of your opponent.

Lack of Willpower and low Damage Output are his only real negatives. The first you can fix that with the Asgardian ATA. The second actually improves as he gets down dial, but he does have that Perplex on his first two clicks. Besides, you’re probably trying to wreak havoc with his Mind Control Special at the beginning of the game anyway.

Arcade AVAS

6. AVAS044 Arcade70 PointsRare: I love this design!! Arcade will either be one heck of a supporting character, with Mind Control, Poison and Perplex, or he’ll be an insanely devilish Secondary Attacker. You won’t know exactly which dial you’re getting until the game is about to start, as his Trait is activated by the Map Roll (Welcome to Murderworld: When rolling to determine first player, no player receives a modifier to their roll. When on a map whose name includes “Arcade’s Arena,” at the beginning of the game you may start Arcade on click 7.  If you do, Arcade has the Power Cosmic Team Ability, can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, and other friendly characters have the Robot keyword for the rest of the game.).  

If you do get to chose his map, Arcade suddenly jumps from a 9 to an 11 Attack Value and picks up a Special Attack Power (I Control Murderworld. Sucks to Be You: Arcade can use Energy Explosion and Precision Strike. If Arcade occupies a player’s Starting Area, he can draw lines of fire and count range for his attack and damage powers from the square of any friendly character.). So he suddenly doesn’t need a move-and-attack power–he just needs to get back to his lair! After two clicks, he picks up Penetrating/Psychic Blast… WITH A 12 ATTACK!! His Damage alternates between 2 and 3, but he always has a way to get at least some of his damage through reducers, which is the main thing. 

His Defense slot also picks up a Special Power (This Is My World, You’re Just Living in It. For Now.: Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square withing any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.that works beautifully in conjunction with his Attack Special. 

I believe we’ll see some Arcade teams start to show up at some R.O.C.’s across the country. He just allows you to do so much, and if you win the Map Roll, it’s almost like having another Prime on your squad.

Ragnarok AVAS

5. AVAS053B Ragnarok200 PointsSuper Rare PRIME: So, it’s a little hard to talk about Ragnarok without spoiling the number one figure on this list, but we can report that he’s already seen play at the World Championships at Origins. Why?

Well, he starts with a 12 Attack Value with Energy Explosion to go along with his 8 Range (with 2 Bolts). As we continue to see more “unkillable” Builds (basically any Build that’s built around characters who only take 1 Damage at a time, no matter how much damage is dealt. Think Doop and Gluttony–pieces like that), I believe Energy Explosion will take on added significance, since it essentially allows you to double your Damage Output against these sorts of teams.

Rags also has Indomitable, an 18 Defense with Impervious and Shape Change, and a 5 native Damage top dial. And hey, you can abbreviate his name as “Rags.” How cool is that? World of Warcraft players will suddenly think that Ragnaros has made his way into Clix! Ragnarok also has a Trait that bumps his Attack Value and Damage Value by +1 when targeting an Asgardian or Avenger, which is probably a good thing, given that we’re gonna see a lot more of both of those keywords in the Meta.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is the fact that he has the Robot keyword. As we hinted at before, this will be a MAJOR keyword going forward…

Rick Jones

4. AVAS067 Rick Jones75 PointsChase: His dial is 5 Clicks long for 75 Points, which might seem a tad expensive for a Secondary Attacker (don’t be fooled by the Mind Control and Perplex that show up on Click 2–this is a Secondary Attacker’s dial, not a supporting dial). But when you consider that his first Trait (Summon the Heroes I Grew Up Reading About: At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America Bystander Token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a Bystander Token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a Bystander Token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following: Bystander Token KO’d; Bystander Token Placed; Captain America; Namor. Namor; Blazing Skull. Blazing Skull; Captain America. This ability can’t be ignored.is basically a perpetual motion machine that continuously generates Tertiary Attackers. 

Rick’s second Trait is almost as good (Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 Unavoidable Damage.). Did you get all that? In case you didn’t, let me summarize. It said “Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, take another turn after this one.”

I mean, that’s almost how good that power is. Rick Jones doesn’t even care where the opposing characters are on the map. Give them all an action token. When you time it correctly, you basically shut them down for an entire turn. And keep in mind that Rick Jones is only 75 Points! That Points cost is looking a lot better now, isn’t it? Well, there’s more!

He also has a 10 Range with three Bolts and he has access to both Telekinesis AND Penetrating/Psychic Blast on his first 3 clicks! Yup–he can get your big hitter into position and then follow that up with a Penetrating Attack of his own. And since that pushes him to his second Click, he actually gets BETTER!

Expect to see him R.O.C.’ing the Meta soon.

Portrait of an Avenger.

Portrait of an Avenger.

3. AVAS037 Manifold58 PointsRare: Yup. He’s reeeeeeaal good. The perfect Taxi/Tertiary Attacker for your Avengers Build. Or, you can bring him in with his ID Card and pump someone’s Movement up by +3 (incidentally, I’m finding that ID Cards are a great way to take your opponent by surprise, especially when used late game by a piece that’s all but defeated.).

For a more in-depth look at Manifold, plus a couple of Ninwashui-created Builds featuring him, click here!

Goliath

2. AVAS066 Goliath98 PointsChase: Another piece we’ve previously discussed, I just think he offers so much versatility in addition to being a solid piece in his own right. But any piece that lets you COMPLETELY change the complexion of your Build AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED deserves a special place on this list!

Juston Seyfert AVAS

1. AVAS020 Juston Seyfert40 PointsUncommon: How does a little dude from a nearly-forgotten early-00’s title and who deals NO Damage for his entire dial end up with the #1 spot over an entire set’s worth of Avengers and their classic villains?

By opening up a whole new subset of Builds. His Trait (Rebuilt From the Ground Up: When building your force, choose a friendly character with the Robot keyword. The chosen character is Juston Seyfert’s Sentinel.) combined with his Attack Special (Program In a New Prime Directive: Give Juston Seyfert a power action if he’s adjacent to his Sentinel. When he does, his Sentinel may be given a move action as a Free Action and then it may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially gives any Robot-keyworded a BETTER version of Multi-Attack. Yes, you read that correctly. A BETTER version of Multi-Attack, one of the best abilities the game has ever seen! 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The wording is slightly wonky in terms of where the phrase “as a Free Action… ” is used. The designers stuck it between the clause that says you can give Juston’s Sentinel a Move Action and the clause that says the Sentinel may then make a close or ranged combat attack. Just trust us, it works exactly how you think it does: you get to move and then attack for free, and then either move or attack again (with the Damage Depletion Modifier). For a slightly more detailed explanation on how this all works, check out the Wizkids Event System ruling regarding Juston Seyfert.]

On top of making your best piece twice as good as it normally is, Juston also rocks a top dial Stealth/Outwit combo on his first two clicks, followed by a Sidestep/Robot Support Special on his bottom two.

So far, the best candidate to become his Sentinel in 300 Point Modern Age is Ragnarok, but the Age of Ultron SLOP is adding a ton of Robots to the game (as well as an Entity that can Possess Robots and make them even better), so we’ll see where this goes. But if you’re someone who enjoys coming up with shenanigans, then Juston Seyfert is the piece for you!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: FUN FACT: Yes, there are characters out there who could potentially attack more than twice in a turn in certain scenarios. For example, if you can get AVAS059 Korvac to his fourth click (it’s a Stop Click, so it shouldn’t be hard) while keeping Juston in good shape, then you get to move half of Korvac’s Movement Value and unleash THREE separate attacks (with the DDM, mind you) in one turn. At that point, Korvac has a 10 Movement with Phasing/Teleport (which would be halved in this example), a 12 Attack with Pulse Wave, 5 Damage and Probability Control. He’d have a 7 Range for the first attack and a 9 Range thereafter. Oh look! Once again, Jerry Seinfeld has something to say to your theoretical opponent:

Seinfeld Good Luck

And if you manage to pull this scenario off and still lose the game… I’ve got nothing for ya. Especially since you can just push everyone next turn and do it all again.]

We told you before in this article, and we’re going to say it again. “Robot” is now a keyword to be feared.

 

Whew! We’re at 6500 words and counting, so I think this is as good a time as any to quit while we’re ahead. So there you have it. Those are the best figures in the Avengers Assemble set. Now, Ninwashui is going to be along here in a couple days with a second opinion on who the best pieces in this set are. Just remember while reading his poorly researched ramblings whose opinions you REALLY trust the most…

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

 

 

 

Straight, With CHASEr 3!! [Or, 7 Builds for 7 Brothers! (Okay, 6 Brothers and a Sister!)]

Avengers Assemble

Welcome Back!

Today we’re gonna take a special look at the brand-spanking new Avengers Assemble set! Amongst a host of previously Un-Clix’d figures, WizKids gave us seven new Chases featuring future/past/alternate timeline versions of the six most popular Avengers (and one Chase that featured their OG sidekick–but we’ll get to him in a moment) on kickass translucent red bases.

Now, while the Chases are vaguely connected from a thematic standpoint, this is the first group of Chases from a main set that I can remember that do NOT all have a shared mechanic (think Zombies in Deadpool and Guardians, Bringers of the Great Darkness in SLoSH, Entities in WoL, etc.). Which is cool. While I don’t mind Chases that share mechanics, it’s kind of a nice palette cleanser every once in a while to see a set of Chase figures that all play completely differently.

Which leads me right into today’s main topic. Because they all play somewhat differently, we’re going to construct seven 300-Point Builds all based around one of the new Avengers Assemble Chases!

Let’s dive right in with a living legend… who kinda lives up to the legend!

Steve Rogers Nova Corps 2

AVAS061 Steve Rogers250/200 PointsChase:

So, whether he’s played at 250 Points or 200, Steve Rogers hopped up on the Worldmind is gonna be a Primary Attacker. His Trait ( Nova Helmet Targeting Assist: Each turn, one friendly character with the Avengers keyword and another friendly character with the Nova Corps keyword can use Precision Strike, but only when targeting a single character.) is useful, but not exactly the type of thing you usually build an army around. Still, let’s give it a try.

I’m going to play Steve at 200 points so that I can surround him with a little bit of support–specifically, the new Avengers: Age of Ultron Starter Set Hawkeye! Hawkeye is a terrific secondary attacker that Steve can Carry into battle. Clint also offers some top dial Enhancement, so Steve will be shooting for 5 Penetrating Damage on his first click. Together, Steve and Clint come to 275 Points, which leaves 25 Points for a Resource. So our roster will look like this:

Steve Rogers Nova Corps

Team Name: You and I Remember Xandar Very Differently

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 Points

AAOU106 Hawkeye 75

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force12

AVXR101 Cyclops Fragment3

(Assigned to Steve Rogers) — 3

AVXR103 Colossus Fragment3

(Assigned to Hawkeye) — 3

=299

 

Not bad. Playable. Hawkeye can bust any Stealth that you need him to (and unfortunately, Steve will need him to), and his Attack Value is actually higher than Steve’s; you’d probably do well to hit with Clint first, and follow up with Steve for the killshot. With the Precision Strike Steve grants him, Clint’s really only going to be shut down by Shape Change; he’s got an ability to deal with almost every other defensive power in the game. If you can just get the Phoenix Force to its second Click, you suddenly gain two Perplexes (and Hawkeye suddenly has a 19 Defense against ranged attacks), so you’re damage output should be fine from then on.

Still, getting there won’t be easy, and with only two figures, you’ll have little to no margin for error. It will be hard to get in the first attack–especially in such a way that won’t leave you open to a crippling counter-attack.

So, again, this is a decent Build, but I think we can do slightly better defensively than just ES/D. Austin on Dial H for Heroclix noted the potential this particular Chase has for beefing up Police-keyworded rosters, and I completely agree with his assessment! So let’s see what happens when we basically ignore Steve’s Trait (although Steve himself can still use it) and partner him up with a special agent from another universe.

I’m talking, of course, about the Chase Chun-Li D.E.O. Agent!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, but please note Critical Missives Build Rule #4: It’s never the Chase Chun-Li.]

"I'm the only Clix in the game that starts with top dial Hypersonic Speed AND an Attack Special that grants Leap/Climb! AND a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with just a Power Action! Guess which two of those powers I won't be using?"

I’m the only Clix in the game that starts with top dial Hypersonic Speed AND an Attack Special that grants Leap/Climb! AND I have a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with the mere cost of a Power Action. Guess which two of those powers I won’t be using!

So let’s try this again:

Nova Steve 3

Team Name: You and I Remember Central City Very Differently

Theme: Police

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 Points

(w/Secret Avengers ATA) — 5

JLTW009 D.E.O. Agent 56

JLTWR102 Rock of Eternity (Complete)28

(Assigned to Steve Rogers)

Rick Jones Avengers ID Card5

= 294

See?! We’ve suddenly given our 200 Point lynchpin Stealth (via D.E.O. Agent’s Trait: SAFETY IN NUMBERS: When D.E.O. Agent is adjacent to a friendly character with the Police keyword or team ability, both characters can use Stealth.)! Plus access to an Attack Value buff via the D.E.O. Agent’s Police TA. Not to mention we made Steve the Champion of the Rock of Eternity!

No matter what Build we came up with, it was always going to live or die with Steve–that’s true of any piece that costs 2/3 of your force allotment (which is also why so many high level players won’t play anything in the Meta right now that’s more expensive than WoL107 Kyle Rayner). So by giving him the Rock and Stealth, you made him that much tougher to kill.

This won’t win a ROC anytime soon, but if your opponent isn’t packing a solid targeting solution for Stealth, he’s in some deep trouble.

"'But Chun-Li,' you say, 'you only have Flurry mid-dial. So isn't it great that your Team Ability grants you some move-and-attack goodness?' You bet it is. It grants me the ability to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which is not Charge, which is what I'd need to use Flurry as well. But hey, I can still Carry folks. Did I mention I'm 140 Points and I only do 2 damage?"

“‘But Chun-Li,’ you say, ‘don’t sell yourself short. You also have Flurry mid-dial. That’s good, right?‘ You bet it is. Especially since my Team Ability grants me the power to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which isn’t Charge! Which is what I’d need to enable the use of Flurry with it. But congratulations on pulling me! I’m a Chase! You definitely didn’t waste money irresponsibly in acquiring me.

Uhhh… thanks, Chun-Li. I, uh, I think you’ve made your point. This isn’t really about you–we were just doing a quick bit–

"Oh, hey, speaking of my special power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?"

Oh, hey, speaking of my Special Attack Power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?

I don’t–I really don’t think you’re still supposed to be here–

"Oh, hey, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures? Any flyer."

Any %$&#!^* flyer.”

Sigh… Chun-Li, what did we say about the swearing?

"$#@& you!"

$#@& you! I’m 140 points and I do 2 damage. $#@& you.

Moving on!

It’s time for some Heavy Metal…

 

Iron Man Extremis Buster

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 PointsChase:

Now here is your classic Brick Sandwich. 270 Points! Yikes. Okay, well, believe it or not, we still have some options here. Iron Man has a great defensive Trait (ULTRA-DENSE ALLOYS: When Iron an would be dealt damage, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1, he can use Invulnerability; on a result of 2, he can use Invincible; on a result of 3 – 4, damage dealt is reduced by 3; on a result of 5 – 6, damage dealt is ignored.) and starts with 8 Movement with Sidestep, 11 Attack with a Special (MAGNETIC CONCUSSION: Iron Man can use Force Blast and Pulse Wave.), 18 Defense with Willpower and 4 native Damage with a pretty awesomely named Special Power (GIVE ME ALL THE CAMERAS: Iron Man can use Outwit and has Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.).

So, what are his main deficiencies? Well, he doesn’t fly, so even with Sidestep, he’s gonna have a tough time with mobility. At 270 Points, he leaves almost no room for supporting characters. And while his Defense is a solid 18 with a bunch of dampeners, 18 is still pretty hit-able in today’s game. So, having said all that, I would probably look to play him in a non-Resource environment that still allowed 1 Relic per force.

 

Chase Iron Man AA

Team Name: Stark’s Industrial Forgers

Theme: Stark Industries

Roster:

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 Points

FIS104 Greithoth’s Hammer — 8

FI301 Splitlip — 20

= 298

Splitlip gives you a bunch of great little support bonuses. First, Iron Man has a 50% chance to pick up Greithoth’s Hammer, which will give him +2 to his Attack Value, Running Shot and Great Size, so Iron Man can ignore most Terrain types. Second, once Iron Man has that Hammer, he can tote Splitlip around and benefit from Splitlip’s top dial Enhancement. And third, they both form a Stark Industries Themed Team, so Splitlip will be able to use a Themed Probability Control on certain occasions.

In an environment without Resources, you should have a decent chance at setting up an Alpha Strike, especially since Iron Man can shoot through walls on his first two clicks.  All in all, I think I like this team sliiiiightly better than the Steve Rogers teams I came up with, but only because there’s a slightly higher damage ceiling with this Build.

 

King Thor Avengers Assemble

AVAS063 King Thor 369/300/200 Points — Chase:

Another Brick, but one with a slightly different skill set and THREE(!) different dial options. The King here doesn’t pack quite enough of a punch to try him as a one-man army, so again, we’re gonna settle on his 200 Point dial (which is still 6 clicks long. That’s a decent amount of life for a THIRD point option). We’ll go full Asgardian here for a lil’ Map help, plus a few Horde tokens to help dish out Hammers.

 

King Thor Chase

Team Name: As-hats

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS063R King Thor — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIR100C Book of the Skull (Complete) — 30

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

= 300

Once again, we can have our best ranged attacker sling Splitlip over his shoulder and wreck some face. Or, we can have Loki Carry Splitlip first, drop him off in position, and have King Thor finish his Running Shot right next to the lil’ guy. What? King Thor doesn’t have Running Shot? Well, you have four Hammers to choose from. And once he’s equipped, if positioned next to Splitlip correctly, he’ll have two chances (via his own Prob Control) to fling a Hammer 8 squares for 5 Damage. That’s not half bad. The S.H.I.E.L.D. Support is there to help equip Hammers as quickly as possible AND to heal the King should the need arise.

With just a little bit of guile and cunning, you’ll be able to deal some serious dam–

"I'm sorry, did someone say my name?"

I’m sorry, did someone say my name?”

No!! Nope! I’m not going through this again with any more Street Fighters, you hear me? You’re not even a Chase!

"I don't need a Chase. My Uncommon version will dominate any Clix contest! I have a Special Power that lets me move 3 squares and attack for 2 Penetrating Damage--and I get to put an action token on my opponent!"

I don’t need a Chase. My Uncommon version will dominate any Clix contest! I have a Special Power that lets me move 3 squares and attack for 2 Penetrating Damage–and I get to put an action token on my opponent!

That… actually, that’s not bad. Not really worth interrupting this article for, but, you know, uh… noted. Good for you.

"Or, for 10 points less, my Common version has a Special that lets me Incapacitate fools!"

Or, for 10 points less, my Common version has a Special Power that lets me straight Incapacitate fools!

Wait, what? Your other ability already does that. Why would I ever want to save 10 points so badly that I’d cut into you damage output so severely? That 2 Penetrating damage is definitely worth the extra 10 Points!

"Ha! See, I knew you'd be interested."

Ha! See? I knew you’d be interested.

I… can’t believe I fell for that. Moving. ON!

 

Hulk Last Titan

 

AVAS064 Hulk 325/300/150 Points — Chase:

Okay, remember when I said that King Thor at 300 wasn’t good enough to be a one-man army? Well, meet the guy who is. This is the easiest Build of the article:

Hulk Chase Avengers Assemble

Team NameThe Last Last Titan

Theme: Hulk needs no Theme. Hulk strongest Theme there is!!

Roster:

AVAS064E Hulk — 300 Points

=300

His Trait (THE LAST TITAN: Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) is awesome; all those times that Ninwashui complained about the fact that the other great Hulks we’ve received this year have no Outwit protection? Yeah, you can forget about that; this guy has total Outwit protection from everyone except, like, Greed with Ophidian and the Omega Drive.

And even if you find yourself sitting across the table from the decked-out orange Sin, you can feel pretty confident in your ability to one-shot the lil’ bastard. On his first click, Hulk can Charge 10 squares (and that DOESN’T include his Giant Reach)–no halving or modifying of his Movement value is required–with a 12 Attack and 5 Damage (or up to 8 with an Ultra-Heavy). He also doesn’t care about Blocking Terrain, other characters, Hindering or Elevated Terrain, either. If you’re on the map, Hulk will find you. And he will obliterate you.

His Defense starts at 18, never falls below 17, and ends with a stupefyingly awesome Special Power (ONLY ONE THERE IS: Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.).

Now, will there be times when you’re devastating Alpha Strike is ruined when you roll a stinkin’ 3? Sure there will. You have no backup plan with a one-man army. That’s the deal.

But man, you will have some fun with this guy.

"Pssst... you know who else would make a good one-man army?"

Pssst… you know who else would make a good one-man army?

Dammit! We know it’s you, baby Akuma. Go away!

"Ha-Ha!! It's me, Akuma!!"

Ha-Ha!! It’s was me, Akuma, the whole time!!

Yeah, somehow, we guessed that already. And you’re not a one-man army!

"Of course not. I'm just a Rare. But I do have a special power that lets me make 4 close combat attacks in one turn. With no Damage Depletion Modifier."

Of course not. And I’m not a Chase, either. Just a Rare. But I do have a special power that lets me make 4 close combat attacks in one turn. With no Damage Depletion Modifier.

Whaa… ? That can’t be a real power.

"GOSHORYUKEN: Give Akuma a double power action. He can use Flurry as a free action. If he hits at least one character, after actions resolve he can choose a square within 6 squares and be placed in it and then use Flurry again as a free action."

GOSHORYUKEN: Give Akuma a double power action. He can use Flurry as a free action. If he hits at least one character, after actions resolve he can choose a square within 6 squares and be placed in it and then use Flurry again as a free action.

Waitwaitwait! You get to Flurry, zip around the map Kyle Rayner-style, and then Flurry again? And you’re in the same set as that crappy Chun-Li Chase? What’s your point cost? If she’s 140, you have to be, like 220.

"170!"

170!!!”

Who created your set?! Good Lord! It’s like, you would only lose in a Sealed if you actually DID pull a Chase.

"$#@& you."

“To reiterate: $#@& you.”

Hey!! I did not design you, Chun-Li! Don’t yell at me!

That’s it! NO MORE STREET FIGHTERS!! THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT AVENGERS, DAMMIT!!

[Deeeeeeep breath… ]

 

Okay. Annnnnnd, we’re back.

Black Widow as Thor

AVAS065 Black Widow200 Points — Chase:

So, Natasha, the spy, assassin, and all around master of dirty fighting tricks… has been found worthy to wield Mjolnir? Well, it happened! In an alternate universe, sure, but that’s never stopped a character from earning a Clix before! Let’s break down her dial.

Right off the bat, she has a fantastic Trait. Remember all the hoops we jumped through to give 200 Point Steve Rogers Stealth? And how it’s contingent on Steve lugging around a D.E.O. Agent and, y’know, FINDING COVER? Look what comes with Black Widow: “DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS: Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.

So, for no additional cost, not only does Natasha have Traited Stealth, BUT SHE MAKES HER OWN HINDERING TERRAIN!! For FREE!!

Looking at her dial, it’s apparent she’s learned a lot from her Asgardian teammate. This is a Thor dial with just a few Black Widow trimmings (like the aforementioned Stealth Trait), most of which don’t show up until the end of her dial. Her Defense Special (WE’RE THE SACRIFICE – WE WILL SAVE THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE: Black Widow can use Combat Reflexes and Toughness. Whenever another friendly character is KO’d by an opposing character, you may heal Black Widow of 2 clicks.) is great, and it coincides with her move from Running Shot to Charge.

I really love Pandora’s Box with Black Widow; any of the Sins you choose to giver her will offer Sidestep (which allows her to better utilize her top dial RCE), and many will even give her ES/D (which gives you a ranged attacker who herself has Invincible and a 19 Defense Value from ranged attacks). Plus, if you can get the Resource Dial to Click #9, she’ll suddenly be able to bust Stealth (and more, depending on which power you get each turn).

We’re also going to stick with an Asgardian Theme for this squad, which will help with Map Choice and offer 3 Themed Team Probs. Since most Asgardians cost quite a bit, we’re gonna have to return to some of the usual suspects to ensure we can get out all the Sins we need to distribute.

Black Widow Chase

Team Name: Strange Clouds

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS065 Black Widow — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Complete) — 40

= 300

Widow Carries Splitlip (once again, for Enhancement), Loki Carries the Damaged Warbot, and all of them can benefit from Pandora’s Box. Patience is your friend here (and Widow’s Stealth will help with that). Pick your spots to attack carefully, and don’t be afraid to move for board control or for future positioning; your pieces are only going to get better as the game goes on, so stretching things out to give yourself more time to distribute Sins is in your best interest.

"Did someone mention strange clouds?"

Did someone say they want to ‘stretch things out?'”

Nope! I’m not encouraging this. Moving. On.

 

Goliath

AVAS066 Goliath98 PointsChase:

Probably my favorite Chase in the set, Goliath may also be the most versatile CHASEr as well. His Trait seems harmless enough (BACK TO THE BLOND-HAIRED BOWSLINGER NAMED HAWKEYE!: Give Goliath a free action and replace him with any character of equal or less points named Hawkeye on the same click number minus 3, minimum 1.), but it really opens up endless possibilities for how you can use Goliath.

You can start you game by having Goliath Carry out one of your key pieces; then, if your facing, say, some Hypersonic Speedsters, or characters whose offense is based on mobility (especially pieces who have Running Shot or Ranged Combat Expert but DON’T have Sharpshooter), you can stay with Goliath and use Charge with either his native 4 Damage or Quake, if you want to reach out and touch a few opponents at once. Goliath’s Damage Special (GROUND SQUASH: Characters hit by Goliath’s attacks can’t automatically break away and modify their break away rolls by -1 until your next turn.) will all but ensure that anyone he hits (note that he DOESN’T have to actually damage them–just hit them) will be stuck exactly where they are for at least a turn.

Now it’s turn two or turn three… and this is when things REALLY get exciting!! Because Goliath’s Trait can help you customize your team… AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED!

So, imagine this scenario: Goliath has Carried out your big hitter to some prime real estate where your hitter can attack from next turn. Your opponent, however, decides to TK out his or her ranged beast of a Primary Attacker (say, someone who deals 4 or 5 Damage top dial and has Stealth to prevent retaliatory strikes–oh hey, maybe someone JUST LIKE the Black Widow Chase we just talked about) for an Alpha Strike on Goliath, and all of the sudden Clint is drilled all the way to Click 4. Half his dial is wiped away. Crap. Goliath no longer has Charge, and your Primary Attacker never had a way to see through Stealth. What do you do?

Well, since you thought to include Goliath to begin with, all your really need to do is give him a Free Action, sub in, say, AAOU009 Hawkeye, (who can now suddenly Sidestep–while ignoring Elevated AND Hindering Terrain) and start blasting away. Through Stealth. Oh, and by the way, Hawkeye himself now has Stealth, so your opponent’s big hitter? Yeah, if that piece can’t see through Stealth, your opponent is suddenly in for a world of hurt.

Of course, when you bring Hawkeye in, make sure you bring him in top dial, since his Goliath’s Trait specifies that the replacement character comes in on the same click as Goliath MINUS-3 (in this scenario, 4-3=1). So that big hit your opponent just spent all their resources last turn building up to? Completely wiped away.

With one Free Action, you’ve COMPLETELY changed the makeup of your team–and, in this scenario, you’ve also completely changed the complexion of the game. When used correctly, Goliath can actually devastate your opponent’s strategy WITHOUT EVEN ROLLING AN ATTACK! That’s pretty amazing.

Having said all that, we’re going to keep this Build pretty simple. This is a 300 Point, Modern Age, No Resources team.

Goliath Chase

Team Name: Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed & Furious

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS066 Goliath — 98 Points

AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45

AAOU005R Thor — 150

AVID015 Manifold5

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

= 298

As I stated above, you can get really complicated with a Goliath Build if you want. Here, however, we’re just gonna stick with Goliath (who can change into a ridiculously useful Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye) and Thor, with Nick Fury for support. Keep in mind, if you have Thor Carry Nick Fury, your Tertiary Attacker can suddenly do 4 freaking damage! That’ll make your opponent’s head spin!

"Did someone say 'Electrify?'"

Did someone say ‘Electrify?'”

No! Dammit, no one said anything close to that!

Blanka 2

Great. You know your own name. Congratulations.

"At least I'm a Chase."

At least I’m a Chase.”

Yes. You ARE a Chase. You have a perfectly average dial that’s costed just about as one would expect it to be. Which means your perfectly average. Which also means that you’re probably one of the five best clicks in your set, since “perfectly average” is the new “completely broken” when it comes to Street Fighter Clix. There. Are you happy?

Are all of you rude, obnoxious, interrupting jerks from the Street Fighter set happy? Can I finally MOVE THE $#@& ON with my day?

???

Good. At last.

 

"Uh... something something, MIRROR SPIN?"

Uh… something something, MIRROR SPIN?”

I hate my life.

 

Rick Jones

 

AVAS067 Rick Jones75 Points — Chase:

So Rick Jones is kind of support mixed with some Secondary Attacker skills. He continually spawns some pretty decent Bystander Tokens via his Trait (SUMMON THE HEROES I GREW UP READING ABOUT: At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America bystander token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a bystander token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a bystander token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following. This ability can’t be ignored. Bystander Token KO’d: Bystander Token Placed; Captain America: Namor; Namor: Blazing Skull; Blazing Skull: Captain America.), and once per game, his other Trait allows him to immobilize your opponent’s entire team for a whole turn (GALACTIC BURST OF IMMOBILIZING LIGHT: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.). Keep in mind too that your opponent gets no points for KO’ing any of the Bystander Tokens.

As Hunter Smith from Dial H for Heroclix likes to say, “Sounds fair.”

He’s somewhat hard to hit at range with ES/D down his whole dial, and he has Pen/Psy with a massive 10 Range for his first 3 Clicks. On his second click, he even picks up Perplex.

So again, as with Goliath, you have a single character who can fill multiple roles. Team him with, say, AVAS066 Goliath and AVAS034 Jarvis, add in like 3 ID cards of your choosing, and suddenly you have an extremely versatile team, especially in a Modern Age, No Resources format. Oh, and you still have 87 MORE POINTS!!

Team NameSwiss Army Avengers

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS067 Rick Jones — 75 Points

AVAS066 Goliath — 98

AVAS034 Jarvis 40

WXM078 Quicksilver — 87

AVID015 ManifoldFIVE 0 (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

= 300

Truly, this is a team designed to combat a multitude of threats. Not a hugely favorable damage output, but it should be able to run with most Builds. There’s nothing out there that you shouldn’t be able to bring a piece in to handle.

So, there you go. A whole bunch of Builds and analysis featuring the seven new Avengers Assemble Chases. Plus, random analysis for Golden Age Street Fighter figures that, frankly, no one asked for or wanted. Myself included.

"Speaking of Chases no one wants--"

Speaking of Chases no one wants–

What?! Don’t be so hard on yourself, Cammy! You’ve actually got a pretty good dial. Granted, it’s all close combat, but still, you can easily get your Attack Value to 11 or 12–

"I was talking about Chun-Li's Chase again."

I was talking about Chun-Li’s Chase again.

Oh. Wow. Uh, this is awkward. So, you were just popping in to agree with me?

"Jerk."

Jerk.”

Well, until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire.

"$#@& you and goodbye."

“$#@& you and goodbye.”

 

It Might Get Loud!! (Or, Critical Missives Scenario #1: MCU Heroes Versus Villains!!)

Avengers poster

Hello again!

Today we’re here to share our first scenario with you. In celebration of the May 2nd premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ninwashui and I have prepared a couple special scenarios that we’re going to play out on our own time. Our first scenario is detailed here today!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For those who are unaware, a scenario is any game of Heroclix with special rules that are specific to that particular game. Often times they are meant to be played with either a specific set of figures, or else they give you a much smaller range of figures with which to create your Build. Usually there is also a small bit of story context accompanying the scenario (that justifies its existence and/or explains the comic or movie-based storyline you’re about to play out). WizKids sometimes creates scenarios for added depth of play during their OP events and distributes instructions on how to play them with the OP Scenario Pack (for example, Fear Itself had 2 Scenario Pack, War of Light had 1).]

Ninwashui and I have been chomping at the bit to try out some of these new Age of Ultron Gravity Feed pieces, but this Scenario will also give us a chance to break out some of our favorite older Movie Set pieces as well.

So, without further ado, here is our first Critical Missives Scenario. Taking a page from Survivor, it’s simply titled…

 

AvU

HEROES VS. VILLAINS!!

The Scenario: It’s all out war in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!!

While inside Avengers Tower celebrating their ability to finally subdue the Hulk’s latest rampage, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers are finally able to relax. During a fun game of “Whosoever Is Worthy to Pick Up Thor’s Hammer,”all of the Tower’s computers suddenly light up. The Tesseract Thor had brought back with him from Asgard begins to spew energy, and a temporal anomaly forms in the Tower’s Quinjet hangar! For a moment, everything seems normal–until the hangar is ripped open, and the Avengers find themselves under attack from the menacing AI of Ultron and his Sentries! But things immediately go from bad to worse as almost EVERY major villain from the MCU–even some they thought they had dealt with permanently–begin flooding in from the anomaly! The fate of the world is in the hands of the Avengers, and to save it, they’ll have to fight their worst enemies or die trying. 

But the Villains aren’t the only ones back from the beyond. An ally once thought lost has returned to aid the Avengers, and he’s brought a really big gun…

The Game: Designed for 2 Players. 1600 Points. Oreo Age. One player assumes control of the “Heroes” side. The other will guide the “Villains.”

The Map: Avengers Tower (from the Age of Ultron Movie Set Starter Pack). The “Heroes” should begin in the Starting Zone located on the side with the lab, while the “Villains” should start on the side with the open hangar.

The Special Scenario Rules:

–When forces are being built, the “Heroes” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.

–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.

–At the beginning of each player’s first turn, that player may select a single Additional Team Ability (ATA) and assign that Team Ability to all eligible members of their team. At least one member of a player’s force must have the printed keyword required for the chosen ATA.

–There is a restriction of 5 actions per team per turn (NOT COUNTING FREE ACTIONS). This total can be increased by Leadership as per normal.

–While we’re not going to bother with declaring Sidelines or anything, the “Heroes” player should have at least 4 Iron Legions stashed off the map (as well as a Captain America and Black Widow & Iron Man and War Machine Duo Figures if available) and the “Villains” should have at least 4 Test Subjects ready to go.

Special Character Rules:

–In addition to his normal stats and powers, Agent Coulson gets the following Special Damage Power on Click number 4: “So That’s What it Does: Once per game, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing attack, stop turning the dial and select an opposing character. Agent Coulson can use Pulse Wave. When he does, the area of effect for this attack is his range value, he has a locked damage value of 3, and this attack ignores all characters except the opposing character selected for this power. After actions resolve, deal Agent Coulson 1 unavoidable damage. This power cannot be countered or ignored.”

–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player may assign either Loki or Red Skull GGS102 Cosmic Cube without paying its cost. During the game, figures named “Loki,” “Red Skull” or “Captain America” automatically succeed when rolling for the Cosmic Cube.

 

THE ROSTERS:

 

Avengers 1 MCU

Heroes:

 AAOU003 Captain AmericaCommon125 Points

AAOU101 Iron Man Mk. 43Starter Pack150 

AAOU005 ThorCommon200

AAOU008E HulkCommon250

AAOU013 Black WidowMass Market Rare 80

AAOU009 HawkeyeCore Hobby Rare94

AAOU010 Scarlet WitchCore Hobby Rare55

AAOU014 Quicksilver Mass Market Rare63

AAOU011 VisionCore Hobby Rare100

IM3016 War MachineMass Market Rare220

CATWS006 FalconCommon105

AAOU015 Nick FuryMass Market Rare45

AVM206 Agent CoulsonCommon50

CATWS011 Maria HillCore Hobby Rare60

= 1597 (Hmmm… Heroes are apparently so confident that they’re leaving 3 Points on the board!)

 

Marvel Villains

Villains:

AVM211 LokiChase220 Points

AVM041 Red SkullChase170

IM3008 Aldrich KillianCommon35

TDW004 MalekithCommon350

CATWS008 Winter SoldierCommon100 

GOTGM106 RonanStarter Pack300

AAOU016 Baron StruckerMass Market Rare95

AAOU018 Ultron PrimeMass Market Chase250

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

= 1600 Points!! (Villains got their $#!t together!)

 

Why These Teams?: Because, as I mentioned before, this gives us a chance to really dig into the new Age of Ultron Movie Set while also providing an opportunity to dust off some old favorites. As for these specific rosters, we chose them because–between the two of us–we happen to have all these pieces and the points match pretty damn close (in a 1600 Point game, I’m prepared to deal with a variance of 3 points).

Handicapping the Squads: While we haven’t decided who will play which side, just looking at the rosters, I’d expect the “Heroes” side to have a distinct advantage. While there is certainly a ton of raw power on the “Villains” side (and Ooooo, Malekith at 350 looks like soooo much fun…), the “Heroes” side is much more synergistic with their “Avengers Assemble!” Traits and such. Still, we shall see…

The Result: Check back in this space next week. Once we play out the Scenario, we’ll post the highlights and tell you who won right here!! (And/or in the next Weekly Roundup–we’re waaaay overdue for one of those!)

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

There Are… No Strings… on Me!! (Or, a Set Review of the Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Set!!)

Age of Ultron Back to Us

 

Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Or a Happy Passover, or, if you’re not a person of faith, or at least not a person of a faith that celebrated this season, I hope you had, uh, a Happy Sunday!

As our belated gift to you, Ninwashui and I are teaming up to rip through the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron Gravity Feed Movie Set! We’re gonna go figure by figure using our popular and patented [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, it’s really neither of those things.] Oxygen Filtration Mask Numeric Scale!

It’s all part of our month-long ramp up celebrating the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! In addition to today’s article, we’re also going to review the Starter pack and write and play a scenario based on the movie (or, y’know, what little we know about the movie since it hasn’t released yet).

But today is about the Age of Ultron Gravity Feed, so let’s get it rolling!

SOME QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–The whole set actually gets its flavor not just from AoU but also from prior Marvel movies as well. Iron Man (Iron Man 3), Iron Legion (Iron Man 3) and Nick Fury (Avengers) all have power sets and costumes that reference previous MCU outings. Conversely, Hawkeye and Black Widow are definitely in their Age of Ultron costumes (note Hawkeye’s longer tunic, which gets him a little bit closer to his comic book look), but their power sets almost seem like they’re taken directly from the first Avengers film (going back to Hawkeye, he has Traits and Powers with names like “Rooftop Maneuvers” and “Vantage Point.” He could certainly spend a lot of time on rooftops in Age of Ultron, but these really sound like Hawkeye’s abilities taken from the Battle of Manhattan sequence in the first Avengers film).

–Meanwhile, it seems like the designers went out of their way to make the most generic Cap, Thor and Hulk pieces they could possibly imagine (I’m speaking strictly from a flavor/sculpt standpoint–see each figure’s individual entry to see how we think they stand up as Heroclix figures!). Cap gets an abilities like “Rebounding Shield” and “His Enemies Fear Him,” while Hulk has “Fueled by Anger” and “He Only Leaves Rubble.”

–For those keeping score at home, we finally have MCU Clix for: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Baron Strucker and Ultron. First time generics include Test Subject and Iron Legion (although IM3 had at least 4 Armor Shell versions from the “House Party Protocol” scene at the end of the movie).

Alright, enough notes about the set! Let’s dig into the dials!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry bro, we need one more note. As always with Movie Set Reviews, we’re saving the Starter Review for a separate article, since we’re already over 7000 words on the Main Set alone, making this our largest single article ever!]

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man

AAOU001 Iron Man250/185 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: At 250 Points, Iron Man here is certainly beefy, starting with a 12 Attack and an 18 Defense Value with Invincible. His awesomely-named second Trait (THE HOUSE PARTY PROTOCOL, SIR?: Give Iron Man a power action if there are less than 4 friendly undefeated characters named Iron Legion. If you do, place a AAOU002 Iron Legion in your starting area from outside the game.) allows him to bring in armor shells that are two clicks deep, but they come into play in your starting area. Depending on where the action’s centered, the battle may be lost before you can even get the shells into play. This is a bit of a problem, especially since there’s another figure in this set who does the same trick better. Similarly, his Avengers Assemble Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.) is a nifty lil’ bonus, but there are better versions of the same Trait on almost every other Avenger.

In a Modern Age environment that also includes Ultron Prime and Trinity War Superman at the 250 Point level, I just don’t know that you’re getting enough damage out of this Iron Man and his Iron Legion shells to really keep up with number of effective actions your opponent will be taking in a 300 Point game. Also, while any piece with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability is going to be a nuisance, his 7 Range is below average for a piece in his price range.

Now, at 185 Points… he’s still over costed. With five clicks of life and middling Attack Values (again, for the points), he still offers the same two Traits as his higher-costed version and the ability to target through Stealth. Still, this feels much more like a 150 or 160 Point dial. 185 is just a rip-off, frankly. Not the worst dial in the world, but not one that I would choose to play, especially with all of the other Iron Man options out there.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says:

Pretty short dials for both versions, actually. Both Traits are more fun than competitive. The Iron Legions he can bring into play hit hard enough, sure, but they’re easy to KO and award 50 Points to your opponent for each one that’s KO’d. And really, the Transport Symbol is pretty much wasted on figures that already fly and have top dial Running Shot.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Legion

AAOU002 Iron Legion50 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Mildly effective for his points, but you’re probably not playing him this way very often. He’s useable, but far from groundbreaking. Actually, he’s kind of a boring way to use 50 points, but at least he can Taxi, too.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks 

HypeFox Says: Yeah, he’s only got 4 Clicks, but for 50 Points I get Running Shot, 10 Attack and a Damage Value that never drops below 3 AND never loses Enhancement. A great Tertiary Attacker with a mild amount of support with Enhancement and the ability to Taxi. I think he’s damn effective for 50 Points–I’d put him right up there with some of the better Lantern Recruits we just got.

GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America

AAOU003 Captain America125/80 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: One of the most creative Caps we’ve seen in awhile. The 125 Point dial is a brutally effective mid-range piece to start. He’s actually at his most deadly when he’s at least two squares away from an opposing figure, even though Cap is normally thought of as a close combatant. His Avengers Assemble Trait is pretty one-sided (there will be very few circumstances when your opponent would rather take a -1 hit to the Attack Value of all his pieces versus letting you give one of your pieces +1 to Damage). His top dial vanilla Leadership is somewhat wasted when the majority of Avengers cost more than him (or at least the majority of Avengers who can Carry him and keep him adjacent–yes, you can sometimes end up adjacent to a friendly after a Running Shot to set up Leadership next turn, but that’s a lil’ tricky to do usually). If he ignored characters on movement (instead of or in addition to) I’d love him; as it is, I merely like this dial.

His Rookie dial, on the other hand, offers a ton of value for 80 Points–and also plays way differently than his Blue dial. Now that’s a great design! He starts with a Leadership Special Power (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM: Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.) that he keeps his whole dial. He doesn’t even need line of fire to dish out tokens–opposing characters merely need to be within 4 Squares.

His Attack Value never descends below 10, and even gets up to 11 more than once. The only problem is a lack of Indomitable, but the last half of his dial features Willpower anyway. And top dial, once he gets in close on someone, they’re gonna need a 20 to hit him with a Close Combat attack.

This is a fun piece and one of my favorites from the set.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: Really dig his 125 Point dial. He’s difficult to hit at range, which should allow him to use his Avengers Initiative Team Ability to slowly close in on his opponents. After that first hit he magically transforms into an equally hard to hit close combat headache for your opponent.

His 80 Point dial is almost as good, but his Leadership Special–as powerful as it can potentially be–will only go off 33% of the time. And with no native damage reducers, it’s possible for a heavy hitter like AAOU005 Thor to knock him out with one lucky hit.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Test Subject

AAOU004 Test Subject30 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Ugh. The first real loser of the set. Don’t let the 3 separate dials fool you–even for a generic, this is a bit uninspired. Their Trait (THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE YIELDING… INTERESTING… RESULTS: When Test Subject is first placed on the map, roll a d6 and click the character to the indicated starting line: 1 – 2 red; 3 – 4 blue; 5 – 6 yellow) ensures that you’ll never know which of their dials you’ll actually be playing, which is a problem when you are, y’know, TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLEMENTARY TEAM! These guys need help to be anything more than even just a tie-up piece for a turn. But with such limited mobility, it’ll take them forever just to get next to an opposing figure to tie them up in the first place. I can’t see 4 of these pieces ever taking out any 120 Point figure I can think of.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: Okay, taken on their own merits, they’re not the best use of 30 Points. However, what if I told you there was a way to easily get them within range of an opposing figure, to the point that they’d be all but guaranteed an Alpha Strike? Then would you be interested? If you can find a way around their awful mobility, these guys suddenly become pretty dangerous–especially since they’re only 30 Points. Having said that, no one is ever going to play them for 30 Points, for reasons we will get into as we get a bit further down the list…

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Thor

AAOU005 Thor200/150 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: Wow. We’ve gotten a ton of 4-Star Thors in the past couple years, but this version might just be a cut above. His AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Thor hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters modify their damage values by -1 until your next turn or, opposing characters can’t make ranged combat attacks until your next turn.) is absolutely brutal.

You: “So, would you prefer to do way less damage next turn, or would you prefer to do no damage next turn?

Your Opponent: “Uhhh… is that a real power? That doesn’t sound like a real power.”

You: “It’s a Trait, not a power.”

Your Opponent: “I hate you.”

I mean, what kind of choice is that? But beyond that, he starts with 5 native Damage, an 11 Attack Value that alternates between Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion (with an 8 Range and 2 Bolts) and an 18 Defense Value that’s boosted by both Invincible and his second Trait (MJOLNIR TO CARRY ME: When Thor has one or more action tokens, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection.). And remember, he sees through Stealth via his AI Team Ability. The only thing keeping him from 5 Masks at this point is his one glaring weakness:  no Willpower.

Still, in a Tactics format, this is pretty easily fixed, and in a No Tactics format, he hits so heavy that it may not even matter. If you only push him once or twice, you’ll be fine–heck, that first push basically just puts him on Pulse Wave. He only loses one Movement and one Defense.

His Rookie dial is a little more subtle, but just as effective.

GRADE(S): 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: User UncorkedMonk on HCRealms.com said “Hes an indom symbol away from being great. As is hes alright. But theres enough ways to give him willpower I spose.” Despite his clear vendetta against apostrophes, I have to completely agree. Outside of the normal Resource/Relic route, let’s remember that Thor is an Asgardian. For 5 Points, their ATA explicitly GIVES him Willpower on his first click. That’s right. The Asgardian ATA:  it’s not just for Splitlip anymore.

His Rookie dial finds him switching from a 5 Damage Primary Attacker to a 4 Damage sniper squad leader. And while he plays differently than his higher point version, he’s just as effective. Especially if you put the right team around him, which you’ll have 50 more points to do with this version.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hydra Soldier

AAOU006 Hydra Soldier — 40 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: I think this was the only character in the set I wasn’t looking forward to getting (so guess who I’ve pulled 4 of so far… ). Even in groups, I don’t see this guy ever lasting long enough to hit anyone. I can see what they were trying to do with his Minion power that bestows Leadership (MINION: HAIL HYDRA: When a friendly character with the HYDRA keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, Hydra Soldier can use Charge. When that character uses Leadership and succeeds, remove an action token from all characters named Hydra Soldier within that character’s range and line of fire unless one has already been removed this turn from that character from this effect.), but the low inherent Movement and the existence of DP006 Hand Ninja means that this guy will likely never see play from me. On the plus side, he’s got a pretty cool sculpt though.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: For the first time in this article, I think I finally agree with Ninwa. His TA only works for ranged attacks (well, unless your running him with Wolverine, Agent of Hydra) but his skill set is only viable for close combat attacks. Come to think of it, running him with Hydra Wolvie is really the only way to make him work. Even then, as Ninwashui mentioned, DP006 Hand Ninja is pretty much a better choice all the way around.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron Sentry

AAOU007 Ultron Sentry40Common:

HypeFox Says: 3 Clicks for 40 Points doesn’t instill a ton of confidence until you look a little closer at those three Clicks. Top dial they have Pen/Psy and Enhancement (although only a 4 Range) with a native 3 Damage. In other words, as they multiply, they can start dishing out 4-5 Penetrating Damage. That’s a huge amount of Damage output for a 40 Point figure. Yes, they can be destroyed quite easily with just a 15 Defense Value, but their Movement Special on Click 2 (THERE’S NO END IN SIGHT!: Once per turn, for all characters with this power, give Ultron Sentry a double power action. Place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry from outside the game in an adjacent square on click number 3.) means that they can replicate themselves over and over. In other words, for 40 Points, you can create a whole army INSIDE your army.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says:  It’s a 40 point character that can duplicate itself as soon as turn 4. And it can keep doing it until you run out of them on your sidelines with no outside help required. And when one dies, a double power action can put that guy right back out. Unlike Iron Legion, the duplicate figures are the exact same strength as the original. And they have two Traits that make it so they can work together to become far more powerful the more of them there are (COMBINED EFFORTS: Modify Ultron Sentry’s attack value by +1 for each adjacent friendly character named Ultron Sentry. Modify Ultron Sentry’s damage value by +1 for each 2 adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry AND CONSISTENT PROGRAMMING: When using the Carry ability, Ultron Sentry may carry any number of adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry regardless of their combat symbols.).

They also have additional Trait that works well  with the other versions of Ultron: HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Sentry is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: 

3 – 4, place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry on its starting line;
5, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line;
6, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its blue starting line.” 

Try to imagine this:  Starting on Turn 4, Ultron Sentry makes another Ultron Sentry. Turn 5, the first Sentry you made makes another. Turn 6, the original makes another. You can just keep doing this in your starting area until you feel like you have enough. A 40 point investment can bring 8 more of these things into play and descend on the opponent as a cloud of nine sentries. Nothing in the game anywhere near 40 points can take that on. If you own enough of these you can bring a 900 point army to a 300 point game.

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hulk

AAOU008 Hulk300/250/200 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Going in, you have to know a couple things. First, you’re paying a metric poop-ton of points for a character that has absolutely no range AND that has absolutely NO OUTWIT PROTECTION!! These are major issues. It’s true that if Hulk gets Outwitted, he gets the small bonus of an Anger Token via his Trait (ENORMOUS GREEN MONSTER: Hulk can use Battle Fury. Each time Hulk takes damage from an opponent’s attack or one of his powers or combat abilities is countered, put an Anger token on this card.), but that’s not really Outwit protection, is it?

His 300 Point dial has an awesome top dial, but the chances of you being able to get to swing with that top dial in a 300 or even 400 Point game is minimal. He’ll most likely be picked apart on his approach.

At 250, he runs into the same problems. While his dial is fun, one Outwit can just absolutely ruin his day.

Finally, his Rookie dial actually gets a half-mask more from me because it leaves room for supporting figs (just from this set, adding AAOU015 Nick Fury and AAOU010 Scarlet Witch will form a perfect 300 Point team) that can really help Hulk deal maximum damage.

Just make sure that whichever dial you play, you use Colossal Stamina whenever there is a meaningful action to take UNLESS that would put you on a Stop Click.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: For a Hulk dial, there is a lot going on here, most of which I like. Traited Battle Fury means that Shape Change will not help you–and with a figure that costs this much (no matter which dial you play), any ability that can eliminate the possibility of wasted actions is a very good thing. His Avengers Assemble Trait is good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hulk hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Deal one target 1 unavoidable damage and give it an action token or, put an Anger token on this card.), but again, it’s pretty much one-sided (no opponent is going to choose to take an additional damage AND lose an action as opposed to giving Hulk a token that lets him increase a potential Regeneration roll somewhere down the line by +1 or increase the chance Hulk won’t take Colossal Stamina damage by just over 16%.).  The first choice wreaks havoc on his team right now, while the second option might subtly benefit you at some unspecified juncture down the line. Not much of a choice there. Having said that, getting the Anger Token bonus is better than not having that Trait at all, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.

I like his Rookie dial a little more than Ninwashui, since I believe that his Defense Special Stop Click (HIS ANGER SUSTAINS HIM: When this click is revealed due to taking damage, stop turning the dial and remove all actions tokens from Hulk. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a little bit of Outwit protection (and Pulse Wave protection). And it shows up twice, in tandem with his Damage Special Power (HE ONLY LEAVES RUBBLE: Hulk can use Invincible and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration, you may remove any number of Anger tokens from this card. If you do, the d6 roll can’t be rerolled and you may increase the result by 1 for each token removed.).

So while he doesn’t have Outwit protection, he does have some built-in survivability.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 and 1/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye

AAOU009 Hawkeye94 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: Wow. Back in our set preview a few weeks ago, I said that this was the figure of the set. And I’m not backing off. I think he’s ridiculously good, and here’s why.

First of all, he’s got arguably the best AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hawkeye hits one or more characters with an attack, the opposing player chooses: Hit characters are each dealt 1 unavoidable damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye isn’t given an action token for this action.). Finally, an Avengers Assemble! where both of the choices really suck for your opponent! Remember, Hawkeye has 3 Bolts and Precision Strike, so chances are he’s already dealt 1 Penetrating Damage to two or three of your opponent’s characters (and keep in mind that Stealth won’t help them, because Clint has Avengers Initiative). Now, does your opponent want each of the hit characters to each take ANOTHER Unavoidable Damage? Or do you want to keep Hawkeye from getting an action token, which means he can do the whole thing over again next turn?

This is an actual dramatization of your next opponent trying to decide which of these options to go with after 3 of his characters have been hit by Hawkeye.

Now before you start worrying about his top dial 10 Attack Value, take a look at his second Trait (VANTAGE POINT: When making a ranged combat attack, modify Hawkeye’s attack value by +1 for each target of the attack. When he hits 3 characters, he may give one hit character an action token if he doesn’t assign that character any damage.). All of which means that it shouldn’t be hard to get Hawkeye a +2 or even +3 modifier to his Attack Value. Forget Perplex–this Hawkeye takes care of his own modifiers.

Finally, Ninwashui is probably gonna come on here and trash Hawkeye’s Movement Value. Sure, it’s a bit low at just 6 Squares, but even that, too, is deceiving. When you break it down, you’ll see that his starting Movement Special (ROOFTOP MANEUVER: Hawkeye can use Sidestep and Stealth. When he uses Sidestep, he can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain.) means that he can actually cover 8 Squares a turn AND he can change elevation, too (AND he can make an Attack afterwards, since it’s Sidestep!)! And since he already ignores Hindering Terrain on movement (again, thanks to the AI Team Ability), you actually have a figure who’s much more nimble than a lot of other figures with higher Movement Values.

Now, I can’t quite give him 5 Masks in an environment where Banshee is still Modern (he’s even more beastly for just 4 more points), but Hawkeye here is darn close. He offers a bunch of powers and abilities that you can’t get from Resources or Relics, and what he lacks CAN be fixed by Resources and Relics (The Phoenix Force or especially the new Pandora’s Box Resource should work wonders with this Hawkeye. If you use Pandora’s Box, I’d recommend it’s first setting–the Path of the Hunter. It’s got pretty easy early access to the abilities that Clint needs the most, like Energy Explosion and Running Shot, and it’s also pretty easy to get Hawkeye permanent access to both ES/D AND Combat Reflexes).

GRADE: 4 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: Low Movement Value, no dampeners or anything to help his Defense beyond Stealth and a lack of Running Shot hurt this guy. That being said, if your opponent can’t find a way to hide two or three of his pieces (and it’s admittedly tough to hide guys from a dude who has 8 Range, Sidestep, 3 Bolts and the ability to see through Stealth), then this guy could suddenly be the star of your team. All his is missing is Energy Explosion to be the best figure ever made at taking out clusters of opponents at a time. And AAOU015 Nick Fury (who will get to in a minute) has a Special Attack Power that goes great with this guy.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

AAOU010 Scarlet Witch55 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: Her Trait (UNCAGING THE BEAST: Give Scarlet Witch a free action when she has two action tokens and choose a friendly character within range and line of fire. Modify the chosen character’s combat values by +1 until the end of the turn, and, at the end of the turn, deal Scarlet Witch 1 unavoidable damage and don’t clear her action tokens. If the chosen character’s name is Hulk, you may modify the chosen character’s combat values by +2 instead.) seems to be begging for you to play her with some version of the Hulk to make her reach her full potential, but I think she’ll end up seeing a lot of play on a variety of tournament teams regardless of the presence of a Hulk. Even just a +1 boost to all stats is no joke, and she could technically do that for five turns in a row before being KO’d. That ability might be worth 55 Points by itself.

Factor in her 8 Range, 10 Attack and 3 Damage with Perplex top dial and you have a piece that’s useful even before her crazy-good Trait starts to kick in!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: She has no Avengers Assemble! Trait on her own, which is a bit of a bummer. Her Point Cost is reasonable, but if Ninwashui thought that Hawkeye was too crunchy with only Stealth to protect him, I can only imagine what he thinks about a figure with one less Click of life and an even worse Defense Value. If you can get some mileage out of her Trait, she’ll make her cost worth it; if she gets destroyed before that, well… sorry.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Vision

AAOU011 Vision100 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: First of all, this is an awesome sculpt and paint job!! Second… yeah, I have no second. At 50 Points, he’d be amazing. Unfortunately he costs double that. Somehow, a figure with no Traits or Improved Movement or Targeting of any kind and with only six Clicks of life costs 100 Points.

He does fly and he has Indomitable, but he doesn’t do enough to be a Secondary Attacker and he costs WAAAAYYY too much to be a Taxi. And he has 0 Range. I’m glad that he has the Avengers keyword, but he is a Theme play only; he’s not turning up in any sort of competitive environment. Even with Hydra Soldier’s existence, this is probably the worst piece in the set (especially since he costs so much more).

GRADE: 1 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He’s not as bad as HypeFox makes him out to be, but I have to agree with the idea that if you are actually playing him, you’re playing him because you like the character and not because you think he’s a powerful HeroClix figure. He does have 3 Clicks of Outwit followed by 3 Clicks of Perplex, so I can tell why he’s clocking in at 100 Points. But in a world where even a 43 Point Hand Ninja has Traits and Special Powers [EDITOR’S NOTE: And a Team Ability!], it’s hard to justify a dial that costs more than double and has none of those things unless the power set is just top notch. Vision’s power set, alas, is not.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron MK 1

AAOU012 Ultron MK1120/65 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: For 120 Points you get a character that hits hard, but with a low Attack Value. He also is good at absorbing damage with four clicks of Invuln, but he doesn’t match well with other figures in his point range unless you take his Trait into account (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Mk 1 is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: (4)-(5), place 012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line. (6), place either 012 Ultron Mk 1 or 018 Ultron Prime on its blue starting line.). Basically, if you’re running any other Age of Ultron versions of him, then you will likely get him back in your Starting Area on Click one. His stats by themselves are average, but his synergy with other Ultron pieces is the real reason to play him.

His Rookie dial is kind of more of the same. You’d play it to fit in another Ultron on your force, but this dial will never see play otherwise.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (120 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (65 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: Kind of a must have piece if you’re trying to create an Ultron swarm. On its own, it’s average, but when you start running it with Ultron Prime or Ultron Sentry, it can really start to wear your opponent down.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Black Widow

AAOU013 Black Widow80 Points Mass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: This is one of the stranger Black Widows we’ve gotten in recent years. On the plus side, she’s got a pretty decent AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Black Widow hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters can’t attack Black Widow until your next turn or opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage until your next turn.) and a cool Attack Special (WIDOW’S STING: When Black Widow hits with a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 4 – 6, Black Widow can use Incapacitate twice, each as a free action, but only to target a hit character.). On the negative side, she’s pretty much set up as a ranged attacker, but she’s only got a 4 Range and no move and attack. And if she can’t attack, her special powers are all wasted.

Having said that, like her former S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddy Hawkeye, much of what ails her can be fixed with a Resource or Relic (Mokk’s Hammer would solve almost all of her top dial problems).

So she has some potential in a Tactics environment, but in a game where you can’t use Resources or Relics, she’s gonna be a tough piece to use effectively. Chances are high that you won’t get out of her what you put into her.

GRADE: 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: She can really shine with an Avengers Themed Team around her, but you’re gonna have to team her up with a really effective Primary Attacker to distract the other team’s best offensive pieces and let her get a ranged attack (or two) off. Nearly full dial Stealth and intermittent Perplex make me like this version slightly more that her Starter pack counterpart (AAOU105 Black Widow, natch!). And, once again, AAOU015 Nick Fury‘s Special Power works really well with her as well.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Quicksilver

AAOU014 Quicksilver 63 PointsMass Market Rare

Ninwashui Says: He’s the cheapest character in Modern right now with top dial Hypersonic Speed. When you compare him to 65 point FL001A The Flash you’ll see that he moves much farther and has a better chance of hitting because of his ability to use Probability Control on himself. This is also one of the few instances where I think it’s really nice for this character to have Force Blast. I can just imagine him flinging opposing support figures off rooftops or into walls. And let’s be honest, 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection is pretty damn impressive for someone at his point level.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: He’s been growing on me. I still don’t like that his Attack Value never exceeds “meh,” but his Damage Special (FAST ENOUGH TO TRY AGAIN: Quicksilver can use Probability Control, but only to reroll his own rolls.) means that he gets two shots at every attack roll. And an 18 Defense with ES/D is EXTREMELY good for any figure under 80 Points. He’s never going to do much damage, but at 63 Points he’s always going to be a Secondary Attacker at most. But depending on how you construct your army, he might even just be a third attacker on a 300 Point squad. And he’s perfect for that.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Nick Fury

AAOU015 Nick Fury45 PointsMass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: So, we’ve already mentioned this guy three or four times, so you probably had an inkling that he’d be good. I think he’s possibly Meta, although he necessitates building an Avengers Themed Team around him. His Trait is great (I STILL BELIEVE IN HEROES: If Nick Fury is part of an Avengers Themed Team and has the lowest point value character on your starting force, he can use Leadership and Outwit. When he uses Leadership, he is considered 300 points.), since at 45 Points he will almost ALWAYS be the lowest point value character on an Avengers Themed Team. So you don’t even really need to alter your team any to fit him in, and in a 300 Point game his Leadership is guaranteed to work on whoever he’s next to as long as you make the roll. On top of that, since he has Avengers Initiative, his Outwit sees through Hindering Terrain!!

Oh, and speaking of rolls, Fury Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…: When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! Trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) gives him a 33% chance to just completely wreck your opponent’s day. Remember how we mentioned how one-sided some of the Avengers Assemble! Traits were on the figures in this set? Well, if YOU suddenly get to make the choice for your opponent, those AA Traits become stratospherically better!

On top of all that, he has Willpower, Shape Change, Stealth and a native 3 Damage. This is a great package for just 45 Points.

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He is really only viable on an Avengers Themed Team, but if you’re playing one, he is almost an auto-include if you have the points. Even if your not using his Attack Special because you’re running him with non-AoU Avengers, just the fact that he gives you a working Leadership and Outwit while also being a competent Tertiary Attacker is pretty amazing.  I’m not sure if Avengers Themed Teams will start showing up at major tournaments, but if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll be running this Nick Fury.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Baron Strucker

AAOU016 Baron Strucker95 PointsMass Market Rare:

Ninwashui Says: And finally we come to my top Want from this set. Sporting a creative and efficient dial, Baron Strucker is capable of changing a game just by himself. Like AAOU001 Iron Man, he can make himself a small army with just a few power actions via his Special Attack Power (WE LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM…: Give Baron Strucker a power action if there are less than 4 friendly characters with the Test Subject keyword on the map. When you do, place a friendly AAOU004 Test Subject from outside the game on the map within 6 squares of him.). Unlike Iron Man, when Baron Strucker’s army dies, his Trait (THEIR SACRIFICE ENSURES OUR FUTURE: When a friendly character with the Test Subject keyword is KO’d put an Evolution token on Baron Strucker’s card. Modify Baron Strucker’s combat values +1 for every two Evolution tokens on his card.) ensures that the Baron gets stronger! Keep in mind that for a 95 Point piece, he was already sitting on some pretty good stats to begin with. Several of his Clicks sport a 10 Attack Value with 4 Damage. Now imagine if that got pumped up to a 13 Attack and 7 Damage–those are Hulk Smash numbers!

And he has Mastermind, so, depending on how you place your Test Subjects, it’ll be damn near impossible for most of your opponents NOT to KO some Test Subjects along the way to Baron Strucker, unless their pieces are just dripping with Precision Strike. And you get all this for just 1/3 of your 300 Point Build!!

I am already dreaming of playing this guy with DP054 Arnim Zola for some friendly Mind Control shenanigans or IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0 to turn those Test Subjects into Claymore mines. Oh, the destruction I’ll wreak…

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: This is the piece I was referencing in my AAOU001 Iron Man writeup. Whereas the Iron Legion pieces have to come into play all the way back at your Starting Zone, Strucker here can place his Test Subjects wherever the hell he likes within a 6-Square radius! Think about how useful that is! Can’t get through that wall and into the room where your opponent is trying to heal his Primary Attacker back to full? Boom–now there’s a Test Subject adjacent to his healer. Who can make an attack on that same healer THIS TURN!! This ability is kind of like Deadpool’s Sheep Gun Word Balloon, only it’s about a thousand times more useful.

If Strucker’s Dial was crap except for that power, he’d still be good. But he’s got a great dial, and he gets stronger for every Test Subject that’s killed! You just need to get this man some Willpower!

I hate to say it again, but this is another near-Meta piece for me. More importantly, he’s going to be poop-tons of fun at house games…

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Hulkbuster GiF

AAOU017 Hulkbuster300/225 PointsCore Hobby Chase:

HypeFox Says: Sort of a disappointing Chase, especially since we know we’re getting a comic version of the Hulkbuster armor one piece at a time in the Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. boosters this summer. But beyond that, his dial seems much more like a 200-250 Point character; at 300, you’re really only playing him in fun, epic games where you think you’re gonna run into other big’uns.

His AA Trait is actually pretty good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: Once per turn, when Hulkbuster hits one or more characters with a close combat attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Modify Hulkbuster’s defense value by +2 until your next turn or Hulkbuster may make a close combat attack as a free action against a hit target, modifying his attack value by -2 for the attack.), but his other Trait (DESIGNED TO PUT YOU DOWN, BRUCE: At the beginning of the game for all characters with this trait, choose an opposing character with :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:. That character can’t ignore pushing damage or have its combat values increased.) and his Defense Special Power (SHE IS BUILT TO FIGHT THE BIG ONES: Hulkbuster can use Invincible. When Hulkbuster is hit by an attack from a character with the :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:, modify that’s character’s damage value by -1 for the attack.) are geared specifically towards putting down Giant-sized or Colossal figures, Team Bases or Vehicles. If you’re playing 1000 Point Brawl where those figures are allowed, he’s well worth his Points. If you’re playing almost any other format, you probably overpayed for this dial by at least 50 Points.

His Rookie version is a little bit better, if only because it’s 75 Points cheaper. You lose two really good Clicks, but you’re also closer to his Hypersonic slots.

These pieces are slight misfires for me.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: I have to agree. You should only play this guy if you know in advance that you have a good shot at facing Giants or Team Bases–and even then I’m not sure that he’ll win that fight. Against Colossals, you’d do much better playing AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man.

It’s not that this guy can’t win; it’s just that he’s a close combat piece that’s likely to get shot crossing the board and his combat values don’t hold up like they do with AAOU008 Hulk. He is also yet another figure above 200 points with no Outwit protection of any kind.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

 

Ultron No Strings On Me

AAOU018 Ultron Prime250/125 PointsMass Market Chase:

Ninwashui Says: At 250 points there won’t be much room for support (other than maybe an AAOU007 Ultron Sentry) He can use Energy Explosion with 3 Bolts, but he doesn’t have Running Shot until his third Click. Until then, he’s stuck with Charge or Hypersonic Speed with a 9 Attack. Not horrible, but not worth 250 Points, either.

He’s meant to be a close combat figure and just like AAOU008 Hulk he will have a hard time crossing the board without being weakened (this seems to be a Chase theme this set!). And he’s 250 Points with no Outwit protection (another Chase theme!), only an 18 starting Defense Value and no Stop Clicks. Again, Transport Symbol is really wasted points here, unless you’re in love with low Attack Values for some reason.

His Experienced dial is a little better just by virtue of being able to pack in a lot more compatible supporting figs. His actual power set is still mostly incompatible (and, again, no Running Shot ’til Click 3), and Transport Symbol is still wasted here.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: I think I like him a little better than you do. Yes, he does not have an efficient power mix, but he’s not a pushover, either, and his Trait (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when Ultron Prime is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 5 – 6 place this character in your starting area on its blue starting line.) gives him a 33% chance to come back and haunt your opponent all over again.

That Trait works even better on his Experienced dial, since it brings him back all the way to his Starting Line.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

 

Alrighty! There you have it–the longest article (by word count) we’ve ever published! We hope you enjoyed this look into Avengers: Age of Ultron, and make sure to come back for our Starter Review!

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

 

Local Tournament Report – 5/07/14 Comics & More

Local Tournament Report

The Format:  (Directly from the judge’s post on HCrealms) 300 point Modern Age, no relics/resources/team bases/colossals. There are a couple of newbies showing up next Wednesday, so let’s try not to be too “Smashmouth” with our teams (EDITOR’S NOTE: At our venue, not constructing teams who are too “Smashmouth” is a somewhat odd yet surprisingly common build stipulation. Essentially, it means that you can’t use any characters who, in the comics upon which the figure is based, are powerful enough to walk on the actual sun, since, of course, “Walkin’ on the Sun” was the first hit single of the American Ska Punk band Smashmouth. This condition would preclude the inclusion of characters such as virtually any version of Superman, Hyperion, or even someone like, say, King Hyperion–hmm? What? Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… Wait are you sure? No, you’re right, that makes sense. I guess. Uh, gimme a second. I’ll be right back–).

(EDITOR’S NOTE REGARDING THE PREVIOUS EDITOR’S NOTE: Please, y’know, disregard it. I’ve just been informed that not only is that NOT what the Judge meant when he used the term Smashmouth, that’s actually NEVER been what ANYONE has ever meant when they used the term “Smashmouth.” Informed in a rather rude manner, by the way. Just throwing that out there. Not looking for sympathy, just wondering why everyone here at Critical Missives can’t show each other just a little bit more respect. People make mistakes. Please Keep Calm and Carry On.)

(EDITOR’S NOTE REGARDING THE END OF THE PREVIOUS EDITOR’S NOTE THAT CLARIFIED THE FIRST EDITOR’S NOTE: I was referring to ninwashui with my general plea to Keep Calm and Carry On, because he gets pretty crabby when I “ruin” his columns with my wonderful EDITOR’S NOTES. He was the rude person I was referring to, in case it wasn’t clear. Not trying to throw him under the bus, but–

(WRITER’S NOTE ABOUT THESE #&$^%#$% EDITOR’S NOTES: GOOD GOD, WE GET IT!! OKAY? CAN I CONTINUE? OR DO I NEED TO INVENT A NEW AND BIGGER CAPS LOCK BUTTON SO YOU CAN TELL HOW LOUDLY I’M SHOUTING AT YOU?)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Carry on.)

(WRITER’S NOTE: Thank you! Good Lord.)

Anyway:

 

The Builds I Considered:

DC Trinity: FFJL004 Wonder Woman, D10A001 Batman, D10A021 Superman, ATA080 Justice League *3 (Three 5 star figures on one team!)

Movie Avengers big three: AVM204 Captain America, IM3001R Iron Man Mk 7, TDW018 Thor (Thor next to Cap has 19 defense!)

Captain America TWS Movie inspired: CATWS003 Black Widow, CATWS015 Nick Fury, FI201 Captain America (Cap takes Mastermind damage and dies. Makes another figure better.)

Marvel Soldiers: IM3005 Extremis Soldier *2, CATWS006 Falcon, CATWS012 Captain America (Pretty balanced team. Push Extremis Soldiers to click 2 and they are awesome!)

Assassins: SOG038 David Cain, SOG039 Lady Shiva, SOG040 Deathstroke, ATA078 Birds of Prey *1 (Deathstroke can copy the Birds of Prey ATA. It’s one of the best in the game. This team was a real contender.)

Servants of the great Darkness: SLOSH058 Kalibak, SLOSH005A Daxamite (Was in the running until I realized I didn’t actually own the common Daxamite!)

Welcome to the Legion…Splitlip: FI301 Splitlip, SLOSH047B Black Witch, SLOSH202 Saturn Girl (Use Black Witch’s trait to add FIS106 Nul’s Hammer and GGS102 Cosmic Cube to the game in a no relic format!)

Quadruplicate Girl: SLOSH006 Triplicate Girl * 4, ATA038 Legion Lost * 4 (She is very powerful when there are three or more of her. If there are less than 3 she is almost useless.)

Just Plain Wrong: GG026 Mole Man * 2, SLOSH060 Orion (This would likely have gotten me kicked out of the venue.)

The Exact Team My Second Round Opponent Played: (And I thought I was being original.)

The Exact Team My Third Round Opponent Played: (I’m apparently very suggestible.)

 

What I Actually Played (Minus the Captain America Photobomb):

Pretty sure this isn't too "Smashmouth."

Pretty sure this team isn’t too “Smashmouth.”

IIM001AE Iron Man

CATWS003 Black Widow

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

Total = 300 Points

 

Round 1:

New Deathstroke! Now, with 100% more assassin-y goodness!

New Deathstroke! Now, with 100% more assassin-y goodness!

Facing:

SOG040 Deathstroke

DP201 Deadpool (With “Single File, Its Polka Time!” word balloon)

Total = 296 Points

Aww… generic theme means no theme probs for Black Widow to steal. Each of us made our three objects into a wall to hide behind in the center. We both move in to the center to start off the game. Deathstroke got the first shot off by doing a Running Shot from an object. He Perplexed the damage up to four, targeted Iron Man, and hit. That meant 4 damage went straight to… the generic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent! My opponent stopped to read the Agent’s card. Yep it worked like that. I had lost a 36 point character and Deathstroke was now double tokened in front of my team. Deadpool’s Sidestep wasn’t enough for him to get a shot in around Stealthy Black Widow.

It was my turn. Outwit defense. Iron Man Hits for Deathstroke for four. A second Attack from Black Widow scores the KO. On His turn he was side step over enough to get a shot off on Iron Man. Iron Man is hit for 4 damage (takes two after Invuln). My team clears. On his turn Deadpool clears his own token via the trait. He attacks Iron Man, but missed due to a theme team Prob from the Widow. On my Turn Widow Hit for 3 (2 after toughness). Iron Man misses. On my opponents turn he heals one.

Between some bad dice roles and another theme team prob, my opponent doesn’t get in any more damage this game. However it still ends up being a long game due to Deadpool’s 8 clicks and his healing ability. It probably took me at least 13 clicks of damage to get all the way through that 8 click dial because of all the healing.

Deathstroke was the weak link here. That sounded weird saying that.

But hey, at least Deadpool liked my recap:

Cool Story Bro

 

Round 2:

Kinda unladylike to fart out a whole Legion of superheroes. Like, one or two is fine, but not a whole legion.

The Quest for Cosmic Boy? How about figuring out why space is suddenly ORANGE first?!

Facing:

SM010R Supergirl

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

SLOSH003 Lightning Lad

ATA009 Legionnaires * 3

Total = 300 Points

To start off this battle I moved about a 3rd of the way up the map behind some blocking terrain. That was enough for my opponent to use his Cosmic Boy’s double TK to get the alpha strike on me. Supergirl hit Iron Man for four and it was all transferred to the CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent for a KO. Luckily Lightning Lad misses his attack. One my turn Iron Man outwits Lightning Lad’s defense and hit’s him for four. A follow up running shot from the Widow gets the KO on Lightning Lad. Both of my characters are pushed. The death of Lightning Lad untokens both of my opponent’s characters due to their ATA.

Supergirl hits Black Widow for 4 with knock back despite a theme team prob and a shape change roll. Cosmic boy flies up to join her. On my turn Widow sidesteps out of range and I clear tokens. On his turn my opponent flies Cosmic Boy up to some elevated terrain and Then uses a free action TK to bring Supergirl next to him.

On my turn Iron Man gets off a 4 damage hit (two after Invuln) with Knockback on Supergirl. Cosmic Boy removes actions tokens and Supergirl grabs an object and hides behind Blocking Terrain waiting for a chance to charge next turn. On my turn I remind my opponent that Iron Man shoots through Blocking Terrain. I outwit Super Girl’s defense and 4 damage scores a KO. Black Widow attacks Cosmic Boy and misses.

One my opponent’s turn he KOs Black Widow with an attack from Cosmic Boy. I clear Iron Man. He clears Cosmic Boy. I Outwit his defense and score a hit for 4. He misses. I finish off Cosmic boy with another hit for 4.

 

Round 3:

"Wait, didn't we just do this?"

“Wait, didn’t we just do this?”

Facing:

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

SLOSH002 Saturn Girl

SLOSH003 Lightning Lad

ATA038 Legion Lost * 3 (set to mystics TA)

Total = 300 Points

My opponent is near the center of the map. I’m a third of the way up in hindering. No one has tokens on them. My opponent starts with a double TK. He sets up Saturn Girl with a clear line of fire to Iron Man. Lightning Lad has to use Running Shot. At this point my opponent stopped to consider whether he should use his Mind Control or Psychic Blast first. I was afraid he was going to Mind Control Iron Man and KO my Agent. Instead he did the Running Shot first doing three to the Agent via Mastermind. The Agent lost his Mastermind power, but was still alive on his last click. Then he used Mind Control on Iron Man. Iron Man did a close combat attack on Widow that hit for 4.

On my turn I started by having Widow try to Incapacitate Lightning Lad. She missed. I had Iron Man Outwit his defense. The Agent used a power action from his TA to increase damage and combined that with his Enhancement to send Iron Man’s damage to 6! He shot at Lightning Lad and KOed him in one hit. Iron Man took a Mystics damage in the process. The next turn Saturn Girl KOed the Widow, but during her time alive Widow was able to use all three of my opponent’s theme Probs!

We each needed some time to clear tokens. The next action was Saturn Girl using Psychic Blast on Iron Man for 2 damage. Iron Man used Perplex to up his defense and cleared. Saturn Girl pushed and missed. Iron Man rolled Regen and got a 6! Full Health! Saturn Girl cleared. The Agent was still alive and used Enhancement on Iron Man. Precision Strike ignored Saturn Girl’s Super Senses and it was another 1 hit KO. He took 1 Mystics damage in return. Next turn Cosmic Boy KOed the Agent while Iron Man had to clear. Cosmic Boy then hit Iron Man for 3 (2 damage after toughness). Iron Man was back on Regen. On my turn I tried Regen and rolled a 1 to get no health back. Cosmic Boy missed on his turn. I opted to not push to Regen. Cosmic Boy had to clear. I tried Regen again and got another 6! Cosmic Boy hit me for 1 damage (after Invuln). I hit him for 3 and took 1 back. He hit me for 2 more (after Toughness). I was back on Regen again, but this time I shot Cosmic boy instead of using Regen and that scored the KO.

I originally thought it was a mistake not to use Mind Control to KO the Agent and then have that damage done to Iron Man instead, but the more I think about it – I think my opponent was right. The stealthy Black Widow was far more dangerous to his team of three ranged attackers.

Learning

What I Learned:

  • IIM001AE Iron Man is a paper tiger. Great on offense, but his defense is poor for a character of his point range. I would hesitate to play him again without a CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (or two) on my team.
  • CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent was my M.V.P. He absorbed my opponent’s alpha strike every game for my higher value pieces. In the last game he only took 3 damage and his Enhancement and TA were letting him contribute even on his last click. I would use him again any time I was playing a Shield character over 75 points.
  • CATWS003 Black Widow was good but not great. When she could steal theme probs she was great. Without that she was only good. Her attack value was low. Her ability to Outwit a stealthy figure is very good, but didn’t help me much this tournament. I would like to use her again to see if I can get better results.
  • SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy is the real deal. His double TK all but guarantees you a double first strike.
  • DP201 Deadpool was extremely tough, but his offense wasn’t great. My opponent kept getting stuck on clicks 3 and 4 that have a natural 2 damage showing. That’s not good on a 149 point character.

Defying Gravity (Or, a Prediction of What’s to Come from the Next Marvel Movie Gravity Feeds!!)

This defiance of gravity goes to 11.

This defiance of gravity goes to 11.

And now for something completely different!!

So, we know we’re getting a couple of Marvel Movie Gravity Feeds this year: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. CA:TWS theoretically releases (at least the “Core Hobby” version) on March 5, to be followed by the Target Exclusive version (or “Mass Market” version–man, I feel like an a-hole when I say “core hobby” or “mass market.” Can’t I just say “comic-shop” version and “Target” version?) at some indeterminate time in the future.

Core Hobby! Vis a vis! Mass Market!

Core Hobby! Vis-a-vis! Mass Market!

Guardians will be here in early-to-mid-July. In both cases, we have some idea of what we’ll see in terms of characters, but it’s always fun to try and predict which figures we’ll see in upcoming sets. So that’s the goal of today’s little lark–let’s see if we can predict which figures are coming in these Gravity Feeds!

Today, we’ll focus on the set that’s almost here–Cap 2!!

Cap 2

(Yes, that is the new poster.)

Okay, so let’s start with #001 and go in order. Why? Cuz that’s the easiest to predict:

CATWS#001: Captain America

Whew!! That was tough, but we got where we needed to go, people. Let’s double down. Usually, the second fig in a movie GF set is some sort of good guy generic piece. In Thor: The Dark World, it was Einherjar; in Iron Man 3 (these two sets are the most recent comps to CA: TWS, so that’s why we’re looking so hard at them for this) it was Iron Man Mark 42 (aka one of his many armors from the film–not quite a generic, but definitely a good guy piece).

With all that said, I’m going to go with:

CATWS#002: S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Agent

I suppose it could be S.H.I.E.L.D. Soldier, or Technician, or Operative or any of a dozen different variations. But for the sake of this prediction (and because at least 3 different actors are credited as “S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Agents” on imdb.com), I’ll go with “Strike Agent.”

Slot #3 is usually reserved for an “evil” character. In TDW, it was a couple different versions of the Dark Elf Scouts. In IM3, it was Iron Patriot–the Rhodey version, who was actually a good guy. Hmmm… I’m going to say they change it up a little here:

CATWS#003: Alexander Pierce

Pierce is played by screen legend Robert Redford and may–or may not–end up being the main villain in the movie. Which leaves spot 4 for the character who’s advertised as the main villain. TDW#004 was Malekith, and IM3#004 was the Mandarin, so this should be a no-brainer:

CATWS#004: The Winter Soldier

The fifth slot has been kind of a hodgepodge–it was a generic villain in IM3 and Lady Sif in TDW, so I’m going to say it’s a named hero in CATWS:

CATWS#005: Black Widow

We know she’s in the movie, and her piece will probably straddle the Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword line like her AVM pieces did.

Speaking of, there are a lot of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters in this movie: In addition to Black Widow, we have Jasper Sitwell, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, Nick Fury and at least some sort of flashback cameos by Howard Stark and Peggy Carter. Any one of these characters could be Clix’d, along with good ol’ Phil Coulson, who I’m betting does NOT make an appearance in this movie (and this would not be unprecedented; we got “Skrulls” in the AVM GF set along with Odin and Red Skull Chases, even though none of those characters appeared in Avengers. Tyr and Duhg showed up for maybe a combined 30 seconds of screen time in TDW, and yet both got Clix’d in that Gravity Feed set–hell, Duhg was a Target-exclusive rare, and a damn cool one at that!).

So, having said all that, I’m going to go with:

CATWS#006: Nick Fury

Just feels like he should be right about here. We also have Batroc the Leaper and Crossbones showing up as villains in this film, so next we’ll take:

CATWS#007: Crossbones

Back to S.H.I.E.L.D. for our next picks:

CATWS#008: Sharon Carter

CATWS#009: Howard Stark

I know he’s already  been Clix’d, but I think he’ll get a version here where he’s the first Executive Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a dial to match. It’s worth noting that with Howard Stark’s slot at #009 we’ve moved into the Core Hobby Rares section, so I guess he’s my first “rare” prediction.

CATWS#010: Batroc the Leaper

He’s kind of obscure and probably won’t have a huge role in the movie–Duhg anyone? I think he’ll be a Core Hobby rare.

CATWS#011: Maria Hill

Another high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officer who I think we’ll combo well with other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. So that’s

CATWS#012: Falcon

He’s gotta show up somewhere. I could also see him being a common and this slot going to ScarJo’s Black Widow, but on movie sets like this they like to make popular returning characters like Widow a Common, so more people will get her. Falcon (as the new blood with a ton of dial possibilities) seems like a much better bet to be a rare. We’ll see! By the way, that’s four Core Hobby exclusive rares, which means we can go right into the Target rares!!

CATWS#013: The Winter Soldier

Yep. I’m expecting them to double down on the Winter Soldier. At least. Why? Well, firstly, his name is in the title. And secondly, the main villain (I know, we’re expecting him to be a good guy by the end, but that’s not really relevant for this prediction) always gets a Common and Rare version (at least).

CATWS#014 Peggy Carter

Just as there will be a Howard Stark rare fig, I’m predicting we’ll also get a Peggy Carter Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. fig (with the Past keyword as well, obviously).

CATWS#015 Machete

This slot could go to any number of figs–they could opt to do a Rare Widow, a Rare Nick Fury or some Hydra henchman (or just general bad guy henchman) that’s impossible to predict until one has seen the movie. Still, I’m going to try. There are a bunch of Russian soldiers listed in the credits, so it’s possible that they’ll take up a generic slot or too. But there’s also a dude named Machete, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he’ll get a slot here as a “named” bad guy. Jasper Sitwell, another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who will kind of act as the Phil Coulson of this movie, I’m guessing, could go here too, although he feels more like a common. Of course, if Coulson cameos in this flick this spot could go to him, too.

CATWS#016 Captain America

This is almost certainly Cap. Each main hero of the single movies so far has gotten at least one Rare version in their set.

CATWS#017: Captain America and Winter Soldier

The first Chase slot (Core Hobby). These aren’t always Duo figs, but it would make sense here. I’ve mentioned before how kickass it would be to get a single-based S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier as a Chase fig, but it well never happen (hey, if Yu-Gi-Oh! can have an entire floating castle on a single base…). Which, I believe, leaves ONE MORE FIGURE!!

CATWS#018: Captain America and Falcon

Well, the only thing better than one Duo Chase is two, right? This would be similar to what they did with Iron Man 3 (and both of those Duos turned out to be awesome).

There’s a remote chance we get another Red Skull Chase if he makes a cameo, or if Alexander Pierce somehow becomes the Skull (there’s, uh, some justification for this in the comics–SPOILER ALERT, I guess), that could be a possibility as well.

So, to recap, my prediction–which is sure to go wildly wrong in just a couple days–is:

CATWS#001: Captain America

CATWS#002: S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Agent

CATWS#003: Alexander Pierce

CATWS#004: The Winter Soldier

CATWS#005: Black Widow

CATWS#006: Nick Fury

CATWS#007: Crossbones

CATWS#008: Sharon Carter

CATWS#009: Howard Stark

CATWS#010: Batroc the Leaper

CATWS#011: Maria Hill

CATWS#012: Falcon

CATWS#013: The Winter Soldier

CATWS#014 Peggy Carter

CATWS#015 Machete

CATWS#016 Captain America

CATWS#017: Captain America and Winter Soldier

CATWS#018: Captain America and Falcon

If my prediction is even remotely accurate, we should be getting a little boost to Avengers teams (just in time for the end of AvX!), a HUGE boost to S.H.I.E.L.D. teams and a small bump to HYDRA teams.

Good Luck with your pulls, and Happy Building!!

Ninwa and I will be back later this week with some tourney reports and more SLoSH coverage!