Team Ideas: Let’s Kill Nick Fury!! (Or, How to Deal With the Most Dominant Meta Piece in the Game Right Now!!)

Lets Kill Nick Fury

Greetings once more, friends of the blog!!

Today we’re going to discuss the heaviest hitter in the Meta right now… Nick “Balls of” Fury!

Why? Because we’re coming up on WizKids Open Weekend, and if you’re going, you’ll be seeing a lot of him!

(And probably a lot of Mary Marvel, but one problem at a time!)

I checked in with Ninwashui to see what he would play this weekend if he was going (he’s not–family obligations), and I thought what he had to say was interesting and creative enough that it should really be it’s own article! So take it away, Ninwa!

Ninwashui

Before you take his advice, just know that this is the last known photograph of Ninwashui…

NINWASHUI:

“Okay, so I would go with a team that had extreme mobility, so I could bum rush Nick Fury (or whoever the Primary Attacker is) at a time and place of my choosing. To do so, I’d run a little team I like to call…

We're back!

Team Name: Revenge of the Nerfed 3.0Hit and Rann

Theme: None

Roster:

WKD-025 Adam Strange100 Points

(w/WOL063 Ophidian Possessing) — 25 Points

DP018 Blind Al13 Points

WF046 Klarion the Witch Boy70 Points

WXM010 Shatterstar73 Points

WOLR103 Power Battery (Orange Lantern Corps) — 2 Points

WOLR303 Orange Lantern Ring6 Points

WOLR203.03 Mallet (Orange) — 4 Points

WOLR203.12 Spotlight (Orange) — 6 Points

Total:                                                  299 Points

 

Why I’d Play This: If you’re a longtime fan of the blog, you know that sometimes I get on a kick where I like to “rehabilitate” nerfed characters from the Heroclix Watchlist, just like this article and this article show.

Now, for this Saturday’s Wizkids Open,  it’s come to my attention that a lot of people are planning to run teams where the pieces just move across the map one square at a time and from one side to the other. Those players will in fact have to spend time counting spaces, deciding their route and remembering to subtract two when they carry someone. So boring!

What they need is a real change of pace! Why move your figures in the manner dictated by rules and conventional thinking when you can simply just have them appear where you want them to appear and attack that same turn? Hindering terrain? So what. Elevated terrain? No problem. Walls? This team doesn’t even notice them.

How does it work? First, since Ophidian is Possessing Adam Strange, you can pump up either his Attack or Damage Value by one and also give him Sidestep or Pulse Wave. Your first move on the Map is to use Blind Al’s power to deal one damage to Strange and push him out of your starting area.

Adam Strange

If I were a Thor character, I’d be Zeta Ray Bill! Geddit?!”

Now look at Adam Strange’s Trait (ZETA-BEAM: Give Adam Strange a power action. Place a Zeta Beam marker in the square that Adam Strange currently occupies, removing any other of these markers from the map. When you do, place Adam Strange in any legal square on the map and he may then make a ranged combat attack as a free action. After actions resolve, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 4-6, immediately place Adam Strange in the square with the Zeta Beam marker and remove it from the map. During the beginning of your turn, if the marker is on the map, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and on a result of 4-6, place Adam Square in the square with the Zeta Beam marker and remove it from the map.).

This means that you can easily deploy Adam Strange to pick off your opponent’s best supporting pieces OR take a potshot at your opponent’s Primary Attacker, then have a 50% chance to return Adam Strange to the relative safety of your side of the board.

But since that’s not always gonna happen, we’re pairing Adam up with Shatterstar and Klarion the Witch Boy. If you send Adam out and he gets stuck on the other side of the universe board, simply activate Shatterstar’s Trait and escort Klarion to the other side of the Map, where Klarion can unleash Teekl (as a free action!) for some righteous Charge/Blades action!!

(And I haven’t even gotten to the fact that your Orange Battery can be used to take away annoying opposing powers that get in your way!)

Imagine taking out an opposing Fitz or Jason of Sparta before you opponent can use them to properly place a Nick Fury (or two). All of the sudden, Nick becomes a bit of a sitting duck (and his Stealth won’t help him against an Orange Spotlight-wielding Adam Strange!), and you are well on your way to a Match Win!!

HYPEFOX:

I have to say, I was a bit skeptical of this Build until I piloted it against Ninwashui himself in one of our house games. He wasn’t even playing Nick Fury and I still tore his KC Chase Captain Marvel AND 75-Point World’s Finest to shreds (I wiped him pretty quickly while only losing Klarion)! This is a legit team–if you pilot it right!

That’s all for now–I hope everyone has a great Open weekend! Come back here soon for some dueling Uncanny X-Men Top Ten Set Reviews!!

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

 

 

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

ROC

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

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

This should explain everything.

This should explain everything.

 

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

From HCRealms, here is the current format:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUPPORTING CAST:

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

The Dead Set:

Deadpool Supporting Cast

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

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

Bill Agent of Aim

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

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

The War Veterans:

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

Soranik Natu

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

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

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

Brother Hymn

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

Sister Sercy

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

The Old School:

Void

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

SECONDARY ATTACKERS:

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

The Lanterns:

Abin Sur

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

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

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

Tomar Tu

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

The Lil’ Guys:

Despotellis

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

Headpool

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

PRIMARY PIECES:

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

Yup. More Lanterns:

Kyle Raynor ION 2

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

John Stewart

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

The Kool-Aid Kult Member:

Proxima Midnight

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

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

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

The Shapeshifter:

Zombie Super Skrull

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

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

The Ol’ Standards:

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

“I’m back?! My dear, I never left!”

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

Shatterstar

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

Highfather

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

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

Helspont Krampus 2

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

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

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

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

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

The Best of the Rest:

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

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

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

Flash Forward!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 10/19/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Welcome Back!!

So what’s happened since our last Roundup? Well, let’s see….

–The Tigers flamed out of the playoffs in just three short games. Joba Chamberlain and the bullpen were characteristically awful (seriously, it seemed like they were filming a sequel to “Firestarter” there EVERY FREAKING NIGHT!), as was manager Brad Ausmus, who–when it came to making pitching changes–made the wrong choice just about every time:

Bossmus

What’s that? Anibal Sanchez is available? No thanks! Joba just blew an inning last game, so, mathematically, there’s no possible way he can blow a 4-run lead today! It’s science!”

I get that the number of good bullpen options he had were limited, but to not use virtually ANY of them is just idiotic. Even Blaine Hardy would have inspired more confidence than the Pu-Pu Platter of Joba Chamberlain and Joaquin Soria that he kept shoveling out there night after night.

Brad Ausmus's version of Sabermetrics.

While demonstrating his mastery of Sabermetrics, Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus delivers the results of his statistical analysis of using Joe Nathan as his closer.

Overall, I actually thought Ausmus was fairly solid as a manager during the regular season. We’ll see how Year 2 goes. I can’t imagine that the leash is long for him after such a playoff debacle. We shall see, though. Bring on the Hot Stove league!

 

–The Lions have tricked everyone into thinking they’re respectable again. Spoiler Alert: They’re not. They’ve beaten up on a Murderer’s Row of awful quarterbacks , and they still managed to find a way to lose at home to Kyle Orton. That’s not easy. Now, they are 5-2, and they still have 3 games against Minnesota and Chicago, who are terrible, so getting to 10+ wins should be fairly straightforward. Of course, with this team, things are never straightforward.

I’m cautiously optimistic, but after last year’s swoon, I’m gonna need to see a lot more than what they’ve shown me so far before I get my hopes up. Remember, we’re not even, like, a month removed from this highlight yet:

"Oh, Stephen, noooo!"

“Oh, Stephen, noooo!”

 

But enough about sports! What you’re really here for is a Heroclix recap, right?

Well, look no further than…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was back with an episode near and dear to my heart! Episode 66, “Lantern Team Building Advice,” was a shortie but a goodie. Similar in premise to the “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we ran right here in August (but with much more of a “Dial H” spin, of course, and a much more thorough analysis of each color’s Power Battery), there’s no shortage of good advice for players contained within (FYI–the Blue Lantern actually does NOT work with LE Absorbing Man–that’s a pending errata right from Wizkids’s own rules forum–but the rest of the advice they give is spot on!).

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–As far as I can tell, Episode 27, which covers the end of the ROC’s first season, is still the most recent entry!

Push to Regen

–In case you missed it last time, in somewhat sad news, Push to Regen has announced on Reddit that they have released their final episode. Their Facebook page is still up, and still posting the occasional news item, but for now, the show has reached its final destination.

"We're a Thing again!"

–ClixCast is back! They have yet to release an October ep, but you can catch their August and September offerings right here!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–While I haven’t seen any recent results, you can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–Having said that, I know I went on a big rant last time about the possibility of Copycat screwing up the ROC’s current format. Until I get some hard results that will either back up or destroy my argument, I’m going to back off a little bit… but I will definitely be watching these next few ROC’s with great interest!

 

Preview

–Want to know what it’ll be like tearing into a case of FLASH boosters next month? Well, wonder no longer, because Friday Night Lights alum and celebrity Heroclix fan Scott Porter (Iceman425 on the Realms) has teamed with DC VP of Creative Sciences Kevin Kiniry to do just that–and they recorded it all!

A couple of takeaways from that video:

-There are only 3 Chases (unofficially, they will be The Question, Pandora and Phantom Stranger)

-If you buy a case of The Flash, well… you are NOT guaranteed to pull one of them!! That’s right, Scott and Kevin pulled 2 Primes (the Common and Uncommon Prime, I believe). This means that the Chases will probably be REALLY expensive on the secondary market, especially initially. And if they’re actually good… yikes! Will they even be able to replace the Trinity of Sin Team Base figures? That is a dark horse rumor. That I just started.

-Some of the sculpts are amazing. Or at least they look amazing on film.

-I don’t know much about any of the Flash characters beyond Wally West, Barry Allen and Jay Garrick. I know virtually nothing about their Rogues’ Gallery. Having said that, a lot of people who do seem to be really, REALLY excited for this set. Basically, this seems like the DC version of the DeadPool set we got back in May. The characters I’d probably be most excited for are the Trinity of Sin characters, and they’re gonna be some really hard to pull Chases. And maybe a Kingdom Come Flash (He’s rumored to be a Super Rare. I loved that story, and all of the initial Kingdom Come characters were so overpowered it was ridiculous!). So while I may not grab nearly as much of this set as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m glad all the folks who really love these characters are finally getting a set!

-Finally, Deadpool kind of set the bar for how broken/awesome a Hypersonic Speed character can be with Speed Demon (and, to a lesser extent, Whizzer), so we’ll see if any of the characters in Flash can hang with the most recent Marvel speedsters!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week, we’re gonna spotlight local player Andrew’s team from Ninwashui’s most recent Local Tourney Report!

Krampus

Team Name: Krampin’ Your Style

Theme: None

Roster:

WKWK–002 Krampus79 Points

(assigned The Utility Belt with 1 item)–8

SLOSH042 Helspont200

DP018 Blind Al13

=300 Points

 

What We Liked About This Build: Holy crap, this was pretty fun to play against! Krampus with a 13 Attack and Capture is just devastating, and Helspont’s ability–and Andrew’s creative way of getting Helspont to the correct click–was just some awesome out-of-the-box thinking! Ninwashui mentioned in his report that while he admired the creativity of the Build, he didn’t have a great time losing half of his army by Turn 2. I had a different experience.

Playing the Orange Power Battery with Iron Pharaoh (Possessed by Ophidian) and Speed Demon (Possessed by Ion), I saw Andrew capture Iron Pharaoh on Andrew’s first turn (using a double power action) and had to spend my next two turns racing across the board to try and free the Pharaoh. Speed Demon ended up rolling a 12, which did enough damage to KO Krampus in one hit. Had I not gotten that stroke of luck, I still would have had about a 66% chance to do the last two damage that I needed via Speed Demon’s Cyclone Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.), but had I rolled a 1 or a 2, I would have been in a world of hurt; Krampus would have scored Iron Pharaoh on his next turn, which would have healed him back up to full, Speed Demon would be on his second click, and Andrew could just trade places with Speed Demon again using Helspont and sent my last piece all the way across the map (while double-tokened!).

In other words, the game would almost be over at that point. I’d have needed an extraordinary amount of luck to get back in the match, so it all came down to that initial push with Speed Demon to try and get Iron Pharaoh back. At the risk of coming across as the biggest nerd to ever pick up a pair of dice, it was probably my most dramatic Heroclix moment so far!

But that’s mostly a recap. What I want to focus on is Andrew’s army! Ninwashui and I spent probably 15 minutes after that tournament discussing Andrew’s Build and how it affected every decision each of us made in our respective matches. We also looked at it from Andrew’s perspective; after I described our match, Ninwashui was absolutely sure that Andrew should have grabbed Speed Demon instead of Iron Pharaoh. But I pointed out that Andrew then would have had a double tokened Helspont in a prime position (roughly 3 squares away) to get 2-shotted by Iron Pharaoh (who was sporting the Orange Crossbow and would have basically had a 13 Attack of his own and would have been sporting 5-6 Damage against Helspont at that point). So if Andrew takes Speed Demon, he scores around 185 Points, but he’d probably lose a 200 Point character immediately after! That would leave him Krampus and Blind Al, who, frankly, would have had no shot against the Pharaoh.

And that was just a small snippet of the dozens of scenarios Ninwashui and I were running through A HALF HOUR AFTER THE TOURNAMENT ENDED! I can’t remember the last Build that got us talking so much. Ninwashui was right in his report insomuch as there ARE several team types that will have next to no shot against Andrew’s team IF HIS CAPTURE GOES TO PLAN. But there are also plenty of Meta Builds that still match up well against Andrew’s squad! I was simply lucky in that I was playing just such a team (although, as I stated above, I still needed one really lucky roll!).

At the end of the day, I think Heroclix is actually a better game for having a team like Andrew’s in it. It was different and creative, and that’s why it’s this week’s Army of the Week! Great job, Andrew!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Agents of Shield Title

–So last time, I talked about what was wrong with Gotham, and some things they could do to fix the show. The last two episodes weren’t fabulous, but they were a step in the right direction. So this week, I want to focus on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

If you gave up on this show last year, you are really missing something this year. These episodes have a raw momentum that was missing from many of the initial offerings last season. The creators have somehow also managed to introduce a TON of new characters while still remembering to give each of the main characters a share of the spotlight in every episode so far. More than that, the villains this year have been much more formidable (and, y’know, actually INTERESTING in their own right!).

As opposed to the Mort of the Month C-list roster fodder that the writers seemed to shuffle into every episode last year, this year started with a bang with an impressively realized Absorbing Man, Kraken (aka Daniel Whitehall) and Skye’s Evil Father (Mr. Hyde? A Kree? An original creation? We don’t know exactly who he is yet!).

This week’s episode also introduced Mockingbird into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it looks like things are just picking up.

Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix has been all over M.A.o.S.’s resurgence this year, and you can read his latest recap right here!

I have a lot of thoughts regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. specifically, and the MCU as a whole, that are probably best saved for a separate post. For now, I’ll just say that if you’ve been off the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bandwagon for awhile, now is a great time to climb back on!

 

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

Critical Missives:

–Okay, we’ve already linked to Ninwashui’s articles from the last couple weeks, and we’ve got more content planned for the next couple weeks as well. Remember to Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates (and random thoughts) as soon as they happen! You can Follow us at @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

 

And that’s it for this week!! See ya next time, and until then, stay safe (and DRY!!), and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

Local Tournament Report – 10/15/14 Comics & More

Local Tournament Report

 

Okay! Here are the results from The Build 6, the game I had been preparing for earlier in the week!

The Format: 300 points, Modern Age, Anything Goes. Although those who play too much cheese will henceforth be shunned and be nicknamed “Limburger”.

Where is a robotic fly swatter when you really need it?

“Hmmm… I see my 3D graffiti project is already ahead of schedule.”

What I Played: “A Superior Way to Die”: (Scientist Theme)

DP060 Superior Spider-Man (w/ secret Avengers ATA)

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0

(Sideboarded) DP099A Spider-Bot (Mark 2) * 2

(Sideboarded) DP099B Spider-Bot (Mark 1) * 6

Total= 300 Points

 

The bloodiest game of basketball ever played...

The bloodiest game of basketball ever played.

Round 1: Facing DP050 Wolverine and X-23 (Magik shard) , DP007B The Professor (Emma Frost Shard), DOFP011 Destiny, AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (all shards).

An indoor map was chosen for this battle. I started this match the way I would start every match tonight:  by adding two Spiderbot Mark 1’s to Superior Spider-Man’s base on turns one and two, which gave SSM +2 to his Super Senses rolls for the remainder of the game.

Early on, it was a standoff. My opponent slowly moved up his Duo Figure and The Professor. He had no range, so he couldn’t hit me, but the Duo’s Trait (SNEAK AND KILL: Wolverine and X-Men can use Sidestep and Stealth. Unhindered lines of fire drawn to Wolverine and X-23 during an opponent’s turn are blocked unless Wolverine and X-23 have 2 action tokens or are adjacent to an opposing character not on its starting click.) combined with the Professor’s Defense Special Power (SECRET MASTERMIND: When adjacent to a friendly character, The Professor can’t be targeted by opposing characters.) meant that I couldn’t target his figures with a ranged attack either.

As he advanced, I retreated. I tried to hold Wolverine and X-23 in place with a Plasticity-sporting Spiderbot. Poison from the Phoenix Force made that a non-issue. Finally, I saw an opportunity. He was placing his figures in such a manner that I couldn’t shoot past the two that were advancing and hit destiny. However, I was able to roll a 6 for spider-bot creation and place it so that it could move and tie up destiny the same turn. That kept Destiny out of the fight for almost the rest of the game. Unfortunately, that put me close enough to his other figures that I knew I was going to get Charged that next turn.

The Professor moved up next to me and to tried to Outwit Superior Spidey’s Super Senses. I reminded my opponent of my ATA, and he did nothing with The Professor’s Outwit at that moment. Then he Charged and used Blades/Claws/Fangs with Flurry with his duo figure. Both attacks missed! Wow! I didn’t even have to roll Super Senses. That is some bad luck for my opponent. On my turn, I struck back and hit with a heavy object I was holding and the Duo took 3 (because of the Colossus Shard) That was my second action token. Then, on his turn, Superior suffered double Poison from both The Professor and W/X-23. They missed two more attacks due to Super Senses and then also missed their healing roll with a 1! Now that Spider-Man was injured I could ignore W/X-23’s hiding trait and attack them from range. Iron Monger did just that and hit them for two more damage. I took the Action Tokens off Superior.

On my opponent’s turn, Superior took two more Poison damage and healed for one click. When control was ceded back to me, Superior Rid Himself of That Weakling Parker (RIDDING MYSELF OF THE WEAKLING PARKER: Give Superior Spider-Man a free action and roll a d6. Once per game, on a result of 3-6, for the rest of the game modify Superior Spider-Man’s attack and damage by +1 and damage dealt by him can’t be reduced below 2.) via a Special Attack Power and proceeded to Flurry W/X-23 for the KO. Unfortunately, he took Mystics damage for it and was down to his final click. Iron Monger mopped up The Professor on the next turn taking another Mystics damage in the process. He was left on click three.

Meanwhile, Destiny had finally evaded my Plasticity bot and was on the run. It took several tries but my team finally cornered her, with Iron Monger ready to attack. Superior used Perplex on Iron Monger–then my opponent reminded me of Destiny’s IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN AGAINST THE FUTURE Trait (IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN AGAINST THE FUTURE: After an opposing character within 8 squares uses Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control and actions resolve, deal that character 1 damage if it has not already taken damage from this effect this turn.). Yup! I had just KOed my Superior Spider-Man by using Perplex! Smart. Veeeerrrry smart!

I KO’d Destiny shortly after that, but what should have been a rout turned out to be very close in points.

 

Who is Krampus? He destroys hopes and dreams. Especially mine it turns out...

Who is Krampus? He’s a Christmas monster who destroys hopes and dreams. Especially mine, it turns out…

Round 2: Facing WKWK-002 Krampus (w/Utility belt), SLOSH042 Helspont, DP018 Blind Al, NMLR100 Utility Belt w/NMLR101 Gas Pellets/Smoke Grenade. FYIThis was the best combo team I have ever seen.

The game started off innocently enough. I made a Spiderbot, attached it, and moved up towards my opponent. Then the combo struck…

My opponent used Blind AL to do one damage to Helspont. Helspont used his I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO Movement Special (I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO: Give Helspont a double power action and select an opposing character of a lower point value. Place Helspont and the chosen character in each other’s squares, and after actions resolve, Helspont may be given a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) to switch places with Iron Monger 2.0. He’s now next to Superior Spider-Man and he gets to make a free attack. He misses but that’s not the bad part. Iron Monger is now next to Krampus. Krampus is obviously still in his starting area. Krampus uses Capture (with +3 to attack due to Blind Al’s Perplex, the Belt’s bonus, and a Perplex from Helspont). Iron Monger is captured. I haven’t even had my second turn yet and I’ve lost half my team…

The rest of the game plays like any normal game. It’s mostly a one-on-one with Helspont versus Spider-Man. I attached a second Spiderbot to Superior’s base. Over the next ten turns we exchanged attacks back and forth. I had a good streak going of hitting my Super Senses rolls. He wasn’t landing anything. Plus I had spawned some extra Mark I Spiderbots and at least twice they were able to use Exploit Weakness to do damage to Helspont. Unfortunately, for every attack that landed the next attack was stopped short by a Shape Change roll and when Helspont hits Shape Change, he automatically heals one click. All of my characters were only hitting for one at a time and he managed to heal as much as we were hurting him.

At one point Spider-Man lands on click 5 and it looked like he could finally turn things around by Ridding Himself of That Weakling Parker, but then Spidey missed Super Senses for the second turn in row and was KOed shortly after. Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecccch!!!

astros-butt-slide

This is what it’s feels like to face a first turn Krampus capture.

So… that happened.

 

"Obviously, the embodiment of Will is a floating space shark fish. With crazy, shimmery fins. What the $@#& were YOU expecting?"

Giant glowing space sharks. Why does it always have to be giant glowing space sharks?

Round 3: Facing M10A009E Iron Man (Possessed by WOL068P Predator) and AVX102 Lei-Kung the Thunderer (Possessed by WOL062P Ion).  Entity Theme Team. The entire game the Entities gave only some minor stat bumps. However, the powers they granted were ridiculous. Ion granted Lei-Kung Impervious, TK, and Outwit. Predator granted M10 Iron Man Shape Change along with the Quintessence and Mystics Team Abilities.

I started the game by attaching two Spiderbots to Superior before we closed in on each other. My opponent got in the first shot by using TK to move up Iron Man. Iron Man targeted Iron Monger 2.0 and missed. Due to elevation Iron Man had been forced to come close enough to my forces that I could make a Plasticity Spider-Bot adjacent to Iron Man. I did that and passed turn. My opponent responded by moving up Lei-Kung to Outwit Plasticity, and Iron Man tried to break away for a Running Shot. He missed the break away roll and was now double tokened. And then it was my turn.

Spider-man Charged in for a hit with a heavy item on Iron Man, but Impervious reduced the damage to just one. Iron Monger took a ranged shot and missed Iron Man. While it was still my turn I created another Spiderbot adjacent to both Lei Kung and Iron Man. My Opponent realized he was now stuck, but in short order he wisely figured out that he could use Lei-Kung’s Quake to push the bots away before they exploded, but each turn I was remaking them as fast as he could Quake.

That’s pretty much how the game went. Spider-man eventually took enough close combat damage from Iron Man (and pushing damage) to get to click 5. Once there, Doc Ock Rid Himself of That Weakling Parker and things really looked bad for my opponent. Iron Man was KOed by a Flurry the next turn. Then it was my team versus Lei Kung. At one point it looked like he would KO Spider-Man with Precision Strike, but he missed and I used Outwit to counter that power for the rest of the game. Lei Kung stuck around for a quite a while using Quake and Impervious to hold me off, but I was able to KO him just as time was being called.

The Result: My team managed to take second place out of the 6 people attending. With no Resources, Entities, or Team Bases, I was proud of that result.

What I Learned:

  • There now exists a combo that can ruin your team before your second turn. I checked and in the other two games that team played the combo didn’t quite work. In the first game Speed Demon crossed the board in two turns (which he had since Krampus had to double token to try his Capture maneuver) to KO Krampus before he could remove a Captured Iron Pharoah from the game. In the other match, Krampus actually rolled a three and missed the Capture roll. However, in my game the combo was completely deadly and unstoppable. Assuming the best Hypersonic character in the game isn’t left free on the board and your opponent can roll better than a three, I don’t know how you stop this combo. It can even take out a 200 point team base in one shot. It’s stupid and broken. Don’t get me wrong, I think my opponent was a genius  for playing it, but I am kind of bummed something like that exists in HeroClix at the moment. [Editor’s Note: I actually kind of love it. It’s creative, and there’s still a lot that can go wrong–especially if you’re up against a good Hypersonic piece, as you pointed out. And with Flash on the horizon, we’re about to get a bunch more good to great HS pieces. Also, wouldn’t Super Senses and Shape Change also potentially throw a huge monkey wrench into that combo? So, y’know… seems fair to me. Especially since it worked out for me but not for you. Ha!]
  • It thought Helspont was well worth his points during my Slosh Review, but I had never seen him in action before. It turns out I was right.
  • Superior Spider-Man was well worth his points. I want to try him again soon with some other figures on his team. Maybe with Zola next time. The one thing I would never do is play him without the Secret Avengers ATA. That is absolutely required to get the best out of him.
  • Iron Monger 2.0 was only okay for his points. The threat of exploding Spiderbots was neat, but it really happened only once the whole day. Without his Trait getting much use he’s really just not worth the points.

The Price to Play!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 08/10/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd… we’re back!

Sooooo much has happened in the last two weeks in the world of ‘Clix and sports. My Tigers traded at the deadline for one Mr. David Price! Yay! Then they squandered a pretty decent second outing from the Cy Young’er before going on to lose in 19 FREAKING INNINGS! Good gosh.  To be honest, I can’t believe our bullpen held up that long. Even Joe Nathan came through.

Still, it was tense, especially with the Blue Jays constantly on the bases.

Noted Tigers fans Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield could barely stand to watch!

Noted Tigers fans Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield during Sunday’s 19-inning marathon.

What else… what else… Oh, yeah, THIS HAPPENED!!

Cars were floating away down streets. BUT THOSE STUPID ORANGE CONSTRUCTION CONES DIDN'T EVEN BUDGE. WHAAAA....????

During Michigan floods, orange construction barrels become road buoys.

THE RAIN APOCALYPSE CAME AND WENT!! My Lord, that was a lot of water. In the 35 years I’ve been on this Earth, I have never seen Southeastern Michigan flooded before like it was today. Dogs sleeping with cats, cars being swept along streets BY THE TIDE (BUT NOT THE HOLLOW ORANGE CONSTRUCTION BARRELS–OH NO!! APPARENTLY THOSE NEVER MOVE!!)!! Just total insanity!

Incidentally, this is what the Zombie Apocalypse will look like.

Incidentally, this is what the Zombie Apocalypse will look like as well.

After a crazy day like this, I need something normal in my life. Something to restore the balance; something familiar, that’ll let me know life is getting back to normal. You know what? You know what I need? I could really use a…

 

WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

(Whew! Okay! I can already feel things normalizing! Here we go!)

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

–As always, Dial H for Heroclix was new for the past two weeks! Episode 55 dealt with some Sealed advice for War of Light Wave 2, and Episode 56 is a sort of survival guide for anyone going to GenCon!

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still stuck on Episode 2.5!! If you missed it, they discuss last month’s Nationals, work in some War of the Light talk and check in with some listeners!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is now… Episode 24!! It features an interview with Patrick Yapjoco-slayer recent ROC winner Kevin Afrooz as well as coverage of the Tulsa ROC.

Welcome... to the ROC!

–The ROC continues to streamline their system; they just offered a new breakdown (including costs and prize structure) to stores thinking about holding an ROC event.

–Weaponer of Qward has taken a ROC! Read all about the Bluegrass Mafia’s Super Qualifier (from Lexington, Kentucky) right here!

–A token team backed up by the Power Plant; Bill, Agent of A.I.M.; and a fistful of Weasels and Blind Als has taken the Tulsa Heroclix Group Road to DragonCon 2014 Super Qualifier!

–Speaking of, the full ROC/DragonCon announcement is here!

 

Preview

–Still no official Previews from WizKids, which, again, is weird since GotG releases THIS WEEK! Still, we know a few things:

-The Rares are great! Thanos, like Darkseid in SL0SH, is just a Rare (and he’s got a “Thanosi” Prime as well). Gorr the God-Butcher also looks pretty powerful from the Rare slot. You can see a pretty good list of the expected figures (including ANOTHER Squadron Supreme Super Rare Prime) in the Forums at HCRealms.com.

–The Zombie Chases are, well… SEVERELY UNDERWHELMING at this point. Magneto (who I thought was just murdered by the Zombie hordes in that storyline–I don’t recall him actually becoming a Zombie, but whatever) and Mole Man have me a lil’ excited (more on them in a sec), but not much else. Many of the Chases have been at least partially spoiled. You can find an eBay auction for Zombie Skrull (not Zombie Super-Skrull–just Zombie regular Skrull) that shows part of his card; the other Chases we know about (Zombie Mole Man, Zombie Red Skull, Zombie Gladiator, Zombie Magneto and Zombie Morbius) don’t really move the needle too much.

Zombie Magneto seems decently useful; I’ve heard Zombie Gladiator is, frankly, hot garbage–a (maybe) 150 point character that somehow costs you 250 to field. Zombie Morbius doesn’t seem a heck of a lot different from his ASM version–pretty weak for his points until you get him back to Click 1 via Steal Energy, if you can. Zombie Mole Man seems like an 80-Point Zombie Taxi, although it’s hard to tell exactly what he does from that eBay picture. Finally, Zombie Red Skull is a fairly effective (although slightly expensive) Close Combat piece with some decent supporting powers if his teammates are Zombies or Hydra agents.

 

Wizkids

–Speaking of GotG, (surprise, surprise) it may not release quite on schedule due to shipping delays from China. And stuff.

(Honestly, with GenCon going on this week as well as many venues running War of Light Month 3, a one-week delay shouldn’t raise nearly the amount of complaints as it would have had there been nothing else going on.)

–In case you missed it a couple weeks ago, WizKids has finally responded to the popularity of the ROC, and it’s THIS!! If any of those seven locations was within three hours of Detroit (Chicago is like 4 and 1/2 on a GOOD traffic day), I’d be a little more excited about this…

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay, for this week’s Army of the Week, we’re gonna spotlight Joshua Earnest’s team from the Tulsa ROC we mentioned above.

Agency X

Team NameCall Us Whatever You Want, As Long As You Call Us Winners!

ThemeAgency X

Roster:

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M.30 Points

DP020 Weasel27

DP020 Weasel27

DP018 Blind Al13

DP018 Blind Al13

DOFPH002 Sentinel Sentry x 342 

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

FIH002 Warbot (Rocket) x345

FIH003 Warbot (Machine Gun) x345

IIMR100 Power Plant (everything but Ice Blast)28

=300 Points

 

What We Like: The creativity! Joshua constructed a team where all of his primary, secondary AND tertiary attackers are Horde Tokens/Stacks! The actual figures he chose are the support pieces, an inverse of what we often see. Skadi’s Warbot can be devastatingly effective, particularly with Weasel backing him up. Since he’s Carry ability would most likely kill Skadi’s Warbot, I assume Bill, Agent of A.I.M. is there to move all the support pieces and the other Warbots (who have Toughness) into place and then make sure that they can all open up on their target regardless of line of fire. Because it’s technically a Theme team, each of those support pieces could use Theme Prob as well.

This is an army that would require a Master’s Degree in Positioning and Action Management to run effectively, but clearly Joshua was up to the task! This is definitely one of the most unique ROC-winning teams I’ve ever seen, and I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Bill and his High-Energy Finder Thing at the ROC or the Sentinel Sentry tokens, either. Well done, Joshua!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Guardians of the Galaxy lived up to the hype! Great flick, even greater box office. Highly recommended, although why we didn’t get a [EDITOR’S NOTE: Name redacted.] Clix in the GotG Movie Set from his appearance at the end of the post-credits scene is beyond me! I mean, he’s a Marvel character, he’s carried his own movie before, and he’s popular enough that he’s already had SEVERAL Clix in the past. Oh well–missed opportunity!

–How successful was this movie? Successful enough that Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Electric Bugaloo already has a release date! By the way, if I could buy stock in Chris Pratt’s career or the popularity of Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon, I would. Like, now.

 

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

Critical Missives:

–Okay, there was only one major article that dropped since the last Weekly Roundup, but it was a doozy! 4000+ words about ranking the Entity Chases from War of Light!

–As always, here’s another reminder that we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

 

And that’s it for this week!! We’ll be back later this week with more and better coverage of War of Light (now that we’re knee deep in Wave 2), and we’ll be posting a Top 10 Review of Guardians of the Galaxy just a bit after that set releases!

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