You’re Simply the Best 2: Electric Boogaloo!! (Or, The Best Everything of 2014!!) (Or, Let’s Hand Out Some Critters*!!)

Tina Turner

(As always, with apologies to Tina Turner for stealing her gimmick…)

Is it 2015 already? Yes. Yes, Timmy, it is. Which means another year of Heroclix has come and gone. And since it’s January, it also means that it’s time to look back at the year that was and pick out the best, coolest and weirdest pieces!

In other words… IT’S TIME FOR A YEAR-END REVIEW!!

But first, let’s look at all the Heroclix releases from 2014:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re gonna leave AvX out of it, since it technically started in 2013, although many of the participating venues didn’t finish up until January or February.]

–Yu-Gi-Oh! HeroClix: Series One (01/08/2014)

–Fast Forces: Legion of Doom (02/26/2014)

–Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes (02/26/2014)

–Captain America: The Winter Soldier (03/12/2014)

–Batman: Arkham Origins Quick-Start Kit (05/03/2014) [EDITOR’S NOTE: While technically a release, this was given out at certain venues on Free Comic Book Day. The figures are actually kind of interesting, but they’re Purple Ringed and, therefore, not tourney legal. Still, this is a cool lil’ setup.]

–Fast Forces: Thunderbolts (05/14/2014)

–Deadpool (05/14/2014)

–X-Men: Days of Future Past (05/31/2014)

–War of Light (06/01/2014)

–Return of the King (06/04/2014)

–Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set (07/02/2014)

Star-Lord Gif

–Justice League Strategy Game (07/09/2014)

–Fast Forces: The Inhumans (08/13/2014)

–Guardians of the Galaxy (08/13/2014)

–The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (11/05/2014)

–Fast Forces: Rogues (11/12/2014)

–The Flash (11/12/2014)

Whew!! Okay! So we had 17 major releases in 2014. And that’s not including the various Convention Exclusives that also released this year. Plus, War of Light came in two Waves and therefore almost counts as two sets on it’s own. A major success, War of Light also birthed the Entity Chases, which were probably the most sought after Chases of all-time.

Speaking of Entity-fueled successes, here is the publicly released third quarter earnings statement put out by Heroclix makers WizKids/NECA, LLC:

Gold Swimming Pool

In response to the secondary market frenzy created by the Entity Chases, WizKids/NECA, LLC submitted this follow-up statement:

the_joker_smile_by_angrypig-d4k075d

So, in other words, the game did okay this year. But enough about the games finances!

Time to dole out some Critters*!! As always, these categories are chosen and (ill-)defined by yours truly!

[*EDITOR’S NOTE: “Critters” is the current short name for the annual “Simply the Best” awards handing out by Critical Missives. It’s creepy. We know it’s creepy. We’re working on it.]

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… PRIMARY ATTACKER (Vaguely defined as the best attacking piece to build an army around):

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP051 Banshee

DP057 Tiamat

WOL025 The Weaponer of Qward

WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern)

GOTG062 Super Skrull

FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

FL050 The Flash

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Zombie Super Skrull

Why Super Skrull Won: Versatility. Pure and simple. No matter which Clix your opponent sets down in front of you when you start the game, if you’re running Super Skrull, you know you’ve got a chance. His 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.) is simply ridiculous, and that’s before you remember he’s got the standard Z-Virus powers that let him bank healing for the future while also having the ability to resurrect your opponent’s KO’d pieces… on your side!

Notable Runners-Up:

Kyle Rayner just missed out on this for me. The fact that a guy used Super Skrull to take out a buncha Kyle teams (among others) in a recent ROC was the deciding factor for me.!

Banshee is almost as good with his strong stats and his ability to target through both Hindering and Elevated Terrain, but he’s stymied by the existence of Copycat. The fact that there’s a piece out there that simply let’s your opponent take Banshee and leave you with a walking Pu-Pu Platter is intolerable to me… and makes playing Banshee somewhat risky.

Black Lantern Zoom is extremely good for his points, but he does take up your Prime slot, which sometimes makes it harder to field great supporting figs around him.

And finally, the Kingdom Come Flash just hasn’t been around long enough to truly flex his muscles in the Meta. Once Resources rotate back in, expect to see a bunch of Sinestro Corps Batteries powering the Flash here to victory!

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… SECONDARY ATTACKER (Vaguely defined as figures who can reliably damage the enemy but cost less than the Primary Attacker in your Build):

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor

DP053A Speed Demon

WOL010 Controller [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, got my lists confused. Controller belongs in the “Most Embarrassing Piece to Pull in a War Of Light OP Event” category.]

WOL013B Tomar Tu

GOTGM012 Yondu

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP064 Electro

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

Actual video of me using Zombie Electro against Ninwashui in a house game. For the 43rd time.

GOTGM101 Star-Lord

GOTGM106R Ronan

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

GOTG023 Yondu (Yep! They both made this list!)

GOTG059B Doctor Spectrum

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Speed Demon

Why Speed Demon Won: My Lord, this was a packed category, and it really came down to Speed Demon and Captain Marvel at the end. Either one would have walked away with this category in 2013, but damn, how do you choose here? I give Speed Demon the nod for two reasons. One, he’s not a Prime (actually, he’s better than Whizzer, his Prime version), so you can still run a Prime character in your Build. And two, his Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) was the best Trait I read this year. It can be gamechanging on its own, but when you start to combine it with things like Entities or The Phoenix Force, Speed Demon can get out of hand in a hurry.

Notable Runners-Up:

Captain Marvel (the Prime) was a close second. His ability to completely shut down the attacks of anyone he hits is stupid good. He’s a little crunchy himself, but his Special Defend power lets him boost the Defense Value of most adjacent friendlies to 19!!

Both Yondu figures are great; much has already been said about the main set Uncommon from GOTG. But I really think folks need to take another look at the GotG Movie Set version. He’s a different kind of ridiculousness.

I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far and not mentioned Lydea Mallor. There was a time when she ruled ROC’s all across the country. Now, she’s kind of old news. Still, she may have burned through her usefulness quickly, but she also burned quite brightly for that short while, too. With the new ROC season allowing Resources again, I’d expect her business to pick back up a bit.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… SUPPORTING FIGURE (Vaguely Defined as those pieces that round out your force by providing those important non-damage dealing abilities, like Perplex, Probability Control or Outwit; Support; or TK, or Taxi Service, or something else entirely):

FFDP006R Mercy 

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

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

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell

DP018 Blind Al

DP020 Weasel

DOFP008 Senator Robert Kelly

DOFP011 Destiny

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit

WOL010 Controller [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, got my lists confused again. This Controller nomination belongs in the “Most Exciting Piece to open during War Of Light: Month 1… Until You Realize That He Isn’t a Poorly Scuplted Superboy Prime Like You Were Hoping.” category.]

WOL033 Sister Sercy

WOL029 Brother Hymn

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon

GOTG003 Mantis

GOTG017A Kree Lieutenant

FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Rocket Raccoon Gif

Why Rocket Raccoon Won: So, while the 300 Point Meta game probably exerts the greatest influence on a lot of these awards, I chose Rocket because he offers so many great supporting abilities PLUS he’s the lynchpin to so many different cool Guardian of the Galaxy Builds (if you’re playing Star-Lord from the comic set, you almost HAVE to play the Movie Chase Rocket with him!). He’s also a decent Secondary Attacker (not great, but decent) and certainly could have been nominated in that category as well.

But I view him more as a Supporting Figure. He lends adjacent snipers Enhancement, he has Outwit with a 7 Range AND he buffs the Attack Values of adjacent friendlies that share at least one of his two main keywords (Ravagers or Guardians of the Galaxy). Now, there are certainly other figures in the game who can buff both Attack and Damage (Rocket’s fellow nominee Weasel can do that trick too), but you can very easily run into positioning issues where you find it extremely difficult to keep the Enhancer next to the Attacker that your trying to buff. Not with Rocket! He’s Tiny-sized, which means he can be carried by just about any attacker, whether or not they fly! And, being tiny, Rocket doesn’t make the carrier subtract two from their movement (VEEEERRRY helpful during Running Shot/Carry maneuvers.)

Notable Runners-Up:

Blue Lantern Recruit packs about every starting ability you’d want into one tiny, 50-Point shell. He probably would have won this if not for Rocket.

Ditto for Mercy, except I like Blue Lantern Recruit just a tad better.

Agent Sitwell is an AWESOME supporting piece… as long as you’re playing a S.H.I.E.L.D. team.

Finally, S.T.A.R. Labs Technician has already started to show up in the Meta. Great package of abilities for the point cost.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… WORST FIGURE OF THE YEAR (Vaguely defined as, well, the worst figure of the year, which would technically make that piece the best at sucking):

FL018 Steve Trevor

FL019B Bizarro Flash

SLOSH050 Toyman

SLOSH047A White Witch

DOFP002 Sprite & DOFP020 Ariel (A RARE DUAL DISAPPOINTMENT!!)

WOL010 Controller (FINALLY!! A category he’s SUPPOSED to be nominated in!)

WOL039 Kryb

WOL051 Krona

GOTGM010 Nebula

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

"Yes. And don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."

Yes. And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Why Steve Trevor Won: So, at only 54 Points, you could argue that there are much worse figures out there who, by virtue of the higher Point cost, would be a bigger detriment to your team because you’d have to sink more of your Build’s Resources (i.e. Build Points) into fielding them.

And you’d be wrong. As I argued during the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, Steve Trevor is so bad that you’ve probably already lost the game just by fielding him, since you probably thought you could successfully find a way to use his Leadership Special Power. And you were wrong. Because while Steve Trevor has a bevy of keywords to chose from, he makes an awful Leader no matter which squad you choose to run.

“But HypeFox,” I can already hear you saying, “Running Shot and Psychic/Blast is an awesome combo, and he has that top click!” Sure he does. He also has a 5 (not 6) Range and only a 16 ES/D for Defense. Look, you could play two more Entities for that price; it’d be cheesy, but you could. Instead, you chose the worst dial released this year.

Are you going against Steve Trevor? Oh, I have some advice. Here’s the secret to taking down Steve Trevor: deal him one damage (I promise it will go through). At that point, on Click 2, Steve Trevor gets Willpower, a 9 Attack and he keeps his craptastic Empower/Leadership Special Power.

And don’t think that it’s that hard to get Steve here to his second Click. All you need is one character with Poison and some patience. Oh, did Steve Trevor just move? Well, go ahead and plop your Poisoner adjacent to him. Whether Steve stays and takes the Poison or he Pushes to vacate the premises, your job is done, since that Willpower only shows up on Click 2!!

Notable Runners-Up:

Krona is 245 Points with a Trait that can’t be legally activated in a 300 Point game unless your running an Entity on a figure 30 Points or less. The benefit to Krona if you do all that? Probably a +2 to his Range or Speed Value. Lame. This character was a universe-imperiling badass in the comics; in Clix, the only thing he’ll imperil is your chance to win if you field him.

White Witch is impossible to promote, even though Battlefield Promotion is one of the only reasons to play her.

Controller is, well, Controller. He has the capability of dealing 4 Penetrating Damage to any character within his Range… provided that he’s already hit with EIGHT FREAKING ATTACKS!! And if he’s already done that, well, you’ve probably already won the game.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… GRAVITY FEED SET (Marvel or DC):

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set

Days of Future Past

Deadpool

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

CATWS

Why CATWS Won: Top to bottom, it had the best pieces. It added a metric POOP-TON of S.H.I.E.L.D.-keyworded figs and gave us a very solid Chase (Cap and Bucky) and a damn near broken one (Captain America and Black Widow). We now have a very useful Nick Fury, and Agent Sitwell is one of the best S.H.I.E.L.D. supporting figs we’ve seen since… well, since the CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent THAT’S ALSO IN THIS SET!!

Notable Runners-Up:

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set gave us a fantastic Chase Rocket, probably the best Drax we’ve seen yet along with the best version of The Collector we’ve ever received. Having said that, most of the pieces I keep reaching for from this set (Star-Lord, Ronan) are actually from the STARTER, not the Gravity Feed.

Days of Future Past had some neat ideas, but top to bottom it can’t compare with CATWS. Professor X is great until you see that he’s overcosted by at least 30 Points. Sprite and Ariel pose that time-honored riddle: when you have the opportunity to eat the Chicken Salad you didn’t want OR the Egg Salad you didn’t want, which do you chose?

And finally, Deadpool was probably about the best main set Gravity Feed we got all year. It was worth seeking out the Deadpool dial that comes in the Gravity Feed just for his Word Bubble alone. Daredevil in that same Feed is a SwitchClix, which is a really cool thing to pull from a Gravity Feed pack. Also, Secret Empire Number 9 is one of the best Ranged supporting pieces in Modern right now that no one ever talks about.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… PRIME FIGURE (Vaguely defined as… well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, actually):

SLOSH005B Mon-El

DP019B Evil Deadpool

DP047B Cat

DP053B Whizzer

WOL013B Tomar Tu

WOL020B Laira

WOL046B Abin Sur

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

GOTG047B Thanosi

FL037B Dark Flash

FL053B Zoom

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Captain Marvel Marvel 2

Why Captain Marvel Won: Wow! This was probably the deepest and most competitive category this year. Captain Marvel wins because he does so many different things to help your team win, yet at 81 Points he’s on the low-end of what most Secondary Attackers cost. Plus, his Attack Special ability that–among other things–allows him to shut down opposing figures counter-attacks when he hits them (UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.) is damn near broken!

Notable Runners-Up:

Abin Sur is just ridiculously cheap, and he has the Construct ability. He finished second for me.

Whizzer is a great figure, but I can’t vote for a figure for “Best Prime” when it’s NON-PRIME (Speed Demon) is both cheaper to field AND more effective.

Zoom would have finished third; he’s fantastic, but he’s almost a Primary Attacker. Nothing wrong with that, except that many of the best Modern Age Supporting Figures happen to be Primes themselves right now, which means that you can’t use them in a Build with Zoom.

Finally, Cat still has a lot of room to grow in the Meta. Now that ROC is switching back to a format where Relics and Resources are allowed, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see him turn up a little more often.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… 5-FIGURE SET (Vaguely defined as THE SET OF THE YEAR!!):

Guardians of the Galaxy

War of Light

Deadpool

Flash

Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

"We're number one!"

Guardians… pull my finger.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Won: The Critical Missives version of Best Picture goes to… Guardians of the Galaxy?! Hmmm… Before I sat down to write this article, I thought for sure War of Light would capture this, but when I look back over this past year, I have to say that, top to bottom, Guardians was the best set. The fact that every generic had a “soldier” version and a “royal” version is freaking awesome. It actually cut down so much on the normal clusterglut (a term I just coined) of generic Commons that you accumulate every time you buy packs.

War of Light did this too, to an extent, but that was mostly different versions of the same character (“Kyle Rayner as a White Lantern. Kyle Rayner as a Blue Lantern. And on and on…”). War of Light was also WAAAAAY harder to initially collect. But Guardians also gave us almost as many Meta pieces as WOL without all the headaches (Entities). Even now, I still feel like there’s TONS of undiscovered GOTG pieces just waiting to be tried out. Heck, Ninwashui finally beat me for once just the other day using a Brother Royal team. It was ridiculously effective–and you never even see those guys. At least, not yet. But GOTG’s top to bottom depth is what put it over the top for me!

Notable Runners-Up:

War of Light obviously finished second. It was everything DC fans seemed to want and more. Uh, way more. It was actually like 3 or 4 separate Lantern stories rolled into one set. Still, it gave us a lot of previously Un-Clix’d figures, and two MAJOR new mechanics with the Construct Trait (found on the Primes and Participation Prizes) and the Entities (with their “Possessed” Traits). The Entities were extremely powerful; they’re recent slight-nerfing probably has them in the right place, power-wise. The Construct Trait is the next thing that may need to get looked at; I’ve seen so many players going out of their way to play, like, 4 Wall-bearing figures in larger point games (“If no one can target any of my figures ever, I’ll win!” Uh, yeah, Timmy, maybe, but it’s the antithesis of what the game is about. It’s basically the strategy of people who don’t trust their own ability to orchestrate a strategy.). So War of Light was second for me, if only because it caused so many issues in the Meta and beyond; but as we end 2014 and roll into 2015, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at Rulings-wise with the set, and I think it’ll be an important source of Builds for the next couple years.

Deadpool was awesome. It gave us Speed Demon and Banshee and a TON of great Hand figures. It also gave us Copycat, who was just as big of a problem (in her own way) for a while as the Entities were.

Flash had some of the best sculpts of the year. The Speed Force mechanic isn’t as cool as the two mechanics put forth by War of Light, but it’s still a solid addition to the game.

Finally, SLoSH will primarily just be remembered for Lydea Mallor, I think. It wasn’t a bad set; it just wasn’t as much fun as the other big sets we got this year.

 

Well, there you have it!! That’s all for this year’s Critters*!!

Join us next month as we dive into Justice League: Trinity War and start a new Page for this site that’s devoted to Comics on TV!!

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

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, no really, we are still working on it! We’ll have it sorted for next year!]

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!

Local Tournament Report: War of the Light Month 5 (10/29/14 @ Comics & More)

Local Tournament Report

The Format: 400 points, Sealed, one Pack of WOL Wave 1 and one pack of WOL Wave 2. In addition Lantern Resources, Rings, and Constructs may be used, but they must match what has already been given out as tournament prizes. The means the only allowable constructs are: Crossbow, Decoy, Catapult, Scissors. The Constructs, Ring, and Battery may be of any color.

What I Pulled:

  • WOL002 Red Lantern Recruit
  • WOL005 Green Lantern Recruit
  • WOL011B Hal Jordan (Blue Lantern)
  • WOL015 Arisia
  • WOL018 Munk
  • WOL023 Mongul
  • WOL026 Sodam Yat
  • WOL030B Guy Gardner (Red Lantern)
  • WOL044 Fatality
  • WOL059A Zilius Zox

What I Played:

  • WOL023 Mongul
  • WOL030B Guy Gardner (Red Lantern)
  • WOL059A Zilius Zox
  • WOLR102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps)
  • WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring
  • WOLR202.05 Crossbow (Red)
  • WOLR202.06 Decoy (Red)
  • WOLR202.08 Scissors (Red)
  • Total = 393 points

WOL 5-1

Round 1!

Versus:

  • WOL035B Sayd (Blue Lantern) (w/WOL066P Butcher)
  • WOL020B Laira (Green Lantern)
  • WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit
  • WOLR300 Green Lantern Ring
  • WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps)
  • WOLR200 Shield (Green)
  • WOLR200.08 Scissors (Green)
  • WOLR200.07 Catapult (Green)
  • Total = 399 points

This game(like every game tonight) was played on the indoor map “Nok”. Also, in every game I equipped the Scissors on Zilius Zox, the Decoy on Guy Gardner and Crossbow on Mongul. I always did this the first three turns of the game.

Game 1 was against a fairly new player so the start of the game went slowly. Entities are a lot to think about for new players. I had an entirely close combat team and his featured Sayd, who sported a 9 range. I was at a disadvantage approaching his team. I sent Zilus Zox up the center and had him stand on an object. Mongul and Guy Gardner went into room and hid behind some blocking terrain in little room at the center of the map. He responded by moving his team to the outside of that room and it was back to my turn. I cleared. He moved Laira up to the entrance of the room. He then used Sidestep with Sayd to get into range and then (after using Probability Control) he hit Zilius Zox from 9 spaces away for 3 clicks of damage minus toughness. His Sinestro Corps Recruit was lurking on his side of the map nearest to Laira.

On my turn Guy Gardner was in range to Charge Laria and he did so, but he missed both Flurry attacks. Mongul moved adjacent to her and Zilus Zox moved adjacent to Sayd. Sayd was able to hit Zilus Zox again and knock him to click 5, but the rest of his team was pushed and cleared action tokens to end his turn. On my turn the penetrating Poison damage started. Laira took two clicks right away. She additionally got damaged from Mongul’s attack.

That was pretty much how the game went from that point forward. Mongul and Gardner took out Laria quickly. Then Mongul helped Zilus Zox KO Sayd and Gardner took out the Sinestro Corps Recruit. In all of that only Gardner took any additional damage and that just knocked him into penetrating Poison.

WOl 5-2

Round 2!

Versus:

  • WOL009 Controller Construct
  • WOL013B Tomar Tu
  • WOL029 Brother Hymn
  • WOL042B John Stewart (Indigo Tribe)
  • WOLR103 Power Battery (Orange Lantern Corps)
  • WOLR200.05 Crossbow (Green)
  • WOLR200.06 Decoy (Green)
  • WOLR303 Orange Lantern Ring
  • Total = 393 points

As I closed with my opponent I hid in that same little room. My opponent used Running Shot with Tomar Tu and John Stewart both targeting Mongul through the side entrance of that room. Tomar hit and Stewart rolled a 3 and missed. Because of a Perplex from Brother Hymn, Mongul takes 2 damage. Tomar Tu is too close to John Stewart to use Outwit. On my turn, Mongul uses the Red Crossbow to target John Stewart and rolls a 4 to miss. That would be the only ranged attack my team makes all tournament. Zilus Zox goes into “open space” between Tomar Tu and John Stewart and attacks Tomar Tu. Tomar Tu hits his Super Senses roll. Because of the “open space” special terrain feature of the “Nok” map, Guy Gardner (who doesn’t fly) can charge only next to Tomar Tu. He rolls a 7 and then a 12 on his two Flurry rolls. His Precision Strike allowed him to ignore Super Senses and get a 2 hit instant KO on Tomar Tu.

Everyone clears. Mongul and Zilus Zox double team John Stewart. Guy Gardner moves next to the Controller Construct. On my opponents turn, Brother Hymn moves to help John Stewart and John Stewart shoots Guy Gardner in the back for 2 clicks of damage. Poison from Mongul and a strong penetrating Blades attack from Zilus Zox KO John Stewart in short order. Guy Gardner knocks the Controller Construct to it’s last click, but can’t finish the job due to Knockback into open space terrain.

The game ends shortly after with Mongul Poisoning Brother Hymn to death and Zilus Zox hunting down the Controller Construct.

tournament 3

Round 3!

Versus:

  •  WOL015 Arisia
  • WOL025 The Weaponer of Qward
  • WOL004 Indigo Tribe Recruit
  • WOL001 Orange Lantern Construct
  • WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps)
  • WOLR200 Shield (Green)
  • WOLR200.05 Crossbow (Green)
  • WOLR200.06 Decoy (Green)
  • WOLR300 Green Lantern Ring
  • Total = 395 points

This third game is against a very experienced player who loves to use Telekinesis to make strategic strikes. He’s a great guy, but on the HeroClix battlefield I consider him my personal nemesis (or at least my personal nemesis who isn’t named Hypefox). Besides, I still owe him after he “Krampused” me the last time we met.

So the game gets going and I’m in that same little room in the center of the map again. Zilus Zox and Guy Gardner are up front. His characters are still huddled around his Lantern in his starting zone except for Arisa who is about 5 squares up and the Orange Construct who waits just outside the room. The Weaponer chooses Psychic Blast and moves up 6 spaces to declare a ranged attack on Zilus Zox. Zilus Zox makes his Shape Change roll, but unfortunately Guy Gardner doesn’t. Just like that Guy Gardner is on his last click. Then he uses Arisa to TK the Weaponer back to his starting area and I have no chance to strike back.

On my turn I know I have to do something desperate or I will lose this match without scoring any points. I take Mongul and move him his full twelve range to base Arisa on the side opposite the Weaponer, but Mongul is now double tokened. This freezes Arisa in place within 3 of the Weaponer and now she can’t use her Outwit. Zilus Zox and Guy Gardner clear. On my opponents turn he misses with Arisa and the Indigo Recruit uses Sidestep to move the Weaponer and himself away from Arisa.

Unfortunately for my opponent, moving the Weaponer around moved him within 11 spaces of Zilus Zox and on my turn Zilus Zox bases both him and the Recruit. Guy Gardner engages the Orange Construct and Mongul can’t attack, but he Poisons Arisa for 1. On my opponents next turn Zilus Zox makes a Shape Change roll against the Weaponer and the Indigo Recruit misses. Arisa clears. Back to my turn and more penetrating Poison damage is dished out by Mongul and Zilus Zox. Mongul finishes off Arisa. Zilus Zox hits an Exploit Weakness attack on the Weaponer for 4 damage.

The Weaponer eventually hits Zilus Zox onto his 4th click. The Recruit tries to break away unsuccessfully for several turns. Zilus Zox strikes back by knocking the Weaponer to his last click. The Recruit finally breaks away and carries the Weaponer to the Battery to be healed. He returns to click 6. The next turn he is surrounded by the weakened Gardner and Zilus Zox. He uses Flurry to knock them both out in one turn, but now he’s double tokened. Mongul Charges him and knocks the Weaponer to his last click. On my opponent’s turn, the Recruit misses two break away rolls and there is nothing he can do after that. He can’t use Regeneration because he’s double tokened and he can’t use Support from the Battery because I’m still next to him. On my turn the Weaponer is KOed via Poison and Mongul knocks out the Recruit with an attack.

Learning

What I learned:

  • Red Penetrating Poison is extremely strong! I did almost as much damage with that as I did with attacks.
  • I’m going to make sure to play Arisia if I pull her in Month 6. Her TK plus Outwit and her ability to be a decent secondary attacker are great for her point cost. I’d love to pull my own TK Shenanigans in month 6.
  • It’s been a while since I played against a Weaponer of Qward. He’s still ridiculous.
  • Laira and Tomar Tu are both good for their point cost. Both are worth playing if you pull them.
  • Mongul was good, but his range drives up his point cost and I only made one ranged attack all day. I also had chances to use the Black Mercy special, but in every case I deemed his natural 4 damage to be the better option. If I was playing more figures that had damage reducers then maybe I’d feel differently. The way I used him today it was more wasted points.
  • Guy Gardner and his mobility were great for his point cost. He could move up to 7 squares and still make and attack. His 12 attack value was awesome.
  • Zilus Zox was the star of my team. His great Defense and off the charts offensive abilities are worth every point. The penetrating Poison on his first 4 clicks is the best among all the reds who typically don’t get penetrating Poison until later in the dial. Throw a red Scissors on him and watch him take down figures twice his point cost!

Local Tournament Report – 7/23/14 Comics and More (War of the Light Month 2)

Local Tournament Report

The Format: 400 point Sealed with two boosters of War of the Light. No outside anything, except we can play any rings, batteries, and constructs from month 1. The judge also let us include the green ring and shield construct from the scenario pack. I didn’t have those.

What I pulled:

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit

WOL005 Green Lantern Recruit

WOL005 Green Lantern Recruit

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit

WOL009 Controller Construct

WOL027 Graf Toren

WOL027 Graf Toren

WOL029 Brother Hymn

WOL039 Kryb

WOL053 Swamp Thing

 

What I Played:

"Oh look, that 'Lost Lantern' is standing next to two other people. They found him!"

“Oh look, that ‘Lost Lantern’ is standing next to two other people. They found him!”

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit

WOL027 Graf Toren

WOL053 Swamp Thing

WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps)

WOLR200.05 Crossbow

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring

Total = 386 points

 

Round 1: Facing WOL021 Lyssa Drak, WOL037 Karu-Sil, and WOL035A Sayd (Orange Lantern) = 396 points

IMG_20140723_201520_931

This match went slow. We were both playing characters we were unfamiliar with. I had created my team hastily and it took a couple of times reading through Swamp Thing’s card to get the gist of his Sort-Of! Hypersonic Attack. Apparently, he’s essentially FULLY Hypersonic and leaves Hindering Terrain wherever he goes. Wow! Of course, the small print will tell you that if your opponent is already sitting in Hindering Terrain then Swamp Thing’s Hypersonic 2: Electric Bugaloo-ish attack can’t touch them. Which makes about as much sense as the Hal Jordan Parallax not being able to fly (talk about the ring being a crutch). But whatever.

My opponent was trying to think of useful things to do with Sayd and Lyssa Drak. He may still be wondering at the time of this writing. This ended up being a mostly one sided affair, although the score would likely have been higher had we moved a little faster.

The action started out with both of us moving our teams out 8 spaces and then clearing. I equipped the Crossbow onto Graf Toren. My opponent had the first turn and moved his Sayd within firing range (9 squares) of my Graf Toren. His Karu-Sil and Lyssa Drak stayed back a few spaces further. Karu-Sil popped out her Pack and the turn ended. On my turn I went all out. I used the Blue Latern Recruit to TK Graf Toren into firing position on Sayd (since his range was shorter). Not wanting to miss, I used the Blue Latern Recruit’s Perplex and the Crossbow’s Ranged Combat expert to pump my attack up to 14! I would have also Outwitted Sayd’s Defense with Graf Toren‘s Traited Outwit, but Sayd’s Team Ability prevented me. At the time I had hoped that this encounter would be the last time I saw that TA this tournament because a lot of Graf Toren’s usefulness is based upon that Outwit. Sayd had 18 defense and was sitting in hindering terrain. Graf Toren’s 14 attack value meant I had no problem hitting Sayd; unfortunately, I rolled too well,  knocking him back two squares. Sayd moved to click 3. It was then that White Lantern Swamp Thing entered the fray.

Sayd was still in hindering, and Karu-sil was too far away, but Lyssa Drak was within Swamp Thing’s Movement range and he slogged through the map until he was adjacent to both her and Karu-Sil. It was an easy 4 clicks of damage even after her traited Prob reroll.

On my opponent’s turn, he shot back with Sayd and missed Graf Toren who was in Hindering. The Pack used Sidestep to attack Swamp Thing, which moved to bog monster to Click 2 after all the dice rolls. Karu-Sil missed, but she did Perplex down one of Swamp Thing’s combat values, which also decreased his speed by three. Lyssa Drak then created a Barrier around herself that–unsurprisingly, given how useless her dial is–didn’t protect any of the other characters. I’m going to omit her from the rest of this battle report because, while she wasn’t KO’d, she never took a meaningful action for the rest of the game. Such is life for Lyssa Drak. Don’t blame me, I didn’t create her.

On my turn, Blue Lantern Recruit TK’ed Graf Toren, who then attacked Sayd again. This time he hit for 6 which caused 3 real damage. Swamp Thing attacked Karu-Sil and missed. Both teams cleared over the next two turns.

One my opponent’s turn The Pack and Karu-Sil both dug into Swamp Thing and knocked him down to his Regen/Stop click. Then it was my turn and the judge called time. I finished my turn by having Graf Toren knock Sayd to her last click and then Swamp finished her for the games only KO.

 

Round 2: Facing WOL025 The Weaponer of Qward, WOL025E The Weaponer of Qward, WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps), WOLR200 Shield, WOLR200.05 Crossbow, and WOLR300 Green Lantern Ring = 374 points

IMG_20140723_192817_883

Seriously? Two freaking Weaponers? Who gets that lucky? I mean, besides HypeFox last month. Actually, now that I’m remembering HypeFox’s pulls last month, two Weaponers seems reasonable. Regardless, on paper, I would have given this match to my opponent easily. Then again, this game isn’t played on paper. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, it kinda is.)

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Shut up. I’m on a roll. Oh, and your proctologist called–he can see you Monday at 3:00pm to get that MAGICAL HORSESHOE PHYSICALLY REMOVED FROM YOUR POSTERIOR!!)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re trying to imply that luck had anything to do with–)

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hey, who’s telling this story? Me or you?)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: <sigh> Continue.)

Thank you. What I was trying to say was that anything can happen in HeroClix. And I knew that the more expensive Weaponer was an incredible threat. I had never faced one before, but I had read about him online. My opponent went first. We both moved up and cleared. He moved both his guys about 11 squares away and put the shield on the more expensive one. That was opening I needed. I used the same TK, Perplex, RCE trick that I had pulled on my opening shot in game one, but this time I could use Outwit. I hit his 20 ranged Defense and he took four clicks of damage. I got smart and had Swamp Thing throw up a Barrier between me and the Weaponers. Rather than use both of his characters just to try and get one attack through, my opponent just cleared.

On my turn Graf Toren hit again for 4 more clicks of damage. Then Swamp Thing gained Shape Change, moved in, hit for 4 damage and tied up both characters. My opponent got a couple of turns in a row and did manage to knock Swamp Thing down to click 5, but that was it. After that, Graf Toren knocked each Weaponer to their stop clicks and my other characters got the KOs. It’s a odd sight to see a Blue Lantern Recruit KO a Weaponer of Qward, but it happened. This game just happened to break my way, and I was lucky that I didn’t miss when I found that first opening.

 

Round 3: Facing WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit, WOL013A Romat-Ru, WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan), WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps), WOLR200.05 Crossbow, and WOLR303 Orange Lantern Ring = 395 points

IMG_20140723_201858_201

So this match really came down to two pieces and their (mostly) one on one duel. Oh, and this was me and Hypefox in the final.

My opponent moved Parallax close enough to my forces that I got in an alpha strike with the same plan I used in the first two games. I couldn’t use Outwit, but I hit easily. He made his Impervious roll, so I did no damage! Swamp Thing couldn’t base him because he was too far away and instead moved halfway to Parallax. Parallax of course easily hit Graf Toren on his turn. Parallax’s allies just moved closer and in fact wouldn’t do much for most of the game.

I got another turn with a weakened Graf Toren and took a shot. It was a hit! Then Parallax used his top dial Probability Control and it turned my beautiful hit into a #$^#($^ Critical Miss!! I thought about basing Parallax with Swamp Thing, but he would be double tokened then and Parallax’s Pulse Wave would make short work of him. I cleared the rest of my forces.

Parallax scored another hit and knocked Graf Torn down to his last click. On my turn I tried to get him back to the battery or hide him with TK, but there just wasn’t much I could do. Parallax had been in Hindering Terrain this whole time so Swamp Thing was having trouble attacking him. I put Graf Toren in a place where Parallax would have to move out of Hindering for the KO.

"Oh, baby, I am SO out of my MIND right now! I'm'a go $@#%-up a Swamp Thing! I saw him on my way into what's left of Coast City when I WASN'T FLYING, apparently!"

“Oh, baby, I am SO out of my MIND right now! I’m’a go $@#%-up a Swamp Thing! I saw him on my way into what’s left of Coast City when I WASN’T FLYING, apparently!”

Everyone cleared and then Parallax moved out of Hindering and shot Graf Toren for the KO. On my turn I struck with Swamp thing and… missed horribly. I ended Swamp Thing’s movement next to my Power Battery hoping to use its Support to stay in this game. And that’s the way the game stayed. Parallax KO’d the Blue Lantern Recruit next. Swamp Thing probably got in 5 Ranged attacks before the game ended, but he couldn’t beat Parallax’s Defense and Probability Control. The game ends about 10 turns later (Stop Click + Regen +Support) and I haven’t done a single point of damage to his team. I was, however, once again able to capture every one of my attempts to damage Parallax on video. Here, then, is a repeating loop of every time I attacked Parallax this game:

astros-butt-slide

This horrible defeat sent me from the penthouse to the outhouse as far as this tournament’s outcome was concerned. Because I was not just beaten, but beaten down to the point where I captured no points of my own, I found myself sliding from second place (and competing for a possible tournament win) to fifth (and, well, competing for nothing–which is exactly what fifth place awarded me!).

What I Learned:

  • WOL053 Swamp Thing is darn tough and had a few tricks opponents wouldn’t expect (Barrier, TK, etc.). However, once an opponent realizes the benefits of keeping figures on Hindering Terrain, Swamp Thing’s offensive punch drops a lot. I would play him again on a team that could really make use of the “forest” of Hindering Terrain markers he makes. Batman Allies, or Poison Ivy maybe?
  • WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit is well worth his points as a Scarlet Witch/Enchantress/Mercy type of support figure. I’ll be playing him again soon.
  • WOL027 Graf Toren was good but not great. If he can’t use his Outwit then he is a waste of points.
  • In a set full of ranged centered offense and defense, WOL037 Karu-Sil and her pack are well worth the points.
  • The full point WOL025 The Weaponer of Qward is scary. The lesser pointed one is only just “good”.
  • HypeFox beat me again with a high point high-powered character. (WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan)) Apparently I need to tell him the wrong day if I want to win the next WOL event. Or just pray that he gets, say, one month where he doesn’t pull a bomb that has all the specific TA’s and Powers that I’m trying to avoid.
  • The participation prize for this week (WOL104 Guy Gardner (Green Lantern)) is really quite good for the points. I think with all the high point characters in the set people are looking past him. I’m looking forward to using him in constructed. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I second that emotion. His dial is great, and he’s the best Turn One Taxi in the game!)
  • WOL021 Lyssa Drak is still useless. You could graft an Entity on her, and she’d still be useless. She’d suddenly be worth another $100, but she’d still be useless. Scientists in Luxembourg have just confirmed that Lyssa falls right before Kim on the K.U.S. (Kardashian Uselessness Scale). I may have made up the last 3 points, but I think you get my drift.
  • The WOL039 Kryb that I pulled and didn’t use doesn’t look much better. Honestly, I read the Blackest Night TPB and the War of the Green Lanterns TPB in preparation for this Storyline Event, and I don’t remember this dude/gal/thing/creepfestival from any of those stories. UPDATE: I just Wiki’d her. Apparently it’s a her. Also apparently, her body just happens to have a cage where her back should be, and she goes around stealing the children of Green Lanterns, which begs all SORTS of questions. First of all, for the other members of Kryb’s species that don’t have access to a cosmic-level powerful, wish-granting ring, what exactly do they keep in the cages in their backs? As in, what sort of biosphere exists on their planet of origin that necessitated (or, really, even allowed) for the adopted adaptation of built-in back cages? Secondly, exactly how powerful are Yellow Lanterns (sorry, “Sinestro Corps. members”) in comparison to Green Lanterns? Because if she’he’it has taken as many Green Lantern children as she’s constantly depicted to have taken (I mean, every picture of her has legions of floating limbs sprouting from her back), wouldn’t some of these pissed-off parents (who, remember, ALL WIELD RINGS THAT BRINGS THEIR WILDEST, MOST OUTLANDISHLY CREATIVE THOUGHTS TO LIFE IN THE FORM OF GREEN ENERGY) have banded together and straight up murdered THE ALIEN PSYCHOPATH THAT HAS BEEN STEALING THEIR CHILDREN?! I know most Lanterns aren’t the killing type, but doesn’t all that go out the window when your kids are being stolen? Yet when they finally catch up with her, they send her to Zamaron to be rehabilitated? Uh, no. All of which leads to my last question: Are there big Kryb fans out there? I’m just wondering who you are and what you’re doing with your life.

Local Tournament Report: War of the Light Month One (06/18/2014 @ Comics And More)!!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box! Saint Walker prefers Boo-Berry while Atrocitus is, of course, a Franken-Berry man… alien… thing.

Welcome back!! Outside of Ninwashui’s recap that just hit yesterday, it’s been a little while since we ran a Build column or a Local Tournament Report of any kind (I think Month 4 of AvX!), so we’re going to correct that right here! Why? The War of the Light isn’t just coming any more–it’s here!! As we said, you already got Ninwashui’s take. But here’s what happened from a different perspective–mine!

We played Month One of War of Light at our trusty local venue Comics & More, so you know what that means!! It’s time for a…

Local Tournament Report

LOCAL TOURNAMENT REPORT!!

The Format: Each participant is given 2 boosters of the limited edition War of Light DC Heroclix set. From the figures contained within the two boosters, competitors must make the best 300 Point army they can and compete in 3 Rounds of competitive play.

The Stipulations: No outside Relics or Resources (since this was Month One at this venue, the Power Battery wouldn’t technically be “released” until after the games were done), but if you pulled a Ring, you could play it!

What I Opened: Okay… here’s where things took a turn. Keep a couple things in mind:  first, most venues were only going to open one pack of WoL per person; we just got fortunate enough that we had nearly the perfect number to open 2 packs per person. Again, we were just lucky, since everyone and their mother is trying to get their hands on this set. Having said that, most people opened packs that contained one rare; some opened their packs and discovered that one of them had a Super Rare, which are generally more powerful than most of the rares in this set and, thus, give a slight advantage to the player opening them than if they had just opened two rares. And then there was me. The ten figures I opened were:

COMMONS:

WOL001 Orange Construct35

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit50

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit50

WOL015 Arisia75 

WOL017 Boodikka75

Common Options Analysis: Some decent pulls there. The generic recruits in Wave One are all pretty solid for their points; moreover, because they’re generics and thus fewer points than many of the named characters, they’re great for filling in that last 35-50 points you might have left over when building a team in Sealed. That being said…

I didn’t use a one of these.

UNCOMMONS:

WOL023 Mongul165

WOL029 Brother Hymn85

Uncommon Options Analysis: Some really cool Uncommons. Mongul is a good pull because he can be you primary attacker if you don’t pull anything beefier in your Rare/Super Rare/etc. slot. Brother Hymn is flat out one of the best support pieces in the set. Top dial, he flies, has Barrier, Prob with 3 damage (so he can even be a secondary attacker if circumstances demand him to be), a limited Perplex, Enhancement AND he can pump up the Range of adjacent characters! Not bad for 85 Points.

I ended up using Brother Hymn.

RARES:

WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan)250

Rare Options Analysis: Now this is more like it! Hal Jordan as Parallax is definitely the sort of heavy hitter that can wipe the floor with opposing figures in this sort of format. His only problem is that he can’t fly (no, this doesn’t make sense on any level, but whatever–if he could fly, he’d probably be close to an even 300 in terms of point cost), but since I pulled a Sinestro Corps Recruit, I had a ready-made taxi whose 5o Point cost would fit beautifully with Parallax’s 250 Point cost. But…

I went another way.

SUPER RARES:

WOL057B Red Lantern Superboy Prime190

Super Rare Analysis: Wow! This is one of those heavy hitting Super Rares I was talking about! Superboy Prime has great top dial stats (he could easily go toe-t0-toe with Parallax, who costs another 60 Points) to combine with an even better power set that featured abilities like Hypersonic Speed, Invincible and Super Strength!

I chose to use Red Lantern Superboy Prime and teamed him with Brother Hymn!

But wait… that’s only 9 figures… and I’m 25 Points shy of 300. Hmmmm…

"Rawr! I mean, hisssss..."

“Rawr! I mean, hisssss…”

CHASES:

WOL063 Ophidian185/25

Chase Analysis: Okay, these are the types of pulls that make people hate you in Sealed. All I can tell you is, it’s not my fault! These were random pulls! Ophidian in particular and the Entities in general are basically like resources when you use their “Entity Possession” Trait. Considering that this is Month One, and peeps aren’t even allowed to use the Green Lantern Power Battery yet, the fact that I was the only one who pulled an Entity means that I’m effectively the only one with a resource.

Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good.

So, to review, my team was:

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

Brother Hymn and Red Lantern Superboy Prime (Possessed by Ophidian).

And now, to the Report!

 

ROUND 1:

VERSUS: Ninwashui!

FACING:

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

WOL047 Ganthet – 175 Points

WOL019 Bedovian – 115

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring – 4

=294 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City

FIGHT!

This, unfortunately for my writing partner, ended up being a stomp. Ninwashui pretty much ran into a brick wall. He won Map Roll and not much else.

Ninwashui started by moving up, but he made a couple mistakes with his initial placement of Bedovian; he put him right next to Ganthet (which negated Bedovian’s top dial Movement Special DID THAT ROCK JUST BLINK?: When it isn’t your turn and no other characters are within 2 squares of Bedovian, lines of fire to him are blocked.); and he forgot that Ophidian gave Superboy Prime the ability to gain Sidestep and +1 to his Range or Movement. This really didn’t end up being that big of a deal, since I ended up missing the attack roll, but the extra spaces I saved by being able to use a ranged attack instead of having to run up all the way let me move out Superboy Prime up to some Elevated Terrain after the attack and out of harm’s way (because neither of his figures had any move-and-attack powers top dial).

On his second turn, Ninwashui clears (with no move-and-attack top dial, he doesn’t have many options here), and when my next turn starts, I Perplex up Superboy Prime and go to town on Bedovian, hitting him for 5 damage (3 actual, after Bedovian’s Invuln reducer). Luckily for me, this knocks Bedovian off of his best damage clicks (no more RCE) and on to his Yellow Lantern Perplex down clicks. While this is normally a decent power, I’ve seen what Superboy Prime becomes in his mid-dial (since I now own his figure!) and I am not too worried. Brother Hymn takes a shot at Bedovian to (hopefully) finish him off but misses.

On Ninwa’s turn, he bases Superboy Prime with both of his figures. I clear on my turn, which allows Ninwashui to open fire on Superboy. He uses Ganthet’s Perplex to pump up his own damage, and then uses Ganthet’s Special Attack Power (WITH PAIN, HOPE: Ganthet can use Incapacitate. When he does, after actions resolve, hit characters are each dealt his printed damage value and, until your next turn, each hit character increases its defense value by the number of action tokens it is assigned.) and hits. Superboy Prime takes 3 actual damage and gets an action token (and a corresponding +1 to his Defense). Unfortunately for Ninwashui, he’s about to find out what I already know. On Click 4, Superboy Prime gains a Special Attack Power of his own (RAGE OF A PETULANT CHILD: Superboy Prime can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. Opposing characters can’t counter Superboy Prime’s other powers and abilities or modify his combat values.). So now he has penetrating Poison and both Ninwashui’s figures are based with him. Bedovian now has a base of 3 damage and a Perplex that no longer works on Superboy Prime. Oh, and Click 4 on Ophidian bascially gave back Superboy Prime access to all the powers he lost from his top dial.

Essentially, the rest of the match goes like this for Ninwashui:

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot.

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot during War of the Light Month One.

Within the next two turns, Bedovian is dead and Ganthet is hurting (Poison plus a successful attack), and the game ends soon afterwards (I don’t recall if it was another Superboy Prime attack or just his Poison, but it doesn’t really matter).

DECISION:

VICTORY! 300-0.

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–Red Lantern Superboy Prime is a beast, but his low-ish Defense stats (especially mid-dial) mean that you CAN hit him. Still, his top dial Invincible and mid-dial un-Outwittable Impervious also mean that it’s gonna take A LOT of damage to chew through his 8 Clicks of life, and he’s got a great Regeneration power on his last two clicks. If you pull him, he’s very close to a Must Play. His offensive potential is consistent throughout his entire dial, and he’s great in close (really good mid-dial with that penetrating Poison) or from range. I don’t think he’s Meta, but you can have a ton of fun with him in Constructed.

–Ophidian (and, presumably, the rest of the Entities) are the real deal. The recent results from Nationals at Origins and the ROC’s this month confirm that the Entities are here to stay for the next two(-ish) years in the Meta. I’d expect their price to fall marginally in the next few months as more are opened, but not by much, and once their gone (basically, once War of the Light is over), I wouldn’t be surprised if their price jumps up again. They seem to be opened at an approximate rate of 2 per every 3 bricks, so we’ll see. Keep in mind too, that we don’t know what the Red, Indigo, Violet or Green Entities will do (and we’re presuming that there will be no Black Entity, since that Battery–if memory serves–was powered by the Anti-Monitor, who we already know is going to be a Con-Exclusive Colossal and who does NOT have the “Entity Possession” ability).

ROUND 2:

VERSUS: Dan, a regular at our venue.

FACING:

My, that's a white hot Lantern!

My, that’s a White hot Lantern!

WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points

WOL017 Boodikka – 75

WOL015 Arisia75

=300 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again)

FIGHT!

Dan won Map Roll and went first. He advanced to the large Elevated Terrain in the center of the map, taking care to stay out of range of any sniping spots from the small Elevated area in front of my starting zone. On my turn, I used Ophidian to increase Superboy Prime’s Range by +1, then upped it again with Brother Hymn. I then Sidestepped Superboy Prime up to the small patch of Elevated Terrain and took a RCE shot (+1 to Attack and +1 to Damage) at White Lantern Swamp Thing. Hit! 5 Damage (4 get through due to Swamp Thing’s Toughness). That leaves Swamp Thing on a problem click for me with a Special Damage power (RESURRECT THE FALLEN: When a friendly character within range and occupying hindering terrain would be KO’d, roll a d6. On a result of 5, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 1 click, and they are now assigned 1 action token. On a result of 6, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 2 clicks, and remove all action tokens they are assigned.) that means I have to be very careful about when I try to take down Swamp Thing’s supporting crew. Swamp Thing’s Trait (RESTORE THE GREEN: Give Swamp Thing a move action, after actions resolve, you may place hindering terrain markers in any clear squares he moved through and he may make a close combat attack targeting one opposing character occupying a hindering terrain marker Swamp Thing just placed. These markers aren’t removed when Swamp Thing is KO’d.) means that Dan can get Hindering Terrain almost anywhere he wants.

Meanwhile, Boodikka and Arisia close on Brother Hymn while I keep Superboy Prime just out of line of fire and take Swamp Thing down to his Stop Click. While I de-token, Dan takes out Brother Hymn and Regenerates Swamp Thing back to click 5. I decide to change tactics and use Hypersonic Speed to take out Arisia (who happened to be standing in Clear Terrain). By pumping up Superboy Prime’s Movement +1 with Ophidian, I’m able to dart around the map and take pot shots at Swamp Thing and Boodikka while usually avoiding a counter-attack. Of course, with my team a figure down, I’m also hard-pressed in terms of actions to do anything but get Swamp Thing to his Stop Click. Finally, I take out Boodikka on the Elevated Terrain in the Center of the map, and Dan meets me there with Swamp (back at Click 5 again, I believe). At this point, Superboy Prime is down a few clicks, and Swamp Thing can Ignore Characters on Movement, so waiting on Superboy’s penetrating Poison clicks won’t do anything.

Finally, I solved Swamp Thing’s stop click by choosing Pulse Wave from Ophidian and getting, well, lucky. I roll two fives for doubles on Pulse Wave, which knocked Swamp Thing off of elevation… AFTER he hit his Stop Click. Game over.

DECISION:

Victory! 300-85 (Though, as you can probably guess from the description above, this was MUCH closer than the score might indicate.)

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–White Lantern Swamp Thing is the Truth! He’s got decent values, but the White Lantern “Life” Stop Click is great, and his special resurrection Damage Power really makes an opponent think about what order they should attack your figures in. Yes, it only has a 33% chance of going off, but that’s just as good as Shape Change or Super Senses, except HE’S GIVING THE POWER TO OTHER FIGURES! Very cool. The fact that he ignores everything on movement and has a TRAITED move-and-attack power means that he’s not just a support piece–he’s a legitimate threat as an attacker. That he can also place Hindering Terrain markers wherever you want on the map offers a ton of possibilities for army building in Constructed as well.

–Let there be no doubt–Ophidian was the difference in this battle. The fact that I could simply pick up a power as useful as Pulse Wave at the drop of a hat was really the difference in the game. If the roles had been reversed, and Swamp Thing had been Possessed by Ophidian, I would have been staring at a loss here.

ROUND 3:

VERSUS: A new player we’ll call A.

FACING:

"Get it? I'm the First Lantern. And I live... IN A LANTERN! Booyah!"

“Get it? I’m the First Lantern. And I live… IN A LIGHT LANTERN! Booyah! Honestly, this stuff writes itself at this point!”

WOL049 First Lantern – 260 Points

WOL001 Orange Lantern Construct – 35

=295 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again, again)

FIGHT!

For the final round, I faced a brand new player. I didn’t know a lot about the First Lantern, but I did know that A would need some advice during the game, given that it was only the second tourney game he’d ever played (he had a Round 1 bye).

Basically, First Lantern’s top dial Damage Special (DISCOVERED THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM FIRST: At the beginning of your turn, choose a color other than white. Until your next turn, any opposing character within range and line of fire can’t use powers of that color.) allowed A to take away my ability to use Hypersonic Speed. I was still able to slightly out-maneuver A’s team with Superboy Prime picking Sidestep from Ophidian and meeting up at the main Elevated Terrain with the patch of Blocking Terrain in the center. Finally, he got off a shot on Brother Hymn because of some careless placement and a failed attack by me, and then he brought in his Orange Lantern Construct on a Charge/Blades/Claws/Fangs, which finished off the good Brother. At this point, I realized that I needed to stop providing advice and start worrying about the fact that A was kicking my butt!

Because he kept choosing Brown (or Gold–however you want to describe the color of Hypersonic Speed and Impervious), he actually had Superboy on the ropes (or specifically, his penetrating Poison clicks). Eventually, I Poisoned the Construct to oblivion, but it wasn’t until I got a hit in on the First Lantern and got him past his Invincible clicks that the Poison actually did anything. Still, the game came down to A’s turn when he still had Superboy’s Impervious negated and 3 Damage showing. Superboy Prime had Shape Change from Ophidian… and hit it. Otherwise, a roll of six or higher would have ended the game.

Unfortunately for A, while I missed several more attacks, I proceeded to hit Shape Change TWICE MORE in the next couple rounds. Finally, a penetrating Poison went off, and the First Lantern was no more.

DECISION:

Victory295-85 (This was the closest game yet, and it was only through-yep!-more dumb luck that I won.)

Learning

–No one deserves to be on the receiving end of three Shape Changes in a row when they have the game basically won, but there it is. Yikes. Still, for just his second tourney game, A played very well.

–First Lantern is a good piece that would be great if he could either fly or if he cost about 200 Points. At 260 points, he’s just a bit expensive for what he does. Still, going forward, as the Build total increases each month, First Lantern will become a better and better piece with the ability to team more and better support figures with him.

–Orange Lantern Construct is a GREAT piece for his points. He’s the cheapest non-Entity piece in Wave One, and he’s well worth including in your force if you can fit him in.

–I just noticed that I haven’t said anything about Brother Hymn, but he was a champ. He’s arguably the BEST support piece in Wave One.

With the Final Round results, I finished first.

THE SPOILS:

He's MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

He’s MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

(Although, if we’re being honest, Red Lantern Superboy Prime and freaking Ophidian are a pretty damn good haul on their own!!)

Local Tournament Report – 6/18/14 Comics and More (War of the light Month 1)

An early concept drawing of Krona...

An early artists concept drawing of the Guardians…

The Format: 300 point Sealed with two boosters of War of the Light. No outside anything, except the judge let us include the green ring and shield construct from the scenario pack. I didn’t have those.

What I pulled:

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit

WOL005 Green Lantern Recruit

WOL011B Hal Jordan (Blue Lantern)

WOL013A Romat-Ru

WOL015 Arisia

WOL019 Bedovian

WOL021 Lyssa Drak

WOL029 Brother Hymn

WOL045 Brother Warth

WOL047 Ganthet

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring

Ok… now I’ll post my SR and Chase figs…

 

None.

 

What I played:

This is what the Oans looked like before they evolved into the Guardians.

This is what the Oans really looked like before they evolved into the Guardians. They don’t like to talk about it.

 I considered strongly doing an all blue team (WOL011B Hal Jordan (Blue Lantern), WOL029 Brother Hymn, WOL045 Brother Warth), but that wouldn’t give me a good attacker or let me use my yellow ring as effectively. I also considered a yellow team (WOL013A Romat-Ru, WOL019 Bedovian, WOL021 Lyssa Drak), but I didn’t think Lyssa Drak was very effective. In the end I went with WOL019 BedovianWOL047 Ganthet, and WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring for a total of 294 points.

 

Round 1 Facing:

Note to self - Do not take this guy on with a Smurf and a Rock.

Note to self – Do not take this guy on with a Smurf and a Rock.

WOL057B Superboy Prime (Red Lantern)

WOL029 Brother Hymn

WOL063P Ophidian

Total = 300 points

What? Did someone bring a nationals team to a sealed event? What soulless monster would even play these pieces together having pulled them? Oh yeah, it’s my writing partner HypeFox.

The game starts out with me winning the roll to go first. That was about the only good thing from this game. I notice both sides of the map have tons of elevated to hide behind. I pick the side that doesn’t have all the elevated around one starting area. I’m already underpowered this game I don’t need to also go uphill. I start out moving up with Bedovian out front to block Line of Fire to Ganthet.. We close on each other in the next few moves. At that point I realize he has hypersonic speed and I have no movement abilities at all. I’m not about to base him just to have him punch me and run away. I perplex up my defense and sit there. He places Brother Hymn to use perplex and prob. Superboy Prime makes a close combat attack and rolls a 4 for a miss. Unfortunately Superboy Prime makes it to elevated terrain while I am grounded. I have no shot at him. I could push Bedovian to take a pot shot at Brother hymn, but I figured the game would be won or lost based on knocking Superboy Prime off his hypersonic clicks. I have a token on both my characters on my turn so I just sit and clear. He (thankfully) gives Superboy Prime a second action token and give him an action to hit Bedovian with a heavy object. Hit for 5 damage (EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re welcome?). Brother Hymn shoots Bedovian and misses.

Now I actually have a chance to hit back. I base Superboy Prime with both my characters. He clears his characters on his turn. I get to make an attack! I start by having Ganthet hit with his special incapacitate. 4 damage and a token. That got rid of the Hypersonic Speed on his dial! Then he points out that Ophidian picks up Hypersonic Speed on click 4, and with Ophidian Possessing Superboy, nothing really has changed. Bedovian pushes and misses.

I give both characters a second token and then I read the new powers Superboy Prime has. Exploit weakness and penetrating poison. I have both my characters double tokened and adjacent to him. You can guess how the rest of this goes. Bedovian dies in two turns before he can take another action. Ganthet gets poisoned to his third click and takes a damage from Brother Hymn before he can take an action. At that point he has Pulse wave and running shot. I try to break away so that I can use pulse wave for max damage on just Superboy Prime. I roll a 1. Ganthet is KOed by prime the following turn.

Ouch.

 

Round 2 Facing:

A bye (we had 9 people). But hey this ended up being my best game of the night. During this time I watch Hypefox playing a team featuring Swamp Thing. He missed a good opportunity to use barrier to prevent Prime from getting hit. I hope he loses. He doesn’t, but I had hoped he did.

 

Round 3 Facing:

Rage Ball!

Rage Ball!

WOL013A Romat-Ru

WOL021 Lyssa Drak

WOL059A Zilius Zox

WOLR307 Blue Lantern Ring

Total  = 278 points

This was a brand new player. I mean new as in brand new that day! He was a Green Lantern fan and wanted to find out what HeroClix was.

I helped him every turn with strategy and rules. I’m not going to go into the synopsis on this one because he mostly did exactly what I suggested every round as he was learning how to play and in essence it was like me playing me. Having said that, here are the highlights:

  • WOL059A Zilius Zox faced off against Ganthet pretty much one on one. It did not go well for Ganthet thanks to his old friend penetrating poison.
  • Bedovian finished off Zilius Zox from range, but faired poorly after that because the two remaining Sinestro corps members could perplex his printed damage down to zero.
  • WOL021 Lyssa Drak doesn’t really seem to do that much (zero range), but it didn’t really matter.

In the end the help I gave the new player gave him his second win ever. I wasn’t about to do anything good this tournament, so that was the best possible outcome.

Learning

What I Learned:

  • HypeFox has a soul as black as midnight (EDITOR’S NOTE: How many tourney wins against you in a row is that now? Man, I’ve lost count…).
  • The entities like Ophidian are the real deal when possessing a character. Expect them to be mainstays at every major tournament until they are retired.
  • WOL021 Lyssa Drak is not worth the points. If you are one of those players who just has to field an aloof,  half-naked blue-skinned psychic vampire, well, y’know, then go for it. Just don’t expect her to do much except stand there half-naked and occasionally show her casual disdain for everyone else by Perplex figure’s stats down. That’s about all she does.
  • WOL047 Ganthet needs to be played with care. His “Perplex the whole team” power is cool, but at his point cost he pretty much is most of the team. He would do much better with TK or a hammer.
  • If I had a chance to get a WOL059A Zilius Zox I would definitely do so in the future. Nasty lil’ big-headed bugger.
  • I would say WOL057B Superboy Prime (Red Lantern) is above average in constructed, but top notch in this sealed environment. Half the defense powers in this set are Energy Shield, so a close combat attacker with Hypersonic does really well here.