Not what we mean when we say we’re going to call in the Avengers…
After debuting in Avengers Assemble back in May, the Avengers ID Cards have quickly become ubiquitous in both casual and Meta play (if you’re new to the ID Cards, or just want an elaboration on how they work, see this video from WizKids for more details!). But the debate has already started about which figures should be paired with the more popular ID Cards as the corresponding Sideline figure in Modern Age games.
Now, this sort of choice isn’t a problem if you’re planning on using, say, Protector’s card–you’ve got all of one option.
But for certain Avengers, you’re choices are much more varied, and will depend on a number of different factors, such as:
–Is it a Modern Age game, or a Golden Age game? Obviously Modern Age games will have a much narrower roster to choose from.
–Are you using the cards by themselves, with the Round Table Resource or are using the cards without the Round Table but with another Resource (with its own advantages and disadvantages that need to be enhanced/accounted for)?
–What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Build that your looking to enhance with ID Cards?
–What are the individual point totals of the figures in your Build? This matters a great deal when calling figures in, obviously, since it’s, y’know, part of the rules.
There’s probably a dozen more things you could ask yourself before making the proper Card choice, but that’s more relevant for Meta Builds. But even for more casual, fun Builds, you still need to put some thought into how your incorporate ID Cards. If you pick the wrong Cards for your Build, usually one of two things will happen:
–They’ll sit on your Sideline, completely unused (which is no fun–and, at best, a waste of Bystander/Horde points…). Or–
–They’ll slow you down, cost you actions, and ultimately get you no closer to winning.
With all of that on our minds, let’s look at the best Avengers ID Cards and see if we can find some unconventional options that might otherwise go overlooked!
Inspiration: Can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain. Modify attack value by +1 when making a ranged combat attack.
This is an awesome Inspiration power. If you can’t find another way to get some Stealth-busting on ranged Build, this is just what the doctor ordered. But there is a metric poop-ton of available Iron Men out there, even after the retirement of Iron Man 3, so which piece should you put on your sideline?
Do you want your Call-In Iron Man to… :
—Stick around via the Avengers Assemble Trait?: Okay, this one’s easy. Your best Modern Age Iron Man piece is going to be either IIM001A Iron Man, a 300-point monster that features a 12 Attack, 4 Damage w/ Running Shot, Precision Strike, Perplex AND the ability to shoot through BOTH Hindering Terrain or Blocking Terrain; or AVAS050 Iron Man, a 242-point behemoth that sports an 11 Attack Value and 5 Damage with Running Shot, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Invincible (so he can’t be damaged off the board by something small like Poison), Probability Control, the ability to target through Hindering Terrain AND a Trait that lets him use Defend if you’re sporting some other Avengers (IT’S AN AVENGERS WORLD:Iron Man and adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Avengers keyword can use Defend. If they are named Captain America or Thor, they don’t have to be adjacent or lower point value.). Either way, if you can get the Round Table to this point and call-in either of these figures, you’re probably going to win the game. Handily.
—Or do you want him to provide as much defense as he does offense?: So, take a look at the brand-spanking new Age of Ultron Iron Man–AOU017 Iron Man. I’ve already talked about how much I like this piece in Sealed. Well, I like him twice as much as a Call-In piece. I think he’s Meta when used this way. Why?
He may be a close combatant with no Range value, but he does come into play packing Charge, Super Strength and Outwit. And he’s damn easy to call in at only 90 Points–there are many Builds that can meet that threshold with a Secondary Attacker!
More importantly, he increases the efficiency of your Range attacks (or, if an opposing figure is Stealthed, allows you to make the damn attack in the first place!) while making it extremely difficult for your opponent to counter attack your pieces in a meaningful way because of his Trait (THE ORIGINAL INVINCIBLE IRON MAN!:If the first ranged combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Iron Man, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.). Moreover, since he’s a close combat piece, he’s probably going to Charge and base your opponent’s best pieces anyway. Yup! This piece gives adjacent figures a ranged attack bonus AND THEN gets to Charge in for an attack himself. So many other Call-In figures require all kinds of positioning gymnastics so that your other pieces can benefit from the Inspiration bonus while still letting the Call-In figure make their own attack. Not this Iron Man. You just make your ranged attack first, then send in ol’ Shellhead, cuz his bonus won’t be needed anymore!
For all the reasons we just discussed, I believe that this Iron Man is potentially another Time Walk piece for ranged-based teams when used as a Call-In!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: For those who don’t play Magic: The Gathering, “Time Walk” was an early, massively undercosted card from the game’s first few print runs that allowed you to talk another turn after your current turn. Within a few years, the card was essentially retired from modern tournament play. A new version called “Time Warp” eventually made it’s way into the game–and cost more than twice as much mana to cast. Oops.
When used in a Heroclix context, a “Time Walk” piece is any figure that can potentially shut down your opponent’s pieces for a turn–or, more specifically, prevent your opponent’s pieces from attacking your own for at least a turn. To go back to a previous example, using Protector as a Call-In piece for a turn immediately gives all friendly pieces adjacent to him an 18 Defense and Probability Control (when they are attacked). Protector himself has Prob as well, so depending on the proximity of the attacker, unless that figure has access to Pulse Wave, he may have to hit an 18 Defense anywhere from two to four times in a row. Even with a 12 Attack, that’s far from a sure thing, which leads to your opponent having to decide whether he wants to risk missing with one or more of his best attackers, or just pass and try again next turn–a true Time Warp. Both of those choices are bad, and if your opponent opts to go ahead with the attack–and thus gain an action token–and still misses, it takes his bad decision and makes it a potential disaster.
There are many ways to enact the “Time Walk” concept–Chase Rick Jones has a proprietary Trait (GALACTIC BURST OF IMMOBILIZING LIGHT: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.) that can definitely function as a “Time Walk” if used at the proper (read: most devastating) time.
Felix Faust is basically a “Time Walk” piece on Super Turbo Overdrive, which is a thing I just made up. But the main reason he’s broken is because he gives you the potential to “Time Walk” as a Free Action every turn. Come to think of it, even the original Magic card cost two mana–maybe we should start calling them “Faust” pieces.
Now, having expounded all that, the real fun (I believe–Ninwashui thinks the Meta will go in a different direction) in the current Modern Meta is going to be trying to duplicate Faust’s shutdown effect with pieces that aren’t banned (or gutted by the Watch List, which will almost certainly happen to Faust). I think this will occur with people “chaining” together shutdown pieces via the Call-In ability and other means. It becomes a viable option when you remember that ID Cards by themselves only cost 5 Points, and you probably only need to shut your opponent down for two or three turns in order to put the game out of reach. But more on this concept in a future article! Okay, end of longestEDITOR’S NOTEever!]
For 5 points and one power action, you really CAN’T afford NOT to bring him along!
Inspiration: Can use Charge. Modify attack value by +1 when making a close combat attack.
So this is a little good. But isn’t this just like having half a Hammer? And for just one turn at that? Well, yes. Yes it is. But let me remind you, in Modern Age, Hammers are now bye-bye. And in Golden Age, this bonus would actually stack with the Hammer bonus, so it’s all good. Again, 5 Points is a cheap, cheap price to pay to give a character a move-and-attack ability [EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s not to be confused with the actual ability that’s called “Move and Attack,” natch.] for the turn when it’s most desperately needed and most completely unexpected.
Now, there are, of course, a ton of options out there, so let’s look at the best pieces to fill the different roles you might be looking for.
Do you want your Call-In Hulk to… :
—Stick around via the Avengers Assemble Trait?: Once again, you have two reeeeeeeaaaaallly nasty choices. AVAS064 Hulk is an absolute nightmare. A Chase, he costs 325 Points, can Charge 11 squares through just about any terrain in the game (and also Ignores Characters) with a 12 Attack Value with Super Strength and 5 top dial Damage with Battle Fury, so Shape Change will not help your opponent in the least. He also has Giant Reach, so he really has a 13-Square Threat Range–pretty damn good for a close combatant. And if that Chase Hulk is a nightmare, then the main set Age of Ultron Movie Hulk (AAOU008 Hulk) at least a very bad dream, if not an actual night terror [EDITOR’S NOTE: Of 1927?]. At 300 Points, he gives you top dial stats that you would normally only see on a Colossal: 13 Attack, 6 Damage, 19 Defense with Impervious, 9 Movement with Charge, Super Strength and Traited Battle Fury. That 9 Movement is the only low stat, really, but as a Call-In he has to stay within 5 squares of the figure who called him in, so getting him to the target is something you should have worked out before you called him in.
—Smash someone on the head?: Well, pretty much all Hulks do this, but where it gets tricky is the Point Cost Threshold. Right now in Modern Age, you have two Hulk options that cost 100 Points or less (Yup! Just two–I was as surprised as you were!). This matters if you have any inclination to summon him with a Secondary Attacker (which would presumably then let your Primary Attacker Charge into the fray, giving you two big close combat attacks in one turn).
Your first option is, once again, a brand new figure. AOU019Hulk costs just 80 Points and brings Charge, an 11 Attack with Super Strength and a native 4 Damage into the game for you to smack someone around with. That’s a pretty potent attack to pull out of thin air. His first Trait (THE ORIGINAL INCREDIBLE HULK:If the first close combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Hulk, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.) also can protect you from close combat retaliations in the same way that Age of Ultron Iron Man we just discussed protects your pieces from ranged reciprocity. Best of all, one of this Hulk’s major weaknesses–his lack of Willpower or Indomitable–doesn’t matter one bit when used as a Call-In figure.
But there is a catch (sort of *): Hulk’s second Trait (WITH EACH NEW DAWN, THE WEAKLING BANNER COMES BACK: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1 – 2, until your next turn modify Hulk’s combat values by -2, he can use Outwit, Perplex and Shape Change and can’t use any other power he possesses. This ability can’t be ignored.) may mean that 1/3 of the time you call him in, Hulk will just stand there and look pretty. And maybe, y’know, Perplex or Outwit something. That’s not nothing, but it’s not a 4-Damage Charge attack, either. Also of note is the fact that this Hulk comes with neither Battle Fury (a calm, rational Hulk? Huh?!) nor Giant Reach, so these are things you’ll have to keep in mind a turn or two prior to actually calling him in so that you can position your pieces accordingly.
Because, as we all know:
[*EDITOR’S NOTE: Man, it seems like we have more Editor’s Notes per paragraph in this article than any other piece we’ve ever done, doesn’t it? Anyway, Heroclix has some very nebulous “At the beginning of your turn” rules. While you can choose the order in which different effects happen on your turn, you can’t actually STOP any from happening or choose not to activate certain effects unless a game effect says otherwise. So, my interpretation would be that you would still have to roll Hulk’s Trait once he comes into play, since the whole “Call-in Help” ability by definition happens at the beginning of turn phase (when Hulk’s Trait would still be active). Sort of makes sense, right? Well, maybe. Having said all that, I have indeed submitted an inquiry to the WizKids Rules Forum to verify the timing of all this, and I’ll update this space as more information becomes available.]
Your lone 100 Point option is FFOA004R Hulk from the recent Original Avengers Fast Forces. While he doesn’t have any useful Traits (unless you’re playing an army composed of Original Avengers Fast Forces pieces–in which case, great! Go with God.), he does still offer Charge with an 11 Attack and 4 Damage–this time with Battle Fury. That’s not a huge addition for the extra 20 Points, but it’s worth noting that you’ll get what you pay for 100% of the time–this Hulk never reverts to Banner.
So now, you might be saying to yourself, or to me, I guess, through the computer screen, or whatever: “Hey, what if I don’t mind using actions from my Primary Attacker to bring Avengers in to help me! What kind of Hulk can I get for 150 Points?” Unfortunately, the answer is, pretty much nothing that you couldn’t get for 100. That Original Avengers Hulk? Top dial at 150 Points, he adds Flurry and Sidestep. And a lower Attack Value (10) than his cheaper version. And Close Combat Expert, which is useless for Charge and Flurry. Chase Hulk has a 150 Point level that gets you Charge, Quake, Super Strength and 4 Damage with Battle Fury. And another 10 Attack. Finally, Age of Ultron Movie Starter Hulk has a 150 Point dial that nets you… literally everything that 100 Point Original Avenger dial does. Like, almost a carbon copy.
Which is why your better off just using one of the other two I just mentioned.
Inspiration: Can use Energy Shield/Deflection. Whenever this character hits an opposing character, add an action to your action total.
This is one of my favorite Inspiration abilities in the game. For some reason, when I’m creating Builds I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to give my pieces Energy Shield/Deflection, so Cap’s card is going to be a welcome addition to my tool kit. The second part of his Inspiration will be an extraordinary boon to Swarm teams, or it might just enable a balanced squad to get that one extra attack off that it needs to take control the game.
Like his Avengers brethren, there are a poop-ton of Caps out there, and he offers a variety of services. Of all the Avengers you can Call-in, Cap is easily the most versatile, so let’s take a look at some of the best Call-In options!
Do you want your Call-In Captain America to… :
—Stick around via the Avengers Assemble Trait?: Admittedly Cap isn’t the best Avenger to choose for this Trait; having said that, your best choice is going to be AVAS061 Steve Rogers, or “Nova Cap.” For 250 Points, he Flies, has Sharpshooter, Running Shot and Pulse Wave and he sports a 20 Defense against most ranged attacks, which should help keep him around awhile. Don’t sleep on AVAS049 Captain America, though. For 150 Points, he also has a 20 Defense from most ranged attacks but adds Sidestep, Precision Strike (with a 12 Attack), Close Combat Expert and Empower. Plus, he pretty much turns every other Avenger adjacent to him into an instant leader–and remember, with all of this happening at the beginning of turn, you get to roll all those Leaderships right away! Depending on how many you hit, it’s conceivable that this Cap can be called in and actually save you a clearing turn somewhere down the line.
—Pull a mini-Juston Seyfert?: Yup. There’s a Cap that can do that now. Well, at least the free move part. If you have someone free who costs 50 Points or more, you can give them a power action and Call-in FFOA006R Captain America. While he offers a 6 Range, 10 Attack and Precision Strike, the best reason to call this version in is to use his Damage Special (AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE:Give Captain America a power action and choose another friendly character that shares a keyword with him and doesn’t have 2 action tokens. That character is immediately given a move action as a free action with their speed value halved for this action.) to get your heaviest hitter in a better position on the board.
Imagine this scenario:
I should probably mention that in this scenario, the part of YOUwill be played by our future Purple Man and resident Time Lord himself, David Tennant.
You: “So, you thought you were two squares out of Thor’s Range, eh? Well, this Captain America I’m calling in doesn’t think so. Alright, so I’m going to go ahead and move Thor 5 squares as a free action, and then double Energy Explode for the Alpha Strike on your candy ass.”
Oh, and playing the part of YOUR OPPONENT in the scenario will be this annoyed baby.
Your Opponent: “What? It’s only turn 2! These stupid ID cards are completely broken.”
You: “Oooo, look, I crit hit! By the way, pretty much the rest of my force has Energy Shield/Deflection now.”
Your Opponent: “You know, I really hate playing with you.”
—Hit two birds with one stone shield?: So, there are two characters you need to hit, but your down to your last character. Just call Steve Rogers. The experienced version of Juston Seyfert Cap (aka FFOA006 Captain America) has an awesome Attack Special (SHIELD RICOCHET:Give Captain America a ranged combat action and his damage value is locked at his printed value until actions resolve. After the ranged combat attack resolves, he may make a second ranged combat attack as a free action.) that will even the playing field real quick as long as you can call someone in for 100 Points. For 125 Points, you can call in CATWS001 Captain America to do the same trick a little better with his Attack Special (I’M PRETTY GOOD WITH THE SHIELD:When Captain America makes a ranged combat attack and hits, after actions resolve, he may make a second ranged attack with a locked damage value of 2 as a free action. When he does, he draws lines of fire and counts range from the hit character’s square.).
—Deal some penetrating close combat damage?: In addition to the Traited Leadership tricks (IT’S AN AVENGERS WORLD:Captain America and adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Avengers keyword can use Leadership. If they are named Iron Man or Thor, they don’t have to be adjacent or lower point value.) of the Veteran piece, AVAS049E Captain America can still Charge 4 squares and deal 3 Damage with Exploit Weakness. He only has a 10 Attack, but the Threshold to call him in is just 75 Points.
—Try and fling action tokens all over your opponent’s force?: Yup. This is actually a thing, too. 80 Point AAOU003R Captain America has Charge, a 4 Range with the ability to Ignore Hindering Terrain on Movement as well as Targeting, an 11 Attack Value and 3 Damage, but probably what’s most interesting about him is his Damage Special (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM:Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.).
So, in addition to attacking, he also has a 33% chance to steal an action from one of your opponent’s best pieces (or a bunch of his ‘eep ‘eeps). His Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Captain America hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Captain America may modify the damage value of a friendly character by +1 this turn or, all opposing characters modify their attack value by -1 until your next turn.) can also either set your team up for a big turn, or really rain on your opponent’s parade the following turn as well.
Clearly, whether you’re using the Round Table, or just playing Cap’s card by itself, he offers a ton of trickeration options in addition to some close combat damage and tie-up potential. You just have to decide which tool you want in your toolbox!
That’s all for today. We’ll be back soon with a look at Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow Call-In options, as well as a Preview of the second wave of Age of Ultron!
Until Then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!
Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Or a Happy Passover, or, if you’re not a person of faith, or at least not a person of a faith that celebrated this season, I hope you had, uh, a Happy Sunday!
As our belated gift to you, Ninwashui and I are teaming up to rip through the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron Gravity Feed Movie Set! We’re gonna go figure by figure using our popular and patented [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, it’s really neither of those things.] Oxygen Filtration Mask Numeric Scale!
It’s all part of our month-long ramp up celebrating the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! In addition to today’s article, we’re also going to review the Starter pack and write and play a scenario based on the movie (or, y’know, what little we know about the movie since it hasn’t released yet).
But today is about the Age of Ultron Gravity Feed, so let’s get it rolling!
SOME QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE SET:
–The whole set actually gets its flavor not just from AoU but also from prior Marvel movies as well. Iron Man (Iron Man 3), Iron Legion (Iron Man 3) and Nick Fury (Avengers) all have power sets and costumes that reference previous MCU outings. Conversely, Hawkeye and Black Widow are definitely in their Age of Ultron costumes (note Hawkeye’s longer tunic, which gets him a little bit closer to his comic book look), but their power sets almost seem like they’re taken directly from the first Avengers film (going back to Hawkeye, he has Traits and Powers with names like “Rooftop Maneuvers” and “Vantage Point.” He could certainly spend a lot of time on rooftops in Age of Ultron, but these really sound like Hawkeye’s abilities taken from the Battle of Manhattan sequence in the first Avengers film).
–Meanwhile, it seems like the designers went out of their way to make the most generic Cap, Thor and Hulk pieces they could possibly imagine (I’m speaking strictly from a flavor/sculpt standpoint–see each figure’s individual entry to see how we think they stand up as Heroclix figures!). Cap gets an abilities like “Rebounding Shield” and “His Enemies Fear Him,” while Hulk has “Fueled by Anger” and “He Only Leaves Rubble.”
–For those keeping score at home, we finally have MCU Clix for: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Baron Strucker and Ultron. First time generics include Test Subject and Iron Legion (although IM3 had at least 4 Armor Shell versions from the “House Party Protocol” scene at the end of the movie).
Alright, enough notes about the set! Let’s dig into the dials!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry bro, we need one more note.As always with Movie Set Reviews, we’re saving the Starter Review for a separate article, since we’re already over 7000 words on the Main Set alone, making this our largest single article ever!]
AAOU001 Iron Man — 250/185 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: At 250 Points, Iron Man here is certainly beefy, starting with a 12 Attack and an 18 Defense Value with Invincible. His awesomely-named second Trait (THE HOUSE PARTY PROTOCOL, SIR?:Give Iron Man a power action if there are less than 4 friendly undefeated characters named Iron Legion. If you do, place a AAOU002 Iron Legion in your starting area from outside the game.) allows him to bring in armor shells that are two clicks deep, but they come into play in your starting area. Depending on where the action’s centered, the battle may be lost before you can even get the shells into play. This is a bit of a problem, especially since there’s another figure in this set who does the same trick better. Similarly, his Avengers Assemble Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.) is a nifty lil’ bonus, but there are better versions of the same Trait on almost every other Avenger.
In a Modern Age environment that also includes Ultron Prime and Trinity War Superman at the 250 Point level, I just don’t know that you’re getting enough damage out of this Iron Man and his Iron Legion shells to really keep up with number of effective actions your opponent will be taking in a 300 Point game. Also, while any piece with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability is going to be a nuisance, his 7 Range is below average for a piece in his price range.
Now, at 185 Points… he’s still over costed. With five clicks of life and middling Attack Values (again, for the points), he still offers the same two Traits as his higher-costed version and the ability to target through Stealth. Still, this feels much more like a 150 or 160 Point dial. 185 is just a rip-off, frankly. Not the worst dial in the world, but not one that I would choose to play, especially with all of the other Iron Man options out there.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
Pretty short dials for both versions, actually. Both Traits are more fun than competitive. The Iron Legions he can bring into play hit hard enough, sure, but they’re easy to KO and award 50 Points to your opponent for each one that’s KO’d. And really, the Transport Symbol is pretty much wasted on figures that already fly and have top dial Running Shot.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
AAOU002 Iron Legion — 50 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Mildly effective for his points, but you’re probably not playing him this way very often. He’s useable, but far from groundbreaking. Actually, he’s kind of a boring way to use 50 points, but at least he can Taxi, too.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: Yeah, he’s only got 4 Clicks, but for 50 Points I get Running Shot, 10 Attack and a Damage Value that never drops below 3 AND never loses Enhancement. A great Tertiary Attacker with a mild amount of support with Enhancement and the ability to Taxi. I think he’s damn effective for 50 Points–I’d put him right up there with some of the better Lantern Recruits we just got.
GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU003 Captain America —125/80 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: One of the most creative Caps we’ve seen in awhile. The 125 Point dial is a brutally effective mid-range piece to start. He’s actually at his most deadly when he’s at least two squares away from an opposing figure, even though Cap is normally thought of as a close combatant. His Avengers Assemble Trait is pretty one-sided (there will be very few circumstances when your opponent would rather take a -1 hit to the Attack Value of all his pieces versus letting you give one of your pieces +1 to Damage). His top dial vanilla Leadership is somewhat wasted when the majority of Avengers cost more than him (or at least the majority of Avengers who can Carry him and keep him adjacent–yes, you can sometimes end up adjacent to a friendly after a Running Shot to set up Leadership next turn, but that’s a lil’ tricky to do usually). If he ignored characters on movement (instead of or in addition to) I’d love him; as it is, I merely like this dial.
His Rookie dial, on the other hand, offers a ton of value for 80 Points–and also plays way differently than his Blue dial. Now that’s a great design! He starts with a Leadership Special Power (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM:Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.) that he keeps his whole dial. He doesn’t even need line of fire to dish out tokens–opposing characters merely need to be within 4 Squares.
His Attack Value never descends below 10, and even gets up to 11 more than once. The only problem is a lack of Indomitable, but the last half of his dial features Willpower anyway. And top dial, once he gets in close on someone, they’re gonna need a 20 to hit him with a Close Combat attack.
This is a fun piece and one of my favorites from the set.
GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: Really dig his 125 Point dial. He’s difficult to hit at range, which should allow him to use his Avengers Initiative Team Ability to slowly close in on his opponents. After that first hit he magically transforms into an equally hard to hit close combat headache for your opponent.
His 80 Point dial is almost as good, but his Leadership Special–as powerful as it can potentially be–will only go off 33% of the time. And with no native damage reducers, it’s possible for a heavy hitter like AAOU005 Thor to knock him out with one lucky hit.
GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)
AAOU004 Test Subject —30 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Ugh. The first real loser of the set. Don’t let the 3 separate dials fool you–even for a generic, this is a bit uninspired. Their Trait (THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE YIELDING… INTERESTING… RESULTS:When Test Subject is first placed on the map, roll a d6 and click the character to the indicated starting line: 1 – 2 red; 3 – 4 blue; 5 – 6 yellow) ensures that you’ll never know which of their dials you’ll actually be playing, which is a problem when you are, y’know, TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLEMENTARY TEAM! These guys need help to be anything more than even just a tie-up piece for a turn. But with such limited mobility, it’ll take them forever just to get next to an opposing figure to tie them up in the first place. I can’t see 4 of these pieces ever taking out any 120 Point figure I can think of.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: Okay, taken on their own merits, they’re not the best use of 30 Points. However, what if I told you there was a way to easily get them within range of an opposing figure, to the point that they’d be all but guaranteed an Alpha Strike? Then would you be interested? If you can find a way around their awful mobility, these guys suddenly become pretty dangerous–especially since they’re only 30 Points. Having said that, no one is ever going to play them for 30 Points, for reasons we will get into as we get a bit further down the list…
GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU005 Thor —200/150 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: Wow. We’ve gotten a ton of 4-Star Thors in the past couple years, but this version might just be a cut above. His AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Thor hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters modify their damage values by -1 until your next turn or, opposing characters can’t make ranged combat attacks until your next turn.) is absolutely brutal.
You: “So, would you prefer to do way less damage next turn, or would you prefer to do no damage next turn?”
Your Opponent: “Uhhh… is that a real power? That doesn’t sound like a real power.”
You: “It’s a Trait, not a power.”
Your Opponent: “I hate you.”
I mean, what kind of choice is that? But beyond that, he starts with 5 native Damage, an 11 Attack Value that alternates between Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion (with an 8 Range and 2 Bolts) and an 18 Defense Value that’s boosted by both Invincible and his second Trait (MJOLNIR TO CARRY ME: When Thor has one or more action tokens, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection.). And remember, he sees through Stealth via his AI Team Ability. The only thing keeping him from 5 Masks at this point is his one glaring weakness: no Willpower.
Still, in a Tactics format, this is pretty easily fixed, and in a No Tactics format, he hits so heavy that it may not even matter. If you only push him once or twice, you’ll be fine–heck, that first push basically just puts him on Pulse Wave. He only loses one Movement and one Defense.
His Rookie dial is a little more subtle, but just as effective.
GRADE(S): 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: User UncorkedMonk on HCRealms.com said “Hes an indom symbol away from being great. As is hes alright. But theres enough ways to give him willpower I spose.” Despite his clear vendetta against apostrophes, I have to completely agree. Outside of the normal Resource/Relic route, let’s remember that Thor is an Asgardian. For 5 Points, their ATA explicitly GIVES him Willpower on his first click. That’s right. The Asgardian ATA: it’s not just for Splitlip anymore.
His Rookie dial finds him switching from a 5 Damage Primary Attacker to a 4 Damage sniper squad leader. And while he plays differently than his higher point version, he’s just as effective. Especially if you put the right team around him, which you’ll have 50 more points to do with this version.
GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)
AAOU006 Hydra Soldier — 40 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: I think this was the only character in the set I wasn’t looking forward to getting (so guess who I’ve pulled 4 of so far… ). Even in groups, I don’t see this guy ever lasting long enough to hit anyone. I can see what they were trying to do with his Minion power that bestows Leadership (MINION: HAIL HYDRA:When a friendly character with the HYDRA keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, Hydra Soldier can use Charge. When that character uses Leadership and succeeds, remove an action token from all characters named Hydra Soldier within that character’s range and line of fire unless one has already been removed this turn from that character from this effect.), but the low inherent Movement and the existence of DP006 Hand Ninja means that this guy will likely never see play from me. On the plus side, he’s got a pretty cool sculpt though.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: For the first time in this article, I think I finally agree with Ninwa. His TA only works for ranged attacks (well, unless your running him with Wolverine, Agent of Hydra) but his skill set is only viable for close combat attacks. Come to think of it, running him with Hydra Wolvie is really the only way to make him work. Even then, as Ninwashui mentioned, DP006 Hand Ninja is pretty much a better choice all the way around.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU007 Ultron Sentry — 40 — Common:
HypeFox Says: 3 Clicks for 40 Points doesn’t instill a ton of confidence until you look a little closer at those three Clicks. Top dial they have Pen/Psy and Enhancement (although only a 4 Range) with a native 3 Damage. In other words, as they multiply, they can start dishing out 4-5 Penetrating Damage. That’s a huge amount of Damage output for a 40 Point figure. Yes, they can be destroyed quite easily with just a 15 Defense Value, but their Movement Special on Click 2 (THERE’S NO END IN SIGHT!:Once per turn, for all characters with this power, give Ultron Sentry a double power action. Place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry from outside the game in an adjacent square on click number 3.) means that they can replicate themselves over and over. In other words, for 40 Points, you can create a whole army INSIDE your army.
GRADE: 4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: It’s a 40 point character that can duplicate itself as soon as turn 4. And it can keep doing it until you run out of them on your sidelines with no outside help required. And when one dies, a double power action can put that guy right back out. Unlike Iron Legion, the duplicate figures are the exact same strength as the original. And they have two Traits that make it so they can work together to become far more powerful the more of them there are (COMBINED EFFORTS: Modify Ultron Sentry’s attack value by +1 for each adjacent friendly character named Ultron Sentry. Modify Ultron Sentry’s damage value by +1 for each 2 adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry AND CONSISTENT PROGRAMMING: When using the Carry ability, Ultron Sentry may carry any number of adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry regardless of their combat symbols.).
They also have additional Trait that works well with the other versions of Ultron: HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Sentry is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area:
3 – 4, place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry on its starting line; 5, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line; 6, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its blue starting line.”
Try to imagine this: Starting on Turn 4, Ultron Sentry makes another Ultron Sentry. Turn 5, the first Sentry you made makes another. Turn 6, the original makes another. You can just keep doing this in your starting area until you feel like you have enough. A 40 point investment can bring 8 more of these things into play and descend on the opponent as a cloud of nine sentries. Nothing in the game anywhere near 40 points can take that on. If you own enough of these you can bring a 900 point army to a 300 point game.
GRADE: 5Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU008 Hulk — 300/250/200 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Going in, you have to know a couple things. First, you’re paying a metric poop-ton of points for a character that has absolutely no range AND that has absolutely NO OUTWIT PROTECTION!! These are major issues. It’s true that if Hulk gets Outwitted, he gets the small bonus of an Anger Token via his Trait (ENORMOUS GREEN MONSTER:Hulk can use Battle Fury. Each time Hulk takes damage from an opponent’s attack or one of his powers or combat abilities is countered, put an Anger token on this card.), but that’s not really Outwit protection, is it?
His 300 Point dial has an awesome top dial, but the chances of you being able to get to swing with that top dial in a 300 or even 400 Point game is minimal. He’ll most likely be picked apart on his approach.
At 250, he runs into the same problems. While his dial is fun, one Outwit can just absolutely ruin his day.
Finally, his Rookie dial actually gets a half-mask more from me because it leaves room for supporting figs (just from this set, adding AAOU015 Nick Fury and AAOU010 Scarlet Witch will form a perfect 300 Point team) that can really help Hulk deal maximum damage.
Just make sure that whichever dial you play, you use Colossal Stamina whenever there is a meaningful action to take UNLESS that would put you on a Stop Click.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: For a Hulk dial, there is a lot going on here, most of which I like. Traited Battle Fury means that Shape Change will not help you–and with a figure that costs this much (no matter which dial you play), any ability that can eliminate the possibility of wasted actions is a very good thing. His Avengers Assemble Trait is good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hulk hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Deal one target 1 unavoidable damage and give it an action token or, put an Anger token on this card.), but again, it’s pretty much one-sided (no opponent is going to choose to take an additional damage AND lose an action as opposed to giving Hulk a token that lets him increase a potential Regeneration roll somewhere down the line by +1 or increase the chance Hulk won’t take Colossal Stamina damage by just over 16%.). The first choice wreaks havoc on his team right now, while the second option might subtly benefit you at some unspecified juncture down the line. Not much of a choice there. Having said that, getting the Anger Token bonus is better than not having that Trait at all, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.
I like his Rookie dial a little more than Ninwashui, since I believe that his Defense Special Stop Click (HIS ANGER SUSTAINS HIM: When this click is revealed due to taking damage, stop turning the dial and remove all actions tokens from Hulk. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a little bit of Outwit protection (and Pulse Wave protection). And it shows up twice, in tandem with his Damage Special Power (HE ONLY LEAVES RUBBLE:Hulk can use Invincible and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration, you may remove any number of Anger tokens from this card. If you do, the d6 roll can’t be rerolled and you may increase the result by 1 for each token removed.).
So while he doesn’t have Outwit protection, he does have some built-in survivability.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 and 1/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
First of all, he’s got arguably the best AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Hawkeye hits one or more characters with an attack, the opposing player chooses: Hit characters are each dealt 1 unavoidable damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye isn’t given an action token for this action.). Finally, an Avengers Assemble! where both of the choices really suck for your opponent! Remember, Hawkeye has 3 Bolts and Precision Strike, so chances are he’s already dealt 1 Penetrating Damage to two or three of your opponent’s characters (and keep in mind that Stealth won’t help them, because Clint has Avengers Initiative). Now, does your opponent want each of the hit characters to each take ANOTHER Unavoidable Damage? Or do you want to keep Hawkeye from getting an action token, which means he can do the whole thing over again next turn?
This is an actual dramatization of your next opponent trying to decide which of these options to go with after 3 of his characters have been hit by Hawkeye.
Now before you start worrying about his top dial 10 Attack Value, take a look at his second Trait (VANTAGE POINT:When making a ranged combat attack, modify Hawkeye’s attack value by +1 for each target of the attack. When he hits 3 characters, he may give one hit character an action token if he doesn’t assign that character any damage.). All of which means that it shouldn’t be hard to get Hawkeye a +2 or even +3 modifier to his Attack Value. Forget Perplex–this Hawkeye takes care of his own modifiers.
Finally, Ninwashui is probably gonna come on here and trash Hawkeye’s Movement Value. Sure, it’s a bit low at just 6 Squares, but even that, too, is deceiving. When you break it down, you’ll see that his starting Movement Special (ROOFTOP MANEUVER:Hawkeye can use Sidestep and Stealth. When he uses Sidestep, he can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain.) means that he can actually cover 8 Squares a turn AND he can change elevation, too (AND he can make an Attack afterwards, since it’s Sidestep!)! And since he already ignores Hindering Terrain on movement (again, thanks to the AI Team Ability), you actually have a figure who’s much more nimble than a lot of other figures with higher Movement Values.
Now, I can’t quite give him 5 Masks in an environment where Banshee is still Modern (he’s even more beastly for just 4 more points), but Hawkeye here is darn close. He offers a bunch of powers and abilities that you can’t get from Resources or Relics, and what he lacks CAN be fixed by Resources and Relics (The Phoenix Force or especially the new Pandora’s Box Resource should work wonders with this Hawkeye. If you use Pandora’s Box, I’d recommend it’s first setting–the Path of the Hunter. It’s got pretty easy early access to the abilities that Clint needs the most, like Energy Explosion and Running Shot, and it’s also pretty easy to get Hawkeye permanent access to both ES/D AND Combat Reflexes).
GRADE: 4 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: Low Movement Value, no dampeners or anything to help his Defense beyond Stealth and a lack of Running Shot hurt this guy. That being said, if your opponent can’t find a way to hide two or three of his pieces (and it’s admittedly tough to hide guys from a dude who has 8 Range, Sidestep, 3 Bolts and the ability to see through Stealth), then this guy could suddenly be the star of your team. All his is missing is Energy Explosion to be the best figure ever made at taking out clusters of opponents at a time. And AAOU015 Nick Fury (who will get to in a minute) has a Special Attack Power that goes great with this guy.
Ninwashui Says: Her Trait (UNCAGING THE BEAST: Give Scarlet Witch a free action when she has two action tokens and choose a friendly character within range and line of fire. Modify the chosen character’s combat values by +1 until the end of the turn, and, at the end of the turn, deal Scarlet Witch 1 unavoidable damage and don’t clear her action tokens. If the chosen character’s name is Hulk, you may modify the chosen character’s combat values by +2 instead.) seems to be begging for you to play her with some version of the Hulk to make her reach her full potential, but I think she’ll end up seeing a lot of play on a variety of tournament teams regardless of the presence of a Hulk. Even just a +1 boost to all stats is no joke, and she could technically do that for five turns in a row before being KO’d. That ability might be worth 55 Points by itself.
Factor in her 8 Range, 10 Attack and 3 Damage with Perplex top dial and you have a piece that’s useful even before her crazy-good Trait starts to kick in!
GRADE: 4 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: She has no Avengers Assemble! Trait on her own, which is a bit of a bummer. Her Point Cost is reasonable, but if Ninwashui thought that Hawkeye was too crunchy with only Stealth to protect him, I can only imagine what he thinks about a figure with one less Click of life and an even worse Defense Value. If you can get some mileage out of her Trait, she’ll make her cost worth it; if she gets destroyed before that, well… sorry.
GRADE: 3 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU011 Vision — 100 Points — Core Hobby Rare:
HypeFox Says: First of all, this is an awesome sculpt and paint job!! Second… yeah, I have no second. At 50 Points, he’d be amazing. Unfortunately he costs double that. Somehow, a figure with no Traits or Improved Movement or Targeting of any kind and with only six Clicks of life costs 100 Points.
He does fly and he has Indomitable, but he doesn’t do enough to be a Secondary Attacker and he costs WAAAAYYY too much to be a Taxi. And he has 0 Range. I’m glad that he has the Avengers keyword, but he is a Theme play only; he’s not turning up in any sort of competitive environment. Even with Hydra Soldier’s existence, this is probably the worst piece in the set (especially since he costs so much more).
GRADE: 1 and 3/4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: He’s not as bad as HypeFox makes him out to be, but I have to agree with the idea that if you are actually playing him, you’re playing him because you like the character and not because you think he’s a powerful HeroClix figure. He does have 3 Clicks of Outwit followed by 3 Clicks of Perplex, so I can tell why he’s clocking in at 100 Points. But in a world where even a 43 Point Hand Ninja has Traits and Special Powers [EDITOR’S NOTE: And a Team Ability!], it’s hard to justify a dial that costs more than double and has none of those things unless the power set is just top notch. Vision’s power set, alas, is not.
Ninwashui Says: For 120 Points you get a character that hits hard, but with a low Attack Value. He also is good at absorbing damage with four clicks of Invuln, but he doesn’t match well with other figures in his point range unless you take his Trait into account (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING:Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Mk 1 is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: (4)-(5), place 012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line. (6), place either 012 Ultron Mk 1 or 018 Ultron Prime on its blue starting line.). Basically, if you’re running any other Age of Ultron versions of him, then you will likely get him back in your Starting Area on Click one. His stats by themselves are average, but his synergy with other Ultron pieces is the real reason to play him.
His Rookie dial is kind of more of the same. You’d play it to fit in another Ultron on your force, but this dial will never see play otherwise.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (120 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (65 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: Kind of a must have piece if you’re trying to create an Ultron swarm. On its own, it’s average, but when you start running it with Ultron Prime or Ultron Sentry, it can really start to wear your opponent down.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial)
AAOU013 Black Widow — 80 Points — Mass Market Rare:
HypeFox Says: This is one of the stranger Black Widows we’ve gotten in recent years. On the plus side, she’s got a pretty decent AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Black Widow hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters can’t attack Black Widow until your next turn or opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage until your next turn.) and a cool Attack Special (WIDOW’S STING:When Black Widow hits with a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 4 – 6, Black Widow can use Incapacitate twice, each as a free action, but only to target a hit character.). On the negative side, she’s pretty much set up as a ranged attacker, but she’s only got a 4 Range and no move and attack. And if she can’t attack, her special powers are all wasted.
Having said that, like her former S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddy Hawkeye, much of what ails her can be fixed with a Resource or Relic (Mokk’s Hammer would solve almost all of her top dial problems).
So she has some potential in a Tactics environment, but in a game where you can’t use Resources or Relics, she’s gonna be a tough piece to use effectively. Chances are high that you won’t get out of her what you put into her.
GRADE: 2 and 3/4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: She can really shine with an Avengers Themed Team around her, but you’re gonna have to team her up with a really effective Primary Attacker to distract the other team’s best offensive pieces and let her get a ranged attack (or two) off. Nearly full dial Stealth and intermittent Perplex make me like this version slightly more that her Starter pack counterpart (AAOU105 Black Widow, natch!). And, once again, AAOU015 Nick Fury‘s Special Power works really well with her as well.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU014 Quicksilver — 63 Points — Mass Market Rare
Ninwashui Says: He’s the cheapest character in Modern right now with top dial Hypersonic Speed. When you compare him to 65 point FL001A The Flash you’ll see that he moves much farther and has a better chance of hitting because of his ability to use Probability Control on himself. This is also one of the few instances where I think it’s really nice for this character to have Force Blast. I can just imagine him flinging opposing support figures off rooftops or into walls. And let’s be honest, 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection is pretty damn impressive for someone at his point level.
GRADE: 4Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: He’s been growing on me. I still don’t like that his Attack Value never exceeds “meh,” but his Damage Special (FAST ENOUGH TO TRY AGAIN:Quicksilver can use Probability Control, but only to reroll his own rolls.) means that he gets two shots at every attack roll. And an 18 Defense with ES/D is EXTREMELY good for any figure under 80 Points. He’s never going to do much damage, but at 63 Points he’s always going to be a Secondary Attacker at most. But depending on how you construct your army, he might even just be a third attacker on a 300 Point squad. And he’s perfect for that.
GRADE: 3 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45 Points — Mass Market Rare:
HypeFox Says: So, we’ve already mentioned this guy three or four times, so you probably had an inkling that he’d be good. I think he’s possibly Meta, although he necessitates building an Avengers Themed Team around him. His Trait is great (I STILL BELIEVE IN HEROES:If Nick Fury is part of an Avengers Themed Team and has the lowest point value character on your starting force, he can use Leadership and Outwit. When he uses Leadership, he is considered 300 points.), since at 45 Points he will almost ALWAYS be the lowest point value character on an Avengers Themed Team. So you don’t even really need to alter your team any to fit him in, and in a 300 Point game his Leadership is guaranteed to work on whoever he’s next to as long as you make the roll. On top of that, since he has Avengers Initiative, his Outwit sees through Hindering Terrain!!
Oh, and speaking of rolls, Fury Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…:When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! Trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) gives him a 33% chance to just completely wreck your opponent’s day. Remember how we mentioned how one-sided some of the Avengers Assemble! Traits were on the figures in this set? Well, if YOU suddenly get to make the choice for your opponent, those AA Traits become stratospherically better!
On top of all that, he has Willpower, Shape Change, Stealth and a native 3 Damage. This is a great package for just 45 Points.
GRADE: 4 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: He is really only viable on an Avengers Themed Team, but if you’re playing one, he is almost an auto-include if you have the points. Even if your not using his Attack Special because you’re running him with non-AoU Avengers, just the fact that he gives you a working Leadership and Outwit while also being a competent Tertiary Attacker is pretty amazing. I’m not sure if Avengers Themed Teams will start showing up at major tournaments, but if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll be running this Nick Fury.
GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU016 Baron Strucker — 95 Points — Mass Market Rare:
Ninwashui Says: And finally we come to my top Want from this set. Sporting a creative and efficient dial, Baron Strucker is capable of changing a game just by himself. Like AAOU001 Iron Man, he can make himself a small army with just a few power actions via his Special Attack Power (WE LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM…:Give Baron Strucker a power action if there are less than 4 friendly characters with the Test Subject keyword on the map. When you do, place a friendly AAOU004 Test Subject from outside the game on the map within 6 squares of him.). Unlike Iron Man, when Baron Strucker’s army dies, his Trait (THEIR SACRIFICE ENSURES OUR FUTURE:When a friendly character with the Test Subject keyword is KO’d put an Evolution token on Baron Strucker’s card. Modify Baron Strucker’s combat values +1 for every two Evolution tokens on his card.) ensures that the Baron gets stronger! Keep in mind that for a 95 Point piece, he was already sitting on some pretty good stats to begin with. Several of his Clicks sport a 10 Attack Value with 4 Damage. Now imagine if that got pumped up to a 13 Attack and 7 Damage–those are Hulk Smash numbers!
And he has Mastermind, so, depending on how you place your Test Subjects, it’ll be damn near impossible for most of your opponents NOT to KO some Test Subjects along the way to Baron Strucker, unless their pieces are just dripping with Precision Strike. And you get all this for just 1/3 of your 300 Point Build!!
I am already dreaming of playing this guy with DP054 Arnim Zola for some friendly Mind Control shenanigans or IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0 to turn those Test Subjects into Claymore mines. Oh, the destruction I’ll wreak…
GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: This is the piece I was referencing in my AAOU001 Iron Man writeup. Whereas the Iron Legion pieces have to come into play all the way back at your Starting Zone, Strucker here can place his Test Subjects wherever the hell he likes within a 6-Square radius! Think about how useful that is! Can’t get through that wall and into the room where your opponent is trying to heal his Primary Attacker back to full? Boom–now there’s a Test Subject adjacent to his healer. Who can make an attack on that same healer THIS TURN!! This ability is kind of like Deadpool’s Sheep Gun Word Balloon, only it’s about a thousand times more useful.
If Strucker’s Dial was crap except for that power, he’d still be good. But he’s got a great dial, and he gets stronger for every Test Subject that’s killed! You just need to get this man some Willpower!
I hate to say it again, but this is another near-Meta piece for me. More importantly, he’s going to be poop-tons of fun at house games…
HypeFox Says: Sort of a disappointing Chase, especially since we know we’re getting a comic version of the Hulkbuster armor one piece at a time in the Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. boosters this summer. But beyond that, his dial seems much more like a 200-250 Point character; at 300, you’re really only playing him in fun, epic games where you think you’re gonna run into other big’uns.
His AA Trait is actually pretty good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:Once per turn, when Hulkbuster hits one or more characters with a close combat attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Modify Hulkbuster’s defense value by +2 until your next turn or Hulkbuster may make a close combat attack as a free action against a hit target, modifying his attack value by -2 for the attack.), but his other Trait (DESIGNED TO PUT YOU DOWN, BRUCE:At the beginning of the game for all characters with this trait, choose an opposing character with :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:. That character can’t ignore pushing damage or have its combat values increased.) and his Defense Special Power (SHE IS BUILT TO FIGHT THE BIG ONES:Hulkbuster can use Invincible. When Hulkbuster is hit by an attack from a character with the :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:, modify that’s character’s damage value by -1 for the attack.)are geared specifically towards putting down Giant-sized or Colossal figures, Team Bases or Vehicles. If you’re playing 1000 Point Brawl where those figures are allowed, he’s well worth his Points. If you’re playing almost any other format, you probably overpayed for this dial by at least 50 Points.
His Rookie version is a little bit better, if only because it’s 75 Points cheaper. You lose two really good Clicks, but you’re also closer to his Hypersonic slots.
These pieces are slight misfires for me.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: I have to agree. You should only play this guy if you know in advance that you have a good shot at facing Giants or Team Bases–and even then I’m not sure that he’ll win that fight. Against Colossals, you’d do much better playing AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man.
It’s not that this guy can’t win; it’s just that he’s a close combat piece that’s likely to get shot crossing the board and his combat values don’t hold up like they do with AAOU008 Hulk. He is also yet another figure above 200 points with no Outwit protection of any kind.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)
AAOU018 Ultron Prime — 250/125 Points — Mass Market Chase:
Ninwashui Says: At 250 points there won’t be much room for support (other than maybe an AAOU007 Ultron Sentry) He can use Energy Explosion with 3 Bolts, but he doesn’t have Running Shot until his third Click. Until then, he’s stuck with Charge or Hypersonic Speed with a 9 Attack. Not horrible, but not worth 250 Points, either.
He’s meant to be a close combat figure and just like AAOU008 Hulk he will have a hard time crossing the board without being weakened (this seems to be a Chase theme this set!). And he’s 250 Points with no Outwit protection (another Chase theme!), only an 18 starting Defense Value and no Stop Clicks. Again, Transport Symbol is really wasted points here, unless you’re in love with low Attack Values for some reason.
His Experienced dial is a little better just by virtue of being able to pack in a lot more compatible supporting figs. His actual power set is still mostly incompatible (and, again, no Running Shot ’til Click 3), and Transport Symbol is still wasted here.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: I think I like him a little better than you do. Yes, he does not have an efficient power mix, but he’s not a pushover, either, and his Trait (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING:Once per game, when Ultron Prime is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 5 – 6 place this character in your starting area on its blue starting line.) gives him a 33% chance to come back and haunt your opponent all over again.
That Trait works even better on his Experienced dial, since it brings him back all the way to his Starting Line.
GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)
Alrighty! There you have it–the longest article (by word count) we’ve ever published! We hope you enjoyed this look into Avengers: Age of Ultron, and make sure to come back for our Starter Review!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!