The Ghost of Clix-Mas Past Presents: The 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures! (Or, the Second Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Two of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! Yesterday, we reviewed the ground rules; today, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty!]

Over the Hill club

Little Known Fact: For a time, Wizkids toyed with Call-In cards for pieces from Undead

2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures

by Roberto Ty

Having 2020 Vision

As 2019 closes, I thought this would be a good time to look at the best ID Call-In figures in Heroclix for 2020. Quicker than a Thanos finger snap, the rotation will be upon us (most likely in July) and the value of your tightly-held meta pieces will drop faster than Thor’s Hammer on a Frost Giant. The time to sell is now, but can you really make a Nationals run without these ID cards?

The Call-In Sequence

Deadpool ID.jpg

But first, let’s start at the beginning. For newer players, a typical call-in sequence looks like this:

  1. A friendly character (the summoner) uses a POWER action for the Call-In Help ability from the ID card. Your opponent scores the ID card.
    1. Call-In Help – Friendly characters have “POWER: If no other friendly characters have been given this same action this turn and this character is equal or more points than the ID character, place the ID character adjacent, then remove this ID card from the game and your opponent scores it. The ID character returns to your Sideline: at the beginning of your next turn, immediately if no square it occupies is within 5 squares of this character, or it is removed from the map by another effect. ID characters can’t: be carried, be equipped, be given DOUBLE POWER actions, replace, or be replaced. ID characters can be KO’d.
    2. Note the restrictions: The Call-In figure must remain within 5 squares of the summoner. The Call-In cannot be Carried, use Equipment, or be given DOUBLE POWER actions.
  2. In most Meta encounters, typically a team will have Perplex (or multiple Perplexes) at the ready to modify attack and/or damage on the Call-In figure.
  3. Call-in would perform a POWER action.
  4. Ideally, the Call-in would then be removed from the map to prevent being KO’d and scored by the opponent. This is done by moving the call-in 6 squares away from the summoner through Sidestep or Telekinesis. Not always possible though. 

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

Alright, with the basic rules and strategies for Call-Ins covered, the top ID Cards and Call-In figures to rotate out in 2020 are:

  1. TIER I
    1. XXSXID-020 Jean Grey ID (5 points) and 60-point XXS065E Jean Grey
    2. XXSXID-018 Cyclops ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS052E Cyclops
    3. XXSXID-025 Wolverine ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS053E Wolverine
    4. WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn ID (5 points) and 60-point HQ049 Harley Quinn
  2. TIER II
    1. 50-point XXS037AE Professor X and 50-point XXS037BE Professor X
    2. XXSXID-010 Chamber ID (3 points) and 70-point XXS041 Chamber
    3. XXSXID-004 Rusty ID (3 points) and 50-point FFXXS005 Rusty
    4. XXSXID-012 Jubilee ID (3 points) and 50-point XXS026 Jubilee

While this list of retiring ID cards and call-in figures isn’t comprehensive, I focused on the most used cards and Call-In Figures. Let’s look forward to 2020 and the changing landscape of call-in figures.

The Future of Call-In Figures

We go from 43 ID Cards and Wanted Posters to just 18 after rotation. How many are usable? We need to evaluate what abilities the post-rotation call-in figures bring.

ID / WANTED POSTER PTS INSPIRATION / INTIMIDATION OTHER IDENTITIES
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 5 Blades/Claws/Fangs Logan, Old Man Logan, Colonel Logan
WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 5 Exploit Weakness Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite
WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 5 Charge
WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 5 Running Shot Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 5 Penetrating/Psychic Blast
WKMVID-011 Colossus 5 Impervious
WKMVID-012 Professor X 5 Shape Change
WKMVID-013 Banshee 5 When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.
WKMVID-014 Rogue 5 Steal Energy
WKMVID-015 Psylocke 5 Exploit Weakness
WKMVID-016 Angel 3 No Inspiration Archangel
WKMVID-017 Beast 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-018 Cyclops 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-019 Iceman 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 3 No Inspiration Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 5 Exploit Weakness Dr. Harleen Quinzel
WKDCID-009 The Joker 5 Perplex
WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze 5 Incapacitate
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 5 Poison, Smoke Cloud
WKDCID-012 Two-Face 5 Probability Control Harvey Dent

FIGURE 1 | Post-rotation ID cards, point cost, and their Inspiration or Intimidation.

The Call-In Value Proposition

In deciding on ID cards and Call-In options, the goal is to look for value. I like figures around 50-points. At this point cost, the Call-In Help ability can be used by a lower cost support figure. While a higher cost Call-In sometimes has better combat values, its higher cost requires a figure of equal value to call it in. This means that a POWER action is being used by a primary attacker just to call in another attacker. It’s a bad two-for-one tradeoff. Still, you may find value in a higher cost Call-In, depending on its abilities. I just don’t like the value proposition.

Now not all Call-In figures are for attacking. You can supplement utility powers in your Build by calling-in characters with support powers like Perplex, Telekinesis, Support, Outwit, Enhancement, Empower, Probability Control, etc.

Furthermore, you not only have to evaluate what the Call-In brings, but whether or not the piece itself is a liability. Can you protect it from being scored? Can you remove it from the map through Sidestep or Telekinesis? 

Since most ID cards are scored once they’re used, you need to factor these things into your evaluation. Points matter and you don’t want to concede them easily.

With that said, ID cards are prevalent because of the high value proposition for a low point investment (3-5 points).

Wanted Posters

The Wanted Posters differ from ID cards because of the Bounty mechanic, which reads:

Bounty: When an opposing character hits this ID character, immediately return it to your sideline and, after resolutions, heal the attacking character 1 click. If this ID character is returned at the beginning of your next turn, heal the character that used “Call In Help” 1 click.

Because of this mechanic, you may opt to use a higher-cost Call-In, hoping your opponent can’t hit. If the Call-In survives, then you can heal the summoner 1 click on your next turn. To me, it’s risky. I don’t want to concede any points and would prefer to just “poof” the Call-In. 

Let’s look at some low-cost options for the Wanted Posters. I won’t review every possible Call-In, but instead recommend what I think is the best option.

Wolvie Wanted poster

WKMDOFP-001 WOLVERINE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Blades/Claws/Fangs

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point WKM19-003 Wolverine

 

  • 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

 

  1. 70-point WCR001E Wolverine
  2. 70-point WCR101E Wolverine
  3. 75-point WCR107 Wolverine

The best options are 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine and 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine.

FFXDPS001E Wolverine. Wolverine has Improved Movement: Hindering, TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE special power with 8 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His value is in his Special Movement Power:

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE: Charge, Flurry.

50-point XDPS001 Wolverine. While Wolverine’s damage isn’t as good (no Flurry), he does brings value with his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE NOSE KNOWS, BUB: Opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

This stealth-busting, Shape Change-denying Wolverine has Charge with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with an incredible 12 attack, Toughness with 18 defense and 2 damage. I ranked him lower than the Fast Forces version, but remember that you can list multiple options for each ID/Wanted Poster. You just need to declare which one you’re using at the beginning of the game.

Kate Pryde

WKMDOFP-002 KATE PRYDE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Other Identities: Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite

Call-In Options:

 

  • 60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WKMP18-006 Shadowcat

60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde. Kitty can be used as a 60-point or a 40-point call-in. The only changes in combat values are her attack (11 to 10) and her defense (18 to 17).

With 0 range and only Sidestep, she’ll need to be close to attack. Her real value comes from her trait:

(☆ TRAIT) LOCKHEED: FREE: Once per game, generate a Lockheed Bystander.

Lockheed is the main threat. He has 5 range with a single target, Running Shot with 8 movement, Energy Explosion with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with a 17 defense, and 1 damage. Kitty is called in, Sidesteps, and generates Lockheed. Lockheed uses Running Shot and targets an opponent 5 squares away with Energy Explosion. That’s a 12-square reach (2 from Kitty’s Sidestep, 1 form being placed adjacent, 4 from Running Shot, and 5 from range). You’ll always use Energy Explosion because of his 1 printed damage. By using Energy Explosion that damage becomes 2.

ENERGY EXPLOSION RANGE: Make a range attack, and all other characters adjacent to an original target also become targets. Hit characters are dealt 2 damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus.jpg

WKMDOFP-003 COLOSSUS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Charge

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus

 

  • 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus. Colossus is a Giant Colossal Retaliator without Colossal Indifference. This means he can attack smaller characters normally and not just by Colossal Retaliation. Colossus has:

+ Improved Movement: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through. This character can move through squares adjacent to or occupied by opposing characters without stopping, and automatically breaks away, even if adjacent to a character than can use Plasticity. 

He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Colossus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. If that character is within the same row or column as Colossus, place Colossus adjacent to that character and make a close combat attack targeting all characters in the rows or columns between where Colossus began this action and his current square, regardless of adjacency. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus will be mainly as a call-in to retaliate. Because his retaliation has a condition of being in the same row or column of the opposing attacker, you’ll need to pay attention to his placement. If you do a non-retaliation attack first, it may help position Colossus for his retaliation. Bottom line: pay attention to position.

Rachel Summers ID

WKMDOFP-004 RACHEL SUMMERS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Running Shot

Other Identities: Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point WCR009E Rachel Summers

 

  • 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix. Between the two, Phoenix call-in is the better call-in. Phoenix has Colossal Indifference and can’t attack smaller characters unless it’s through retaliation. She has 10 range with 3 targets, Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with a 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Phoenix’s traits are:

(☆ TRAIT) COSMIC ENTITY: Phoenix can’t be the target of an attack with more than one target.

(☆ TRAIT) ETERNAL FLAME OF DESTRUCTION AND REBIRTH: Energy Shield/Deflection, Poison. When Phoenix uses Poison and an opposing character took damage from it, after resolutions choose one: heal 1 click for each opposing character damaged this way -or- heal each adjacent friendly character 1 click.

The first trait is situational while her second trait is Poison.

POISON: FREE: If this character hasn’t moved or been placed this turn, deal 1 damage to all adjacent opposing characters.

It’s important to note that being placed on the map from the sideline isn’t the same being moved or placed when on the map. Therefore, Phoenix can use Poison before she retaliates.

Now, let’s look at her special powers:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. If Phoenix starts on the 25-point line, she can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Phoenix within 3 squares of the chosen character then make a ranged attack targeting that character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares, regardless of line of fire. Instead of normal damage, deal each hit character 1 penetrating damage for each action token they have. Hit targets that can use Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast modify their combat values -1 until your next turn.

Her retaliation is where Phoenix increases her value. She deals 1 penetrating damage for each token on each hit target! Incredibly potent if timed right.

Magneto.jpg

WKMDOFP-006 MAGNETO WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Penetrating/Psychic Blast

Call-In Options:

  1. 50-point XDPS011B Magneto
  2. 65-point XDPS100 Magneto
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto (OUR PICK!)

25-point XDPSG015P Magneto. Another fantastic colossal retaliator call-in! It’s important to note that Magneto is a standard size, even though he has a 2×2 base. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference, which means he can make normal attacks and not just through retaliation. Magneto has 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage.

Let’s look at his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE FORCE OF MAGNETISM IS AT MY COMMAND: Leadership. FREE: Choose a character within range and line of fire. Place that character in a square adjacent to its current square.

Magneto increases his value with his Leadership. His trait also allows him to reposition one of your opponent’s characters. Now for his retaliation:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM: FREE: If no other friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Magneto or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Magneto such that he can make a ranged attack targeting the chosen character then do so.

His retaliation power is good, but isn’t the the main reason he will be used.

 

ID CARDS

 

colossus id

WKMVID-011 COLOSSUS ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Impervious

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)
  3. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

We reviewed our Colossus pick earlier under the Wanted Posters.

Prof X ID.jpg

WKMVID-012 PROFESSOR X ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Shape Change

Call-In Options: Uhhhh… none, actually. There is a 100-point XDPS035 Professor X, but I don’t recommend him.

Banshee ID.jpg

WKMVID-013 BANSHEE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.

Call-In Options: No options available post-rotation. 

Rogue ID.jpg

WKMVID-014 ROGUE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Steal Energy

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point FFXDPS002E Rogue
    2. 60-point XDPS002 Rogue

 

  • 60-point WCR011E Rogue (OUR PICK!)

 

60-point WCR011E Rogue. Rogue has flight, Charge with 9 movement, Quake with 11 attack, SOUTHERN BELLE special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her combat values are on a par with the other Rogue call-ins, but it’s her trait adds additional value to make her our selection. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) LET ME GIVE YOUR POWERS A SPIN FOR A WHILE, SUGAH: When Rogue hits a single opposing character with a close attack, after resolutions you may choose a standard power that character can use. Until you choose again, Rogue can use the chosen power and has the printed range value of the hit character.

(SPECIAL POWER) SOUTHERN BELLE: Invulnerability, Willpower.

True to the Rogue in the comics, when she hits she steals a standard power. In most cases, you’ll target a character with support powers like Perplex, Outwit, and Probability Control..

Psylocke ID.jpg

WKMVID-015 PSYLOCKE (5-POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Call-In Options:

    1. 45-point DCXM009 Psylocke

 

  • 40-point WCR020E Psylocke (OUR PICK!)

 

40-point WCR020E Psylocke. Psylocke has Improved Movement: Hindering, 6 range with 2 targets, NINJA TRAINING special power with an 8 movement, Precision Strike with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Perplex with 2 damage. Her trait gives her Incapacitate that can disable an opponent’s attack or defense powers.

(☆ TRAIT) PSYCHIC BOW: Incapacitate. When she uses it and hits, after resolutions, choose a standard attack or defense power the hit character can use and that character can’t use that power until your next turn.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) NINJA TRAINING: Sidestep, Stealth.

Both these abilities make this Psylocke our pick. She can Sidestep, Perplex her attack up for Incapacitate, then when she hits, she can choose an attack or defense power to turn off? Yes, please! It’s a great way to get around pesky defenses! Unfortunately, she’s a Chase.

Angel ID.jpg

WKMVID-016 ANGEL (3-POINTS)

Other Identities: Archangel

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point WCR015E Angel (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WCR105E Archangel

40-point WCR015E Angel. Angel has flight, RETURN TO EARTH special power with 10 movement, 10 attack, DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE? Special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) RETURN TO EARTH: Charge. When Angel uses it, you may choose to not half his speed. If you do, he has PASSENGER: 0

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE?: Super Senses, Willpower.

While the 80-point version of this character has a 12 movement and an 18 defense, the other stats are the same.  It’s why I recommend using the 40-point version—less risk of your opponent scoring him.

Beast ID.jpg

WKMVID-017 BEAST (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 FFXDPS003E Beast

 

  • 50 XDPS003 Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 40 WCR005E Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

 

50 XDPS003 Beast. Our first double selection. Both call-in options bring different value to a team. This Beast supplies Perplex and has Improved Movement: Elevated, Hindering, and Characters. He has Sidestep with 10 movement, 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME special power with 2 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Beast uses it, if the target shares a keyword with him, you may instead modify the value except damage +2 or -2.

40 WCR005E Beast. Beast provides Outwit or Battle Fury to attack those pesky Shape Change characters. If he chooses Battle Fury, he modifies his combat values by +1. He has Improved Movement: Elevated Hindering and Charge with 8 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(☆ TRAIT)  LETTING THE BEAST OUT: FREE: Chose one: Outwit -or- Battle Fury and modify Beast’s combat values +1. Beast can use the chosen effect(s) until your next turn.

Cyclops ID

WKMVID-018 CYCLOPS (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

 

  • 70 XDPS013 Cyclops (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70 WCR002E Cyclops
  2. 70 WCR102E Cyclops
  3. 75 WCR108 Cyclops

70 XDPS013 Cyclops. The first ID where we feel the pain of rotation. The post-rotation call-in options for Cyclops just can’t compare to the 50-point XXS052E Cyclops. This version has 8 range with a single target, OPTIC BEAMS special power with 10 movement, Penetrating/Psychic Blast with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and COMMANDING LEADER special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) OPTIC BEAMS: Running Shot, Force Blast.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COMMANDING LEADER: Leadership. When Cyclops use it and succeeds, after resolutions chose another friendly character that shares a keyword and has 0 action tokens. This turn, that character has “FREE: Halve speed, then Move.”

While the special movement power is nice, his damage power only benefits X-Men teams (Cyclops’ only keyword: X-Men).

Iceman ID.jpg

WKMVID-019 ICEMAN (3-POINTS

Call-In Options:

 

  • 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point WCR013E Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

 

15-point XDPSG025P Iceman. Both Iceman options are excellent and bring different utility. This Iceman is a colossal Ice Voltron and has Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 3 damage. His abilities aret:

(☆ TRAIT) CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT!: STOP. If Iceman started the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Iceman or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Iceman such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. After resolutions, he can immediately use Incapacitate at no cost, but may target smaller characters.

Voltron Iceman’s trait is can potentially take out multiple colossal retaliators. While he has Colossal Indifference, his retaliation power allows him to use Incapacitate at no cost on smaller characters.

 

50-point WCR013E Iceman. Iceman has 5 range with 2 targets, Hypersonic Speed with 9 movement, 10 attack, MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT…EVENTUALLY special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WATCH YOUR STEP…IT’S SLIPPERY: When Iceman hits one or more opposing characters with a range attack, choose one for all hit characters: speed -2 -or- attack -1. Hit characters modify the chosen combat value until your next turn.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT… EVENTUALLY: Barrier, Toughness, Willpower. Whenever Iceman moves, after the resolution of each move, you may immediately place a Blocking terrain marker in a square he moved through. Remove that marker at the beginning of your next turn (even if this is lost).

Iceman’s trait and special defense increase his value. While he can only move 5 squares with his Hypersonic Speed since he must be close to the summoner, he can make a ranged attack, targeting an opponent 3 squares away (half his 5 range, rounded up). His special defense can be used strategically to place a blocking terrain in a square he moved through.

Jean Grey ID.jpg

WKMVID-020 JEAN GREY (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 XDPS014 Jean Grey
    2. 75 XDPS047 Jean Grey

 

  • 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50 FFXXS004E Jean Grey

For the XDPSG010P Phoenix call-in, refer to the review above.

harley Quinn ID

WKDCID-008 HARLEY QUINN (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Exploit Weakness.

Call-In Options:

 

  • 65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

 

These two Harley Quinn options don’t compare to the title character, but each one should still see play.

65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn. Harley has 5 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Poison with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Outwit with 3 damage. While having no move and attack, Harley is a good secondary character that can bring a Outwit to a team.

50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn. Where the other Harley brought Outwit this one supplies Perplex. She has a 5 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with 17 defense, and AIN’T WE THE GREATEST? special power with 2 damage.

AIN’T WE THE GREATEST?: Perplex. When Harley Quinn uses it, if she does not choose damage and targets a friendly character named Poison Ivy, Catwoman or The Joker, modify the chosen value by +2 instead.

Joker ID

WKDCID-009 THE JOKER (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Perplex

Call-In Options:

    1. 100-point WKDP18-009 The Joker

 

  • 30-point BTAS003 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

    1. 80-point BTAS042 The Joker

 

  • 75-point BTAS054 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point FFBTAS103 The Joker

With two solid call-in options for Joker, I prefer the 30-point version. Both are worth reviewing.

30-point BTAS003 The Joker. Joker has 4 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS? special power with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, Probability Control with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.

This Joker packs a lot of neat tricks that make him an asset beyond his Probability Control.

 

75-point BTAS054 The Joker. I always hesitate calling in higher-point figures for my opponent to potentially score, but this Joker brings Plasticity, Perplex, and Outwit. He starts with 0 range, JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG… special power with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG…: Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY: Outwit, Perplex. When the Joker uses either, his minimum range value is 9.

Mr Freeze ID

WKDCID-010 MR. FREEZE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Incapacitate

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point BTAS009 Mr. Freeze
  2. 100-point BTAS022 Mr. Freeze

At these high-point levels, I can’t really recommend any.

Poison Ivy ID.jpg

WKDCID-011 POISON IVY (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Poison, Smoke Cloud

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50-point BTAS031 Poison Ivy
  2. 65-point BTAS043 Poison Ivy
  3. 75-point FFBTAS104 Poison Ivy

 

40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy. As a call-in for Perplex, Poison Ivy brings 3 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Incapacitate with 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and Perplex with 1 damage.

Two Face ID

WKDCID-012 TWO-FACE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Probability Control

Other Identities: Harvey Dent

Call-in Options:

 

  • 55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point BTAS008 Two-Face

55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent. Harvey has nice support: the Police team ability and Probability Control. Dent has 6 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and Probability Control with 2 damage. He also has the Batman Ally team ability that gives him Stealth.

 

Final Call

While we don’t know all that 2020 will bring, we can assume that there won’t be too many more X-Men options. My recommendation is to practice and test which call-in options work for your play style. While I tend to use lower-cost call-in figures, you may find that a higher-point option might be the better for your team. Just remember to value and protect points! 

The chart below shows the ID cards with our call-in selections.

ID / WANTED POSTER CALL-IN
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 50 FFXDPS001E Wolverine

IM: Hindering, Charge, Flurry, BFC

50 XDPS001 Wolverine

Charge. Opposing within 3 can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 60 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

40 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 25 XDPSG015P Magneto

Sidestep. TK. FREE place a character within range and line of fire in an adjacent square from its current square.

Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters.

WKMVID-011 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMVID-012 Professor X NONE
WKMVID-013 Banshee NONE
WKMVID-014 Rogue 60 WCR011E Rogue

Flight, Charge, Quake. Can pick a standard power that a hit character can use, Rogue can use that power.

WKMVID-015 Psylocke 40 WCR020.1E Psylocke

IM: Hindering, Stealth, Precision Strike, Incapacitate. Choose attack or defense power on hit character. Hit character can’t use the chosen power.

WKMVID-016 Angel 40 WCR015E Angel

Flight, Charge.

WKMVID-017 Beast 50 XDPS003 Beast

Sidestep. IM: Elevation, Hindering, Characters. Perplex, modify +2/-2 if target shares a keyword.

40 WCR005E Beast

IM: Hindering, Elevated. Charge. Outwit or Battle Fury and +1 combat values on Beast.

WKMVID-018 Cyclops 70 XDPS013 Cyclops

8 range, RS, Force Blast, PPB.

WKMVID-019 Iceman 15 XDPSG025P Iceman

BFC trait. When Iceman KO’s a Giant/Colossal, can charge at no cost another Giant/Colossal. Colossal Retaliator, can use Incapacitate for FREE on smaller characters after retaliating resolves.

50 WCR013E Iceman

HSS, Hit Characters -2 speed or -1 attack. 1 Barrier Marker on movement path.

WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 65 BTAS014 Harley Quinn

Stealth, Outwit.

50 FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn

Sidestep, Quake, Perplex.

WKDCID-009 The Joker 30 BTAS003 The Joker

Sidestep, PC, Smoke Cloud. Free close attack on opposing in his smoke cloud, give an action token instead of normal damage.

75 BTAS054 The Joker

Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep. Outwit/Perplex with a 9 range.

WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze NONE
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 40 BTAS004 Poison Ivy

Stealth, Perplex.

WKDCID-012 Two-Face 55 BTAS021 Harvey Dent

Batman Ally/Police TAs, Sidestep, PC.

And that’s all I have for tonight! Thanks for reading!

Heat Check: Caller ID!! (Or, The Top Three ID Card Call-Ins at Every Point Level Right Now!!) (Or Or, The 5th Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 5! If you missed The First Night of Clix-Mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, and you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here.]

Spidey ID

So in my Mirror Master Team Build article, I lamented the fact that nowhere online does there exist a list showing  all 329 possible character Call-Ins available in Modern Age play from the 56 currently available ID cards (we’ll cross the Justice League ID Card bridge when we come to it).

What? How did I know that there are 329 possible Call-Ins? Because I just finished building that list!

So before I get to actually publishing said list, as a special 12 Nights of Clix-Mas treat, I’d like share with you now the Top 3 Call-Ins in Modern Age at each 50 point interval (from 50 to 300)!

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 1 to 50 Point Range:

Looks like something else just called-in Jemma...

Looks like something else just called-in Jemma…

  1. FFNFAOS005 Simmons 50 PointsCalled-In via NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7: If you call Jemma in with her ID card, she has Outwit and can give the person who called her in another yet another use of Outwit. She also has the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and the FIELD TEAM BACKUP ability if you are using her with other Field Team members. Since she is called in via the Level 7 card, she also gives anyone next to her the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA and modifies their Attack Value by +1 when making a ranged combat attack.

  2. NFAOS014B Hydra Agent H 30 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-008 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 1: She has 7 Range, 10 Attack and Ranged Combat Expert. She has both the Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. TA’s and the combination of the ID card and her Trait means that she shares those two TA’s with whomever is next to her. Plus, at 30 points, she can be called in by almost anyone (including WOL099 Despotellis).

  3. AOU204E Yellowjacket — 50 Points — Called-In via FFOAAUID-100 Hank Pym: Yellowjacket is capable of dealing Penetrating Damage in both close and ranged combat situations with automatic Knockback from Force Blast. In addition, when he comes into play you get a free AOUB001 Ant Swarm Bystander Token that stays in play even after Yellowjacket is removed from the game. The Hank Pym ID Card also gives the following Inspiration: “Modify range value by +3 when using Outwit or Perplex. Modify defense value by +3 when attacked by an opposing character with the Robot keyword.” The Robot clause is obviously situational, but the stipulation-less Range boost to Outwit and Perplex can really catch your opponent by surprise.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 51 to 100 Point Range:

3D Man AVAS

  1. AVAS013B 3-D Man — 90 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-015 Triathlon I could continue to beat this drum and describe to you again why this is possibly the best ID Card character out there, but I already did that once in my Avengers Assemble top 10 article.

  2.  GOTG031 Nova — 60 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-007 Nova: His dial is 60 points so you will likely have 2 or 3 characters on a 300 point team that can call him in. And when they do, you’ll have one of the best Pulse Wave pieces in the game. He’s only got a 10 attack, but unlike everyone else in the game when he uses Pulse Wave he does 2 damage (not just 1) to everyone he hits when he targets more than one character. We all know Pulse Wave is the game’s strongest basic power, so access to an improved version of it at a crucial point in the game for just 5 points seems like a great deal to me.

  3. AOU020 Captain America — 65 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-103 Captain America: He’s a great character to play as well as Call-In. His Special Mmovement Power states, “CAP’S MOTORCYCLE: Captain America can use Defend and has “transporter boot speed symbol”. He doesn’t modify his attack value by -2 from the Move and Attack ability.” On the defensive side, his Trait says “TAKE COVER!: Adjacent friendly characters modify their defense values by +1 against ranged combat attacks, if not already modified by this effect.” Just to review, he has 17 Defense with Defend, his ID card grants ESD to all adjacent figures, and his trait grants +1 versus ranged attacks. Taken together that means that any character standing next to him that turn will have a minimum 20 Defense against ranged attacks.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 101 to 150 Point Range:

Nick Fury Original Sin

  1. NFAOS056 Nick Fury — 120 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7: As recent ROC results are starting to show, NFAOS056 Nick Fury is the probably the most powerful figure in the game right now (just like I predicted he would be in my Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Top Ten article). Calling him in as a 5 point ID character practically guarantees that he will put a 4-damage-sized hole into your opponent’s most costly figure, and he can do that while shooting through Elevated Terrain, Hindering Terrain and/or characters from 9 spaces away. If you aren’t playing Nick Fury on your team, then there is almost no excuse to not run him as an ID character.

  2. AOU047E Quasar — 125 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-004 Quasar: If an opposing figure is closing in then you can use Quasar’s Pulse Wave, but the real selling point with him is when you target a single opponent. Assuming you hit, you can completely block off your opponent with “CONTAIN STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE: When Quasar targets and damages a single opposing character, after action resolve, he can use Barrier as a free action, but may only place blocking terrain markers adjacent to the hit character.” As an added bonus Quasar’s inspiration also gives adjacent characters telekinesis.

  3. NFAOS051 Steve Rogers — 150 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-103 Captain America: He’s not the most damaging attacker with only three base Damage and double target Energy Explosion, but what he is good for is all of the support he can give to other ranged attackers around him. If he hits with his attack (he has a 12 Attack Value), then all other friendly attackers can use Probability Control on their own rolls. He also has Enhancement and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA. Best of all, on defense he gives everyone Energy Shield/Deflection.

The Top 3 Call Ins in the 151 to 200 Point Range:

War Machine

  1. AOU26 War Machine200 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-010 War Machine: War Machine’s major weakness when played in an army is his lack of Willpower. Thankfully that’s not a problem with ID Card characters. His VARIABLE THREAT RESPONSE power allows you to choose Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, Precision Strike, or Triple target Energy Explosion! In addition,he ignores Hindering Terrain and if he is attacking more than one character at range, he can use Probability Control.

  2. AOU018 Thor  — 200 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-104 Thor: Thor has double ranged targets and the following power: “GOD OF THUNDER: Thor can use Energy Explosion, when he does, damage dealt is penetrating damage.” He also ignores Hindering Terrain for targeting. But, the real reason to use him is “FOR MY HEART BELONGS TO THEE: Once per game, give Thor a free action and place a Jane Foster bystander token as described on this card into an adjacent square.

  3. AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man –175 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: This guy has a great power, “HERE GOES NUTHIN’: Phoenixbuster Iron Man’s attacks deal penetrating damage if the target character is assigned a relic or a resource or possesses any of the following: “Giant damage symbol”, “Colossal damage symbol”, the Power Cosmic team ability, the Cosmic or Phoenix Force keyword, or the word Phoenix in its name as a separate word.” As a backup plan he has Running Shot and Pulse Wave, which, historically speaking, is a damn good backup plan.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 201 to 250 Point Range:

Hercules

  1. AOU033 Hercules — 220 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-004 Hercules: There are two great reasons to choose Hercules. The first is his offense, “IF IT IS BATTLE YOU CRAVE, HERCULES SHALL OBLIGE!: Hercules can use Charge, Flurry, and Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores blocking terrain and destroys blocking terrain as the character moves through it.” “Oh, you thought you were safe from my team because you were hiding behind two-square-thick Blocking Terrain? I think not, scoundrel!” The second is his ability to tie up and weaken the opposing team with “GRAPPLING THE LERNAEAN HYDRA: Hercules can use Plasticity. Each opposing character adjacent to Hercules modifies its attack and damage values by -1 if it has any action tokens.” If you put Hercules next to the opposing army, they will likely just have to pass that next turn. And dead turns for your opponent = victory for you.
  2.  AVAS053A Thor — 228 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-104 Thor: I picked this character in this point range because of his great ability to deal damage with Pulse Wave. In addition, he also has some great support with Enhancement and the ability to grant adjacent Avengers Energy Explosion.
  3. AAOU001 Iron Man — 250 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: Iron Man has Avengers Initiative TA, Outwit, 12 Attack and Precision Strike. If you end up hitting an opposing figure, you also get to use his 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.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 251 to 300 Point Range:

MCU Hulk

  1. AAOU008 Hulk — 300 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-102 Hulk: With 6 Damage, 13 Attack, Charge and Super Strength, Hulk can deal up to 9 damage in a single hit! With raw stats like that he doesn’t need any other reasons to be on this list. Sadly you won’t be able to call him in during a 300 point game.

  2. WXM058 Namor — 295 Points — Called-In via WKMVID-006 Namor: Namor is the highest point level character possible to call in for a 300 point game. He has 12 Attack, 5 Damage, and a Trait “PHOENIX FIVE: Opposing characters targeted by friendly characters with the Phoenix Force keyword subtract 1 from their d6 roll when using Impervious, Shape Change, or Super Senses.

  3. IIM043 Iron Man and War Machine — 265 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: This figure has 11 Attack, 4 Damage, triple target Energy Explosion, and–most importantly–Duo Attack!

That’s it for this article. I am going to see about getting my ID Card Call-In list published online and I’ll let everyone know about THAT… a little later.

 

 

Call Me (In)… Maybe!! (Or, The Best Call-In Options for the Best Avengers ID Cards!!)

Not what we mean when we say we're going to call in the Avengers...

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.

"Consider yourself protected. See what I did there?"

Consider yourself protected! BooYah! #MarvelBoy! #LiveKreeorDie! #BrandAwareness! #PleaseLikeMe!

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!

Iron Man ID Card

IRON MAN:

InspirationCan 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!

Time Walk

[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 longest EDITOR’S NOTE ever!]

For 5 points and one power action, you really CAN’T afford NOT to bring him along!

Hulk Avengers ID

HULK:

InspirationCan 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. AOU019 Hulk 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:

IMG_2737

[*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.

Cap ID

CAPTAIN AMERICA:

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 you will be played by Purple Man and resident Time Lord himself, David Tennant.

I should probably mention that in this scenario, the part of YOU will 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.

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.”

Tenth Doctor Eyeglasses

You: “Oooo, look, I crit hit! By the way, pretty much the rest of my force has Energy Shield/Deflection now.”

Bored Baby

Your Opponent: “You knowI 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!