Team Ideas – The Many Faces of Manifold

Avengers commuting to work.

This is how Avengers commute to work.

Idea

So Avengers Assembled brought us AVAS037 Manifold. He’s a great transport character, but unlike the very similar SLOSH022 Gates, you need to share a Keyword with Manifold for him to Carry your team and ignore combat symbols. He’s got the Avengers Keyword, but there are plenty of good flyers with the Avengers keyword. He’s also got the Secret Warriors Keyword… and he is the only figure in Modern Age that has it. Bummer, right?

Thankfully, that is not the case! Why? Because of ATA033 Secret Warriors!! It states: “Before you reveal your force, choose the H.A.M.M.E.R., Hydra, or S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword. Characters using this team ability also possess the chosen keyword. Uncopyable.” Due to the strange wording I checked online and there is a ruling saying that this ATA works like you think it should (i.e., Manifold would get the chosen keyword… “As You Build your force.”). Manifold can get the H.A.M.M.E.R., Hydra, or S.H.I.E.L.D keywords as long as everyone else on the team has those keywords. Essentially he is a walking Quinjet for those keywords (which all happen to sorely need good transportation, natch). This is something I have been looking for since I drafted Hal Jordan into S.H.I.E.L.D. last year. 

Here are some teams that explore how Manifold’s extra mobility really helps these keywords that are full of mostly grounded characters.

Wolverine Agent of Hydra

I just added Sue Storm, Agent of Hydra to my most needed in HeroClix list. C’mon Wizkids, I didn’t get even get my Captain Marvel Constantine in Trinity War. You owe me. 

Team Name: The Hand’s Lawnmower Man

Keyword Theme: The Hand

RosterDP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra, AVAS037 Manifold (with ATA033 Secret Warriors), DP006 Hand Ninja, DP006 Hand Ninja, DP006 Hand Ninja, WOLR106 Power Battery (Star Sapphires) – (WOLR306 Star Sapphire Ring, WOLR200.11 Bulldozer (Green), WOLR202.11 Bulldozer (Red), WOLR206.11 Bulldozer (Violet))

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: This a simple team with a simple plan.

AVAS037 Manifold Carries the three Hand Ninjas while hiding behind their Stealth. When a prime target wanders into his killbox (which, in this Build, has an incredibly impressive Threat Range of 11 squares! Don’t worry, we’ll do the math on that in a second.) it’s time for Manifold to strike with his 3 Ninja cargo!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, let’s do some quick Heroclix math (and remember, class, you have to show your work): Manifold can move 10 squares while using Carry and he can drop his Hand-y passengers off in the adjacent squares ahead of him, where they can each make close combat actions AS FREE ACTIONS. (The fact that the attacks are Free Actions is the only reason this works–Ninwashui will explain why they’re Free Actions in a second when he gets to their Special Damage Power). 10+1=11 square melee Threat Range for Manifold and the Hand Ninjas! Great job class!]

So Manifold Phases forward Carrying his secret ninja payload and drops them adjacent to a fat, juicy, sizzling opposing character just begging to be lit up. All three DP006 Hand Ninjas [EDITOR’S NOTE: They are freaking AMAZING in this Build.] can then immediately attack due to their Special Damage Power “THERE’S ALWAYS MORE NINJAS: When Hand Ninja is adjacent to at least one friendly character with the Hand keyword, Hand Ninja can make a close combat attack as a free action.” On the offensive side these guys have a 10 Attack Value, Precision Strike, and the option of generating automatic Knockback due to their Bulldozer constructs. This can add extra damage by knocking people off of Elevated ledges or repeatedly bouncing them into walls.

It will also be easier for them to hit because DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra is on the board, and he happens to be badass in a can. He has a Trait that says “MY KIND OF HYDRA: When friendly characters use the Hydra team ability, they can also affect close combat attacks and don’t need line of fire to the target.” On the defensive side, Hand Ninjas will have Stealth, Shape Change and Mystics (once they have a Construct), and their Trait “RETURN FROM DEATH: When Hand Ninja would be KO’d while adjacent to a friendly character with The Hand keyword, roll a d6. On a result of 5-6, Hand Ninja isn’t KO’d and after actions resolve, is placed in your starting area on click #2 instead.

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

Since Wolverine isn’t being carried by Manifold, he can either choose a different target to go after or he can arrive the following turn after your big attack to shore up your line of ninjas. Manifold is mostly there for transportation, but his TK and Barrier can also help the team out if they get in a pinch (as you can pull back an attacker or block lines of fire as needed, natch.).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Stop trying to bring “natch” back, Ninwa. It ain’t going to happen.]

As the Hand Ninjas fall in battle, their constructs can be reassigned to Wolverine and Manifold as needed.

daisy johnson

This is how I know we will be getting more Secret Warriors in a future set.

Team Name: The Secret Warriors of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Keyword Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D.

RosterCATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow, AVAS037 Manifold (with ATA033 Secret Warriors), CATWS013 Agent 13, CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Edwin Jarvis ID CardFIR100 The Book of the Skull (FIR101 Kuurth’s Hammer, FIR106 Nul’s Hammer, FIR107 Angrir’s Hammer)

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow was easily the most powerful character to come out of the Winter Soldier set. It has a few short comings as a Primary Attacker that are now easily overcome by this team.

The piece’s biggest weakness was that it could not be Carried (since it has the “Duo” Symbol), so it always arrived a little late to the battle–and with a action token already weighing on it. Now with AVAS037 Manifold, that is no longer a problem. Manifold says “PORTALS OF SPACE AND TIME: Manifold can use the Carry ability. When he does, he may carry up to 3 friendly characters regardless of their combat symbols if they each share a keyword with him. When Manifold is given a move action and actions resolve, you may give him a free action and friendly characters adjacent when this action was given modify their defense values by +1 until your next turn.” Now, a lot of folks looked at Manifold’s Trait and said, “Hey, he can Carry flyers!” Well, the Duo Symbol is also a Combat Symbol. Thus, Manifold can Carry a single base Duo figure.

Angrir’s Hammer takes care of  Captain America and Black Widow‘s Attack Value (which was already a solid 11) and lets them use Steal Energy with their duo attack! CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent lets them use Empower for close encounters and the S.H.I.E.L.D. T/A for long distance fights. However, his number one reason to be on the team is “TAKE A BULLET IN THE LINE OF DUTY: When a friendly character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, that character can use Mastermind, but only to deal damage to friendly characters with the name S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent.” That should let your Primary Attacker completely ignore the first damage it might otherwise take. CATWS013 Agent 13 is on the team both for limiting opposing free actions and for bypassing opposing defenses. Giving her Kuurth’s Hammer should allow her to make it to her targets easier and allow her to clear away any troublesome walls or Barrier tokens.

And if you give Manifold Nul’s Hammer, he can use the Willpower it gives him to use Carry and Barrier more often. Or, the +2 Attack Value and Running Shot (plus the slight bump to his Range Value) it also grants makes him a decent Secondary Attacker.

Portrait of an Avenger.

Eden decides whether to stick with S.H.I.E.L.D. or join Hydra…

So there you have it. In the never-ending war between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, one man may make the difference between a world a chaos… or a world of order. Which Build would you rather play?

Sound off in the Comments below!

Heat Check: Wordplay!! (Or, The Top Ten Named Keywords in Modern Age… Right Now–PART ONE!!)

50 Greatest Avengers

Hello again, and welcome to a very special day at Critical Missives! We’re introducing a new recurring column gimmick! It’s called “Heat Check,” and we’re going to use this space to count down the Top Ten versions of various Heroclix game elements.

Today, as we start to analyze where the game is at now that Justice League: Trinity War has released, we’re going to take a look at the best Named keywords in Modern Age play right now. Why? Well, first, because it’s always fun to rank stuff in a blog post, and second, these rankings may help you decide what team you want to play the next time you’re getting ready for a game at your local venue–or at least give you a hint as to which Named Themed Team keywords you might run into at your next event!

We’re going to judge keywords based on a bunch of different criteria:

We Are Legion!: This one’s pretty straightforward. This is just the total number of available characters.  The higher the number of total characters, the more options you have for team building.

Uncle Sam Wants You!: This is basically asking if there’s a recruiter–that is to say, is there any way for the keyword to pull characters without the keyword into your army while still keeping Theme. Which is a complicated way of asking if there’s someone like Amanda Waller, G.W. Bridge, Duhg, etc. who has a Trait that gives a certain Named keyword to a character who doesn’t have it during army construction. Recruiters obviously open up your options quite a bit; not every Named keyword is going to have a Recruiter–most don’t–but those that do definitely have a leg up when it comes to being able to construct a competitive team for just about any gametype.

Also Known As: Is there an available ATA? This is a big one. There’s some really great ATA’s out there, and some Named keywords even have access to more than one! The presence of an ATA can vastly increase the effectiveness of your team in many cases.

Working Together!: Does this keyword have access to a Team Base? If you haven’t heard, these things are stupidly good. The presence of a Team Base also means that the keyword can support larger game types as well.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Prime characters are usually ridiculously efficient for their points. That’s why (in all but one case) you can only play one per Build. If a Named keyword doesn’t have access to at least one Prime character, they’re gonna have to work a little harder to be as effective in a competitive environment. If they have MORE than one Prime to choose from, um… damn. That usually doesn’t happen… Usually.

Straight, With Chaser: Chases are cool. But, more relevant to our purposes here, Chases are usually really effective (much less consistently than Primes, and they’re not intended to be equivalently as good, but still), primarily because they often all share at least one really good Trait (if not more) that’s often synergistic (for example, the Z-Virus Traits on the Zombie Chases from Deadpool and Guardians). Plus, they’re just that little extra bit of fun to play. If a Named keyword has access to one or more Chase characters, again, this will only give you more options while building your squad.

Shadow of the Colossus: Like Team Bases, Colossal characters are just fun as hell to play, and often overpowered (just by their very nature). Most venues only allow them for certain gametypes. Still, the presence of a Colossal within the pool of available figures often means that the Named keyword can field not just a great 300 Point team, but great teams at point levels up to 1000 and beyond for those weeks your venue is running an epic clash.

Micro Machines: The other end of the spectrum; if your putting a team together for a micro game (200 or less), does this keyword have enough good figures to make a team? Also, a larger number of smaller character would indicate that this keyword has a lot of supporting characters to choose from. Another sign of overall versatility.

Who Let You In?!: Our pick for the least likeliest figure in Modern that ACTUALLY has the keyword.

 

So, with all that said, let’s count ’em down, Dave Letterman-style!!

Here are your TOP TEN KEYWORDS IN MODERN AGE.. RIGHT NOW!!

 

Marvel ZOmbies Villains

10. Z-Virus

We Are Legion!: Pretty darn small roster, actually. 18 distinct characters with 20 different dials (17 figures plus a 3-dial Team Base). But Z-Virus makes up for its small quantity with a high amount of quality!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: In short, no, although all but two Z-Virus characters (everyone but Headpool and the Team Base) can resurrect opposing characters that they KO as new teammates, which I suppose is a roundabout way of recruiting, no? Still, this won’t help you during army construction, which is what this category is really about.

Also Known As: No ATA. Frankly, they don’t need one.

Working Together!: They do have a Team Base, and it’s pretty damn good!

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: No Primes, but…

Straight, With Chaser: … they have access to 16 DIFFERENT CHASE PIECES!! Only Headpool (Common) and the Team Base (LE) aren’t Chases. As mentioned before, all the Chase Z-Virus characters have Improved Movement: Ignores Characters AND the same two Traits in common: ZOMBIE HUNGER: When Super Skrull damages an opposing character, place a Food token on this card if there are less than 5 Food tokens. When Super Skrull would be KO’d by an opponent’s attack, turn to its first KO click, remove all Food tokens from this card, and heal it that many clicks AS WELL AS ZOMBIE INFECTION: When Super Skrull damages an opposing character, give that character a Virus token if it has less than 5 Virus tokens. When an opposing character is KO’d by this character, you may add it to your force, turn to its first KO click, remove all of its Virus tokens and heal it that many clicks.

This makes almost every character with this keyword hard as heck to kill with any finality.

Shadow of the Colossus: Shockingly, Zombie Galactus does NOT have the Z-Virus keyword. Ninwashui and I often “House Rule” him to have it; regardless, he still has the Monster keyword so he can make a generic Themed Team with any of the Z-Virus characters. Still, this really hurts–very annoying, WizKids!

Micro Machines: Not so much. Only Headpool at 38 Points is under 50, but most Zombies are actually pretty reasonably priced.

Who Let You In?!: Has got to go to GOTG061 Skrull. The Zombie Villain no one was asking for. It’s the only Zombie Chase that isn’t Unique. Even Wizkids is like, “Naw, man, go ahead and play as many as you want. Trust us, it’s not to your advantage.” For so many reasons, this should have been Zombie Thanos.

Why Z-Virus Is #10: Because of their innovative Zombie mechanics, these guys are a blast to play. The Team Base is much more effective to play than it is on paper. Now, outside of Headpool, it is a nightmare trying to cobble all these characters together (after a lengthy pursuit over two sets, I myself have Headpool, five of the Chases and the Team Base–basically 33% of the available Zombies. Sigh… ), but it can be worth it. Headpool, Electro and Super Skrull in particular are Meta-Worthy, with Super Skrull having headlined at least one ROC-winning squad (if not more).

Must Have Pieces: Headpool, Electro, Super Skrull.

 

LEgo Avengers

9. Avengers

We Are Legion!: Huge roster. Go spelunking for the Avengers keyword on HCRealms.com’s Units section and you’ll return 120 results!!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiter, at least not as yet, although who knows how the Avengers Round Table Resource that’s gonna hit this summer will work…

Also Known As: Yup–four different ATA’s!! The best is probably Secret Avengers (Characters using this team ability can’t be the target of an opponent’s Outwit or Perplex unless they’ve been targeted with an attack previously in the same turn. 5 Points per character.).

Working Together!: A pretty decent Team Base from AVX that offers a ton of different cast options (more than a dozen characters to choose from).

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Yup! Invincible Iron Man gave us three–Hyperion, War Machine and Silver Centurion!

Straight, With Chaser: Just a few Chases to choose from, at least until this summer. The best is probably the Cap/Black Widow duo from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Shadow of the Colossus: At the moment, none, although Phoenixbuster Iron Man is a giant… and a giant sculpt!

Micro Machines: One pretty good one (Tony Stark from Iron Man 3 is exactly 50 Points) and NOTHING ELSE. Wow!

Who Let You In?!: Gonna go with wkM-012 Firestar. I remember the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon fondly from my youth; never thought I’d see those characters made into ‘Clix with Avengers keywords. Crazy! I’d say the runner-up here is Mantis–I think of her more as a Guardian now.

Why Avengers Is #9: Just on sheer variety, Avengers has to be a part of this list. Man that’s a big roster! But they’ve also got some wickedly effective pieces, too. They’ve slid down to #9 because of all the quality they lost when Chaos War rotated (Hawkeye or Sentroid, anyone?), but I’d expect Avengers to be Top 3 (or better) by the time Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. releases this summer as there’s no fewer than THREE sets devoted to the Avengers coming out between April and May.

Most of the AvX pieces were quite solid, with Scarlet Witch being especially effective at her 100 Point level, but the fact is that since at least half of the Marvel Universe has been in the Avengers at some point, just about every set has a quality Avengers piece (heck, even Deadpool gave us Shang-Chi… along with a Deadpool piece that didn’t have the keyword but somehow was allowed on the Avengers Team Base!).

Must Have Pieces: AvX Scarlet Witch, Captain America and Black Widow Duo, Silver Centurion.

 

Black Lantern Lego

8. Black Lantern Corps

We Are Legion!: 17 different Modern Age characters with, like, 27 different dials.

Uncle Sam Wants You!: Yup! WOL060P Black Hand will bring any character you want over to the dark side for a measly 25 Points! Also, if you’re using the Black Lantern Resource, you can dish out the Black Lantern Corps keyword to whoever you want, but that won’t help you during force construction.

Also Known As: Uh-huh. They’ve got just one, but it’s a good’un! Only costs 1 point per character and it guarantees at least 1 click of health will be restored whenever a BLC member uses Regeneration (which, with their dials, will probably happen quite a bit)!

Working Together!: No Team Base…

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Yes! Exactly one, and he’s awesome! Zoom, the Super Rare Prime from Flash!

Straight, With Chaser: None–even Black Hand is just a SR.

Shadow of the Colossus: Two!! Nekron and Black Lantern Anti-Monitor! Nekron is a straight Boss Battle piece (which basically means he costs a ton of points and is definitely over powered in larger games) as would be expected of the Grand Prize Piece for a 6-month long OP campaign. BLAM is great in his own right; not as powerful, but he doesn’t cost as much, either.

Micro Machines: Just 2–Black Hand (as a Possessor only, so he doesn’t really count for this) and Black Lantern Reanimate, who’s not bad for his 35 Points.

Who Let You In?!: The Modern Age BLC roster is pretty tight, so we’re gonna twist this category around and complain about who HASN’T been let in yet. The biggest no shows so far (in order of “totally egregious omission” to “would have been nice to have”) are Black Lantern versions of Elongated Man, Hawkman and Hawkgirl (these two could have even been a duo!), Martian Manhunter, Sue Dibny and Jean Loring. Now, we got a pretty good Elongated Man in Flash and a very good Hawkman in JL: TW, so theoretically you could Black Hand Possess either of those pieces and be comic accurate. BL Manhunter was also a big antagonist in “Blackest Night,” so he would have been nice to have as well. At least there’s a Brave and the Bold Golden Age version of him, so at least he isn’t as yet Un-Clix’d like Ms. Dibny and Ms. Loring.

Why Black Lantern Corps Is #8: They are just hideously effective. Playing a Black Lantern Corps team isn’t entirely dissimilar than playing a Z-Virus team–both keyword families get exponentially stronger every time you KO an opposing figure. But the fact that they have both a Recruiter (Black Hand) and TWO different Colossals to choose from means that this keyword can be a contender in almost any size game. And we haven’t even mentioned the fun that is Black Lantern Firestorm or Aquaman yet!

Must Have Pieces: Zoom Prime, Black Hand, Nekron.

 

Lego GotG

7. Guardians of the Galaxy

We Are Legion!: 29 different figures with 33 distinct dials!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiters. Bummer.

Also Known As: Two! The first basically makes team members un-Outwittable for a measly 4 Points a character. Extremely useful. The second (GotG Silver Age) is now practically useless (makes team members Wild Cards, but erases all other team abilities they possess. Which, y’know, makes being a Wild Card preeeeeeeety pointless.

Working Together!: No Team Base… this clearly needs to be remedied.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Surprisingly, none.

Straight, With Chaser: Two, and one’s a must have! The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set gave us what has to be considered one of the best Rocket Raccoons ever!

Shadow of the Colossus: None.

Micro Machines: Not one. Mantis I think is the closest at 56.

Who Let You In?!: No actual complaints here; roster is solid, with a few classic characters (Killraven!) mixed with a heavier tilt towards the modern roster (Iron Man, Angela, etc.).

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Is #7: Because there’s barely any stinkers on the roster. Even some of the common, easily available figs like Mantis and Major Victory have turned up on Top 8 winning ROC squads. You want to get up to some shenanigans? Main set Star-Lord makes every team member’s Defense value equal to the highest native Defense value possessed by a team member (hello Chase Rocket Raccoon and his 19 D!!).

If there’s a power or game mechanic you want, you’ll probably find it on one of these folks! Consistent quality.

Must Have Pieces: A bunch. Rocket Raccoon (Movie Set Chase), Star-Lord (Movie Set Starter), Major Victory, Mantis, Yondu, Star-Lord (Main set Uncommon).

 

Lego Heroes for Hire

6. Heroes for Hire

We Are Legion!: 26 characters with 27 different dials (for those keeping score at home and wondering about my math, the Colleen Wing and Misty Knight duo fig can actually be played as separate dials that distinctly represent each character, or played as a whole dial representing both as a duo piece). Also, for those wondering why I’d choose Luke Cage to headline this section when THERE IS NO MODERN AGE LUKE CAGE, well, yeah, that’s kinda my point! We need a Modern Luke Cage, dammit! (And with Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron OP coming this year, I’m pretty sure were getting at least one, if not two or more, since we know he’ll have an ID card… )

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiter.

Also Known As: Yup! Their ATA was, at one point (circa 2013) the best in the game. So good, in fact, that WizKids had to nerf it, since every tournament was being won by Ghost Rider with the HfH ATA and, well, anything else.

Working Together!: No Team Base.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Two. One is a super-efficient close combatant who starts with Charge, Flurry, Stealth, Quake (with a 12 Attack!), Super Senses, CCE (and the ability to use it as a close combat action, so it pairs nicely with Charge or Flurry!) and a Trait that has a 33% chance to nerf opposing Relics and Resources if a character using one of those attacks him.

And he’s the “bad” Prime.

As good as Cat is, Brother Voodoo will go down as possibly the best Prime ever made (although we shall watch the Modern Age careers of Zoom and Captain Marvel with interest, methinks–and yes, unfortunately that was a Phantom Menace reference. Deal with it!).

Straight, With Chaser: None. Don’t really need one. That ATA turns almost any piece into a Chase-level efficient attacker!

Shadow of the Colossus: Again, none. And again, probably don’t need one.

Micro Machines: Just two–Black Cat from Deadpool and Johnny Blaze from ASM.

Who Let You In?!: So, again, just to be clear: 2 (really three, when you count the fact that you can play the Duo as separate dials) Modern Age versions of Misty Knight and Colleen Wing; 2 Modern Age versions of Black Cat; a Modern Age freakin’ Humbug… and no Modern Age Luke Cage?!?!?!?!? Suuuuuuuurrrre…

Why Heroes for Hire Is #6: Because they’re still going strong two years after they’re Modern Age reintroduction in ASM! It’s funny, everyone thinks of HfH as a ASM sub-theme, which it certainly was, but Deadpool actually gave us more than twice as many HfH figs, which really rejuvenated the keyword. Once ASM rotates out, HfH will definitely suffer, but given the roster overlap in the comics between the Avengers (who, as mentioned, have, like a bazillion sets coming this year) and the Heroes for Hire, I wouldn’t be shocked if HfH shows up on this list again in 6 months!

But you could argue that right now, they deserve to be even higher. They have Meta pieces coming out of their earholes: Ghost Rider; Speed Demon; DP Main Set Elektra; FI (White Ranger) Iron Fist; Brother Voodoo; Shang-Chi… all these pieces have made a Meta impact, whether at a ROC tourney or elsewhere.

Must Have Pieces: Pretty much the list above. Also, HfH pieces are probably the easiest to collect. Individually, there’s none that will cost more than about $20, and most are much cheaper. Kind of like the opposite of collecting Z-Virus pieces.

 

Alright! That’s the end of part one! We’ll count down all the way to number 1 in Part 2 next week! Also, later this month you can expect Ninwashui and I to give our JL: Trinity War Top Ten Set Reviews!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part 2 is live! And you can find it right here!]

Feedback!! (Or, The First Night of Clix-Mas!!)

Christmas Marvel Peanuts

Hello! And welcome to the first NIGHT of Clix-Mas (the gimmick seems a little less stolen if I just change it from the 12 DAYS of Clix-mas to the 12 NIGHTS of Clix-mas! Yay! A Festivus for the rest of us!).

For today’s entry, we’re gonna talk about some direct feedback I received from local venue-goer–and fellow Nekron winner!–Matt, who pointed out that Black Talon wasn’t among the figures I highlighted when we were ROC’ing the Meta a month ago (Part 2 can be found right here).

Matt made his case that the ability to Mind Control friendly figures in general is still a viable strategy in the Meta, even with the retirement rotation of GG Mole Man.

"What?! I'm not legal in Modern Age unless I'm undead? What sense does that make?"

“What?! Retire?! But I’m in the best shape of my life!”

Also, he felt that Black Talon brought a lot to the table beyond that and, thus, was definitely a Meta-worthy fig. And you know what?

He’s not wrong.

I just don’t agree with him.

Insomuch as Black Talon being a difference maker in the current ROC formats (like many pieces, you can rapidly fix a lot of his flaws with an Entity or Resource).

But there’s many who would with Matt–including some very high-level players. Heck, the Dial H for Heroclix crew just listed Black Talon as one of the top Support pieces out there, considering everything he’s capable of.

Let’s take a quick look at him:

"Yessss! The only thing more effective than the original X-Men: actual ex-men! Cuz... cuz they're dead. Get it?  Yeah, that was a long way to go for nothing."

“Yessss! The only thing more effective than the original X-Men: actual ex-men! Cuz… cuz they’re dead. Get it? <Sigh> Yeah, that was a long way to go for nothing.”

–DP043 Black TalonRare — 60 Points

He has five clicks total, but he starts out with Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs with a 10 Attack, so he can definitely be a Tertiary Attacker or even a fringe-y Secondary Attacker (to use a baseball scouting term). But the best reasons to play him are his Trait (POWER OF THE LIVING LOA: When Black Talon uses Mind Control, you may place a KO’d opposing character in an adjacent square on its starting click, and that character becomes the target. After actions resolve, that character is removed from the game.) and his Special Damage Power (CONTROL OF THE MINDLESS UNDEAD: Black Talon can use Mind Control with a range value of 8, and when he does he may target friendly characters. If all of his targets are friendly, a lower point value, and have the Monster keyword, he may use it as if had 3 bolts.).

Forget that last part of “Control of the Mindless Undead”–you’d almost have to hamstring your Build just to have a chance to get it to go off. No, the reason people play him is for the first part of that power–the ability to target friendly characters with Mind Control (and with a very healthy Range of 8, at that!).

So, the concept behind armies that feature “friendly Mind Control” is to, essentially, cheat the batting order. Basically, you want to play your friendly Mind Control piece with a heavy hitter that you think can break the game if they get to attack more than their fair share during a turn. To continue the baseball metaphor, in other words, you’re trying to fix it so that your Triple Crown-winning All-Star first baseman best attacker(s) will attack bat twice in one inning Round.

Yup! This man is the face of our franchise (and the best hitter on the planet!).

Yup! This man is the face of our franchise (and the best hitter on the planet!).

One of the problems with this strategy is that you can most definitely miss with the Mind Control roll, and suddenly you’ve wasted an action from one of your support pieces AND a potential strike from one of your Heavy Hitters.

Also, specifically in Black Talon’s case, he doesn’t give you ANYTHING in terms of actual supporting powers such as Support, Prob, Perplex or Outwit. Not unless you outfit him with an Entity or a Resource or something.

So you REALLY need to make those Mind Control roles. Which means that you always need to make sure Black Talon is within 8 Squares and can draw a line of fire to your best attacker. And keep in mind, Mole Man IGNORED MIND CONTROL DAMAGE and pumped up his Mind Control rolls by a staggering +3! Black Talon does neither. With only 5 clicks, Mind Control damage can become a problem very quickly.

The Meta (as far as the ROC goes, I mean) has shifted away (for the most part) from this strategy recently because there are now a lot of options to get multiple attacks in one turn with a really good figure who doesn’t have to rely on a dice roll to be able to make that second attack.

Figures like:

–Anyone who can Charge or Hypersonic Speed and Flurry. Best Example: WOL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

–Any figure who starts with or can get Duo Attack. Best Examples: WOL107 Kyle Rayner or CATWS018 Captain America and Black Widow

–Figures who have other Special Traits or Powers that let them attack or cause damage twice in one turn. Best Examples: GOTG050 Proxima MidnightDP053A Speed Demon, DP053B Whizzer or DP057 Tiamat

–Figures with Penetrating Poison (or even just Poison). Best Examples: Like, every Red Lantern.

What do most of these figures have in common? Yup! You can find most of them being used by high-level players in the latest ROC results. Now, just because serious tournament players are using the heck out of a certain piece doesn’t mean it’s necessarily awesome–sometimes people screw up, even at that level. But it usually means there’s something very efficiently exploitable about a piece.

All of which is to say, Black Talon is good. Great, even, and he IS viable in the Meta–so Matt was right.

However, if you really want to win a tourney like the ROC, leaving yourself flexible options while taking as much risk as possible OUT of your gameplan is key. That’s why I prefer figures with built-in mechanisms for multiple attacks, as opposed to having to roll for it.

"Psssh. I never gotta 'roll' for it. Heh. You know what I mean. See? This guy gets it."

“Psssh. I never gotta ‘roll’ for it. Heh. You know what I mean. See? This guy gets it.”

 

Well, that’s all for Day Night One of the Twelve Days Nights of Clix-Mas!

Join us tomorrow for a special (and long overdue!) Tourney Report!

 

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

 

1-2-3-4!! Let’s Have a Light War!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 06/22/2014!!)

Roundup

Howdy folks!! Has it been another week already?

My Tigers have been extremely schizophrenic this season (can a person or entity be “extremely” schizophrenic? Or is it one of those things where you’re either schizophrenic or you’re not? Hmmm…), but at least we’ve won our last four games and retaken first place from the Royals. Good Lord, the Royals… even typing the words “retaken first place from the Royals” makes me queasy. How in the blue hell did the Royals ever get themselves into first place in the Central (even if it was just for a few days). For our international readers who don’t follow baseball, this would be like, say, Fulham finding itself in first place midway through the Premier League season last year (of course, Fulham ended up relegated, so hopefully the Royals will find themselves in a similar swoon soon…).

I mean, here is a typical shot of the Royals fan base during a normal season:

Yep. These are Royals fans.

Yep. These are Royals fans.

And here is a typical Royals highlight:

What entering a War of the Light event feels like after you open your two boosters and find that the best figure you pulled is Brother Warth.

What entering a War of the Light event feels like after you open your two boosters and find that the best figure you’ve pulled is Brother Warth.

Opposing players celebrating at home plate while a Royals catcher looks plaintively into the dugout for some sort of clue on what to do next?

Check.

Check.

So you see, these are the Royals I’m used to dealing with. I can’t handle First-place Royals. It’s not natural. It throws off the balance of the universe. The only team the Royals should be looking down at is the Houston Astros, and only because Houston is in year nine of their three-year rebuilding plan. But, the Tigers have once again dethroned KC, at least for the time being, and all is right with the world.

Now then, with work, a friend’s wedding and a few other things requiring my attention this week, I’m a day or two late with my regular wrap-up this week, for which I apologize. But, that does mean that now is the perfect time for….

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix just released Episode 50! What a fantastic achievement! Keep it up, gentlemen! This week they discuss some War of the Light Wave One Sealed Advice!

Push to Regen

Episode 2.4 is still Push to Regen’s most recent podcast. You can also check their Podbean for updates and the first three episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is … still Episode 20, which sees the return of the Round Table!! Also, if you missed the announcement two weeks ago, Hunter Smith has decided that he will be leaving as a regular on the Quarry Round Table episodes; while he didn’t rule out an occasional pop-in, Hunter is done after this month as a continual presence due to nothing other than not enough time.


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

Lot going on with the ROC this week! Let’s dive in!

-You can catch up with most of the recent ROC upcoming tourney announcements right here!

-Due to my schedule, I’ll not be able to attend myself, but local southeastern Michigan venue Gamer’s Gauntlet has a ROC event scheduled for the end of this month. I’ve heard nothing else about this from any other source; check out their website for more details (via the link above). NOTE: If anyone is attending this event and wants to write a Local Tourney Report or even just a Top 8 recap, you can send it in and we’ll publish it. Or, if you want to write it up for your own site/blog/social media outlet, send us a link here or via Twitter (@criticalmissive) so we can spread it around!

-If you missed it three weeks ago, a brief announcement was made that the recent “Watchlist 2: Electric Bugaloo” changes will go into effect, well, immediately.

-Mama, there goes that man again! Patrick Yapjoco has won YET ANOTHER ROC!! And the sun rises in the morning, and the sky is still blue, etc. etc. … Honestly, the thread link to the left is worth checking out just to see who played what. It sounds like one of the funner ROC events just in terms of the varied rosters that folks were fielding. Patrick won with Iron Pharaoh (Possessed by the Parallax Entity), Bullseye (Possessed by the, uh, Utility Belt), Despotellis and Astral Dr. Strange (which’ll rotate out at the end of the month).

We’ve talked (and talked AND TALKED!!) about how great the Pharaoh is, and I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Bullseye either. But the second place finisher that Patrick beat to win was playing a Captain America and the Winter Soldier fueled S.H.I.E.L.D. Theme Team that featured the AWESOME Cap and Black Widow Duo Figure that we’ve been on about here and here! Cool stuff. I love seeing the various mutations the Meta takes as people really start to find new techniques for winning.

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

-Origins has come and gone, which means there is a newly crowned U.S. National Champion! Check the link to see what he played…

-A U.K. Champion was also crowned a short while back!!

-Also, if you were living under a rock last week, or just, y’know, away from the internet (that’ll learn ya for going camping with the family!!), WizKids is rotating sets finally, which should juice the Meta starting July 1st!! Pretty much everything Marvel and DC BEFORE M:10 and DC:10

-A general FYI: a month ago, WizKids announced a monthly New OP kit system!


Preview

Previews:

–No previews of any note this week, although there are now rumors of a Yu-Gi-Oh! resource and storyline event coming up! Whaaa… ? More details as they available…

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week we’re gonna take a break from my ramblings and publish the second place team from Tyler Martin that I was just talking about in the ROC section. Let’s see what he played!

Team Name: Tyler Martin Don’t Have Time For You

Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D. (+3 to Map Roll)

Build Roster:

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow – 130 Points

ASM017B Brother Voodoo – 79 

CATWS013 Agent 13 – 55

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force – 12

(with 3 Assigned Characters and 5 Fragments) – 24

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The report lists the Phoenix Force in Tyler’s army as costing 36 points while having 3 Assigned Characters and only one Fragment left on the base, which would only cost 33 Points. So either Tyler’s army was 3 points lighter than reported, or he was using all 5 Frags. For our purposes here today, we’ll say it was the latter, since that gives us a nice even 300 Point army!)

=300

The Captain America and Black Widow Duo is fantastic. At this point and Shard level, the Phoenix Force would be providing them with +1 Defense to start (giving them a 19 Defense value) and Charge, and they already have Sidestep, Stealth and the ability to ignore Hindering on Movement and Targeting with the Avengers Initiative TA!! Brother Voodoo can Phasing/Teleport to almost anywhere on the map to support with his Prob Control, and–by the way–Mind Control someone as a free action when he’s done. Agent 13 can shut down any figure’s defensive powers when she gets to her second click, and using the Phoenix Force with her gives her a Poison that suddenly is penetrating. Her attack isn’t much to writer home about, but with Shape Change and Combat Reflexes, it’s unlikely the figure she’s tying up will hit her either.

All in all, a really solid effort and great design by Tyler!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–No big Hollywood news to speak of this past week. More Gotham trailers are rolling in, but really, everyone’s waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy to hit at the beginning of August!)

Critical Missives:

–No new articles this past week (didn’t have time, unfortunately), but you can look for a War of the Light-themed Local Tournament Report tomorrow!!

–In other big news… we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

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

Wait–it’s already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

So until the next article (which–just a guess–will release tomorrow, God help me),

Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!

Straight, With CHASEr!! (Or, 4600 Words About the Top Ten Most Effective CHASE Pieces in Heroclix Modern Age!!)

"Even consumed by my darkest demons, I have all the power of a million exploding suns. Oh, and I'm like $55 on eBay."

“Even consumed by my darkest demons, I still have all the power of a million exploding suns! Oh, and I’m like $55 on eBay.”

Hello again! We’re gonna go off the beaten path for a just a moment this week (don’t worry–the Deadpool Top Ten set review is coming soon!) with a JOINT column that takes a look at those figures that are the hardest to find, yet create the most excitement when you stumble into a store and find them buried deep inside a tall pack. We’re talking, of course, about Lone Ranger Heroclix Chases.

These weren't hard to find and they created no excitement. Wait, a whole Gravity Feed set that had just four #$@&!ng pieces? Why did they bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that's probably a wide target market. Okay, you win WizKids!

Wait, did they really make a Gravity Feed set that had just FOUR f$@&!ng pieces? Why did they even bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that was probably a wide target market. Okay WizKids, you win!

Chases, by their very nature, are usually pretty expensive. Often that’s just because of their scarcity. But occasionally, WizKids will publish a Chase figure that dominates most of the pieces it encounters and becomes significant in the Meta (or dominant in higher point games). This is our list of those pieces. We’ll tell you why we like them, we’ll create a quick and fun build featuring that piece, and we’ll let you know how much you’re going to have to invest to get each piece if you haven’t had the luck to pull one!

We give you… THE TOP TEN CHASE PIECES IN MODERN AGE!!

 

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face...

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face…

10. SLOSH059 Guardian – 207 Points: Most of the recent full sets in the current Modern Age all feature Chases that share at least one (and in a lot of cases, more) Trait or ability. The SLoSH Chase pieces were all granted one of the most Meta-baiting Traits yet (THE GROWING DARKNESS: At the beginning of the game for all friendly characters with this trait, you may remove one attached game element from an opponent’s resource and, if it is a relic, assign it to a character with this trait. At the beginning of your turn, roll 2d6 for all friendly characters with this trait. If the result is lower than the sum total of all of these characters’ click numbers, then modify all opposing characters’ combat values by -1 until your next turn.), which is ridiculous enough (in the Meta, unless the whole tourney is No Resources or Relics, at least 75% of all teams will feature something these Chases can steal), but all the SLoSH Chasers also get a special Stop Click (SPACE WARP: When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial. Guardian can use Phasing/Teleport. When he does, after actions resolve, he may immediately use Regeneration as a free action.). But Guardian here has a couple things going for him that his SLoSH Chase brethren do not have.

Firstly, he has a 9 Range with 2 Bolts, which goes great with his top dial Psychic Blast and 4 damage! Running Shot (with an 11 Movement) and Enhancement mean that he can act as a Primary Attacker, Support Piece and Taxi, all at once. Secondly, that Stop Click I mentioned? Guardian gets 2 of them! He’s the only one from the set who does–every other SLoSH piece has only one. His 207 Point cost doesn’t leave a lot of room for the rest of your force, but his Enhancement definitely helps that. And in Epic Games (400 Points or more) his versatility makes him even more valuable. Let’s see what Ninwashui’s cooked

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Not my favorite of the SLoSH Chases, but if I were forced to use him in a 300 Point army (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: You’re forced to. That’s kind of the gimmick here, genius!), I’d do this:

Team Name: Guarding Skadi

Theme: Monster

SLOSH059 Guardian 207

GG026 Mole Man47

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot 30

IIMR100 The Power Plant10

IIMR003 White Light Ring2

IIMRoo7 Matter Rearranger Ring2

IIMR009 Electro Blast Ring 2

=300

As of this writing, Mole Man is still Modern Age, so giving Guardian two actions a turn seems like a good idea to me. If you keep Skadi’s Warbot adjacent to Guardian, it can do 4 damage with Psychic Blast. 18 Defense with Super Senses makes him difficult to bring down. Even before you start messing around with rings, you have the possibility of doing 8 penetrating damage a turn between Guardian and Skadi’s Warbot (and with the Matter Rearranger ring, even Stealth shouldn’t bother your pieces too much). Throw in some abbreviated Power Plant goodness, and you’ll have an army that can compete with just about anything it might run into.  You won’t win every game, but you should at least take out a significant figure of your opponent’s army just about every time.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Actually, not much. About $15-$20.

 

"Hmmm... I think this mirror is broken!"

“Hmmm… I think this mirror is broken!”

9. IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200 Points: There’s a lot to like here. Running Shot with an 11 Attack, Energy Explosion and a standard 4 damage. This is the type of figure that’s just begging to get its hands on some Resource goodness. Hammers make the most sense, since you can team ’em with Splitlip and still have a Stark Industries Theme Team.

Also, Duo Attack is one of the best attack abilities in the game, and the fact that they have an enhanced Duo Attack Trait (TRYING TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER: When Iron Man and War Machine use the Duo attack ability, you may give them a ranged combat action instead of the second attack.) makes it even better. Even better, uh, ER, these guys are on a single base (and can therefore be TK’d)! Their other Trait (WATCH EACH OTHER’S BACKS: When Iron Man and War Machine do not have two tokens, Iron Man and War Machine can use Energy Shield/Deflection.) combines with their top dial 18 Defense with Impervious to give them at least 20 D at range (for most turns). HypeFox in particular loves these guys, and uses them every chance he gets.

 

HypeFox Says:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

As noted, I love these guys. Probably the Duo piece I’ve played the most. Heck, they’re probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Tell that to Iron Pharaoh, you jackwagon!). Our venue usually doesn’t allow resources, so I haven’t played this army exactly as written, but I definitely would like to. If you’re in an event that doesn’t allow relics or resources, sub out Bethany Cabe and the BotS for IIM002 Rescue, and you’ll be almost as deadly!”

Team NameDwarven But Deadly

Theme: Stark Industries

IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200

FI301 Splitlip – 20

IIM102 Bethany Cabe – 39

DOFPH002 Sentinel Sentry – 14

FIR100 The Book of the Skull – 6

Plus 7 Hammers (every Hammer except Greithoth’s)21

=300

Iron Man and War Machine carry Splitlip around, which pumps their ranged damage up to 5, and if they get to Duo Attack, they can do up to 9 freaking damage a turn. If you can get Hammers on both Iron Man and War Machine AND Splitlip (keep in mind, that gives IM & WM a 13 FREAKING ATTACK), you may find yourself choosing Splitlip as the ‘dial’ character most turns. Even on Click 1, the BotS dial gives Splitlip Smoke Cloud, Barrier AND Perplex to go along with his native Enhancement. Usually you’ll be dumping Splitlip 1 square behind Iron Man and War Machine so that you can slip Bethany Cabe in front of the lil’ guy and adjacent to IM & WM. This gives everyone +1 to their Defense (and with her Police Team Ability, she can make it so that Iron Man and War Machine basically only miss on a roll of 2 against characters with 17 Defense or less!). The Sentinel Sentry is really just there to round out your points and help you get out the maximum amount of Hammers quickly and to provide cover mid-game (if he’s still around) with Smoke Cloud (especially if you’ve gone beyond the Smoke Cloud clicks on the resource).

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These dudes are still popular. You don’t see more than 2 or 3 being auctioned at a time, and they still command $25-35.

 

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course...

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course…

8. DP064 Electro 90 Points: The most recent entry on this list and the best of the DeadPool Chases that just released this month. He is offense in a bottle. If left unchecked, he can take over a game real quick. What’s special about Mr. Dillion in his Zombie form here is that his Zombie Traits (ZOMBIE HUNGER: When Electro damages an opposing character, place a Food token on this card if there are less than 5 Food tokens. When Electro would be KO’d by an opponent’s attack, turn to its first KO click, remove all Food tokens from this card, and heal it that many clicks. & ZOMBIE INFECTION: When Electro damages an opposing character, give that character a Virus token if it has less than 5 Virus tokens. When an opposing character is KO’d by this character, you may add it to your force, turn to its first KO click, remove all of its Virus tokens and heal it that many clicks.) actually work perfectly with his dial. He starts out with Psychic Blast top dial and a special damage power (LIGHTNING ROD OF THE DAMNED: Electro can use Energy Explosion. When he does, he does not need a line of fire to one target within range if that character has a Virus token.) that is nearly broken when combined with everything else. Why? BECAUSE ALL OF HIS FREAKING POWERS COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER! He has top dial Running Shot with a 10 Attack Psychic Blast, 7 Range and THREE FREAKING BOLTS!! Combined with his Damage Special that we just mentioned, this means that Electro can split 3 PENTRATING Damage in up to 3 different directions, and any hit characters will splash 3 more damage onto adjacent figures! This is insane! In one attack, he could potentially fill up his “Zombie Hunger” meter! And then, he can keep pounding them with shots REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE! Just freaking insane. Lots of “Iron Pharaoh” type of potential here, and I would not be surprised to see him show up in the Meta. His ES/D gives him a 19 Defense against ranged retaliation, but even if he’s damaged to the point of being KO’d, that Zombie Hunger Trait means he’ll come right back at nearly full strength!! And we haven’t even touched on the fact that every figure he KO’s JOINS YOUR TEAM!! Or that you can’t really base him to shut him down BECAUSE HE IGNORES CHARACTERS FOR MOVEMENT!! This is a piece that could get real stupid real fast.

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Like this guy. I still have my Zombie Power Cosmic Wolverine that I think would be fun to play with this guy. For a quick, fun team, try this:

Team Name: Meat-ster Sinister

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP064 Electro – 90

DP053A Speed Demon – 110

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven – 70

IIMR100C Power Plant (with any 4 Rings plus the Electro Blast Ring) – 20

ATA090 Sinister Six x3 – 9

=299

If this doesn’t end up being the most expensive team on this list, I’ll be surprised (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Geeee, the best of the brand new crop of Chases, a brand new Super Rare that’s even rarer cuz it’s the front half of a Prime slot and a Meta-level Rare Prime. Expensive? Y’think?!). Still, lots of versatility here, Electro’s damage output starts out very strong and should only get better as the game goes on. If you want to set up a shot for him, you can use Speed Demon’s Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) to Cyclone opposing figs next to each other for maximum lightning madness. Alyosha and his pet lion are insane on their own, but with the ATA, if Alyosha can use his superior Attack value to score a couple of hits, things will be that much easier for Electro. The Power Plant is just there to fill out points effectively; you’ll probably find yourself draining rings for an emergency Outwit or +1 to all stats as much as you will find yourself using them for their native abilities. Having said that, giving Electro the “Electro Blast” ring is basically broken–which is the polite way of saying that you should do it as often as you can.

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: The word is out on Zombie Maxwell Dillon. When you can even find him, he usually starts at $55 and ends up in the $70-$80 range.

 

"We're only #7? Then how broken are the pieces ahead of us?"

“We’re only #7? Jesus, how broken are the pieces ahead of us?”

7. CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130 Points: Another HypeFox favorite, this Duo fig came out only a few months ago in the ridiculously good Captain America and the Winter Soldier Gravity Feed set. If nothing else, what have we learned so far in this article? Duo Attack is gooooood. Duo Attack that ignores damage modifiers (WORKING TOGETHER: When Captain America and Black Widow use the Duo Attack Ability, they may target more then one character with a ranged combat attack and ignore damage modifiers from the Duo Attack ability.)? Hooooo, boy! They also possess two of the best TA’s in the game (Avengers Initiative and S.H.I.E.L.D.), they occupy a single base so they can be TK’d, they have Sidestep, Precision Strike, Traited Stealth–actually, just read this before we spend another 1000 words repeating ourselves!

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Man, I know what I said last time, but I think this may be the Chase figure that I play most often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Seriously?). They’re great as is, but they get even better with the Phoenix Force!

Team Name: The Soldiers and the S.H.I.E.L.D.

Theme: Avengers.

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130

(w/ the Magik Fragment) – 3

CW039 Hawkeye 98

(w/ the Cyclops Fragment) – 3

FFCW005R Mockingbird25

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support 10

The Phoenix Force12

3 Fragments Left On 9

2 Assigned Characters6

=296

With the TA’s granted by Cap and Black Widow, Hawkeye becomes a Stealth busting machine, and even if you go up against a team that messes with resources, he can still move through Hindering Terrain without an issue. Cap and Black Widow now have access to Invuln and, more importantly, un-Outwittable Running Shot! Mockingbird pairs with Hawkeye to pump up his attack and pop off the occasional Theme Team Prob.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These two are consistently available in the $17-$22 range.

 

"Does that dude know he's in the shot?"

“Does that dude know he’s in the shot?”

 6. IM3017R Iron Man and Iron Patriot200 Points: Okay, everything we said about Iron Man and War Machine? That goes double for these guys. Another single based Duo fig, these two have even better defensive Traits than their counterparts (I’VE GOT YOUR BACK. NO, I’VE GOT YOUR BACK: Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Defend. Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use the Sharpshooter ability and may target non-adjacent characters with a ranged combat attack even when they are adjacent to an opposing character.), and their Duo Attack Trait is even better as well (THIS LONE GUNSLINGER ACT IS UNNECESSARY…YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE!: When Iron Man and Iron Patriot use Duo attack ability, each attack may use 2 targets instead of 1 target and one of their attacks may be a ranged combat action instead.). They are, in a word, sick and wrong. Which is two words, actually. But there ya go!

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

“I like this Duo better than Iron Man and War Machine. This Build is simple and fun. Enough of these Theme Teams and Resources and ATA’s–we’re keeping this as simple as possible. Here goes nuthin’!

Team Name: Leftover Parts

Theme: None

IM3017 Iron Man and Iron Patriot200

DP019B Evil DeadPool – 100

=300

Simple, right? Evil DeadPool’s only real weakness is his erratic Defense, which we’ve fixed to some degree with Iron Man and Iron Patriot’s top dial Defend. Point and shoot, basically. Then repeat. And, y’know, repeat, uh, again.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: This Duo, while more powerful than their IM3 counterparts, were not as popular. You can find them for $18-$20.

 

"Wait, I thought we were just posing!"

“Wait, I thought we were just posing!”

5. CW060R Avengers Prime300 Points: This is the biggest kitchen sink piece in the game. It’s not quite good enough to stand on its own in a 300 Point game, but in larger builds, man, these guys are TOUGH. But the main reason they’re this high on this list is their ability to take a three actions in one turn (TRIO ATTACK: Give Avengers Prime a double power action. They can be given 3 close or ranged combat actions as free actions, each targeting a single character. These free actions may be used to activate the same effect.). Yes, it’s as nuts as it sounds. But the ability to do that while holding a couple of Hammers is even crazier, as HypeFox is about to discuss:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Avengers Prime needs very little help to be competitive in Epic Games. That said, for a 400 Point game, I’d surround ’em with some Asgardian love.

Team Name: As-Whoop-ians

Theme: Asgardian

CW060R Avengers Prime300

FI301 Splitlip20

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot 10

The Book of the Skull (Complete)30

=400

You know the drill. Avengers Prime is basically carrying Splitlip after picking up a couple Hammers. You can hook the Warbots up with Hammers too if you like, but honestly they’re really just there as distractions until you can pull off a Trio Attack that will cripple your opponent’s best figures. Yes, you only get two Theme Team Probs, but with two Hammers, Avengers Prime has a 15 attack. If you’re constantly missing with a 15 Attack, I really can’t help you.

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: I’ve seen them go occasionally in the $50 range, but it’s rare. Usually you’re spending at least $65 to get them to your door.

 

"Well hello again, you mewling quim."

“Well hello again, you mewling quims.”

4. AVM211 Loki – 220 Points: Another figure we’ve talked about at length before! His ridiculous number of TA’s (Power Cosmic, Mystics and ANY COPYABLE TA’S POSSESSED BY YOUR OPPONENT’S FIGURES), Traited Toughness, 18 Defense with Super Senses AND Shape Change (dampeners are great, but Super Senses AND Shape Change is a great way to avoid having to dampen any damage), Pulse Wave with a Range of 9… and that’s before you hook him up with a Resource. He’s great in Epic games, but even in 300 Point contests, he’s not a bad fig to hang your hat on. Plus, I mean, it’s Movie Loki, and he’s holding the Tesserect! Pretty much the definition of awesome, as Ninwashui is about to discuss:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Normally I wouldn’t play a piece this expensive in a 300 Point game, but if Resources are allowed, it’s viable. Still wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket though.

Team Name: All Your Eggs in Loki’s Basket

Theme: Asgardian

AVM211 Loki220

FI301 Splitlip20

Skadi’s Warbot30

Store Clerk3

The Book of the Skull (with 7 Hammers)27

=300

Loki gets Charge and Running Shot after picking up his dual Hammers (I’d start with Mokk’s Hammer, and then have him grab Angrir’s once you start your second wave of Hammer distribution), and he can still be carried by Splitlip if you turn your lil’ dwarf into a Greithoth-powered monster (Greithoth’s Hammer grants, among other things, Giant Reach). We’ve talked about how good Skadi’s Warbot is; the Store Clerk is just there to dish out Hammers. But basically, you’re banking on a hopped-up Loki going nuts with his Running Shot, 13 Attack, 5 Damage (with Splitlip’s Enhancement) Pulse Wave (and don’t forget that you gain a Perplex from the Resource dial at the start as well).

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Loki can be found for $21 and up.

 

"Tonight on FOX--When X-Rays Go Wrong!"

“Tonight on FOX–When X-Rays Go Wrong!”

3. CW057 Sentry and Void300 Points: And now we come to someone–or someTHING–who COULD hold his own in a 300 Point game with no backup. Sentry and Void’s list of abusive powers starts with their Multiattack Trait–yes, not just Multiattack, but a Multiattack TRAIT (EMERGENT EVIL: Sentry and Void can use Multiattack ability. Give Sentry and Void a power action if it has no tokens and replace it with CW #035 Sentry or CW #045 Void on the same click number. When the replacement character would be KO’d, you may instead return this character to the map on click #10.), because Multiattack clearly isn’t good enough on its own. Then you add in top dial Hypersonic Speed, Psychic Blast, 18 Defense with Impervious and 5 native damage and, frankly, you start to feel guilty just for playing him/them/it. Sentry and Void has finished in the Top 16 of several ROC tourneys in the last year–and again, since they’re 300 Points, that means there is NO BACKUP in those games. And it was still a pretty successful piece. Pretty amazing. In larger point games, where you have extra points for a resource or relic, this piece gets downright stupid.

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This one’s an easy inclusion for me. This is one of my favorite pieces ever made, and Sentry and Void is probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: I’m not talking to you any more.). This piece is ridiculously good in Epic Games. But we’ll keep it simple:

Team Name: What About Bob?

Theme: None

CW057 Sentry and Void300

=300

You run around with Sentry and Void. You kill stuff. Then you rinse off the blood and repeat.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Sentry and Void can be yours, too! Y’know, for the low, low price of $55 to $80.00.

 

"Is it cold in here?"

“We’re sure I’m Lydea Mallor and not Lyssa Drak?”

2. SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79 Points: She’s got the same broken Trait that Guardian has, except she’s only 79 FREAKING points–the cheapest of the SLoSH Chases. Her dial without the Trait would easily be worth that investment–when you add in her ability to steal Relics right off of their Resource base, she starts to get silly. On top of that, good luck finding her with her top dial Movement Special (WRAPPED IN SHADOW: Lydea Mallor can use Smoke Cloud and Stealth. Once per turn, when Lydea Mallor occupies hindering terrain and is given a non-free action, before the action begins or after actions resolve, you may place Lydea Mallor in any square of hindering terrain within 5 squares and line of fire.). Basically, she’s the best way to spend 79 Points this side of Brother Voodoo.

At any ROC that allows Resources and Relics, you can expect her to turn up somewhere in the Top 16–probably multiple times, actually. There’s a lot of different ways you can go with her; let’s check in with Ninwashui for his way:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

She’s the most used Chase from SLoSH, that’s for sure. But I wouldn’t necessarily say she’s the best; people are just playing her as the cheapest way to acquire that Trait for their Build. Having said that, it’s hard to argue with the results she’s consistently showed at ROC tourneys across the globe.

Team Name: Smoke and Mallor

Theme: Monster

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79

ASM101 Frankencastle102

SLOSH039X Bizarro – 100

FIR100 The Book of the Skull (with 4 Hammers)18

=299 Points

Hopefully you’re able to steal a key piece from your opponent’s Resource. Either way, you’ve got a pretty balanced yet unpredictable team to go against whatever your opponent has in store for you. Bizarro, with his 3 Stop Clicks and the possibilities that his ever-spinning dial represents, can get really crazy when you start tossing him Hammers. Lydea will be hard to find until your ready for her to attack, and Frankencastle’s Leadership could work on any of these pieces. Happy hunting.

What She’ll Cost You on eBay: Lydea Mallor will run you about $60 right now.

 

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward...

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward…

1. IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110 Points: He’s stupid good. He’s been the winning figure on a winning ROC team not too long ago. He’s great with Resources, but in matches and at venues that don’t support the use of Resources… he gets even better. For those who don’t know, his Trait (GOLDEN FALCON, SHARTING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.) is what makes him so exploitable. Barrier Tech teams in the Meta generally feature either Fantomex or Iron Pharoah. Iron Pharaoh’s inherent stat-boosting Trait (FIGHT THE FUTURE: Iron Pharaoh modifies his attack and damage values by +1 when attacking a character that shares a keyword with him.) works on a LOT of the best figures in the Meta, and there’s a bunch of figures <cough>Shaman<cough> that make him even stupider to deal with. Versatility combined with overall usefulness for the points make Iron Pharaoh our #1 Chase figure in Modern Age (at least as of this writing).

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This is another of my favorite pieces in the game (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: A-HA! Finally!); I just wish I got to play him more often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Oh c’mon!!). Having said that, winning Map Choice can sometimes straight win you the game with Iron Pharaoh–the longer you make your opponent take to get to you, the easier it will be to pick him off with IP’s Golden Falcon. With that in mind, for the final Build of the article, I’m actually going to steal from myself! This army originally appeared in my look back at the Invincible Iron Man set article that ran a few weeks ago:

Team NameNo Flights, No Tights

Theme: Mystical

Map ChoiceAvX Month 1 (Wundagore Mountain)

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110

(w/Cyclops Fragment) – 3

IIM040 Shaman92

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

The Phoenix Force12

1 Assigned Character3

=300

What I wrote before: ‘This team can double Barrier to protect Iron Pharaoh while his Golden Falcon goes out and treats the map like a Seagull treats a parking lot after a big lunch. If you win Map Roll, yikes. Your opponent better have a non-flying piece equipped with Phasing/Teleport and the Carry ability–essentially, Cloak from ASM (there’s a couple others, but he’s the best). If not, he or she will have to take the long way around a freaking mountain only to be met by a double Barrier tandem who each have the Mystics TA when AND IF you can actually hit them. All the while, Iron Pharaoh will be chilling like the Boss that he is and taking pot shots of at least 5 damage (and it’s quite easy to make that even more) at your best figs after he’s Outwitted their defense. This is the definition of “a bucket of yuck” for your opponent.’

Yup! Pretty much that!”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Iron Pharaoh could have been had for about $25 awhile back. Now that he’s a Meta hero, he’ll run you about $40-$60.

 

Well then! Hope you enjoyed this look at a bunch of different armies that were all strangely built around Skadi’s Warbot some of the harder-to-acquire pieces in the game. Agree? Disagree? Hit us up in the Comment section below!

The Only Way to Fix a Fixer Upper!! (Or, The Pieces That Improve the Most When You Play Them With the Phoenix Force Resource!!)

"She was messing with the Phoenix Force, wasn't she?"

“The only way to fix a fixer upper is… to give it Running Shot?”

Well Hello there!

Today, we’re going to take a brief look at the Phoenix Force and try and pick some figures who have kind of fallen through the cracks recently and see what happens to them when you give them access to the Phoenix Force! Every time a new resource is released, some of the best minds in the game (Editor’s Note: And sometimes even we here at Critical Missives!) will reevaluate the current Meta and see who benefits from what the new resource has to offer. Granted, just about ANY figure gets better when you assign a resource to it, but, as we all know, not all dials are created equal. Similarly, not all dials benefit equally from every resource.

(FYI–While this list is hardly comprehensive, it should be noted that I’ll be sticking to Modern Age figures)

Well, that’s kinda what we’re doing today.

Who benefits?

Who benefits?

So, before we get started, I should point out that the Phoenix Force is a little complicated (I know–what resource isn’t? But it doesn’t help that the instructions have a MAJOR misprint either), so if you have any questions about the basic (and even advanced) mechanics of HOW the resource works, check out Hunter’s (from Dial H for Heroclix) YouTube explanation video. He goes over the resource from every angle, and answers most of the questions you might have about it.

What I personally like about this resource is that you assign figures Fragment Relics at the start of the game (for free) and get benefits RIGHT AWAY (no moving to pick up hammers, etc.). Yes, the resource does progress in terms of the abilities it grants like other resources, but it gives you more abilities more quickly than other resources–specifically, this resource’s first click mods can be taken advantage of much more easily than some of the other resources out there.

Okay! Now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to break down some of my favorite figs based on their current HCRealms.com Unit ratings (1-5 Stars) and talk about some of their fatal flaws and how the Phoenix Force can potentially put them over the top!

Let’s start with some…

4-Star Figures!

Now THAT is an Iron Doom!

Now THAT is an Iron Doom!

IIM042 Iron Doom (IIM Super Rare) — 200 Points

What He Brings Himself on His 1st Click: Indomitable with 8 Range, Wildcard TA, 8 Movement with Running Shot (although that’s his ONLY click of Running Shot), Naked 12 Attack, 18 Defense with Super Senses, Master Mind and Leadership (and he prevents other figures of lower point costs from using either Master Mind OR Leadership–a proviso that is much more interesting in a world filled with CATWS005 Shield Agents!) and 4 Damage with an awesome SP (LORD OF THE WORLD: Iron Doom can use Outwit and Perplex. Give him a free action and roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On an result of 4-6, when he uses Outwit, he may counter a power possessed by an opposing character anywhere on the map.).

Whew! That’s a lot. So why don’t we see him more? In other words, …

What’s Wrong With Him?: Well, he’s tough to fit in on a 300 point team for a few reasons (although we’ll discuss his role in higher point games in a second). He doesn’t fly, nor does he have ANY improved movement or targeting. That’s a HUGE negative for a figure of that point cost. Also, he only has Running Shot for 1 click! That’s it! That’s actually one reason why I found this figure so cool, at least from a design standpoint–it’s like the dial designer said to himself, “If I omit virtually every standard Move and Attack power, can I get away with giving this piece EVERY OTHER SINGLE POWER IN THE GAME?!?!” Plus, it’s Tony Stark AS Doctor Doom. Just a fun concept. So I like the flavor of this guy. But when it comes to his place in the game, if your opponent gets even 1 damage through, he’s lost all efficiency.  That’s where the Phoenix Force comes in.

The Phoenix Fix: Now, you can fix SOME of what ails Iron Doom by teaming him with a 50 Point IM3006 Tony Stark, who would provide Mastermind fodder (not a great choice for Mastermind, but in a 300 Point game, that’d be all you could afford), Avengers Initiative TA (which would give Doom Improved Movement AND Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering), Enhancement and Outwit (and with the new Theme Team rules, you now have a Theme Team as they’re both Scientists). But that basic Move and Attack issue remains.

If you play the Phoenix Force with 4 Fragments (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus and Magik) and 2 Assigned Characters (Iron Doom with the Cyclops Fragment and Tony Stark with the Fragment of your choice–probably Emma Frost or Magik, unless your opponent is playing Lydea Mallor or someone of her ilk; then, you’d probably want to assign him the Colossus Fragment to keep her from getting it), you’d still have 20 points left over for either a Splitlip (who would mess up your Theme Team bonus, although that’s not a huge deal), a couple of S.H.I.E.L.D. Support Horde Tokens, a KGB Horde Token (gives you a small amount of Prob) or some Warbots. Whatever you choose is probably going to be carried by Iron Doom and might be used as Master Mind fodder in a pinch, so choose wisely. But, for the purposes of this build, we’ll go with Splitlip and say screw the Theme Bonus.

Team Name: No Escaping Your DOOM!!

IIM042 Iron Doom

IM3006 Tony Stark

FI301 Splitlip

The Phoenix Force

Assigned Character x2

Cyclops Fragment, Colossus Fragment, Emma Frost Fragment, Magik Fragment

=300 Points

Now, to start the game, Iron Doom has: Indomitable with 8 Range AND Avengers Initiative TA; 8 Movement with Flight, Running Shot AND Charge; 12 Attack (or 13 or 14, depending on how you use RCE) with Blades/Claws/Fangs and Poison; 19 Defense with Leadership, Master Mind and Super Senses; 4 Damage with RCE, Empower, Perplex AND an Outwit that can potentially Outwit a power ANYWHERE ON THE BOARD. And, during the start of your turn, you can also give him Invuln, Mystics TA against ranged attacks or TK. Plus, when you can get Tony Stark to fly in next to him, you have up to +3 to Ranged Damage (from Splitlip AND Tony Stark’s Enhancement plus 1 or 2 more from the RCE that the Cyclops Fragment grants him) AND a Master Mind target who has access to either Toughness (Splitlip) or Invuln (again, Tony Stark if you can get your positioning right)! That’s a figure who’s hard to take down. This isn’t a team that will win a ROC, but it’ll be competitive in most House Games.

In Epic games (400 points or more) Iron Doom only gets better! With Wildcard TA’s, you’ll have room for even more Support, and you can add in another Fragment to get this team access to the second-to-last Power Set to start the game (Running Shot instead of Charge, +1 to Attack instead of Defense, etc.). In a serious 400 or 500 Point game, a Phoenix Force-powered Iron Doom really does become viable as the main piece on a competitive force.

"I'm not a 5-star figure, eh?"

“I’m not a 5-star figure, eh?”

AVX006E Scarlet Witch (Starter Set) — 100 Points

Yep! I was shocked too. She’s only a 4-star fig as of today. Let’s take a look!

What She Brings Herself on Her 1st Click: 8 Range! For the cost of 1 pushing damage, she can flat destroy your opponent’s strategy if they’re depending on TA’s (NO MORE MUTANTS: Once per game, give Scarlet Witch a double power action and choose a team ability. Any other character that can use that team ability must roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and if the result is 1 – 5, that character can’t use the chosen team ability for the rest of the game.). She also has a 9 Movement with Phasing, 10 Attack with Precision Strike, 16 Defense with another awesome SP (MYSTICAL WARDS: Scarlet Witch can use Energy Shield/Deflection. When Scarlet Witch is hit with an attack, the roll is ignored and the attacker must roll again. This new roll can’t be rerolled or ignored.) and 3 Damage with possibly the best supporting SP IN THE GAME (CASTING SPELLS: Scarlet Witch can use Perplex, Probability Control, and Support.)! So, essentially, she’s the best support figure/secondary attacker in Modern right now (in my opinion, of course).

What’s Wrong With Her?: Well… not much! Like Iron Doom she doesn’t fly, but with Phasing she really doesn’t have to. She has no reducers, but that’s assuming you can hit her 18 damage from Range TWICE!! No, the main thing that she’s missing is, again, move-and-attack. She has almost every other desirable power in the game! Having said that, at some point you’ll probably want to use that No More Mutants Trait, which means that she’ll either need Willpower OR Regeneration. Let’s see if the Phoenix Force can help with that!

The Phoenix Fix: I would use her on a team with a couple Fragment users and leave 1 Fragment on the resource. Wanda would gain Charge (now we have Move-and-attack!), +1 to Attack and Toughness (we have a reducer!). So we’ve solved two of her three problems just with what the Phoenix Force gives her on its first click. You’d still need a figure with Support to heal her after she uses No More Mutants (unless you use someone like AvX  Black Panther to give her Willpower), but we’ve fixed most of what ails her already! For a basic army build featuring Scarlet Witch and the Phoenix Force, let’s try a Mystical build like this:

Team NameLife’s a Witch, and Then You DIE!!

AVX006E Scarlet Witch

IIM040 Shaman

FI007 Iron Fist

The Phoenix Force

Assigned Character x2

Cyclops Fragment

Colossus Fragment

Emma Frost Fragment

=299 Points

Wanda would be dangerous from close or from range, the Emma Frost Fragment would give you multiple TK options with her and Shaman, and if you won the map roll (granted, you’d only have +3 to map roll, but that’s not too shabby) and got to go first, you’d be able to fly into position and then zap your opponents flyers with Shaman’s “No Flights” spell, which you’re much more prepared to deal with than they are (hopefully!) with Wanda having phasing and Shaman being able to fly still and White Ranger Iron Fist ignoring both Hindering AND Elevated Terrain. If you were able to take the fight to, say, AvX’s Wundagore Mountain map, you’d have a SIGNIFICANT advantage. This is a team that wouldn’t necessarily do one thing extremely well, but it would do almost everything. Plus, the ability to take away both your opponent’s best TA AND their Flight ability is kind of nasty. If the Map roll goes your way, you can give your opponent fits. And if you assign Cyclops’s Fragment to Shaman, if you can move the resource dial even once, all of the sudden he’s got Sidestep and RCE (one of the cooler combos in the game right now) with a 10 Attack and 3 Damage, 7 range, and an 18 Defense with Barrier and ES/D with a Perplex floating around!! He’s now a Ranged Attacker TO BE FEARED, especially with Wanda backing him up with her Perplex and Prob. This team would take a minute to get going, but they’d be a nightmare to hit from range AND have a fantastic tie-up piece in White Ranger Iron Fist who can dish out healthy amounts of damage himself!

Okay, that blurb turned into a write-up of BOTH Scarlet Witch and Shaman, so consider that 2 for the price of 1 (for the record, Shaman is also a 4-star character, so it still works!)! Can’t believe I almost forgot him!

"Y'all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!"

“Y’all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!”

 

Alright, now let’s look at some…

5-Star Figures!

We’re also going to take a look at two pieces who ALREADY rate 5-stars on HCRealms,com, but with the Phoenix Force, they get downright broken!!

First up is…

"Finally, I will lead an army worthy of--dammit, it's just my infirm uncle, a midget and a bloody Troll! What mewling quim came up with this?"

“Finally, I will lead an army worthy of–dammit, it’s just my infirm uncle, a midget and a bloody Troll! What mewling quim came up with this collection of @$$holes?”

AVM211 Loki (Chase) — 220 Points

He is already a MONSTER (as he should be–he did take on the combined box office power of Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlet Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg AND Samuel L. Jackson–Good God, what a cast! No wonder this thing made a billion dollars!), but as Michigan State’s own Mike Valenti likes to say, let’s do the format!

What He Brings Himself on His 1st Click: How about the Power Cosmic TA (Willpower, powers can’t be countered). How about the Mystics TA (so if you manage to penetrate his defenses, you get a click of unavoidable damage for your troubles)? How about any copyable TA’s possessed by your opponent? (Three sentences in and we’re not even done with his Team Abilities? Good Lord!)

When you get to his dial, he has 11 Movement with Phasing, 11 Attack with Pulse Wave, 18 Defense with Super Senses and Traited Toughness, and 4 Damage with Shape Change! Now THAT is a dial!

What’s Wrong With Him?: Well, again, he’s almost impossible to fit on a 300 point team because of his cost, and because of that we’re gonna discuss some higher point games with Loki. But beyond his cost, just like Iron Doom, he doesn’t fly. Phasing helps slightly with that; although it can’t be used in conjunction with Charge or Running Shot. It doesn’t matter anyway though because Loki has neither. That is his fatal flaw. But we’re going to fix that with The Phoenix Force!

The Phoenix Fix: We’re gonna run a 400 point game here. The Phoenix Force with 5 Fragments plus 2 Assigned Characters is 33 Points, so when you add Loki in we’re at 253. Add in Splitlip for Loki to carry around the map, and now we’re in business! Asgardian Troll is a fun lil’ close combat attacker, and The Serpent is your other Assigned Character, even though he’s mostly just Phasing around the map to maintain adjacency to his nephew. So, assuming that you leave the Colossus Fragment on the resource dial and have Loki use the Cyclops Fragment and carry Splitlip, his first click looks like this: 11 Movement with Phasing and Running Shot with 9 Range; 11 Attack with Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion; 18 Defense with un-Outwittable Toughness and Invuln (since you’d select that as your Phoenix Power every turn just about) and Super Senses AND Defend; and 4 Damage with Shape Change! Jerry Seinfeld has a message for your opponents while they evaluate a Phoenix-powered Loki:

Seinfeld Good Luck

 

If you don’t have a really good Pulse Wave piece who has a way to get a significant Alpha Strike in, you’re in trouble before you even sit down to play. And we haven’t even gone into everything Loki gets with all the TA’s. Plus, if the Serpent is next to Loki, The Serpent’s Leadership has the potential to take tokens off of Loki even though Loki’s more points! Shhheeeeessssh!. So it goes a lil’ something like this:

Team Name: Stay Up All Night to Get Loki!!

AVM011 Loki

FI027 The Serpent

FI301 Splitlip

FI002 Asgardian Troll

The Phoenix Force

2 Assigned Characters

All Five Fragments

=398 Points

 

And now for our last 5-Star figure! It’s none other than…

"We're in the best Phase 2 movie, right? Right?"

“We’re in the best Phase 2 movie, right? Right?”

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow (Chase) — 130 Points

Our last figure up for discussion is also the newest! Let’s take a look!

What They Bring Themselves on Their 1st Click: How about the kitchen sink? I mean, S.H.I.E.L.D. AND Avengers Initiative TA’s, 10 Movement with Sidestep and Traited Stealth, 11 Attack with Precision Strike and Duo Attack, 18 Defense with Toughness and 3 Damage that ignores the Duo Attack modifier! In a word, Awesomesauce. Which is kind of like two words that I mushed together.

What’s Wrong With Them?: Again, not much! They’re a 5-Star character. Outside of Sidestep, they have no move-and-attack though…

The Phoenix Fix: In a 300-Point game, Cap and BW are really good. But, when we give them some S.H.I.E.L.D. Movie Fig support, along with THE PHOENIX FORCE, they really shine! How about:

Team Name: I Have a Plan–Attack!! (Okay, I know that was a Iron Man line, not a Cap quote, but at least he was saying it to both Cap and Black Widow! So that kinda still counts!)

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow

 CATWS011 Maria Hill

AVM206 Agent Coulson

CATWSH001 SHIELD Support

The Phoenix Force

Assigned Character x2

All 5 Fragments

S.H.I.E.L.D. ATA x3

=292

Cap and BW now have Running Shot, 12 Attack, 18 Defense with Defend and RCE when you give them the Cyclops Fragment! Here’s a Heroclix formula for you: Traited Stealth + Sidestep + 6 Range + RCE + Avengers Initiative TA + DUO FREAKING ATTACK THAT IGNORES THE NEGATIVE DAMAGE MODIFIER ALL OTHER DUO ATTACKS ARE SUBJECT TO = YOUR OPPONENT DOING THIS:

Behind the scenes at the WizKids figure development lab...

Followed by his friend coming over from another game to see what’s going on:

WizKids top executives initial reaction to the reveal of Toyman's dial...

Until finally the Judge comes over to wonder what all the fuss is about and sees what the hell you’re playing for what was supposed to be a “fun build” tournament:

Triple Facepalm

Again, just for emphasis,  you’ve just made a figure who has: Un-Outwittable Stealth; the ability to move and see through Hindering (i.e., most Stealth); Flight; Running Shot; Sidestep; 6 Range with 2 Targets; RCE; Energy Explosion with two targets; Poison; 3 Damage with improved Duo Attack; 18 Defense with Defend; the Phone Book; the Kitchen Sink; and on and on…

And Maria Hill can TK them around the Map with her Fragment! They’ll each have access to Invuln via the Colossus Fragment, and at this point you’re just a really, really bad person who, as Ninwashui likes to say, probably lacks a moral compass.

So, there ya go! There’s four fun builds based around the newest Marvel Heroclix resource. Have fun! Experiment! Folks are not even close to breaking this thing’s true potential yet.

And–more importantly–I got through a 3000-word article without mentioning Iron Pharaoh!! That absolutely has to be some kind of record!!

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward...

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward…

Or, you know, at least I almost did!

So what figs do you think will benefit the most from The Phoenix Force? Post your suggestions in the Comments below, and we’ll be back again in a few days for another Weekly Roundup!