Patriotic Captain America!! (Or, Happy Fourth of July!!)

Cap 4th

Too obvious? Probably, but hey, with $400+M in domestic grosses, $1.15+B in worldwide box office and a starring role in this summer’s 4 month long OP series, it’s a Captain America summer–we’re just living in it.

So I’m finally, FINALLY approaching something that could be called “healthy,” which means it’s time to get back to a more regular (or at least more frequent!) posting schedule, after missing most of June.

Next up is a belated Uncanny X-Men Top Ten Set Review, followed by a few thoughts on the Civil War OP figures and some Build articles, all of which should take us right to the doorstep of the Superior Foes of Spider-Man!! I’m really looking forward to that one.

I’d also like to give a big tip of the cap to all the servicemen and women who keep my country safe every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So stay safe, watch where you draw your lines of fire (especially with actual fireworks) and meet us right back here later this week!!

 

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Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 08/05/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month Three: With a Vengeance!!

Local Tournament Report

Age of Ultron Month Three was played earlier this month at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan, and we’ve got the results!

This was the first month to use the Wave 2 boosters, so the set felt fresh and new again. I have to say, as hard as it makes collecting the entire set, releasing two waves of boosters for an OP event is definitely a good way to keep things fresh and exciting. It was fun last year with WoL, and it’s fun again this year with the (much) smaller Age of Ultron set.

What are the Wave 2 (Non-Chase) highlights? Let’s take a look (with the help of random cosplay images from around the net–hey, if Marvel can do a whole cosplay variant month, why can’t we?)!

Mockingbird cosplay

AOU010 Mockingbird52 PointsCommon: And here is your Modern Age Mockingbird! You may now dust off your Avengers Assemble Mockingbird Avengers ID Card that you’ve kept in that old sock drawer since May. As long as you can keep her next to a higher point friendly, she’s well worth her 52-Point investment. Alternatively, if you choose to use that ol’ ID Card, she’ll bring Empower, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and +1 to Defense for adjacent characters with her Inspire ability, along with her native 10 Attack and 3 Damage.

Captain America Cosplay

AOU020 Captain America65 PointsUncommon: A Cap that basically starts with Carry, Hypersonic Speed AND costs less than Rick Jones?!?! Sign me up! Down dial, he turns into a sniper, then gets real support-y. Unlike other figures that do that, though, Cap is only 65 Points, so he’s probably already filling that supporting character slot anyway!

(Not gonna lie, there's not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

(Not gonna lie, there’s not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

AOU024 Ant-Man65 Points Uncommon: Apparently 65 Points is the new 50 Points, in that if a character from this set comes in at 65 Points he’s probably an auto-play in Sealed and even worth a look in Constructed. Scott Lang comes packing Outwit, Super Senses, an 18 Defense (19 against ranged attacks with his “Tiny” size) and Stealth. Also, he’s easy to move around via his AWESOME Trait (RIDING ON HAWKEYE’S ARROW: When an adjacent friendly character that shares a keyword with Ant-Man makes a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, you may place Ant-Man adjacent to the target.).  Literally, you can have Hawkeye (or any Avenger, really) shoot at a character, place Ant-Man right next to that character, Outwit that character’s defensive power and then attack them for 2 more damage. All at the cost of just 2 actions.

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here's his traditional visage.)

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here’s his traditional visage.)

AOU032 Wonder Man120 PointsRare: I always loved these characters with two dials who get better AFTER they would normally be KO’d (Spider-Man 2099 and Sodam Yat are other examples). The crazy thing is, Wonder Man might be the cheapest one they’ve ever made! He’s actually 5 Points CHEAPER than Sodam Yat’s NON-Ion dial!

Once he gets past his first dial, he hits a Stop Click and gains Charge, 11 Attack, Invincible, Poison and–oh yeah–when attacking, ALL OF HIS DAMAGE IS PENETRATING!!

But here’s the other big difference–unlike some of those other figs, your opponent really can’t afford to ignore Wonder Man at the beginning of the game–not when he can Charge for up to 7 Damage! A great piece for his points.

And, of course, the Chases are sick… but we’ll deal with them in a future article.

Alright, let’s get to the Month 3 results!

There were a TON of Thors being played (more on that in a bit), the Six-Armed Chase was pulled like three times (including twice by the same player!), and Captain America was fielded quite a bit as well (in fact, I used both Thor AND Cap!).

IMG_2829

In the end, Tim guided his Iron Fist/Luke Cage/Captain America trio to victory over Matt’s Thor (100-Point dial)/ War Machine squad.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: For whatever reason, anyone who played Thor ended up losing hard at one point because their dice quit on them, myself included. For everyone who thinks the AoU Thor is great for his points, just remember, WizKids has apparently included an ancient dice curse attached to the base of every AoU Thor. You’ve been warned.)

Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. Once again, we’ve broken the standings down into tiers.

But first, a scoring system refresher:

For the first three events, you score:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

(Through Month 3)

In the Pilot’s Seat:

(We have a tie! But with his 900 Victory Points accumulated, Tim actually has the lead with tiebreakers… )

Tim: 21 Points (1670)

Darren: 21 Points!!! (1487 Victory Points Accumulated)

 

Sitting in 1st Class:

Andrew: 18 Points (1795)

Carl: 16 Points (1060)

Nicholas: 16 Points (1692)

 

Comfortably Seated in Business Class:

Tyler: 15 Points (950)

Roberto: 15 Points (840)

Matt: 12 Points (1462)

 

Now Boarding… :

Shant: 11 Points (1060)

George: 9 Points (695)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

 

Okay! So that’s where things stand after three months! Tim and Darren tied for the lead, with Andrew close behind and Carl and Nicholas within shouting distance! It will all be settled on September 16th at Comics & More in Madison Heights!

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

Mr. Furious Gets Angry!! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!!)

mr furious

Don’t mess with the volcano my man, ’cause I will go Pompeii on your… butt.

[WRITER’S NOTE: So the set is about Nick Fury and not Mr. Furious, but a guy can dream.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You have strange dreams.]

Some General Notes About the Set:

  • There are a lot of good figures in this set. I know it sounds like I say that every time, but seriously, there just aren’t many losers when you factor in their point value.  I listened to the Dial H for HeroClix Podcast today and one of the hosts joked that there are so many good figures in this set that when you do Sealed you don’t really need to think too hard. Just make sure the total point value is near 300 and the actual characters you select don’t matter that much. It will be a good team.
  • The Dial H guys also warned that this set is awful for Battle Royales. I would definitely agree with that. Your whole 5 member team might not add up to 300 points and someone else might start off by pulling the 300 point SR NFAOS006A Hulk. Or you might get a Hulkbuster torso in the rare slot of the pack you just opened.

Secret Warriors

  • I would have liked to have seen more Secret Warriors then just Quake and Druid. Most of this set seems to come from the pages of their series and all of the rest of Team White has rotated out of Modern.
  • [EDITOR’S NOTE: Last I checked, Eden Fesi, aka Manifold, was a very important character in that run and arguably–at least before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. blew up Daisy Johnson’s profile–the most recognizable member of Nick’s Caterpillar team, since he graduated to the Avengers when Hickman took that book over. And he was just Clix’d in Avengers Assemble!!]
  • Okay, yeah, I meant besides him.
  • [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sure you did.]
  • Anyway… some of the Invaders are individually powerful, but I don’t see myself ever playing that team. Maybe because they were before my time? It would have been cool to give Spitfire a Trait that shows she is now Blade’s girlfriend. Like +1 to defense when adjacent or something. Missed opportunity.
  • How can Wizkids not have made a “Watcher Eyeball” Special Object for the OP kit? Why would they include a Winter Soldier in that prize kit and not have him be the new “Man on the Wall” version of that character from the final panels of Original Sin? Where are all the villians from the Original Sin series? I want an intelligent “Mindless One” figure! More missed thematic opportunities–and this is coming from someone who really digs this set!
Uhhh... maybe not.

Uhhh… on second thought, maybe not.

  • Continuing that line of thought, everyone knows about the Fantastic Four/X-Men pseudo-ban that Marvel has imposed, so it would have been nice to see Wizkids really properly exploit some of the best Nick Fury stories of the last 6 years. Nick Fury “The Unseen” needs a whole dial–not just a final click. While the Invaders–old and new–are all fine and dandy, this set needed to pull more pieces from “Secret Warriors” and “Original Sin.” I realize we were probably never going to see a new Gorgon (part of his convoluted history involves him being a mutant), but instead of all those Invaders, I would have rather seen: JT James, Alexander, Ares (at this point, he almost HAS to be a Con Exclusive next year, right?), Norman Osborn, Jerry Sledge and, hmmm… oh yeah: Leviathan!! Two or three figures plus some Generics. And I haven’t even gotten to the members of The Great Wheel!! MISSED. OPPORTUNITY!

Alright. Enough moping. Time to get into some…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Just because we all look the same in these uniforms doesn't mean you can refer to us as 'Generics.'"

Just because we all look the same in these uniforms doesn’t mean you can refer to us as ‘Generics.’

5. NFAOS006A S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard – Here’s a quote from my appraisal of Iron Man’s blue-dial from my Avengers Assemble Top Ten article: “18 Defense with Defend is nothing to sneeze at. It was awesome when they released CT043 Invisible Girl and it’s almost as good now.” That applies double to S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard who, instead of costing 125 points like Iron Man, costs 35 points. That happens to also be two points less than CT043 Invisible Girl and with a much better dial. You’re going to want to push the S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard to Click 2 where he sports his 18 Defend along with Sidestep and Close Combat Expert (a skill he undoubtedly likes to keep handy for close encounters). If you then push him again onto Clicks 3 and 4 he becomes your team’s medic. So he’s at first protecting your team from damage and then he switches gears to heal your team if they get damaged. That’s a lot of usefulness for just 35 points.

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

4. NFAOS001 Nick Fury – Nick Fury for 65 points is just average. 10 Attack, 3 Damage, Stealth, Precision Strike, Toughness and Shape Change, and Indomitable. There are lots of guys like him in this set. However, his 65 point dial is hiding the best S.H.I.E.L.D generic in the set. The 25 point generic dial starts with the same exact first two clicks as the 65 point version, but for 40 points less! Once you pay for the 65 point leader, you can add as many of the 25 point version as you want. With all of those little guys you’ve added it’s a good thing they all have the rally trait which states, “Rally: Whenever Nick Fury hits one or more opposing characters, add one action to your action total this turn.” That means that even if you have ten of this guy on your team you won’t run out of actions as long as your attacks keep hitting. If you decide that you want to be “that guy” for one event and just run a metric poop-ton of generics, you could do worse than fielding one Fury and a bunch of his L.M.D.’s…

Imperial Hydra

3. NFAOS046 Imperial Hydra – I like him because he enhances a lot of other pieces rather than just being a powerful piece himself. The main reason to play this guy is his Trait that states, “TWO HEADS SHALL TAKE THEIR PLACE!: When another friendly character with the Hydra keyword is KO’d and actions resolve, you may give Imperial Hydra an action token. If you do, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. 4 – 5: Place a character from outside the game with the Hydra keyword of 40 points or less adjacent to Imperial Hydra. 6: Place up to two characters from outside the game with the Hydra keyword of 40 points or less adjacent to Imperial Hydra.

So keep him in your Starting Area and let him constantly re-spawn  more Hydra units for you all game. If you get even one 40 point Hydra unit out of him then you’ve broken even. He works way better on teams with a lot of Hydra units rather than teams with just a few figures.

"No I will NOT look behind me! You fools think you can outwit Demonicus with the oldest trick in the book?!"

No I will NOT look behind me! You fools think you can outwit Demonicus with the oldest trick in the book?!

2. NFAOS047 Dr. Demonicus – What a cool idea for a figure. He’s a Kaiju summoning mad scientist. “GIANT MONSTER SUMMON!: Give Dr. Demonicus a power action if no friendly bystander token named on this card is on the map. You may choose one you haven’t chosen this game and place it on the map adjacent to him.”

While each of his Bystander Tokens probably isn’t worth 80 points by itself, if you get most of them out over the course of a game then I’d say you definitely got value for his 80 points. Remember to keep the good doctor close to his creations. He has Perplex and the Special Power  “LIFESTONE DEFENSE: Adjacent friendly characters with “colossal damage symbol” modify their defense values by +1.” Those two powers together can raise any of his monster token’s Defense Value to 20 or more!

Shine bright like a diamond.

Shine bright like a diamond.

1. NFAOS041 Radiance – For 65 points you get a character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword that has the Wing Symbol and gives all adjacent S.H.I.E.L.D. pieces Shape Change. There are a lot of good S.H.I.E.L.D. pieces in this set and many that I would argue were great who came out even before this set. Radiance is the best low point Taxi for S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword that is not named AVAS037 Manifold. But, unlike Manifold, her duel target Incapacitate lets her also assist her teammates in battle. She reminds me a lot of one of Hypefox’s favorite pieces, IIM002 Rescue.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Probably one of my most-played Common pieces.]

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

"Need... more... arms... with guns!!"

Need… more… arms… with guns!!”

10. NFAOS022 Winter Soldier – This Winter Soldier shares a keyword with Steve Rogers and actually lets them make a Themed Team again. That warms my heart. On the other hand, seeing this guy across the table should chill your opponent’s heart.

Now, he doesn’t have opening Running Shot or any sort of native move and attack. Instead, he just sits in Stealth and bides his time. He sports Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering AND Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters AND he’s rocking a crazy-good Special Damage Power that reads like this: “Deadly Sniper: Winter Soldier can use Outwit and Ranged Combat Expert, both with a locked range value of 10. If he uses both in a turn, he must target the same character.

When you put it all together, he can Outwit right through Stealth from 10 squares away and then attack that same character for up to five damage. To paraphrase my earlier thoughts on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard, having Steath and Outwit together on one dial was good all the way back in Infinity Challenge (Why, it’s Infinity Challenge Experienced Black Panther! Hello again, old friend!), and it’s still good now. And when you add Winter Soldier’s Improved Targeting twist, it gets even better.

Ooooookay, that does not look safe...

Ooooookay, this does not look safe…

9. NFAOS061 Avengers Sky-Cycle – Hawkeye has been getting a lot of love lately in HeroClix. He’s got three good-to-great options in Modern (AAOU009 Hawkeye, AVAS002 Hawkeye, and AAOU106 Hawkeye.). He’s got two specialized Revert figures (AVAS066 Goliath, and AVAS052 Ronin). And now he has the best vehicle in this set printed for him.

Of all of the Chases in this set, this is the only vehicle that can actually carry more than just the pilot.  That’s a big thing. It will also let Hawkeye take a huge hit that might otherwise have KO’d him (seriously, this thing has six Clicks of life–with Toughness on the first three!).

But the best part about this vehicle is it’s printed power, “Unbelievable Upside-Down Shot: When Avengers Sky-Cycle makes an attack, you may modify its attack value by +2. If you do and actions resolve, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and on a result of 1, place the pilot in an adjacent square, dealing it and all passengers 2 unavoidable damage.” Keep in mind that with the new vehicle rules, the Sky-Cycle will be making attacks with its Pilot’s printed stats. So this power allows almost any Pilot to raise the Sky-Cycle’s Attack Value to a very “Hawkeye-like” 12 or 13 with only a very small chance of catastrophe.

Note to other comic artists: this is how you design and introduce a new look for an established character.

This piece is called “Killing It” by Stuart Immonen. And if it’s not, it should be. 

8NFAOS049 Captain America – The new Falcon as Captain America has a better then expected range of 7 along with Precision Strike, 11 Attack, and 3 Damage. But his defense is where he really shines. He has a Defense Special Power that contain the most standard powers I’ve ever seen combined into one white box. It reads, “How Did I Ever Survive Without a Shield?: Captain America can use Energy Shield/Deflection, Invulnerability, Super Senses, and Willpower.” That’s four standard powers in one! Apparently, Sam is able to use that shield better than Cap ever did (at least in HeroClix).

Being that he’s the artist formerly known as Falcon, this Captain America also gets help from his birds via 3 pigeon tokens and a Redwing token. Redwing’s use is obvious, but the pigeons will need a bit more strategic planning to get the most out of them. Being that they are tiny size I believe that their best use is to be Carried and then dropped into adjacency with opposing figures while your figures stay at least one square back. You opponent will hopefully have to waste an attack on each pigeon token.

I’m just picturing it in my head now:

"Hulk hate puny pigeons!"

Hulk hate puny pigeons!”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: By the way, has there been a better “new look” for an established character in the last ten years than Falcon’s Captain America costume? It’s like they took the best bits of Falcon’s original costume, Cap’s normal suit, and Cap’s “Winter Soldier” movie costume, blended it all together, and somehow the result is even greater than the sum of its substantial parts.

Also, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but of all the diversity initiatives Marvel has undertaken with their topline, A-list  characters lately (Thor is a woman! Spider-Man is black! Ms. Marvel is a Muslim!), Sam Wilson becoming Cap has always made the most sense to me, story-wise. If anything, Falcon should have been promoted to replace Steve a few years ago when the Winter Soldier ended up taking over as Captain America. Cap and Falcon had been friends and fellow Avengers for years; at the time, Bucky Barnes had only recently gotten his mind right after being brainwashed into becoming a Communist killing machine for decades! Which of those two would YOU choose to inspire millions of Americans and carry on your legacy if you were Cap?

Now don’t get me wrong; while I thought most of these storylines were bad ideas at the time (mostly because they seemed forced and contrived, as if they existed solely to round out some sort of character diversity quota instead of coming about naturally as each character’s story progressed), Marvel’s implementation of these stories has been nearly flawless, especially when you consider how easy it would be to screw these twists up and alienate your core readers.

Jane Foster Thor 1

As much as I didn’t understand replacing Thor with a woman called “Thor” (isn’t Thor Odinson Thor’s actual name, and not a title like “Captain America?” That’s like if everyone started calling the Falcon “Steve” after he took over the mantle of Captain America, which wouldn’t make any sense at all, right? Or am I just completely overthinking this?), the way that story has evolved (especially with the reveal of who this new Thor actually is) has kind of grown on me.

Miles Morales

And while I’m not a huge Ultimate Spider-Man fan, Miles Morales actually seems to work better when he exists in stories WITH Peter Parker interacting with/sort of guiding him. Peter’s traditionally portrayed as just barely having his own life together, so the idea of someone like that mentoring a kid with similar powers like Miles is actually pretty interesting to me, and I look forward to the upcoming post-Secret Wars merging where they will both exist in the same universe.

Kamala Khan

Finally, Ms. Marvel has become a wonderful book about a young girl trying to balance the power and responsibility of being a latent Inhuman with her Muslim faith while still trying to survive life as a normal American high-schooler (and not just in her own book–check out her delightful guest appearance in the second issue of Mark Waid’s wonderful new “S.H.I.E.L.D.” series from a few months ago). Also, her hero worship of Carol Danvers offers a unique window into what Kamala Khan values and plants a very compelling reason as to why she would consciously choose to fight for justice under the name “Ms. Marvel.” In other words, Ms. Marvel might be the most Spider-Man-like character Marvel’s published in a decade.

This is why I always loved that Marvel as a whole is called “The House of Ideas.” I love plenty of DC characters, and there are many wonderful stories in that universe. But I just can’t see DC pulling off something this crazy on paper and actually having it all work.

Alright, with all that said, let’s get back to Ninwashui’s Top Ten already!!]

Peggy Carter

7. NFAOS007B Peggy Carter – Ho-hum. Another set, another VERY good Common Prime. For 60 points, this bargain Batman piece Peggy Carter figure brings a lot to the table. First, her Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain helps her get to enemy territory and her Trait protects her when she gets there: “Behind Enemy Lines If Peggy Carter is closer to an opponent’s starting area than she is to her own, she can use Stealth and Shape Change.

If your opponent can’t see through Stealth, then she can keeping running between Hindering Terrain patches while she puts her Energy Explosion to work. If the opponent tries to engage her in close combat he faces the wrath of her exceptionally good Damage Special, “Saboteur At the beginning of your turn, choose a standard power or team ability. Opposing characters within 3 squares of Peggy Carter can’t use it until your next turn. ” If your opponent brings his whole team after her… well, she is only 60 points. Your other 240 points of team should be able to flank your opponent and easily take advantage of that.

Fitz and Henry

6. FFNFAOS004 Fitz (and FFNFAOS099 H.E.N.R.Y.)  If you’ve read any of our Top Tens before, you know that whenever I see a character cost exactly 50 points in a Fast Forces set, I tend to pay attention. 50 points is the magical point value for good support characters in HeroClix Fast Forces releases. It’s a trend that started way back with FFCW006R Scarlet Witch and continued on with pieces like FFDP006R Mercy and most recently FFOA006R Captain America. In the long tradition of 50 Point Fast Forces support pieces, Fitz does not disappoint.

Starting on click two, Fitz has Perplex, the Shield TA, Field Team Backup Trait and an extremely mobile Empower/Enhancement effect via Henry. Then he also has the choice to use a power action for Telekenisis or to grant another character an additional Perplex. That’s a ton of support for just 50 points, and that’s why he’s on this list at #6!

So... I'm thinking this is the image they referenced for her sculpt.

So… I’m thinking this is the image they referenced for her sculpt.

5NFAOS050 Thor – For 145 points this may be the best version of Thor ever printed. She has the damage reducers normally associated with Thor, but she also has the Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters, Elevation, and Hindering that seems more like it would be at home on DP036 Bullseye. She starts defensively with Impervious and Shape Change. Offensively, she has Running Shot and Energy Explosion. Once she takes some damage she switches to Super Strength and full move Charge! He dial finishes strong with Pulse Wave and then finally regeneration. She doesn’t have a bad click amongst her eight clicks of life and she gets a bonus against resource users: “If She Be Worthy: Modify Thor’s attack and damage values by +1 when targeting a single character that is assigned a relic or resource with an attack.”  A real steal for the points. 

This is a Primary Attacker that we’ll be seeing in ROC’s and other tournies for the next two years!

"Of course I use a gun! Who am I, Batman?"

Of course I use a gun! Who am I, Batman?

4NFAOS051 Steve Rogers – In HeroClix this is the best director that S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever had. You’ll notice the high Attack Values right away with the opening 12, but the surprising part is how consistent those values are. Only on his final Click does he get as low as a 10 Attack. While his Running Shot, Improved Targeting and dual target Energy Explosion make him look like a solo Primary Attacker, he is just as good at supporting his team. He has Leadership, Enhancement, the ability to grant other pieces Energy Shield/Deflection, and every time he hits with an attack anyone with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword can use Probability Control while attacking that turn. 

So you may not have a ton of room left after fielding Steve for 150 Points, but you won’t need it, since he gets the most out of his 40-60 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddies!

"No, I'm not a vampire. I know, I get that a lot. I think it's the cape. And the constant brooding."

I am called Nighthawk. Mostly because it is scarier than ‘Kyle.”

3NFAOS059b Nighthawk (Prime) – Think of how much you enjoy powers like Ranged Combat Expert, Traits that grant stat bonuses, or Resources that give +1 to all stats. For 65 points this guy shuts all of that down and much, much more. His Trait reads, “The People Must Think For Themselves: Friendly characters can’t be targeted by Mind Control. Opposing characters’ combat values can’t be increased unless they are adjacent to Nighthawk.” Offensively this guy is nothing too special, but he shines defensively. He defensive power reads, “President of the United States (of Earth-712): Nighthawk can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change, increase the result by +1 for each adjacent friendly character.” It’s kind funny that he gets energy Shield/Deflection himself  because that power is useless on opposing characters. But hey, what good is an unfair advantage if you can’t take advantage of it?

"What do you mean you think I look like a rejected monster from Resident Evil 4?!"

What do you mean you think I look like a rejected monster from Resident Evil 4?!

2NFAOS048 Iron Nail – Hypefox and I played a Sealed game with 2 packs each of this set. He pulled Iron Nail and SR Nighthawk. The truth is that he could have beaten my whole team with just this guy. His powers and stats are about average for a character of his point cost, but his Trait is borderline broken. It reads “Rapid Power Drain At the end of your turn, place a Drain token on the cards of all adjacent opposing characters. Opposing characters modify their combat values by -1 for each Drain token placed by him. An opposing character may be given a power action to remove all Drain tokens from that character’s card.

In our sealed game he just walked Iron Nail next to my Baron Blood prime and that was pretty much all he needed to do to win that match. Baron Blood had a 10 attack that became a 9 and of course he missed that attack roll the following turn. Even if he hit, he would have needed a good Blades/Claws/Fangs roll to even do damage. Iron Nail’s dial is 8 clicks long with damage reducers all the way and it has this Trait the whole dial, obviously. He could easily KO any of the 14 figures I have named so far. Even 300 point SR Hulk in this set would have a good chance of losing to this guy in a 1 on 1 fight. In Sealed he’s an auto play and I bet he’ll see a lot of constructed play as well. Especially when you consider he has the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword. Which leads me to my next thought: He has the freaking S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword! So you’re not even that limited in what teams you can build around him! Sheeesh.

Nick Fury Original Sin

1NFAOS056 Nick Fury – In the Original Sin storyline it was revealed that Nick Fury was secretly a cosmic assassin (called “The Man on the Wall”) that spent all his free time killing entities that were going to threaten the earth before anyone else even knew about it. If you were a mystical demon overlord, cosmic alien warlord, or a monster from the center of the earth, chances are that Nick and his frankly awesome-beyond-words-Gamma- bullet- sniper- rifle had you in his crosshairs.

They’ve translated this character into HeroClix extremely well. He doesn’t have Running Shot; like the Winter Soldier, Nick will just sit and wait for you to come into his (extremely long) range. When you do, you’re toast He accomplishes this with a Trait and Special Power. His Trait reads “Cosmic Assassin, Guardian of Earth: Nick Fury can use Shape Change. When Nick Fury targets only the highest point opposing character with an attack, modify his attack and damage values by +1 and he deals penetrating damage.

His special power reads, “Watcher’s Eyes to See Secrets: Nick Fury can use Probability Control. Give Nick Fury a free action and choose a power that an opposing character within range and line of fire can use. That character can’t use that power until your next turn.

Because of his Trait, the highest point opposing character is always dealt Penetrating damage on any attack (even close combat). If you are someone like IIM103 Absorbing Man who doesn’t fear Penetrating damage, then Nick Fury will just use his Special Power on you and take away your defense anyway. Think about that for a moment. He would deal Penetrating damage to 1000 point Shuma-Gorath and if Invincible showed up, Nick would just take that power away too. With an 11 Attack likely changing to 12 and Probability Control built in, he is not missing often and with his various Improved Targeting Traits, literally only Blocking Terrain is safe to hide behind. Defensively he has Stealth, Toughness, 18 Defense, Probability Control, and Shape Change! If an opponent wants to try and take Nick out, that’s far from a sure thing.

He reminds me a lot of DP036 Bullseye back when Bullseye and DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M. were the Meta team to beat. Nick is far superior to Bullseye for just 10 more points and he should see a bunch of Constructed play. Heck, the Meta might soon be  playing either him or playing a team designed to beat him (whatever that might be). That’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We also have a special announcement!! We’re teaming with Heroclix Underground to help provide content for their new venture! Look for versions of this article, a Top Ten Second Opinion and more to show up soon on their site. As for Critical Missives, we’re not going anywhere, and we’ll soon return with “Straight, With CHASEr 4” (where we take a special look at the new vehicles) and the aforementioned Second Opinion on Nick Fury!!]

Team Ideas–Special Gen Con Edition!!

Idea

Okay! Annnnnd, we’re back with a very special Team Ideas column!

Gen Con is coming up, and we’re going to be publishing a series of team-building teams for several of the Gen Con-exclusive WizKids events that were recently announced! While it wasn’t clear for a while if WizKids would even BE at Gen Con, their recent announcements not only confirmed their appearance but also delineated several new game types that players could prepare for.

Many of these games are great because their Build possibilities are nearly endless. Regardless, Ninwashui and I are going to posit several Builds and then choose the one we like best to take to Gen Con!

Today, I’m gonna focus on the Rumbles! We’ll start with the…

MARVEL HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

WizKids Says: “All players bring 5 Marvel Comics HeroClix Modern Age figures with them; one for each of the following point values: 0-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and 201-250. Players begin the game with only the lowest point value figure on their force. Every 5 minutes after the beginning of the game, players place the next highest point value figure on the map next to one of their figures or in their starting area. Players must play in the complete event in order to get their participation prizes.

What We Assume That Means: So, we’re going to take these Build rules at face value. We’re going to assume this means that you’re not building a FORCE per se, but rather taking 5 individual figures that will be played together with the 5-minute timing caveat. Which means no Themed Team rules (so no Themed Team probs, etc.), no Relics and no Resources. Also, only your 0-50 Point character will actually BEGIN THE GAME on the map, so characters with effects that go off at the beginning of the game (Chase Rick Jones and his supporting POG’s, for example) are going to be neutered some.

Also, while I see nothing in here disallowing Colossals (provided you play them at an eligible point level), I’m also going to assume that Team Bases are disallowed, since it seems that you add team members to the base during Force Construction and, again, you’re not constructing a Force here. And if you can’t add team members to your team base, then you have ZERO team members, and it’s pretty much automatically removed from the map (unless an effect specifies otherwise, team bases MUST have a minimum of three team members attached to it at all times). Further–and this is where the wording gets a little murky–team bases are (at least originally–I know there’s been some wording updates) defined thusly: “Characters with the new Team combat icon symbol are Teams.  A Team has locations on it where figures from corresponding SwitchClix bases can be placed.  Each such character is called a team member.” So, if we parse through WizKids’s wording there, even they seem to define Team Bases as “Teams” and individual team members as “figures.” And, going back to the original game posting, only “figures” are allowed, which means Team Bases should be ineligible. Right?

(Honestly, there are so many interpretations of Team Base rules out there, it’s hard to figure out what’s legit and what’s not–so we’re going to operate on the premise that they are not allowed for this game)

Okay! With all that legalese disseminated, let’s look at some Builds!!

Legalese

First up:

Lilandra

Team Name: So Long As My Lilandra Survives

Roster:
1-50: WXM005 Oracle49 Points

51-100: WXM052 Lilandra93 Points

101-150: WKM-013R Gladiator150 Points

151-200: WXM048 Warstar177 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator250 Points

Total Points Used: 719 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This is a pretty fun Build. You’re basically playing a “Best-of” Shi’ar team. But wait, you say, you just wrote a billion words on why Themed Teams don’t matter for this game. Yup. They don’t. You won’t get any Themed Team probs for fielding an all-Shi’ar squad. But what you will get is +1 to both Attack and Damage to every character on this team that stays within 8 squares of Lilandra, thanks to her Trait (DEFEND ME, SHI’AR WARRIORS!: Other friendly characters with the Shi’ar keyword and within 8 squares modify their attack values +1. Other friendly characters with the Imperial Guard keyword and within 8 squares modify their damage values +1.). That’s like 8 free Perplexes a turn.

Oracle, you’re starting character, offers Probability Control and Barrier, which you may need early on to keep Lilandra unharmed when she shows up after five minutes. You’re basically playing a keepaway game for the first ten minutes of the match, until Rookie Gladiator shows up. For those who haven’t seen this particular Gladiator, he heats up in a hurry. Provided that he hits the board within 8 squares of Lilandra (probable, since you can bring him in adjacent to her), you’re looking at a character who has Hypersonic Speed, a 13 Attack, 18 Defense with Invincible and 6 freaking Damage. He can start one-shotting your opponent’s characters IMMEDIATELY upon arrival.

Warstar and B’Nee are also capable of ruining your opponent’s day very quickly. Warstar can essentially Charge about 8 squares with his B’Nee shenanigans, and if he ends up attacking from within  8 squares of Lilandra, he’ll be rocking a 12 Attack and 5 Damage (and that’s if you DON’T use his Super Strength). He features an 18 Defense with Invincible, and if he still has B’Nee attached, his powers can’t be countered. All of which means he’ll be extremely tough to retaliate against. And, if your opponent does try to focus fire on Warstar, he gets Pulse Wave down dial, so he really only gets MORE dangerous.

Finally, Zombie Chase Gladiator from Guardians of the Galaxy is a great 250 Point option. Again, if you can keep Lilandra alive, you’re looking at a character that can come in with a Running Shot Pulse Wave that features a 12 Attack and 6 Damage!

Despite the fact that Themed Teams don’t matter in this sort of Build, it’s so synergistic that you’ll have a significant advantage over many of your opponents when it comes to buffs. Just remember to keep Lilandra as far back as possible while still allowing for her influence to reach the rest of your team. She is the key to your success.

 

When are we getting a Miguel Herrera Clix?

Actually, Miguel Herrera will not be appearing in this Build. But I think we’ve proved that we love this meme so much that we’ll run it for no reason whatsoever.

Team Name: Enormous Green Free Movement Monster!!

Roster:

1-50: FFOA006R Captain America50 Points

51-100: AVAS013B 3-D Man90 Points

101-150: FFOA003 Iron Man150 Points

151-200: AVX003 Thor200 Points

201-250: AAOU104 Hulk250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This one is pretty straight-forward. You’re using your first character, Cap, to give free movement to your other characters via his top dial 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.). This should give you a leg up on board control, and given the firepower of your next four figures, you should be able to Alpha Strike your opponent’s pieces into oblivion.

 

Avengers Assemble Top Image

Team Name: Avengers Assemble!!

Roster:

1-50: AAOU015 Nick Fury45 Points

51-100: AAOU009 Hawkeye95 Points

101-150: AAOU005R Thor150 Points

151-200: AAOU008R Hulk200 Points

201-250: AAOU001 Iron Man250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Another Build where we’re using our starting piece–in this case, Nick Fury–to make all the pieces that come into play after him more efficient. The Avengers Assemble! Traits are all very good, but they have the possibility of completely ruining your opponent’s day if you’re allowed to pick the effect. That’s just what Fury’s Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…: When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) does 33% of the time.

Movie Hawkeye (from Age of Ultron) is an absolute beast for his points, and all the other members of the team, like Hawkeye, sport an easily exploitable Avengers Assemble! Trait. Oh, and if your opponent was counting on using any form of Stealth, he’s gonna be pretty pissed when he realizes that your entire team ignores it…

 

Zombie Villains

Team Name: Z-Virus Will See You Now

Roster:

1-50: FFDP006R Mercy50 Points

51-100: DP064 Electro90 Points

101-150: GOTG066 Red Skull120 Points

151-200: GOTG062 Super Skrull170 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator 250 Points

Total Points Used: 680 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Zombies, zombies everywhere! We’re running four Zombies with a rookie Mercy for support. She brings Flying, Phasing/Teleport, Telekinesis AND Probability Control, which are all things the Zombie pieces usually need.

Electro is, well, lightning in a bottle. He is straight offense and great at dishing out damage to multiple parties at once.

Red Skull is actually a slightly overcosted support-y type piece who also offers a decent amount of Penetrating close combat damage. But his Special Leadership Power (THE UBER-SCHEUSAL RACE: Red Skull can use Leadership as if he were 300 points. If he removes a token from a friendly character with the Hydra or Z-Virus keyword, modify that character’s combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is really useful for your final two hitters, and his third Trait (COLONEL AMERICA’S BRAINS WERE SO DELICIOUS…: When Red Skull uses Zombie Infection to add an opposing character to your force, Red Skull can use any standard powers that character possesses while it is on the map.) actually has the potential to make the Skull a very dangerous piece indeed.

Super Skrull is one of the most dominant tournament pieces in Modern right now, so he needs little explanation. And we just discussed Gladiator in the first entry.

Zombies as a group have decent values, but their true power lies in their ability to corrupt your opponent’s forces onto your side. Even if the early rolls don’t go your way, keep an open mind, because all it takes is one quick KO of any of your opponent’s pieces to turn the tide of the game to your favor in a hurry. Plus, their Zombie healing Trait means you don’t have to pack a dedicated healer. Having said that, Mercy might be able to help with that in a pinch, even though that’s not really her role on this team.

Incidentally, if you wanted to change the feel of this Build a little bit, you could substitute Zombie Magneto (13o Points) for Zombie Red Skull and/or Zombie Galactus for Super Skrull. Just keep in mind that Zombie Galactus doesn’t actually HAVE the Z-Virus keyword, so he doesn’t work with the other three Zombie characters in terms of building up Infection tokens and such.

So, personally, I would stick with Zombie Super Skrull since he’s, y’know, pretty good.

"Oh, so you're telling me Super Skrull is a good piece?"

Oh, so you’re telling me Super Skrull is a good piece?

So those are four possibilities for the Marvel Rumble (again, there are almost LIMITLESS combinations); now let’s take a look at the…

DC HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

WizKids Says: “All players bring 5 DC Comics HeroClix Modern Age figures with them; one for each of the following point values: 0-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and 201-250. Players begin the game with only the lowest point value figure on their force. Every 5 minutes after the beginning of the game, players place the next highest point value figure on the map next to one of their figures or in their starting area. Players must play in the complete event in order to get their participation prizes.

What We Assume That Means: Pretty much the same as we noted above, with the Marvel version. This game works exactly the same, only with DC characters.

Look, the easy way to go with the DC Rumble is to just field, like, three or four Bizarros and a Felix Faust. We’re not doing that here. We’re gonna try and be a little more creative. Having said that, don’t be surprised if you run into more than a few copies of those two characters.

With that said, here we go…

Secret Society of SUpervillains

Team Name: Mind Your Manners

Roster:

1-50: JLTW016 Signalman50 Points

51-100: JLTW032 Dr. Sivana83 Points

101-150: FL047 Zoom150 Points

151-200: FL056 Gorilla Grodd175 Points

201-250: JLTW059 Despero235 Points

Total Points Used: 693 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This team checks in closer to the “fun” side of the fun/competitive Heroclix Build Venn Diagram, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win with it. Signalman (yes, that Signalman) takes to the map first, and he’s there solely to help enable Mind Control shenanigans. His sole Trait (SYMBOLS AND SIGNS CONTROL OUR LIVES: At the beginning of the game, choose a combat symbol other than “boot symbol”, “fist symbol”, “shield symbol”, or “starburst symbol”. When an opposing character with the chosen symbol is targeted by Mind Control, modify that character’s defense value by -1 or, if Signalman is the attacker, by -2.) basically acts as a walking Perplex for any Mind Control attack you choose to launch at an opposing figure.

Your second piece to drop will be Dr. Sivana (yes, that Dr. Sivana), who offers an awesome Outwit Damage Special (EYE SEE YOUR MAGIC: Dr. Sivana can use Outwit. Dr. Sivana may activate Outwit with a power action and when he does, the countered power or ability is also countered on all opposing characters within 8 squares of Dr. Sivana that share a keyword with the target.) and protects everyone on the team from any possibility of Mystics damage with his only Trait (MAGIC AVOIDANCE: Friendly characters with the Secret Society of Super Villains keyword ignore the Mystics team ability.). He also offers down dial Mind Control, so he can eventually take advantage of Signalman’s Trait if Signalman is still around by that point.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, everyone and their mother will probably play Felix Faust in this slot; he is unquestionably a better choice, given that he’s the most broken character in the game–even more so when teamed with his Secret Society of Super Villains teammate Zoom and his multiple Probs. Well, we’re not going to be those people. Screw Felix Faust!!]

Zoom is, simply put, a pain in the backside to deal with. He gives you a great Hypersonic attacker who also offers some solid support.

Grodd is your first heavy hitter. Signalman’s Trait actually means that Grodd effectively has a 12 Attack for Mind Control, and if he hits with that, after actions resolve, he can use Penetrating/Psychic Blast as a Free Action AND takes no damage from Mind Control! He also has a 50% chance to be untargetable when he’s targeted with Mind Control, Outwit, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, or Perplex.

Finally, Despero’s Trait (PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Despero can’t be the target of Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast by characters of a lower point value.) also makes him hard to pin down with a plethora of attacks, and he packs a huge wallop on his own.

 

Sinestro Corps

Team Name: The Pieces You Have Come to Fear the Most

Roster:

1-50: WOL099 Despotellis30 Points

51-100: WOL021 Lyssa Drak91 Points

101-150: FLo53B Zoom (Black Lantern) — 120 Points

151-200: JLTW049 Sinestro200 Points

201-250: WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan) — 250 Points 

Total Points Used: 691 out of a possible 750

How It Works: When you choose Despotellis, you’re basically punting on first down with your first character, but in a way, so is your opponent. Look, it’s not impossible that your opponent will field someone at 50 Points who can hit Despotellis and his 20 Defense top dial (Bizarro at 50 Points with some dice luck would have a fighting chance), but it’s unlikely. Then Lyssa Drak comes in, and you suddenly have not just a Sidestepping Taxi for Despotellis but also a Barrier-laying supporting piece that can Prob opposing attacks from anywhere on the map (since she shares a keyword with everyone on this team!) thanks to her Trait (BOOK OF PARALLAX/BOOK OF THE BLACK: Lyssa Drak can use Probability Control regardless of range and line of fire, but can only target opposing characters with it, and only when they attack a character with a keyword she possesses.).

Black Lantern Zoom comes in with instant mobility, and given that your opponent will almost certainly have two lower costed figures still on the board, he’ll have plenty of fodder to pick off. Even if Zoom takes 3-4 Damage right from jumpstreet, he’s still amazing. His Damage Special (DEATH: WILL MAKE YOU BETTER: Zoom can use Steal Energy. When an opposing character is KO’d, heal Zoom of 1 damage and place a Speed token on this card.) makes it super easy to not only heal but to also build Speed Force tokens in a hurry. Heck, on click 3, it’s quite possible for him to nail your opponent’s 1-50 slot character for 3 damage and heal all the way to top dial (if the 3 damage KO’s that figure). Even though he’s under the points threshold for his slot, he works beautifully with the rest of this team (and Lyssa can Prob any attack aimed at him from anywhere on the board!!).

Trinity War Sinestro is a Quintessence-blessed behemoth with a wicked Attack Special (DEATH TO THE GUARDIANS: Sinestro can use Pulse Wave. Opposing characters that can use the Quintessence team ability instead can’t use it and modify their combat values by -1.) that can wreck pieces by itself if your opponents were also feeling frisky enough to field some Quintessence-wielders of their own. His Damage Special (FEAR THE SINESTRO CORP: Sinestro can use Perplex, but only to decrease combat values. Until your next turn, a character targeted by this Perplex can’t target Sinestro unless the targeted character or Sinestro are the only characters on their force on the map.) also means that you can essentially make Sinestro immune to an opposing figure of your choice.

Imagine that Black Lantern Zoom has done his job and eliminated one or even two of your opponents lower-point characters. Well, if Sinestro Perplexes down ANY combat value on their 151-200 slot big’gun, your opponent will be left with only one character who can even target Sinestro. And this scenario becomes even more dire for them if Despotellis is still around Poisoning his best guys.

Finally, Hal Jordan Parallax is just sick and wrong. Running Shot, Pulse Wave and Probability Control with a 12 Attack Value and 5 top dial damage? Again, he could start one-shotting folks as soon as he hits the board!

 

Justice League

Team Name: Justice… Like Lightning!! (Wait a minute, that’s a Marvel tagline!! Oh Hell No!)

Roster:

1-50: FL046E Harley Quinn50 Points

51-100: JLTW034 Element Woman88 Points

101-150: JLTW051 Batman150 Points

151-200: JLTW052 Wonder Woman200 Points

201-250: JLTW050 Superman250 Points

Total Points Used: 738 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Harley is really just there to start the game and see if she can stick around to really make dealing with the Trinity even that much harder. Element Woman is a little undercosted for her slot, but man, pick a supporting power, and she’s got it. No really, that’s her Trait–pick a supporting power: ELEMENTAL ARTISTE: At the beginning of your turn, choose one: Earth, Fire, or Ice. Element Woman can use the associated powers until your next turn.

Earth Barrier and Impervious
Fire Energy Explosion and Penetrating/Psychic Blast
Ice Incapacitate and Perplex

Batman is an absolute stud who will be public enemy number one as soon as he hits the board. Not only are his stats fantastic for his points, but his Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use the Batman Ally team ability. Friendly characters named Superman or Wonder Woman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) also makes dealing with what’s coming an absolute nightmare.

Wonder Woman’s Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use Support. Friendly characters named Batman or Superman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) gives Bats and Supes Support, and she can shut down opposing supporting pieces with one hit with her second Trait (LASSO OF TRUTH: Adjacent opposing characters that have been hit by Wonder Woman since the beginning of your last turn can’t use Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.). And that’s assuming that her 4 top dial damage didn’t straight up KO said figure.

Finally, Superman is everything you want in your 250 point-slot selection. 12 Attack, 19 Defense and 5 Damage top dial to go along with his starting Hypersonic Speed and Invincible. His Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use the Superman Ally team ability. Friendly characters named Batman or Wonder Woman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) gives Bats the ability to see through Stealth and move through Hindering (really the only thing that Batman is missing!). If your opponent hasn’t taken out at least one of your other two Trinity pieces by the time Supes hits the board, it’s probably goodnight Gracie.

 

Well, what do you think? Which Marvel and DC Builds are your favorites? Which ones should I take to Gen Con? Sound off in the comments below!

Check back soon for more Gen Con Builds, and until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

 

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!

 

Some Assembly Required (Or, A Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Avengers Assemble)

Avengers Assemble Ninwashui Byline

Some General Notes About the Set:

  • It seems like Attack Values are being subtly lowered by WizKids in this set. There are a lot of 10 Attacks in this set where 11 seemed to be the norm for sets like Flash and Trinity War. Thankfully, they seem to be compensating for this by subtly ramping up the powers. For example, In another set I think AVAS007 Mettle would have just given AVAS006 Hazmat Mastermind and called it a day. Instead, in this set he actually teleports to her side from any distance whenever she is attacked to absorb damage for her. That’s a huge step up in effect.
  • All of the Movie Avengers got both a regular version and an ultra powerful Chase version. Black Widow with Thor’s Hammer. Steve Rogers with a Nova helmet, Tony Stark with… armor so thick it doesn’t move around very well. Some of these ideas were better than others.
  • The new cosmic Avengers from Hickman’s recent 3-year run are in the set, but for the most part their dials underwhelmed me. AVAS041A Starbrand, AVAS043 Abyss, AVAS054 Nightmask, AVAS056 Ex Nihilo, and AVAS036 Captain Universe all have great looking sculpts to go with dials that are so underpowered they will never be played at any real tournament. I mean, obviously not every figure is going to be a tournament piece, but c’mon. “Ooo, watch out! My 190 point Ex Nihilo is going to grow grass around your Ragnarok! It will be angry grass!” Sigh…
  • Not only were the new Cosmic Avengers underpowered for their cost, they were underpowered compared to what they do in the comics. For example, in the comics, Star Brand knocked the Hulk into orbit and almost beat the rest of the Avengers roster combined (including Thor and Hyperion) by himself. In HeroClix Wiz Kids decided that amount of power translated into having a 10 attack and… 3 damage. 3 damage? Really WizKids? Really?

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Hulk Last Titan

5. AVAS064E Hulk – He is the best No-Tactics 300 point one-man army in Modern Age. Rivaled possibly only by… himself (AAOU008 Hulk). While I think he would lose against his movie version one-on-one, I think the Hulk in Avengers Assemble would do better in a tournament for two very important reasons. First, his powers can’t be countered. Secondly, his Stop Click can’t be ignored by Pulse Wave. Add to that his Movement Special Power that lets you Charge 10 squares up a mountain while carrying an ultra heavy object, and this Hulk is really good at what every Hulk should be good at… Smashing!

Echo_as_Ronin

4. AVAS010 Echo I love figures with Super Senses and Shape Change. I tend to use those figures to tie up my opponent’s big hitter because no matter its Attack Value, those defenses will always be just as effective.

So I love that Echo has has Super Senses and Traited Combat Reflexes and that in addition to those two powers she can copy a power, like, say, Shape Change, from someone on your team or even an opposing figure. Sure she can copy any Attack or Damage power (even Telekinesis, which is weird for that character), but copying Shape Change gives her a third defensive ability which is just awesome for a character under 100 points. Plus, unlike another recent, cheap defensive powerhouse (JLTW034 Element Woman), she actually has a decent offense. 11 attack (with her own Perplex) and Blades/Claws/Fangs.

I’ll take that all day. Her downside is her lack of Willpower and the fact that while she has Stealth, she doesn’t ignore Hindering Terrain on movement. Both issues can generally be solved by a good taxi. In a No-Tactics environment she’d do well with Chase AVAS065 Black Widow.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America

3. FFCA006R Captain America Whenever I see a character cost 50 points, I know my writing partner Hypefox tends to pay attention. How he missed this guy I’ll never know. Didn’t he remember my Trinity War Top Ten Article where he said we’d be including Fast Forces figures in our Top Ten Lists from now on

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Absolutely! But I decided not to use any Fast Forces: Classic Avengers pieces BECAUSE THEY’RE ASSOCIATED WITH AGE OF ULTRON, NOT AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!]

Uh… what?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Look at the set symbol for any Avengers Assemble piece.]

Um, okay. It’s a slanty “Avengers-A.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Now look at the set symbol for any Age of Ultron SLOP piece.]

It’s Ultron’s face.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And as we all know, all of the Fast Forces pieces feature the Fast Forces symbols–which looks kind of like a blocky, italicized “6,” plus a smaller version of the set that it’s supplementing.]

Oh crap. So, since the Classic Avengers feature the Fast Forces symbol with an Ultron head in the middle…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: They would be considered a supplement to Age of Ultron, not Avengers Assemble. Which is probably why the Age of Ultron Wave 1 Instructions allowed the use of the Hank Pym ID card from the Classic Avengers pack.]

Hmmm… it’s just…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, I know. You’re kind of pot-committed at this point, so you might as well just go with it.]

<Ahem> So, there isn’t too much to say about this version of Cap that isn’t obvious. His special power will let another Avenger move 4 or 5 squares without that figure taking an action and that can just be huge. But the real interesting thing about this guy is that he can do that from any distance. You can leave him in the (relative) safety of your starting area and he is just as effective. If you do want to bring him into battle, for 50 points his Precision Strike will give him a chance to hurt characters well above his point cost.

Black Widow AVAS

2. AVAS001 Black WidowI love figures with Super Senses and Shape Change–did I mention that before? And Natasha’s Shape Change is especially good. It’s Traited so it can’t be Outwitted and if you hit make the roll then she can’t be attacked for the rest of the turn. She could have 5 other figures around her and they will just have to sit and stare at her. Making that roll a few turns in a row could be back breaking to your opponent in terms of lost actions.

Her Damage Value is low for a Primary Attacker, but she makes a great Secondary Attacker on any team. Willpower, Stealth, Improved Movement, Perplex, Precision Strike… everything else you would want besides a high Damage Value. If you can compensate for that, then she will do quite well.

1. AVAS037 Manifold  He is the #1 best way to Carry around groups of Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D or Hydra keyworded figures. Only a lack of willpower kept him out of my Top Ten. For more on this figure, see this article.

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

Red Wolf AVAS

10. AVAS051 Red WolfWho is this guy? I have to say, I’ve read a lot of comics and I’ve never even heard of him. He has conditional willpower and good defense to go along with both Super Senses and Combat Reflexes. Which is okay as it is.

But then I looked at his offense. In the right circumstances, this guy can deal more close combat damage than any Wolverine I’ve ever seen in HeroClix. Is that a wooden spear he’s holding, or a light saber? He can Flurry for two shots at 3 damage. Then he can drop his pet, Lobo, who can attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs. That’s up to 12 damage without a critical hit or even using his Super Strength… and he’s only 80 points! Did this guy beat up Odin in the comics and I just missed reading that issue?

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man

9. AVAS050E Iron Man – Even in today’s game, 18 defense with Defend in nothing to sneeze at. It was good when they released CT043 Invisible Girl and it’s still good now. Add to that fact that any adjacent Avenger also gets Defend and you’ve got two ways to exploit Iron Man’s Trait. He could Carry around pieces with Combat Reflexes or Energy Shield/Deflection–AVAS049E Captain America is a great example of that. Or, he Carry Avengers that have the Tiny combat symbol and have a Defense Value higher than 18 like FFCA002R Wasp.

Beyond his Defend tricks, this Iron Man also packs 4 damage, Hypersonic Speed, Indomitable, Invincible, and Ranged Combat Expert. He could fly in to punch an opposing figure and land one square away while dropping a figure like AVAS010 Echo to tie up the figure he just smashed. Then, the following turn, he can follow up with an Ranged Combat Expert attack for big damage. Always use your Hypersonic Speed to strike and then leave him behind the rest of your team. He doesn’t take a hit very well at the 125 point level.

Something else that lead to his high placement on this list is that at his 125 point level he makes a great ID card call in figure–especially at the end of his dial.

Charles_Barton_(Earth-616)_0001

8. AVAS048 Trick Shot – Compare him to DP036 Bullseye and I think he’ll compare favorably. We all remember how good Bullseye was when the Deadpool set came out. Trick Shot is 6 points cheaper and has much better defensive powers. Instead of Bullseye’s Probability Control, Barney Barton gets Stealth and Shape Change, which means he ends a lot of strikebacks before they begin.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not sure if “strikebacks” is a word, but I like it.]

But, even better then comparing the two, play them together–they share two named keywords (Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts, the latter of which opens up all kinds of possibilities). Any opposing figure will be full of holes before they even know what’s happening.

3082549-black+swan+from+new+avengers+v3+6

7AVAS045 Black Swan – Probably the coolest new character to be introduced in the last few years. She has also been given one of the coolest dials in her point range.

Her opening movement power states, “HURRY TO EACH THREATENED WORLD: Black Swan can use Phasing/Teleport. When she does, after actions resolve she can make a close combat attack as a free action.” This means she can move up to 10 squares through buildings, mountains, water, or whatever else is in your way and still make an attack by dropping an ultra heavy on someone’s head for 7 damage! When she gets targeted by opposing teams she has Invincible, which eventually turns into Impervious. And remember, her powers can’t be countered thanks to her Power Cosmic Team Ability.

However, the power that has everyone excited about her is “YOU HAVE FAILED TO STOP THE INCURSION: Unless this click is revealed due to taking damage from an opposing character, immediately deal Black Swan 1 unavoidable damage. At the beginning of your turn, if Black Swan is the only character on your force, KO all opposing characters. This power can’t be ignored.” As of yet, no one has thought of a way to get around the formidable restriction on that power and activate it on a less random basis, but people are working on it.

In the mean time, I like to think of it a nice bonus on an already efficient figure. 

Thor_Odinson_(Ragnarok)_(Earth-12131)

6. AVAS053B Ragnarok – Marvel’s Thor/Terminator combo character. For 200 points you get a ranged Primary Attacker with all of the attributes you’d want. 12 attack, 5 damage, Indomitable, Impervious, Shape Change and Running Shot. You get great stats and great powers for a bargain price. Being Outwittable is really his only true weakness.

This best part of his dial isn’t even anything I’ve mentioned above, It’s his keywords. Specifically the “Robot” keyword. They got a huge boost this set (more on that later). Ragnarok may the best character in Modern with that keyword.

Which means you’re going to be seeing him a lot.

new-avengers-27

5. AVAS052 Ronin – This spot on my list was going to be either Ronin or AVAS066 Goliath. I ended up going with Ronin. Here’s why. If either figure needs to make a ranged combat attack, they both will likely turn into AAOU009 Hawkeye. So that’s even, or even a little slanted to Goliath due to the heal when replacing to Hawkeye.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A “little slanted?!” That’s up to a 3-Click heal!!]

But, If Ronin or Goliath were to be in a close combat battle then I would rather have Ronin (or even Echo), hands down. Another thing to keep in mind is that compared to the Stealthy Ronin, Goliath is a Giant-symbol-ed target when moving across the board.

Ronin brings to the table Charge, Blades/Claws/Fangs and either Exploit Weakness or Flurry depending on what the situation demands. That’s some high powered offense for only 109 points. Later in the dial Ronin also has some nice Outwit. Also, until set retirement later this year he can change into Blade from Amazing Spider-Man and use Regeneration if he has taken too much damage. That’s another option Goliath doesn’t have.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, that’s a good point.]

Rick Jones

4. AVAS067 Rick Jones – This spot on my list was going to be either Rick Jones or AVAS047 Master Pandemonium. Even though Master Pandemonium was the king of sealed at my local venue, I went with Rick Jones due to his much lower point cost and the fact that Rick doesn’t have to use a power action to resummon his Bystander Tokens when they are destroyed.

What Rick Jones brings to the table for 75 points is 10 range and three bolts (wow!) with Telekinesis, Psychic Blast, Mind Control, Perplex, a 19 Defense from ranged attacks, an 11 Attack Value and a never ending stream of his own personal tie up Bystander Tokens.

If that’s not enough to impress you, he’s a got a unique Trait that states: “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.”

Loki AVAS

3. AVAS046R Loki – 120 points of Asgardian support figure with no Willpower or damage reducers or move-and-attack and a starting damage of two? Why do I like him again?

Because he is awesome. To be more specific, he’s the best defensive character in this set, and sometimes, the best offense is a good defense–especially if that defense makes your opponent waste turns.

His Trait reads, “MASTER OF ILLUSIONS AND TRICKERY: Loki can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When an opposing character targets Loki with Outwit or Perplex, he can use Shape Change as if he were targeted with an attack. When Loki makes a successful Shape Change roll, he can’t be targeted for the remainder of the turn.” So Loki is just waiting for an excuse to shut down your opponent’s attacks against him this turn. You could try to Outwit his Super Senses or Perplex down his defense, but you’d be stupid to do so. That Perplex or Outwit might shut down your attack before you even declare one!

Offensively his damage is low, but you probably won’t be making many standard attacks. His Mind Control Special Power reads, “TO TRICK MY BROTHER…AND HIS FRIENDS: Loki can use Mind Control. When he does, he isn’t dealt damage from it and, if he targets only a single character, modify Loki’s attack value by +2 and he may target a character that can use Battle Fury.” He has double targets, 8 range, 13 attack (with the bonus) and he can use that to Mind Control pretty much any piece(s) in the game–2 at a time–without taking feedback damage for it! When your opponent only has one piece left on his team, then you can feel free to go and Poison him.

If you are looking for ideas for teams I have two suggestions:

"Stop trying to hit me AND HIT ME!"

“Stop trying to hit me AND HIT ME!”

Team Name: “Try to Hit Me… If You Can.”

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS046R Loki120 Points

(w/ ATA055 Asgardian) — 5

IIM103 Absorbing Man153

(w/ ATA055 Asgardian) — 5

=283

Which means you have 17 Points left to add in whatever Bystander tokens or Resource pieces you want. Hammers would be fun. But the funnest part of this Build is watching your opponent’s attacks do absolutely nothing turn after turn.

Or…

"AAUGH!! Not the Blue Battery again!"

“AAUGH!! Not the Blue Battery again!”

You can work him into the old Blue Battery team with Superior Spider-Man (you’d be taking out Captain Marvel and some Constructs). Give Superior Spidey the Decoy and Loki the Net and just have fun with your opponent finally hitting only to have the Blue Emotional Spectrum Power take it away again. I call it my “Charlie Brown and Lucy Kicking the Football” team. Feel free to call your opponent a “Blockhead”. Click here to see more info about using Superior Spider-Man and the blue battery.

Juston Seyfert AVAS

2AVAS020 Juston Seyfert – Okay, so, everyone remembers GG026 Mole Man and what he did for monsters. Well he and his three similar friends DP043 Black Talon, GOTG003 Mantis, and IIM015 Tony Stark all share a similar power. They can all Mind Control certain types of friendly figures and, if they make the Mind Control roll, assign that figure one action.

When WizKids made Juston Seyfert, they made him similar to those other guys except THERE IS NO ROLL REQUIRED AND ZERO CHANCE OF FAILURE!! And the cost to activate–a Power Action for Juston or a Close or Ranged Combat Action for the others–is exactly the same!! That alone makes him better than all of those other guys I mentioned.

At 40 points he is also cheaper, too! Then, just to add insult to injury, they let Justin give any Robot a full move AND a close or ranged combat attack all with one action. That is two actions instead of the one that everyone else ever made like him before gets. That’s not power creep, that’s a power leap!

If you want team ideas go to the HCrealms units section and get a list of every robot in Modern with a point value between 140 and 260. They are now suddenly all tournament viable. All of them. You don’t even have to try and pick a good one. Honestly, sometimes it’s funner if you pick a crappy one–it stings your opponent more when you win.

Wtf?! How in God’s name did I lose to a team featuring Ladytron and Computo?!”

Expect to see Juston on Top 8 army lists until he is retired.

3D Man AVAS

1AVAS013B 3-D Man – For 90 points you get a Hypersonic piece with 9 movement, 11 Attack, 18 Defense, and 3 Damage. Those are pretty good stats for that point level. He’s missing Willpower, but what he does have is the game’s first Perplex that can be used three times! Even the ASMS102 Dr. Octopus Arms Relic only lets you use Perplex twice! The drawback is that he can only target himself and that Outwit ruins his day. The good news is that with his 9 Movement, often times he can strike before your opponent can get within Outwit range.

This gives him some incredible utility. For example, you can increase your Damage by one and Movement by 2 and then suddenly you’ll have a near carbon copy of the 110 point FL037B Dark Flash Prime! Or you could add +1 to Damage and +2 to Attack and land a massive 13 attack 4 damage Hypersonic blow. Or you can do what I would likely do all game and just Perplex his defense to 21… every… single… turn! That’s a 90 point character that can get to a the highest Defense Value that has ever been printed on any HeroClix figure ever. The Spectre, Galactus, and Dr. Manhatten all seem like great company to be in for a 90 point character!

However he uses his Perplex, he is still a great scout for the other 210 points of your team. His trait reads, “SEE A PERSON’S TRUE FORM AND INTENT: Opposing Characters within 6 squares and line of fire can’t use Shape Change or Stealth. Friendly characters within line of fire may modify their defense values by +2 when targeted by Mind Control.” That means that as long as he’s around your whole team will be ignoring opposing Shape Change and Stealth. That would absolutely wreck the defense for a ton of different characters and it’s not even an action, he just has to be standing near the opposing team, just nodding and saying “What’s up?”

Everything I’ve listed above is still not enough to make him my number one figure in the set. What makes him the top figure is that he is also the best ID Card character to call in that is under 100 points. When you summon him for a turn, any figure within 6 spaces of him has their Shape Change and Stealth spoiled by his Trait. Then you get to do a giant 13 attack value 4 damage Hypersonic hit. And after all that any friendly figure next to him when the dust settles gets the Triathlon inspiration which states, “Modify speed value by +1. Modify attack value by +1 when making a close combat attack. Modify defense value by +1 against close combat attacks.”

That is a plethora of effects for a 5 point investment and that’s why he is the best figure in the Avengers Assembled set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Alright! We hope you enjoyed this counter look at Avengers Assemble! We’ll have an upcoming local game announcement here in the next couple days, followed by some new articles next week! Thanks for reading.]

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments section below!

Straight, With CHASEr 3!! [Or, 7 Builds for 7 Brothers! (Okay, 6 Brothers and a Sister!)]

Avengers Assemble

Welcome Back!

Today we’re gonna take a special look at the brand-spanking new Avengers Assemble set! Amongst a host of previously Un-Clix’d figures, WizKids gave us seven new Chases featuring future/past/alternate timeline versions of the six most popular Avengers (and one Chase that featured their OG sidekick–but we’ll get to him in a moment) on kickass translucent red bases.

Now, while the Chases are vaguely connected from a thematic standpoint, this is the first group of Chases from a main set that I can remember that do NOT all have a shared mechanic (think Zombies in Deadpool and Guardians, Bringers of the Great Darkness in SLoSH, Entities in WoL, etc.). Which is cool. While I don’t mind Chases that share mechanics, it’s kind of a nice palette cleanser every once in a while to see a set of Chase figures that all play completely differently.

Which leads me right into today’s main topic. Because they all play somewhat differently, we’re going to construct seven 300-Point Builds all based around one of the new Avengers Assemble Chases!

Let’s dive right in with a living legend… who kinda lives up to the legend!

Steve Rogers Nova Corps 2

AVAS061 Steve Rogers250/200 PointsChase:

So, whether he’s played at 250 Points or 200, Steve Rogers hopped up on the Worldmind is gonna be a Primary Attacker. His Trait ( Nova Helmet Targeting Assist: Each turn, one friendly character with the Avengers keyword and another friendly character with the Nova Corps keyword can use Precision Strike, but only when targeting a single character.) is useful, but not exactly the type of thing you usually build an army around. Still, let’s give it a try.

I’m going to play Steve at 200 points so that I can surround him with a little bit of support–specifically, the new Avengers: Age of Ultron Starter Set Hawkeye! Hawkeye is a terrific secondary attacker that Steve can Carry into battle. Clint also offers some top dial Enhancement, so Steve will be shooting for 5 Penetrating Damage on his first click. Together, Steve and Clint come to 275 Points, which leaves 25 Points for a Resource. So our roster will look like this:

Steve Rogers Nova Corps

Team Name: You and I Remember Xandar Very Differently

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 Points

AAOU106 Hawkeye 75

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force12

AVXR101 Cyclops Fragment3

(Assigned to Steve Rogers) — 3

AVXR103 Colossus Fragment3

(Assigned to Hawkeye) — 3

=299

 

Not bad. Playable. Hawkeye can bust any Stealth that you need him to (and unfortunately, Steve will need him to), and his Attack Value is actually higher than Steve’s; you’d probably do well to hit with Clint first, and follow up with Steve for the killshot. With the Precision Strike Steve grants him, Clint’s really only going to be shut down by Shape Change; he’s got an ability to deal with almost every other defensive power in the game. If you can just get the Phoenix Force to its second Click, you suddenly gain two Perplexes (and Hawkeye suddenly has a 19 Defense against ranged attacks), so you’re damage output should be fine from then on.

Still, getting there won’t be easy, and with only two figures, you’ll have little to no margin for error. It will be hard to get in the first attack–especially in such a way that won’t leave you open to a crippling counter-attack.

So, again, this is a decent Build, but I think we can do slightly better defensively than just ES/D. Austin on Dial H for Heroclix noted the potential this particular Chase has for beefing up Police-keyworded rosters, and I completely agree with his assessment! So let’s see what happens when we basically ignore Steve’s Trait (although Steve himself can still use it) and partner him up with a special agent from another universe.

I’m talking, of course, about the Chase Chun-Li D.E.O. Agent!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, but please note Critical Missives Build Rule #4: It’s never the Chase Chun-Li.]

"I'm the only Clix in the game that starts with top dial Hypersonic Speed AND an Attack Special that grants Leap/Climb! AND a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with just a Power Action! Guess which two of those powers I won't be using?"

I’m the only Clix in the game that starts with top dial Hypersonic Speed AND an Attack Special that grants Leap/Climb! AND I have a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with the mere cost of a Power Action. Guess which two of those powers I won’t be using!

So let’s try this again:

Nova Steve 3

Team Name: You and I Remember Central City Very Differently

Theme: Police

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 Points

(w/Secret Avengers ATA) — 5

JLTW009 D.E.O. Agent 56

JLTWR102 Rock of Eternity (Complete)28

(Assigned to Steve Rogers)

Rick Jones Avengers ID Card5

= 294

See?! We’ve suddenly given our 200 Point lynchpin Stealth (via D.E.O. Agent’s Trait: SAFETY IN NUMBERS: When D.E.O. Agent is adjacent to a friendly character with the Police keyword or team ability, both characters can use Stealth.)! Plus access to an Attack Value buff via the D.E.O. Agent’s Police TA. Not to mention we made Steve the Champion of the Rock of Eternity!

No matter what Build we came up with, it was always going to live or die with Steve–that’s true of any piece that costs 2/3 of your force allotment (which is also why so many high level players won’t play anything in the Meta right now that’s more expensive than WoL107 Kyle Rayner). So by giving him the Rock and Stealth, you made him that much tougher to kill.

This won’t win a ROC anytime soon, but if your opponent isn’t packing a solid targeting solution for Stealth, he’s in some deep trouble.

"'But Chun-Li,' you say, 'you only have Flurry mid-dial. So isn't it great that your Team Ability grants you some move-and-attack goodness?' You bet it is. It grants me the ability to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which is not Charge, which is what I'd need to use Flurry as well. But hey, I can still Carry folks. Did I mention I'm 140 Points and I only do 2 damage?"

“‘But Chun-Li,’ you say, ‘don’t sell yourself short. You also have Flurry mid-dial. That’s good, right?‘ You bet it is. Especially since my Team Ability grants me the power to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which isn’t Charge! Which is what I’d need to enable the use of Flurry with it. But congratulations on pulling me! I’m a Chase! You definitely didn’t waste money irresponsibly in acquiring me.

Uhhh… thanks, Chun-Li. I, uh, I think you’ve made your point. This isn’t really about you–we were just doing a quick bit–

"Oh, hey, speaking of my special power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?"

Oh, hey, speaking of my Special Attack Power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?

I don’t–I really don’t think you’re still supposed to be here–

"Oh, hey, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures? Any flyer."

Any %$&#!^* flyer.”

Sigh… Chun-Li, what did we say about the swearing?

"$#@& you!"

$#@& you! I’m 140 points and I do 2 damage. $#@& you.

Moving on!

It’s time for some Heavy Metal…

 

Iron Man Extremis Buster

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 PointsChase:

Now here is your classic Brick Sandwich. 270 Points! Yikes. Okay, well, believe it or not, we still have some options here. Iron Man has a great defensive Trait (ULTRA-DENSE ALLOYS: When Iron an would be dealt damage, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1, he can use Invulnerability; on a result of 2, he can use Invincible; on a result of 3 – 4, damage dealt is reduced by 3; on a result of 5 – 6, damage dealt is ignored.) and starts with 8 Movement with Sidestep, 11 Attack with a Special (MAGNETIC CONCUSSION: Iron Man can use Force Blast and Pulse Wave.), 18 Defense with Willpower and 4 native Damage with a pretty awesomely named Special Power (GIVE ME ALL THE CAMERAS: Iron Man can use Outwit and has Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.).

So, what are his main deficiencies? Well, he doesn’t fly, so even with Sidestep, he’s gonna have a tough time with mobility. At 270 Points, he leaves almost no room for supporting characters. And while his Defense is a solid 18 with a bunch of dampeners, 18 is still pretty hit-able in today’s game. So, having said all that, I would probably look to play him in a non-Resource environment that still allowed 1 Relic per force.

 

Chase Iron Man AA

Team Name: Stark’s Industrial Forgers

Theme: Stark Industries

Roster:

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 Points

FIS104 Greithoth’s Hammer — 8

FI301 Splitlip — 20

= 298

Splitlip gives you a bunch of great little support bonuses. First, Iron Man has a 50% chance to pick up Greithoth’s Hammer, which will give him +2 to his Attack Value, Running Shot and Great Size, so Iron Man can ignore most Terrain types. Second, once Iron Man has that Hammer, he can tote Splitlip around and benefit from Splitlip’s top dial Enhancement. And third, they both form a Stark Industries Themed Team, so Splitlip will be able to use a Themed Probability Control on certain occasions.

In an environment without Resources, you should have a decent chance at setting up an Alpha Strike, especially since Iron Man can shoot through walls on his first two clicks.  All in all, I think I like this team sliiiiightly better than the Steve Rogers teams I came up with, but only because there’s a slightly higher damage ceiling with this Build.

 

King Thor Avengers Assemble

AVAS063 King Thor 369/300/200 Points — Chase:

Another Brick, but one with a slightly different skill set and THREE(!) different dial options. The King here doesn’t pack quite enough of a punch to try him as a one-man army, so again, we’re gonna settle on his 200 Point dial (which is still 6 clicks long. That’s a decent amount of life for a THIRD point option). We’ll go full Asgardian here for a lil’ Map help, plus a few Horde tokens to help dish out Hammers.

 

King Thor Chase

Team Name: As-hats

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS063R King Thor — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIR100C Book of the Skull (Complete) — 30

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

= 300

Once again, we can have our best ranged attacker sling Splitlip over his shoulder and wreck some face. Or, we can have Loki Carry Splitlip first, drop him off in position, and have King Thor finish his Running Shot right next to the lil’ guy. What? King Thor doesn’t have Running Shot? Well, you have four Hammers to choose from. And once he’s equipped, if positioned next to Splitlip correctly, he’ll have two chances (via his own Prob Control) to fling a Hammer 8 squares for 5 Damage. That’s not half bad. The S.H.I.E.L.D. Support is there to help equip Hammers as quickly as possible AND to heal the King should the need arise.

With just a little bit of guile and cunning, you’ll be able to deal some serious dam–

"I'm sorry, did someone say my name?"

I’m sorry, did someone say my name?”

No!! Nope! I’m not going through this again with any more Street Fighters, you hear me? You’re not even a Chase!

"I don't need a Chase. My Uncommon version will dominate any Clix contest! I have a Special Power that lets me move 3 squares and attack for 2 Penetrating Damage--and I get to put an action token on my opponent!"

I don’t need a Chase. My Uncommon version will dominate any Clix contest! I have a Special Power that lets me move 3 squares and attack for 2 Penetrating Damage–and I get to put an action token on my opponent!

That… actually, that’s not bad. Not really worth interrupting this article for, but, you know, uh… noted. Good for you.

"Or, for 10 points less, my Common version has a Special that lets me Incapacitate fools!"

Or, for 10 points less, my Common version has a Special Power that lets me straight Incapacitate fools!

Wait, what? Your other ability already does that. Why would I ever want to save 10 points so badly that I’d cut into you damage output so severely? That 2 Penetrating damage is definitely worth the extra 10 Points!

"Ha! See, I knew you'd be interested."

Ha! See? I knew you’d be interested.

I… can’t believe I fell for that. Moving. ON!

 

Hulk Last Titan

 

AVAS064 Hulk 325/300/150 Points — Chase:

Okay, remember when I said that King Thor at 300 wasn’t good enough to be a one-man army? Well, meet the guy who is. This is the easiest Build of the article:

Hulk Chase Avengers Assemble

Team NameThe Last Last Titan

Theme: Hulk needs no Theme. Hulk strongest Theme there is!!

Roster:

AVAS064E Hulk — 300 Points

=300

His Trait (THE LAST TITAN: Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) is awesome; all those times that Ninwashui complained about the fact that the other great Hulks we’ve received this year have no Outwit protection? Yeah, you can forget about that; this guy has total Outwit protection from everyone except, like, Greed with Ophidian and the Omega Drive.

And even if you find yourself sitting across the table from the decked-out orange Sin, you can feel pretty confident in your ability to one-shot the lil’ bastard. On his first click, Hulk can Charge 10 squares (and that DOESN’T include his Giant Reach)–no halving or modifying of his Movement value is required–with a 12 Attack and 5 Damage (or up to 8 with an Ultra-Heavy). He also doesn’t care about Blocking Terrain, other characters, Hindering or Elevated Terrain, either. If you’re on the map, Hulk will find you. And he will obliterate you.

His Defense starts at 18, never falls below 17, and ends with a stupefyingly awesome Special Power (ONLY ONE THERE IS: Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.).

Now, will there be times when you’re devastating Alpha Strike is ruined when you roll a stinkin’ 3? Sure there will. You have no backup plan with a one-man army. That’s the deal.

But man, you will have some fun with this guy.

"Pssst... you know who else would make a good one-man army?"

Pssst… you know who else would make a good one-man army?

Dammit! We know it’s you, baby Akuma. Go away!

"Ha-Ha!! It's me, Akuma!!"

Ha-Ha!! It’s was me, Akuma, the whole time!!

Yeah, somehow, we guessed that already. And you’re not a one-man army!

"Of course not. I'm just a Rare. But I do have a special power that lets me make 4 close combat attacks in one turn. With no Damage Depletion Modifier."

Of course not. And I’m not a Chase, either. Just a Rare. But I do have a special power that lets me make 4 close combat attacks in one turn. With no Damage Depletion Modifier.

Whaa… ? That can’t be a real power.

"GOSHORYUKEN: Give Akuma a double power action. He can use Flurry as a free action. If he hits at least one character, after actions resolve he can choose a square within 6 squares and be placed in it and then use Flurry again as a free action."

GOSHORYUKEN: Give Akuma a double power action. He can use Flurry as a free action. If he hits at least one character, after actions resolve he can choose a square within 6 squares and be placed in it and then use Flurry again as a free action.

Waitwaitwait! You get to Flurry, zip around the map Kyle Rayner-style, and then Flurry again? And you’re in the same set as that crappy Chun-Li Chase? What’s your point cost? If she’s 140, you have to be, like 220.

"170!"

170!!!”

Who created your set?! Good Lord! It’s like, you would only lose in a Sealed if you actually DID pull a Chase.

"$#@& you."

“To reiterate: $#@& you.”

Hey!! I did not design you, Chun-Li! Don’t yell at me!

That’s it! NO MORE STREET FIGHTERS!! THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT AVENGERS, DAMMIT!!

[Deeeeeeep breath… ]

 

Okay. Annnnnnd, we’re back.

Black Widow as Thor

AVAS065 Black Widow200 Points — Chase:

So, Natasha, the spy, assassin, and all around master of dirty fighting tricks… has been found worthy to wield Mjolnir? Well, it happened! In an alternate universe, sure, but that’s never stopped a character from earning a Clix before! Let’s break down her dial.

Right off the bat, she has a fantastic Trait. Remember all the hoops we jumped through to give 200 Point Steve Rogers Stealth? And how it’s contingent on Steve lugging around a D.E.O. Agent and, y’know, FINDING COVER? Look what comes with Black Widow: “DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS: Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.

So, for no additional cost, not only does Natasha have Traited Stealth, BUT SHE MAKES HER OWN HINDERING TERRAIN!! For FREE!!

Looking at her dial, it’s apparent she’s learned a lot from her Asgardian teammate. This is a Thor dial with just a few Black Widow trimmings (like the aforementioned Stealth Trait), most of which don’t show up until the end of her dial. Her Defense Special (WE’RE THE SACRIFICE – WE WILL SAVE THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE: Black Widow can use Combat Reflexes and Toughness. Whenever another friendly character is KO’d by an opposing character, you may heal Black Widow of 2 clicks.) is great, and it coincides with her move from Running Shot to Charge.

I really love Pandora’s Box with Black Widow; any of the Sins you choose to giver her will offer Sidestep (which allows her to better utilize her top dial RCE), and many will even give her ES/D (which gives you a ranged attacker who herself has Invincible and a 19 Defense Value from ranged attacks). Plus, if you can get the Resource Dial to Click #9, she’ll suddenly be able to bust Stealth (and more, depending on which power you get each turn).

We’re also going to stick with an Asgardian Theme for this squad, which will help with Map Choice and offer 3 Themed Team Probs. Since most Asgardians cost quite a bit, we’re gonna have to return to some of the usual suspects to ensure we can get out all the Sins we need to distribute.

Black Widow Chase

Team Name: Strange Clouds

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS065 Black Widow — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Complete) — 40

= 300

Widow Carries Splitlip (once again, for Enhancement), Loki Carries the Damaged Warbot, and all of them can benefit from Pandora’s Box. Patience is your friend here (and Widow’s Stealth will help with that). Pick your spots to attack carefully, and don’t be afraid to move for board control or for future positioning; your pieces are only going to get better as the game goes on, so stretching things out to give yourself more time to distribute Sins is in your best interest.

"Did someone mention strange clouds?"

Did someone say they want to ‘stretch things out?'”

Nope! I’m not encouraging this. Moving. On.

 

Goliath

AVAS066 Goliath98 PointsChase:

Probably my favorite Chase in the set, Goliath may also be the most versatile CHASEr as well. His Trait seems harmless enough (BACK TO THE BLOND-HAIRED BOWSLINGER NAMED HAWKEYE!: Give Goliath a free action and replace him with any character of equal or less points named Hawkeye on the same click number minus 3, minimum 1.), but it really opens up endless possibilities for how you can use Goliath.

You can start you game by having Goliath Carry out one of your key pieces; then, if your facing, say, some Hypersonic Speedsters, or characters whose offense is based on mobility (especially pieces who have Running Shot or Ranged Combat Expert but DON’T have Sharpshooter), you can stay with Goliath and use Charge with either his native 4 Damage or Quake, if you want to reach out and touch a few opponents at once. Goliath’s Damage Special (GROUND SQUASH: Characters hit by Goliath’s attacks can’t automatically break away and modify their break away rolls by -1 until your next turn.) will all but ensure that anyone he hits (note that he DOESN’T have to actually damage them–just hit them) will be stuck exactly where they are for at least a turn.

Now it’s turn two or turn three… and this is when things REALLY get exciting!! Because Goliath’s Trait can help you customize your team… AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED!

So, imagine this scenario: Goliath has Carried out your big hitter to some prime real estate where your hitter can attack from next turn. Your opponent, however, decides to TK out his or her ranged beast of a Primary Attacker (say, someone who deals 4 or 5 Damage top dial and has Stealth to prevent retaliatory strikes–oh hey, maybe someone JUST LIKE the Black Widow Chase we just talked about) for an Alpha Strike on Goliath, and all of the sudden Clint is drilled all the way to Click 4. Half his dial is wiped away. Crap. Goliath no longer has Charge, and your Primary Attacker never had a way to see through Stealth. What do you do?

Well, since you thought to include Goliath to begin with, all your really need to do is give him a Free Action, sub in, say, AAOU009 Hawkeye, (who can now suddenly Sidestep–while ignoring Elevated AND Hindering Terrain) and start blasting away. Through Stealth. Oh, and by the way, Hawkeye himself now has Stealth, so your opponent’s big hitter? Yeah, if that piece can’t see through Stealth, your opponent is suddenly in for a world of hurt.

Of course, when you bring Hawkeye in, make sure you bring him in top dial, since his Goliath’s Trait specifies that the replacement character comes in on the same click as Goliath MINUS-3 (in this scenario, 4-3=1). So that big hit your opponent just spent all their resources last turn building up to? Completely wiped away.

With one Free Action, you’ve COMPLETELY changed the makeup of your team–and, in this scenario, you’ve also completely changed the complexion of the game. When used correctly, Goliath can actually devastate your opponent’s strategy WITHOUT EVEN ROLLING AN ATTACK! That’s pretty amazing.

Having said all that, we’re going to keep this Build pretty simple. This is a 300 Point, Modern Age, No Resources team.

Goliath Chase

Team Name: Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed & Furious

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS066 Goliath — 98 Points

AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45

AAOU005R Thor — 150

AVID015 Manifold5

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

= 298

As I stated above, you can get really complicated with a Goliath Build if you want. Here, however, we’re just gonna stick with Goliath (who can change into a ridiculously useful Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye) and Thor, with Nick Fury for support. Keep in mind, if you have Thor Carry Nick Fury, your Tertiary Attacker can suddenly do 4 freaking damage! That’ll make your opponent’s head spin!

"Did someone say 'Electrify?'"

Did someone say ‘Electrify?'”

No! Dammit, no one said anything close to that!

Blanka 2

Great. You know your own name. Congratulations.

"At least I'm a Chase."

At least I’m a Chase.”

Yes. You ARE a Chase. You have a perfectly average dial that’s costed just about as one would expect it to be. Which means your perfectly average. Which also means that you’re probably one of the five best clicks in your set, since “perfectly average” is the new “completely broken” when it comes to Street Fighter Clix. There. Are you happy?

Are all of you rude, obnoxious, interrupting jerks from the Street Fighter set happy? Can I finally MOVE THE $#@& ON with my day?

???

Good. At last.

 

"Uh... something something, MIRROR SPIN?"

Uh… something something, MIRROR SPIN?”

I hate my life.

 

Rick Jones

 

AVAS067 Rick Jones75 Points — Chase:

So Rick Jones is kind of support mixed with some Secondary Attacker skills. He continually spawns some pretty decent Bystander Tokens via his Trait (SUMMON THE HEROES I GREW UP READING ABOUT: At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America bystander token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a bystander token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a bystander token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following. This ability can’t be ignored. Bystander Token KO’d: Bystander Token Placed; Captain America: Namor; Namor: Blazing Skull; Blazing Skull: Captain America.), and once per game, his other Trait allows him to immobilize your opponent’s entire team for a whole turn (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.). Keep in mind too that your opponent gets no points for KO’ing any of the Bystander Tokens.

As Hunter Smith from Dial H for Heroclix likes to say, “Sounds fair.”

He’s somewhat hard to hit at range with ES/D down his whole dial, and he has Pen/Psy with a massive 10 Range for his first 3 Clicks. On his second click, he even picks up Perplex.

So again, as with Goliath, you have a single character who can fill multiple roles. Team him with, say, AVAS066 Goliath and AVAS034 Jarvis, add in like 3 ID cards of your choosing, and suddenly you have an extremely versatile team, especially in a Modern Age, No Resources format. Oh, and you still have 87 MORE POINTS!!

Team NameSwiss Army Avengers

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS067 Rick Jones — 75 Points

AVAS066 Goliath — 98

AVAS034 Jarvis 40

WXM078 Quicksilver — 87

AVID015 ManifoldFIVE 0 (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

= 300

Truly, this is a team designed to combat a multitude of threats. Not a hugely favorable damage output, but it should be able to run with most Builds. There’s nothing out there that you shouldn’t be able to bring a piece in to handle.

So, there you go. A whole bunch of Builds and analysis featuring the seven new Avengers Assemble Chases. Plus, random analysis for Golden Age Street Fighter figures that, frankly, no one asked for or wanted. Myself included.

"Speaking of Chases no one wants--"

Speaking of Chases no one wants–

What?! Don’t be so hard on yourself, Cammy! You’ve actually got a pretty good dial. Granted, it’s all close combat, but still, you can easily get your Attack Value to 11 or 12–

"I was talking about Chun-Li's Chase again."

I was talking about Chun-Li’s Chase again.

Oh. Wow. Uh, this is awkward. So, you were just popping in to agree with me?

"Jerk."

Jerk.”

Well, until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire.

"$#@& you and goodbye."

“$#@& you and goodbye.”

 

It Might Get Loud!! (Or, Critical Missives Scenario #1: MCU Heroes Versus Villains!!)

Avengers poster

Hello again!

Today we’re here to share our first scenario with you. In celebration of the May 2nd premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ninwashui and I have prepared a couple special scenarios that we’re going to play out on our own time. Our first scenario is detailed here today!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For those who are unaware, a scenario is any game of Heroclix with special rules that are specific to that particular game. Often times they are meant to be played with either a specific set of figures, or else they give you a much smaller range of figures with which to create your Build. Usually there is also a small bit of story context accompanying the scenario (that justifies its existence and/or explains the comic or movie-based storyline you’re about to play out). WizKids sometimes creates scenarios for added depth of play during their OP events and distributes instructions on how to play them with the OP Scenario Pack (for example, Fear Itself had 2 Scenario Pack, War of Light had 1).]

Ninwashui and I have been chomping at the bit to try out some of these new Age of Ultron Gravity Feed pieces, but this Scenario will also give us a chance to break out some of our favorite older Movie Set pieces as well.

So, without further ado, here is our first Critical Missives Scenario. Taking a page from Survivor, it’s simply titled…

 

AvU

HEROES VS. VILLAINS!!

The Scenario: It’s all out war in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!!

While inside Avengers Tower celebrating their ability to finally subdue the Hulk’s latest rampage, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers are finally able to relax. During a fun game of “Whosoever Is Worthy to Pick Up Thor’s Hammer,”all of the Tower’s computers suddenly light up. The Tesseract Thor had brought back with him from Asgard begins to spew energy, and a temporal anomaly forms in the Tower’s Quinjet hangar! For a moment, everything seems normal–until the hangar is ripped open, and the Avengers find themselves under attack from the menacing AI of Ultron and his Sentries! But things immediately go from bad to worse as almost EVERY major villain from the MCU–even some they thought they had dealt with permanently–begin flooding in from the anomaly! The fate of the world is in the hands of the Avengers, and to save it, they’ll have to fight their worst enemies or die trying. 

But the Villains aren’t the only ones back from the beyond. An ally once thought lost has returned to aid the Avengers, and he’s brought a really big gun…

The Game: Designed for 2 Players. 1600 Points. Oreo Age. One player assumes control of the “Heroes” side. The other will guide the “Villains.”

The Map: Avengers Tower (from the Age of Ultron Movie Set Starter Pack). The “Heroes” should begin in the Starting Zone located on the side with the lab, while the “Villains” should start on the side with the open hangar.

The Special Scenario Rules:

–When forces are being built, the “Heroes” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.

–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.

–At the beginning of each player’s first turn, that player may select a single Additional Team Ability (ATA) and assign that Team Ability to all eligible members of their team. At least one member of a player’s force must have the printed keyword required for the chosen ATA.

–There is a restriction of 5 actions per team per turn (NOT COUNTING FREE ACTIONS). This total can be increased by Leadership as per normal.

–While we’re not going to bother with declaring Sidelines or anything, the “Heroes” player should have at least 4 Iron Legions stashed off the map (as well as a Captain America and Black Widow & Iron Man and War Machine Duo Figures if available) and the “Villains” should have at least 4 Test Subjects ready to go.

Special Character Rules:

–In addition to his normal stats and powers, Agent Coulson gets the following Special Damage Power on Click number 4: “So That’s What it Does: Once per game, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing attack, stop turning the dial and select an opposing character. Agent Coulson can use Pulse Wave. When he does, the area of effect for this attack is his range value, he has a locked damage value of 3, and this attack ignores all characters except the opposing character selected for this power. After actions resolve, deal Agent Coulson 1 unavoidable damage. This power cannot be countered or ignored.”

–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player may assign either Loki or Red Skull GGS102 Cosmic Cube without paying its cost. During the game, figures named “Loki,” “Red Skull” or “Captain America” automatically succeed when rolling for the Cosmic Cube.

 

THE ROSTERS:

 

Avengers 1 MCU

Heroes:

 AAOU003 Captain AmericaCommon125 Points

AAOU101 Iron Man Mk. 43Starter Pack150 

AAOU005 ThorCommon200

AAOU008E HulkCommon250

AAOU013 Black WidowMass Market Rare 80

AAOU009 HawkeyeCore Hobby Rare94

AAOU010 Scarlet WitchCore Hobby Rare55

AAOU014 Quicksilver Mass Market Rare63

AAOU011 VisionCore Hobby Rare100

IM3016 War MachineMass Market Rare220

CATWS006 FalconCommon105

AAOU015 Nick FuryMass Market Rare45

AVM206 Agent CoulsonCommon50

CATWS011 Maria HillCore Hobby Rare60

= 1597 (Hmmm… Heroes are apparently so confident that they’re leaving 3 Points on the board!)

 

Marvel Villains

Villains:

AVM211 LokiChase220 Points

AVM041 Red SkullChase170

IM3008 Aldrich KillianCommon35

TDW004 MalekithCommon350

CATWS008 Winter SoldierCommon100 

GOTGM106 RonanStarter Pack300

AAOU016 Baron StruckerMass Market Rare95

AAOU018 Ultron PrimeMass Market Chase250

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

= 1600 Points!! (Villains got their $#!t together!)

 

Why These Teams?: Because, as I mentioned before, this gives us a chance to really dig into the new Age of Ultron Movie Set while also providing an opportunity to dust off some old favorites. As for these specific rosters, we chose them because–between the two of us–we happen to have all these pieces and the points match pretty damn close (in a 1600 Point game, I’m prepared to deal with a variance of 3 points).

Handicapping the Squads: While we haven’t decided who will play which side, just looking at the rosters, I’d expect the “Heroes” side to have a distinct advantage. While there is certainly a ton of raw power on the “Villains” side (and Ooooo, Malekith at 350 looks like soooo much fun…), the “Heroes” side is much more synergistic with their “Avengers Assemble!” Traits and such. Still, we shall see…

The Result: Check back in this space next week. Once we play out the Scenario, we’ll post the highlights and tell you who won right here!! (And/or in the next Weekly Roundup–we’re waaaay overdue for one of those!)

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

There Are… No Strings… on Me!! (Or, a Set Review of the Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Set!!)

Age of Ultron Back to Us

 

Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Or a Happy Passover, or, if you’re not a person of faith, or at least not a person of a faith that celebrated this season, I hope you had, uh, a Happy Sunday!

As our belated gift to you, Ninwashui and I are teaming up to rip through the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron Gravity Feed Movie Set! We’re gonna go figure by figure using our popular and patented [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, it’s really neither of those things.] Oxygen Filtration Mask Numeric Scale!

It’s all part of our month-long ramp up celebrating the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! In addition to today’s article, we’re also going to review the Starter pack and write and play a scenario based on the movie (or, y’know, what little we know about the movie since it hasn’t released yet).

But today is about the Age of Ultron Gravity Feed, so let’s get it rolling!

SOME QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–The whole set actually gets its flavor not just from AoU but also from prior Marvel movies as well. Iron Man (Iron Man 3), Iron Legion (Iron Man 3) and Nick Fury (Avengers) all have power sets and costumes that reference previous MCU outings. Conversely, Hawkeye and Black Widow are definitely in their Age of Ultron costumes (note Hawkeye’s longer tunic, which gets him a little bit closer to his comic book look), but their power sets almost seem like they’re taken directly from the first Avengers film (going back to Hawkeye, he has Traits and Powers with names like “Rooftop Maneuvers” and “Vantage Point.” He could certainly spend a lot of time on rooftops in Age of Ultron, but these really sound like Hawkeye’s abilities taken from the Battle of Manhattan sequence in the first Avengers film).

–Meanwhile, it seems like the designers went out of their way to make the most generic Cap, Thor and Hulk pieces they could possibly imagine (I’m speaking strictly from a flavor/sculpt standpoint–see each figure’s individual entry to see how we think they stand up as Heroclix figures!). Cap gets an abilities like “Rebounding Shield” and “His Enemies Fear Him,” while Hulk has “Fueled by Anger” and “He Only Leaves Rubble.”

–For those keeping score at home, we finally have MCU Clix for: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Baron Strucker and Ultron. First time generics include Test Subject and Iron Legion (although IM3 had at least 4 Armor Shell versions from the “House Party Protocol” scene at the end of the movie).

Alright, enough notes about the set! Let’s dig into the dials!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry bro, we need one more note. As always with Movie Set Reviews, we’re saving the Starter Review for a separate article, since we’re already over 7000 words on the Main Set alone, making this our largest single article ever!]

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man

AAOU001 Iron Man250/185 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: At 250 Points, Iron Man here is certainly beefy, starting with a 12 Attack and an 18 Defense Value with Invincible. His awesomely-named second Trait (THE HOUSE PARTY PROTOCOL, SIR?: Give Iron Man a power action if there are less than 4 friendly undefeated characters named Iron Legion. If you do, place a AAOU002 Iron Legion in your starting area from outside the game.) allows him to bring in armor shells that are two clicks deep, but they come into play in your starting area. Depending on where the action’s centered, the battle may be lost before you can even get the shells into play. This is a bit of a problem, especially since there’s another figure in this set who does the same trick better. Similarly, his Avengers Assemble Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.) is a nifty lil’ bonus, but there are better versions of the same Trait on almost every other Avenger.

In a Modern Age environment that also includes Ultron Prime and Trinity War Superman at the 250 Point level, I just don’t know that you’re getting enough damage out of this Iron Man and his Iron Legion shells to really keep up with number of effective actions your opponent will be taking in a 300 Point game. Also, while any piece with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability is going to be a nuisance, his 7 Range is below average for a piece in his price range.

Now, at 185 Points… he’s still over costed. With five clicks of life and middling Attack Values (again, for the points), he still offers the same two Traits as his higher-costed version and the ability to target through Stealth. Still, this feels much more like a 150 or 160 Point dial. 185 is just a rip-off, frankly. Not the worst dial in the world, but not one that I would choose to play, especially with all of the other Iron Man options out there.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says:

Pretty short dials for both versions, actually. Both Traits are more fun than competitive. The Iron Legions he can bring into play hit hard enough, sure, but they’re easy to KO and award 50 Points to your opponent for each one that’s KO’d. And really, the Transport Symbol is pretty much wasted on figures that already fly and have top dial Running Shot.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Legion

AAOU002 Iron Legion50 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Mildly effective for his points, but you’re probably not playing him this way very often. He’s useable, but far from groundbreaking. Actually, he’s kind of a boring way to use 50 points, but at least he can Taxi, too.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks 

HypeFox Says: Yeah, he’s only got 4 Clicks, but for 50 Points I get Running Shot, 10 Attack and a Damage Value that never drops below 3 AND never loses Enhancement. A great Tertiary Attacker with a mild amount of support with Enhancement and the ability to Taxi. I think he’s damn effective for 50 Points–I’d put him right up there with some of the better Lantern Recruits we just got.

GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America

AAOU003 Captain America125/80 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: One of the most creative Caps we’ve seen in awhile. The 125 Point dial is a brutally effective mid-range piece to start. He’s actually at his most deadly when he’s at least two squares away from an opposing figure, even though Cap is normally thought of as a close combatant. His Avengers Assemble Trait is pretty one-sided (there will be very few circumstances when your opponent would rather take a -1 hit to the Attack Value of all his pieces versus letting you give one of your pieces +1 to Damage). His top dial vanilla Leadership is somewhat wasted when the majority of Avengers cost more than him (or at least the majority of Avengers who can Carry him and keep him adjacent–yes, you can sometimes end up adjacent to a friendly after a Running Shot to set up Leadership next turn, but that’s a lil’ tricky to do usually). If he ignored characters on movement (instead of or in addition to) I’d love him; as it is, I merely like this dial.

His Rookie dial, on the other hand, offers a ton of value for 80 Points–and also plays way differently than his Blue dial. Now that’s a great design! He starts with a Leadership Special Power (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM: Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.) that he keeps his whole dial. He doesn’t even need line of fire to dish out tokens–opposing characters merely need to be within 4 Squares.

His Attack Value never descends below 10, and even gets up to 11 more than once. The only problem is a lack of Indomitable, but the last half of his dial features Willpower anyway. And top dial, once he gets in close on someone, they’re gonna need a 20 to hit him with a Close Combat attack.

This is a fun piece and one of my favorites from the set.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: Really dig his 125 Point dial. He’s difficult to hit at range, which should allow him to use his Avengers Initiative Team Ability to slowly close in on his opponents. After that first hit he magically transforms into an equally hard to hit close combat headache for your opponent.

His 80 Point dial is almost as good, but his Leadership Special–as powerful as it can potentially be–will only go off 33% of the time. And with no native damage reducers, it’s possible for a heavy hitter like AAOU005 Thor to knock him out with one lucky hit.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Test Subject

AAOU004 Test Subject30 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Ugh. The first real loser of the set. Don’t let the 3 separate dials fool you–even for a generic, this is a bit uninspired. Their Trait (THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE YIELDING… INTERESTING… RESULTS: When Test Subject is first placed on the map, roll a d6 and click the character to the indicated starting line: 1 – 2 red; 3 – 4 blue; 5 – 6 yellow) ensures that you’ll never know which of their dials you’ll actually be playing, which is a problem when you are, y’know, TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLEMENTARY TEAM! These guys need help to be anything more than even just a tie-up piece for a turn. But with such limited mobility, it’ll take them forever just to get next to an opposing figure to tie them up in the first place. I can’t see 4 of these pieces ever taking out any 120 Point figure I can think of.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: Okay, taken on their own merits, they’re not the best use of 30 Points. However, what if I told you there was a way to easily get them within range of an opposing figure, to the point that they’d be all but guaranteed an Alpha Strike? Then would you be interested? If you can find a way around their awful mobility, these guys suddenly become pretty dangerous–especially since they’re only 30 Points. Having said that, no one is ever going to play them for 30 Points, for reasons we will get into as we get a bit further down the list…

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Thor

AAOU005 Thor200/150 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: Wow. We’ve gotten a ton of 4-Star Thors in the past couple years, but this version might just be a cut above. His AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Thor hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters modify their damage values by -1 until your next turn or, opposing characters can’t make ranged combat attacks until your next turn.) is absolutely brutal.

You: “So, would you prefer to do way less damage next turn, or would you prefer to do no damage next turn?

Your Opponent: “Uhhh… is that a real power? That doesn’t sound like a real power.”

You: “It’s a Trait, not a power.”

Your Opponent: “I hate you.”

I mean, what kind of choice is that? But beyond that, he starts with 5 native Damage, an 11 Attack Value that alternates between Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion (with an 8 Range and 2 Bolts) and an 18 Defense Value that’s boosted by both Invincible and his second Trait (MJOLNIR TO CARRY ME: When Thor has one or more action tokens, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection.). And remember, he sees through Stealth via his AI Team Ability. The only thing keeping him from 5 Masks at this point is his one glaring weakness:  no Willpower.

Still, in a Tactics format, this is pretty easily fixed, and in a No Tactics format, he hits so heavy that it may not even matter. If you only push him once or twice, you’ll be fine–heck, that first push basically just puts him on Pulse Wave. He only loses one Movement and one Defense.

His Rookie dial is a little more subtle, but just as effective.

GRADE(S): 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: User UncorkedMonk on HCRealms.com said “Hes an indom symbol away from being great. As is hes alright. But theres enough ways to give him willpower I spose.” Despite his clear vendetta against apostrophes, I have to completely agree. Outside of the normal Resource/Relic route, let’s remember that Thor is an Asgardian. For 5 Points, their ATA explicitly GIVES him Willpower on his first click. That’s right. The Asgardian ATA:  it’s not just for Splitlip anymore.

His Rookie dial finds him switching from a 5 Damage Primary Attacker to a 4 Damage sniper squad leader. And while he plays differently than his higher point version, he’s just as effective. Especially if you put the right team around him, which you’ll have 50 more points to do with this version.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hydra Soldier

AAOU006 Hydra Soldier — 40 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: I think this was the only character in the set I wasn’t looking forward to getting (so guess who I’ve pulled 4 of so far… ). Even in groups, I don’t see this guy ever lasting long enough to hit anyone. I can see what they were trying to do with his Minion power that bestows Leadership (MINION: HAIL HYDRA: When a friendly character with the HYDRA keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, Hydra Soldier can use Charge. When that character uses Leadership and succeeds, remove an action token from all characters named Hydra Soldier within that character’s range and line of fire unless one has already been removed this turn from that character from this effect.), but the low inherent Movement and the existence of DP006 Hand Ninja means that this guy will likely never see play from me. On the plus side, he’s got a pretty cool sculpt though.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: For the first time in this article, I think I finally agree with Ninwa. His TA only works for ranged attacks (well, unless your running him with Wolverine, Agent of Hydra) but his skill set is only viable for close combat attacks. Come to think of it, running him with Hydra Wolvie is really the only way to make him work. Even then, as Ninwashui mentioned, DP006 Hand Ninja is pretty much a better choice all the way around.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron Sentry

AAOU007 Ultron Sentry40Common:

HypeFox Says: 3 Clicks for 40 Points doesn’t instill a ton of confidence until you look a little closer at those three Clicks. Top dial they have Pen/Psy and Enhancement (although only a 4 Range) with a native 3 Damage. In other words, as they multiply, they can start dishing out 4-5 Penetrating Damage. That’s a huge amount of Damage output for a 40 Point figure. Yes, they can be destroyed quite easily with just a 15 Defense Value, but their Movement Special on Click 2 (THERE’S NO END IN SIGHT!: Once per turn, for all characters with this power, give Ultron Sentry a double power action. Place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry from outside the game in an adjacent square on click number 3.) means that they can replicate themselves over and over. In other words, for 40 Points, you can create a whole army INSIDE your army.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says:  It’s a 40 point character that can duplicate itself as soon as turn 4. And it can keep doing it until you run out of them on your sidelines with no outside help required. And when one dies, a double power action can put that guy right back out. Unlike Iron Legion, the duplicate figures are the exact same strength as the original. And they have two Traits that make it so they can work together to become far more powerful the more of them there are (COMBINED EFFORTS: Modify Ultron Sentry’s attack value by +1 for each adjacent friendly character named Ultron Sentry. Modify Ultron Sentry’s damage value by +1 for each 2 adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry AND CONSISTENT PROGRAMMING: When using the Carry ability, Ultron Sentry may carry any number of adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry regardless of their combat symbols.).

They also have additional Trait that works well  with the other versions of Ultron: HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Sentry is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: 

3 – 4, place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry on its starting line;
5, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line;
6, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its blue starting line.” 

Try to imagine this:  Starting on Turn 4, Ultron Sentry makes another Ultron Sentry. Turn 5, the first Sentry you made makes another. Turn 6, the original makes another. You can just keep doing this in your starting area until you feel like you have enough. A 40 point investment can bring 8 more of these things into play and descend on the opponent as a cloud of nine sentries. Nothing in the game anywhere near 40 points can take that on. If you own enough of these you can bring a 900 point army to a 300 point game.

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hulk

AAOU008 Hulk300/250/200 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Going in, you have to know a couple things. First, you’re paying a metric poop-ton of points for a character that has absolutely no range AND that has absolutely NO OUTWIT PROTECTION!! These are major issues. It’s true that if Hulk gets Outwitted, he gets the small bonus of an Anger Token via his Trait (ENORMOUS GREEN MONSTER: Hulk can use Battle Fury. Each time Hulk takes damage from an opponent’s attack or one of his powers or combat abilities is countered, put an Anger token on this card.), but that’s not really Outwit protection, is it?

His 300 Point dial has an awesome top dial, but the chances of you being able to get to swing with that top dial in a 300 or even 400 Point game is minimal. He’ll most likely be picked apart on his approach.

At 250, he runs into the same problems. While his dial is fun, one Outwit can just absolutely ruin his day.

Finally, his Rookie dial actually gets a half-mask more from me because it leaves room for supporting figs (just from this set, adding AAOU015 Nick Fury and AAOU010 Scarlet Witch will form a perfect 300 Point team) that can really help Hulk deal maximum damage.

Just make sure that whichever dial you play, you use Colossal Stamina whenever there is a meaningful action to take UNLESS that would put you on a Stop Click.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: For a Hulk dial, there is a lot going on here, most of which I like. Traited Battle Fury means that Shape Change will not help you–and with a figure that costs this much (no matter which dial you play), any ability that can eliminate the possibility of wasted actions is a very good thing. His Avengers Assemble Trait is good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hulk hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Deal one target 1 unavoidable damage and give it an action token or, put an Anger token on this card.), but again, it’s pretty much one-sided (no opponent is going to choose to take an additional damage AND lose an action as opposed to giving Hulk a token that lets him increase a potential Regeneration roll somewhere down the line by +1 or increase the chance Hulk won’t take Colossal Stamina damage by just over 16%.).  The first choice wreaks havoc on his team right now, while the second option might subtly benefit you at some unspecified juncture down the line. Not much of a choice there. Having said that, getting the Anger Token bonus is better than not having that Trait at all, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.

I like his Rookie dial a little more than Ninwashui, since I believe that his Defense Special Stop Click (HIS ANGER SUSTAINS HIM: When this click is revealed due to taking damage, stop turning the dial and remove all actions tokens from Hulk. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a little bit of Outwit protection (and Pulse Wave protection). And it shows up twice, in tandem with his Damage Special Power (HE ONLY LEAVES RUBBLE: Hulk can use Invincible and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration, you may remove any number of Anger tokens from this card. If you do, the d6 roll can’t be rerolled and you may increase the result by 1 for each token removed.).

So while he doesn’t have Outwit protection, he does have some built-in survivability.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 and 1/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye

AAOU009 Hawkeye94 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: Wow. Back in our set preview a few weeks ago, I said that this was the figure of the set. And I’m not backing off. I think he’s ridiculously good, and here’s why.

First of all, he’s got arguably the best AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hawkeye hits one or more characters with an attack, the opposing player chooses: Hit characters are each dealt 1 unavoidable damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye isn’t given an action token for this action.). Finally, an Avengers Assemble! where both of the choices really suck for your opponent! Remember, Hawkeye has 3 Bolts and Precision Strike, so chances are he’s already dealt 1 Penetrating Damage to two or three of your opponent’s characters (and keep in mind that Stealth won’t help them, because Clint has Avengers Initiative). Now, does your opponent want each of the hit characters to each take ANOTHER Unavoidable Damage? Or do you want to keep Hawkeye from getting an action token, which means he can do the whole thing over again next turn?

This is an actual dramatization of your next opponent trying to decide which of these options to go with after 3 of his characters have been hit by Hawkeye.

Now before you start worrying about his top dial 10 Attack Value, take a look at his second Trait (VANTAGE POINT: When making a ranged combat attack, modify Hawkeye’s attack value by +1 for each target of the attack. When he hits 3 characters, he may give one hit character an action token if he doesn’t assign that character any damage.). All of which means that it shouldn’t be hard to get Hawkeye a +2 or even +3 modifier to his Attack Value. Forget Perplex–this Hawkeye takes care of his own modifiers.

Finally, Ninwashui is probably gonna come on here and trash Hawkeye’s Movement Value. Sure, it’s a bit low at just 6 Squares, but even that, too, is deceiving. When you break it down, you’ll see that his starting Movement Special (ROOFTOP MANEUVER: Hawkeye can use Sidestep and Stealth. When he uses Sidestep, he can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain.) means that he can actually cover 8 Squares a turn AND he can change elevation, too (AND he can make an Attack afterwards, since it’s Sidestep!)! And since he already ignores Hindering Terrain on movement (again, thanks to the AI Team Ability), you actually have a figure who’s much more nimble than a lot of other figures with higher Movement Values.

Now, I can’t quite give him 5 Masks in an environment where Banshee is still Modern (he’s even more beastly for just 4 more points), but Hawkeye here is darn close. He offers a bunch of powers and abilities that you can’t get from Resources or Relics, and what he lacks CAN be fixed by Resources and Relics (The Phoenix Force or especially the new Pandora’s Box Resource should work wonders with this Hawkeye. If you use Pandora’s Box, I’d recommend it’s first setting–the Path of the Hunter. It’s got pretty easy early access to the abilities that Clint needs the most, like Energy Explosion and Running Shot, and it’s also pretty easy to get Hawkeye permanent access to both ES/D AND Combat Reflexes).

GRADE: 4 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: Low Movement Value, no dampeners or anything to help his Defense beyond Stealth and a lack of Running Shot hurt this guy. That being said, if your opponent can’t find a way to hide two or three of his pieces (and it’s admittedly tough to hide guys from a dude who has 8 Range, Sidestep, 3 Bolts and the ability to see through Stealth), then this guy could suddenly be the star of your team. All his is missing is Energy Explosion to be the best figure ever made at taking out clusters of opponents at a time. And AAOU015 Nick Fury (who will get to in a minute) has a Special Attack Power that goes great with this guy.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

AAOU010 Scarlet Witch55 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: Her Trait (UNCAGING THE BEAST: Give Scarlet Witch a free action when she has two action tokens and choose a friendly character within range and line of fire. Modify the chosen character’s combat values by +1 until the end of the turn, and, at the end of the turn, deal Scarlet Witch 1 unavoidable damage and don’t clear her action tokens. If the chosen character’s name is Hulk, you may modify the chosen character’s combat values by +2 instead.) seems to be begging for you to play her with some version of the Hulk to make her reach her full potential, but I think she’ll end up seeing a lot of play on a variety of tournament teams regardless of the presence of a Hulk. Even just a +1 boost to all stats is no joke, and she could technically do that for five turns in a row before being KO’d. That ability might be worth 55 Points by itself.

Factor in her 8 Range, 10 Attack and 3 Damage with Perplex top dial and you have a piece that’s useful even before her crazy-good Trait starts to kick in!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: She has no Avengers Assemble! Trait on her own, which is a bit of a bummer. Her Point Cost is reasonable, but if Ninwashui thought that Hawkeye was too crunchy with only Stealth to protect him, I can only imagine what he thinks about a figure with one less Click of life and an even worse Defense Value. If you can get some mileage out of her Trait, she’ll make her cost worth it; if she gets destroyed before that, well… sorry.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Vision

AAOU011 Vision100 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: First of all, this is an awesome sculpt and paint job!! Second… yeah, I have no second. At 50 Points, he’d be amazing. Unfortunately he costs double that. Somehow, a figure with no Traits or Improved Movement or Targeting of any kind and with only six Clicks of life costs 100 Points.

He does fly and he has Indomitable, but he doesn’t do enough to be a Secondary Attacker and he costs WAAAAYYY too much to be a Taxi. And he has 0 Range. I’m glad that he has the Avengers keyword, but he is a Theme play only; he’s not turning up in any sort of competitive environment. Even with Hydra Soldier’s existence, this is probably the worst piece in the set (especially since he costs so much more).

GRADE: 1 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He’s not as bad as HypeFox makes him out to be, but I have to agree with the idea that if you are actually playing him, you’re playing him because you like the character and not because you think he’s a powerful HeroClix figure. He does have 3 Clicks of Outwit followed by 3 Clicks of Perplex, so I can tell why he’s clocking in at 100 Points. But in a world where even a 43 Point Hand Ninja has Traits and Special Powers [EDITOR’S NOTE: And a Team Ability!], it’s hard to justify a dial that costs more than double and has none of those things unless the power set is just top notch. Vision’s power set, alas, is not.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron MK 1

AAOU012 Ultron MK1120/65 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: For 120 Points you get a character that hits hard, but with a low Attack Value. He also is good at absorbing damage with four clicks of Invuln, but he doesn’t match well with other figures in his point range unless you take his Trait into account (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Mk 1 is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: (4)-(5), place 012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line. (6), place either 012 Ultron Mk 1 or 018 Ultron Prime on its blue starting line.). Basically, if you’re running any other Age of Ultron versions of him, then you will likely get him back in your Starting Area on Click one. His stats by themselves are average, but his synergy with other Ultron pieces is the real reason to play him.

His Rookie dial is kind of more of the same. You’d play it to fit in another Ultron on your force, but this dial will never see play otherwise.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (120 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (65 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: Kind of a must have piece if you’re trying to create an Ultron swarm. On its own, it’s average, but when you start running it with Ultron Prime or Ultron Sentry, it can really start to wear your opponent down.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Black Widow

AAOU013 Black Widow80 Points Mass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: This is one of the stranger Black Widows we’ve gotten in recent years. On the plus side, she’s got a pretty decent AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Black Widow hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters can’t attack Black Widow until your next turn or opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage until your next turn.) and a cool Attack Special (WIDOW’S STING: When Black Widow hits with a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 4 – 6, Black Widow can use Incapacitate twice, each as a free action, but only to target a hit character.). On the negative side, she’s pretty much set up as a ranged attacker, but she’s only got a 4 Range and no move and attack. And if she can’t attack, her special powers are all wasted.

Having said that, like her former S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddy Hawkeye, much of what ails her can be fixed with a Resource or Relic (Mokk’s Hammer would solve almost all of her top dial problems).

So she has some potential in a Tactics environment, but in a game where you can’t use Resources or Relics, she’s gonna be a tough piece to use effectively. Chances are high that you won’t get out of her what you put into her.

GRADE: 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: She can really shine with an Avengers Themed Team around her, but you’re gonna have to team her up with a really effective Primary Attacker to distract the other team’s best offensive pieces and let her get a ranged attack (or two) off. Nearly full dial Stealth and intermittent Perplex make me like this version slightly more that her Starter pack counterpart (AAOU105 Black Widow, natch!). And, once again, AAOU015 Nick Fury‘s Special Power works really well with her as well.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Quicksilver

AAOU014 Quicksilver 63 PointsMass Market Rare

Ninwashui Says: He’s the cheapest character in Modern right now with top dial Hypersonic Speed. When you compare him to 65 point FL001A The Flash you’ll see that he moves much farther and has a better chance of hitting because of his ability to use Probability Control on himself. This is also one of the few instances where I think it’s really nice for this character to have Force Blast. I can just imagine him flinging opposing support figures off rooftops or into walls. And let’s be honest, 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection is pretty damn impressive for someone at his point level.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: He’s been growing on me. I still don’t like that his Attack Value never exceeds “meh,” but his Damage Special (FAST ENOUGH TO TRY AGAIN: Quicksilver can use Probability Control, but only to reroll his own rolls.) means that he gets two shots at every attack roll. And an 18 Defense with ES/D is EXTREMELY good for any figure under 80 Points. He’s never going to do much damage, but at 63 Points he’s always going to be a Secondary Attacker at most. But depending on how you construct your army, he might even just be a third attacker on a 300 Point squad. And he’s perfect for that.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Nick Fury

AAOU015 Nick Fury45 PointsMass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: So, we’ve already mentioned this guy three or four times, so you probably had an inkling that he’d be good. I think he’s possibly Meta, although he necessitates building an Avengers Themed Team around him. His Trait is great (I STILL BELIEVE IN HEROES: If Nick Fury is part of an Avengers Themed Team and has the lowest point value character on your starting force, he can use Leadership and Outwit. When he uses Leadership, he is considered 300 points.), since at 45 Points he will almost ALWAYS be the lowest point value character on an Avengers Themed Team. So you don’t even really need to alter your team any to fit him in, and in a 300 Point game his Leadership is guaranteed to work on whoever he’s next to as long as you make the roll. On top of that, since he has Avengers Initiative, his Outwit sees through Hindering Terrain!!

Oh, and speaking of rolls, Fury Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…: When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! Trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) gives him a 33% chance to just completely wreck your opponent’s day. Remember how we mentioned how one-sided some of the Avengers Assemble! Traits were on the figures in this set? Well, if YOU suddenly get to make the choice for your opponent, those AA Traits become stratospherically better!

On top of all that, he has Willpower, Shape Change, Stealth and a native 3 Damage. This is a great package for just 45 Points.

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He is really only viable on an Avengers Themed Team, but if you’re playing one, he is almost an auto-include if you have the points. Even if your not using his Attack Special because you’re running him with non-AoU Avengers, just the fact that he gives you a working Leadership and Outwit while also being a competent Tertiary Attacker is pretty amazing.  I’m not sure if Avengers Themed Teams will start showing up at major tournaments, but if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll be running this Nick Fury.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Baron Strucker

AAOU016 Baron Strucker95 PointsMass Market Rare:

Ninwashui Says: And finally we come to my top Want from this set. Sporting a creative and efficient dial, Baron Strucker is capable of changing a game just by himself. Like AAOU001 Iron Man, he can make himself a small army with just a few power actions via his Special Attack Power (WE LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM…: Give Baron Strucker a power action if there are less than 4 friendly characters with the Test Subject keyword on the map. When you do, place a friendly AAOU004 Test Subject from outside the game on the map within 6 squares of him.). Unlike Iron Man, when Baron Strucker’s army dies, his Trait (THEIR SACRIFICE ENSURES OUR FUTURE: When a friendly character with the Test Subject keyword is KO’d put an Evolution token on Baron Strucker’s card. Modify Baron Strucker’s combat values +1 for every two Evolution tokens on his card.) ensures that the Baron gets stronger! Keep in mind that for a 95 Point piece, he was already sitting on some pretty good stats to begin with. Several of his Clicks sport a 10 Attack Value with 4 Damage. Now imagine if that got pumped up to a 13 Attack and 7 Damage–those are Hulk Smash numbers!

And he has Mastermind, so, depending on how you place your Test Subjects, it’ll be damn near impossible for most of your opponents NOT to KO some Test Subjects along the way to Baron Strucker, unless their pieces are just dripping with Precision Strike. And you get all this for just 1/3 of your 300 Point Build!!

I am already dreaming of playing this guy with DP054 Arnim Zola for some friendly Mind Control shenanigans or IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0 to turn those Test Subjects into Claymore mines. Oh, the destruction I’ll wreak…

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: This is the piece I was referencing in my AAOU001 Iron Man writeup. Whereas the Iron Legion pieces have to come into play all the way back at your Starting Zone, Strucker here can place his Test Subjects wherever the hell he likes within a 6-Square radius! Think about how useful that is! Can’t get through that wall and into the room where your opponent is trying to heal his Primary Attacker back to full? Boom–now there’s a Test Subject adjacent to his healer. Who can make an attack on that same healer THIS TURN!! This ability is kind of like Deadpool’s Sheep Gun Word Balloon, only it’s about a thousand times more useful.

If Strucker’s Dial was crap except for that power, he’d still be good. But he’s got a great dial, and he gets stronger for every Test Subject that’s killed! You just need to get this man some Willpower!

I hate to say it again, but this is another near-Meta piece for me. More importantly, he’s going to be poop-tons of fun at house games…

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Hulkbuster GiF

AAOU017 Hulkbuster300/225 PointsCore Hobby Chase:

HypeFox Says: Sort of a disappointing Chase, especially since we know we’re getting a comic version of the Hulkbuster armor one piece at a time in the Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. boosters this summer. But beyond that, his dial seems much more like a 200-250 Point character; at 300, you’re really only playing him in fun, epic games where you think you’re gonna run into other big’uns.

His AA Trait is actually pretty good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: Once per turn, when Hulkbuster hits one or more characters with a close combat attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Modify Hulkbuster’s defense value by +2 until your next turn or Hulkbuster may make a close combat attack as a free action against a hit target, modifying his attack value by -2 for the attack.), but his other Trait (DESIGNED TO PUT YOU DOWN, BRUCE: At the beginning of the game for all characters with this trait, choose an opposing character with :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:. That character can’t ignore pushing damage or have its combat values increased.) and his Defense Special Power (SHE IS BUILT TO FIGHT THE BIG ONES: Hulkbuster can use Invincible. When Hulkbuster is hit by an attack from a character with the :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:, modify that’s character’s damage value by -1 for the attack.) are geared specifically towards putting down Giant-sized or Colossal figures, Team Bases or Vehicles. If you’re playing 1000 Point Brawl where those figures are allowed, he’s well worth his Points. If you’re playing almost any other format, you probably overpayed for this dial by at least 50 Points.

His Rookie version is a little bit better, if only because it’s 75 Points cheaper. You lose two really good Clicks, but you’re also closer to his Hypersonic slots.

These pieces are slight misfires for me.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: I have to agree. You should only play this guy if you know in advance that you have a good shot at facing Giants or Team Bases–and even then I’m not sure that he’ll win that fight. Against Colossals, you’d do much better playing AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man.

It’s not that this guy can’t win; it’s just that he’s a close combat piece that’s likely to get shot crossing the board and his combat values don’t hold up like they do with AAOU008 Hulk. He is also yet another figure above 200 points with no Outwit protection of any kind.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

 

Ultron No Strings On Me

AAOU018 Ultron Prime250/125 PointsMass Market Chase:

Ninwashui Says: At 250 points there won’t be much room for support (other than maybe an AAOU007 Ultron Sentry) He can use Energy Explosion with 3 Bolts, but he doesn’t have Running Shot until his third Click. Until then, he’s stuck with Charge or Hypersonic Speed with a 9 Attack. Not horrible, but not worth 250 Points, either.

He’s meant to be a close combat figure and just like AAOU008 Hulk he will have a hard time crossing the board without being weakened (this seems to be a Chase theme this set!). And he’s 250 Points with no Outwit protection (another Chase theme!), only an 18 starting Defense Value and no Stop Clicks. Again, Transport Symbol is really wasted points here, unless you’re in love with low Attack Values for some reason.

His Experienced dial is a little better just by virtue of being able to pack in a lot more compatible supporting figs. His actual power set is still mostly incompatible (and, again, no Running Shot ’til Click 3), and Transport Symbol is still wasted here.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: I think I like him a little better than you do. Yes, he does not have an efficient power mix, but he’s not a pushover, either, and his Trait (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when Ultron Prime is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 5 – 6 place this character in your starting area on its blue starting line.) gives him a 33% chance to come back and haunt your opponent all over again.

That Trait works even better on his Experienced dial, since it brings him back all the way to his Starting Line.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

 

Alrighty! There you have it–the longest article (by word count) we’ve ever published! We hope you enjoyed this look into Avengers: Age of Ultron, and make sure to come back for our Starter Review!

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

 

What to Expect When You’re Expecting… a New Avengers Movie Set!! (Or, A Brief Look at What We Know About the Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Set!!)

Age of Ultron Avengers

 

Well, here we are again, with news breaking just before a new set comes out. Thanks to Cool Stuff Inc. (and a few other sources), we now know plenty about the Core Hobby version of the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie set!!

I’ve been looking forward to this set for several reasons, none more so than the fact that the first Mass Market Avengers Movie Set is what got me back into Clix in the first place (bought a few on a whim–pulled a Loki Chase in my first pack and was hooked!).

A few quick notes before we get into the individual figures:

–We only really know the top dial for each character so far. That’s why we’re not handing out grades yet. This is strictly a preview/spoiler.

–Most of the core Avengers from the first film have a common Trait called Avengers Assemble! The effects vary with each character, but usually it makes your opponent choose between two effects every time your Avenger hits one or more of his characters. For example, Iron Man makes your opponent choose between letting you summon an Iron Legion figure or pumping up the Defense Value of all your friendly characters by +1. Not bad. Hawkeye’s is straight filthy (borderline broken!), but we’ll get to him in due time.

So, with that in mind, here is a list of figures that we know of so far, with some armchair analysis from yours truly:

 

Age of Ultron Iron Man

001 Iron Man (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: He can be played at 250 or 185 Points. This seems to essentially be another version of ol’ Shellhead circa Iron Man 3, except they were able to give him some Traits and Special Powers (like “The House Party Protocol” and “The Clean Slate Protocol”) that may have been spoilers had this piece come out in that set. This Iron Man should play a little like Chaos War Gravity Feed Ultron in that Tony Stark can summon “Iron Legion” drones pretty easily.

He’s also a Transporter, which gives the 250-point version a top dial option of either Hypersonic Speed with a 10 Attack or a 12 Attack Running Shot that can cover 13 squares. And while he has no Improved Targeting, his Avengers Initiative Team Ability will let him bust Stealth all day long!

250 Points is almost your entire squad, but if you call in a few members of the Iron Legion to start the game, suddenly it’ll be a lot harder to out action you.

 

Age of Ultron Iron Legion

002 Iron Legion (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: Another holdover from Iron Man 3, this is basically one of the “empty shells” that Tony calls to his aid for the climax of that movie. It’s okay for its 50 point cost, but the fact that you can call them into play (depending on what you roll, it’ll either come in at full strength or on its yellow dial) for the cost of one power action if you’re playing Iron Man makes them an awesome bargain. His top dial has Running Shot (albeit with just a 5 Range), Toughness, 10 Attack, 3 native Damage and Enhancement. Plus Indomitable. Solid piece.

 

Age of Ultron Captain America

003 Captain America (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: He’s available for 125 or 80 Points, and he’s about what you’d expect:  a competent close combatant. He has some vulnerability at range, but he’s got some tricks up his sleeve for opposing swarm teams. A solid close combat piece.

 

Age of Ultron Test Subject

004 Test Subject (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: A 30-Point generic that’s comes with what are essentially 3 different dials, all of which offer at least something useful for his Points.

 

Age of Ultron Thor

005 Thor (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: A brick that can pack a punch from range at either the 200 or 150 Point level. At some point on his dial he gets Energy Explosion, Pulse Wave or Penetrating/Psychic Blast. A little reminiscent of his AvX version, except with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability, this Thor can obliterate Stealthed foes as well.

 

Age of Ultron Hydra Soldier

 006 Hydra Soldier  (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: 60 Point foot soldier with the always useful Hydra Team ability and absolutely no Range Value of his own. Strange. For hardcore Hydra teams only.

 

Age of Ultron Ultron Sentry

007 Ultron Sentry  (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: Basically the evil version of Iron Legion, this a drone that Ultron himself should be able to bring into being. Nothing too exciting.

 

Age of Ultron Hulk

008 Hulk  (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: We don’t know how many clicks this Hulk has, but it’s probably a lot. He dial comes in 3 sizes too: 300, 250 or 200 Points. He’s Giant Sized with no Range, so his Avengers Initiative Team Ability is almost wasted. But as much as any figure in this set, Hulk will really be made or broken by the values and length of the rest of his dial.

 

Age of Ultron Hawkeye

009 Hawkeye  (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: The figure of the set. He’s got the best Avengers Assemble! Trait (either all hit characters are dealt an additional 1 Unavoidable Damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye doesn’t get an action token. Holy smokes, he’s good!!), he’s rocking a top dial of 8 Range with 3 Bolts, Sharpshooter, Sidestep, Stealth, Precision Strike, Willpower and 3 Damage! Triple Bolt Precision Strike WITH Avengers Intiative TA equals a bad day for your opponent! Plus, when he’s making a Range Combat attack, he pumps his Attack Value by +1 for each target (Yup! That means he can potentially have a 13 Attack!!). And, if he targets someone and hits them but decides to deal damage elsewhere, he can still give that hit character an action token. Genius!! All this for 94 Points!

When Chaos War Hawkeye was retired last year, I didn’t think we’d ever see his like again. Not only have we seen his like again, but it’s ANOTHER freaking Hawkeye!! Wizkids must hate Green Arrow…

This is the biggest Meta-baiting piece in the set that I have seen so far…

 

Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

010 Scarlet Witch (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: Finally an Avenger without the broken Avengers Assemble Trait. Sheesh! She’s only 55 Points, and, as you might expect, she’s a complete supporting piece, with Perplex top dial and Probability Control down dial.

 

Age of Ultron Vision

011 Vision (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: This is one of the coolest Vision sculpts ever. Having said that, he has NO Traits or Special Powers of any kind, so he’s kinda hard to judge until we get a look at his full dial.

 

Age of Ultron Mk 1

012 Ultron Mk 1 (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: A solid piece that can be played at 120 or 65, depending on circumstances. This figure also has a chance to resurrect itself once per game. 4 Damage top dial is niiiiiiiiice.

 

Age of Ultron Hulkbuster

017 Hulkbuster (Core Hobby Chase)

Analysis: Your choice of either 300 or 225 Points of ass-whoop. He’s got a cool, unique sculpt, and his Avengers Assemble! Trait is almost as good. He’s a big can of beef that’s designed to take on other kinds of beef. Against other giant characters, he’s pretty fantastic. Against ordinary characters, not as much.

 

Some Final Notes:

Based on what we know, we are expecting the Target/Mass Market Rares to include:

–Baron Strucker (90% confident on this one)

–Black Widow (95% sure on this)

–Nick Fury (60% confident)

–Ultron Prime is probably the Mass Market Chase, but there’s a chance he could merely be another Mass Market Rare and that the Red Skull will be the Chase. We shall see!

 

Well, thanks for checking in with us! We’ll revisit this set (along with the Starter, which WizKids has officially started spoiling) in April!

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

 

(P.S.: That awesome artwork of Ultron sitting on the Lincoln Memorial was created by a guy named Matt Broox, apparently on a whim. It’s awesome! Hope you enjoyed it!)