By The Numbers: A Captain America and the Avengers Preview!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberto Ty is back with a preview of the next set! Roberto’s already on to some other column ideas, so if you like what you see here, let him know in the Comments below!]

Cap Prerelease

Pre-release events for Captain American and the Avengers began Wednesday, January 22nd. The set has been largely spoiled through various unboxing videos and retail store online previews. As with any new set, the anticipation is high for new figures that will impact the Metagame. Before looking at Meta construction, most players will have the chance to test run the new figures in Sealed Pre-release events. The Sealed format offers a more level playing field for casual and competitive players alike…if the set design is balanced. While I’m sure there will be primers written in the next few days that will do a deep dive, figure by figure analysis, I prepare by taking a broader view at the numbers.

Rarity Distribution

 

Rarity # Figures
Common 17 plus 1 Prime
Uncommon 17 plus 1 Prime
Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Super Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Chase 6 with ClixFX base
Ultra Chase 1

 

The Numbers

The following numbers are based on what has been spoiled so far. We’re still missing a handful of figures, but this small number shouldn’t impact greatly our general analysis.

Point Value Distribution

 

Point Value # Figures
150 2
125 2
100 7
95 1
90 5
85 7
75 17
70 2
65 7
60 8
55 1
50 21
45 5
40 3
35 1
30 4
25 3
20 2
15 1

 

The bulk point values for figures fall in these two values, 50 and 75 points, providing most builds the potential to field at least 3 figures on average. At the high-end is 150-point Captain Marvel and on the low-end a 15-point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. As most experienced players know, a tentpole figure doesn’t always translate to success. Low-point support pieces are just as critical and this set has many low-point characters to fill out your teams. There are 16 figures under 50 points.

Keywords and Team Abilities

 

Keyword # Figures
Avengers 29
Soldier 21
S.H.I.E.L.D. 19
Thunderbolts 19
Scientist 18
Spy 17
Masters of Evil 17
A.I.M. 11
Ruler 11

 

No surprise here, the dominant keyword for an Avengers set is Avengers, followed by Soldier, Scientist, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Spy, Masters of Evil, and A.I.M. Since Probability Control is typically in short supply, making a Named Themed Team is another way for you to manipulate the dice in your favor. Look to build an Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Masters of Evil, or A.I.M. named theme team.

 

Team Ability # Figures
No Affiliation 32
S.H.I.E.L.D. 10
Masters of Evil 10
Avengers 8
Team Player 6
Mystics 4
Underworld 3
Power Cosmic 2
Hydra 2
Defenders 1
Spider-Man 1

 

While the Avengers keyword dominated, the team ability doesn’t top the list. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. is prevalent, thanks to all the low-cost support agents and officers. Let’s review these team abilities. Knowing what they do will help you build your sealed team quicker.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Adjacent friendly characters modify range +1. POWER: Choose an adjacent friendly character. Once this turn, the chosen character modifies its damage +1 when making a ranged attack.

Masters of Evil. Colossal Stamina.

Avengers. When this character is given a MOVE action, modify speed +1.

Team Player. Wild Card. Uncopyable.

Of these team abilities, S.H.I.E.L.D can really have a great impact on your build, especially if your team has range. So let’s look at the range breakdown next.

Range and Improved Abilities

Range # Figures
0 10
1-5 33
6 16
7 10
8 4
9 1

 

Expect the bulk of your team to have limited range. This means that if you do pull a figure with a range of 6+, set it in the pile for consideration to make your team. Characters with the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability can aid your team if your range is limited.

  • Improved Ability
# Figures
  • Movement: Hindering
27
  • Targeting: Hindering
19

 

Thanks to the Espionage trait, many characters have Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering. Let’s look at the dominant traits next.

Traits

 

☆ Trait # Figures
Assembled Bolts and Masters 19
Assembled Avengers 14
Espionage 13

 

☆ Assembled Bolts and Masters. Once per turn when (name of character) hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Masters of Evil or Thunderbolts keywords, remove an action token from Ghost -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

☆ Espionage. Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering.

☆ Assembled Avengers. Once per turn when (name of character) hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Avengers keyword, remove an action token from Iron Man -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

I think the most impactful Trait is Espionage, primarily as a Stealth-busting option. There is a large number of characters with Stealth, but thanks to this Trait I wouldn’t build around it.

Team Mobility: Flight and Telekinesis

 

Team Mobility # Figures
Flight 19*
Telekinesis 3
*051 Moonstone has flight, but Passenger: 0.

 

The ability to move your team can often be the difference in a victory or a loss. In this set, there are 19 characters with flight, with only 18 being able to carry. I would, therefore, value flight characters and automatically put them in the pile for consideration when building my sealed team.

The other method for moving your teammates is Telekinesis. Unfortunately this power is in short supply with only 3 characters possessing the power.

Indomitable and Willpower

INDOMITABLE
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 4
Rare 3
Super Rare 8
Chase 3
Ultra Chase 1
TOTAL 22
WILLPOWER
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 1
Rare 1
Chase 1
TOTAL 6

 

The ability to perform an action in consecutive turns without taking pushing damage can be a difference maker. Indomitable is more prevalent in the Super Rare rarity while Willpower isn’t too common a special power at all. If you pull a Super Rare or higher, chances are you’re playing it. Therefore if you do find a lower rarity character with either Indomitable or Willpower, you just might put the figure in your consideration pile.

Powers

A little programming note before we breakdown the powers for movement, attack, defense, and damage. If a power is included in a special power, then I listed it as that power and not under the special power breakdown. For example, if a special damage power provided Shape Change then I listed it under Shape Change and not under the special. In evaluating the powers, I considered the starting clicks and not later clicks. While later-dial powers are a consideration when building your force, most of the time these are tiebreakers evaluations.

Movement

 

Power # Figures
Running Shot 27
Stealth 25
Charge 21
Sidestep 17
Phasing / Teleport 5
Mind Control 3
Hypersonic Speed 2
Plasticity 2
Force Blast 2
Flurry 1
Leap / Climb 1
Earthbound / Neutralized 1

 

As discussed earlier, the Espionage trait provides many characters with Stealth, but they also neutralize that power through their Improved Targeting: Hindering. I wouldn’t build round Stealth in sealed.

Next is Running Shot. With the bulk of characters having 5 or less range, look for Running Shot characters that have 6+ range to include on your build.

Both Charge and Sidestep see a good representation in this set, coming in at 18 and 15 figures respectively.

Looking at the higher quantities is one way to evaluate the figures to include on your team. Another is to look at the small numbers on powerful abilities like Hypersonic Speed. With only 2 figures, pulling a Hypersonic Speed character for your team gives you a mobility advantage other players might not have.

Attack

 

Attack Value # Figures
14 1
12 10
11 42
10 20
9 3
Attack Power # Figures
Precision Strike 14
Penetrating / Psychic Blast 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Explosion 10
Super Strength 7
Blades, Claws, and Fangs 7
Quake 7
Incapacitate 5
Telekinesis 3
Pulse Wave 1
Steal Energy 1

 

The majority of figures have an 11 or 10 attack, which is common in modern. Some of the attack powers like, Precision Strike, will be better evaluated when we look at the defensive powers. Certainly both Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast will be strong against higher rarity tent poles that are more likely to have better defenses.

Defense

 

Defense Value # Figures
19 1
18 39
17 35
16 2
Defense Power # Figures
Toughness 13
Impervious 11
Invincible 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Shield Deflection 9
Combat Reflexes 9
Invulnerability 9
Super Senses 8
Mastermind 7
Willpower 6
STOP 5
Defend 3
Barrier 3
Regeneration 1

 

18 and 17 defenses are the most common. With 11 being the most common attack value, there is a 58.3% chance of hitting. See the probability chart below.

 

PROBABILITY CHART*
Defense
Attack 19 18 17 16
12 58.3 72.2 83.3 91.7
11 41.7 58.3 72.2 83.3
10 27.8 41.7 58.3 72.2
9 16.7 27.8 41.7 58.3
* Probability chart courtesy of Ninwashui

 

Damage

 

Damage Value # Figures
5 1
4 18
3 41
2 12
1 6
Damage Power # Figures
SPECIAL 17
Leadership 17
Outwit 16
Perplex 12
Shape Change 11
Probability Control 8
Exploit Weakness 5
Empower 5
Close Combat Expert 4
Battle Fury 3
Enhancement 3
Ranged Combat Expert 1

 

Because of the low-cost of many figures in this set, many teams will have 4 or more characters on their team. Leadership will be critical and thankfully there’s plenty of it. With few characters having PROTECTED: Outwit (either from a special trait/power or the Power Cosmic team ability), Outwit is a must include on your team. Other common support powers, like Perplex and Probability Control, will also be an auto-includes, but look for other less common powers that enhance damage, like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability to help your team to victory.

When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield

Breaking the set down to numbers is allows you to look at the set broadly without studying every figure for your pre-release. We get a sense of what to expect and can quickly evaluate figures for our team builds. Some key takeaways are:

  1. Leadership. Chances are you’ll have more than 3 characters on your team, you’ll need leadership to increase your action total by 1 in a standard 300-point build. Good chance you’ll pull a character with Leadership.
  2. Mobility. You’ll want to have flyers. You’ll need to taxi your team, right?
  3. Range. Ranges of 1-5 is common. Look for 6+ to gain an edge.
  4. Move and Attack. Running Shot, Charge, and Sidestep dominate. Hypersonic Speed would give you the edge, but highly unlikely you’ll land 1 of the 2 characters with it.
  5. Outwit. You’d better include it on your build. There’s a lot of it so you know your opponent will be doing the same.
  6. Perplex. Not prevalent enough to guarantee that you’ll pull a character with it. Look for other means to modify your stats with powers like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability. But if you do manage to get a character with it, you better include it on your team. Just a look at the probability chart and you’ll easily see how modifying values will greatly increase your victory chances.
  7. Probability Control. Always useful to have, just hard to come by. Look to build a named theme team to get access to it. Plenty of Avengers keyword in this set.
  8. Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. These two powers are always good to have. So when you pull them, put these figures in the strong consideration pile for your team.

 

What’s Next?

While I would love to do a detailed breakdown of figures before the release in a few weeks, it’s unlikely I’ll have the time. However, look for more game recap articles that will hopefully give you insight into what’s really working in this set. After all, what’s good on paper isn’t always good in practice.

Good luck and have fun at your Pre-release and Release events!

The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation Is Back With a Look at Modern Marvel/DC stories That Would Make Great Heroclix Sets!! (Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! And the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! Then, the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! Finally, yesterday, the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids!]

Justice League Trinity War

Justice League: Trinity War showed how one plot line from the comics can form the backbone of a regular set release, not just Storyline OP’s.

Welcome to Night Nine of The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, our annual event where our little operation here tries to churn out fresh content for twelve straight nights!

After yesterday’s semi-editorial about the woeful state of Marvel publishing, I thought today would be a great day to look at three recent (read: published in the last five years) Marvel or DC stories that would form the basis for great Heroclix sets (or even just great sets in general)!

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

 

darkknightsmetal2

1. DARK KNIGHT: METAL:

From the last five years?! How about a story that’s ONGOING RIGHT NOW! Now, Wizkids might have to make a slight title change for marketing purposes–maybe something like “Batman: Metal” or “Justice League: Metal,” although it’s not impossible that they’d be just fine with the name as is.

But this set would allow Wizkids to give us:

–All new versions of the Justice League;

–Cool, creepy generics like Jokerized Robins; more Court of Owls pieces;

–Alternate Earth versions of DC heroes and villains;

–Primes:

Common Prime: Jokerized Damien Wayne;

Uncommon Prime: Joker of Earth-22;

Rare Prime: The Superman of Earth-1 (renegade Superman who the Batman of that world killed by becoming the Devastator);

Super Rare Prime: Nightmaster;

–Chases:

The Dark Knights (The Red Death, The Devastator, The Drowned, The Dawnbreaker, The Merciless, The Murder Machine, The Batman Who Laughs) and Barbatos.

I think a set like this would have DC Heroclix fans really excited, and it would synergize well with this year’s Elseworlds and Harley Quinn sets!

 

Time Runs Out.jpg

2. TIME RUNS OUT:

This was the lead up to Secret Wars, but that encompasses like two or three years worth of comics!

–You’d have entire teams of alternate Earth Avengers you could draw from;

Black Priests.jpg

–Strange, never before seen POWERFUL generics like the Black Priests;

–Ultra powerful Chases like Doctor Strange as the leader of the Black Priests; a new Black Swan piece; Thanos leading the Cabal; and Doctor Doom as Rabum Alal.

 

All of which would lead us into…

 

Secret Wars.jpg

3. SECRET WARS (2015):

This could even be a Storyline OP, right?

But we would get:

–The members of the 616 life rafts;

–The long awaited return of the Fantastic Four, although not quite as we remembered them;

–Any number of alternate versions of all of the Marvel Heroes and Villains–you could cherry pick from your favorite tie-in Battleworld series;

–A Colossal Thing as “The Wall!”

–More Thanos!

–A Chase Molecule Man, Chase Black Panther (with Infinity Gauntlet), or even…

God Emperor Doom.jpg

–An Ultra-Chase God-Emperor Doom!!

 

So yeah, there are still plenty of other great stories from Marvel and DC out there for Heroclix to adapt!

Which ones would you like to see?

Sound off in the comments below!

Simply The REST, Part 1!! (Or, With Apologies to Tina Turner… Again!!)(Or OR, the Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, lemme see if I can remember all this: Ahem! Once again (and this time, with feeling!), we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 5! If you missed The First Night of Clix-Mas, you can read what it’s all about right here! Night 2 was the nascent edition of a new holiday scenario we’ve been cooking up and can be found… here-ish! Night 3 took a brief look back at Horrorclix. Night 4 was the debut of a new feature called “Overlooked” which examined some pieces from World’s Finest that don’t see quite as much play as they seemingly should… . And Night 5 was Part 1 of a brief 3-part series that examines how Heroclix would look if there were a Core Set released every year or two… And Night 6 saw HypeFox Theory-craft his own Marvel Heroclix Core Set! Night 7 saw Ninwashui calling an audible and promising to throw his hat in the ring and finally write an article! Night 8 featured Ninwashui ACTUALLY writing an article, although, strangely, not the one he promised… ]

simply-the-rest-gif

You pulled Bizarro Aquaman?

Longtime readers may remember “Simply the Best,” our year-end best-of gimmick wherein we hand out some Oscar-like “Critters” to the best Heroclix figures and concepts of the previous year, as well as recognize the best in genre entertainment and–most especially–memes.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: As noted in the above link“Critters” is (still) the current short name for the annual “Simply the Best” awards handing out by Critical Missives. It’s creepy. We know it’s creepy. We’re working on it. We’ve accepted it.]

While we skipped last year, we hope to hand out some 2016 “Critters” next month some time (invites to the nominees are currently in the mail).

Still, it occurred to us that you can’t have the Academy Awards without holding a Golden Raspberry Ceremony. That’s right–tonight, Critical Missives is proud to present our own version of the Razzies! It’s time for…

THE CRIT MISSES!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sometimes I amuse even myself. Although skeptical readers might wonder why it took us the better part of three years to realize we had the perfect name for our own Razzies. To those readers, I can only say–hey, what’s that over there?!]

Without further ado…

 

worst-chases

WORST SET OF CHASES

The Nominees:

Age of Apocalypse Chases (Uncanny X-Men)

Bizarro Chases (Joker’s Wild)

First Marvel or DC Movie Set With No Chases (Batman V Superman)

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

age-of-apocalypse-banner

Sorry X-Folk. But the truth is, you guys managed to take a beloved chapter of X-Men history and turn it into some of the most boring Chases we’ve ever gotten. I mean, Sunfire was fine, except that was, roughly estimating, the 18th version of Sunfire we got JUST IN THAT SET!!

Wolverine was okay; Ninwashui swore up and down that Magneto was the best piece in that set, surpassing the likes of Iceman and Proteus. Then he reread Mags’s card AND LEFT HIM ENTIRELY OUT OF HIS TOP TEN.

But Colossus. Oh, sleepy, boring, crappy Colossus. Even the great Scott Porter was completely underwhelmed when he was just drooling to pull a Chase for his unboxing video and ended up with this doorstop.

Sure, Joker’s Wild gave us the walking poop-ka-bob that some folks call Bizarro Aquaman, but the truth is, most of the Bizarros are pretty good; Bizarro Joker is downright useful; and Bizarro Green Arrow is a straight Meta monster who can force your opponent to CHANGE THEIR ENTIRE STRATEGY WHEN THEY ATTACK YOU!!

And as much as it sucked that BvS didn’t have any official Chases, the Hobby Exclusive Bats and Target Exclusive Supes felt close enough to Chases anyway.

 

worst-prime-rib

WORST PRIME

The Nominees:

SFSM053B Kraven (Superior Foes of Spider-Man)

JW037B Looker (Joker’s Wild)

UXM053B Phoenix (Uncanny X-Men)

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

phoenix-2

The only upset here is that it wasn’t even that close.

Oh, you played Phoenix here? Well, she’s pretty much your whole team since she costs 250 Points, so enjoy that top dial 10 Attack. And heaven help you if your opponent has Stealth!

Phoenix is the type of tentpole that did well in, like, 2007. Unfortunately, she was created in the wrong era.

 

batman-and-robin

WORST COMIC-BOOK MOVIE

The Nominees:

Batman v Superman

Suicide Squad

X-Men: Apocalypse

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

suicide-squad-2

Wow was this bad. Batman v Superman gets killed a lot, but there were at least a few watchable scenes in that movie.

And X-Men Apocalypse had another cool(-ish) Quicksilver scene, which is more than I can say for our “winning” film.

Suicide Squad is just straight up bonkers. Not in a good way; no, it’s bonkers in more of a “What the #%$* were they thinking here?” And Will Smith was TRYING!! He was doing everything he could to charisma this movie into something watchable, but even he couldn’t save it.

I remember sitting in the theater when the group finally gears up, we’re finally (FINALLY) done with Act 1, except we’re not, because then freaking Katana shows up out of the blue for the first time in the movie seemingly so Joel Kinnaman can deliver one of the worst lines in modern movie history about her stupid sword that never really does anything.

Honestly, every scene feels like they shot the first draft of the script and then only used first takes.

This should have been so much better…

 

Okay!! Well, that’s enough for tonight! Sometime after Clix-Mas, we’ll revisit the Crit Misses and hand out a few more awards!

And remember to park it back here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas goodness!!

 

God Packs & Monsters!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of World’s Finest!!)

 

WF 1

Whoops! Not these two… they’re the Con Exclusive.

Hello once more, and welcome to our first Top Ten Set Review for the newest DC Heroclix expansion, World’s Finest!

I’ll be going first today, with Ninwashui trailing not far behind with his own Second Opinion.

Before we begin, a word of warning:

This piece is long. Seriously. Like Bill Simmons long. This might be the longest article we’ve ever published [EDITOR’S NOTE: Incidentally, Ninwashui has no hope of matching my word count, but his inadequacies as a Heroclix dial evaluator when compared to me are not important right now–this is about the figures.]. I really should have split it in two. Remember that “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we published a year and a half ago? In three parts?

Yeah, I think this is longer than all three of those. Combined.

So sit back, grab a cold drink (probably not in that order) and enjoy the feast that is to come.

Cuz we’re starting right now with some…

Notes

NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–I think I say something positive about the sculpts almost every set, but this time… I’m gonna do it again. The articulation on some of these sculpts is astounding! The faces in particular. As recently as three years ago, character’s faces always ended up as blurry blobs; now you can often tell who a character is on their facial features alone. Bravo, WizKids! Bravo!

–Now for some bad news. This is probably the most top heavy set Wizkids has ever produced. Almost all the firepower is in the Rare, Super Rare, Chase and LE slots. Which means you’ll often be pulling–at most–one good figure per pack. Ninwashui will come on here later with his Second Opinion and try to sell you on the “Shifting Focus”-Traited Batman or Superman figs. They’re fun for a house game where the build is, like, 200 Points; beyond that, they’re really not very good.

I mean, seriously, let’s take a brief look at the hot mess that is some of the Common slot figs (I say some cuz I don’t want to step on the Worst Figures bonus segment that ends this article):

Hot Mess Express

Thank you to whoever came up with this meme. Perfect introduction for this segment!

Robotman

Robotman (130 Points): Completely generic dial, although his stats aren’t terrible for the points (I actually think there’s a tiny bit of value in his 50 Point dial). At least you’ll need him for a Doom Patrol Theme; that’s the main reason to collect him, I suppose.

Iron

Well… get used to it, Iron.

Iron (50 Points): 50 Points buys you four Clicks of a slow close combatant with no Willpower. If you play a better member of the Metal Men with him, he’ll gain Sidestep and every once in a blue moon he’ll deal one more damage with a successful object attack. Considering the cheapest Metal Man (or Metal Woman) is 25 Points, you’d probably be better off just Possessing him with, well, any Possessor, really. But then you’ll ask yourself: “Why am I wasting a Possessor on such a loser dial?”

Let’s be honest: the only reason to own Iron is if you’ve managed to pull an Alloy (you’ll want Iron for your Sideline).

Tin

Tin (50 Points): To be clear:  you are paying 50 Points for Perplex. His 9 Attack and 2 Damage with a 4 Range are not awful for his cost, but you’re really playing him for that Perplex. These are pretty average values and powers for his point level, but “average” makes him among the best Commons in the set. Now, here’s where things get interesting.

If you play two copies of Tin together, suddenly they each get Sidestep and can use their Perplexes to modify any combat value (except Damage) by +2 instead. That Sidestep combined with their top dial Willpower means they should be able to scoot around the map as a mobile Perplex-unit that’s always there when you need them. So, in conclusion, while one Tin on his own is average, two Tins played together are actually (gasp!) kinda good!

Beware the Creeper

No, seriously, beware the Creeper. He’ll really sink your–wait, that’s not even the RIGHT Creeper! Dammit! Let’s get it together, people!)

Creeper (75 Points): I have played him like three times now in Sealed Tourneys. He’s just not good. The problem is he really seems like he SHOULD be, and he sucks you into playing him every time. He has a ton of powers. He has the always useful Outsiders TA. But even with Traited Sidestep and Stealth, he just doesn’t seem to be able to get to his target unscathed. And that’s a major problem when he has no Willpower, no dampeners, only does 2 Damage after his top Click and has only 5 Clicks of life. I think he’d be okay in Modern Age Constructed when played by someone with a specific plan of attack for him, but in a Meta where a piece like Nick Fury will see him coming from across the board, he’s almost less than useless.

And on and on… I think you get the idea. Are the Witch and Warlock playable? Absolutely. Is Booster Gold good? Sure. Blue Beetle is downright… well, he’s decent when played with Booster, which limits your options a bit, but whatever. Still not gonna be Top Ten worthy. Even Poison Ivy Prime, while solid, was nowhere near my Top Ten.

I can’t remember the last time I did a Set Review and no Common showed up in the Top Ten or even as an Honorable Mention slot. Well, that day is here.

Design Insight

–And as we noted last set, I guess Wizkids has sort of hinted that this situation was coming with their recent DesignInsight articles that stated their interest in simplifying the Common and Uncommon character mechanics and saving the more ambitious designs for Rare figures or above. But “simple” doesn’t have to mean “underpowered” or downright “useless.”

Just last set we had Common figures like Hat, who has only 5 Clicks, no Special Powers and exactly one, two-sentence long Trait. And he currently has a 5-Star rating on HCRealms.com. He’s also got the Justice League Elite and Mystical keywords, which means he’s a piece people will look for if they want to create an Elite Build or if they need an effective piece to round out a Mystical squad. In other words, it’s not a bad day if he shows up in the back you just bought.

I get that from a design standpoint not every figure is going to be a home run–you actually want to have certain pieces be stronger in certain situations than others. That’s what makes for a healthy game environment. I just think the rarity distribution for those pieces was significantly off for this set, and I’d invite anyone who disagrees with that conclusion to compare the effectiveness of the Commons from Superman/Wonder Woman to the Commons from World’s Finest. It’s really not even close.

–Has the community decided on a shorthand name for the Chases’ Rookie Levels? I prefer “Tower Click,” and that’s the term I’ll use here [EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh-ho, just wait until you’re done with this review. “Tower Click?”–you’ll be sick of it, you’re going to hear it so much! Yup, those Chases are gonna show up a BUNCH! Sorry, I didn’t design them–don’t blame me for these guys clogging up your Meta and emptying your bank account. Wizkids did it.], but I’ve also heard “Sentry Mode” and “Turret Mode/Click,” so your mileage may vary.

WF 2

–Lastly… ugh. This is an ugly set for Sealed. If I handed you two packs and guaranteed you a Super Rare and a Rare, you could pull something like World’s Finest and Mary Marvel in those slots (you’re probably going to win), or Platinum and Mercury (thanks for playing!).

I know some folks weren’t happy with Nick Fury Sealed (“Wow! I got a 65 Point Nick Fury, Jr., and a whole bunch of 50 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. And you got Super Rare Jane Foster Thor, who can kill everybody on my side with about two ranged attacks. Through Hindering Terrain. Or Elevated Terrain. Or other characters. Good Lord…“), but I’ve found this World’s Finest Sealed Environment to be much, much worse. If you are running a Sealed, make it a 300 Point Build. Anything higher just increases the imbalance towards Tentpoles. Trust me, I learned this the hard way…

Okay! Enough notes. No more paperwork. Let’s talk about…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Toymaster

5. WF036 Toymaster — Rare — 30 Points: Juston Seyfert and Ragnarok just found a new running buddy! He has an Attack Special [UPGRADE YOUR STUFF: UNIQUE MODIFIER – Modify the attack value of adjacent friendly characters by +1. If that character has the Armor or Robot keyword, also modify their defense value by +1. (UNIQUE MODIFIER – Characters can only be modified by one effect of this name.)] AND a Damage Special (I’M BETTER WITH ROBOTS: Toymaster can use Support. When he does, increase the d6 result by 1 if the target has the Robot or Armor keyword and decrease it by 1 otherwise.) that can supe up your robotic Tentpole immensely.

Toymaster isn’t much different from some Common generics like Witch, except that he adds that defense buff and an advanced healing component as well–provided that his target has the “Robot” or “Armor” keyword. Plus, with Willpower, Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering (via his Batman Ally & Superman Ally TA’s), he’s a much more nimble supporting piece than the generics. And his keywords rock. Finally, a guy who enhances Robots AND has the “Robot” keyword!

FUN BUILD FACTS: If you really feel like being sneaky but don’t care so much about Theme, equip him with Ion for another 25 Points and watch him Outwit opposing characters through Stealth with his Supes TA. With Ion, you can also choose to give him Impervious, Phasing/Teleport OR Telekinesis as needed.

What you’ve then essentially done is taken the best of the 50 Point Starter Set Toymaster and added it to the Main set version (plus a whole lot extra) for just 5 Points more. Hell, TK was the main reason to play the Starter version anyway. And the Starter version’s limited Wildcard ability frankly sucks compared to the Main set’s already included Batman Ally and Superman Ally TA’s.

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #13: Possessors are, y’know, pretty #@^$ing good. That is all. 

Mallah

4. WF052 Monsieur Mallah150 PointsSuper Rare: This is a true Switchblade Clix that can do just about anything, since between Mallah and the detachable Brain, these pieces have just about all the powers in the game.

If you’re worried about getting out-actioned, choose to take the Brain off at the beginning of your turn and have the lil guy (thing?) go to town with his 8 Range, 2 Damage, Pen/Psy and Outwit.

On the other hand, if you’re up for some tentpole on tentpole violence, keep Brain attached, have Mallah launch a nice 3 or 4 (depending on how you want to use your Perplex) damage Pen/Psy/Energy Explosion attack of his own, and then try and use his Leadership Special next turn to remove an action token from himself.

There’s too much power and game-changing support in this set for Mallah to crack my Top Ten, but he has to be mentioned.

Elasti-Girl

3. WF035E Elasti-Girl50 Points — Rare: By far the best of the Doom Patrol pieces in this set [EDITOR’S NOTE: Not that I’m a huge fan of either the New 52 or the Doom Patrol, but for the love of all that’s holy, why didn’t Element Woman from Trinity War have the “Doom Patrol” keyword? It’s not new. If you were a fan and wanted to put together a New 52 Doom Patrol from, say, their appearance in Justice League #30, all the pieces have basically been made, but now you’re actually breaking Theme to put them together. Sigh… ], Rita Farr has a great Veteran dial, but her Experienced dial is even more intriguing.

Her second Trait (PROTOPLASMIC PHYSIOLOGY: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose tiny symbol, giant symbol, or colossal symbol. If you do, Elasti-Girl has the chosen symbol until she chooses again. If she chooses tiny symbol, modify her combat values by -1. If she chooses colossal symbol, modify her combat values by +1.) means that she can either Carry or be Carried right off the bat, so it’s tough to envision mobility issues for any team that uses her as a Tertiary Attacker or Supporting piece.

She has Charge and the ability to deal up to 4 Damage on her top click, and while she has no dampeners, she does sport the ever popular Shape Change/Super Senses combo on top of her 18 Defense (when Colossal).

Down dial she turns into a really good tie-up piece with Plasticity and Perplex. This is a very versatile dial that offers a ton of value for just 50 Points.

Worlds Finest 75 Point

Honestly, though, Clark, we really could have shaken hands on the ground. You did not need to fly us up here.

2. WF060R World’s Finest75 PointsSuper Rare: Stats are pretty good for a 75-Point piece. Duo Attack. 4 Damage to start. Charge the whole dial, Super Strength the whole dial, Toughness, Combat Reflexes and CCE the whole dial. And–oh yeah–none of their powers can be countered. What’s not to love?

They have 3 Clicks. One strike from a piece that does 4 or more damage KO’s them instantly.

But–BUT–that dial isn’t as shallow as it may seem. Remember, this piece has both the Superman Ally AND Batman Ally TA, so your opponent will either need to find a solution for your Stealth or deal with your un-Outwittable Combat Reflexes, which suddenly means they have to hit a 20.

And that’s what it comes down to. You’re making a 75-Point bet that you can get this piece to your opponent’s front line for a huge, 6-Damage Charge before they can snipe it out of the air. If you make it there unscathed, you have a Secondary Attacker that’s giving you A+ Primary Attacker damage output. If you can’t, you may have dug yourself a hole to deep to get out of.

KC Batman

1. WF062R Batman 25 PointsChase: Incidentally, KC Bat’s 150 Point main dial could easily have gone here too (13 Attack with Precision Strike!). But his “Tower Click” is probably where his Meta bread will be buttered.

Like all of his KC brethren (and sistren?), Batman’s Tower Click comes with a mobility hindering Trait (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Batman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 6 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) that requires you to be very precise about where you Place him to start the game (incidentally, more than with any other Tower Chase, Map Choice is important to you if you’re playing this Batman. A nice Elevated ledge of some sort near the center of the battlefield turns him into a nightmare for your opponent).

Then you get to the reason you’re playing him:  his Damage Special (I MONITOR GOTHAM FROM THE BATCAVE: Batman can use Outwit with a range value of 10. Opposing characters 4 or more squares from him can’t draw lines of fire to him.).

Yup. You get a nigh-untargetable 10-Range Outwitter for just 25 Points who’s Defense bumps up to a 20 against close combat attacks. And who can also turn into a Secondary Attacker if he ends up as the last piece on your force (or if your opponent hits a Crit).

And because he’s a KC piece, ol’ Bruce here has no problem Outwitting the sin out of any of the other KC Chase main dials.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I actually love this from a flavor standpoint too, as it makes Bats the one piece every other KC figure is vulnerable too. Lots of parallels to the actual Kingdom Come story. Well done, Wizkids!]

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, ON TO…

THE TOP TEN FOURTEEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST!!

Yikes. After 5 Honorable Mentions, there’s still 14 more freaking figures worth talking about? Damn, this is a powerful set!

The Wizard

14. WF030 The Wizard — 50 Points — Uncommon: Finally! A non-Rare, non-Super Rare, non-Chase, non-LE piece makes the list! Maybe only because I had to expand it by four whole slots, but still!

The Wizard is a piddly 50 Point support piece who sports no standard powers top dial except Prob (with a 6 Range) but has one of the best survivability Special Powers I’ve ever seen (ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.).

And while he sports a crappy 16 Defense with no kickers for his entire dial, his special Traited Shape Change (POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.) actually makes attacking him a dangerous gamble–especially since he can usually only be attacked up close. Believe me–that Tiger token is no joke (and heaven help you if he hits his Shape Change more than once and you have multiple Tigers floating around the battlefield).

In Sealed, The Wizard’s a monster, taking up waaaaaay too much of your opponent’s time and attention, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up in the Meta. It’s bad enough that your opponent has to jump through so many positioning hoops just to get to The Wizard, and if you can make even one Shape Change role (Blue Battery candidate, perhaps?), you might just change the outcome of the game.

Streaky 2

13. WF100 Streaky — 50 Points — LE: The Prize Kit piece from World’s Finest actually offers the cheapest source of top dial Hypersonic Speed that I’m aware of (excluding Possessor shenanigans such as Possessing a character who has a secondary dial that starts on Click 3 with Ophidian). And with a native top dial damage value of 3, a Defense Value of 18 (with Super Senses and Toughness) plus a Despotellis-like Trait (THIS CAT HAS CLAWS!: When an adjacent opposing character is moved or placed, after actions resolve you may place Streaky adjacent to that character. Streaky does not require opponents to break away.), Streaky is actually one of the best Tertiary Attackers in the Modern Age right now.

Plus, pets with capes are always cool. Just ask Krypto.

Metallo

12. WF055 Metallo — 150 Points — Super Rare: Metallo is another Primary Attacker plucked from Superman’s rogues gallery who offers a ton of versatility. His Trait (RAPIDLY MORPHING FRAME: Give Metallo a free action and choose one: choose a standard attack power, and he can use that power until your next turn -or- modify his combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is borderline bonkers, especially if you choose the second option on his top dial; suddenly he becomes a 9, 12, 19, 5 with Charge, Invincible and Shape Change. Those are big time stats for a 150 Point character.

Down dial he picks up an extremely useful Special Poison Attack Power (YOU’VE EXPOSED MY KRYPTONITE HEART: Metallo can use Poison. When he does, he removes an action token from himself for each opposing character that took damage from his Poison and he deals penetrating damage to characters with the Kryptonian keyword.) that will let him constantly take tokens off if he’s positioned properly.

Beatsticks who can potentially take actions every turn are exceptionally rare, which is why Metallo made this list.

Element Man

11. WF040 Element Man — 100 Points — Rare: For 100 Points, you get Traited Plasticity, Shape Change and Giant Reach to go with his top dial Super Senses, Sidestep and Pick-a-Power Attack Special (A PERIODIC ARSENAL: Give Element Man a free action and choose a standard attack and/or defense power. Element Man can use the chosen powers until your next turn, even if this power is lost. If Element Man chose both attack and a defense power, deal him 1 unavoidable damage at the end of your turn.).

So you get half of the versatility of noted Meta piece Zombie Super Skrull at almost half the price. However, Rex Mason here comes standard with some options that Skrully doesn’t, including the ever-useful SC/SS combo. And Giant Reach isn’t something that Super Skrull can pick anyway.

The cherry on the cake is his Outsiders Team Ability, which will solve a lot of problems before you even go to pick an Attack and/or Defense power.

Zatara

10. WF048 Zatara — 100 Points — Rare: Wow! Like his daughter before him in the Justice League: Trinity War set, Zatara’s dial can be played backwards or forward, which essentially means he can be a support-y piece or a secondary attacker.

But unlike some other pieces that straddle the lines of two Build roles, here’s the kicker: Zatara’s damn good at both roles.

Do you want a…

Secondary Attacker? Great. Play his dial backwards and you get a piece with Running Shot (only a 6 Range, but his Movement is 9, so he ends up with a okay-ish Threat Range of 11), 11 Attack with Pen/Psy, 17 Defense with ES/D to discourage return fire and 3 native Damage with Enhancement, to make follow-up shots with your Primary Attacker that much more deadly.

An early-game Support Piece? Play his dial normally and you’ll have top dial access to Telekinesis AND a Damage Special (THE ORIGINAL MAGICIAN: Zatara can use Perplex and Probability Control. When he uses Perplex, he may modify the chosen value (except damage) by +2 if he targets another friendly character he shares a keyword with.) with improved Perplex!

Either way, in the middle of his dial he gains a game-changing Special that can potentially swing an entire game (SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.). 4 Damage via a Pulse Wave that DOESN’T target any friendlies? Yes please!

I’ve heard some chatter about whether it’s worth 100 Points to potentially do 4 Damage to one or two opposing characters. Here’s what I would counter with:

A. You don’t have to actually use that ability until you deem it most advantageous to you.

B. If that Click is showing, but you still think you can do more work with Zatara, he also has Regeneration at the same time he has that Special, so you can simply Regenerate him back to his Supporting/Secondary Attacker clicks.

C. Also… you’re technically not sacrificing 100 Points at that point. You’re in the middle of his dial, so your opponent has already whittled away some theoretical points. If anything, this is a way to get EXTRA points out of a damaged character.

D. As we all know, 4 Damage via Pulse Wave is different than 4 Damage from another type of Attack. Remember, Pulse Wave ignores virtually every game effect! Invincible? Nice. You’re still taking four. Super Senses? Pulse Wave don’t care. Oh, you have Shape Change? How nice for you. Take 4. And on and on…

(Incidentally, the one situation you really need to be wary of is your opponent Mind Controlling Zatara when he’s on Clicks 3-5. That is a real danger, and something you have to be extra-mindful of if you see your opponent has access to Mind Control. This is why it’s so important to know your pick-a-power pieces! If your opponent has Zombie Super Skrull, Vartox or Engineer, they have access to Mind Control. If they’re playing Metallo or Element Man, they don’t. Mind Control is a Speed Power, so if the piece can’t pick a Speed Power, you’re good.)

So after all that, the real question is, which character is more versatile: Element Man or Zatara? Let the debate begin!

Harlequin

9. WF053B Harlequin — 90 Points — Super Rare PRIME: I’m convinced she immediately becomes one of the best Secondary Attackers in the 300 Point Meta. She’s also hard as hell to pin down.

Her KC Team Ability basically grants her a second bite of the Super Senses apple, since she already comes equipped with Super Senses. In a Resource environment, giving her the Blue or Red Decoy would not be a bad idea at all (the Blue Lantern and Decoy would basically give her FOUR freaking avoidance rolls if she’s attacked with anything other than Pulse Wave, Precision Strike and Battle Fury; the Red Lantern and Decoy would give her three shots to avoid a normal attack plus Penetrating Poison, which combos awesomely with her top and bottom dial Sidestep).

Her magnificent Trait (MURDEROUS JACK-IN-THE-BOX ON MY BACK: Give Harlequin a free action and place adjacent a Jack-in-the-Box bystander token printed on this card, then immediately give it an action as a free action. After actions resolve, remove that token from the game.) actually gives you a Tertiary Attacker THAT CAN ACT EVERY TURN free of charge. A possible 3-6 extra damage every turn? Yes please.

Finally, her Attack Special that shows up on her last two Clicks (POP! GOES THE WEASEL: Harlequin can use Pulse Wave. When she does, once per game you may choose that her damage value becomes 3 and is locked and she can’t place Jack-in-the-Box tokens for the remainder of this game.) isn’t quite as good as Zatara’s Special Pulse Wave… BUT IT’S STILL A BETTER VERSION OF THE BEST POWER IN THE GAME!

To find all this in a package that costs less than 100 Points is well worth the use of your only Prime slot.

Lex Luthor & Joker

8. WF059 Lex Luthor & Joker — 200 Points — Super Rare: Man, I was torn between this dial and the 75 Point dial. Ultimately, the 75 Point dial didn’t make even my Honorable Mentions, but it was close, and I’m not mad at you if you think that dial is better.

200 Points is a lot to spend on just 7 Clicks of life, but their survivability is increased exponentially by their second Trait (IT’S USUALLY ONE OF US THAT’S BEHIND EVERYTHING: Lex Luthor and Joker can use Mastermind. Lex Luthor and Joker and other friendly characters of 20 points or more can use the Underworld team ability.). Their first Trait (WORLD’S VILEST TEAM: Lex Luthor and Joker’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.) means that none of their powers can be Outwitted, either.

Their top dial Specials (Movement and Damage) grant them two separate uses of Sidestep, Perplex and at least one use of Outwit to go with their Duo Attack, Pen/Psy and ES/D.

After their first two ranged-based Clicks, they morph into some pretty lethal close combatants with Charge, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness and their Attack Value balloons up to 12.

Pair these two with the right goons and cannon fodder and they can be the most dangerous piece on the battlefield.

Mxy vs Bat-Mite

Okay, at this point I’ve run so many World’s Finest art pieces that I’m just gonna start running related images that amuse me.

7. WF060 World’s Finest — 300 Points — Super Rare: Uh… wait, didn’t we already cover this? Oh, this is the Veteran dial! Right… okay.

I can’t remember the last time the same figure made a Top Ten Set Review with more than one dial. But World’s Finest deserves it. Why? Because this is probably the best 300 Point One-Man-Army dials that Wizkids has published since Sentroid back in Chaos War.

When evaluating a OMA dial, I like to ask a series of questions:

  1. Does the piece have readily available move-and-attack abilities? If I’m only using one piece, I can’t be wasting turns positioning. This becomes less of an issue as the game goes on and your opponent starts losing pieces, but especially up top there HAS to be really good move-and-attack. World’s Finest has Hypersonic Speed, which is about as good as you can get.
  2. Does the figure have Outwit/Counter protection? All the move-and-attack abilities in the world won’t help you if your opponent can just shut you down with a small supporting piece that sports some Outwit. World’s Finest covers this (and then some) with its first Trait (WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.).
  3. Does the figure have a way to reroll out of missed attacks and/or bad situations? Hey, Heroclix is dice game, which means there is just about always going to be an element of random chance. With a One-Man-Army, missed attack rolls are just killer. You might as well have just skipped your turn. Actually that would have been better, because at least then you wouldn’t have had to put an action token on your only figure. World’s Finest has two answers for this. First, they have Duo Attack, so if you choose to activate Duo Attack, you’ll at least have a second attack to fall back on if you miss with your first. But what I really like about this piece is that its second Trait (GOOD DISTRACTION, BRUCE: Once per turn, when World’s Finest misses all targets with an attack and haven’t used the Duo Attack ability this turn, after actions resolve they may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially allows you a do-over if you miss while performing non-Duo Attack actions (like, y’know, Hypersonic Speed).
  4. Does the figure have a high Damage output? Basically, are they capable of one-shotting opposing support figures and seriously hurting opposing Primary Attackers? The longer you are out-actioned, the worse your chances of winning become. But if you can eliminate a support figure or even a secondary attacker before Turn 3? Well, you’ve just drastically evened the odds. To do that, though, you need to be able to dish out some serious damage. For a OMA piece, that usually means sporting a native 5 Damage with the ability to enhance that with a penetrating kicker of some sort or a value enhancer (like Super Strength). World’s Finest passes this test with 5 Damage top dial AND Super Strength.
  5. Does the figure have a way to avoid opposing damage reducers and/or counteract opposing attack avoidance abilities? Look, no piece is perfect, but again, if I only have one figure to use each turn, I can’t have successful attack rolls turned into nothing via successful Impervious or Super Senses rolls, just as I can’t get stopped before I get started if my opponent hits a Shape Change or Skrull TA roll (or whatever). World’s Finest… actually doesn’t have a way around this, at least not until some Outwit turns up mid-dial (when it may be too late). No Pen/Psy or Exploit Weakness, no Precision Strike and no Battle Fury.

Okay! So World’s Finest passed 4 out of 5 OMA tests with flying colors, which leads me to the conclusion that it IS in fact a viable One-Man-Army figure. You just have to start the game with the mindset that it might be better to start with a high-probability KO on that supporting piece that only has Toughness versus going head-on against that opposing tentpole that sports Impervious. Remember, World’s Finest has Invincible top dial, not Invuln or Impervious, so even that smaller figure with the 10 Attack and 2 Damage may pose a threat. Whittling down your opponent’s pool of actions will often times be priority number one.

Because if you can narrow the game down to your best piece against his, well… you’re gonna win.

Shazam!

6. WF065 Shazam! — 170 Points — Chase: Man, it would have been so easy to just list nothing but Chases and Primes for this. But Shazam! has a lot going on with his dial that I just love.

First of all, he has the normal KC Chase Trait (WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Shazam’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”. Shazam’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”.) that makes all of his powers uncounterable to all but, like, two pieces (KC Flash and KC Batman) unless shenanigans are involved.

Secondly, with the change to the KC TA, he basically has the crowdpleasing Shape Change/Super Senses combo IN ADDITION to his nigh-uncounterable top dial Invincible.

On the offensive side of things, he sports a 15 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Precision Strike (so he can get through even other Chases’ KC TA), an 18 Defense and 4 native damage. I wish both his Attack and Damage were one tick higher, but with 130 Points still left over for support, those are easy complaints to remedy.

Finally, he also has the Calculator TA, so depending on how you round out the rest of your Build, you can give him the Batman Ally, Superman Ally or Mystics TA (or perhaps all three!).

Very efficient killing machine.

Superman Farming in Peace

5. WF061R Superman — 35 Points — Chase: This is the Chase Supes on his “Tower Click.” It’s pretty simple. He has an 18 Defense with Impervious (thus making him impossible to KO with normal Poison, something the other Towers can’t claim), the Superman Ally TA AND the KC TA.

But what makes him so great is, obviously, his Tower Power (I WANT TO FARM IN PEACE: Superman can use Incapacitate with two targets and an attack value of 12. Hit characters can’t make ranged attacks during their turn.).

That makes him another potential Time Walk piece, where he can basically force your opponent to skip a turn with some well-timed Incapacitates. Even the KC Trait that’s supposed to limit him (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Superman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 7 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) actually ends up being a boon, since you can throw him right into the action in the middle of the Map or on a strategically important piece of high ground.

Hope your opponent has fun taking actions with his best pieces once every three turns.

Mary_Marvel

4. WF041 Mary Marvel — 150 Points — Rare: Hypersonic, Super Strength (with the ability to deal up to 7 Damage with an Ultra-Heavy), Invincible and Prob–there’s not a lot to not like here. The only fly in the ointment is that her Defense Value of 17 is fairly weak for a Primary Attacker. Having said that, her wonderfully flavorful Trait (SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.) offers some very real Outwit protection while her Defense Special (SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.) may mean that you have to get through her entire dial again AFTER YOU KO HER THE FIRST TIME!

This is a great piece to Build a Meta team around (and I suspect Ninwashui will agree, since he’s been giddily sending me Mary Marvel teams all weak!).

Darkseid Supergirl

3. WF056 Supergirl200 Points — Super Rare: Choosing between Supergirl and Mary Marvel really came down to splitting hairs, but Kara’s Trait (DARKSEID’S ASSASSIN: When Supergirl hits with an attack, after actions resolve, give each hit character an action token. If one or more hit characters were unable to be given an action token, remove an action token from Supergirl. If one or more hit characters can use the Batman Ally, Justice League, or Superman Ally team ability, heal her 1 click.) is honestly so ridiculous that I gave her the nod.

You know what the best way to avoid a counter-attack is? Pile up action tokens on opposing pieces. Can you imagine her with her cousin’s KC Chase Tower version? If your opponent isn’t careful, they’ll never take a meaningful action!

Beyond her Trait, she has great stats and a long, healthy dial that’s just full of move-and-attack powers!

(Not for nothing, but her 100 Point dial almost made the Top Ten as well–it’s that sick!)

KC Green Lantern

I don’t know much about the artist Sweet-Bread, to whom this image is attributed, but I do know that the guy (or girl) can freaking draw KC Green Lantern–this is awesome!

2. WF064R Green Lantern — 30 Points — Chase: Another Tower Chase. Green Lantern has a couple things going for him that set him apart from all but one of his KC counterparts.

Firstly, his dial sports an 18 Defense with Barrier. Yup. You can plop him down in the middle of the battlefield and watch him throw up Barriers two out of every three turns. Very useful.

Next comes his Damage Special (I PROTECT FROM AFAR: Green Lantern can use Perplex to target friendly character regardless of line of fire.). Homeboy Alan Scott here has a 9 Range, and you’re telling me he doesn’t need to worry about line of fire?! So basically, I can have Perplex and Barrier for the entire game for just 30 freaking points?

And just get a load of his keywords: GREEN LANTERN CORPS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE SOCIETY, Future, Mystical and Politician. Mystical? When’s the last time a Green Lantern sported the Mystical keyword?

And hell, with Politician, you could actually theme him with Nighthawk Prime! I suppose the only better thing than playing one broken piece is playing two together, right?

Sheesh. 9 Range with no line of fire. I could make an argument that Wizkids shouldn’t be giving any character the ability to use a support power on a friendly piece from 9 Squares away without worrying about line of fire. It’s just too damn good of a power! What’s next? A piece that can use Prob across the entire Map? I mean, I know that’s ridiculous, and they would never do that, but you get my point. How much closer to the edge can these designers go?

KC Spectre

“No, Norman McCay, THIS is how you make an entrance. The key today is the same as it has been for a hundred millennia past:  no pants.”

1. WF066R SpectreChase35 Points: Oh good Lord, they made a piece that can Prob the entire freaking map. Are you serious? Sigh…

Okay, okay, let’s start over. Let’s pretend you didn’t just read Green Lantern’s entry and try and put into perspective just how great Spectre is.

So… you’d pay 25 Points to plop, say, Ophidian or Chase Brainiac onto a character to boost one stat by +1 a turn and pick from a range of 3 or 4 powers every turn, right? I mean, we all know that Entities and their ilk are great values, right? Well, how much would you pay for a free Prob every turn for the entire game? Probably even more than 35 Points, right? Let’s break it down.

Ol’ Jim Corrigan here is the last of the “Tower Chases” that we’re gonna talk about today. He also happens to be the very best. First of all, remember how we talked about that “Isolated From Your Violent World” Trait being sort of a pain for KC Batman and most of the other Chases except Green Lantern? Well, meet the other exception. That Trait is actually EXTREMELY beneficial to Spectre–it’s not a hindrance in the least.

It allows you to put him at or near the center of any map, which becomes bonkers when you look at his Tower ability (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.). Did you read that last part? REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE?! Uh, yes please! Now look at his native Range. No, go look. I’ll sit here and wait.

Yup. It’s a 12. So, REGARDLESS OF WHICH MODERN AGE MAP IS CHOSEN, you can find a nice, comfy spot near the center of the map to plop Spectre down in and relax, secure in the knowledge that he can now see ANY Square on the map. He just needs to be somewhere in your twelfth Row and at least four Columns from each side.

Okay. So we’ve established now that with the right initial placement (and remember, his Trait means he’s completely immobile once you Place him, so choose carefully), Spectre can Prob across the entire Map. That is easily worth 35 Points. But what makes him more valuable is the razor-thin list of options your opponent has to deal with it.

Poison? Sure, if your opponent moves a Poison-enabled character up 12 Squares and waits a turn without you doing a thing to stop it, then yeah, Spectre can be Poisoned to death (Incidentally, this is a risk you take with all the Tower Chases save Superman. Well, mostly save Superman.).

Pulse Wave? Yup. There’s not much that Pulse Wave doesn’t do.

Outwit? Yeah, maybe, if you can get close enough.

Attacking? Up Close? Sure. If you can advance up 12 Squares and hit an 18 Defense twice, congratulations. You just used (and probably left exposed) what was almost certainly your best attacker to take out a 35 Point piece. Now take an Unavoidable Click of Mystics damage.

From Range? Uh… yeah. Go ahead and try that. First, hit a 20 Defense, since Spectre’s rocking an 18 Defense Value with ES/D. Then do it again (Spectre’s Prob).

Now, if that 20 is a problem and you have access to the Outsiders TA, go ahead and use that, although if you’re playing a Modern Age game, that means you’re locked in to playing either Element Man (Good choice! He’s great. You have a fighting chance!), Jade (not a bad piece, but since she’s half your army at a cost of at least 151 Points and undoubtedly your Primary Attacker AND you really have to move her into position first before you can use her TA since you can’t use her TA in the middle of a Running Shot AND thatkindofdefeatsthewholepurpose and why, oh God, why have you forsaken me?!?!) or Creeper (Seriously though, don’t play Creeper. Beware the $#%@ing Creeper. You know why. And if not, go back up and read for content this time).

But whatever–you hit a 20 Defense from Range twice! Bravo! Now, did you do it with Precision Strike? No? Well, Spectre still might not be dead yet and there’s a 33% chance that you wasted all your opening moves to take out a 35-Point character and still failed.

But that’s pessimistic. Let’s say Spectre fails his KC roll. Yay! You did it! You KO’d a 35 Point support piece.

Now take a g-dd–n Click of Unavoidable Mystics damage. Sunova-!!

Soooo… I think I made my point. You’re almost better off just leaving him for last, except then he actually turns into an even harder to kill Secondary Attacker who stills has a 12 freaking Range Value.

And also… dammit, you’re just never better off leaving an opposing Prob’r up and, uh, Probb’ing.

Carlos

No Probb’ing at the table. Not at the table, Carlos.

At least they didn’t give this dial to a Chase-level figure who represents the never-before Clix’d alternate version of a popular character from an iconic storyline.

Sigh… Just take my money, Wizkids. I hate you.

 

BUT WAIT!!

Nightlantern

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hmmm… all these entries, and not one mention of Nightlantern, the Rare Prime? Surely he’s SOMEWHERE among the top pieces in the set, right? 

Well… yes and no. His dial is actually pretty average for its cost. Decent stats, but he definitely has a glass jaw in terms of how long his dial keeps his best powers. Obviously, his main value is his Trait (EVERY PERSON I KNOW IS AN AMALGAM OF TWO FROM YOUR UNIVERSE?: When building your force, you may pay 25 points and put a standard character on your sideline, called an Amalgam. At the beginning of the game, equip the Amalgam to a standard friendly character (other than Nightlantern) that is higher points than the Amalgam’s highest point value and link it to that character’s dial. For the rest of the game, the Amalgam provides the below effect when equipped: EFFECT: At the beginning of your turn or when when this character is clicked, you may choose a standard power on the equipped dial. This character can use that power until your next turn or clicked.). Just let that sink in for a few, because we’re gonna examine this piece in greater detail… in a future article.

(Hey, no complaining–we’re already wellllll past 7000 words here AND you’ve still got a special bonus after this!)

But because of his unique Trait AND the fact that his usefulness changes DRASTICALLY based on the point value of the game, I’ve decided to make Nightlantern ineligible for the Top Ten and will instead give him his own spotlight in an upcoming piece. 

And yes, this is basically what we did with Rare Bizarro back when SLoSH came out. Sometimes a single piece just needs a whole article.]

 

THE STINGER AFTER THE CREDITS–AKA, BONUS TIME!

Okay. Now that we’ve talked about the best this set has to offer, for a little bonus content, let’s dive headfirst into the worst of the World’s Finest offerings! I give to you, at no extra charge…

THE TWO WORST FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

Mr. Nobody

Wait, the evil organization I lead is called the ‘Brotherhood of Dada?’ Uh… maybe this isn’t Grant Morrison’s best idea...”

1. Mr. Nobody (55 Points): He’s a mobile (minimum-range) Outwitter top dial; after that first Click, he loses Outwit and gains Prob. He has a weird Special Attack Power that lets you mildly mess with an opposing figure’s dial, but it costs a Power Action AND he has to be up close and personal (remember, he loses Phasing/Teleport after that top Click, so he’s far less mobile at that point). Of course, that’s probably still your best option with him, since you’re really not going to do much damage with his 8 Attack Value and a native Damage Value that quickly goes from 2 to 1. Mid-dial he picks up Steal Energy, but I would argue that the use of that Steal Energy moves him up to a worse Click! His keywords are pretty awful (just “Brotherhood of Evil” and “Politician”), and almost everything he does can be done by other pieces in Modern, and usually for a cheaper cost. If you’re running a Brotherhood of Evil Themed Team with Monsieur Mallah, okay, I get it; two Mr. Nobody’s is your only option (although you’re probably still giving away a ton of points, even with a Resource). But if you want to Theme Monsieur Mallah so bad, why not just run a Secret Society Team? Waaaaay more options.

Occultist

Nope. This–that’s the wrong Occultist. Ooooo, I wish I paid you so I could fire you.

2. Occultist (20 Points): Eh… it’s hard to be too mad about a generic figure that costs only 20 Points. But his (her? it’s?) Movement Special Power (BLOOD MAGIC: When an adjacent friendly character takes damage from an opponent’s attack, put a number of Blood Magic tokens on that friendly character’s card equal to the damage taken. Even if this power is lost, that friendly character may be given a free action to remove one Blood token and use Perplex targeting itself.) is a hell of a long way to go for the chance to maybe, possibly, if the stars all align, use Perplex, like, twice, in a whole game. For the EXACT same cost, you can play either the Witch or the Warlock who offer much more enhancement certainty with their Special Powers and who are both much harder to hit and who both HAVE THE EXACT SAME KEYWORD. Hell, Witch even adds “Monster” to her keyword line.

Blood Magic Meme

Occultist is a classic Sex Panther Piece, which, for those who aren’t familiar, is a term derived from “Anchorman” and refers to any piece with an overly complicated power that, in the end, isn’t as good or consistent as other basic, readily available options.

Okay! There you have it! The Ten Fifteen Nineteen (Hmmm… do I subtract the two worst entries, or… Can I get a ruling on this? Anyone? Aw, crap, my Editor’s fallen asleep. That probably explains why half the images were wrong. Y’know, I should probably wrap this up soon.) Best Figures in World’s Finest.

Whew!

And don’t forget to bring it right back here in a few days when Ninwashui issues his… SECOND OPINION!

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!

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!!

All’s Well That Ends Well!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8Night 9Night 10 or Night 11 just by clicking the preceding links!]

12 Nights of Clixmas

 

Well, I think a hale and hearty “Merry Christmas” is due, wouldn’t you say? I also want to wish a Happy Holiday season to all our readers, whether Christmas is a holiday you celebrate or not.

In 2014, Critical Missives grew from a blog without much direction that averaged a few clicks a day to one that features lots of original content and several recurring features that draw thousands of views a month from all over the globe (we recorded views from 92 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES!!). And we have all of you folks to thank for that.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

No, we’re not HCrealms.com, nor are we trying to be–those fine folks already do a great job with their site. But we do feel that we have some original thoughts about gaming in general and Heroclix in particular every now and then, and we’re delighted every time one of you stops by to check us out. Hopefully you found something worth your time, whether it was a Build idea, a new way of looking at a character, venue information or–even better–just a cheap laugh or two.

So Night 12, the final night of Clix-mas, is devoted to you folks. We wanted to express our gratitude to you all for getting us to where we are, as well as tell you where we plan on going.

Before the end of the year, we have HypeFox’s Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Flash, and once January hits we’ll have more Weekly Roundups, and end 0f year “Best Of” (not unlike this column that we ran last year) and we’ll dive deep into the Gotham Episode Guide!!

We hope to see you there! But until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

Avengers Thank You

Community Outreach!! (Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7 or Night 8 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Community

Welcome to the Ninth Night of Clix-mas!! Tonight, we’re going to take a moment to pause and reflect… on Heroclix. Or, more specifically, on Heroclix Community resources.

Heroclix is more than just a tabletop miniatures game. It’s an ever-evolving franchise with dynamic rules and a growing fan and player base! With that said, the availability of information about the game is at an all-time high. So tonight we’re going to discuss and list some of the many different sources you can go to for everything from team ideas to rules questions.  Here is your…

HEROCLIX COMMUNITY!!

 

Official Information Sources:

 

WES

WizKids Event System: The WizKids Event System is an awesome new tool that comes direct from the games makers that serves two major purposes. First, local venues can post official upcoming tournaments and events which then become searchable for anyone who wants to know what’s going down in their area.

Secondly, there is now a Rules forum where folks can ask specific rules questions and get an official response right from WizKids! No more posting on various Forums and just blindly hoping that the people who respond know what their talking about.

 

Heroclix Dot COm

Heroclix.com: The official site for the game offers Previews, Articles and Downloads galore. You want this year’s Official Rules? Here they are. You want a Dwarf token from Fear Itself? Print and Play is here too! Almost every official reference you’d ever need is posted right here for your convenience!

 

Unofficial Information Sources:

 

HCRealms

HCRealms.com: Probably the biggest ‘Clix site out there. They do host a great many articles; some are useful, many are not. The Units section is EXTREMELY useful; while you have to deal with the occasional typo (or Comment Troll who deliberately misinterprets rulings on controversial figures), it’s put together by volunteers who do a pretty accurate job. The Advanced Search features doesn’t always work properly when searching by Point range, but that’s a small, churlish complaint for an otherwise ridiculously helpful tool.

Since HCRealms sponsors the ROC, the ROC tab on their site is a great place to go for ROC info.

Finally, the Forums host a great many discussions that you might find interesting. Of special note is the Upcoming Sets rumor forum, which gets contributions from folks who are either really astute about guessing what’s coming or people who are in the know (or sometimes both; also, sometimes neither) based on the fact that they’ve received advanced vendor communications for one reason or another.

Basically, if you’re a Clix enthusiast, this should be your information hub.

 

Heroclix World

Heroclixworld.com: I’ve found this to be the best site for quick rules lookups–the navigation makes it a breeze. Also, if you just do a search for a certain power, Heroclixworld.com is usually the first site that pops up in the results–at least if you’re using Google.

 

photo

Critical Missives Twitter Account: And of course, there’s US!! Pretty sure you already know about our site, since you’re here reading this, but we also have a Twitter account. In addition to tweeting notifications with links every time we publish something, occasionally you get breaking news, special Builds and site updates, too… when you Follow us!

 

Podcasts:

 

Dial H

 

Dial H For Heroclix: This is probably the main Podcast I listen to. It’s also the only one that churns out fresh episodes each and every week, thus making it the most current as well. The guys have an excellent understanding of the rules and are great at reviewing figures as well. If you’re looking to get a little more ‘Clix coverage every week, this is probably the best place to start. Also, they cover ancillary Heroclix products like The Lord of the Rings and Yu-Gi-Oh! ‘Clix in much more detail than we do here at Critical Missives.

Also of note: Every month, Dial H hosts 2 different contests!

The best has to be their Dial Design contest, where they establish a weekly theme, and then you get to design a figure (using the HCRealms Dial Generator) that meets those parameters. Each entry is scored each week, and after three weeks a winner is crowned. Said winner gets bragging rights for a month plus a set of action tokens featuring a character of their choice made by Hunter Smith, one of the show’s hosts!

They also host a monthly Best Build contest, where the guys list an upcoming game at their local venue. It’s up to listeners to submit the best teams they can think of for that particular game, and then the hosts each choose one of the entries to play. Whoever does the best in that game wins a set of action tokens for their designer.

 

The Quarry

The Quarry: This is a high-end, ESPN Roundtable-style discussion of recent ROC tournament results in specific, and the Meta in general. Hosted by Edward Shelton, aka Darklogos, the podcast itself can usually be found in different places on the ROC tab on HCRealms. Lots of great strategy talk here from extremely talented players.

 

So, those are a lot of the sources I use when I need information on Heroclix! Hopefully there’s something on this list that you didn’t know about before–and if so, welcome to the wider Heroclix community!

 

A Weekly Roundup?! It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 12/21/2014!!) (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6 or Night 7 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Roundup

And a Merry Clix-Mas to all, and to all, a good (Blackest) Night!! Welcome back, welcome back!!

It’s been almost a month since we Rounded Clix, so I think it’s high time we did it again! I hope this Winter Solstice finds you all well and in good spirits!

We’ve got a lot to get to today, so we should probably just dive right into…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is new every week; this past week brought us another milestone: Episode 75, wherein the guys discuss potential Meta pieces from Flash and the name of Austin’s new game!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–As far as I can tell, Episode 29 is still the most recent ep of The Quarry! The Roundtable discusses results from the Indianapolis ROC!

"We're a Thing again!"

–Well, just as quickly as they came back, ClixCast seems to have gone away! They have yet to release an October or November ep, but you can catch their August and September offerings right here!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–You can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–Except for the just-dropped Majestix announcement, which you can catch right here!

 

Preview

–In case you missed it last week: there is going to be a “Spider-Man Symbiotes” Monthly Op Kit in May of next year! Looks like there’ll be 3 different versions of Venom!

–No other current Previews, but that’s to be expected as they JUST released Flash. I’d expect no real previews until WizKids’s annual 12 Days of Clix-Mas promotion, where we’ll get a look at next year’s offerings like Justice League: Trinity War, Avengers Assemble and both Avengers: Age of Ultron offerings!

 

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Jenny_Sparks_The_Secret_History_of_the_Authority_5

Alright, for this week, we’re just gonna build an army from some of the new Flash pieces that just released!!

Team NameRespect My Authori-tah!!

ThemeNone

Map Choice Preference: Nothing specific–just something that’s a bit out in the open so you can take ranged shots.

Roster:

FL061 Jenny Sparks 125 Points

FL060R Engineer 90

GOTG007B Captain Marvel 81

=297 Points

What This Build Does:

This is a Themed Team for a No Resources, No Entities environment (since it obviously features neither of those things) that features 3 of the most versatile Scientist-keyworded figs in Modern right now. It’s specifically designed to give you three figures who can each fill multiple roles.

Jenny Sparks is an awesome Primary Attacker because of her Trait (ELECTRICAL CORTEX SHORT CIRCUIT: When Jenny Sparks hits an opposing character, that character can’t use special powers from now until your next turn.). However, she also offers a Special Leadership (IF YOU DIE, I’LL JUST DIG YOU UP AND PUT YOU TO WORK AGAIN: Jenny Sparks can use Leadership. When she does and the result is 6, remove all action tokens from all adjacent friendly characters with the Authority keyword.) that pairs especially well with Engineer, who can taxi Jenny and then have a chance for Jenny to take any and all tokens off of her next turn!

Engineer, even at the 90 Point level, is also a decent Primary Attacker OR Supporting Piece because she can pick up to three different Standard Powers a turn (not unlike Zombie Super-Skrull). She can be whatever you need her to be every turn.

Finally, Captain Marvel can ALSO be a Primary Attacker! He also offers a supporting Defend power (DEFEND HUMANITY FROM MY PEOPLE: Captain Marvel can use Defend and Super Senses. Modify the defense values of adjacent friendly characters without the Kree keyword by +1. This power can’t be countered.) that’ll boost the Defense of Jenny Sparks and Engineer to 19 if they’re both adjacent! And his Attack Special (UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.) is among the best in the game, and will ensure that every turn either Jenny is countering ALL of an opposing figs Special Powers, or Captain Marvel is stopping them from attacking at all!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

We’re doing an all-Hollywood column for Night 10!!

 

Wizkids

WizKids is giving away a ton of Yu-Gi-Oh! Clix, DVD’s and Blu-Rays!! Entering is pretty simple, and you can do it right here!

 

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

Critical Missives:

–My local venue is dark until January, so that’s when the Local News section listing Local games will return.

–See above links if you’ve missed any 12 Nights of Clix-Mas columns!

–We’ll be right back tomorrow night with a post about the Heroclix Community!!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch where you draw you Lines of Fire!!

How To Clinch The Central!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 09/28/2014!!)

Roundup

Howdy! It’s time for another edition of our patented Roundups! Why publish an update now, in the middle of the week? Well, a lot has happened in the last two weeks!

In the world of Michigan sports alone:

–Baseball’s regular season has finally ended, and the Tigers finished in first place in the AL Central. Finally! Here’s what the scene looked like in and around Comerica Park:

Noted baseball fans Barry Allen and Wally West run by the stadium wearing Tigers colors! (Not gonna lie, they were hard to capture on film!)

Noted baseball fans Barry Allen and Wally West run by the stadium wearing Tigers colors! (Barry was in the home whites; Wally was wearing the navy gear. And yes, that’s Ford Field–where the Lions play–right behind them. For any non-southeastern Michigan readers, the Lions and Tigers play right next to each other!)

 

Fans exiting the stadium. That's the Ren Cen in the skyline there.

Fans exiting the stadium. That’s the Ren Cen in the skyline there.

 

Folks ready to celebrate in downtown Detroit.

Folks ready to celebrate in downtown Detroit.

Now, here’s where it gets weird. After the Tigers beat Minnesota to clinch the division, two cops on horseback came out onto the grass near the fence in left-center field (by the bullpens.) There, they milled about for just two minutes or so, and then left. And that’s when I noticed something strange on the warning track:

photo (19)

Hmmm…” I thought, “That’s strange. Lemme see if I can zoom in a bit. That can’t be what I think it is... ”

"Oh yeah. That's what I thought it was."

Oh yeah. That’s what I thought it was.

Yep. An explosion of horsecrap right on the outfield dirt. Now our Warning Track needs a Warning Track.

–I bet the Twins felt crappy about losing.

–That horse was a real party pooper. (Okay, I’m done with the dookie puns now. Well… probably.)

–The Tigers will start their playoff run today in Baltimore at 5:37!

–Meanwhile, across the street, the Lions played Green Bay a couple weeks ago. They won the game, in large part because of their stellar defense. Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch was so excited to get a sack in the first half that he just had to express himself:

"Somehow, this is still more manly than the Martin Grammatica celebratory knee explosion. At least Tulloch actually did something worth celebrating...

Yup! These are my Lions!

–Still, after a 3-1 start, I have to be optimistic, right? I mean, it’s not like this team has a long, tortured and RECENT history of collapsing during the latter half of the season, right?

Bah. Best not to think of such things. In fact, I think it’s high time we turned our attention to:

 

THE MID-WEEKLY UPDATE!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is always new every week! Their latest episode included some spoilers for upcoming OP kits as well as a discussion of the second series of Yu-Gi-Oh! figures!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry has released Episode 27, which covers the end of the ROC’s first season!!

Push to Regen

–In somewhat sad news, Push to Regen has announced on Reddit that they have released their final episode. Their Facebook page is still up, and still posting the occasional news item, but the show has reached its final destination.

"We're a Thing again!"

We’re a Thing again!”

–And, in tribute to Elton John and the Circle of Life (never thought I’d make an Elton John reference on this blog; I was, apparently, wrong), just as Push to Regen goes quietly into that dark night, ClixCast rises from the ashes after six months and publishes two new episodes! Welcome back, gentlemen.

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–You can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

 

Preview

–Keep your GotG Nebula, Rocket Raccoon Movie Chase, Star-Lord Movie Starter piece, Movie Rare Groot, Movie Rare Yondu and Batroc handy–we have another Pirate to add to your force! It’s Pirate Deathstroke, and he’s… weird. But in a good way. His mid-dial “Take Their Vessel” Special Movement power has to be the weirdest justification EVER for granting the use of Mind Control, but he also has a great top dial Damage Special called “Steal More Than Your Gold” that allows him to basically steal a standard power from an opposing figure within 6 squares. The best part is, you’re preventing that character from “using” that power, not countering that power, so it gets around Power Cosmic or Quintessence or any powers that “can’t be countered.” I’d like a little more Range than 6, but for 112 Points, he’s certainly unique.

–Want to know what to expect when OP Rogue is up for grabs at your local venue? Click here to find out!

 

Wizkids

–In case you missed it last time, we got some announcements about some upcoming sets!! We are getting an Avengers Assemble set with 25 never-before-Clix’d characters along with next year’s OP set: Age of Ultron!! Oh, and we’re getting an Age of Ultron Movie Set as well. In addition, it appears that BOTH sets will use Avengers ID cards (randomly inserted in boosters?) that will work with the Avengers Roundtable Resource. How this will all play out, I don’t know. But what I do know is that somewhere along the way (probably but not definitely as the main prize from Age of Ultron) we will finally get… a Quinjet! Yep, Marvel’s finally getting a vehicle (at least one that didn’t start as a figure like Warlock)!

Avengers Assemble should hit around May, and will be a normal 5-figure Booster set. Age of Ultron will come in two different waves of 5-Figure boosters. Wheeee!

You can find a link to the Alliance pictures HERE!!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

No Army of the Week this week, as we’re devoting a little extra time to debuting another new feature–Upcoming Local Games–at the bottom of this very article. Army of the Week will return next time, though!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Gotham and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have premiered! After two episodes apiece, they appear to be  heading in opposite directions. This week, I’ll talk about Gotham. Next week, we’ll take a look at Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Gotham Title

–Okay, I know this is a comic-book-based show, but the premiere and ESPECIALLY the second episode were really over the top. Not a great start. Ben McKenzie is fine as Jim Gordon, and I like his military backstory. But Donal Logue seems uncomfortable so far as Harvey Bullock (color me surprised–I would’ve thought he’d be brilliant), partially because every other scene has him spouting cartoonish exposition about how corrupt Gotham is and how Jim needs to get with the program. I think that’s what I dislike the most–Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock seem like characters from two different shows. And the abysmally named Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). the other character with the most screen time through episode 2, seems bizarrely misconceived.

Why does Fish Mooney  have a character banner like audience's already know who she is? Whaaa... ?! And really, a tough as nails female gangster has no problem with folks calling her Fish? Really?!

Why does Fish Mooney have a character banner like audiences already know who she is? And really, a tough as nails female gangster has no problem with folks calling her Fish?!

The only other standout so far is the guy playing the Penguin as a young thug. He’s good, but since he’s rail-thin and dressed to the nines all the time, every time someone talks about how much he looks or walks like a penguin (which supposedly sets him off on a violent rage every time he hears it), you just wonder what the hell they’re talking about.

The acting was really bad in episode 2, which featured indie movie vets Lili Taylor and Frank Whaley as a couple of creepy kidnappers. The roles were so poorly executed that neither actor ever seemed comfortable, and the whole thing devolved into a giant mess by the end. The show is also already having trouble connecting Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth to the weekly stories. This episode, Alfred caught Bruce burning his own hand with a candle flame, so of course he did the natural thing and went to see Jim Gordon, that detective Alfred has only met twice and who admittedly botched up the Wayne’s murder investigation. Well, of course that’s the guy he would turn to for parenting help.

This is only Episode 2, so the fact that the creative team is already having these sorts of structural problems with the premise of the show doesn’t bode well for the future. Look, I love Batman and Catwoman, but it seems like things would go a lot smoother if Bruce, Alfred, Selina Kyle and the young girl from the pilot who may or may not turn into Poison Ivy were recurring characters who only showed up a few times a season, at most. Because, despite what the marketing campaign would have you believe, the show’s not actually about them!

Based on what we saw in the pilot, Gotham is about a young detective named Jim Gordon, who happens to be the one honest cop in the city of Gotham, and his rise to prominence in the world’s most corrupt city. That’s it–that’s the logline of the show. Paring down the main cast to Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, their boss (I’m sorry, I can’t even remember her name), Jim’s fiance Barbara and whatever mobsters/villains you want them going after during the arc of the first season would free up a lot of constraints that are currently weighing down the show.

"I take it back--the marketing clearly showed the four completely different stories that the show would be telling this season."

“I take it back–the marketing clearly showed the five completely different stories that the show would be telling this season.”

Now, on the bright side, they did find a way to include Selina Kyle a little more directly (although, God help me, if she tells one more adult to call her “Cat,” I might throw something at my TV. She’s gonna be Catwoman in another decadeWE F–KING GET IT!!), not just for this episode but for at least the next few.

I haven’t watched much of Arrow, but from what I understand that enterprise started a little shaky too; now it’s become CAN’T-MISS TV!! for a lot of folks. Perhaps Gotham will get there; for now, it remains a flawed undertaking.

 

Local Tournament Report

Upcoming Local Events:

Hello! Welcome to the latest feature for the Weekly Update–Upcoming Local Events!

This is the spot where we’ll post a few notices about upcoming games at venues in and around Southeastern Michigan, where Critical Missives is based. If any venue would like us to announce an upcoming event anywhere in the country, you can hit us up on Twitter or let us know via feedback to this very post!

–Today @ 6pm, Big Ben’s Comix Oasis in Allen Park, MI will host some Free-For-All battles, 400 Points Modern Age–only single-based figures will be allowed. “Shock the Turtle” Battlefield conditions will be in effect.

–Comic City in Pontiac, MI also has a Zombie Team Base going to the winner of tonight’s game! Looks like the Build is a massive 1550?! Wow–gonna be some carnage tonight!

–Thursday night Clix is also happening at Comic City’s Canton location tonight! 300 Points, Modern Age.

–Fun 4 All Comics & Games in Ypsilanti (tonight!), The Amazing Book Store in Flint (Saturday the 4th), Warriors 3 Comics & Games in Wayne (Saturday the 4th), Comic Relief in Flint (Saturday the 4th) and Eternal Games in Warren (Sunday the 5th) are ALL running WoL Month 5 Events this week!

More updates to come next week!

And don’t forget that my local venue also has something cooking in a couple weeks:

–On Wednesday, October 15th @6:15pm, Comics & More in Madison Heights, MI will have some Zombie Team Bases from the GOTG OP kit up for grabs! The Build is 300 Points, and Colossals, Team Bases, Entities, Relics & Resources will ALL be allowed!

 

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

Critical Missives:

–Our Top Ten Set Reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy have dropped! To read HypeFox’s take, click here! To check out Ninwashui’s rebuttal, go here!

And that’s all for now! Whew! Long one this week. Keep an eye out for us this week! We’ll have a Local Tourney Report for WOL Month 4 coming soon, as well as an article devoted to Copycat and some of the issues she’s created!

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