Editorial: What I Love Most About Heroclix!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! Three nights ago we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d! And two nights ago we tracked the history of MCU movie sets and the one piece from Marvel’s movie franchises that hasn’t been made yet! Last night, Roberto Ty came back with a comprehensive look at Colossal Retaliators in the Meta!]

Wizkids Heroclix.jpg

So this Clix-Mas has been flying by for me. We’re already here on Night Eleven!

And as we wind down this Clix-Mas season, I wanted to take a minute to write about my favorite aspect of Heroclix.

Heroclix is one of the most customizable games that has ever been designed. The Point Value system allows for games at all points levels, from micro-battles at 100 Points to Epic, Mega-Colossal Brawls that top 3000 Points or more.

And Wizkids still supports those Epic Game formats, even though the standard game is still 300 Points. But the customization goes beyond that.

Heroclix is almost like Dungeons & Dragons in that you can really craft any Scenario that you’d like. Do you want to restrict games to Golden Age or Modern? That’s fine, but you can go much further than that, too.

Hell, a few years ago,I created a Scenario set entirely within the Magic: The Gathering Universe! And it actually kinda worked!

And one of the most popular games we run at our local venue was a Heroclix version of Super Smash Bros.that Ninwashui and I created!

So every now and then, when I see people complaining about how a certain piece “ruins the Meta” or how Heroclix is dying because of some random issue (and Lord knows I’ve done this myself), I just think “Hey, if you don’t like that format… make your own!”

It’s perfectly doable!

So that’s all I have for today. Just wanted to take a quick minute to reflect on the nearly infinite ways the game can be customized.

Have you played or created a fun new Heroclix Scenario? Let me know in the Comments below.

 

2019 Critical Review: Colossal Retaliators!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! Two nights ago we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d! And yesterday we tracked the history of MCU movie setsand the one piece from Marvel’s movies that hasn’t been made yet… ]

Welcome to Night Ten of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, 2019!

Once again… it’s Roberto Ty!

Having 2020 Vision

Time for another year end critical review. Like the previous article on call-in figures, we’re looking at retaliators that survives rotation. Previously, I suggested that the time to sell your was now and while that still holds true, the retaliators have fewer options going forward. You may have to keep them until just before Nationals.

The Colossal Retaliator Sequence

For newer players, a typical sequence for colossal retaliation looks like this:

  1. Colossal Retaliators are played on their final retaliation click (the last click before KO). They are low-cost figures that add utility to teams.
  2. An opponent damages a teammate or attacks a retaliator (assuming he doesn’t kill the retaliator) and this triggers a Colossal Retaliation.
  3. On your turn, you can retaliate against the attacker through the Colossal Retaliation ability, provided that character is still on the map. The retaliation ability varies from figure to figure and may have additional benefits and conditions.

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye…Like Really, Really, Really Hard

The list of retiring retaliators are:

  1. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl
  2. 25-point AIG009P Jakar
  3. 15-point AIG017P Giganto & Namor
  4. 20-point AIG025P Groot
  5. 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl
  6. 25-point TMTG001P Surtur
  7. 20-point TMTG003P Groot
  8. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage
  9. 15-point TMTG005P Ms. Marvel
  10. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog
  11. 20-point TMTG007P Frost Giant
  12. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus
  13. 35-point WKM17-G001P Dormammu
  14. 15-point WKMP17-001P Giant-Man
  15. 30-point WKD17-G001P Titano
  16. 25-point WKDP17-001P Sinestro
  17. 20-point WKDP18-001P Starro
  18. 15-point EWG001P The Skyscraper Wonder Woman

We go from 26 colossal retaliators to 8. While it’s better to sell before rotation, can you make a deep run at Nationals without these retaliators?

The OG

With limited options going forward, we need to evaluate which retaliators to keep. 

Value Factors

 

  • Keywords. Due to their low cost, multiple retaliators are used to increase the roll for map initiative on theme teams.

 

  • Bystanders. Retaliators that generate bystanders are valuable. Bystanders can be used to tie up an opponent or as fodder to trigger a retaliation.

 

  • Abilities. Beyond retaliation, does the character bring additional qualities like Leadership, Outwit, Perplex, Poison, Probability Control, or Telekinesis to a team?
  • Defense. Can the retaliator survive? Most retaliators have hittable defenses. The better retaliators have ways to evade or reduce damage.

 

 

 

Tier I (MVP)

 

Groot Colossal.jpg

20-POINT AIG025P GROOT

Hands down, Groot is the MVP of retaliators. His value isn’t solely from his retaliation, but from his other abilities. He has a 3 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION special power with 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 17 defense, and Leadership with 3 damage. On paper, his combat values seem average. So let’s look at his abilities:

(☆ TRAIT) ORIGIN: BEFORE THE GUARDIANS: If Groot is part of a Guardians of the Galaxy themed team, he has PROTECTED: Outwit this game. Otherwise, he modifies his attack and defense +1 this game.

(☆ TRAIT) PUNY MORTALS, WE WILL CRUSH YOU LIKE AN INSECT: At the beginning of the game, you may generate a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander in an opponent’s starting area that’s friendly to their force. If you do, generate two Walking Wood bystanders. // Whenever Groot hits one or more characters with an attack, after resolutions generate a Walking Wood bystander (maximum 5 on the map).

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Groot or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Groot such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Groot began the game on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

His value can be summed up as follows:

  1. 11 attack (10 printed +1 from his trait) and 18 defense (17 printed +1 from his trait).
  2. Leadership.
  3. Generates a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander for the opponent’s team and you get two Walking Woods.

When we survey the Cosmic-keyword characters that have Leadership, there are very few. It makes Groot that much more valuable to Cosmic theme teams. While giving your opponent a Dr. Leslie Evans can work against you, the trade off to get two Walking Woods is worth the exchange. Let’s look at these bystanders.

AIG025BTA Dr. Leslie Evans. The good doctor has Stealth with 5 movement, 8 attack, I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT! special power with 15 defense, and Outwit with 1 damage. His special reads:

I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT!: When attacked by a Groot or Walking Wood, Dr. Leslie Evans modifies his defense +3.

AIG025BTB Walking Wood. The Walking Wood has ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL special power with 4 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 3 damage. Its special reads:

ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL: Flurry, Plasticity, Sidestep.

You can see why the trade off is worth it. Walking Woods are formidable attackers and can tie up your opponents. If your opponent attacks and kills them, it would trigger a retaliation.

 

Tier II (The Real Retaliators)

 

Mangog.jpg

1. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog

Surtur.jpg

2. 30-POINT TMTG006P MANGOG

I rank Mangog slightly higher than Surtur because of his damage potential, higher defense, and the Cosmic keyword. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, Sidestep with 5 movement, Super Strength with 10 attack, IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 19 defense, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL special power with 4 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) PULL THE ODINSWORD: POWER: Once per game, if Mangog completely occupies an opponent’s starting area and hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, turn his dial to the next starting line higher than his current starting line, and that becomes his new starting line and point value.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Impervious. If Mangog began the game on the 30-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Mangog or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Mangog such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire, then do so. Hit characters are each dealt 4 damage instead of normal damage. After resolutions, make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.

Mangog’s playability is really high. I considered placing him in Tier I, but ultimately decided to keep the attackers together in Tier II. To breakdown his value:

  1. With only a 10 printed attack, you’ll want to have Perplex handy before retaliating. Perplex his attack to an 11. Twelve would be better. You don’t want to miss so make sure you have Probability Control too.
  2. When he hits, he deals 4 damage to the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire. After resolutions, he can make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. When he hits, he deals another 3 damage. 
    1. Be careful positioning Mangog for his retaliation. While he can use colossal reach 3 squares, you may want to actually be in closer because the second attack targets characters within 2 squares. Position him strategically for maximum carnage!
  3. Power Cosmic team ability gives him Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  4. A 19 defense with Impervious! Most retaliators don’t have values so good. This gives him survivability to pull off his trait.
  5. Finally, don’t sleep on his trait. If he hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, he can take a POWER action to PULL THE ODINSWORD when he fully occupies an opponent’s starting area. When he pulls the sword, he can be healed to his next starting line at 150 points. That’s value!

25-POINT TMTG001P SURTUR

Surtur has the following keywords: Asgardian, Deity, Monster, and Ruler. Because the monster keyword is strong right now, Surtur makes the list of retaliators to keep until rotation. He has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 8 range with a single target, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN special power with 6 movement, 12 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM special power with 3 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) VULNERABLE TO COLD: Characters that can use Incapacitate modify their damage by +1 when attacking Surtur.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Surtur or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Surtur such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then do so. After resolutions, deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Surtur began the game on the 25-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM: Opposing characters can’t use defense powers if they are the only target of Surtur’s attack.

Most likely, you’ll find Surtur on Monster teams. If you provide him some protection, he’s a fierce retaliator:

  1. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, which will give him PROTECTED: Outwit and Willpower.
  2. He has a 12 attack.
  3. Before retaliating, I would Perplex up damage. His first attack against the attacker deals his normal damage. His TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM power will get around pesky defense powers.
  4. After hitting, he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares. 
  5. Like Mangog, you’ll want to pay attention to placement. Always retaliate from 2 squares away. 

 

Tier III (Honorable Mentions)

The last tier, I won’t spend too review in-depth because I feel these are judgement calls and will depend more on your play preference. Notice that they all have the same point value.

Carnage.jpg

1. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage

Flora Colossus 2.jpg

2. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus

GG1.jpg GG

3. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl and 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl

 

10-POINT TMTG004P CARNAGE

With the Monster-keyword, Carnage will see play. When he retaliates, after attacking he can generate a Symbiote bystander adjacent to the target. He doesn’t need to hit to produce the Symbiote.

TMTG004BT Symbiote. Plasticity with 6 movement. Blades/Claws/Fangs with an 11 attack, Super Senses with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 2 damage.

 

10-POINT TMTG008P FLORA COLOSSUS

Flora is a low-cost addition to cosmic theme teams and is used to increase your map roll. She can heal past her starting line. At the end of your turn, roll a d6. On a result of 5–6: Heal 1 click. If she occupyies water terrain, Heal 2 clicks.

 

10-POINT AIG001-10 GIANT-GIRL AND 10-POINT FFAIG001P GIANT-GIRL

Giant-Girl is low-cost retaliator that helps Avengers theme teams win map roll. She’ll be relevant in 2020 when we get more Avengers. The AIG001-10 Giant-Girl does not have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters. When she KO’s an opposing character, roll a d6 and heal half the result. She can heal past her starting line. The FFAIG001P Giant-Girl has Colossal Indifference. Her value comes from her ability to use Colossal Retaliation even if another character used retaliated that turn. You’ll want to use her retaliation last.

 

New Year, New Wave

Heading into the new year, here’s the new wave of retaliators, post-rotation:

  1. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  2. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus
  3. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  4. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  5. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  6. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  7. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm
  8. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

It’s a short list. Let’s take a look at these eight.

 

Tier I

  1. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  2. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  3. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  4. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm

 

DP

30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix

I debated on who should be crowned number one in Tier I. Ultimately I gave the crown to the Hellfire Queen who later was infected by the Phoenix Force and became Dark Phoenix. Does she deserve top bill? Let’s find out.

Dark Phoenix has the Cosmic, Hellfire Club, Phoenix Force, and X-Men keywords. She has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 10 range with 3 targets, flight, Sidestep with 9 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS special power with 11 attack, SPECKS OF DUST TO ME special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) FEEDING ON LIFE FORCES: When Dark Phoenix KO’s an opposing character, or an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, after resolutions heal her 1 click. She may heal past her starting lines this way but can’t be healed in any other way.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Dark Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Dark Phoenix such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so also targeting all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. Hit characters are given an action token and each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) SPECKS OF DUST TO ME: STOP. Impervious.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. All her keywords are great to build around, specifically Cosmic and X-Men.
  2. Power Cosmic team ability provides her Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  3. Incredible 10 range with 3 targets.
  4. 11 attack value.
  5. While her defense value is only 17, she has Impervious to help reduce damage to 0.
  6. Her retaliation will target the attacker and all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. So be careful placing her for retaliation! When she hits, she deals 2 penetrating damage instead of her normal damage.
  7. She doesn’t have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters.
  8. Now for why she’s number one. When she KO’s an opposing character or when an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, she can heal 1 click and can heal past her starting line. Let me break this down:
    1. Perplex her damage to 4 (she has 3 printed) before she retaliates. In many games, I also Perplex her defense.
    2. Early in a match, the penetrating damage from her retaliation isn’t enough to heal unless you are targeting bystanders or other low-cost figures.
    3. Finally it’s been ruled that Dark Phoenix heals 1 click when she deals 4 damage and another click for a KO’d character. So by Perplexing her damage to 4 before the retaliation, you can place her, attack, and deal penetrating damage. Then hit with a normal attack for 4 damage to heal 1 click. If you manage to KO a character then you can heal her 1 more click.
    4. One other thing to consider is if you heal her 1 click, she loses her Colossal Retaliation power and Impervious (she gains Invulnerability). Her defense does go up to an 18, but if you paid attention to my advice, she’ll actually be a 19 defense if you Perplexed her up beforehand.

 

Tri.jpg

30-POINT WKMP18-G001P TRI-SENTINEL

As a 30-point investment, Tri-Sentinel brings a lot to a team. He has 9 range with 3 targets, flight, THE PRIME DIRECTIVE special power with 8 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO special power with a 10 attack, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(+) IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.

(☆ TRAIT) MYSTICAL WARDINGS: Energy Shield/Deflection. Tri-Sentinel has PROTECTED: Mind Control. When Tri-Sentinel is dealt penetrating damage by an opposing character, after resolutions heal it 1 click.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) THE PRIME DIRECTIVE: Plasticity, Sidestep. When Tri-Sentinel destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that was adjacent to one or more destroyed pieces.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Tri-Sentinel or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Tri-Sentinel such that it can target the chosen character using Pulse Wave at no cost, then do so. After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within 3 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Tri-Sentinel began the game on the 30-point starting line, it can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. Excellent keywords: Hellfire Club, Mystical, Robot, and Sentinel. We initially saw him on Mystical teams (alongside Sheriff Strange, Earth X Daredevil, Alex Wilder, and Black Adam), but thanks to the X-Men Animated Series set, we’ll see him on Robot or Sentinel teams.
  2. Used strategically on a map with blocking terrain, he has IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.
  3. Incredible reach. He can Sidestep and make a ranged attack of 9 squares—an 11-square reach.
  4. MYSTICAL WARDINGS trait makes him worth his 30-points. Its benefits are:
    1. Energy Shield/Deflection. He goes from an 18 defense to a 20 against ranged attacks.
    2. PROTECTED: Mind Control.
    3. But the most important part of this trait is that when he destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that is adjacent to one or more pieces he destroyed.

Let’s break down the final part of MYSTICAL WARDINGS. He deals 1 penetrating damage to opposing characters adjacent to one or more pieces of blocking terrain that he destroyed. He’s essentially doing damage to opposing characters by destroying blocking terrain through:

  1. His Improved Movement.
  2. A Range Destroy action.
  3. His Colossal Retaliation special. The important thing to note is that he retaliates with a Pulse Wave that destroys all blocking squares within 3 squares. So first he deals his damage from Pulse Wave then after resolutions he’s dealing 1 penetrating to each opposing character that is adjacent to one of more of the destroyed pieces. Incredible!

You can see why he’ll be a major retaliator going forward, especially on a map with lots of blocking terrain. Commonly used maps with him are Star Trek’s Underground Map (though this will rotate out next year) and ROC Hedge Maze. The Underground map is indoors and provides him protection because of limited sight lines. The outdoor Hedge Maze map has lots of blocking terrain and is difficult to maneuver for non-flyers while he can target them with his great size.

 

Colossus Prime.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

Juggernaut Colossus is a Giant with the X-Men team ability. He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

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

(☆ TRAIT) FLYING DEBRIS: When Colossus uses Charge, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that’s adjacent to one or more debris markers he created this turn.

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

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with either the 5-point WKMDOFP-003 Colossus Wanted Poster or 5-point WKMVID-011 Colossus headmaster ID card.
  2. Colossus is a Giant, but can attack smaller characters because he doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. He can use Charge, destroying blocking along the way, and for every character that is adjacent to a piece of terrain he destroyed, he deals them 1 penetrating damage.
  4. He can Charge (moving 4 squares) and use Giant Reach to target characters within 2 squares, and then Quake on an 11 attack.
  5. His retaliation can target several characters. When he hits, he deals 2 penetrating damage for each character.

 

Storm colossal.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG023BP STORM

Ororo has been possessed by Shadow King and has the Deity, Monster, Ruler, and X-Men keywords. Since she is being controlled by Amahl Farouk, she doesn’t have the X-Men team ability. She has 8 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Precision Strike with 11 attack, THIS NEW HOST PLEASE ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT special power with an 18 defense, and 2 damage. Her abilities are:

(+) TARGETING: Lines of fire drawn by this character are not blocked by characters. This character can make ranged attacks while adjacent to opposing characters. (May target adjacent or nonadjacent opposing characters.)

(☆ TRAIT) SUMMON A VORTEX OF WIND: Energy Shield/Deflection. // FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.

(☆ TRAIT) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MIND WARP: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Storm or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Storm such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. If she hit, after resolutions she can use Mind Control at no cost as RANGE, modifying attack +3, to target the hit character and up to two others (within range and line of fire).

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) THIS NEW HOST PLEASES ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT: STOP.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a standard-size character with the Colossal Retaliation power, she can attack characters of any size since she doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  2. Her attack value is 11 while her damage is only 2. The second part of her retaliation allows her to use Mind Control at no cost. When she does, her attack is modified by +3 and she can target the hit character along with two others that are within her range and line of fire.

Tier II (Call-In Help)

These Tier II retaliators may be included on the main force, but also as call-in figures. For more on call-in figures, read my earlier article 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures.

  1. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  4. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

As we look at the Tier II list, I will only review the retaliators that have not been covered previously.

 

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

See the Tier I Colossus review above.

 

Phoenix Rachel.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG010P PHOENIX

Phoenix’s keywords are Cosmic, Excalibur, Phoenix Force, Starjammers, and X-Men. Easy to include on Cosmic and X-Men teams, she has the Power Cosmic and X-Men team abilities. Her range is an incredible 10 with 3 targets and she has Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Her abilities are:

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

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

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

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

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator. At 25-points she can be called in with either the 3-point WKMVID-020 Jean Grey student ID or the 5-point WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers Wanted Poster.
  2. She has Cosmic and X-Men keywords, two of the most common keywords in modern.
  3. Telekinesis. She can use Telekinesis to place a special object on another figure so that they can equip it on the first turn. Or she can use it to position another teammate.
  4. Poison. As a call-in, she can be placed adjacent to an opponent and use her Poison before retaliating.
  5. Her retaliation targets the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares. When she hits, she does 1 penetrating damage for each action token on the hit target.

For an 8-point investment in two ID cards, I just might have two of her on the sideline.

 

Mags Colossal

25-POINT XDPSG015P MAGNETO

The leader of the mutant resistance will retaliate against his oppressors! While he’s a 2×2 base, Magneto is a standard-size character. He has the Brotherhood of Mutants team ability, an 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with an 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

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

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

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 5-point WKMDOFP-006 Magneto Wanted Poster.
  2. Magneto can attack characters of any size. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. Telekinesis. Like Phoenix, he will be used to TK equipment objects to teammates or place friendly characters.
  4. Leadership.
  5. The other significant part of his trait is that he can choose a character within his range and line of fire to move them into an adjacent square from its current square. Note that this works for friendly or opposing characters. You could use TK to place your teammate and then move them an additional square.
  6. His keywords: Acolytes, Brotherhood of Mutants, Hellfire Club, and Ruler. Of these he’ll likely be included Brotherhood or Ruler theme teams.

 

Iceman.jpg

15-POINT XDPSG025P ICEMAN

One of my favorite sculpts in Heroclix, Iceman has taken the ice form of Voltron! He is Colossal size and has 0 range, Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS special power with 3 damage. He has Armor, Champions, Defenders, X-Factor, and X-Men keywords along with the X-Men team ability. His abilities are:

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

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

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

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 3-point WKMVID-019 Iceman student ID.
  2. The first part of his trait gives him Blades/Claws/Fangs.
  3. The second part of his trait is interesting, but will be difficult to pull off. When he KO’s a Giant or Colossal, after resolutions, he can use Charge at no cost but only to attack another Giant or Colossal. He only Charges 3 squares (half his 5 movement rounded up) and can attack using a Colossal reach of 3 squares. Effectively it’s only a 6-square reach (3 from Charging and 3 from Colossal reach).
  4. His retaliation allows him to attack a target (don’t forget the Blades/Claws/Fangs) then after resolutions, he can use Incapacitate at no cost and can target smaller characters. What’s important to note is that he has 0 range. So the use of Incapacitate will be from a close attack.

 

Tier III

 

Proteus.jpg

1. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

 

20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

Proteus is a straight-forward retaliator that will find his way onto a Monster theme team. He has the Brute keyword and the Power Cosmic team ability. He starts with Improved Movement: Blocking and a 4 movement value, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR special power with a 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER special power with an 18 defense, and Battle Fury with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WARPING REALITY: Barrier, Shape Change, Smoke Cloud. Once per turn, Proteus can use Barrier as FREE or Smoke Cloud as FREE, but only to generate 2 markers. // Other characters within 3 squares can’t use Improved abilities.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Proteus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Proteus such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. A hit character gets 2 Fear tokens. Even if this power is lost, characters with Fear tokens must roll a d6 when making an attack, and negatively modify their attack value by half the result, then remove one Fear token.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER: STOP. If Proteus starts on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Proteus has average values, but his Battle Fury will help with pesky Shape Change figures. He becomes above average when you factor in his ability to use Barrier or Smoke Cloud as FREE to generate 2 markers. A fun pairing is to use two Proteus with XDPSG007E Juggernaut (who also has the Brute keyword). Juggernaut has Improved Movement: Blocking. After moving, Juggernaut can use Quake at no cost and destroys all adjacent squares of blocking. When Juggernaut destroys 3 or more squares of blocking terrain he gets to remove an action token. When he removes an action token from an effect other than clearing, he gets to heal 1 click. With two Proteus retaliators providing him barrier, Juggernaut is less dependent on a map with lots of blocking terrain and is a more effective tentpole.

 

Colossal Thoughts

A lot of teams employ an alpha strike strategy. If you plan on including retaliators on your main force, you’ll need to protect them from that first strike. That’s why I like the idea of using call-in retaliators. It’s better to concede points from the ID or Wanted Poster than the points of a retaliator. 

Retaliators aren’t just used to attack, many are used for the initiative bonus (map roll) on theme teams. Typically these are low cost figures like the 10-point Flora or Giant-Girl. Post rotation, most of the retaliators will be around 20 points. Iceman is the lowest at 15 points. But at these point levels, it makes it difficult to include these on the main force just to win the map.

Keeping these thoughts in mind, I personally lean toward building teams without main force retaliators and plan on using call-in retaliators instead in 2020.

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Present Presents: Missing in Action!! (Or, The Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! And yesterday we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d!]

Thanos MCU

This wouldn’t be a bad sculpt…

Welcome to Night Nine of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!!

Well, amid all the hoopla surrounding the announcement of the return of the Fantastic Four to Heroclix with the Cosmic Clash Starter coming out next year, there’s still been no movement on the gaping hole that still exists within the Marvel Heroclix lineup…

Where are our MCU Infinity Clix?

Chase Loki.jpg

Things started off wonderfully in 2012 with an Avengers Movie Set that not only gave us some great exclusive Target Clix (who remembers that Chase MCU Loki?) from the film but also a Hobby exclusive side with Red Skull and Odin Chases and other figures that represented the breadth of the MCU up to that point.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In 2012 I bought a few of these on a whim from a Target in my area after not having played Heroclix in 5 or 6 years. I was just looking for some cool movie sculpts to put on my desk. Instead I pulled a Cap and a Loki Chase, and that re-hooked me back into the game!]

Then we got Iron Man 3 Clix, and Thor: The Dark World Clix, Captain America: The Winter Soldier Clix and even Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron Clix!!

Avengers Age of Ultron

This remains one of the greatest Starters ever produced!!

That’s six MCU movies in a row that all received the Clix treatment, including the first Guardians movie which was hardly a sure thing from a licensed tie-in perspective.

A lot of us were looking forward to seeing what the Ant-Man set would bring, only to discover that Wizkids skipped that movie altogether. For the first time in several years, an MCU movie came and went with no Clix adaptation.

MCU Clix came back strong with Captain America: Civil War in early 2016, although Wizkids neglected to include Chases for the first time ever in a MCU set for some reason.

Then Doctor Strange came and went with no Clix set (how sweet would that have been? Chase Dormammu? An MCU Night Nurse? MCU Karl Mordo? Ancient One? Sigh… ), and MCU Clix fans started to worry.

Hela Chase.jpg

But 2017 brought us GotG 2 Clix (which included a now-legendary Yondu Chase) AND Thor: Ragnarok Clix, and all seemed right with the world again.

When 2018 came around, however, Wizkids sat out both Black Panther AND Infinity War, and we were denied the one piece we so richly deserved: MCU Chase Thanos!!

I mean, c’mon! From the moment Wizkids blew that first Avengers set out of the park, we have been patiently waiting for that piece! And we have be denied for 7 years now!

Outside of a Con LE, the only way we’ll ever get an MCU Thanos is if Wizkids decides to give us a full MCU 5-figure booster set which, despite the pitiful state of comic book sales today, still seems extremely unlikely.

The one bright note in all this is that Wizkids has announced an MCU Black Widow set that’ll drop in about 4 months from now. Will this usher in a new age of great movie sets?

Only time will tell.

What version of your favorite character are you still waiting for? Sound off in the Comments below!

And we’ll see you back here tomorrow night for the Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!

 

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

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

Over the Hill club

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

2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures

by Roberto Ty

Having 2020 Vision

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

The Call-In Sequence

Deadpool ID.jpg

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

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

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

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

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

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

The Future of Call-In Figures

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

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

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

The Call-In Value Proposition

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

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

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

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

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

Wanted Posters

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

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

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

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

Wolvie Wanted poster

WKMDOFP-001 WOLVERINE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Blades/Claws/Fangs

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point WKM19-003 Wolverine

 

  • 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate Pryde

WKMDOFP-002 KATE PRYDE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Other Identities: Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite

Call-In Options:

 

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

 

  1. 75-point WKMP18-006 Shadowcat

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

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

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

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

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

Colossus.jpg

WKMDOFP-003 COLOSSUS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Charge

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus

 

  • 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Summers ID

WKMDOFP-004 RACHEL SUMMERS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Running Shot

Other Identities: Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point WCR009E Rachel Summers

 

  • 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, let’s look at her special powers:

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

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

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

Magneto.jpg

WKMDOFP-006 MAGNETO WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Penetrating/Psychic Blast

Call-In Options:

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

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

Let’s look at his trait:

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

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

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

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

 

ID CARDS

 

colossus id

WKMVID-011 COLOSSUS ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Impervious

Call-In Options:

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

We reviewed our Colossus pick earlier under the Wanted Posters.

Prof X ID.jpg

WKMVID-012 PROFESSOR X ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Shape Change

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

Banshee ID.jpg

WKMVID-013 BANSHEE (5 POINTS)

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

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

Rogue ID.jpg

WKMVID-014 ROGUE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Steal Energy

Call-In Options:

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

 

  • 60-point WCR011E Rogue (OUR PICK!)

 

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

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

(SPECIAL POWER) SOUTHERN BELLE: Invulnerability, Willpower.

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

Psylocke ID.jpg

WKMVID-015 PSYLOCKE (5-POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Call-In Options:

    1. 45-point DCXM009 Psylocke

 

  • 40-point WCR020E Psylocke (OUR PICK!)

 

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

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

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) NINJA TRAINING: Sidestep, Stealth.

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

Angel ID.jpg

WKMVID-016 ANGEL (3-POINTS)

Other Identities: Archangel

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point WCR015E Angel (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WCR105E Archangel

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

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

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

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

Beast ID.jpg

WKMVID-017 BEAST (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 FFXDPS003E Beast

 

  • 50 XDPS003 Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 40 WCR005E Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

 

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

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

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

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

Cyclops ID

WKMVID-018 CYCLOPS (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

 

  • 70 XDPS013 Cyclops (OUR PICK!)

 

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

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

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

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

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

Iceman ID.jpg

WKMVID-019 ICEMAN (3-POINTS

Call-In Options:

 

  • 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point WCR013E Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Jean Grey ID.jpg

WKMVID-020 JEAN GREY (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

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

 

  • 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50 FFXXS004E Jean Grey

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

harley Quinn ID

WKDCID-008 HARLEY QUINN (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Exploit Weakness.

Call-In Options:

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

Joker ID

WKDCID-009 THE JOKER (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Perplex

Call-In Options:

    1. 100-point WKDP18-009 The Joker

 

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

 

    1. 80-point BTAS042 The Joker

 

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

 

  1. 75-point FFBTAS103 The Joker

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Mr Freeze ID

WKDCID-010 MR. FREEZE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Incapacitate

Call-In Options:

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

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

Poison Ivy ID.jpg

WKDCID-011 POISON IVY (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Poison, Smoke Cloud

Call-In Options:

 

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

 

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

 

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

Two Face ID

WKDCID-012 TWO-FACE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Probability Control

Other Identities: Harvey Dent

Call-in Options:

 

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

 

  1. 75-point BTAS008 Two-Face

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

 

Final Call

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

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

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

IM: Hindering, Charge, Flurry, BFC

50 XDPS001 Wolverine

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

WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 60 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

40 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

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

WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

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

WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 25 XDPSG015P Magneto

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

Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters.

WKMVID-011 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

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

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

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

WKMVID-015 Psylocke 40 WCR020.1E Psylocke

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

WKMVID-016 Angel 40 WCR015E Angel

Flight, Charge.

WKMVID-017 Beast 50 XDPS003 Beast

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

40 WCR005E Beast

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

WKMVID-018 Cyclops 70 XDPS013 Cyclops

8 range, RS, Force Blast, PPB.

WKMVID-019 Iceman 15 XDPSG025P Iceman

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

50 WCR013E Iceman

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

WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

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

WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 65 BTAS014 Harley Quinn

Stealth, Outwit.

50 FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn

Sidestep, Quake, Perplex.

WKDCID-009 The Joker 30 BTAS003 The Joker

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

75 BTAS054 The Joker

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

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

Stealth, Perplex.

WKDCID-012 Two-Face 55 BTAS021 Harvey Dent

Batman Ally/Police TAs, Sidestep, PC.

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

The Ghosts of Clix-Mas Future Part 2: Electric Bugaloo!! (Or, The 4th Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 4! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. And last night’s article (Night 3) is here.]

Clixmas future masthead 2

Welcome to the 4th Night of Clix-Mas! Last night we took a look at the Clix we know we’re getting in the first six months of 2016. Tonight, we’re gonna put our thinking caps on and speculate at what we MIGHT be getting in the second half of the year.

JULY 2016:

'Murica!! F-yeah!!

‘Murica!! F-yeah!!

Outside of a Monthly OP kit (The Defenders, with a new Moon Knight sculpt plus another Shang-Chi dial and Shroud dial. Moon Knight hasn’t been seen since ASM, so he’s pretty sorely needed, but the Shang-Chi and Shroud we got in Deadpool were both good, and there’s a chance they’ll still be Modern legal when this kit comes out.) and the third month of Civil War, I think July will be pretty dry for Clix releases. Which I’m fine with, given the crush of Spring product we just talked about last night.

AUGUST 2016:

I have no idea who took this photo, but it's awesome. I found it here.

I have no idea who took this photo, but it’s awesome. I found it here.

Here’s where things get interesting. There’s been an August Clix set release for the past two years, and each one has been Marvel. Now, we’d be coming off of the Civil War Movie Set, Uncanny X-Men AND the Civil War SLOP set by the time August rolls around, so WizKids might want to change it up a bit and go DC, right?

Not so Fast

Looking back, there were even MORE Marvel sets before August last year (or at least it sure seems like there were), and August brought us Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and some brand new Vehicle rules. So this really could go either way.

Here’s how I would handicap it:

If it’s Marvel, this has to be a Spidey set, right? The two things we haven’t seen in awhile from Marvel Clix are a ton of Spideys and monsters, both generic and otherwise. Both were prominent in the recently rotated Amazing Spider-Man, and monsters aren’t going to sell a set on their own.

If it’s a DC set, then this could really be anything, then, but let’s narrow it down based on what we know. We know WizKids likes making money (this may shock you, but most businesses work like this); we know that WizKids likes to headline sets with major characters in the set name and/or on the box, even if they barely show up in the set itself (coughSLoSHcough), because it tends to boost sales.

(At the risk of starting a Marvel/DC flame war, you could argue that WizKids has been a little more adventurous with their Marvel license having based sets around Deadpool, GotG and Nick Fury in the last two years alone. Hmmm…)

We also know that DC has pretty much thumped the Trinity drum to death the last year and a half with sets based on, well, the Trinity (Trinity War), Superman (Superman/Wonder Woman and the upcoming World’s Finest), Wonder Woman (see previous examples) and Batman (again, see previous examples).

While it’s still possible we’ll see an all Batman set, it’s almost as likely that we’ll see something Green Lantern related, especially if War of Light rotates out of Modern (which would be aggressive on WizKids’s part, but not inconceivable, given how much trouble the Entities caused). With sub-themes that could fit in the Lantern framework, this would be a decent way to go.

But.

If WizKids was ever going to base a set on a non-Trinity, non-Justice League IP, this would be the perfect time to unleash a Suicide Squad set. While that would have been unthinkable even three years ago, we got Guardians of the Galaxy in August of 2014 because of the movie that was being released at the same time; well, Suicide Squad is in theaters starting in early August of 2016.

The final prediction and handicap:

Suicide Squad

A DC Suicide Squad set: (I’ll give it as high as 3-1 odds)

Runner-Up: A Marvel Spider-Verse set (which I’d put at about 5-1 odds)

SEPTEMBER 2016:

Again, just a Monthly OP kit. Which could really be anything.

OCTOBER 2016:

Of course we’ll get another Monthly OP kit, but I could also see WizKids sneaking in a second Turtles Gravity Feed here if the first one sells as much as it seems like it will. Yu-Gi-Oh! is always a possibility, too.

NOVEMBER 2016:

Another Monthly, but the main draw here will be the last set of 2016. And based on everything we just discussed (remember, I predicted Suicide Squad for August), I’m going to say that in November, Marvel takes a chance on another character not named Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk or Spidey:

Doctor-Strange-1

Doctor Strange!

Yes, this could still be a Spider-Verse set, but there is going to be a ton of marketing dollars thrown around for this movie, so if WizKids wanted to switch things up, this would be the time to do it, since those marketing dollars will mitigate a lot of risk!

Plus, we could see a Secret Wars Chase sub-Theme (with Strange as the leader of the Black Priests, Ultimate Reed as the Maker and maybe, just maybe we’d even get a Rabum Alal Doom!) or even a monsters-as-Howling Commandos sub-theme (which would open the door for a lot of monster Clix updates!).

(5-1 Odds)

DECEMBER 2016: 

The Monthly OP kit will feature another Holiday-themed figure. Gonna guess it’ll be either ol’ Saint Nick himself, one of his reindeer or a Snowman.

Well, there you have it. Tons of needless speculation about what may or may not come in time for Christmas 2016!

And for more crazy Heroclix discussion, check this space tomorrow!!

 

Wait… That’s Not Superman!! Actually, It’s More Like 16 of Them… (Or, a Top Ten Set Review for Superman/Wonder Woman!!)

Oh, so you didn’t think there were enough versions of Superman in SLoSH, eh?

Oooooh, it’s good to be back. Today, we’re going to dive into the just released Superman/Wonder Woman DC Heroclix set! We haven’t seen much from the DC side of things in a little while (even for a huge Avengers fan like myself, this summer featured perhaps a bit too much face time for the ever-assembling heroes), but that’s about to change as the first of two straight DC-focused sets has just dropped!

Before we get into the individual pieces, though, let’s discuss…

Some Notes About the Set

Some General Notes About the Set:

–While there are some individual standout pieces (who we’ll obviously get to in a moment), Superman/Wonder Woman is definitely a step backwards in terms of overall power level. Not that this really comes as a big surprise–I think WizKids has been deliberately doing this for a while now, starting all the way back in May with Avengers Assemble. It seems like WizKids has been making a concentrated effort to dial back the game’s Power Creep, and with that in mind, Avengers Assemble featured a ton of 9 and 10 Attack Values, as did the Limited Edition Age of Ultron Organized Play set that proceeded it this summer.

(Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the outlier–that set was absolutely LOADED with Meta power pieces. Holy $#!t was that a dynamic set.)

Superman/Wonder Woman goes about containing Power Creep in a different way, I think. You see Attack Values of 10 or 11 quite often, and many pieces start with 4 or even 5 Damage top dial (I mean, it’s called Superman/Wonder Woman, so you’d expect some decent Damage Values). But if you look closely, many of the best pieces have simple Standard Power sets on their first click, and don’t get any elaborate, gamechanging Special Powers until Click 2 or Click 3.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Less Special Powers on Common & Uncommon pieces is another conscious design decision by WizKids, and it’s something we should see more of going forward–but they’re doing that to sort of clean the game up a little bit and make it less complicated, not so much as a counter to Power Creep.]

Let’s do a quick case study with NFAOS056 Nick Fury (a Super Rare from the last set) and SMWW064 Green Light (a brand new Red Son Chase from Superman/Wonder Woman).

Nick Fury SR

Nick Fury’s got great stats for his cost (120 Points), every sort of Improved Targeting you could realistically expect and an absolutely killer Trait. Beyond that, his Special Damage Power (WATCHER’S EYES TO SEE SECRETS: Nick Fury can use Probability Control. Give Nick Fury a free action and choose a power that an opposing character within range and line of fire can use. That character can’t use that power until your next turn.) appears right there on his top Click. Fury is already a Meta staple and will stay that way until he rotates out in two years (assuming WizKids doesn’t find a way to nerf him between now and then).

Green Light

Green Light has decent stats for his cost (90 Points) and a somewhat useless Trait unless you are planning on putting together the swarm team to end all swarm teams, but he’s also been blessed with an unbelievably powerful Special Attack Power (Box Within A Box Within An Infinite Number Of Boxes: Green Light can use Barrier. When he does, instead of placing markers normally, you may choose a single base opposing character within range and line of fire and place a blocking terrain marker in each unoccupied square adjacent to the character. That character gains earthbound/neutralized until your next turn. At the beginning of your next turn before removing the markers, give the chosen character an action token if it’s adjacent to at least three of these markers.).

That’s a power that could quickly eat someone’s lunch; it’s a power that’s so useful that apparently WizKids had to make sure that you can’t access it until Green Light’s 3rd Click. Keep in mind, Green Light has a 17 Defense with just Toughness top dial, so it’s not impossible for someone to hit him so hard that never really gets a chance to use it.

This is a common theme throughout this expansion. If you look at a character’s card from this set and see an awesome Special Power, I’ll guarantee that that character doesn’t get to use said power until they’re at least halfway to being KO’d.

–In that same vein, there’s a lot of great Common dials in Superman/Wonder Woman that look great when examined as a whole, but when you look at that starting Click, they give you kind of a sick feeling in your stomach. What?! Common Superman has an 11 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Invincible and the JSA Team Ability and 4 native Damage top dial?! AND he has 8 clicks for just 100 Points?! Sign me up!!

Well… he also just has Leap/Climb for Movement (doesn’t even have the Wing Symbol) and no Willpower of any kind. He also doesn’t have the Justice League keyword, either, so he’s not the easiest guy to throw in a Build.

It seems like some of the recent rules overhauls are trending towards making it very difficult to play both an Entity and a Resource Attachment on one character (although your guess is as good as ours at this point as to what WizKids really intends to do there), so fixing things like “no move-and-attack top dial” are going to be a little more difficult going forward.

–Or not. Did I mention that NO ONE IS QUITE SURE EXACTLY HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME AT THE MOMENT?! I actually tried explicitly asking whether Entities and Resource Attachments could be used by the same character at the same time on the WizKids Event System Rules Forum, and instead of posting an answer, their rules folks just e-mailed this:

Morpheus 2

Seriously, someone might want to get on that.

–From an aesthetic point of view, the sculpts are more subtle in this set. It doesn’t have the abundance of translucent flash that, say, Flash had, but the articulation is phenomenal. It seems like WizKids gets better every set at depicting motion–just look at Krypto’s lil’ cape if you don’t believe me!

Alright! Enough notations. Let’s get into the…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

This seems excessive...

The fire seems excessive…

5. SMWW019B BrutaalUncommon Prime175 Points: Very much a “does what it says on the box” sort of figure. His top Click is absolutely murderous (Running Shot, Pen/Psy, Invincible AND Shape Change), but he only has conditional Willpower via a Trait (basically, you have to be on your opponent’s side of the map–not always easy, but hardly impossible). His Attack Value also stays consistently high throughout his entire dial (once the game gets going, it’s not hard to keep him at a 12 Attack unless your playing against Nighthawk Prime), and his third Trait makes him really tough to Outwit (SPAWN OF APOKOLIPS: Brutaal can use Super Strength. Opposing characters can’t target him with Outwit unless it is granted by the Superman Enemy team ability.).

The only thing I really don’t like here is that even at 175 Points, Brutaal is REALLY top-heavy; pushing him to Click 2 is fine, and Click 3 is still misery for your opponent, but if Brutaal ends up on anything after that, his effectiveness goes way down unless you are very close to your quarry–there is a HARD transition from heavy ranged hitter to close combat beatstick when you get to Click 4. There’s things you can do to compensate for this when building your team of course, but it’s something you will have to be mindful of as you’re playing him. Having said that, his nigh-unOutwittable top dial Invincible should help keep him in that first-3-Clicks-sweet spot long enough to put a serious hurt on whoever you’re playing.

Yes, occasionally Green Lanterns sneeze, and no, it's not pretty...

Yes, occasionally Green Lanterns sneeze in space, and no, it’s not pretty…

4. SMWW035 Green LanternRare180 Points: His dial is actually somewhat similar to Brutaal’s, except Green Lantern turns into more of a gunner down dial. His main advantage over pieces like Brutaal is that he can resurrect himself via his awesomely-named Trait (THE GREEN WILL NOT LET ME DIE: The first time each game that Green Lantern would be KO’d, instead turn him to click #5, then for the rest of the game when Green Lantern clears action tokens, you may heal him 1 click. This ability can’t be ignored.).

Lana Lang

3. SMWW029 Lana LangUncommon50 Points: Lana makes this list just for her sheer value. You get three Clicks of support-y powers like Empower and her Special Attack (THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW: ALL THE SHOCKING DETAILS… FULL COVERAGE AT 8: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an opposing character within 4 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character’s combat values can’t be increased or replaced with a value higher than its printed values.) THAT IS EVEN BETTER THAN NIGHTHAWK PRIME’S TRAIT*, since it also stops replacement values!!

(*This statement assumes that Lana Lang starts her turn within four squares of the opposing character you wish to shut down. Oh, and it also assumes the targeted character doesn’t have Stealth, and isn’t hiding behind another character, or a wall, or is sitting on a different elevation, since Lana needs line of sight, and–oh, wait a minute. Lana can only do this to one opposing character, whereas Nighthawk stops your opponent’s entire force from increasing stats… SIGH. Okay, I guess it’s not nearly as good as Nighthawk Prime’s Trait. But it’s still pretty damn useful.)

So that’s a decent amount of supporting abilities–maybe not entirely enough to justify her 50 Points, but not bad. But then, if she takes just three damage (whether through pushing damage or just absorbing enemy attacks, which would be even better), she morphs into a pretty good tertiary attacker with Wing Symbol, Charge, B/C/F, Super Senses and Toughness, which she keeps FOR FOUR MORE CLICKS!! That’s right, you get 7 quality Clicks for the low, low cost of 50 Points! It’s like they pulled a dial from Hypertime into the future, made it more useful but kept the point cost the same.

"Yep. Just out here in deep space... posing."

Yep. Just out here in deep space… posing.

2. SMWW013B Captain AtomCommon Prime130 Points: The good Captain here offers a top Click that is almost identical to Brutaal’s (the Movement Value and Damage Value for Captain Atom is 1 less) first Click, except that Captain Atom adds in Indomitable and he costs 45 Points less!! Brutaal does have some built-in Outwit protection, but not 45 Points worth. I mean, before you get too wrapped up in the fact that Brutaal does 1 more Damage than Captain Atom, remember that you could actually play, say, Captain Atom and Fast Forces Fitz (who brings lil’ H.E.N.R.Y. with him) for just about the same amount of points!

Clark Kent

1. SMWW026 Clark KentUncommon55 Points: One of my favorite pieces from the set. Clark has a pretty good Reporter Trait (THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW: YOUR PLANS: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an opposing character within 4 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given power actions.)–and remember, he has the Superman Team Ability so he can see through Stealth–he starts with Stealth and Prob and, on his back half, has the ability to summon a Superman Token with Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength.

WizKids has done an awesome job designing these “Token Creator” pieces, and I hope this is a sub-theme they continue in the future!!

Okay! That’s a solid group of honorable mentions, which can only mean that it’s time to start counting down the…

Top Ten Twelve Figures in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN:

So, while there isn’t necessarily as many Meta pieces in this set as there were in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., there are twelve more figures worth spotlighting. And hell, it seems like I can never just narrow it down to ten anyway. So like Tony Stark likes to say… here goes nuthin’!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wrong universe, moron.]

Concept art from Peter Jackson’s studio-thwarted ‘King Kong 2: Electric Bugaloo.'”

12. SMWWG005R TitanoSuper Booster75 Points: On a different character, Leap/Climb and Close Combat Expert would be a pretty sub-standard power mix. But with the new Giant Reach rules established just a few days ago by WizKids in their DesignInsight column, Titano here now has the ability to make a close combat attack from 3 squares away. Which means he can activate Close Combat Expert from three squares away. Suddenly your 75-Point investment essentially has the equivalent of the ability to Charge 4 Squares with a 10 Attack and 3 Damage AND activate CCE on top of it.

But we’re not done. Throw Lois Lane on your team (she’s only 45 Points, shares the Metropolis keyword with Titano, brings a Stealth-busting Outwit, a 6 native Movement Value, is REALLY tough to target at range AND has a Stop Click if you’re also playing a Superman) and suddenly, because of Titano’s first Trait (MONKEY SEE LOIS, MONKEY DO: When a friendly character named Lois Lane moves, after actions resolve Titano can be given a move action as a free action to move up to the same number of squares. When a friendly character named Lois Lane makes an attack targeting an opposing character, after actions resolve Titano can make a close combat attack as a free action.), you have a Colossal Robot Gorilla who can cover up to 9 Squares in a turn and STILL activate Close Combat Expert!!

Let’s see what this looks like as a Build:

Titano 2

Team Name: Metropo-lease Put Me Down!!

Theme: Metropolis

Map Choice Preference: Nothing specific, although the easier it is for Lois to actually move around on her own–remember, she can’t have lines of fire drawn to her by opposing characters unless they’re within 2 Squares or she’s adjacent to a friendly character, so you don’t have to worry about ranged attacks picking her off–the easier it will be for Titano to move and attack.

Roster:

SMWWG005R Titano – 75 Points

SMWW047 Lois Lane 45

SMWW049 Superman 175

=295 Points

What This Build Does: In a no-Resource environment, this should be a pretty competitive Build. You can actually split Lois and Superman up and be fairly confidant nothing will happen to Lois. Just make sure that when Lois grants Titano a free movement, DO NOT finish Titano’s move action with him adjacent to Lois if you can help it. Other than that, feel free to move Lois up, Outwit any bothersome dampeners on opposing figures and then bring the boom with Titano, all in the same turn.

The SR Superman from the same set is a close combat beast with one problem (well, one main problem, at least. There are several others that combined to keep him off of this list.)–he only has Sidestep for move and attack on his top Click. After you split him off just a bit from Titano and Lois, if your opponent choses to come after Supes, no problem–he possesses  a long dial, great stats and the “Odds Are Against Me” running Trait that lets him build up tokens he can cash in for free attacks. Plus, as we stated, Lois and Titano can cross a map in a hurry.

If they come after Lois first, assuming they can even get close enough to hit her, her dial ends on a Stop Click that lets you physically place Superman in any adjacent Square AND lets that Superman use Defend.

As far as Lois goes, she just barely missed the cut on my list, particularly since this was the only Build I really liked her for. I know, the same could be said about Titano–they kind of need each other–but Titano’s really doing the heavy lifting here between the two of them, and his Stop Click (COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: Titano can use Toughness. If Titano began the game on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation. When this power is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing character’s attack, stop turning the dial. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) can’t be countered or Ignored AND his Attack Special grants you at least one last smackdown (COLOSSAL RETALIATION: TWO-FIST PUNCH: Give Titano a free action if no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked Titano or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Titano such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then make two separate close combat attacks targeting the chosen character each with an area of effect that includes all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.).

(Btw, if you actually have Chase Red Son Superman, go ahead and disregard everything I said about the SR Superman and just use him.)

I can NOT believe our Tommy Guns are not taking down this gigantic tank!

11. SMWWG006P War WheelSuper Booster15 Points: War Wheel is here because it has my favorite Colossal Retaliation power, which just happens to be it’s only Trait: (COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CRUSH WITH GIANT SPIKES: Give War Wheel a power action if no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked War Wheel or damaged a friendly character since your last turn and occupies the same row or column as War Wheel. Place War Wheel in any 4 squares in the same rows or columns that contain both all of War Wheel and the chosen character. Make a close combat attack whose area of effect is all characters in those rows or columns between where War Wheel began this action and the squares it currently occupies. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.) It’s also here because it costs just 15 Points. 15 freaking Points!! But beyond the Trait, hell, just try finding a Bystander Pog with Indomitable and a 10 Attack Value for 15 Points. Now find one with Sidestep, Toughness, 3 Damage and a 7 Range!! Go ahead, find one. I’ll wait.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, I will not wait. We’re like 2500 words in and still have a lot of ground to cover. On to Blazing Atomic Skull!]

Atomic Skull

10. SMWW054 Atomic SkullSuper Rare150 Points: For 150 Points, you kind of get exactly the sort of stats and power mix you might expect. Running Shot with a mediocre Range (6). 11 Attack, which is fine, but nothing you haven’t seen before. 18 Defense with a dampener. Pretty standard. 4 Damage top dial is nice, but certainly not unheard of. Then you read his one Special Power, which sits in his Attack slot for his first four Clicks (IONIZING RADIATION: Atomic Skull can use Energy Explosion, Poison, and deals penetrating damage.). Wow! He’s the first character I can think of that deals Penetrating Damage with no ifs, ands or buts.

You want to give him a Bulldozer Construct and have him blow someone with Impervious off a rooftop? All of his Knockback damage is penetrating. That vanilla Poison his Special grants him? He might as well be a Red Lantern, cuz that’s all Penetrating damage. Any attack or effect you can think of with him deals Penetrating damage, which basically means he doesn’t have to be afraid of anyone.

Krypto

9. SMWW050 KryptoSuper Rare50 Points: Possibly the most efficient character in the set for his cost (#2 on this list might have an argument, but we’ll see). Need to bust some opposing Stealth? Krypto has the Superman Ally. Super Senses? He comes packing Precision Strike. Shape Change? His Special Damage power sniffs that out (KRYPTONIAN NOSE: Krypto ignores opposing character’s Shape Change.).

His Trait (LOYAL COMPANION: When a friendly character named Superman, Superboy, or Supergirl within 8 squares takes damage from an attack, after actions resolve you may place Krypto in a square adjacent to the attacking character.) is mildly helpful depending on whether or not you’re building a literal Super-team around him, but his Movement Special (SIC ‘EM, BOY!: Krypto can use Charge and Plasticity.) not only allows him to go on the attack when you need him to, but it also adds Hypersonic Speed to the list of opposing abilities that Krypto takes a bite out of.

No, I’m not ‘Apokolips Bane!’ I’m Brimstone, dammit!

8. SMWWG003R Brimstone Super Booster75 Points: 7 Clicks, Sidestep, 6 Range with an incredible top dial Pulse Wave Special Attack Power (THROWING FIREBALLS: Brimstone can use Pulse Wave. When he does you may choose an unoccupied square within 6 squares and line of fire and he can use Pulse Wave as if he occupied that square.), Penetrating Poison and the obligatory Colossal Retaliation and Indifference powers.

The Pulse Wave is what earns him this spot though; we’ve seen similar versions of this sort of Pulse Wave before (the GOTG Movie Starter comes to mind), but it’s always been limited in some way (usually it’s only usable once per game). The fact that he can do it every turn puts him at #8.

The least

The least “creeper-ish” image of Vartox. Yes, I said the least.

8.  SMWW052E Vartox Super Rare150 Points: This is where the Meta-relevant pieces really start. At 150 Points, Varty gives you Hypersonic Speed, Probability Control and the chance to do a boatload of damage (7) with his Super Strength. His Trait (THE REST OF THE HYPER-POWERS: Give Vartox a free action and choose a standard speed, attack, or defense power that you didn’t choose during your last turn. Until your next turn Vartox can use that power instead of the power in that slot on his dial.) also gives him a wide amount of sneaky versatility. Oh, your opponent just got three damage through on him and thinks he doesn’t have to worry about Hypersonic Speed anymore? Sorry, Vartox can get it back whenever he wants. And so on.

He’s not Zombie Super Skrull, but he’s not far off either, and he saves you 20 Points in your Build, which could be the difference in a Meta-Build between playing a Resource and not playing a Resource. If you can manage to keep him top dial, he will be a nightmare for your opponent.

No, seriously, any second now, I’m totally gonna fly!

6. SMWW065E SupermanChase175 Points: Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Impervious and 4 Damage top dial. His Trait (CRIMINALS BECOME “SUPERMAN ROBOTS”: When Superman hits an opposing character with a close combat attack, put a Lobotomy token on its card. Give Superman a power action and remove any number of his Lobotomy tokens to have Superman use Mind Control as a free action targeting those characters that had at least 1 token removed, regardless of range or line of fire.) lets him Mind Control characters he’s hit FOR FREE and, if none of that works, he has TWO Stop Click Specials (WINTER PALACE: Superman can use Barrier, Regeneration, and Super Senses. When this click is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial, and after actions resolve give the attacker an action token. If you can’t, deal that character 1 penetrating damage.) that actually token the attacker that hit you, which should give you time to actually USE your Regeneration.

Unless your opponent is able to finish Supes off with Pulse Wave, the Red Son is almost impossible to kill.

First Born

5. SMWW037 First BornRare200 Points: So all article we’ve been talking about all the great changes WizKids made to Giant and Colossal characters, and the fact that First Born is Giant-Sized helps him out immensely. He doesn’t fly, but he’ll still have no problem with elevation.

He Charges up to 6 Squares on his first Click, and his Giant Reach gives him the ability to cover two more. He starts with 4 Damage and both Super Strength AND Exploit Weakness, so now he has a Threat Range of 8 Squares and up to 7 Penetrating Damage (assuming he picks up an Ultra-Heavy on the way).

First Born is also the beneficiary of the Divine Aura running Trait (DIVINE AURA: First Born can’t be targeted by Outwit or Probability Control from opposing characters unless the targeting character has a higher point value or has the Deity keyword.) that many of the Deity-keyworded figures in this have, which means that unless your opponent built their team around NFAOS050 Thor (the only Meta-worthy Deity piece I can think of at the moment, although I’m sure I’m forgetting a few) AND found a way to give her Outwit, First Born’s powers aren’t going anywhere (trust me, your opponent isn’t crazy enough to play a piece that costs more than 200 Points, unless he’s going with a Team Base or something, so the first clause of First Born’s Trait isn’t really gonna matter most of the time). And with two Clicks of Invincible right at the top, First Born can soak up Damage like nobody’s business.

His second Trait (SCION OF HATE: All characters within 3 squares can use Battle Fury. Friendly characters adjacent to First Born modify their attack values by +1.) is interesting as well. He becomes even MORE intriguing when you play him with a Resource like, oh, I dunno, the Indigo Power Battery. If you give First Born the Indigo Wall Construct, depending on what Map your using, you can make it almost impossible for First Born to be shot at from range. Which makes it that much more likely that the 8-Square, 7 Penetrating Damage Charge I mentioned earlier might just be an Alpha Strike. It’ll be like playing Ghost Rider  in the Meta of mid-2013 all over again, only First Born might even be BETTER.

Eclipso

4. SMWW055P EclipsoSuper Rare25 Points: Even with the new Equip rules and all the chaos that has caused, Possession is still a Meta-worthy enhancement. And of the two Possessors in the set (Red Son Brainiac also Possesses), Eclipso is the best.

Right off the bat you have access to Stealth, Precision Strike, Impervious or Shape Change. Those are all great powers. Eclipso’s stats are also pretty good, as you might expect, since you’re gaining access to a 250 Point dial. Down dial, turning onto some Pen/Psy or Probability Control could be the difference in a game that’s running long.

Red Son Wonder Woman

3. SMWW066 Wonder Woman Chase165 Points: Quite simply, Chase Red Son Wonder Woman is Point-for-Point the best Primary Attacker in the set. For only 165 Points you get Hypersonic Speed, Super Strength, a 19 freaking Defense Value with Invincible and she deals at least 4 Damage when she hits.

She also has a Stop Click and a Trait (COMMUNISM IS SOCIAL JUSTICE: When a friendly character with a lower point value than Wonder Woman is targeted with an attack, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.) that’ll do wonders in terms of keeping supporting characters alive.

A brutally efficient package.

The 90's are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

The 90’s are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

2. SMWW041AE Superman BlueRare 50 Points: Oh boy, do I love me some 50 Point Taxi/Supporting Characters. Supes Blue is definitely that, but he has Secondary Attacker power sets and stats, too. He also can protect anyone he Carries from Pulse Wave, which is not nothing in the Meta.

While your opponent will need a 20 to hit him from range top dial, Supes Blue can always be pushed onto his second Click, where he has Hypersonic Speed, 3 Damage and Perplex!

He very much reminds me of a slightly more expensive Fear Itself Loki. Sometimes, big things come in small (mostly white and blue) packages, and this 50-Pointer is a gem.

Oh look–you missed another roll! Guess I’m only giving out Tricks this year, which is a Treat. For me.

1. SMWW060 Mr. MxyzptlkSuper Rare70 Points: I know. You thought WizKids learned their lesson about making pieces that offer ridiculous levels of board control for under 100 Points. Well… they didn’t.

Mxy here is not as broken as Felix Faust was this summer, but that doesn’t exactly mean he’s fair, either. His ridiculously useful Trait (MESSING AROUND WITH THE ODDS: At the beginning of the game, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Give Mr. Mxyzptlk a power action if there is no d6 on this card, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Whenever any dice that can be rerolled are rolled (including as part of a 2d6 roll), you may remove the d6 from this card and replace one of those die results with the rolled result from the d6 removed from this card.) essentially means that every d6 or 2d6 roll goes through you. I cannot emphasize how much paralyzing stress this puts on your opponent’s decision making, particularly if you’re sitting on a 1, 5 or 6.

With a 5 or 6 showing, anyone on your team with either Shape Change or Super Senses has a backup d6 roll that will automatically allow that ability to succeed. Need to really hit that Leadership this turn? You’re golden. Roll a six and a one and just miss? Sub in that 6 sitting on Mxy’s card and all of the sudden you have a Critical Hit.

Conversely, your opponent will be DEATHLY afraid of attacking anyone if you have a 1 showing. Normally, you would have about a 1 in 36 chance (roughly 2.78%) of rolling a Critical Miss. But if you are able to change either of the d6 rolls to a 1 with Mxy, suddenly those odds shoot up dramatically (each d6 your opponent rolls has roughly a 16.6% chance of ending up on 1),

And these are just the most basic and obvious uses. Even a 3 or a 4 can be gamechanging if it guarantees your opponent misses that Super Senses roll or subs in for a 1 to make sure you hit with an attack. There’s really a bunch of sneaky plays you can make with this guy–and we haven’t even talked about his 18 Defense with Super Senses, his Quintessence Team Ability or any of his 3 Specials, including his Pulse Wave Special Attack Power on Click 2 that allows you to completely incapacitate any opposing characters you hit while avoiding giving any damage or tokens to your own folks.

This is the best figure in the set, and it’s not close.

 

Agree? Disagree? Post your opinion by leaving a comment, and let us know which pieces are in your Top Ten!

Very Sneaky, WizKids!! (Or, a Brief Reaction to the WizKids Alliance Open House Presentation!!)

NOT the Alliance Open House logo...

NOT the Alliance Open House logo…

Hello again!

We’re still cooking up Straight With CHASEr 4 AND a NFAOS Top Ten Second Opinion for you (along with another wicked teambuilding article from Ninwashui), but while we’re working on that, we had a few thoughts on the WizKids news breaking from the Alliance Open House over the weekend.

If you haven’t seen the video, you can check it out here.

The Highlights:

–We finally got a name for the Superman/Batman set that will follow the Superman/Wonder Woman set being released this fall. It’ll be called “World’s Finest,” and will feature a lot of Supes, a lot of Bats and a “Mystical” sub-theme. The presenter likened this sub-theme to the “Legion of Monsters” sub-them in Amazing Spider-Man, so that could mean the DC equivalent of Zombies, Werewolves and Vampires (and they just did the Justice League Dark sub-theme in Trinity War, so I doubt we’ll see much from that corner of the DCU).

–Next year’s Storyline OP event is not DC-related, as many have speculated, but is instead… Civil War (makes sense, in retrospect). And players will compete in both Scenario Play AND Battle Royals. Nice! Really pumped for this!

–TMNT will be a Gravity-feed set with about 35 pieces. The bigger question is whether or not it will be Golden Age. Lots of folks are hoping it will be Modern, but at this point I’d be extremely surprised if it were.

–And, finally, this:

X-Men photo

It was snuck in (I mean, it was literally SNUCK in!!) on the last slide as the presenter was showing TMNT clicks. He purposefully glossed over it in a way that seemed to say, “No, this isn’t a mistake, and no, you’re not getting ANY more information than this right now!”

Now, the question is, what does this really mean?

On a macro level, does this mean Marvel has permamently lifted the ban on FOX characters (basically, X-Men and Fantastic Four characters), or is this just a temporary window that just affects the X-Men brand?

This is just a guess, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this was either an Age of Apocalypse Gravity Feed meant to coincide with the FOX film this summer, or a 5-figure set with an Age of Apocalypse sub-theme.

We know that WizKids and Marvel certainly don’t mind trolling FOX (they released a Days of Future Past COMIC set at the same time FOX released a movie with that title.), so it’s possible that this is the case once more.

Now, so far, we’ve really only gotten WATX102 Nightcrawler & DP048 Blink in terms of Clix’d characters from the Age of Apocalypse storyline. Both are still Modern Age, but we’ll see if any more pieces from that storyline get added next summer!

Well, that’s all for now, but look for some more articles next week! And don’t forget to check out Heroclix Underground, a wonderful new national site devoted to covering Heroclix from every angle!

Until next time,

Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire.

Indianapolis Bound!! (Or, Gen Con, Here We Come!!)

  
As you can plainly see, Ninwashui and I are trekking from our normal southeastern Michigan stomping grounds to the hallowed halls of Gen Con! 

We’ll try and post photos and sporadic updates on our Twitter feed (@Criticalmissive) and then we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

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

Team Ideas – The Many Faces of Manifold

Avengers commuting to work.

This is how Avengers commute to work.

Idea

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

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

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

Wolverine Agent of Hydra

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

Team Name: The Hand’s Lawnmower Man

Keyword Theme: The Hand

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

Total = 300 Points

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

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

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

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

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

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

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

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

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

daisy johnson

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

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

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

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

Total = 300 Points

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

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

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

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

Portrait of an Avenger.

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

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

Sound off in the Comments below!

Team Ideas – It’s Not Suicide to Play the Squad

Idea

Suicide Blonde

Opps… I’ll have to cancel the INXS reunion I planned. Apparently they have nothing to do with the Suicide Squad.

So during my Flash Review I pointed out that Amanda Waller was one of the worst pieces in the set. My reasoning was that even though she can add a nice figure to the Suicide Squad, there really weren’t many reasons to actually play the other figures in Suicide Squad. They were okay, but not great. Add to this the fact that Amanda is about 40 points of offense in a 60 point body and I was just not seeing a good way to use the Suicide Squad in Modern Age games.

However, I like a challenge. So I’ve created 3 teams that actually seem to work with the Suicide Squad in a Modern Age,  No-Tactics environment.

Fiddler

Be careful of the B-Sharp…

Team Name: Fiddler’s on the Roof!

Theme: Suicide Squad

Roster: FFFL001 Captain Cold FFFL003 Mirror Master FL012 Captain Boomerang FL029 Fiddler

Total = 299 Points

How it Works: I’ve gotten around that whole Amanda Waller not being that good problem by omitting her completely. Problem solved. Instead the leader of this team is the Fiddler. Fiddler has no defensive ability on his whole dial (not even Shape Change) and he’s still a great piece. What he has in his defense slot instead of a reducer is a Special called “SONIC FORCE BUBBLE: Fiddler can use Defend. Adjacent friendly Characters with a lower point value modify their defense values by +1.” What that means is that Captain Cold, Mirror Master, and Captain Boomerang will be sporting a 19 Defense in addition to the defensive abilities they already have. Plus Fiddler and Mirror Master both have Probability Control for added headaches for your opponent. With no defense himself and the ability to ignore other figures for targeting, Fiddler is at home hiding behind of your other figures. Make sure to remember that Fiddler ignores elevation. Have fun blasting an opponent straight through a mountain if the situation presents itself.

Cheetah

So she’s like not wearing any clothes. You guys see that too right?

Team Name: Crouching Cheetah, Hidden Boomerang

Theme: Suicide Squad

Roster: FFFL003 Mirror Master FL034 Amanda Waller FFFL002 Captain Boomerang SLOSH017B Cheetah

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: Cheetah’s movement power states “POUNCE MY PREY: Cheetah can use Leap/Climb. When Cheetah resolves a move action, you may give her a close combat action as a free action.” That means that she should be garnering the majority of opponent’s attention. Then maybe they won’t notice that FFFL002 Captain Boomerang packs triple target energy explosion on to a dial that only costs 75 points. That will be the last time your opponent ignores that character. Mirror Master is transportation and support. Waller is just sort of support, but you need her to make the team possible.

Black Mask

He has a vast fortune.. and Pliers!

Team Name: Black Puddin’

Theme: Suicide Squad

Roster: FL034 Amanda Waller FL046 Harley Quinn FFFL003 Mirror Master BMAO015 Black Mask

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: Unlike the other teams I’ve mentioned above Mirror Master and Amanda Waller are actually primary attackers on this quirky team. Once your team is within approximately 14 squares or less from the opposing team, give Black Mask a Power Action to use his Special Attack Power (VAST FORTUNE: Give Black Mask a power action and all adjacent friendly characters that have the Assassin keyword or share a keyword with him may immediately be given a move action as a free action.) Everyone moves up as a free action (make sure to carry Black Mask), uses the three available Outwits, and takes a ranged combat shot. If you make Mirror Master Harley’s Puddin’ then he can get up to 4 damage with her Petplex. If you can Outwit the opposing defense, that’s going to hurt.