Revenge of the Nerfed…

X-Force's teams haven't quite been as cool since the Watch List nerfs.

X-Force teams haven’t been quite as cool since the Watch List nerfs.

Everyone remembers WXM010 Shatterstar. No one uses him now because he had an awesome trait that was nerfed to heck. It was the exact same way with his teammate WXM041 Spiral. What if I told you there was a way to use them that would let you beat the well-nigh unstoppable IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC) at his own game? If only I had thought of this team before my last game versus the Pharaoh.

The combo pieces are Shatterstar and WXM042 Fantomex. Just teleport Fantomex to the other side of the map and shoot Iron Pharaoh on like turn 3. There you win… Opps! I’m being told that won’t work at all. Fantomex is too many points for Shatterstar to teleport with and the watch list made it so anyone teleported can’t take a non-free action that same turn. Obviously none of this works and I should stop writing now… But wait, I’m still writing so I must know something.

Here’s the deal. It’s true you can’t teleport Fantomex, but nothing says you can’t teleport WXM042BT E.V.A.! So start on turn three with your characters un-tokened and together (because it takes Fantomex a turn to make an E.V.A). Have Shatterstar teleport and base Iron Pharaoh. Put E.V.A. in line of fire one square away. Try to position so you aren’t in the line of fire of the rest of the opposing team. E.V.A. can’t use a non free action that turn, but she can use her outwit to counter the Pharaoh’s defensive ability. Fantomex can now shoot through E.V.A using ranged combat expert to attack the Pharaoh with a 12 attack and hit for 4 damage (which is the sweet spot on the Pharaoh). But what if you miss your Alpha strike? That’s why I mentioned using Spiral earlier. Stand her next to Fantomex and use her probability control to get a second shot. The best part is that an opponent’s probability control is useless, because Fantomex will be well out of range. Include AVX005R Wolverine on your team to round it out to 396 points that can be used in the AvX event.

We’ve gone over what Fantomex and Shatterstar will be doing, but what about your other two characters? Well the same turn that Shatterstar teleports to the other side of the board Spiral should make a portal with one side under Wolverine so that he can use a free action to cross through it on his next turn and come out swinging. You’ll need to put the opposite end of the portal some place where your opponent either can’t move a character over the top of it (like deep in hindering), or where they won’t want to put a character (like adjacent to Shatterstar).

The turn following your Alpha Strike Wolverine and Shatterstar get their chance to chop your opponents to bits in close quarters. The turn after that Fantomex and Spiral will have cleared and can move into the fray via the spiral portal or by just using their advanced movement abilities. Hopefully by then your opponent won’t have much fight left in him.

This team can obviously be adapted to alpha strike any piece that’s necessary to your opponent’s game plan. SLOSH005B Mon-El and SLOSH048 Tellus come to mind as pieces to target, but just about any piece is vulnerable. Don’t try this on SLOSH039 Bizarro

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

This is what it looked like the last time someone used this plan on Bizarro…

You can change the team to 300 points by dropping Spiral and adding the X-Force ATA. You can also make it close to 500 by adding WXM011A Deathlok. Just like the  Iron Pharaoh combo team I posted here, to the best of my knowledge no one has thought of this combo at the time I published it. If you take this to your local venue it’s likely no one will see this coming. In fact, you might be underestimated by other players for using “nerfed” pieces. Good luck. If you use this team, leave a comment to let me know how you did.

Back in the Saddle Again!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup!! 02/09/2014)

Roundup

Well well well, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?! The bitter January cold weather brought with it some bitter January flu bugs, but I’m live, in person and back in the saddle again! This installment of The Weekly Round-Up also has a new category–Entertainment News. We’ll get into the hows and whys of that when we get there. So, with no further ado… here we go!

Podcasts:

Dial H for Heroclix continues to pump out new episodes each week. The industry’s most consistent ‘casters just released episode 31, wherein they discussed the latest figure spoilers and the 10 Best Maps to Have in Your Competitive Clix Pack.

ClixCast was back with episode 139, wherein they discussed the Top Five Worst Heroclix of 2013, along with their thoughts on the recently spoiled Legion of Doom Fast Forces.

Duo Attack, as entertaining as it is, has not updated in quite some time. I fear it may be dead…

Push to Regen is finally back with Episode 30!! Their main topic this week is “2013 Year in Review,” and their special guest for this chat is none other than Brian Roll, the Creative Director of Heroclix. The only problem? They’ll be off the next two months while they retool the show…

The Quarry has reopened! Episode 7 has more intrepid ROC reporting, interviews and discussions…

ROC:

–NEW ROC tournament announcements for Huntsville, Alabama; Sunnyvale, California; and even Edmonton, Alberta!

Victor Lloyd, Jr. powered a New Mutants Team Base and Brother Voodoo (along with a 13 Point Utility Belt and the Heroes for Hire ATA) to a 1st-Place finish at the Coastal Assault ROC Super Qualifier in the Florida panhandle town of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Incidentally, the results show that this was possibly the most varied field yet! The Top 16 featured quite an eclectic cast of Main Pieces and Support Figs. Follow me with the results real quick:

1st Place–Main Piece: New Mutants Team Base (200 Point Level). Best Support Piece: Brother Voodoo. Resource: 13 Point Utility Belt.

2nd Place–Main Piece: Shuma-Gorath. Best Support Piece: Mole Man. Resource: 28 Point Power Plant.

3rd Place–Main Piece: Warstar. Best Support Piece: WXM Magneto (#037a). Resource: 50 Point Booklip (Complete Book of the Skull plus Splitlip).

4th Place–Main Piece: Hellfire Club Team Base (300 Point Level). Best Support Piece: None. Resource: None.

5th Place–Main Piece: Absorbing Man LE. Best Support Piece: Enchantress. Resource: 40 Point Infinity Gauntlet.

6th Place–Main Piece: M10 Iron Man. Best Support Piece: Tanarus. Resource: 50 Point Booklip.

7th Place–Main Piece: Silver Centurion. Best Support Piece: New Mutants Team Base (95 point Level). Resource: 40 Point Infinity Gauntlet.

8th Place–Main Piece: Batman (115 Point GCSG Version). Best Support Piece: The Insider. Resource: 18 Point Power Plant.

9th Place–Main Piece: Ghost Rider. Best Support Piece: 2x CW Scarlet Witch. Resource: 14 Point Utility Belt.

10 Place–Main Piece: M10 Iron Man. Best Support Piece: Cerise. Resource: 110 Point Batcave.

Okay! Look at that–you had to go 10 deep in the Top 16 finishers before you saw the same Main Piece repeated. It was M10 Iron Man, who was used by both Jacob Schopf (6th Place) and Christopher Athaway (10 Place). And the builds only get more eclectic after 10th Place, with armies revolving around GG Morg and CW Sentry and Void!! Say what you want about the Watchlist (and I’ll have a column coming sometime in the near future that will discuss the impact of the Watchlist and where we’re headed), but it’s working. It–along with ROC’s specific rules–has opened up all sorts of viable builds.

Previews:

Pyro from DoFP was spoiled. I like the creativity of his dial, and the Flame Construct token is really cool; I don’t like that he cost 90 Points. That seems steep for a fig with no defensive powers (yes, you can give him Toughness with a Hammer, but 17 Defense with Toughness doesn’t scream “staying power” in the current Meta). When I first saw his dial, in my head I thought he’d be somewhere between 70-75 Points. So I think he’s overcosted; time will tell, though.

–SLoSH got some beef with Mr. Majestic, an uncommon beatstick. Any figure with Move and Attack (especially one that only modifies his attack by -1 instead of -2) is going to be decent; unfortunately, that’s about what you have here: a decent, 220 Main Piece. In larger games, he should be fun, but I don’t know that I’d want to build my whole team around him.

Entertainment News:

A lot of TV and movie news is generated every week that has the potential to be very relevant to the Heroclix community. Remember, a good portion of the Gravity Feed sets released each year come from movies and TV shows! Also… it’s fun to write and talk about comic book movies! That said… here we go!

–Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back, and it came back with a bombshell–Mike Peterson is Deathlok! This is awesome news, and it comes just as the show is finding its voice. If you’ve already given up on this show, it may be time to give it another look. If we ever get a S.H.I.E.L.D. set, there’s a good chance Deathlok will be a big part of it.

–As soon as DC pulled out of a July release date for “Batman Versus Superman,” Disney swooped in and took that date for its Paul Rudd & Michael Douglas franchise-starter “Ant-Man.” Also, Evangeline Lilly may have just scored the role of Wasp!

The Vision has been confirmed for Avengers 2, and its Paul Bettany! Does this mean that Jarvis will somehow be corrupted by Ultron, or is the Vision’s origin going to be completely separate (thus meaning that Paul Bettany is playing two distinct characters in the Marvel Universe)?!

Okay, so that’s the first edition of entertainment news. I’m planning on slowly expanding the scope of what I’ll cover as we go forward, but I think that’s a nice, bite-sized chunk. 2015 is going to have some kickass Gravity Feed sets, if everything holds true to what WizKids has given us in the past.

It’s good to be back with the Weekly Roundup. Stay tuned–this week we’ll have The Build results, we may take a look at AvX (Black Panther… yes, me like), and we’ll see you right back here next Sunday for another edition of the Weekly Roundup.

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