The Ghost of Christmas Past Presents… My Three Favorite Sets for Heroclix Sealed Play and Why I Love Them!! (Or, The Fifth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

BTAS Banner.jpg

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years!]

Welcome to Night 5 of The Twelve Nights of Christmas!

Tonight I’m gonna talk about my favorite Sealed sets.

Sealed balance is mixed bag for Wizkids. It’s one of my favorite ways to play, but not every set is as much fun to play Sealed as some others are. The following sets I think are some of the best Wizkids has ever made, albeit for various reasons.

 

Deadpool 2014

3. DEADPOOL (2014)

Reason: Great Roster of Characters; Creativity of Mechanics; Sealed Release Prizes

2016’s Deadpool and X-Force almost took this spot, but I give the edge to the original because the Deadpools worked better on their own if you only happened to pull one (and the best ones weren’t all at the Chase level).

Admittedly, you probably liked this set better if you were a Deadpool fan (I know some comic readers can’t stand the character, but I’ve been a fan since the Joe Kelly solo series days), but still, this set had everything!

The Word Balloon mechanic is still one of my favorite pieces of game design to this day! Outside of “Hammer Time,” which you only got if you lucked into the Super Rare Thor Deadpool, all of the Word Balloons were extremely situational, so pulling a Deadpool didn’t automatically mean you were going to steamroll someone. Still, they were occasionally useful, and even if you only pulled a couple ‘Pools from the Common slot (like Headpool and Dogpool), you could interchange their Word Balloons for maximum effectiveness.

But beyond that, this was a set with great, synergistic sub-themes (Sinister Syndicate, Thunderbolts, Z-Virus, Heroes For Hire) that yielded some high-demand figures. The Super Rare level was filled with hits, but even in the Rare slot you could pull a piece like Black Talon and–if you pulled the right supporting cast–steamroll the competition.

Chases were better when played together (although zombie Electro was pretty deadly on his own or paired with other Sinister Syndicate pieces), so again, if you were lucky enough to pull one, it didn’t mean you would auto-win.

The Uncommon, Rare and Super Rare Primes were all a ton of fun (Evil Deadpool!!), and this is also the set that gave us DP053A Speed Demon, probably the most unique speedster dial Wizkids has ever given us!

And you wanted to do well at the Sealed Release events, because Wizkids gave us four (FOUR!!) fantastic LE pieces that only came in the Deadpool OP kits.

–DP101 Ultimate Deadpool, who I think to this day has the most Named Keywords and who also came with an exclusive Word Balloon.

–Bill, Agent of A.I.M., a 30 point Taxi with an Attack Special (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING: Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character adjacent to Bill, Agent of A.I.M. and line of fire for that attack isn’t blocked.) that was so good he ended up as a Meta piece for the next year and a half.

Bill, like his counterpart Bob, Agent of Hydra, is one of Deadpool’s most popular supporting cast members and this was the only way to get him as he didn’t appear in the main set.

–Wolverine, Agent of Hydra, who was the “boss” character that both The Hand and Hydra teams were looking for at the time. I wouldn’t say he ended up being Meta, but he made a bunch of ninja teams viable at house games over the next year.

–Cosmic X-23. This was the first solo version of X-23 the game had seen in 4 years. She was borderline Meta, but never really got there. Still, she had two great dials and was also in high demand from players who collect the various Captain Universe pieces.

To this day, I don’t think we’ve seen better release day LE’s. In fact, I think shortly after this set Wizkids switched to including just one release OP LE figure for new standard sets.

 

Heroclix WOL

2. War of Light (2014)

Reason: Titanic, High-Point Battles; $$$$!!

Man, 2014 was the year to be playing Sealed! War of Light was the 2014 Summer OP Limited Edition set, and it was crazy popular.

First of all, there are a LOT of Lantern fans out there, and the Clix community had been waiting for powerful, Modern interpretations of these characters (or, in some cases, their debut). Suddenly EVERY color on the spectrum had enough pieces to field viable teams for house games; some colors (Green, Yellow) even found themselves in the Meta.

Because you could only get these boosters by playing at your local game store (or by sniping a brick on eBay, where they were going for $210-$249 a BRICK during their heyday!), almost every SR was worth more than $25, with some going for $50-$80 the first month the set was released.

And the Chases… each color got a Chase Entity (except for Black, whose Entity piece was SR) that went for $100 plus (or $200 in the case of Parallax) because of both their scarcity and their power level in the Meta (from June 2014–January 2015, EVERY Meta team had at least one Entity on it).

All of which turned these Sealed OP events into lottery draws. So these events were PACKED, and competitors were hyped EVEN BEFORE FOLKS STARTED PLAYING!

Now, I talked a bit about balance with Deadpool (and I’ll talk a LOT more about balance with the #1 set), but WOL was NOT the most balanced set Wizkids has ever designed. Far from it, actually.

But that imbalance just fed into the whole lottery craze! A lot of folks sold their most expensive pulls on eBay after the event, so for some, the event itself was the only time they’d ever get to play with these figs.

And Battle Royales… wow! I’ve never seen so many folks queue up for Battle Royales than the fall of 2014 when the bigger venues in town would run a ROC or other big event! If WOL was on the menu, people would be there!

I can remember being ganged up on in one WOL BR by two different guys who knew each other and happened to be in the same pod as me. Unfortunately for them, I pulled the Weaponer of Qward, so it didn’t go so well for them (as opposed to when the same thing happened to me during an Uncanny X-Men BR, and I got my @$$ handed to me!).

But that was the boom or bust nature of the set. In month one at my LGS, I pulled Ophidian with Red Lantern Superboy Prime. In Round 2 I played Ninwashui, and the game lasted about 15 minutes, since his best pull was Brother Warth (to be fair, I think he actually got Supes down to, like, click 3 or 4).

But I will always remember the furor this set inspired, and that’s why it’s number two on this list!

 

BTAS SLASHES.jpg

1. BATMAN, THE ANIMATED SERIES (2018)

Reason: Insanely Well-Balanced!! Plus Some Nice Nostalgia… 

And now for my favorite Sealed Set! Yup! It just came out in July!

This set is arguably the most well-balanced Sealed set Wizkids has ever designed. I’ve written before about how I lucked into possibly the BEST Sealed configuration a person can pull from this set at a WKO, and I still lost on a roll-off in the playoffs against stiff comepetition!

I’ll say it again–even the BEST PIECES IN THE SET were no guarantee of victory!

The point distribution between characters was very narrow for the most part, and outside of a few characters <cough–Hawkman & Hawkgirl–cough>, no piece had distinct offensive or mobility advantages over the others (okay, maybe Rare Batman with his Batarang, which was insanely good in Sealed!).

I’ve played this set Sealed probably four or five times now, and I’ve enjoyed every game!

That’s why it’s my favorite Sealed Set… so far!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I would give an Honorable Mention to Avengers: Infinity, also from this year, solely because it’s the first time we saw Sealed Colossal vs. Colossal play! There were some other slight issues that caused the set to slip down my personal rankings a bit, but for the Colossal novelty alone, I thought it also deserved a mention here. More of this please, Wizkids!!]

What are yours? Sound off in the Comments below, then join us right here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas!!

Advertisements

You’re Simply the Best 2: Electric Boogaloo!! (Or, The Best Everything of 2014!!) (Or, Let’s Hand Out Some Critters*!!)

Tina Turner

(As always, with apologies to Tina Turner for stealing her gimmick…)

Is it 2015 already? Yes. Yes, Timmy, it is. Which means another year of Heroclix has come and gone. And since it’s January, it also means that it’s time to look back at the year that was and pick out the best, coolest and weirdest pieces!

In other words… IT’S TIME FOR A YEAR-END REVIEW!!

But first, let’s look at all the Heroclix releases from 2014:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re gonna leave AvX out of it, since it technically started in 2013, although many of the participating venues didn’t finish up until January or February.]

–Yu-Gi-Oh! HeroClix: Series One (01/08/2014)

–Fast Forces: Legion of Doom (02/26/2014)

–Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes (02/26/2014)

–Captain America: The Winter Soldier (03/12/2014)

–Batman: Arkham Origins Quick-Start Kit (05/03/2014) [EDITOR’S NOTE: While technically a release, this was given out at certain venues on Free Comic Book Day. The figures are actually kind of interesting, but they’re Purple Ringed and, therefore, not tourney legal. Still, this is a cool lil’ setup.]

–Fast Forces: Thunderbolts (05/14/2014)

–Deadpool (05/14/2014)

–X-Men: Days of Future Past (05/31/2014)

–War of Light (06/01/2014)

–Return of the King (06/04/2014)

–Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set (07/02/2014)

Star-Lord Gif

–Justice League Strategy Game (07/09/2014)

–Fast Forces: The Inhumans (08/13/2014)

–Guardians of the Galaxy (08/13/2014)

–The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (11/05/2014)

–Fast Forces: Rogues (11/12/2014)

–The Flash (11/12/2014)

Whew!! Okay! So we had 17 major releases in 2014. And that’s not including the various Convention Exclusives that also released this year. Plus, War of Light came in two Waves and therefore almost counts as two sets on it’s own. A major success, War of Light also birthed the Entity Chases, which were probably the most sought after Chases of all-time.

Speaking of Entity-fueled successes, here is the publicly released third quarter earnings statement put out by Heroclix makers WizKids/NECA, LLC:

Gold Swimming Pool

In response to the secondary market frenzy created by the Entity Chases, WizKids/NECA, LLC submitted this follow-up statement:

the_joker_smile_by_angrypig-d4k075d

So, in other words, the game did okay this year. But enough about the games finances!

Time to dole out some Critters*!! As always, these categories are chosen and (ill-)defined by yours truly!

[*EDITOR’S NOTE: “Critters” is the current short name for the annual “Simply the Best” awards handing out by Critical Missives. It’s creepy. We know it’s creepy. We’re working on it.]

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… PRIMARY ATTACKER (Vaguely defined as the best attacking piece to build an army around):

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP051 Banshee

DP057 Tiamat

WOL025 The Weaponer of Qward

WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern)

GOTG062 Super Skrull

FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

FL050 The Flash

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Zombie Super Skrull

Why Super Skrull Won: Versatility. Pure and simple. No matter which Clix your opponent sets down in front of you when you start the game, if you’re running Super Skrull, you know you’ve got a chance. His Trait (IT’S HARD TO EMULATE FOUR POWERS WITH HALF MY LIMBS: Give Super Skrull a free action and choose up to one each of standard speed, attack, defense, and damage powers. Super Skrull can use the chosen powers until your next turn. For each power chosen this way, place a Power token on his card. At the end of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, and subtract 1 for each Power token on his card and remove all Power tokens from his card. On a result of 1 or less, deal Super Skrull 1 unavoidable damage.) is simply ridiculous, and that’s before you remember he’s got the standard Z-Virus powers that let him bank healing for the future while also having the ability to resurrect your opponent’s KO’d pieces… on your side!

Notable Runners-Up:

Kyle Rayner just missed out on this for me. The fact that a guy used Super Skrull to take out a buncha Kyle teams (among others) in a recent ROC was the deciding factor for me.!

Banshee is almost as good with his strong stats and his ability to target through both Hindering and Elevated Terrain, but he’s stymied by the existence of Copycat. The fact that there’s a piece out there that simply let’s your opponent take Banshee and leave you with a walking Pu-Pu Platter is intolerable to me… and makes playing Banshee somewhat risky.

Black Lantern Zoom is extremely good for his points, but he does take up your Prime slot, which sometimes makes it harder to field great supporting figs around him.

And finally, the Kingdom Come Flash just hasn’t been around long enough to truly flex his muscles in the Meta. Once Resources rotate back in, expect to see a bunch of Sinestro Corps Batteries powering the Flash here to victory!

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… SECONDARY ATTACKER (Vaguely defined as figures who can reliably damage the enemy but cost less than the Primary Attacker in your Build):

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor

DP053A Speed Demon

WOL010 Controller [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, got my lists confused. Controller belongs in the “Most Embarrassing Piece to Pull in a War Of Light OP Event” category.]

WOL013B Tomar Tu

GOTGM012 Yondu

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP064 Electro

It takes a special kind of crazy to run Lethal Legion at a ROC...

Actual video of me using Zombie Electro against Ninwashui in a house game. For the 43rd time.

GOTGM101 Star-Lord

GOTGM106R Ronan

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

GOTG023 Yondu (Yep! They both made this list!)

GOTG059B Doctor Spectrum

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Speed Demon

Why Speed Demon Won: My Lord, this was a packed category, and it really came down to Speed Demon and Captain Marvel at the end. Either one would have walked away with this category in 2013, but damn, how do you choose here? I give Speed Demon the nod for two reasons. One, he’s not a Prime (actually, he’s better than Whizzer, his Prime version), so you can still run a Prime character in your Build. And two, his Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) was the best Trait I read this year. It can be gamechanging on its own, but when you start to combine it with things like Entities or The Phoenix Force, Speed Demon can get out of hand in a hurry.

Notable Runners-Up:

Captain Marvel (the Prime) was a close second. His ability to completely shut down the attacks of anyone he hits is stupid good. He’s a little crunchy himself, but his Special Defend power lets him boost the Defense Value of most adjacent friendlies to 19!!

Both Yondu figures are great; much has already been said about the main set Uncommon from GOTG. But I really think folks need to take another look at the GotG Movie Set version. He’s a different kind of ridiculousness.

I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far and not mentioned Lydea Mallor. There was a time when she ruled ROC’s all across the country. Now, she’s kind of old news. Still, she may have burned through her usefulness quickly, but she also burned quite brightly for that short while, too. With the new ROC season allowing Resources again, I’d expect her business to pick back up a bit.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… SUPPORTING FIGURE (Vaguely Defined as those pieces that round out your force by providing those important non-damage dealing abilities, like Perplex, Probability Control or Outwit; Support; or TK, or Taxi Service, or something else entirely):

FFDP006R Mercy 

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell

DP018 Blind Al

DP020 Weasel

DOFP008 Senator Robert Kelly

DOFP011 Destiny

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit

WOL010 Controller [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, got my lists confused again. This Controller nomination belongs in the “Most Exciting Piece to open during War Of Light: Month 1… Until You Realize That He Isn’t a Poorly Scuplted Superboy Prime Like You Were Hoping.” category.]

WOL033 Sister Sercy

WOL029 Brother Hymn

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon

GOTG003 Mantis

GOTG017A Kree Lieutenant

FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Rocket Raccoon Gif

Why Rocket Raccoon Won: So, while the 300 Point Meta game probably exerts the greatest influence on a lot of these awards, I chose Rocket because he offers so many great supporting abilities PLUS he’s the lynchpin to so many different cool Guardian of the Galaxy Builds (if you’re playing Star-Lord from the comic set, you almost HAVE to play the Movie Chase Rocket with him!). He’s also a decent Secondary Attacker (not great, but decent) and certainly could have been nominated in that category as well.

But I view him more as a Supporting Figure. He lends adjacent snipers Enhancement, he has Outwit with a 7 Range AND he buffs the Attack Values of adjacent friendlies that share at least one of his two main keywords (Ravagers or Guardians of the Galaxy). Now, there are certainly other figures in the game who can buff both Attack and Damage (Rocket’s fellow nominee Weasel can do that trick too), but you can very easily run into positioning issues where you find it extremely difficult to keep the Enhancer next to the Attacker that your trying to buff. Not with Rocket! He’s Tiny-sized, which means he can be carried by just about any attacker, whether or not they fly! And, being tiny, Rocket doesn’t make the carrier subtract two from their movement (VEEEERRRY helpful during Running Shot/Carry maneuvers.)

Notable Runners-Up:

Blue Lantern Recruit packs about every starting ability you’d want into one tiny, 50-Point shell. He probably would have won this if not for Rocket.

Ditto for Mercy, except I like Blue Lantern Recruit just a tad better.

Agent Sitwell is an AWESOME supporting piece… as long as you’re playing a S.H.I.E.L.D. team.

Finally, S.T.A.R. Labs Technician has already started to show up in the Meta. Great package of abilities for the point cost.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… WORST FIGURE OF THE YEAR (Vaguely defined as, well, the worst figure of the year, which would technically make that piece the best at sucking):

FL018 Steve Trevor

FL019B Bizarro Flash

SLOSH050 Toyman

SLOSH047A White Witch

DOFP002 Sprite & DOFP020 Ariel (A RARE DUAL DISAPPOINTMENT!!)

WOL010 Controller (FINALLY!! A category he’s SUPPOSED to be nominated in!)

WOL039 Kryb

WOL051 Krona

GOTGM010 Nebula

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

"Yes. And don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."

Yes. And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Why Steve Trevor Won: So, at only 54 Points, you could argue that there are much worse figures out there who, by virtue of the higher Point cost, would be a bigger detriment to your team because you’d have to sink more of your Build’s Resources (i.e. Build Points) into fielding them.

And you’d be wrong. As I argued during the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, Steve Trevor is so bad that you’ve probably already lost the game just by fielding him, since you probably thought you could successfully find a way to use his Leadership Special Power. And you were wrong. Because while Steve Trevor has a bevy of keywords to chose from, he makes an awful Leader no matter which squad you choose to run.

“But HypeFox,” I can already hear you saying, “Running Shot and Psychic/Blast is an awesome combo, and he has that top click!” Sure he does. He also has a 5 (not 6) Range and only a 16 ES/D for Defense. Look, you could play two more Entities for that price; it’d be cheesy, but you could. Instead, you chose the worst dial released this year.

Are you going against Steve Trevor? Oh, I have some advice. Here’s the secret to taking down Steve Trevor: deal him one damage (I promise it will go through). At that point, on Click 2, Steve Trevor gets Willpower, a 9 Attack and he keeps his craptastic Empower/Leadership Special Power.

And don’t think that it’s that hard to get Steve here to his second Click. All you need is one character with Poison and some patience. Oh, did Steve Trevor just move? Well, go ahead and plop your Poisoner adjacent to him. Whether Steve stays and takes the Poison or he Pushes to vacate the premises, your job is done, since that Willpower only shows up on Click 2!!

Notable Runners-Up:

Krona is 245 Points with a Trait that can’t be legally activated in a 300 Point game unless your running an Entity on a figure 30 Points or less. The benefit to Krona if you do all that? Probably a +2 to his Range or Speed Value. Lame. This character was a universe-imperiling badass in the comics; in Clix, the only thing he’ll imperil is your chance to win if you field him.

White Witch is impossible to promote, even though Battlefield Promotion is one of the only reasons to play her.

Controller is, well, Controller. He has the capability of dealing 4 Penetrating Damage to any character within his Range… provided that he’s already hit with EIGHT FREAKING ATTACKS!! And if he’s already done that, well, you’ve probably already won the game.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… GRAVITY FEED SET (Marvel or DC):

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set

Days of Future Past

Deadpool

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

CATWS

Why CATWS Won: Top to bottom, it had the best pieces. It added a metric POOP-TON of S.H.I.E.L.D.-keyworded figs and gave us a very solid Chase (Cap and Bucky) and a damn near broken one (Captain America and Black Widow). We now have a very useful Nick Fury, and Agent Sitwell is one of the best S.H.I.E.L.D. supporting figs we’ve seen since… well, since the CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent THAT’S ALSO IN THIS SET!!

Notable Runners-Up:

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set gave us a fantastic Chase Rocket, probably the best Drax we’ve seen yet along with the best version of The Collector we’ve ever received. Having said that, most of the pieces I keep reaching for from this set (Star-Lord, Ronan) are actually from the STARTER, not the Gravity Feed.

Days of Future Past had some neat ideas, but top to bottom it can’t compare with CATWS. Professor X is great until you see that he’s overcosted by at least 30 Points. Sprite and Ariel pose that time-honored riddle: when you have the opportunity to eat the Chicken Salad you didn’t want OR the Egg Salad you didn’t want, which do you chose?

And finally, Deadpool was probably about the best main set Gravity Feed we got all year. It was worth seeking out the Deadpool dial that comes in the Gravity Feed just for his Word Bubble alone. Daredevil in that same Feed is a SwitchClix, which is a really cool thing to pull from a Gravity Feed pack. Also, Secret Empire Number 9 is one of the best Ranged supporting pieces in Modern right now that no one ever talks about.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… PRIME FIGURE (Vaguely defined as… well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, actually):

SLOSH005B Mon-El

DP019B Evil Deadpool

DP047B Cat

DP053B Whizzer

WOL013B Tomar Tu

WOL020B Laira

WOL046B Abin Sur

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

GOTG047B Thanosi

FL037B Dark Flash

FL053B Zoom

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Captain Marvel Marvel 2

Why Captain Marvel Won: Wow! This was probably the deepest and most competitive category this year. Captain Marvel wins because he does so many different things to help your team win, yet at 81 Points he’s on the low-end of what most Secondary Attackers cost. Plus, his Attack Special ability that–among other things–allows him to shut down opposing figures counter-attacks when he hits them (UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.) is damn near broken!

Notable Runners-Up:

Abin Sur is just ridiculously cheap, and he has the Construct ability. He finished second for me.

Whizzer is a great figure, but I can’t vote for a figure for “Best Prime” when it’s NON-PRIME (Speed Demon) is both cheaper to field AND more effective.

Zoom would have finished third; he’s fantastic, but he’s almost a Primary Attacker. Nothing wrong with that, except that many of the best Modern Age Supporting Figures happen to be Primes themselves right now, which means that you can’t use them in a Build with Zoom.

Finally, Cat still has a lot of room to grow in the Meta. Now that ROC is switching back to a format where Relics and Resources are allowed, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see him turn up a little more often.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… 5-FIGURE SET (Vaguely defined as THE SET OF THE YEAR!!):

Guardians of the Galaxy

War of Light

Deadpool

Flash

Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

"We're number one!"

Guardians… pull my finger.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Won: The Critical Missives version of Best Picture goes to… Guardians of the Galaxy?! Hmmm… Before I sat down to write this article, I thought for sure War of Light would capture this, but when I look back over this past year, I have to say that, top to bottom, Guardians was the best set. The fact that every generic had a “soldier” version and a “royal” version is freaking awesome. It actually cut down so much on the normal clusterglut (a term I just coined) of generic Commons that you accumulate every time you buy packs.

War of Light did this too, to an extent, but that was mostly different versions of the same character (“Kyle Rayner as a White Lantern. Kyle Rayner as a Blue Lantern. And on and on…”). War of Light was also WAAAAAY harder to initially collect. But Guardians also gave us almost as many Meta pieces as WOL without all the headaches (Entities). Even now, I still feel like there’s TONS of undiscovered GOTG pieces just waiting to be tried out. Heck, Ninwashui finally beat me for once just the other day using a Brother Royal team. It was ridiculously effective–and you never even see those guys. At least, not yet. But GOTG’s top to bottom depth is what put it over the top for me!

Notable Runners-Up:

War of Light obviously finished second. It was everything DC fans seemed to want and more. Uh, way more. It was actually like 3 or 4 separate Lantern stories rolled into one set. Still, it gave us a lot of previously Un-Clix’d figures, and two MAJOR new mechanics with the Construct Trait (found on the Primes and Participation Prizes) and the Entities (with their “Possessed” Traits). The Entities were extremely powerful; they’re recent slight-nerfing probably has them in the right place, power-wise. The Construct Trait is the next thing that may need to get looked at; I’ve seen so many players going out of their way to play, like, 4 Wall-bearing figures in larger point games (“If no one can target any of my figures ever, I’ll win!” Uh, yeah, Timmy, maybe, but it’s the antithesis of what the game is about. It’s basically the strategy of people who don’t trust their own ability to orchestrate a strategy.). So War of Light was second for me, if only because it caused so many issues in the Meta and beyond; but as we end 2014 and roll into 2015, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at Rulings-wise with the set, and I think it’ll be an important source of Builds for the next couple years.

Deadpool was awesome. It gave us Speed Demon and Banshee and a TON of great Hand figures. It also gave us Copycat, who was just as big of a problem (in her own way) for a while as the Entities were.

Flash had some of the best sculpts of the year. The Speed Force mechanic isn’t as cool as the two mechanics put forth by War of Light, but it’s still a solid addition to the game.

Finally, SLoSH will primarily just be remembered for Lydea Mallor, I think. It wasn’t a bad set; it just wasn’t as much fun as the other big sets we got this year.

 

Well, there you have it!! That’s all for this year’s Critters*!!

Join us next month as we dive into Justice League: Trinity War and start a new Page for this site that’s devoted to Comics on TV!!

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

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, no really, we are still working on it! We’ll have it sorted for next year!]

Let’s Be Lanterns Again! For One Shall Surely Fall!! (Or Let’s Build an Army For Each Lantern Corps–Part 3 of 3!!)

War of Light Part 3!

And now we’ve reached the final four Corps!

For the uninitiated, Ninwashui and I are creating competitive Builds for each Lantern Corps–let’s recap the rules:

1. Each Build has to be a Theme Team (although that Theme doesn’t necessarily have to be for the corresponding Corps keyword) that features a character who isn’t known for being a member of the featured color (Red Lantern Superboy Prime, or Hal Jordan Parallax, for example; or someone who’s never been a Lantern of any color in the comics–like a Marvel character!);

2. For each color, each member of a team has to either start with the corresponding Corps keyword, or they must be able to get it during the game.

There are several ways to do this: use a character from War of Light who’s been made in a color different from the norm (Parallax Hal or Kyle Rayner, Orange Lantern Hal or Blue Lantern Hal, White Lantern Kyle Rayner, Red Lantern Guy Gardner, and so on and so forth); use an Entity to bring any other character in the game into that Entity’s color; or just make a general Theme Team and use the Lantern Power Battery to distribute rings during the game and give each member of a team that color’s keyword (along with some kickass powers!).

If you missed it, we featured the Sinestro Corps, Indigo Tribe and Orange Lantern Corps in Part 1!

The Blue Lantern Corps and Red Lantern Corps were covered in Part 2!

Also, in a shocking twist at the end of Part 2, Ninwashui revealed that he’s actually been a scheming, possibly drunk raccoon the whole time he’s been writing for this site!! (Y’know… it’s been a weird month.)

And now that everyone’s caught up, HypeFox and Ninwashui will be facing off one more time–AND ONE SHALL SURELY FALL!

HypeFox and Ninwashui each have a pair of Builds they think is better than the other’s–and you can be a judge simply by posting who you think came up with the better Builds in the Comments section below!

Up first is HypeFox with… The Green Lantern Corps!!

 

"I have the power to overcome great fear. And I have a flying, invulnerable Falcon automaton that sharts on any who would oppose me!"

“I may or may not have the power to overcome great fear, but I definitely have a flying, invulnerable Falcon automaton that sharts on any who would oppose me.”

GREEN LANTERN CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name:Threat Level Green

ThemeMystical

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Green Lantern Corps: Iron Pharaoh (who, when you think about it, isn’t really even associated with the Marvel Universe–he was just on ONE alternate cover at some point); Shaman; Lockheed; and Thule Society Priest (in other words, the whole team!)

Roster:

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110 Points

IIM040 Shaman – 92

w/ ATA005 Alpha Flight4

FI001 Thule Society Priest21

WXM080 Lockheed16

WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps)2

WOLR300 Green Lantern Ring8

WOLR200 Shield (Green)8

WOLR200.01 Net (Green)8

WOLR200.04 Wall (Green)10

WOLR200.05 Crossbow (Green)10

WOLR200.09 Nurse (Green)10

=299 (It took all my Willpower not to make this an even 300 Point team… )

 

How It Plays: This is a version of the Iron Pharaoh/Shaman stall, seek & destroy team that I’m always pitching in one form or another–this time with a Green twist!! Firstly, while extremely effective in their own right, none of these characters have Willpower–that’s where the Green Ring comes in! Every time a Green Construct is given to a member of this team, in addition to the Construct’s effects, that member gains access to Willpower! ANNNNNNDD they then have 50% chance to ignore opposing Outwit and Perplex!

50% Of the Time

Iron Pharaoh plus the RCE-granting Crossbow equals a ton of damage dealing that can see through just about anything. Shaman grounds all characters with the Wing Symbol and offers Perplex and Barrier top dial–all of which should help in delaying the opposition from getting to you! Lockheed can be a pest, but his main purpose is providing another tie-up piece who can Energy Explode if your opponent bunches up his figures, as well as being another Mystical body on your side at the beginning of the game for Map Roll (Hint: If you win Map Roll, choose Wundagore Mountain or the weird SLoSH Apokolips map that has like 50 Elevated areas so that it’ll be nigh impossible for your opponent to get to the Pharaoh without getting rocked). Thule Society Priest is kind of there for the same reason as Lockheed, but pushing him to get to a Prob Control is not a terrible idea. Still, most of your damage is going to come from Iron Pharaoh and Shaman–but that should be more than enough!

 

Condescending Ninwashui

CONDESCENDING NINWASHUI Chirps: “Oh, wow, you shouldn’t have gone to all that trouble to innovate such a bold Build. I mean, it must have taken just a metric poop-ton of brainpower for you to come up with a team that you’ve pitched about 7 times before. Oh, well done, sir. Bravo! Ooooo, but you know who would really like this team?

 

Quizzical HypeFox

QUIZZICAL HYPEFOX Ponders: “Uhhhh... ”

 

Ninwashui Dwight Schrute

POMPOUS NINWASHUI Retorts: “No one. But for a team that absolutely EVERYONE will just LOVE, look no further than the next entry!”

 

Hellfire Club

STAR SAPPHIRES (Ninwashui Build)

Team Name: As Long As Our Love (And My Head) Survives

Theme:

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Star Sapphires: The Hellfire Club’s Black King and White King

Roster:

WXM035 Black King – 165 Points

WXM020 White King – 107

WOLR106 Power Battery (Star Sapphires)2

WOLR306 Star Sapphire Ring8

WOLR206.08 Scissors (Violet) – 8

WOLR206.09 Nurse (Violet)10

=300 (Oh, look, HypeFox, no wasted points! It’s almost like one of us knows what they’re doing!)

 

How It Plays: This one is pretty basic. Take two guys who are basically unkillable, give them the Mystics TA and Shape Change (so that your opponent is only hurting himself when he tries to hurt you) and a way to heal the Black King (the Nurse Construct), and watch as your fiendish society takes over the world. Black King is a beast who only gets more powerful the more damage he takes (and remember, while he takes damage, your opponent is taking that Mystics unavoidable damage!), and–at 11 Clicks long–he can take a LOT of punishment. Meanwhile, White King will Charge around the map with his Scissors-granted Exploit Weakness and native Super Strength. Also, his Leadership works on Black King! Oh, and as long as Black King is on the map, White King can’t truly die. Which means that he’ll keep coming back over and over–and your opponent will have to grind through those Mystic clicks over and over. A perfect recipe for pain!

 

Ambivalent Giraffe

AMBIVALENT GIRAFFE HYPEFOX Responds: “It’s also a perfect recipe for boredom! Really?! Two characters, one of whom is meant to die over and over and the other who has to be hit A TON before you get to his super clicks? This might be an effective team, but I don’t think it’d be a fun one. Not as fun as, say, bringing the Sinister Syndicate into the Black Lantern Corps…

 

"Maxwell Dillon of Earth, you have the power to kill a ton of $#!t. Welcome to the Black Lantern Corps!"

“Maxwell Dillon of Earth, you have the power to kill a ton of $#!t. Welcome to the Black Lantern Corps!”

BLACK LANTERN CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name: What’s Black and White and Dead All Over?

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Black Lantern Corps:

Roster:

DP064 Electro – 90 Points

w/ ATA091 Sinister Twelve – 4

ASM019 Vulture – 61

w/ ATA091 Sinister Twelve – 4

ASM030 Lizard – 88

w/ ATA091 Sinister Twelve – 4

DOFPH003 Human Protester – 10

FIB008 Photographer – 3

WOLR108 Power Battery (Black Lantern Corps)2

WOLR308 Black Lantern Ring – 6

WOLR208.01 Net (Black)8

WOLR208.03 Mallet (Black) – 4

WOLR208.07 Catapult (Black)10

WOLR208.14 Sniper Rifle (Black)6

=300 (See Ninwashui? I can make 300 point teams too. I just don’t need to crow about it at the top of my lungs. No, like my team, I prefer to wait quietly in the shadows, silent but deadly…)

 

Smiling Raccoon Ninwashui

GIGGLING RACCOON NINWASHUI Points Out: “Yup! I’ve often described things you’ve created as silent but deadly.”

 

How It Plays: I hate you. Anyway, the Black Lantern Ring gives Steal Energy (and heals any bearers 1 Click when an opposing fig is KO’d) and the Black Battery will sometimes increase that Steal Energy Healing by 1. All of which means that Zombie Electro, if he gets even one hit in, will probably be around forever. Vulture can transport both Electro and Lizard at the same time, and if you give the Catapult to the Human Protester or (better yet) the Photographer, they can TK any of your characters to where they need to be.

Lizard will get the Mallet, which gives him BOTH Quake and Steal Energy–a combo we know from the good ol’ days of Lizard plus Angrir’s Hammer that works extremely efficiently. Zombie Electro gets the Sniper Rifle, and Vulture gets the Net to use as he sees fit–hopefully, he’ll deploy it after a Charge in which he did B/C/F or Exploit Weakness damage to keep any other targets in place while Electro readies a Pen/Psy/EE blast, which we’ve talked about at length before (it’s still pretty sick).

And don’t overlook Human Protester. While he and Photographer were mostly included on this force to goose the activation of the Sinister Twelve ATA, he can do decent damage in his own right against adjacent opposing figures. And if your opponent is playing mutants, he actually kind of hoses those teams a lil’.

But this team really digs into the Black Lantern theme aspect with Electro. KO’ing dudes and then adding them to your force is soooooo Black Lantern Corps, right? Right?

 

Ninwashui Raccoon Five Fingers

FIVE-FINGER-DEATHPUNCHING NINWASHUI Says: “I like that you’ve given me five figures to kill with any of the epic Builds that I’ve come up with. Giving TK to a POG isn’t a bad idea, and Electro is a hot mess of damage dealing. This isn’t a terrible Build. But just as Death must always give way to Life, your crappy Black Lantern Corps Build must give way to my Awesomesauce White Lantern Corps Build. Coming up NEXT!”

 

White Lantern Iron Man

WHITE LANTERN CORPS (Ninwashui Build)

Team Name: If You Ain’t White, You Ain’t Right (Please Note that this is a Modern Family reference and not a bold new racist direction for Critical Missives) !!

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

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Black Lantern Corps: Iron Man and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!!

Roster:

IIM001AE Iron Man – 150 Points

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent – 36

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent – 36

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent – 36

WOLR101 Power Battery (White Lantern Corps)2

WOLR301 White Lantern Ring6

WOLR201.01 Net (White)8

WOLR201.04 Wall (White) – 10

WOLR201.05 Crossbow (White)10

WOLR201.14 Sniper Rifle (White)6

=300 (Nailed it again!!)

 

How It Plays: Basically, this is the team that won’t die. Once per game, each character gets a stop click. You can also give any White Construct holder a Power Action and heal everyone in a six-square radius for 1 Click. In the meantime, Iron Man can Mastermind damage to any adjacent S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (who again, can’t be killed from one shot). Meanwhile, Iron Man can shoot, Perplex AND Outwit  through both Blocking and Hindering Terrain (which means Map Choice can be a HUGE advantage for this squad). Oh, and did I mention they all have the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA? So like Spinal Tap’s amps, Iron Man’s Range goes to 11. And if they manage to base IM, all those Agents also have Empower. Basically, Iron Man is either punching or shooting for a ton of damage every turn while the Agents make pests of themselves by either healing, creating Blocking Terrain, Hindering Terrain that must be broken away from, or even sniping for 2 Damage from 10 Squares away.

In short, this team will outlast any of the pathetic Builds HypeFox has inflicted upon us these last few weeks.

 

12th Doctor HypeFox

UNAMUSED HYPEFOX Notes: “Oh, you really think so? Then how about a little wager? We let the people decide. Because they’re never small to me. And the loser gives a Guardians of the Galaxy pack to the winner’s favorite charity. Or even to the winner. Actually, that makes more sense.

 

Ninwashui Mean Face

MEAN FACE NINWASHUI Growls: “You, sir, are on! Heh.”

 

12th Doctor 2 HypeFox

CONFIDENT HYPEFOX Wonders: “What’s so funny? You’re about to lose!

 

RAccoon Ninwashui smiles

GRINNING NINWASHUI Shouts: “You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you? But you fell victim to one of the classic blunders–the most famous of which is “never get involved in a flame war online about comic-book movies“–but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against a Raccoon when Clix are on the line“! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…

… Um… I mean, are we just sticking around for the poll to go up, or–whoops! There we go.

 

The Price to Play!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 08/10/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd… we’re back!

Sooooo much has happened in the last two weeks in the world of ‘Clix and sports. My Tigers traded at the deadline for one Mr. David Price! Yay! Then they squandered a pretty decent second outing from the Cy Young’er before going on to lose in 19 FREAKING INNINGS! Good gosh.  To be honest, I can’t believe our bullpen held up that long. Even Joe Nathan came through.

Still, it was tense, especially with the Blue Jays constantly on the bases.

Noted Tigers fans Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield could barely stand to watch!

Noted Tigers fans Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield during Sunday’s 19-inning marathon.

What else… what else… Oh, yeah, THIS HAPPENED!!

Cars were floating away down streets. BUT THOSE STUPID ORANGE CONSTRUCTION CONES DIDN'T EVEN BUDGE. WHAAAA....????

During Michigan floods, orange construction barrels become road buoys.

THE RAIN APOCALYPSE CAME AND WENT!! My Lord, that was a lot of water. In the 35 years I’ve been on this Earth, I have never seen Southeastern Michigan flooded before like it was today. Dogs sleeping with cats, cars being swept along streets BY THE TIDE (BUT NOT THE HOLLOW ORANGE CONSTRUCTION BARRELS–OH NO!! APPARENTLY THOSE NEVER MOVE!!)!! Just total insanity!

Incidentally, this is what the Zombie Apocalypse will look like.

Incidentally, this is what the Zombie Apocalypse will look like as well.

After a crazy day like this, I need something normal in my life. Something to restore the balance; something familiar, that’ll let me know life is getting back to normal. You know what? You know what I need? I could really use a…

 

WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

(Whew! Okay! I can already feel things normalizing! Here we go!)

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

–As always, Dial H for Heroclix was new for the past two weeks! Episode 55 dealt with some Sealed advice for War of Light Wave 2, and Episode 56 is a sort of survival guide for anyone going to GenCon!

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still stuck on Episode 2.5!! If you missed it, they discuss last month’s Nationals, work in some War of the Light talk and check in with some listeners!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is now… Episode 24!! It features an interview with Patrick Yapjoco-slayer recent ROC winner Kevin Afrooz as well as coverage of the Tulsa ROC.

Welcome... to the ROC!

–The ROC continues to streamline their system; they just offered a new breakdown (including costs and prize structure) to stores thinking about holding an ROC event.

–Weaponer of Qward has taken a ROC! Read all about the Bluegrass Mafia’s Super Qualifier (from Lexington, Kentucky) right here!

–A token team backed up by the Power Plant; Bill, Agent of A.I.M.; and a fistful of Weasels and Blind Als has taken the Tulsa Heroclix Group Road to DragonCon 2014 Super Qualifier!

–Speaking of, the full ROC/DragonCon announcement is here!

 

Preview

–Still no official Previews from WizKids, which, again, is weird since GotG releases THIS WEEK! Still, we know a few things:

-The Rares are great! Thanos, like Darkseid in SL0SH, is just a Rare (and he’s got a “Thanosi” Prime as well). Gorr the God-Butcher also looks pretty powerful from the Rare slot. You can see a pretty good list of the expected figures (including ANOTHER Squadron Supreme Super Rare Prime) in the Forums at HCRealms.com.

–The Zombie Chases are, well… SEVERELY UNDERWHELMING at this point. Magneto (who I thought was just murdered by the Zombie hordes in that storyline–I don’t recall him actually becoming a Zombie, but whatever) and Mole Man have me a lil’ excited (more on them in a sec), but not much else. Many of the Chases have been at least partially spoiled. You can find an eBay auction for Zombie Skrull (not Zombie Super-Skrull–just Zombie regular Skrull) that shows part of his card; the other Chases we know about (Zombie Mole Man, Zombie Red Skull, Zombie Gladiator, Zombie Magneto and Zombie Morbius) don’t really move the needle too much.

Zombie Magneto seems decently useful; I’ve heard Zombie Gladiator is, frankly, hot garbage–a (maybe) 150 point character that somehow costs you 250 to field. Zombie Morbius doesn’t seem a heck of a lot different from his ASM version–pretty weak for his points until you get him back to Click 1 via Steal Energy, if you can. Zombie Mole Man seems like an 80-Point Zombie Taxi, although it’s hard to tell exactly what he does from that eBay picture. Finally, Zombie Red Skull is a fairly effective (although slightly expensive) Close Combat piece with some decent supporting powers if his teammates are Zombies or Hydra agents.

 

Wizkids

–Speaking of GotG, (surprise, surprise) it may not release quite on schedule due to shipping delays from China. And stuff.

(Honestly, with GenCon going on this week as well as many venues running War of Light Month 3, a one-week delay shouldn’t raise nearly the amount of complaints as it would have had there been nothing else going on.)

–In case you missed it a couple weeks ago, WizKids has finally responded to the popularity of the ROC, and it’s THIS!! If any of those seven locations was within three hours of Detroit (Chicago is like 4 and 1/2 on a GOOD traffic day), I’d be a little more excited about this…

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay, for this week’s Army of the Week, we’re gonna spotlight Joshua Earnest’s team from the Tulsa ROC we mentioned above.

Agency X

Team NameCall Us Whatever You Want, As Long As You Call Us Winners!

ThemeAgency X

Roster:

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M.30 Points

DP020 Weasel27

DP020 Weasel27

DP018 Blind Al13

DP018 Blind Al13

DOFPH002 Sentinel Sentry x 342 

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

FIH002 Warbot (Rocket) x345

FIH003 Warbot (Machine Gun) x345

IIMR100 Power Plant (everything but Ice Blast)28

=300 Points

 

What We Like: The creativity! Joshua constructed a team where all of his primary, secondary AND tertiary attackers are Horde Tokens/Stacks! The actual figures he chose are the support pieces, an inverse of what we often see. Skadi’s Warbot can be devastatingly effective, particularly with Weasel backing him up. Since he’s Carry ability would most likely kill Skadi’s Warbot, I assume Bill, Agent of A.I.M. is there to move all the support pieces and the other Warbots (who have Toughness) into place and then make sure that they can all open up on their target regardless of line of fire. Because it’s technically a Theme team, each of those support pieces could use Theme Prob as well.

This is an army that would require a Master’s Degree in Positioning and Action Management to run effectively, but clearly Joshua was up to the task! This is definitely one of the most unique ROC-winning teams I’ve ever seen, and I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Bill and his High-Energy Finder Thing at the ROC or the Sentinel Sentry tokens, either. Well done, Joshua!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Guardians of the Galaxy lived up to the hype! Great flick, even greater box office. Highly recommended, although why we didn’t get a [EDITOR’S NOTE: Name redacted.] Clix in the GotG Movie Set from his appearance at the end of the post-credits scene is beyond me! I mean, he’s a Marvel character, he’s carried his own movie before, and he’s popular enough that he’s already had SEVERAL Clix in the past. Oh well–missed opportunity!

–How successful was this movie? Successful enough that Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Electric Bugaloo already has a release date! By the way, if I could buy stock in Chris Pratt’s career or the popularity of Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon, I would. Like, now.

 

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

Critical Missives:

–Okay, there was only one major article that dropped since the last Weekly Roundup, but it was a doozy! 4000+ words about ranking the Entity Chases from War of Light!

–As always, here’s another reminder that we’re finally on Twitter! You can follow us @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

 

And that’s it for this week!! We’ll be back later this week with more and better coverage of War of Light (now that we’re knee deep in Wave 2), and we’ll be posting a Top 10 Review of Guardians of the Galaxy just a bit after that set releases!

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

Straight, With CHASEr 2: Evaluating Legal Entities!! (Or, Ranking the War of Light Entities!!)

"Ummm... what's the twist?"

“Ummm… what’s the twist? The one African American dude? Wait, is this album cover inadvertently racist?”

Welcome Back!

A couple months ago, we evaluated all the Modern Age Chase-level rarity pieces and chose what we thought were the Top Ten, then came up with armies that included each figure as an example of what you could do with them. It was a fun exercise that allowed us to publish numerous pictures of Ninwashui as a drunk kitty, but it was also immediately invalidated within a week of its publication by the release of the War of Light Wave 1 spoilers and the coming of the Entities (Chase figures that basically act like resources without actually BEING a resource–sorry M10 Iron Man!).

Well, now that we’re on the cusp of Month 3 of War of Light, we finally have the spoiled dials for the second wave of Entities (so called because they all share the named “Entity” keyword), and we can actually evaluate each Entity against its peers! We’re not doing armies today, just because this article would easily top 6000 words if we did. Also, Ninwashui is now a drunk raccoon, so I have to dig up all new photos. Next time, I promise.

"This'll be published in 3D, right? Otherwise we're all just gonna look silly!"

“This’ll be published in 3D, right? Otherwise we’re all just gonna look silly!”

A couple final notes before we get started:

–The Chases are extremely rare (seems to be roughly 2 Chases for every 3 Bricks of War of Light) which has only caused their value to skyrocket–most will run you $100 or more (as of this writing, that is). With Month 3 about to start at many venues, the Wave 2 boosters will be arriving this month–and with them, 5 new Entities (4 Chases and 1 Super Rare–more on that in a little bit though).

–What makes these figures so valuable is their shared Trait (ENTITY POSSESSION: When Proselyte would be KO’d or, if you pay 25 points when building your force, place Proselyte on another friendly character’s card if that character is 25 points or more, has the “fist” or “sharpshooter” symbol, the “shield” or “indomitable” symbol, and the “tiny” or “burst” symbol. That character has [Insert Entity’s name here]‘s keywords and can use the Possessed ability with this character as the Possessor. When that character is KO’d, Proselyte is removed from the game.).

That’s a lot of words, but I bolded the relevant points. What is the Possessed ability? Why, I have it right here (POSSESSED: Click the Possessor’s dial to the same click number as this character and change it during the game in the same way that this character’s dial changes. At the beginning of each of your turns or after this character takes or is healed of damage and actions resolve, you may choose 1 power showing on one Possessor’s dial and 1 combat value on one Possessor’s dial higher than this character’s printed combat value. This character can use that power and modifies that combat value by +1 until your next turn or until it is healed or takes damage. If the Possessor is turned to a KO click, it is removed from the game immediately.)!

Essentially what this means is that you can take virtually any substantial figure in the game (as long as it’s at least 25 points and, like, not a Duo, Giant or Colossal) and give them limited access each turn to a very powerful Entity dial–and this is in addition to any resources you might be playing. This can make even 2 or 3 star figures ridiculously good very quickly.

–Each Entity can be fielded as a figure on its own, but most are pretty middling when played normally. The cheapest is 150 (Entity). The most expensive is 250 (Parallax–which makes sense, given all the trouble he’s caused in the comics). Black Hand (expensive, but his dial is long and effective, and he has Running Shot–not all Entities have a top dial move-and-attack), Ophidian (at least starts with some Sidestep, decent Range, and his top dial Outwit Special is just about the best version of Outwit in Modern Age right now), Entity (because he’s cheap-ish) and Predator (10 Range 2 Bolt Energy Explosion; 18 with ES/D if your opponent wants to retaliate) are all, at the very least, INTERESTING if you’re looking to play an Entity normally. The rest are a tougher sell.

Ion’s Trait (I AM ION, INCARNATION OF THE CORPS: Characters using the Possessed ability while Ion is the Possessor may choose to modify 2 combat values from Ion instead of 1 and may use 2 powers from Ion instead of 1.) straight up tells you, “You’re an idiot if you don’t play Ion as a Possessor,” right there on his card. Parallax is solid from his second click on, but he costs 250 points–the same as Parallax Hal Jordan (which clearly means that there should be a 0-point Hal Jordan out there somewhere that I can play…), who’s easier to build an effective team around. Butcher is a great close combat piece; unfortunately he doesn’t get Quintessence until halfway down his dial, so a team that uses him as the focal point might get out-actioned pretty quickly–and that’s if he doesn’t get lit up on his approach, which is very possible considering he doesn’t really have any native attack avoidance (Stealth, Super Senses, Shape Change, etc.). Adara doesn’t have enough offense to justify being your main piece. And I’m sorry, but you’re not building a 300 point team around Proselyte. You’re just not.

For these reasons, we’re strictly going to be evaluating the Entity’s based on the usefulness while using the ENTITY POSSESSION power.

–Nekron IS an Entity–but he doesn’t have the Possession Trait (well, on one of his dials he can kinda sorta Possess himself–not at the table, Carlos!–by allowing himself access to the powers on his other dials). Therefore, we’ll not be discussing him here today, although I’m sure his time will come! Alrighty!

–As always, figures will be rated on a scale of 1-5 Oxygen Filtration Masks. Why Oxygen Filtration Masks? Because it worked so well for our Guardians of the Galaxy Movie set review, that’s why! But having said that, ALL the Entities are pretty damn good relative to other pieces. But, as stated before, we’re measuring the best of the best here, so those are some pretty high standards!

Okay! I think we’re done with the preliminaries. Here, then, is:

Straight, With CHASEr 2: Electric Bugaloo!! Evaluating Legal Entities!!

"If there's one thing in this universe that just screams 'Compassion,' it's gotta be an ethereal mass of pulsing tentacles!"

“If there’s one thing in this universe that just personifies ‘compassion,’ it’s gotta be an ethereal mass of pulsing purple tentacles!”

9. WOL064P ProselyteIndigo Tribe Entity: You’re playing War of Light with Wave 2 boosters, you’ve never pulled an Entity before, and you’re just praying to all that’s holy that today is your lucky day. You pop open your first booster, pull it out, and discover that you’ve just gotten Proselyte. The good news? You now have an Entity! The bad news? You’ve got the worst one!

The biggest thing Proselyte gives you top dial is Perplex. Not a “only to increase combat values” type of Perplex but an honest to goodness actual Perplex. Outside of War of Light Sealed play, though, Perplex is, frankly, one of the easiest top dial abilities to give a character. For 5 more points, you can play a complete Book of the Skull (which starts out giving one of your Hammer wielders Perplex) or a complete Power Plant (which may not grant Perplex specifically, but is still a damn good resource and grants a ton of powers on its own!). Comparing Entities to Resources isn’t exactly a 1 t0 1 comparison, but if I’m investing 25 points to boost one of my figures, I want a little more than just access to Perplex and +1 Damage (the usefulness of the stat modifiers depends so heavily on which figure you’re Possessing, but frankly, all of Proselyte’s starting stats suck except for Damage and Movement. Even its Range–just a 5–is really poor).

If you don’t want Perplex, your other choices are Plasticity (useful occasionally), Super Strength (half the figures who’d benefit from Super Strength already have it!) or Toughness (the worst damage absorption power). On Click 2, Proselyte picks up a mildly interesting Movement Special (CHANNEL THE LIGHT OF THE OTHER CORPS: Give Proselyte a free action and choose a color that isn’t brown, black, grey or pink. Proselyte can use a standard power of the chosen color until your next turn.), but it’s not until you get to Click 3 and Proselyte’s Damage Special (HEART OF COMPASSION: Friendly figures that can use Support may do so even if an opposing figure is adjacent to the friendly figure or the target. When they do modify the result of the 2d6 roll by +2 and don’t subtract 2 from the d6 roll.) that you start to see what the developers intended for this piece: Healing.

But even this epiphany raises as many questions as it answers. First, Proselyte does not have a native Support power (look again–his Special reads “friendly figures that CAN USE SUPPORT… “); you can give the Possessed character Support with Channel the Light of the Other Corps BUT THEN YOU CAN’T USE HEART OF COMPASSION! It’s a Catch 22, which leaves you with just two choices that I can think of to remedy the situation.

First, you can play A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SUPPORT-POSSESSING FIGURE TO BE YOUR HEALER. This is the easiest way to go, although it’s also the most points-intensive way to go, since it involves adding a whole other figure to your force than you may have wished to field (and at this point you can almost throw Theme out the window, unless you want to pay ANOTHER 25 points for ANOTHER Entity to possess the healer you just added to your team, and dammit, before you know it, it’s Turtles all the way down).

Your second choice is to play Proselyte on a figure who already has Support. Easy enough, right? Nope–you have to make sure that the base figure has Support ON CLICK 3! Top dial or even second Click Support does you no good if you want to boost it with Heart of Compassion.

I mean, I suppose Proselyte is useful in supercharging a medic piece in a 400+ point game as long as you’re fielding a bunch of $100+ Entities; outside of that specific circumstance, I have to say, as Entities go, Proselyte is by far the worst.

GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $103.50 to $149.99 (I’m not Nostradamus, but I guarantee you this will come down. You can practically get Parallax for $150. If you have a Proselyte and are thinking of selling, now would be the time, buckaroo!)

 

Butcher Entity

8. WOL066P ButcherRed Lantern Corps Entity: The Red Lantern Entity has a top dial 5 Damage and 12 Attack Value, so right off the bat there will probably be a decent stat buff for most characters there. But he’s number 8 on this list because he offers almost nothing in terms of selectable powers–especially in the beginning. Butcher is one of the only Entities who doesn’t offer a power in all four slots top dial.

He starts off with Charge, Toughness and a Damage Special (HEAT OF RAGE: Once per turn, a friendly character may reroll the d6 roll for Blades/Claws/Fangs.) that really only works if you’ve built a whole team of B/C/F’ers. And if you’ve built a team of close combatants, I’m guessing most will already come equipped with Charge and/or Toughness (at least), so his Damage Special almost by default becomes the only power worth taking. I know there are some Red Lanterns out there with B/C/F, so army construction is key when using a piece like Butcher.

If you possess a character with a long dial (and/or if you have him possess the Rookie dial of a piece), Butcher starts to shine a little, offering Flurry, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness. Unfortunately, you have to get to, like, click 9 for most of those powers to show up.

Butcher’s better than Proselyte, but that’s damning with faint praise.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $125-$185 (Again, I don’t think the Butcher is sustainable around that level, so I’d recommend trading him for a more useful Entity or selling him!)

 

"I am not a Yu-Gi-Oh!!, mortal!"

“I am not a Yu-Gi-Oh!, mortal!”

7. WOL068P PredatorStar Sapphires Entity: Now we are starting to get into the truly useful Entities. Stats-wise, Predator’s top dial is top notch, offering (among other numbers) 10 Range, 18 Defense and 4 Damage. Most characters you’ll want to play with Predator should be able to buff ONE of those stats. And while Predator doesn’t offer any Specials at the beginning, it does give you the option of picking from 4 powers, all of them useful: Sidestep, Energy Explosion, Energy Shield/Deflection or Shape Change.

Further down Predator’s dial comes a Click 4 Movement Special (COSMIC LOVE: Predator can use Shape Change, the Quintessence and Mystics team ability.), and Click 6 brings a truly bonkers Damage Special (POWER OF LOVE: All characters within range can use Mind Control.), which is great if you’re trying to create mass chaos during endgame scenarios.

Predator is not as game-changing as some of the other Entities, but it offers solid options in every slot and is definitely worth the 25 points it takes to field it. Predator is also a great choice if you’re putting together a Meta team and need that second or third Entity to form a Theme Team.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $150-$199 (All of these Wave 2 Entities will depreciate slightly, but I expect Predator to hold its value AT LEAST as well as Butcher and Proselyte)

 

"William Hand of Earth. Your mother is calling."

“William Hand of Earth. Your mother is calling.”

6. WOL061P EntityWhite Lantern Corps Entity: Top dial, Entity’s stats aren’t overwhelming; 8 Range, 10 Movement, 18 Defense and 4 Damage should let you pump up something. But Entity offers a couple EXTREMELY useful powers on Click 1. Probability Control is one of the best powers in the game, and Entity’s Movement Special (FLOW OF LIFE: At the beginning of your turn, you may heal one adjacent character without the Black Lantern Corps keyword 1 click.) is extraordinary in its ability to heal without a die roll. Sorta like Forge’s mechanical healing ability, but it works on everyone (well, everyone who’s not a Black Lantern).

Also of interest are Clicks 4 and 8, which grant a Special Stop Click (COSMIC LIFE: Entity can use Regeneration and the Quintessence team ability. When turning the dial, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. This power can’t be ignored.). Unfortunately, the Stop part of the Stop Click won’t really do you any good, but being able to pick up Regeneration on Click 4 just might save the day. The fact that you ignore pushing damage and become un-Outwittable on the Click is also a bonus.

And, at the end of the day, Entity IS the White Lantern Entity, which really makes him a must play for White Lantern teams (that is, as with all of these pieces, assuming that you ever GET one, of course).

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $71-$130 (He may come down a little bit, at least until someone finds some way to completely abuse his healing power.)

 

"Do not fear, mortal, all is welllll--holy $#!#! Is that blood?! Oh hell no!!"

“Do not fear, mortal, all is welllll–holy $#!#! Is that blood?! Oh hell no!! Adara out!”

5. WOL067P AdaraBlue Lantern Corps Entity: The ultimate support Entity! Top dial, Adara gives a character your choice of Telekinesis, Defend (with an 18 Defense that goes to 19 on the second Click) or Probability Control. Basically, with Adara, you get access to the full Scarlet.

Alright!

Alright!

(Author’s Note: Nope! Not even a little bit what I meant by “access to the full Scarlet!More than a little disturbing that you had THAT photo ready to go.)

Scarlet Witch AvX

(Author’s Note: There we go!)

Okay, sorry about that. My editor was a little quick on the “Scarlet” trigger there. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah–so Adara basically turns any eligible character you want in FFCW006 Scarlet Witch. Only for 25 points instead of 75. And you get Adara’s neat little Defend trick on top of everything else (which has already been put to Meta use in many recent ROC’s by having Adara Possess Despotellis). Adara’s early placement and defense shenanigans give way mid-dial to a Special Attack power (SURGE OF HOPE: Friendly characters who can use Empower or Enhancement treat other friendly characters within 3 squares and line of fire of that character as adjacent for the purposes of those powers.) that starts pumping up your team’s offensive capabilities too.

Adara’s only negative–and it’s really only a negative when compared to the other Entities–is that her best Special (COSMIC HOPE: Adora can use Perplex, but only to increase combat values. Adora can use the Quintessence team ability.) doesn’t show up until Click 7. Otherwise, Adara is a proven commodity that can boost the effectiveness of just about any character.

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $71.00 + (Despite Adara’s ROC success, the price tag has not moved much. Your guess is as good as mine, but if you’re saving up for an Entity, Adara for somewhere around $70-$90 certainly seems to make A LOT more sense than, say, $150 for Proselyte or $185 for Butcher.)

 

Creepy? Sure, but this would still be an average Tuesday night for the Joker. Just sayin'.

Creepy? Sure, but this would just be an average Tuesday night for the Joker. Just sayin’.

4. WOL060P Black HandBlack Lantern Corps Entity: What?! An Entity that’s not a Chase? Sweet! Finally! Now I don’t have to pay $80 just to–what? He’s already going for like $120? Sigh…

Anyway, Black Hand here offers four great powers at the top of his dial for you to choose from. Got a big hitter who’s stuck with, say, no move-and-attack? Black Hand can give him Running Shot. Do you have a ranged attacker you like who just has Pulse Wave even though you need to reach out and touch someone with a full range attack? Black Hand can grant Penetrating/Psychic Blast! Hard to hit piece that has Super Senses or ES/D but no dampeners? Yup, Black Hand can enable Invulnerability. Or, if you’re just trying to counterattack after your opponent misses, try Black Hand’s Damage Special (DESPAIR OF THE BLACKEST NIGHT: When an opposing character misses an attack, choose an opposing character within 10 squares and line of fire and modify that character’s defense value by -1 until the end of your next turn.) on for size.

On his second Click (and every even Click thereafter), Black Hand turns into a Black Lantern Corps enabler. His Movement (OBLIVION OF DEATH: When a friendly character with the Black Lantern Corps keyword is healed because an opposing character is KO’d, increase the healing by 1.) and Attack (DEATH: Black Hand can use Steal Energy. When an opposing character is KO’d, heal Black Hand of 1 damage.) Specials puts the swarming and healing capabilities of every Black Lantern into overdrive. You can really start to turn the tide of a game when your entire army heals 2 Clicks every time you KO an opposing figure (“Okay, I just took out one of your Warbot POG’s, and I have four Black Lanterns, so that kill will net me… 8 clicks of healing! And, every character I have is back to top dial!“).

The final thing that must be noted about Black Hand: He himself can be Possessed! He’s the only Entity that doesn’t have the Giant Damage Symbol, so you can run him as a normal figure and have another Entity Possess him! None of the other Entities can do that. And with 10 Clicks of life, Black Hand can definitely get the most out of a Possessor’s dial!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $82-$110 (As more become available, this price will drop some; as Black Hand is damn good, and an Entity, I don’t expect it to drop much.)

 

Ophidian

3. WOL063P OphidianOrange Lantern Corps Entity: And now we’re closing in on the best of the best. Top dial, Ophidian can grant you your choice of: Sidestep; Pulse Wave; Invulnerability; or a sick version of Outwit (DESIRE OF GREED: Ophidian can use Outwit. When it does it can use the countered power or ability for as long as it’s countered.). Click 2 brings (COSMIC GREED: Ophidian can use Barrier, Plasticity, and the Quintessence team ability.) and Shape Change (Shape Change! Good Lord, I love Shape Change. I have a Larfleeze because of the Shape Change Ophidian granted my Red Lantern Superboy Prime–y’know what? For more details about how I exchanged my moral compass and good manners for a WOL Month 1 tourney win, click here!).

When you get closer to the mid-dial, Ophidian also offers Hypersonic Speed. If you don’t know why that’s good, this may not be the blog for you! At the end of the day, Ophidian is another Entity who’s ROC-certified. Like DJ Khaled, all he does is win!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks!

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $71-$130. (And worth every penny!)

 

"Obviously, the embodiment of Will is a floating space shark fish. With crazy, shimmery fins. What the $@#& were YOU expecting?"

“Obviously, the embodiment of Will is a floating space shark fish. In space. With crazy, shimmery fins. What the $@#& were YOU expecting?”

2. WOL062P IonGreen Lantern Corps Entity: So, looking back over this list, I’ve been pretty critical of most of the Wave 2 Entities. But I can’t complain about Ion. Ion’s third Trait (and I think he’s the only Entity with 3 Traits, by the way) is, in a word, prettyf@#$ingsick (I AM ION, INCARNATION OF THE CORPS: Characters using the Possessed ability while Ion is the Possessor may choose to modify 2 combat values from Ion instead of 1 and may use 2 powers from Ion instead of 1.).

His combat values are a bit depressed compared to the rest of the Entities; that’s about his only downside, but you can kind of fix that with character choice; a lot of folks tend to pick the biggest and best character they can find and throw an Entity on it. But with Ion especially, you really want a character who will benefit from the double stat boost even before you start looking at the powers Ion can grant.

On Click 2, Ion also gains a Movement Special (FORCE OF WILL: Friendly characters can use Willpower. If they can already do so, increase their defense value by the number of action tokens on them.) that could be extremely useful, especially if you’ve constructed a team with this in mind.

But it all comes back to Ion’s Trait; it’s so powerful that you wonder how it can cost the same 25 points as the others.

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $280 and climbing. (Good Gosh!!)

 

"Impurity restored. Y'know, in the balance of the game."

“Impurity restored. Y’know, in the balance of the game.”

 

1. WOL065P Parallax Sinestro Corps Entity: So, one way to evaluate the Entities that I haven’t really touched on is to look at their point values. Each one cost 25 points to use, but they all grant access to different point level dials. Parallax here has the most expensive dial at 250. That’s means Parallax gives you access to a dial that costs 100 freaking points more than Entity’s dial. And access to either dial COSTS THE SAME AMOUNT OF POINTS!

Top dial is where Parallax shines the most. He grants your choice of: Stealth; Penetrating/Psychic Blast; Impervious or the ridiculously good Damage Special (COSMIC FEAR: Parallax can use Perplex, but only to decrease combat values. Parallax can use the Quintessence team ability.). That’s right–you can give a character top dial Quintessence. Just stupid. And if you can get Parallax to his second click, he’ll grant access to Hypersonic Speed too (just like Ophidian).

Out of all of the Entities, Parallax is the one you should chasing. Or CHASE’n, as the case may be. In Wave 1 (or any Wave, for that matter) you cannot and will not pull a better figure.

GRADE: 6 (out of 5) Oxygen Filtration Masks!

CURRENT VALUE ON EBAY: $120-$200 (The secret’s out. You are going to have to spend some cash if you want Parallax. Or any of these pieces for that matter, but especially Parallax.)

 

Okay! That’s all for the Entities. Agree with our rankings? Disagree? Sound off in the forums below!

And until next time, stay safe, and watch where you draw those lines of fire!

 

 

 

 

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

Roundup

Howdy folks!! Has it been another week already?

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

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

Yep. These are Royals fans.

Yep. These are Royals fans.

And here is a typical Royals highlight:

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

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

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

Check.

Check.

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

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

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

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

Push to Regen

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

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

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


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

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

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

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

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


Preview

Previews:

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

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

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

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

Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D. (+3 to Map Roll)

Build Roster:

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow – 130 Points

ASM017B Brother Voodoo – 79 

CATWS013 Agent 13 – 55

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force – 12

(with 3 Assigned Characters and 5 Fragments) – 24

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

=300

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

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

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

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

Critical Missives:

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!