Heat Check: Wordplay!! (Or, The Top Ten Named Keywords in Modern Age… Right Now!! PART TWO!!)

Kingdom Come Roundtable

 

Hello again! We’re back for Part 2 of our countdown of the best 10 Named Keywords in Modern Age… RIGHT NOW!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: If you missed numbers 10-6 and want to catch up, click here!]

 

Lego Thunderbolts

5. Thunderbolts

We Are Legion!: 32 pieces with 37 different dials (Man-Thing alone has 3!).

Uncle Sam Wants You!: None that I am aware of.

Also Known As: Yup. And, just like the Heroes for Hire ATA, it costs 8 points per character and it’s pretty awesome. Basically, at the beginning of the game, you choose any other Marvel TA (that’s not an ATA, Wild Card TA or an uncopyable TA), and everyone with the Thunderbolts keyword on your team gets that Team Ability. In most cases, this means that you’re choosing Mystics or Avengers Initiative, but you don’t have to decide until the game begins, which means you can scope out your opponent’s team and choose the TA that will be most helpful.

Is your opponent playing some short-dialed pieces that hit hard? Choose Mystics. Are you playing against a Batman Family theme team? Choose Avengers TA. Are you playing a Punisher or Deadpool-led ranged attacking team? Maybe Hydra or S.H.I.E.L.D. will do the trick. Do you want everyone on your team to have Phasing/Teleport? Well… you can’t. Cuz Serpent Society is no longer an official Team Ability–like Morlocks, it is now an ATA and, thusly, sadly ineligible to be copied. All of which just goes to prove my theory: Germans love David Hasselhoff WizKids hates the Serpent Society!

Working Together!: No team base, although, oddly, several of their pieces (Red Hulk, Deadpool) fit on the Avengers Team Base.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: None.

Straight, With Chaser: None.

Shadow of the Colossus: None (Sheessh! How ’bout some more Thunderbolts love, WizKids? We need a Colossal Atlas! Well, not really… ).

Micro Machines: A lot of great pieces under 100 Points, but only 1 dial that qualifies for this: Fast Forces Rookie Mercy, who clocks in at an even 50 Points.

Who Let You In?!: Has to be Kuurth, from Fear Itself. Sure the Juggernaut was a member of the Thunderbolts, but I don’t remember too much Thunderboltin’ around by ol’ Juggs when he was the thrall of the Serpent! Weird that this version of Juggernaut would have the Thunderbolts keyword.

Why Thunderbolts Is #5: Cuz I like them just a tiny bit better than Heroes for Hire, a group with which they share a good many key members. But after the HfH ATA nerf, you’re usually better off playing most of these pieces as Thunderbolts. Plus, you gain access to some Meta pieces like Bullseye, who’s tough to play on a Modern Age Themed Team any other way now that Entities have been nerfed (unless you want to team him with Convention Exclusive Moonstone, M10 Green Goblin or–nope, that’s it. Those are ALL your Modern Age Dark Avengers choices.).

Having played some of these pieces recently, both the Fast Forces and main set version of Elektra that we got in Deadpool were great, and Venom and Deadpool himself have their uses, but holy gawd is the main set Punisher good. Just playing him for 100 Points is a good move, but playing him on a Themed Team that allows you to give him Avengers Initiative for 8 measly point turns him into an absolutely remorseless killing machine.

Which, I suppose, is comic accurate.

Must Have Pieces: Speed Demon, Bullseye, Deadpool Fast Forces Mercy, Deadpool Main Set Punisher–hell, pretty much all of the Deadpool set.

 

Lego X-Men

4. X-Men

We Are Legion!: Whoa! 110 figures with over 134 dials between them!! Holy Schnikes, That’s even more than the Avengers.

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiter, although with a roster list that long, they don’t need one.

Also Known As: Until very recently, none. Now? 3 different ones from which to choose: X-Men: Gold, X-Men: Blue & X-Men (Utopia). They’re all kind of utilitarian (they all kind of revolve around positioning and or Leadership), and each one seems to work much better if you have some version of Cyclops on your team. If you want to play a non-Cyclops X-Men Themed Team, maybe don’t worry so much about the ATA’s…

Working Together!: Wow. Not 1 Team Base… not 2… how about 3 FREAKING TEAM BASES!! Good Lord! And if New Mutants wasn’t a keyword in and of itself, they’d have 4!

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Yup! 2. I bet you remember good ol’ Vampire Jubilee from Wolverine and the X-Men; what you may have forgotten is that the Magneto Prime from that very same set (the Rare Prime) ALSO has the X-Men keyword.

Straight, With Chaser: 6. The Phoenix Five Chases from WXM and… Skrull Wolverine from M10!! In larger point games, the Phoenix Five start to get really broken really quickly. In 300 Point games, Rookie Magik is probably your best bet at 150 Points.

Shadow of the Colossus: Dark Phoenix Cyclops, the Grand Prize from AVX! He can be played at 3 different point levels; his 300 Point level is okay, but his 750 Point level and 1000 Point level are especially deadly.

Micro Machines: Four different members are 50 Points or less, including Prime Jubilee and Moira MacTaggert, one of the best healers in the game!

Who Let You In?!: Pretty solid roster, actually, but I’m gonna go with Husk. While she was certainly part of the official X-Men roster for awhile, she always took a back seat to her brother (Cannonball) in terms of notoriety, and her powers were just plain weird (she basically has the power to shed dead skin like a snake, which, um, allows her to, uh, do stuff). You could almost tell that the writers didn’t know what to do with her either, since they eventually just had her go crazy and, then, when she finally got better, they just had her go away.

Why X-Men Is #4: Because, right now, they have pretty much the largest roster in the game. You can go so many different ways with them and still be competitive. Plus, with so many versions, you can probably play your favorite roster and still be squarely in the Modern Age.

People always talk about the great Avengers pieces we got in AVX, but the X-Men did just as well! And Banshee (my #1 Figure from Deadpool) is ridiculously good for his points.

Must Have Pieces: Banshee is a Meta stud, Prime Jubilee, Gambit can fuel some shenanigans, AVX Cyclops, AVX Magneto, Dark Phoenix, Dark Phoenix Cyclops, DoFP Moira MacTaggert.

 

Lego SHIELD

3. S.H.I.E.L.D.

We Are Legion!: 47 pieces with 51 different dials. This is a sneaky big roster!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: Yes, of a sort. G.W. Bridge will add any character of 150 Points or less to an already existing force of five, provided that the first five characters all share a keyword. In 300 Point games, that’s pretty much gonna be either Soldier or S.H.I.E.L.D., but this Trait starts to get real interesting in larger point games.

Also Known As: Yup! It extends the minimum Range of Outwit, Perplex and Probability Control for just 3 Points per character. It’s incredibly useful, since S.H.I.E.L.D. characters almost always have at least one of those abilities.

Working Together!: No team base.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: You betcha! Remember Brother Voodoo? Yup. He’s also got the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword. Along with Deathlok Prime (heavy hitter from range) and War Machine Prime (heavy hitter from, well, everywhere).

Straight, With Chaser: 2 Chases. The aforementioned Captain America and Black Widow Chase from CATWS, and the, uh, also aforementioned Captain America Skrull Chase from M10.

Shadow of the Colossus: Currently none, but if and when WizKids ever wises up and creates an actual Helicarrier vehicle piece…

Micro Machines: 4. A S.H.I.E.L.D. Soldier. 2 different Agents and Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales) from ASM.

Who Let You In?!: As much as I love the character, since when is Sleepwalker an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Why S.H.I.E.L.D. Is #3: Because S.H.I.E.L.D. teams are some of the most effective teams out there, and they cater to a bunch of different play styles. From big bruisers like Iron Man 001 to War Machine Prime, to smaller, tricky pieces like Brother Voodoo and Agent Sitwell.

Speaking of the agents themselves, each one brings a different set of skills to your team. Sitwell offers a Power Action group Perplex and Sidestep to adjacent characters; Agent 13 can cancel any defensive powers used by adjacent opposing characters; Black Widow can steal opposing Themed Team Probs; Nick Fury can steal the placement of opposing objects; Maria Hill can Outwit opposing characters from across the board (under certain circumstances). And so on.

Beyond the fact that many of these figures are not only fun to play but also tourney tested, you’ll find some of the more unique powers in the game belong to pieces with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword.

Must Have Pieces: Brother Voodoo, Captain America and Black Widow, Agent Sitwell, Agent 13, M10 Iron Man, Living Mummy.

 

Lego Justice League

2. Justice League

We Are Legion!: 80 separate characters with 111 different dials!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiter.

Also Known As: 4 separate ATA’s, although Justice League Dark is kinda obsolete (and was only “okay” to begin with).

“Justice League” is actually kind of sneaky good; for a measly 1 Point per character, it pumps up member defenses by +1 whenever they’re attacked by a character with the Wing, Sharpshooter, Indomitable or Giant combat symbols (just think about how many Meta pieces have one of those symbols for a second–almost all of them will have either Wing or Indomitable).

Working Together!: Yup! It was the original OP Team Base that dominated the tourney scene. It’s a bit obsolete now, but really only because we’re just coming off of a ROC season that banned Team Bases.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: 2. Dark Flash and The Caped Crusader. Dark Flash is perfectly respectable for his points; The Caped Crusader has seen some tourney play.

Straight, With Chaser: While there is a metric poop-ton of Super Rares on the roster, there isn’t actually a Chase piece.

Shadow of the Colossus: Believe it or not, none (The Bug is a “Giant” figure and Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet–a FREAKING JET, mind you–is considered to be normal-sized.

Micro Machines: 4. Crime Syndicate Fast Forces Atomica, Oracle, Rookie Batgirl… and Autopilot Invisible Jet. By the way… 50 Point Autopilot Invisible Jet HAS 10 CLICKS!! Sure, you say, but it’s just a glorified taxi. Uh, Invisible Jet has Pulse Wave on its last 4 Clicks (Range is 6) and a 10 Attack Value on its last 4! Whaaa… ? For 50 Points? How has this not been used more?

Who Let You In?!: I gotta be honest, I never really “got” Geo-Force. I know he has a 35 year history at this point, but I’ve never thought to myself, “Man, I really want to build a Justice League team from the Ge0-Force era!” I mean, even among his fans, he’s thought of more as an Outsider, no?

Why Justice League Is #2: Because there is elite-level quality all up and down their roster. Yeah, most of that quality is named Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, but so what? Each of those characters has no less than 3 awesome versions in Modern right now (actually, those Tab-App figures weren’t bad either–maybe that should be 4 awesome versions!).

Justice League: Trinity War alone added a 5-star Batman and a 5-star Superman. With the addition of Ultra-Heavy objects to the game, Trinity War Veteran Superman can Hypersonic 12 spaces across the board and potentially deal 8 freaking damage! And he’s backed up by a 19 Impervious. A dial like this probably would have cost 300-350 Points as recently as two years ago, but somehow WizKids thinks he’s fair at 250. I’m not saying Supes will destroy the tourney scene (figures who cost more than 200 Points and are not named “Sentry and Void” tend not to do so well at tournaments), but even with his high cost he is a VALUE for his points. Batman is probably even better (we’ll talk more in depth about both these pieces in our JL:TW Top Ten Set review).

But beyond the Trinity, Justice League has access to really special pieces like JL:TW Lex Luthor, that Team Base, and much more. Big point games simply allow you to use your pieces at full strength, but even in 300 Point games, this keyword is very competitive.

Must Have Pieces: Team Base, JL:TW Batman, JL:TW Superman, Fast Forces Atomica, JL:TW Lex Luthor, Elongated Man and The Flash from Flash.

 

Lego Green Lantern Corps

1. Green Lantern Corps

We Are Legion!: 32 different characters featuring 36 different dials.

Uncle Sam Wants You!: Yup–Ion is a Possessor, so you can induct any Modern Age character you want into the Corps (I’d suggest Speed Demon, but then I always suggest Speed Demon for everything).

Also Known As: 1 ATA, The Green Lantern Honor Guard. At 5 Points per member, it’s actually a pretty expensive and very situational +1 buff to Attack Value.

Working Together!: No Team Base. This could change in the future, as I’m sure fans will clamor for it, but that’s assuming that WizKids even makes Team Bases in the future.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Oh, they’ve got Primes. 4 to be exact. Laira Prime was one of the key pieces on the 2014 World Championship winning team, and she’s maybe the THIRD best prime with the keyword. Abin Sur and Tomar Tu are both better; regardless, all FOUR GLC Primes can use the extremely awesome “CONSTRUCT” Trait.

Straight, With Chaser: Ion is the lone Chase, but during his peak, he was going for over $200–he’s that good. As a Possessor, that is.

Shadow of the Colossus: None.

Micro Machines: 2 besides Ion when used as a Possessor. Green Lantern Recruit is pretty good; Abin Sur Prime is probably the best 50 Piece in Modern (although that’s deceiving, since you need to add another 8-10 Points for his Construct Trait).

Who Let You In?!: It’s not that they shouldn’t have made Simon Baz; his WOL LE was great! I just don’t need another, frankly inferior Simon Baz just two sets later.

Why Green Lantern Corps Has to Be #1: Because no other keyword has put more pieces in more high level tournament Top 8’s (ROC, World Championship, etc.). LE Kyle Rayner is almost silly he’s so good. All the WOL Primes are great; Abin Sur and Tomar Tu are ridiculously effective for their points.

The fact that the CONSTRUCT Trait is so good is really what powers their success, especially in ROC tourneys. And they have no less than 11 different pieces that can use that Trait!

Even in tournaments where Resources are allowed, the Green Power Battery interacts so well with their keyword that almost any GLC figure will be able to punch above its weight with ease. If you’re rolling into a major tournament, you better have a plan for dealing with the Corps!

Must Have Pieces: Ion, LE Kyle Rayner, Abin Sur, Tomar Tu, Laira, Parallax (Hal Jordan).

 

JUST MISSED THE CUT: Justice League of America (too top heavy–lots of quality from the best pieces, but that quality thins out pretty quickly); Justice League Dark (John Constantine is awesome, and the pieces all have synergy with each other, but the roster is simply too thin right now. There’s really only a few different ways to go if you want to be even mildly competitive. Now, if you just want to play some cool figures and have a lot of fun, they’re aces!); Kree (just missed out–again, a lot of synergy, and it’s overflowing with really good Ronan pieces from the GotG Movie Set).

 

So, there ya go! Those are your Top 10 Named Keywords in Modern Age… RIGHT NOW!! Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments below!

And look for our Justice League: Top 10 Set Review and Second Opinion articles coming later this month!

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Heat Check: Wordplay!! (Or, The Top Ten Named Keywords in Modern Age… Right Now–PART ONE!!)

50 Greatest Avengers

Hello again, and welcome to a very special day at Critical Missives! We’re introducing a new recurring column gimmick! It’s called “Heat Check,” and we’re going to use this space to count down the Top Ten versions of various Heroclix game elements.

Today, as we start to analyze where the game is at now that Justice League: Trinity War has released, we’re going to take a look at the best Named keywords in Modern Age play right now. Why? Well, first, because it’s always fun to rank stuff in a blog post, and second, these rankings may help you decide what team you want to play the next time you’re getting ready for a game at your local venue–or at least give you a hint as to which Named Themed Team keywords you might run into at your next event!

We’re going to judge keywords based on a bunch of different criteria:

We Are Legion!: This one’s pretty straightforward. This is just the total number of available characters.  The higher the number of total characters, the more options you have for team building.

Uncle Sam Wants You!: This is basically asking if there’s a recruiter–that is to say, is there any way for the keyword to pull characters without the keyword into your army while still keeping Theme. Which is a complicated way of asking if there’s someone like Amanda Waller, G.W. Bridge, Duhg, etc. who has a Trait that gives a certain Named keyword to a character who doesn’t have it during army construction. Recruiters obviously open up your options quite a bit; not every Named keyword is going to have a Recruiter–most don’t–but those that do definitely have a leg up when it comes to being able to construct a competitive team for just about any gametype.

Also Known As: Is there an available ATA? This is a big one. There’s some really great ATA’s out there, and some Named keywords even have access to more than one! The presence of an ATA can vastly increase the effectiveness of your team in many cases.

Working Together!: Does this keyword have access to a Team Base? If you haven’t heard, these things are stupidly good. The presence of a Team Base also means that the keyword can support larger game types as well.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Prime characters are usually ridiculously efficient for their points. That’s why (in all but one case) you can only play one per Build. If a Named keyword doesn’t have access to at least one Prime character, they’re gonna have to work a little harder to be as effective in a competitive environment. If they have MORE than one Prime to choose from, um… damn. That usually doesn’t happen… Usually.

Straight, With Chaser: Chases are cool. But, more relevant to our purposes here, Chases are usually really effective (much less consistently than Primes, and they’re not intended to be equivalently as good, but still), primarily because they often all share at least one really good Trait (if not more) that’s often synergistic (for example, the Z-Virus Traits on the Zombie Chases from Deadpool and Guardians). Plus, they’re just that little extra bit of fun to play. If a Named keyword has access to one or more Chase characters, again, this will only give you more options while building your squad.

Shadow of the Colossus: Like Team Bases, Colossal characters are just fun as hell to play, and often overpowered (just by their very nature). Most venues only allow them for certain gametypes. Still, the presence of a Colossal within the pool of available figures often means that the Named keyword can field not just a great 300 Point team, but great teams at point levels up to 1000 and beyond for those weeks your venue is running an epic clash.

Micro Machines: The other end of the spectrum; if your putting a team together for a micro game (200 or less), does this keyword have enough good figures to make a team? Also, a larger number of smaller character would indicate that this keyword has a lot of supporting characters to choose from. Another sign of overall versatility.

Who Let You In?!: Our pick for the least likeliest figure in Modern that ACTUALLY has the keyword.

 

So, with all that said, let’s count ’em down, Dave Letterman-style!!

Here are your TOP TEN KEYWORDS IN MODERN AGE.. RIGHT NOW!!

 

Marvel ZOmbies Villains

10. Z-Virus

We Are Legion!: Pretty darn small roster, actually. 18 distinct characters with 20 different dials (17 figures plus a 3-dial Team Base). But Z-Virus makes up for its small quantity with a high amount of quality!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: In short, no, although all but two Z-Virus characters (everyone but Headpool and the Team Base) can resurrect opposing characters that they KO as new teammates, which I suppose is a roundabout way of recruiting, no? Still, this won’t help you during army construction, which is what this category is really about.

Also Known As: No ATA. Frankly, they don’t need one.

Working Together!: They do have a Team Base, and it’s pretty damn good!

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: No Primes, but…

Straight, With Chaser: … they have access to 16 DIFFERENT CHASE PIECES!! Only Headpool (Common) and the Team Base (LE) aren’t Chases. As mentioned before, all the Chase Z-Virus characters have Improved Movement: Ignores Characters AND the same two Traits in common: ZOMBIE HUNGER: When Super Skrull damages an opposing character, place a Food token on this card if there are less than 5 Food tokens. When Super Skrull would be KO’d by an opponent’s attack, turn to its first KO click, remove all Food tokens from this card, and heal it that many clicks AS WELL AS ZOMBIE INFECTION: When Super Skrull damages an opposing character, give that character a Virus token if it has less than 5 Virus tokens. When an opposing character is KO’d by this character, you may add it to your force, turn to its first KO click, remove all of its Virus tokens and heal it that many clicks.

This makes almost every character with this keyword hard as heck to kill with any finality.

Shadow of the Colossus: Shockingly, Zombie Galactus does NOT have the Z-Virus keyword. Ninwashui and I often “House Rule” him to have it; regardless, he still has the Monster keyword so he can make a generic Themed Team with any of the Z-Virus characters. Still, this really hurts–very annoying, WizKids!

Micro Machines: Not so much. Only Headpool at 38 Points is under 50, but most Zombies are actually pretty reasonably priced.

Who Let You In?!: Has got to go to GOTG061 Skrull. The Zombie Villain no one was asking for. It’s the only Zombie Chase that isn’t Unique. Even Wizkids is like, “Naw, man, go ahead and play as many as you want. Trust us, it’s not to your advantage.” For so many reasons, this should have been Zombie Thanos.

Why Z-Virus Is #10: Because of their innovative Zombie mechanics, these guys are a blast to play. The Team Base is much more effective to play than it is on paper. Now, outside of Headpool, it is a nightmare trying to cobble all these characters together (after a lengthy pursuit over two sets, I myself have Headpool, five of the Chases and the Team Base–basically 33% of the available Zombies. Sigh… ), but it can be worth it. Headpool, Electro and Super Skrull in particular are Meta-Worthy, with Super Skrull having headlined at least one ROC-winning squad (if not more).

Must Have Pieces: Headpool, Electro, Super Skrull.

 

LEgo Avengers

9. Avengers

We Are Legion!: Huge roster. Go spelunking for the Avengers keyword on HCRealms.com’s Units section and you’ll return 120 results!!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiter, at least not as yet, although who knows how the Avengers Round Table Resource that’s gonna hit this summer will work…

Also Known As: Yup–four different ATA’s!! The best is probably Secret Avengers (Characters using this team ability can’t be the target of an opponent’s Outwit or Perplex unless they’ve been targeted with an attack previously in the same turn. 5 Points per character.).

Working Together!: A pretty decent Team Base from AVX that offers a ton of different cast options (more than a dozen characters to choose from).

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Yup! Invincible Iron Man gave us three–Hyperion, War Machine and Silver Centurion!

Straight, With Chaser: Just a few Chases to choose from, at least until this summer. The best is probably the Cap/Black Widow duo from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Shadow of the Colossus: At the moment, none, although Phoenixbuster Iron Man is a giant… and a giant sculpt!

Micro Machines: One pretty good one (Tony Stark from Iron Man 3 is exactly 50 Points) and NOTHING ELSE. Wow!

Who Let You In?!: Gonna go with wkM-012 Firestar. I remember the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon fondly from my youth; never thought I’d see those characters made into ‘Clix with Avengers keywords. Crazy! I’d say the runner-up here is Mantis–I think of her more as a Guardian now.

Why Avengers Is #9: Just on sheer variety, Avengers has to be a part of this list. Man that’s a big roster! But they’ve also got some wickedly effective pieces, too. They’ve slid down to #9 because of all the quality they lost when Chaos War rotated (Hawkeye or Sentroid, anyone?), but I’d expect Avengers to be Top 3 (or better) by the time Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. releases this summer as there’s no fewer than THREE sets devoted to the Avengers coming out between April and May.

Most of the AvX pieces were quite solid, with Scarlet Witch being especially effective at her 100 Point level, but the fact is that since at least half of the Marvel Universe has been in the Avengers at some point, just about every set has a quality Avengers piece (heck, even Deadpool gave us Shang-Chi… along with a Deadpool piece that didn’t have the keyword but somehow was allowed on the Avengers Team Base!).

Must Have Pieces: AvX Scarlet Witch, Captain America and Black Widow Duo, Silver Centurion.

 

Black Lantern Lego

8. Black Lantern Corps

We Are Legion!: 17 different Modern Age characters with, like, 27 different dials.

Uncle Sam Wants You!: Yup! WOL060P Black Hand will bring any character you want over to the dark side for a measly 25 Points! Also, if you’re using the Black Lantern Resource, you can dish out the Black Lantern Corps keyword to whoever you want, but that won’t help you during force construction.

Also Known As: Uh-huh. They’ve got just one, but it’s a good’un! Only costs 1 point per character and it guarantees at least 1 click of health will be restored whenever a BLC member uses Regeneration (which, with their dials, will probably happen quite a bit)!

Working Together!: No Team Base…

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Yes! Exactly one, and he’s awesome! Zoom, the Super Rare Prime from Flash!

Straight, With Chaser: None–even Black Hand is just a SR.

Shadow of the Colossus: Two!! Nekron and Black Lantern Anti-Monitor! Nekron is a straight Boss Battle piece (which basically means he costs a ton of points and is definitely over powered in larger games) as would be expected of the Grand Prize Piece for a 6-month long OP campaign. BLAM is great in his own right; not as powerful, but he doesn’t cost as much, either.

Micro Machines: Just 2–Black Hand (as a Possessor only, so he doesn’t really count for this) and Black Lantern Reanimate, who’s not bad for his 35 Points.

Who Let You In?!: The Modern Age BLC roster is pretty tight, so we’re gonna twist this category around and complain about who HASN’T been let in yet. The biggest no shows so far (in order of “totally egregious omission” to “would have been nice to have”) are Black Lantern versions of Elongated Man, Hawkman and Hawkgirl (these two could have even been a duo!), Martian Manhunter, Sue Dibny and Jean Loring. Now, we got a pretty good Elongated Man in Flash and a very good Hawkman in JL: TW, so theoretically you could Black Hand Possess either of those pieces and be comic accurate. BL Manhunter was also a big antagonist in “Blackest Night,” so he would have been nice to have as well. At least there’s a Brave and the Bold Golden Age version of him, so at least he isn’t as yet Un-Clix’d like Ms. Dibny and Ms. Loring.

Why Black Lantern Corps Is #8: They are just hideously effective. Playing a Black Lantern Corps team isn’t entirely dissimilar than playing a Z-Virus team–both keyword families get exponentially stronger every time you KO an opposing figure. But the fact that they have both a Recruiter (Black Hand) and TWO different Colossals to choose from means that this keyword can be a contender in almost any size game. And we haven’t even mentioned the fun that is Black Lantern Firestorm or Aquaman yet!

Must Have Pieces: Zoom Prime, Black Hand, Nekron.

 

Lego GotG

7. Guardians of the Galaxy

We Are Legion!: 29 different figures with 33 distinct dials!

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiters. Bummer.

Also Known As: Two! The first basically makes team members un-Outwittable for a measly 4 Points a character. Extremely useful. The second (GotG Silver Age) is now practically useless (makes team members Wild Cards, but erases all other team abilities they possess. Which, y’know, makes being a Wild Card preeeeeeeety pointless.

Working Together!: No Team Base… this clearly needs to be remedied.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Surprisingly, none.

Straight, With Chaser: Two, and one’s a must have! The Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set gave us what has to be considered one of the best Rocket Raccoons ever!

Shadow of the Colossus: None.

Micro Machines: Not one. Mantis I think is the closest at 56.

Who Let You In?!: No actual complaints here; roster is solid, with a few classic characters (Killraven!) mixed with a heavier tilt towards the modern roster (Iron Man, Angela, etc.).

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Is #7: Because there’s barely any stinkers on the roster. Even some of the common, easily available figs like Mantis and Major Victory have turned up on Top 8 winning ROC squads. You want to get up to some shenanigans? Main set Star-Lord makes every team member’s Defense value equal to the highest native Defense value possessed by a team member (hello Chase Rocket Raccoon and his 19 D!!).

If there’s a power or game mechanic you want, you’ll probably find it on one of these folks! Consistent quality.

Must Have Pieces: A bunch. Rocket Raccoon (Movie Set Chase), Star-Lord (Movie Set Starter), Major Victory, Mantis, Yondu, Star-Lord (Main set Uncommon).

 

Lego Heroes for Hire

6. Heroes for Hire

We Are Legion!: 26 characters with 27 different dials (for those keeping score at home and wondering about my math, the Colleen Wing and Misty Knight duo fig can actually be played as separate dials that distinctly represent each character, or played as a whole dial representing both as a duo piece). Also, for those wondering why I’d choose Luke Cage to headline this section when THERE IS NO MODERN AGE LUKE CAGE, well, yeah, that’s kinda my point! We need a Modern Luke Cage, dammit! (And with Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron OP coming this year, I’m pretty sure were getting at least one, if not two or more, since we know he’ll have an ID card… )

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiter.

Also Known As: Yup! Their ATA was, at one point (circa 2013) the best in the game. So good, in fact, that WizKids had to nerf it, since every tournament was being won by Ghost Rider with the HfH ATA and, well, anything else.

Working Together!: No Team Base.

Prime Time!! Prime Time!!: Two. One is a super-efficient close combatant who starts with Charge, Flurry, Stealth, Quake (with a 12 Attack!), Super Senses, CCE (and the ability to use it as a close combat action, so it pairs nicely with Charge or Flurry!) and a Trait that has a 33% chance to nerf opposing Relics and Resources if a character using one of those attacks him.

And he’s the “bad” Prime.

As good as Cat is, Brother Voodoo will go down as possibly the best Prime ever made (although we shall watch the Modern Age careers of Zoom and Captain Marvel with interest, methinks–and yes, unfortunately that was a Phantom Menace reference. Deal with it!).

Straight, With Chaser: None. Don’t really need one. That ATA turns almost any piece into a Chase-level efficient attacker!

Shadow of the Colossus: Again, none. And again, probably don’t need one.

Micro Machines: Just two–Black Cat from Deadpool and Johnny Blaze from ASM.

Who Let You In?!: So, again, just to be clear: 2 (really three, when you count the fact that you can play the Duo as separate dials) Modern Age versions of Misty Knight and Colleen Wing; 2 Modern Age versions of Black Cat; a Modern Age freakin’ Humbug… and no Modern Age Luke Cage?!?!?!?!? Suuuuuuuurrrre…

Why Heroes for Hire Is #6: Because they’re still going strong two years after they’re Modern Age reintroduction in ASM! It’s funny, everyone thinks of HfH as a ASM sub-theme, which it certainly was, but Deadpool actually gave us more than twice as many HfH figs, which really rejuvenated the keyword. Once ASM rotates out, HfH will definitely suffer, but given the roster overlap in the comics between the Avengers (who, as mentioned, have, like a bazillion sets coming this year) and the Heroes for Hire, I wouldn’t be shocked if HfH shows up on this list again in 6 months!

But you could argue that right now, they deserve to be even higher. They have Meta pieces coming out of their earholes: Ghost Rider; Speed Demon; DP Main Set Elektra; FI (White Ranger) Iron Fist; Brother Voodoo; Shang-Chi… all these pieces have made a Meta impact, whether at a ROC tourney or elsewhere.

Must Have Pieces: Pretty much the list above. Also, HfH pieces are probably the easiest to collect. Individually, there’s none that will cost more than about $20, and most are much cheaper. Kind of like the opposite of collecting Z-Virus pieces.

 

Alright! That’s the end of part one! We’ll count down all the way to number 1 in Part 2 next week! Also, later this month you can expect Ninwashui and I to give our JL: Trinity War Top Ten Set Reviews!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part 2 is live! And you can find it right here!]

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.

 

Let’s Be Lanterns, Too!! (Or, Let’s Build an Army for Each Lantern Corps–PART 2 of 3!!)

War of Light Alt Members

Welcome Back!

If you missed Part 1 a few days ago, Ninwashui and I are trying to put together competitive Builds for each Lantern Corps, but we’re throwing in a twist–each Build must feature a character who isn’t normally associated with that color of the emotional spectrum and its related Corps.

To recap, there are two main 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 (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!).

In part one, we featured the Sinestro Corps, Indigo Tribe and the Orange Lantern Corps.

Today, Ninwashui is starting us off with… the Blue Lantern Corps!! He thinks he’s come up with some Meta-worthy Build. It’s probably terrible, but whatever. Here it is!!

 

"I HOPE I rid myself of that weakling Parker... "

“I HOPE… that I can rid myself of that weakling Parker!”

BLUE LANTERN CORPS (Ninwashui Build)

Team Name: The Brooklyn Dodgers

Theme: Scientist

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Blue Lantern Corps: Superior Spider-Man!! Old School Captain Marvel!!

Roster:

DP060 Superior Spider-Man – 160 Points

w/ Secret Avengers ATA – 5

GOTG007B Captain Marvel – 82

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M. – 30

WOLR107 Power Battery (Blue Lantern Corps)2

WOLR307 Blue Lantern Ring4

WOLR207.06 Blue Decoy6

WOLR207.11 Blue Bulldozer – 4

WOLR207.14 Blue Sniper Rifle6

=299 (Gah! So inefficient!! This must be Parker’s doing somehow…)

 

How It Plays: So, in Magic: The Gathering, blue is the color of counterspells and unsummons–basically, it shuts down offense. Really, it can derail your opponent’s entire strategy. Well, we’re gonna take that idea to Heroclix and run with it!! So if you thought Hal Jordan Parallax was hard to hit with his 19 Defense and -2 to just about every opposing character’s Attack Value, well… meet Superior Spider-Man.

He starts out with an 18 Defense (that bumps up to 19 when he’s next to Captain Marvel, but we will get to the good Captain in a minute) and has Super Senses down his whole dial (which will be important!). He also has a Trait that lets him spit out Spider-Bots for free and attach them with a Power Action. There are two types of Spider-Bots in the game, but you’re really only going to need to make a couple of Mark 1’s at the beginning of the game and attach them. Why? Because each one you attach adds +1 to any Super Senses roll that Spidey makes. Which means that with two Spider-Bots attached, Spidey will straight out AVOID any attack that manages to beat his 18-19 Defense a whopping 66.6% of the time!

But wait! There’s more–a lot more! We’re giving Spidey the Blue Decoy, which adds Shape Change to his repertoire–another 1 in 3 chance that he can’t be attacked. So, to recap, we have a 33.3% chance that Spidey can’t even be attacked, followed by a 66.6% that any attack roll that somehow manages to hit him actually ends up missing him completely! That’s pretty good, right? Nope–not good enough! That’s where the Blue Power Battery comes in! The Battery’s Trait (EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM: HOPE: If the Power Battery, attached Power Ring, and Constructs are all the same color, during each of your opponent’s turns, one friendly Corps member may reroll a roll made for itself.) lets you reroll that 66.6% Super Senses roll. Whew!!

Again, to review, when your opponent declares an attack targeting Spidey, there’s instantly a 33.3% chance that he can’t proceed with that attack. Then, he has to hit at least an 18 Defense (minimum). THEN, if he somehow hits, you get TWO chances at rolling a 3, 4, 5 or 6. Spidey also has the Secret Avengers keyword, which makes it very difficult to Outwit any of his powers. ANNNND Spidey himself has an Outwit to get rid of opposing character’s problem powers (Outwit opposing Precision Strike, Poison or Pulse Wave like it’s the Plague!!).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not a statistician, but Jerry Seinfeld clearly is, and–as always–he has this advice:]

Seinfeld Good Luck

Um… yeah. I think what Jerry is trying to say is that (assuming a 7 is needed to even hit Spidey in the first place–which means your opponent’s primary attacker better be packing an 11 or 12 Attack Value) for every 30 attacks announced with Spidey as the target, roughly 4 will get through. That’s about a 13.33% chance to deal damage. To put that in perspective, that same theoretical opponent would have a roughly 18% to damage the IIM Absorbing Man LE. BUUUUUUUUT, when we factor in the Blue Power Battery Super Senses reroll, that Spidey number changes to roughly 4 out of every 90 announced attacks that get through–or 4.4%.

Let me type that again: 4 POINT 4 FREAKING PERCENT!! Those are lights out, game over and thanks for playing sorts of numbers! Meanwhile, Spidey is swinging away for 3 damage or more (he has Super Strength) every turn. Yikes. Now, taking all that into account, consider this:

Spidey is not your Primary Attacker.

"What am I, chopped liver? I save galaxies, dammit!"

“What am I, chopped liver? I save galaxies, dammit!”

And now we come to Captain Marvel!! Cap’s Defense Special (DEFEND HUMANITY FROM MY PEOPLE: Captain Marvel can use Defend and Super Senses. Modify the Defense Values of adjacent friendly characters without the Kree keyword by +1. This power can’t be countered.) combined with his native 18 Defense means that Spidey and Bill, Agent of A.I.M. each have a 19 Defense when adjacent to him! But that’s not the best part of Captain Marvel’s arsenal. Nooooo, sir! His Attack Special (UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.) means that your opponent’s best figures may not even get to announce those attacks against Spidey or take a spin on the 4 out of 90 Wheel of (Mis)Fortune! He doesn’t even need to do damage–he just needs to hit! Does that power sound like fun? Great!

Now give Captain Marvel the Sniper Rifle and watch him do it from 10 Squares away. What’s that, you say? Your opponent’s best piece has Stealth or keeps hiding behind Barrier tokens? Well, that’s why you brought Deadpool’s idiot friend Bill along. On his second click he gets 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 without line of fire to that opposing character.) that is pretty much game over, especially when you consider that every character with a Blue Construct also has the Blue Ring-granted limited Perplex (which means Captain Marvel’s Attack Value could theoretically go to 14!). Captain Marvel can keep your opponent’s best figure locked down every other turn for the entire game!!

To quote the noted philosopher Dane Cook, “Good game America.”

 

Astonished HypeFox

ASTOUNDED HypeFox Says: “…. I… uh, … $#!%. I can’t believe you came up with something this good! I really have nothing to add. This team is stupid. This is like that South Park episode where “Wall-Mart” ran rampant and almost destroyed the world. I don’t think you realize what you’ve done! This team is an abomination! It must never see the light of day! It must be banished back to the depths from whence it came, before it’s too late!!

… I mean, I’m still gonna publish it though. I just have to figure out how to take credit for it first. Hmmmm... ”

 

Superboy Prime Red Lantern

RED LANTERN CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name: The Petulant Children

Theme: Red Lantern Corps

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Blue Lantern Corps: Superboy Prime (As far as the Red Lanterns and Superboy Prime goI mean, really, it was just the one time… he didn’t even really like it…) and Black Talon!!

Roster:

WOL057B Superboy Prime (Red Lantern) – 190 Points

w/ Kryptonian ATA – 2

DP043 Black Talon – 60

possessed by Butcher25

WOLR102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps)2

WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring8

WOLR202.12 Red Spotlight6

WOLR207.14 Red Sniper Rifle6

=299 (GRRRRRRRRRRRRR… )

 

How It Plays: This might be the simplest Build of this whole series. The premise is really basic: the only thing better than one Superboy Prime Hypersonic Speed attack each turn is two! Putting the Butcher AND a Construct on Black Talon raises his Attack Value to a 12; a roll of 6 or 7 will give a successful Mind Control hit on SBP, with which you can wreak havoc on the whole board. Superboy Prime’s Movement and Attack will each get +1 with a Construct (giving Superboy a 12 Attack!), and if he hits with his first attack (4 Damage minus any dampeners), you can keep him in range and INSTANTLY ATTACK AGAIN–THIS TIME WITH RANGED COMBAT EXPERT!!

And you can probably just keep Black Talon near the Power Battery so that you can keep healing the damage he takes from Mind Controlling Superboy Prime. And if anyone decides to break off and attack him, he’s packing Charge, B/C/F, and Attack Value that can be modified to 12 (on his top click) along with access to Butcher’s Special Damage Power (HEAT OF RAGE: Once per turn, a friendly character may reroll the d6 roll for Blades/Claws/Fangs.). On Click 3, just when your opponent might expect Black Talon to LOSE B/C/F, he actually picks up access to an Attack Special (BLADES OF THE BUTCHER: Butcher can use Blades/Claws/Fangs. When he does, add 2 to the result.) that gives him B/C/F back AND makes it kinda filthy (I mean, you roll a 6 and all of the sudden it’s Black Talon who’s doing 8 freaking damage in one turn as opposed to SBP, who’s more than capable of that himself.

Of all the teams we’ve designed so far for this series, this team has the highest damage potential. They may not be the best team, but each member is capable of KO’ing even substantial point pieces in one blow!

 

Doctor Who What

UNIMPRESSED TENTH DOCTOR Ninwashui Says: “What? That’s it? That’s what you cobble together after I create one of the greatest Builds known to mankind?! Psssh. My Blue Lantern Build would wipe the floor with this Red Lantern nonsense you’ve come up with here.”

 

Unimpressed DMX

ANGRY AVATAR OF RAGE DMX HypeFox Retorts: “Oh, really? OH REALLY!! I SMELL A CHALLENGE COMING ON!!”

 

Tenth Doctor Ninwashui

AWKWARDLY CLOSE TENTH DOCTOR NINWASHUI CALMLY REPLIES: “Name your terms.”

 

Askewed Beanie

ASKEWED BEANIE’D DMX HYPEFOX States: “Well, we’ve have four Builds left. That’s two apiece. Winner take all! I’ll take the Green Lantern Corps and the Black Lantern Corps.”

 

Tenth Doctor Eyeglasses

INTRIGUED TENTH DOCTOR Ninwashui: “So that leaves me the White Lanterns and the Star Sapphires, eh? Very well then. I accept your challenge, sir! Although there’s one thing you forgot!”

 

Forgetful DMX

POSTURING DMX HypeFox Says: “Oh? And what’s that, playa?”

 

Drunk Raccoon 5

NINWASHUI DROPS A FINAL BOMBSHELL!!: “I’ve been a raccoon the whole time! MWA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAAAA! I hope you’re ready… and I’ll see you next time!!

Let’s Be Lanterns!! (Or, Let’s Build an Army for Each Lantern Corps–PART 1 of 3!!)

Lets Be Cops

So, I’m at the theater a couple weeks ago, Guardians of the Galaxy is starting in a few minutes (FYI, Guardians is awesome–if you’re remotely interested in anything on this blog, you’ll love it and should just go see it right now! I’ll be here when you get back–I promise!), and the last trailer I see is for “Let’s Be Cops,” a new comedy starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. It’s out now and it’s about a couple of buddies who go to a costume party dressed as cops, then decide to keep the charade going in their everyday lives when they become “neighborhood sensations.” Looks funny enough, but it also gave me an idea for today’s article. If two slackers can put on some uniforms and become cops, then, hey, what’s to stop us from collecting together some ‘Clix and becoming Space Cops?

That’s right!

Today…

Let’s Be Lanterns!!

Lantern Corps

Ninwashui and I are gonna come up with competitive Builds for each color of the emotional spectrum based off of the current Storyline OP War of Light set! But we’re also gonna add in a twist! Each Build has to be Theme (of course), and each build has to feature a character not traditionally associated with that color’s Corps.! Now this can be interpreted in a couple of different ways; sometimes, WizKids has taken care of this for us by printing an “off-color” version of a traditional Green Lantern (Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, etc.) in the War of Light set (Indigo John Stewart, anyone?); other times, we’ll be getting a lil’ creative by inducting someone (or someONES) into a certain color’s Corps by Possessing them with an Entity!

Are these Builds gonna win multiple ROC’s? Uhhh… no, probably not. But you should be able to take these to a local tourney and stand a chance. That’s the goal, at least.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Many of these builds use Power Batteries and Constructs; WizKids has been real coy about exactly how you’ll get half the Constructs for each color. As such, many don’t yet have an official designation yet in terms of collector numbers, so occasionally you’ll see something like “WOL???” instead of a full designation for certain Constructs.)

With all that said, here we go!

 

Parallax Hal Jordan

SINESTRO CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name: Pair ‘0 Smacks

Theme: Sinestro Corps

Character Not Normally Associated With the Sinestro Corps: Hal Jordan (normally a Green Lantern)

Roster:

WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan)250 Points

WOL099 Despotellis30

WOLR105 Power Battery (Yellow)2

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring4

WOLR205.03 Sinestro Mallet4

WOLR205.09 Sinestro Nurse10

=300 (Woo-Hoo!)

 

 How It Plays: Is anyone else annoyed that the Yellow Lanterns are referred to as the “Sinestro Corps?” You’re Yellow Lanterns. Just be Yellow Lanterns! It makes things soooo much easier. At least the Indigo Tribe still has “Indigo” in their name. Sigh…

Regardless, we’re gonna use someone who’s normally a Lantern, just not this color. Actually, if you subscribe to our Twitter feed (and if not, why not? It’s free!), you would have gotten this army a little bit earlier than everyone else who’s just reading about it now.

Basically, the goal with this army is to make Parallax Hal Jordan as close to un-hittable as possible. Hal Jordan’s base Defense is 18. He has Impervious (which means roughly 33% of the time you’re hit with a non-Precision Strike, non-penetrating attack, you’ll evade it altogether) with the Quintessence Team Ability (which means his powers can’t be countered). Once he gets a Construct on him from the Sinestro Corps Battery, all his stats except Damage get +1; so now his Defense is a 19 with un-Outwittable Impervious. But wait! There’s more!

The Sinestro Corps Power Battery gives every opposing figure with a point cost of 249 or less (roughly 90% of Meta figures, if not more) an additional -2 when attacking Parallax. Yes, this should work even against opposing Pulse Waves since the Battery isn’t a character (and thus could never have a line of fire drawn to it by Pulse Wave).

Let’s say, oh, I dunno, Bullseye (with a stat bump from an Entity) tries to shoot Hal. Normally, with a 12 Attack, he’d need a 7 to hit Hal’s 19 (native 18+1 from the Ring) Defense. But with the Sinestro Corps Power Battery, suddenly Bullseye needs a 9 just to touch Hal Jordan. And if he makes it…. Hal has Probability Control and a 9 Range!

So now, Bullseye–who, again, has a ridiculously good starting Attack Value–needs to hit a 9 or more TWICE! And that’s assuming that Bullseye’s not within Range of the Power Battery, which has the potential to make him Prob AGAIN if it’s on the right Click! Now, if your opponent can roll a 9 or better three times in a row… good luck to him (or her). They must be right with the Lord. Or be sitting on a horseshoe.

Now, you can go a few different ways with the Constructs; I’ve chosen the Nurse and the Mallet. The Nurse absolutely hoses Copycat strategies (and even though she’s 60 more points, I’d still rather keep my Despotellis, thank you veddy much) while the Mallet can be quite useful if the opposition is able to surround and swarm Hal. You could also go with some combination of the Net, Spotlight or Decoy. I just hate dealing with Copycat so much that I’d rather just nerf her with the Nurse Construct, but I’d suspect most folks would rather go with the Spotlight and Net.

 

Bitter Ninwashui

BITTER Ninwashui Says: “I came up with this idea a few weeks ago and sent it to HypeFox, who promptly stole it, took credit for it and gave it away on Twitter. But yes, I was happy with this Build; Parallax Hal Jordan is a beast who cannot be reasoned with. He doesn’t fly, but he does everything else, drops 5-Damage bombs from 9 squares away and he can Carry Despotellis with no penalty to his Movement. And good luck trying to hit either of these yellow jackwagons. But the Nurse? I would definitely go with the spotlight and either the Net or Decoy. The Spotlight makes Hal especially disgusting, which, as always, means you should probably give it to him.

 

"James Howlett, you have a great capacity for compassion. Welcome to--waaaaiiit, did you just stab the $#!t out of someone? I don't think you understand how this ring works. "

“James Howlett, you have a capacity for great compassion. Welcome to–waaaaiiit, is that blood? Hold on, did you just stab the $#!t out of someone? Unless you just used your claws to put down an injured horse, I don’t think you understand how this ring works!”

INDIGO TRIBE (Ninwashui Build)

Team NameThe Replacement Killers

ThemeThe Hand

Character Not Normally Associated With the Indigo Tribe: Uh, all of them? Especially cuz they’re all Marvel characters? And stabby?

Roster:

DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra – 90 Points

w/ The Hand ATA – 7

DP006 Hand Ninja – 43

w/ The Hand ATA – 7

WXM044 Silver Samurai100

w/ The Hand ATA – 7

WOLR104 Power Battery (Indig0)2

WOLR304 Indigo Tribe Ring4

WOLR204.01 Indigo Net8

WOLR204.03 Indigo Mallet – 4

WOLR204.04 Indigo Wall10

WOLR204.08 Indigo Scissors8

WOL204.09 Indigo Nurse10

=300 (Woo-Hoo! Again!!)

 

How It Plays: Waaaaay back in Season 2 of Friends, there was an episode where Monica is hired by a company to come up with recipes for a substance called Mockolate, a synthetic chocolate substitute. By the end of the episode, she returns to the company with a list of Mockolate recipes that are extremely light on actual Mockolate since it turns out that Mockolate is terrible (Phoebe, upon tasting one of Monica’s Mockolate recipes: “Oooohhhh, this is what evil must taste like!”).

Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, this Build is light on actual native Indigo Tribe members. They are, in a word, awful–it turns out that the Indigo Tribe is the Mockolate of War of Light. In fact, the Theme of this Build is actually The Hand. And that’s okay–even though these characters are all pretty evil, violent and mostly psychotic, they’re PERFECT for the color of compassion, and we’ll use the Indigo Power Battery to induct them!

Since none of them start with the Indigo Tribe keyword, they’ll all gain that keyword and the Support ability; just as important, when a non-adjacent friendly character within 6 squares takes 3 or more damage, after actions resolve, if that character hasn’t been healed this turn, you may place this character adjacent to that character and heal that character of 1 damage. That’s kind of a strange ability, but since this is a close combat team that will probably never NOT be within six squares of each other, it allows the team to swarm opposing figures when they get significant hits in on your team.

And that’s if they can find your team. One of the perils of close combat-based teams is advancing close enough to attack before your own characters get battered themselves. Well, The Hand ATA–which all three characters have–states that “When it is not your turn, lines of fire to a character using this team ability are blocked if this character is adjacent to a wall or blocking terrain.” Hmmm… if only there was a Construct that allowed a character to use Barrier every turn as a free action so that the team could continue its advance without wasting tokens. Oh wait, there is! It’s the Wall, and it’s part of this very force!

Once you make it to your opponent, you should be able to cut them to ribbons in short order. Wolverine’s Trait (MY KIND OF HYDRA: When friendly characters use the Hydra team ability, they can also affect close combat attacks and don’t need line of fire to the target.) makes it hard for Hand characters to miss, and the fact that both he and Silver Samurai have Leadership means that you should be able to keep up with your opponent on taking meaningful actions even though you only have three characters.

 

Star-Lord Gesture

SURPRISED HypeFox Says: “Wow! I actually did not think of NOT using ANY Indigo Tribe characters at all. I guess we can allow it, since they’ll all get the keyword when they get a Construct. And technically it IS a Theme Team. When I assigned you Indigo Tribe, I thought you were screwed, since they all kind of blow chunks, but I have to say, you pulled a Kobayashi Maru and changed the parameters on me. Good job, sir. I’m pretty sure you cheated somehow, and I’m definitely sure you should be drummed out of Starfleet, but good job!! The fact that this team would be next to impossible to target with a ranged attack would make it downright frustrating to play against and would make me hate the game–the hallmark reaction of anyone who plays against a team designed by Ninwashui. Bravo!

 

Royal Shot to the Nuts

INTROSPECTIVE Ninwashui Responds: “Uh… thanks? I think I detected some sarcasm there. Either way, You’re Welcome! Also, have you noticed that we’ve completed two builds and not used even a single Entity?”

 

LEGO’D HypeFox Predicts: “Yeah, that’s about to change. Like now.”

 

Larfleeze with Battery

 ORANGE LANTERN CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name: Orange Is the New Ultron

Theme: Sinestro Corps

Character Not Normally Associated With the Orange Lantern CorpsSecret Empire Number 9. I mean, he’s ninth–dude’s barely even associated with the Secret Empire, let’s be honest.

Roster:

WOL109 Larfleeze – 200 Points

DP204 Secret Empire Number 9 – 35

WOL063P Ophidian – 25 (Possessing Secret Empire Number 9)

WOLR103 Power Battery (Orange)2

WOLR303 Orange Lantern Ring – 6

WOLR203.04 Orange Wall10

WOLR203.05 Orange Crossbow10

WOLR203.12 Orange Spotlight6

WOLR203.14 Orange Sniper Rifle – 6

=300 (Woo-Hoo! Still got it!!)

 

How It Plays: Remember that scene in Aliens at the end when Ripley goes back for Newt and we finally see the Alien Queen for the first time, and she’s just chilling in her brood cave spawning gooey egg after gooey egg? Yeah, on this team, Larfleeze is that Alien Queen, constantly spawning sticky,Glomulus-shaped eggs.

Larfleeze is, himself, a brick, especially when you give him a Construct (like, say, the Spotlight or the Crossbow–in addition to their Relic effects, since Larfleeze is already an Orange Lantern, they pump up all his stats except Damage by +1), but the real fun in playing him is summoning the Orange Lantern Corps with his Attack Special (SUMMON THE ORANGE LANTERN CORPS: Give Larfleeze a free action to place a WOL #H001 Orange Lantern Absorbed into an adjacent square. Give Larfleeze a power action to place a WOL #001 Orange Lantern Construct into an adjacent square. Use these abilities only if no more than 3 total friendly characters, including tokens within stacks, with either name are on the map.).

Secret Empire Number 9 is there to provide support with his Hydra ATA, native Enhancement (if Larfleeze has the Crossbow and is adjacent to Secret Empire Number 9, he’s rocking a 12 Attack and 5 Damage BEFORE you divvy up your RCE bonus!) and a top dial Ophidian-granted Outwit Special (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.). With Ophidian Possessing him, S.E.M#9 (as all the cool kids call him) is even a half decent secondary attacker, since he alternates between Pen/Psy and Energy Explosion. Annnnnd, when you give him the Orange Sniper Rifle, things start to get scary. Suddenly he’s stealing powers FROM 10 SQUARES AWAY! He’s Pen/Psy’ing FROM 10 SQUARES AWAY! I mean, I’m’a chill on the capital letters for a minute, but you get the point! While all the lil’ Glomulus’s are swarming problem pieces, your freaking Secret Empire Number 9 can be taking pot shots–and doing pretty decent damage.

And if you win Map Roll and go first (or really, even if you don’t–it’s just more effective if you’re going first), you can even use the Battery’s Emotional Spectrum Power (EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM: GREED: If the Power Battery, attached Power Ring, and Constructs are all the same color, give the Power Battery a power action and choose a power, combat ability or team ability that a friendly Corps member can use. Opposing characters can’t use that power or ability until your next turn.) to pull a Shaman and keep your opponent from using basic abilities like Flight, which means they’ll take forever to get across the map, which means that Larfleeze’ll have all day to summon his army!

If you’re patient with this team, you’ll usually get what you want–a victory.

 

Drunk Raccoon

DRUNK RACCOON Ninwashui Says: “I thought Larfleeze’s whole deal was that he doesn’t share power. This seems thematically wrong. Having said that, this isn’t a bad way to go. If I were playing this team, Larfleeze’s lack of Willpower/Indomitable would worry me; you’d really have to be good at picking your spots with Larfleeze in terms of spitting out reinforcements, using his Barrier SP or just straight out attacking for a bazillion on one figure. I wasn’t wild about your choice of S.E.M.#9 at first; yes, he’s a great boon to Larfleeze, but you won’t always be attacking with Larfleeze, will you? But the more I think about it, the more I like the possibilities that he offers. You could theoretically throw a Sniper Rifle on an Orange Lantern Construct and–if he’s adjacent to Mr. Empire–the OLC (See? I can do acronyms too) will suddenly be rocking a 10 Attack (which equates to an 11 with Mr. Empire’s Hydra TA) and 3 Damage… from 10 SQUARES AWAY (See, I can hit Caps Lock too)!! That’s not bad. Off subject–um, is that Raccoon in the picture–

 

Kanye Interrupting

INTERRUPTING HypeFox Says: “You mean you?”

 

Drunk Raccoon 2

DRUNK RACCOON Ninwashui Continues: “No, not me–fine me, you, whoever. <Sigh> I don’t even know where this bit is going–it’s so damn random. Nevertheless, can we even run that picture? I mean, isn’t that first raccoon a lil’… y’know… excited?”

 

John Krasinski

 

 

Drunk Raccoon 3

DRUNK RACCOON Ninwashui: “Uh… hello?”

 

John Krasinski Paw

 HypeFox Responds: “Look againThat’s his PAW.”

 

Drunk Raccoon 4

DRUNK RACCOON Ninwashui: “Ooooooooohhh, right.”

 

WizKids face palm

FRUSTRATED HypeFox Decrees: “Okay, you’re weirdly obsessed with raccoon paws and we’re officially off the rails. I’m ending this before you hurt yourself–or worse yet, me. Be ready next time with your Blue Lantern team–they’re kicking off Part 2 later this week!”

 

Drunk Raccoon 5

DRUNK, PLOTTING RACCOON Ninwashui Whispers: “Oooohhh, don’t worry. I’ll be ready…