What Else Is New? (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Elseworlds!!)

Elseworlds War.jpg

Annnnnd… we’re back!!

Good Lord, where has August gone?

Anyway, the 15th Anniversary summer of Heroclix rolls on for Wizkids, and once again we have a new, 5-Figure Booster set… which means we need a new Top Ten!! Especially since, y’know, we’re just a few days out from The Mighty Thor!

But first…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

DKR 1

Man, what if Warner Brothers made a DCEU adaptation of “The Dark Knight Returns,” only they stripped out almost the entire plot, most of the cast, the characters’ motivation and the entire contextual legacy of 50 years of Batman and Superman stories but kept the part where Batman and Superman punch each other and threw in a jar of Lex Luthor’s pee? That could make for a sweet movie!!

–This Elseworlds set seemingly had more material to draw from than the Marvel What If… ? expansion in that What If… ? was a specific (sometimes even monthly) Marvel title, whereas pretty much anything outside of regular DC continuity seems to fall under the Elseworlds banner. So Elseworlds got to field pieces from amazing, all-time great stories like “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Kingdom Come,” while What If… ? couldn’t use elements of “Marvel Zombies,” “Earth X” or “Old Man Logan” because those stories were told outside of the pages of the actual What If… ? comic.

(That’s not really a nit, by the way; just an observation).

So even though I tend to gravitate more towards Marvel stuff, I found myself looking forward to this set a little more, simply because I was more familiar with many of the specific stories and characters being referenced (again, “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Kingdom Come” are among the best stories ever told in the medium of comics; my favorite comic story ever is still “Infinity Gauntlet,” for a variety of reasons, but catch me on the right day and I might say that “DKR” is the best story I’ve ever read).

 

Planetary Cover

Incidentally, THIS is one of the best covers I’ve ever seen…

–Putting this list together is a little more difficult than assembling the What If… ? Top Ten in that there’s no Goblin King-type figure who is heads and tails above almost everything else in terms of power level.

Elijah Snow seems like the only figure who might drive the highway to the Watchlist Danger Zone, but even then, you need to have 3 or 4 copies of him to get really stupid. Will a wide enough swath of Meta players go to that much trouble, especially when Wizkids just Watchlisted away Jakeem Thunder’s number one predator while leaving Jakeem untouched? Seems doubtful…

 

New Rules.jpg

–This is also one of the toughest evaluations we’ve ever had to do since the rules are changing in some very significant ways this week. Which means that a figure that’s really good today may be less than desirable in a couple days! Just look at Cosmic Spidey from the previous set! What If… ? came out in June, and that set’s already been decimated at the upper end by either the Watchlist or the new rules!

Superman Chase

–Finally, a quick shout-out to the DKR Chase Superman sculpt. It really captured the way Frank Miller drew him in that story. All of the Chase sculpts were really cool. Great job, Wizkids!!

–I’m not doing a formal Honorable Mention, since this is a bit of a smaller set. Informally, however, the 5 Honorable Mention figures WOULD have been:

5. EW002 Superman (Shifting Focus piece which offers Indom & Quake; his Special Quake with Precision Strike combo lost a little with the New Rules nerf of PS.)

4. EW019 Oliver Queen, Templar (Decent offense with the punch to get through reducers. Does not fear Mystics TA. Unfortunately, despite all that, he’s not even the best 80 Point Green Arrow in this set.)

3. EW047 Batman (The overlooked Chase. Doesn’t pack a huge punch, but a 12 Attack and Precision Strike will get damage through. Very map dependent, though. The more Hindering, the better, as his Trait allows him to hop from clear terrain in Hindering Terrain 4 squares away.)

2. EW044 Diana Prince (People ragged on this piece because it was a 40 Point Wonder Woman. But if you scratched the name off of this piece and just looked at the dial, you’d see a lot of support combined with the ability to defend herself up close.)

1. EW037 The Flying Batman (140 Points is too much for what he does, but man, he’s fun. He has both the Supes Ally TA and the Batman Family TA. It is always a good thing to have Stealth AND be able to see through Stealth. Hypersonic Speed top dial along with 4 Damage is deadly… just not 140 points worth of deadly.)

And now, without further ado…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN ELSEWORLDS!!

Elijah Snow

10. EW046E Elijah Snow — 70 Points — Super Rare: Planetary’s infamous leader packs in a lot of usefulness on his Experienced dial. While his dial is only four clicks long, he has an 8 Range with Running Shot, Pulse Wave, Barrier and Leadership, and Indomitable on top of all that.

His first Trait (THE BIG FREEZE: Once per game, give Elijah Snow a free action. For the rest of the game, while Elijah Snow is on the map other characters that can’t use the Flight ability can only move in a direct path.) can really make things difficult for any piece without Flight, and his second Trait (CHILL IN YOUR BONES: Give Elijah Snow a free action and choose one that hasn’t been chosen yet this game: Power, Close Combat, Range Combat, or Move. Until your next turn, when an opposing character is given an action of the chosen type, after actions resolve give that character an action token. If you can’t, deal them 1 unavoidable damage.) can slow down just about everyone else.

When you consider the new Rules taking effect, Leadership is suddenly a useful power to have. Imagine playing 3 of these guys together. Your opponent will think Felix Faust has been un-banned, and you still have 90 points left for a Primary attacker (someone like fellow Planetary alum Jakita Wagner, maybe?)!

Elijah Snow takes an expert hand to really exploit, but–especially in mulitples–he can pose some real threats to your opponent.

Drummer

Well, that clears that up!

9. EW036 The Drummer — 40 Points — Rare: Once again, we have a member of Planetary with only four Clicks of life who comes packing some major trickeration. He deals 0 Damage his whole dial, has an Attack Value of 8 with no Attack Powers and a Defense of 16 (albeit with ES/D).

But he also has Sidestep on every click, a 10 Range, a great shared Special Damage Power (PLANETARY: ARCHAEOLOGISTS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: Once per turn, The Drummer can use either Outwit or Perplex.) and an absolutely AWESOME Trait (READING THE INFORMATION FLOWS: Once per turn, when an opposing character within range and line of fire would use one of Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control during their turn, you may choose that instead the opposing character can’t use that power that turn.).

Cornering the market on three of the best powers in Heroclix–Outwit, Perplex and Prob–is probably a good way to win in this game. Just sayin’.

The Ray

8. EW033R The Ray — 25 Points — Rare: Okay, this is a one-trick pony, but it’s a heck of a trick. His Damage Special (JUSTICE SHINES BRIGHT: Give The Ray a free action and choose an opposing character within 8 squares. Until your next turn, if The Ray has line of fire to that character, that character can’t make attacks.) can absolutely shut down a tentpole for as long as he can see them, really, and heaven help them if they try to shoot The Ray down from Range. That’s a 20 or 21 Defense (if you initially place him in Hindering) PLUS a Super Senses roll. They’re basically going to have to waste an attack up close, and even then it’s not a sure thing.

On many maps, even if they do waste an attack on the Ray, chances are that’s going to leave them wide open for a counter. That’s a lot of gamechanging potential from a 25 Point piece.

Carrie Kelly

7. EW048 Robin — 40 Points — Chase: If Night Nurse and Overdrive had a Clix baby, it would look something like Carrie Kelly as Robin.

This piece has been hotly debated, but I come down on the side of she’s useful, particularly since they’ve fixed her Bystander tokens with the recent errata (they’re now officially vehicles THAT CAN CARRY! Woo-hoo!).

Those tokens come down as part of her first Trait (COMPUTER CLASSES, DUH: At the beginning of the game place adjacent either the Batcycle or Batwing bystander. When that bystander is KO’d, after actions resolve place the other bystander adjacent.), and in addition to being useful taxis, they can also fix a few pieces that have great stats but no move and attack power (The Batcycle grants Running Shot while the Batwing has Sidestep).

She also starts out with Support and Precision Strike, and her Leap/Climb lets her vacate the scene real quick if she’s not Piloting one of her vehicles. Combat Reflexes combined with the Batman Ally TA makes her really hard to even attack.

Finally, her last Trait (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: GET SEEN AND YOU’RE FIRED: When Robin occupies clear terrain, she can use Shape Change. When she occupies hindering terrain, she can use Perplex but only to target another character occupying hindering terrain.) gives her one of two useful abilities: Shape Change or Perplex, based on where she is on the Map.

If she was a great Taxi at 40 Points, she’d be good. If she was a good support piece, she’d be worth the 40 Points it takes to field her. But when you consider that she’s outstanding in both roles, 40 Points is a steal.

Nekhrun.png

6. EW024E Nekhrun, The Bat God — 100 Points — Uncommon: The Rare piece that can hold his own in close combat situations (Sidestep, Super Strength, 3 Damage) or ranged (7 Range, Ranged Combat Expert, Batman and Quintessence Team Abilities).

But the reason I really like him is because whether your opponent goes after him first or last, his Trait (AVATAR OF DARKNESS: Other friendly characters can use the Batman Ally team ability. When Nekhrun, The Bat-God is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, for the rest of the game other friendly characters can’t be targeted by opposing characters 4 or more squares away.) is insanely beneficial for your whole squad.

In an era where Resources are going away, the ability to add a competent Secondary Attacker AND give your whole team Stealth for just 100 Points seems like a good deal.

Kid Flash Justice Rider

5. EW012 Kid Flash (Justice Rider) — 60 Points — Common: Kind of the ultimate harasser masquerading as a Secondary Attacker. His Movement Special (QUICKEST SHOT IN THE WEST: Kid Flash (Justice Rider) can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, he doesn’t halve his range value.) gives him a Threat Range of 16 (10 Movement plus 6 Range), and it makes his lone Trait (HIGH NOON: If Kid Flash (Justice Rider) is the last character with this trait to hit an opposing character with a range attack, until your next turn, if the hit character makes a range attack, Kid Flash (Justice Rider) must be one of its targets.) REAAAAALLY annoying considering that opposing character’s have to track Kid Flash down for retribution before they can move on with their lives.

Your opponent’s whole turn can get derailed really quickly if you start dictating who he has to attack. And while there are several characters with this Trait, Kid Flash’s Hypersonic mobility makes him the pick of the litter.

GL The Nail.jpg

4. EW017 Green Lantern — 60 Points — Uncommon: Meet the Elseworlds version of DXF’s Fenris. Doesn’t deal quite as much damage on the front end, but has more mobility. Also, he can use TK and Pulse Wave top dial, so he’s basically a Taxi and an excellent Secondary Attacker wrapped up in one.

He may be just 60 points, but he’s more than capable of punching above his weight.

Al Jhor Dan.jpg

3. EW040 Al Jhor Dan — 90 Points — Super Rare: Pick-a-Power pieces are inherently good. This has been proven in droves in the Meta over the last 3 years. In a Resource-poor environment (like, say, the current Meta), their versatility becomes even more apparent–and important.

So while Al’s P-A-P Trait (GENIE OF THE LAMP: Give Al Jhor Dan a free action. Choose a standard power and choose one of the following: “wing symbol”, “dolphin symbol”, “giant symbol”, or “tiny symbol”. Al Jhor Dan can use the chosen power and has the chosen symbol until your next turn.) isn’t as good as, say, Jakeem’s, or Goblin King’s, it’s still a Pick-A-Power Trait, so it has to be respected!

He’s also only 90 Points and, unlike, say, What If… ?’s Nico Minoru, the rest of his dial is not blank. Al comes packing Indomitable, Sidestep, ES/D and a Perplex Special (1001 (KNIGHTS OF EMPIRES): Al Jhor Dan can use Perplex. If he uses Perplex to modify the same character and same value as during your last turn, he can modify it by +2 or -2 instead.) before you’ve even chosen which power you want to pick.

Frank Miller Superman

2. EW050 Superman — 230 Points — Chase: So here’s where I cheat a little bit. When Elseworlds came out, Superman was pretty good. Now that there are cheap 10 Point Equipment pieces (and many of those have been spoiled/revealed, something that wasn’t the case when Elseworlds first came out) that are coming out this Wednesday, he’s even better. So, yes, this article is late, but at the same time, I can’t pretend I don’t know what’s coming, right?

With that in mind, let’s first look at what that 230 Points gets you. In addition to his randomly protective Trait (A SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY… AND OBEDIENCE: At the beginning of your turn, you may roll a d6. 5-6: Superman’s powers can’t be countered and his attack rolls can’t be rerolled by opponents until your next turn. 3-4: You may remove an action token from him. 1: He can’t be moved or placed until your next turn.), Supes is blessed with 9 Clicks of life, a 9 Range and the Superman Ally Team Ability. He also has an 11 Movement with an AWESOME Special Power (WE MUST NOT REMIND THEM THAT GIANTS WALK THE EARTH: Superman can use Charge and Stealth. If Superman began the turn occupying hindering terrain, don’t halve his speed value when using Charge this turn.), a 13 (THIRTEEN!!) Attack Value with Super Strength, a 19 Defense Value with Indomitable AND Invincible and a 5 native Damage Value top dial.

So right off the bat, we have a character with Stealth that can see through Stealth. This has historically been a great combo, and it’s as useful today as it’s ever been. BUT THAT’S NOT EVEN HIS MAIN TRICK!

Being able to line up a 5 Damage (or more with an object) close attack with a Threat Range of 12 squares is insane. Now add something like, say, Thunderball’s Enchanted Ball and Chain (EFFECT: Quake, but deals this character’s printed damage value instead of 2. ), and suddenly things get very interesting. The main problem with running an overly expensive tentpole in a 300 Point game is that you’ll get out-actioned, since your tentpole can only attack 2 out of every 3 turns (assuming your tentpole doesn’t have Colossal Stamina, yada yada). But that doesn’t matter IF YOU’RE ATTACKING HALF OF YOUR OPPONENT’S TEAM FOR FIVE DAMAGE WITH KNOCKBACK EACH TURN!

Or what about Mjolnir? It comes with one of the new Thor Chases. It’s text states: “Effect: If targeting a single character within range, treat that character has adjacent for close attacks. When making a close attack against a non-adjacent character modify attack and damage + 1.”

So now Supes can only target one enemy, but if he starts in Hindering Terrain, his Threat Range is now 20 (which might be a record for any non-Colossal, non-Flash character), and he has a 14 (FOUR-FREAKING-TEEN!!?!) Attack Value and deals 6 Damage (and, oh, yeah, with his Superman Ally TA, even Stealth won’t save an opposing character from his world of hurt). Again, IT’S HARD TO GET OUT-ACTIONED IF EVERY ONE OF YOUR ATTACKS KO’S ONE OF YOUR OPPONENT’S FIGURES!!

I mean, if you can get Supes onto a friendly battlefield like the Wakanda Map, holy God, will he be effective. Your opponent better have some close combat solutions of their own, or it will be a quick game.

DKR Green Arrow

1. Green Arrow — 80 Points — Chase: Five Clicks of offensive awesomeness. Top dial, he has a 12 Attack, 8 Range and 3 Damage with RCE to go with his first Trait (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: NOT HIDING ANYMORE: When Green Arrow occupies clear terrain, he can use Sidestep and opposing characters can’t draw lines of fire to him unless they are within three squares of him or he has 2 action tokens.) which gives him just about everything else you’d want!

He also sees through every type of Terrain but Blocking!!

Defensively, he comes packing Combat Reflexes for close attacks, and that Trait makes it REAAALLY hard to even target him at range.

His second Trait is simply a negative (…IT STILL HURTS WHEN IT’S COLD: Green Arrow can’t make range attacks when he has 1 action token.).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ll say it’s a negative! Some folks out there who are parsing the new rules for exploitable quirks are interpreting Green Arrow’s Second Trait to mean that he can NEVER make a ranged attack, reasoning that characters get action tokens before actions resolve now, meaning Green Arrow would always have at least one action token on him whenever he went to make a ranged attack.

For the record, the new rulebook states: “Just before the action resolves, give the character an action token. This signifies that you have resolved the action.” 

That sounds an awful lot to me like Green Arrow would be able to make his ranged attack AND THEN get an action token. Still, given the amount of times this has come up on social media already, I thought it worth mentioning here.] 

But ol’ Ollie still has one last trick up his sleeve. It’s his Attack Special (KRYPTONITE ARROWS: When Green Arrow hits with a ranged attack, the hit target can’t use defense powers until your next turn. If the hit target has the Kryptonian keyword also give it an action token.), which is always a crowdpleaser!

Obviously, so much goodness top dial means he’s also one of the best figures to call-in right now, too. When you put it all together, he is the best piece in Elseworlds.

 

Agree? Disagree? Post your own Top Ten in the Comments below! And keep an eye out for our Might Thor coverage starting next week!

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

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

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

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

Some Notes About the Set

Some General Notes About the Set:

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Fury SR

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

Green Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morpheus 2

Seriously, someone might want to get on that.

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

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

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

This seems excessive...

The fire seems excessive…

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

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

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

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

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

Lana Lang

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

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

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

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

Yep. Just out here in deep space… posing.

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

Clark Kent

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

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

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

Top Ten Twelve Figures in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Titano 2

Team Name: Metropo-lease Put Me Down!!

Theme: Metropolis

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

Roster:

SMWWG005R Titano – 75 Points

SMWW047 Lois Lane 45

SMWW049 Superman 175

=295 Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atomic Skull

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

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

Krypto

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

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

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

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

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

The least

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Born

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

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

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

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

Eclipso

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

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

Red Son Wonder Woman

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

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

A brutally efficient package.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

ROC’ing the Meta 2: Electric Boogaloo!! (Or, a Look at the Top Meta Figures for the 2014-2015 ROC Season!)

ROC

Okay! So it’s been awhile since I wrote anything that wasn’t a Weekly Roundup (or that had the “Electric Boogaloo” subtitle!), and I noticed that we really haven’t addressed the new ROC season format in any real detail yet. Well, that changes today!!

In this article, we’re going to look at which figures are doing well–basically, what you can expect to see at the next few ROC’s. In part 2, we’ll discuss which figures are not working like they use to in the Meta, and which figures might yet have their day in sun!

This should explain everything.

This should explain everything.

 

First, let’s take a look at the format the ROC is using this year. I mean, you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is, right?

From HCRealms, here is the current format:

1.2.1: The first half of this season the format will be “300 Points, Modern Age, and “No Tactics” “No Entity Possession”.

No figure with a base larger than a double base (peanut). Runs Sep 2014-Mar 2015.

What is “No Tactics?” Again, from the rules:

“Part 4: TACTICS
Tactics are optional elements of HeroClix that you can choose to play in your HeroClix games. Each brings new strategic depth and exciting opportunities to the game, but also additional rules and complexity.
Tactics should be added to your game only when you feel you’ve mastered all other aspects of the HeroClix rules. Even then, you and those you play with might want to add only one Tactic at a time, learning each in turn. Tactics covered in this section include:

• Special Objects
• Resources
• Feats
• Battlefield Conditions
• Event Dials
• Bystanders Tokens
• Themed Teams

That’s right. No Resources, Relics, Colossals or Entities. No Bystander Tokens! No ATA’s, even! Yikes! Annnnd, you have to declare three maps on your Build sheet to choose from if you win Map Roll, so it’s a lot harder to hose teams simply via Map Choice. So what does that leave you? Well, quite a bit, actually, with one mechanic rising above the rest–at least so far. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Looking at the results of the few ROC’s that have been run so far under these rules (you can see the results of the FAT OGRE ROC right here, and the Dial H guys have talked at length about the ROC they ran in their last couple episodes), here is what you can expect to see.

SUPPORTING CAST:

Ranged figures are at such an advantage in this format. Probably because of that, everyone is looking for supporting figures that aid in targeting and pump up Range, Attack and/or Damage. Also, TK and Support are two KEY abilities that almost every team needs to have or needs to deal with. Healing, especially, is hard to come by in today’s Meta without a Power Battery. As such, these are the solutions some high level players have turned to in order to solve for X so far in this early part of the ROC season:

The Dead Set:

Deadpool Supporting Cast

DP018 Blind Al: She’s cheap (just 13 Points) and she enables shenanigans. She’s only got 2 clicks, but that doesn’t matter. Do you need to get a figure to its second click in a hurry? Do you want the cheapest Perplex in the game for your turtle (read: Iron Pharaoh) team? One of her main drawbacks–her keywords–doesn’t matter a lick in this format, since Theme Teams are disallowed.

DP020 Weasel: Now we’re up to 27 Points and 3 clicks of life! Again, his dial is so useful it doesn’t matter. He’s got 2 specials that just make him the best supporting piece for ranged attackers in the game (Well, a case could be made for the next fig on this list, but I’m getting ahead of myself). Weasel’s Tech-Guru to the Underworld Damage Special essentially allows him to give an adjacent friendly attacker +1 to their Range, Attack AND Damage. His top dial Attack Special is slightly less useful, but it will let you reroll a nearby friendly character’s missed range attack roll if you miss by 1 (unless it’s a critical miss). As a nice little bonus, Weasel has Pulse Wave on the last two clicks of his dial. He only has an 8 Attack to go with his 5 Range (3 on the Pulse Wave), but when you remember that Pulse Wave ignores opposing Shape Change, Super Senses, Energy Shield/Deflection and Probability Control (if the Prob’er is in the area of effect), it’s not inconceivable that  Weasel could actually hit someone with it.

Bill Agent of Aim

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M.: 3 clicks of life for 30 Points! Bill does just about everything Blind Al does, only better! His Defense Special (I’M NOT ACTUALLY A QUALIFIED BLIMP PILOT, IT TURNS OUT: Bill, Agent of A.I.M. can use the Carry ability to carry any number of characters. After he carries a character and actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 3-6, deal him and the carried characters 1 damage.) will actually let you move most of your figures into place, and it also gets Bill to his two back clicks, which are absurdly useful for the points. He has the Hydra TA, Sidestep, Willpower and Outwit, but it’s his Attack Special that makes him a must play for a lot of folks (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.). Bascially, as long as your Primary Attacker is in range, he can attack your opponent’s best figure regardless of Terrain or Stealth or whatever, which is never not useful.

Again, Bill’s keywords aren’t the greatest (his best is probably Scientist), but that doesn’t matter a lick in this format.

The War Veterans:

War of Light is one of the largest sets they’ve ever made (actually, it’s gotta be the largest, right?), so just on shear numbers, it would have to offer a ton of great pieces for every role in a Build. As far as supporting pieces go, there’s definitely a few that you will run into again and again:

Soranik Natu

–WOL016 Soranik Natu: This is neither here nor there, but man, as I was looking for Soranik Natu images to put at the top of this entry, I noticed that half of what I found were Cosplay photos. I guess Soranik and her rather boobilicious uniform hit the Cosplay target right in the Bullseye. She’s alien, yet she basically looks like a sunburnt human; her costume wouldn’t be too hard to throw together, and dressing up as Ms. Natu offers the chance to display a lot o’ cleavage. There ya go–I think we just worked out a Cosplay algorithm that solves for the basic elements that need to be satisfied when choosing a character to Cosplay! Well done, us!

Anyway, Soranik Natu is a 70-Point Lantern from Wave 2 offers decent stats for her cost; what makes her Meta-worthy is the back half of her Trait (TANGLED LIVES: Opposing characters named Sinestro modify their combat values by -1 if not already modified by this effect. When Soranik Natu is adjacent to a character named Kyle Rayner, they both modify their attack values by +1 if not already modified by this effect.) and her top dial Attack Special (BATTLEFIELD MEDIC: Soranik Natu can use Telekinesis and Support. When she uses Telekinesis and places a friendly character next to her, she can use Support as a free action, but only to heal that character.). Please believe me when I say that there are very few good characters with Support in this format. Many teams in the normal Meta rely on the Power Battery for Support, or use Agrir’s Hammer for some Steal Energy/Quake shenanigans. Well, you can’t use either of those in the ROC right now. But Soranik here can fit right in with what a lot of Meta teams are already doing, and a 10 Attack Support as a FREE ACTION is a Godsend. Her TK also opens up a lot of doors in terms of your plan of attack.

As far as her Trait goes, we’ll see why that matters (if only a little) a little further on in this article.

Brother Hymn

–WOL029 Brother Hymn: He’s a bit pricey at 85 Points, but he will have just about every supporting power in the game (except maybe Empower, which doesn’t do much for you in the current environment anyway) somewhere on his dial. Top dial, he can use Perplex (only to increase values, but still), Enhancement (that also gives +1 to Range, not unlike Weasel), Barrier and Probability Control. Down dial he also morphs into a warrior monk with Running Shot and 3 damage along with Support (that he can occasionally use as–you guessed it–a Free Action!). He also flies, which means he’s a decent taxi, too.

Sister Sercy

–WOL033 Sister Sercy: She costs less than Brother Hymn (66 Points to his 85), but you get less, too. 1 less click of life, 2 less range, and less damage output throughout her whole dial. What you do get, however, is a phenomenal top click. Flight with 9 Movement and the Blue Lantern Perplex (can only Perplex values UP), 10 Attack with TK (so useful in this format), 17 Defense with Willpower and Prob with 2 Damage. She does pick up the same Support Special at the end of her dial that Brother Hymn has, but with an essentially naked 17 Defense and only 5 clicks, it is very possible someone can one shot her. Still, she is someone that you may see at a ROC.

The Old School:

Void

–SOG035 Void: At 70 Points with Flight and Phasing on all five of her clicks, along with the ability to Carry up to four friendly characters (with no keyword requirement, which, again, works brilliantly in a no Themed Teams environment), she’s one of the best Taxis in the game. She also gives you a (all together now!) Free Action Support after she resolves a move action. If her attack wasn’t stuck at 8 for her whole dial, she’d be nearly broken. She also possesses a wonderful Damage Special (PRECOGNITION: Void can use Outwit, Probability Control, and Super Senses; when an action resolves after she uses any of these powers, roll a d6 that cannot be rerolled and on a result of ‘one’ deal Void 1 unavoidable damage.) that might eat away at her over time, but chances are the game will already be decided before that damage really hurts her enough to matter.

SECONDARY ATTACKERS:

Modern Age currently has a good number of figures (thanks primarily to War of Light) that can act as very efficient Secondary Attackers who cost a pittance compared to what you used to have to pay. Most are Primes, but not all. If you’re going to a ROC soon, expect to see one of these pieces backing up the Primary Attacker:

The Lanterns:

Abin Sur

–WOL046B Abin Sur (Prime): Okay! Now we get to that mechanic I was talking about earlier–the one that’s been rising above the rest. It’s the Construct mechanic (CONSTRUCT: When building your force, you may attach a construct to this character by paying its point cost. Give this character a power action and replace the construct with any other construct, up to 2 points higher than the original construct. If this character has no action tokens and the new construct is a lower point value than the original construct, this is a free action instead.)! And Abin Sur here has it! He also has Running Shot, Energy Explosion, an 8 Range, 3 native Damage and some down dial Support (so useful!) and Perplex. Now, all that might seem pedestrian enough, but there are two MAJOR things to think about with Abin Sur here.

First, consider the WIDE range of abilities Abin’s Construct ability grants him (RCE, ES/D, Free Action Barrier, Free Action Smoke Cloud, Regen, CCE, Exploit Weakness, Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, etc., etc. … ). He can evolve with the game for the low, low price of 10 extra points when building your force (that’s the cost of the most expensive Construct, and he can switch them out at will by using a Power Action or a Free Action depending on which Construct you’re attaching.

Second, you’ll have that extra 10 Points (and more) to spend since Abin Sur ONLY COSTS 50 FREAKING POINTS!! Whaaa… ?!?!? Yep. He’s INSANELY good for his points. The other Construct pieces from War of Light are really good for their points, but 50 Points for everything Abin Sur brings you is just stupid.

Tomar Tu

–WOL013B Tomar Tu (Prime): 99 Points of awesome. He has the Construct ability, a mid-dial mini-Highfather-esque shenanigans-baiting Movement Special (FINAL STAND AGAINST HAL JORDAN: Give Tomar Tu a power action and choose an opposing character within 6 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t target any friendly character with an attack.), an absurd 9 Range, 18 Defense with Super Senses and Running Shot/Pulse Wave top dial. He can also use Willpower and has a conditional Outwit! You will be seeing this piece QUITE a lot in future ROC’s.

The Lil’ Guys:

Despotellis

–WOL099 Despotellis: Despotellis is sometimes referred to as a supporting piece, but make no mistake–his only purpose is dealing damage. Now, a 30-Point Hockey Puck with a 20 Defense is hard to deal with in the normal Meta; take away Resources and Relics, and his 20-Defense becomes ridiculously difficult to deal with. His Penetrating Poison is a great way to bust through particularly tough to deal with defensive abilities like Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and so on. Additionally, some of the Construct-sporting Lanterns can get up to a 20+ Defense from Range with the Shield, so having a way to knock them through their clicks without having to roll attack dice is key.

Headpool

–DP002 Headpool: Okay, he’s more of a tertiary attacker/tie-up piece, but he makes this list because you’re going to see him a lot. While he doesn’t have the Construct ability, he does have the Merc With a Mouth ability, which lets him attach Word Balloons (not as good as Constructs, but useful in and of themselves). He’s easy to get into the fray, and his Exploit Weakness should allow him to get through most defenses. Plus, his Defense Special (IMMORTAL ZOMBIE HEAD THAT EVERYONE WANTS: Headpool ignores other characters’ Poison and all but 1 damage that would be dealt to him. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) will keep him around far longer than his 3 clicks of life might suggest he would stay. The fact that he has the ability to dish out Virus tokens as well is something that might also be exploited, but we’ll touch on that a little more next time in Part 2…

PRIMARY PIECES:

These are the main pieces to watch out for. Not every army will feature one of these, but most will. They’re also not all Primary Attackers–there’s a couple Meta Builds that revolve around pieces that change the game without attacking. Either way, whatever Build you come up with, you are gonna need a way to deal with these guys (and gal) if and when you encounter them.

Yup. More Lanterns:

Kyle Raynor ION 2

–WOL107 Kyle Raynor (Green Lantern): They finally made a good Kyle Raynor?! Yup. His 180 Point cost is worth it, especially since Kyle can use the Construct ability. He can deal a ton of damage his first two clicks, but then a Stop Click (ION: When this click is revealed due to an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Kyle Rayner can use Impervious and the Quintessence team ability. This power can’t be ignored.) on Click 3 kicks things into overdrive. It bumps Kyle up to a 19 native Defense along with 5 Damage and Outwit. But it’s his Movement Special that’s really bonkers (I CAN BE EVERYWHERE I NEED TO BE: Kyle Rayner can use the Duo Attack Ability. When he does, before making each attack, you may place him in a legal square up to half his speed value away.). Read that ability again. It’s stupid, it’s so good. And you still have 110-ish Points (depending on what Construct you buy Kyle) left for supporting pieces. He is fully capable of doing 9 Damage or more while using that crazy Duo Attack of his, and there’s next to nothing that your opponent can do to tie him down!

John Stewart

–WOL105 John Stewart: A more traditional from-range beatstick who becomes more interesting in this format since he has the Construct ability. His top dial includes Running Shot, Precision Strike, RCE and the ability to use RCE as a ranged combat action instead of a power action. He also naturally sees through Hindering Terrain and other characters. For those reasons, he’s better than the 160 Point Hal Jordan that came with the Scenario Pack. He doesn’t have the crazy movement powers that Kyle Raynor does, but he’s damn good in his own right and he still packs a serious punch.

The Kool-Aid Kult Member:

Proxima Midnight

–GOTG050 Proxima Midnight: First of all, how awesome is her sculpt? It’s the exact image above, including the fallen victim at her feet. But I digress. Proxima is 100 points of aggression; her dial has 7 Clicks that start out range-based, then turn to close combat before finishing with some clicks that are somewhere in between. Top dial she has 10 Movement with Running Shot, 11 Attack with Pen/Psy (and Sharpshooter), 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes and 3 native damage. Her Range is dependent on her first Trait (THREE TRACERS OF BLACK LIGHT: Proxima Midnight begins the game with 3 Tracer tokens on this card. Proxima Midnight has a range value equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card times 3, and has a number of bolts equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card.), but it’s her second Trait that makes her so useful against foes with strong defensive abilities (THE SPEAR OF PROXIMA MIDNIGHT: When Proxima Midnight hits with a ranged combat attack, remove a Tracer token from this card and place it on a hit character’s card if it doesn’t already have one. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 for each of her Tracer tokens on other character’s cards, and on a result of 3-6 deal 1 penetrating damage to the character with that Tracer token on its card. When a character with her Tracer token on its card is KO’d, place the Tracer token on Proxima Midnight’s card.). Yup. Depending on that Spear roll, you could potentially do two separate packets of penetrating damage to a character. For pieces with Stop Clicks or other shenanigans (Bizarro, the Kyle Raynor from above that we just talked about), this is a huge headache.

With her combination of Sharpshooter, Pen/Psy and Combat Reflexes, sometimes your best move is to simply Running Shot right next to your target and stay there–if they don’t have an available Outwit, it’s going to be very tough for most pieces to hit a 20 Defense–especially if Proxima hits them first and they’re mid-dial.

Lots of folks have been teaming her with Bill, Agent of A.I.M. to get that first shot in from a safe place where it’s hard or even impossible for the enemy to return fire. This is certainly a valid strategy; just be ever mindful of your positioning with her, because she can get chewed up from range real quick. Her native 18 Defense isn’t bad by any stretch, but she has no reducers of any kind. Of course, even if she does go down hard, she still has her final Trait (CULL OBSIDIAN: When Proxima Midnight is KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, deal damage to that character equal to the last amount of damage dealt to Proxima Midnight. This damage can’t be reduced below 1.) to leave as a parting gift. Oh, and Ninwashui is kind of a fan.

The Shapeshifter:

Zombie Super Skrull

GOTG062 Super Skrull: This was the winning Primary Piece at the Dial H ROC event, I believe. He’s 170 Points and possesses all the same Zombie Traits that every other Zombie Chase has. Those alone make him pretty good, but what he’s really good at is mimicking that Green Lantern Construct ability! Super Skrull’s 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.) lets him actually choose up to FOUR standard abilities to pick up on the fly, and he does it all AS A FREE ACTION (not every Construct flip with the Lanterns is gonna be a Free Action). He’s a multi-tool for every occasion! And with his Zombie Traits, you frankly don’t care about taking one measly damage, since you have multiple ways to get it back!

And he teams very well with Headpool and some of the other Z-Virus figs like–well, we’ll get into that in Part 2 when we talk about some possibly overlooked figures!

The Ol’ Standards:

"I;m back?! My dear, I never left!"

“I’m back?! My dear, I never left!”

–IIM051 Iron Pharaoh: He is still a thing, going forward. I don’t know if there’s a piece I’ve discussed more on this site. He’s one of my favorites to use, and he’s not going anywhere until he’s rotated out. There’s not really a format that he’s not at least above average in. Krampus/Helspont teams (and, to a lesser extent, Shatterstar teams) are probably his main weakness at the moment, but even then, he probably still has a 40%-50% of coming out on top. I’ll take those odds if I’m matched up against a team designed to exploit my fatal flaw. And while he keywords are actually pretty good, the fact that you can play whoever you want with him in this environment only makes him better–he doesn’t have any NAMED keywords, so he was never gonna get those Theme Team probs anyway!

Shatterstar

–WXM010 Shatterstar: At 73 Points, he seems like he should be considered a Secondary Attacker. And on many builds, he probably will be. However, there’s a good chance that his team is going to revolve around him anyway thanks to his easily exploitable Trait (X PORTAL: Once per game, give Shatterstar a power action. Place Shatterstar and an adjacent friendly character of a lower point value in any adjacent squares on the map.) and the fact that, top dial, he can Charge 5 squares, has an 11 Attack with both Flurry AND B/C/F (Yup. If the rolls go your way, a 73 Point character can dish out 12 Clicks of raw damage on the second freaking turn no matter where your opponent is on the map. And once he’s up close and personal with an opposing figure, they’ll have to hit a 19 to Damage him (17 native Defense plus Combat Reflexes). Hell, you can run two of him and still have almost 150 Points leftover for the rest of your army. He’s that good. And just like the comics, he pairs really well with Rictor, especially since they both have top dial Charge (and Rictor pumps up their Attack values).

Highfather

–SLOSH052 Highfather: Yes, he’s still hanging around. He’s a supporting piece masquerading as a primary figure. His top dial TK , Prob and Support are somewhat useful, but the only reason he’s really played is his Trait (THE PACT: At the beginning of the game, you may announce a pact. If you do, the highest point character on your force and the highest point character on your opponent’s force (300 points or less) can’t target opposing characters with an attack until one of them has taken damage from an attack or they are the only 2 characters on the map. This ability can’t be ignored.). He can shut down Tentpole pieces, but it’s very rare in this environment that you’re going to find yourself facing a really heavy-costed piece outside of Kyle or Zombie Super Skrull. And even then, it’s not inconceivable that they won’t have a supporting piece who can get a shot in on Highfather.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I think Highfather is a losing strategy at this point. If you go this route, you will run into a few games where he guides you to an easy win. You may even make Top 8, but usually by then you’re gonna face some really well-put-together teams that will have not one but MULTIPLE answers for Highfather, and your day will be done right quick. But I have to include him on this list because he is still out there and you may run into him.

Helspont Krampus 2

WK002 Krampus/SLOSH042 Helspont: These guys come as a pair. An unlikely one, I grant you, but they’re pretty effective. The basic idea here is to use these two along with Blind Al. You Perplex Krampus twice with Blind Al and Helspont (who also has Perplex) to get Krampus to a 12 Attack, then you give Blind Al a power action to activate her Booby Trap power and expel Helspont from the starting area and deal him one unavoidable damage. The tricky part here is to find a spot to place Helspont that’s outside of your starting area yet adjacent to Krampus (not all maps will have a good spot, so winning Map Roll will definitely help you here). Then you activate Helspont’s Movement Special (I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO: Give Helspont a double power action and select an opposing character of a lower point value. Place Helspont and the chosen character in each other’s squares, and after actions resolve, Helspont may be given a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) to trade places with a key member of your opponent’s force who’s 199 Points or less. If at all possible, you want to choose someone who doesn’t have Shape Change, Super Senses or Probability Control (again, with no Themed Teams, Probability Control will be a lil’ easier to avoid) to take as many variables out of the equation as you can.

Then you activate Krampus’s special Capture Trait (NAUGHTY CHILDREN ARE MY HOLIDAY FEAST: Krampus can use the Capture ability. He can use it normally or, if the target is a higher point value, he must be given a double power action instead of a power action. When Krampus releases a captured character in his starting area, in addition to the normal effects, heal Krampus to his starting line.) and hope to all that is holy (or maybe unholy) that you hit. Krampus’s Attack Special gives him +1 to hit as well for each token on the target, so that will help you as well. With a 12-13 Attack, you should have a fighting chance against most figures.

You’ll probably have to wait through one round of clearing before you can release your Captive, but if you can succeed at all those steps, there’s a high probability that the game will be effectively over, especially if you were also able to take a Free Action shot with Helspont at another figure on your opponent’s team (and since there’s no chance of a Colossal-Sized Power Battery being in the way in their starting area in this environment, you should be good to go). Because Krampus never left his starting area, he’s still there, and he can release his Captive as soon as he has the ability to take a Power Action.

Now, if you miss with Krampus, you’re not doomed, since his Plasticity will keep most figures right where they’re at and he other Special Powers that grant him Super Senses and the ability to Perplex Attack Values down by -2, but you’ll also be giving your opponent a LOT more time to react, which is never good with this sort of combo team. There was also a ruling recently in the WizKids rules forum where they basically expanded the first turn Immunity rule to prevent you from doing this on your first turn; waiting until turn two isn’t exactly a dealbreaker, though–if you hit your rolls, crippling your opponent on turn two is just as effective as crippling him on turn one.

Hypersonic Speed is also a horrible matchup for this team (Speed Demon in particular, who people seem to have forgotten about so soon after his domination last season. But with his ability to cross the map in two turns, attack Krampus for 3 Damage AND also catch the creature in a Speed Cyclone Uplift, it’s possible he can KO Krampus in that token-clearing turn after he Captures someone but before he can release them.), but so far, we haven’t seen a ton of those figs show up in this specific Meta (outside of Super Skrull, who can gain it if he wants it). Having said all that, this is still a wickedly viable Build. I’d suspect you’d have much better results playing this than Highfather, at the very least.

The Best of the Rest:

Briefly, IIM001B Silver Centurion, ASM017B Brother Voodoo and WOL104 & WOL104R Guy Gardner are a few other figures you may run into in your ROC travels that are definitely still viable in the Meta.

Okay! So there you have it. Almost 5000 words on what you can expect to run into if you attend a ROC this season. Next time, we’ll discuss which former Meta figures you should avoid, and which figures and Builds you can try that haven’t really shown up yet this season.

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

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…

 

Local Tournament Report: War of the Light Month One (06/18/2014 @ Comics And More)!!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box!

DCU Fast Fact: Most Lantern rings found their masters by being discovered at the bottom of a cereal box! Saint Walker prefers Boo-Berry while Atrocitus is, of course, a Franken-Berry man… alien… thing.

Welcome back!! Outside of Ninwashui’s recap that just hit yesterday, it’s been a little while since we ran a Build column or a Local Tournament Report of any kind (I think Month 4 of AvX!), so we’re going to correct that right here! Why? The War of the Light isn’t just coming any more–it’s here!! As we said, you already got Ninwashui’s take. But here’s what happened from a different perspective–mine!

We played Month One of War of Light at our trusty local venue Comics & More, so you know what that means!! It’s time for a…

Local Tournament Report

LOCAL TOURNAMENT REPORT!!

The Format: Each participant is given 2 boosters of the limited edition War of Light DC Heroclix set. From the figures contained within the two boosters, competitors must make the best 300 Point army they can and compete in 3 Rounds of competitive play.

The Stipulations: No outside Relics or Resources (since this was Month One at this venue, the Power Battery wouldn’t technically be “released” until after the games were done), but if you pulled a Ring, you could play it!

What I Opened: Okay… here’s where things took a turn. Keep a couple things in mind:  first, most venues were only going to open one pack of WoL per person; we just got fortunate enough that we had nearly the perfect number to open 2 packs per person. Again, we were just lucky, since everyone and their mother is trying to get their hands on this set. Having said that, most people opened packs that contained one rare; some opened their packs and discovered that one of them had a Super Rare, which are generally more powerful than most of the rares in this set and, thus, give a slight advantage to the player opening them than if they had just opened two rares. And then there was me. The ten figures I opened were:

COMMONS:

WOL001 Orange Construct35

WOL003 Sinestro Corps Recruit50

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit50

WOL015 Arisia75 

WOL017 Boodikka75

Common Options Analysis: Some decent pulls there. The generic recruits in Wave One are all pretty solid for their points; moreover, because they’re generics and thus fewer points than many of the named characters, they’re great for filling in that last 35-50 points you might have left over when building a team in Sealed. That being said…

I didn’t use a one of these.

UNCOMMONS:

WOL023 Mongul165

WOL029 Brother Hymn85

Uncommon Options Analysis: Some really cool Uncommons. Mongul is a good pull because he can be you primary attacker if you don’t pull anything beefier in your Rare/Super Rare/etc. slot. Brother Hymn is flat out one of the best support pieces in the set. Top dial, he flies, has Barrier, Prob with 3 damage (so he can even be a secondary attacker if circumstances demand him to be), a limited Perplex, Enhancement AND he can pump up the Range of adjacent characters! Not bad for 85 Points.

I ended up using Brother Hymn.

RARES:

WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan)250

Rare Options Analysis: Now this is more like it! Hal Jordan as Parallax is definitely the sort of heavy hitter that can wipe the floor with opposing figures in this sort of format. His only problem is that he can’t fly (no, this doesn’t make sense on any level, but whatever–if he could fly, he’d probably be close to an even 300 in terms of point cost), but since I pulled a Sinestro Corps Recruit, I had a ready-made taxi whose 5o Point cost would fit beautifully with Parallax’s 250 Point cost. But…

I went another way.

SUPER RARES:

WOL057B Red Lantern Superboy Prime190

Super Rare Analysis: Wow! This is one of those heavy hitting Super Rares I was talking about! Superboy Prime has great top dial stats (he could easily go toe-t0-toe with Parallax, who costs another 60 Points) to combine with an even better power set that featured abilities like Hypersonic Speed, Invincible and Super Strength!

I chose to use Red Lantern Superboy Prime and teamed him with Brother Hymn!

But wait… that’s only 9 figures… and I’m 25 Points shy of 300. Hmmmm…

"Rawr! I mean, hisssss..."

“Rawr! I mean, hisssss…”

CHASES:

WOL063 Ophidian185/25

Chase Analysis: Okay, these are the types of pulls that make people hate you in Sealed. All I can tell you is, it’s not my fault! These were random pulls! Ophidian in particular and the Entities in general are basically like resources when you use their “Entity Possession” Trait. Considering that this is Month One, and peeps aren’t even allowed to use the Green Lantern Power Battery yet, the fact that I was the only one who pulled an Entity means that I’m effectively the only one with a resource.

Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good.

So, to review, my team was:

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

This is what dumb, stupid luck looks like.

Brother Hymn and Red Lantern Superboy Prime (Possessed by Ophidian).

And now, to the Report!

 

ROUND 1:

VERSUS: Ninwashui!

FACING:

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

A Rock and a soft (blue) face.

WOL047 Ganthet – 175 Points

WOL019 Bedovian – 115

WOLR305 Sinestro Corps Ring – 4

=294 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City

FIGHT!

This, unfortunately for my writing partner, ended up being a stomp. Ninwashui pretty much ran into a brick wall. He won Map Roll and not much else.

Ninwashui started by moving up, but he made a couple mistakes with his initial placement of Bedovian; he put him right next to Ganthet (which negated Bedovian’s top dial Movement Special DID THAT ROCK JUST BLINK?: When it isn’t your turn and no other characters are within 2 squares of Bedovian, lines of fire to him are blocked.); and he forgot that Ophidian gave Superboy Prime the ability to gain Sidestep and +1 to his Range or Movement. This really didn’t end up being that big of a deal, since I ended up missing the attack roll, but the extra spaces I saved by being able to use a ranged attack instead of having to run up all the way let me move out Superboy Prime up to some Elevated Terrain after the attack and out of harm’s way (because neither of his figures had any move-and-attack powers top dial).

On his second turn, Ninwashui clears (with no move-and-attack top dial, he doesn’t have many options here), and when my next turn starts, I Perplex up Superboy Prime and go to town on Bedovian, hitting him for 5 damage (3 actual, after Bedovian’s Invuln reducer). Luckily for me, this knocks Bedovian off of his best damage clicks (no more RCE) and on to his Yellow Lantern Perplex down clicks. While this is normally a decent power, I’ve seen what Superboy Prime becomes in his mid-dial (since I now own his figure!) and I am not too worried. Brother Hymn takes a shot at Bedovian to (hopefully) finish him off but misses.

On Ninwa’s turn, he bases Superboy Prime with both of his figures. I clear on my turn, which allows Ninwashui to open fire on Superboy. He uses Ganthet’s Perplex to pump up his own damage, and then uses Ganthet’s Special Attack Power (WITH PAIN, HOPE: Ganthet can use Incapacitate. When he does, after actions resolve, hit characters are each dealt his printed damage value and, until your next turn, each hit character increases its defense value by the number of action tokens it is assigned.) and hits. Superboy Prime takes 3 actual damage and gets an action token (and a corresponding +1 to his Defense). Unfortunately for Ninwashui, he’s about to find out what I already know. On Click 4, Superboy Prime gains a Special Attack Power of his own (RAGE OF A PETULANT CHILD: Superboy Prime can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. Opposing characters can’t counter Superboy Prime’s other powers and abilities or modify his combat values.). So now he has penetrating Poison and both Ninwashui’s figures are based with him. Bedovian now has a base of 3 damage and a Perplex that no longer works on Superboy Prime. Oh, and Click 4 on Ophidian bascially gave back Superboy Prime access to all the powers he lost from his top dial.

Essentially, the rest of the match goes like this for Ninwashui:

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot.

Actual footage of Ninwashui attempting to break Ganthet away from Red Lantern Superboy Prime for a Running Shot during War of the Light Month One.

Within the next two turns, Bedovian is dead and Ganthet is hurting (Poison plus a successful attack), and the game ends soon afterwards (I don’t recall if it was another Superboy Prime attack or just his Poison, but it doesn’t really matter).

DECISION:

VICTORY! 300-0.

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–Red Lantern Superboy Prime is a beast, but his low-ish Defense stats (especially mid-dial) mean that you CAN hit him. Still, his top dial Invincible and mid-dial un-Outwittable Impervious also mean that it’s gonna take A LOT of damage to chew through his 8 Clicks of life, and he’s got a great Regeneration power on his last two clicks. If you pull him, he’s very close to a Must Play. His offensive potential is consistent throughout his entire dial, and he’s great in close (really good mid-dial with that penetrating Poison) or from range. I don’t think he’s Meta, but you can have a ton of fun with him in Constructed.

–Ophidian (and, presumably, the rest of the Entities) are the real deal. The recent results from Nationals at Origins and the ROC’s this month confirm that the Entities are here to stay for the next two(-ish) years in the Meta. I’d expect their price to fall marginally in the next few months as more are opened, but not by much, and once their gone (basically, once War of the Light is over), I wouldn’t be surprised if their price jumps up again. They seem to be opened at an approximate rate of 2 per every 3 bricks, so we’ll see. Keep in mind too, that we don’t know what the Red, Indigo, Violet or Green Entities will do (and we’re presuming that there will be no Black Entity, since that Battery–if memory serves–was powered by the Anti-Monitor, who we already know is going to be a Con-Exclusive Colossal and who does NOT have the “Entity Possession” ability).

ROUND 2:

VERSUS: Dan, a regular at our venue.

FACING:

My, that's a white hot Lantern!

My, that’s a White hot Lantern!

WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points

WOL017 Boodikka – 75

WOL015 Arisia75

=300 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again)

FIGHT!

Dan won Map Roll and went first. He advanced to the large Elevated Terrain in the center of the map, taking care to stay out of range of any sniping spots from the small Elevated area in front of my starting zone. On my turn, I used Ophidian to increase Superboy Prime’s Range by +1, then upped it again with Brother Hymn. I then Sidestepped Superboy Prime up to the small patch of Elevated Terrain and took a RCE shot (+1 to Attack and +1 to Damage) at White Lantern Swamp Thing. Hit! 5 Damage (4 get through due to Swamp Thing’s Toughness). That leaves Swamp Thing on a problem click for me with a Special Damage power (RESURRECT THE FALLEN: When a friendly character within range and occupying hindering terrain would be KO’d, roll a d6. On a result of 5, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 1 click, and they are now assigned 1 action token. On a result of 6, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 2 clicks, and remove all action tokens they are assigned.) that means I have to be very careful about when I try to take down Swamp Thing’s supporting crew. Swamp Thing’s Trait (RESTORE THE GREEN: Give Swamp Thing a move action, after actions resolve, you may place hindering terrain markers in any clear squares he moved through and he may make a close combat attack targeting one opposing character occupying a hindering terrain marker Swamp Thing just placed. These markers aren’t removed when Swamp Thing is KO’d.) means that Dan can get Hindering Terrain almost anywhere he wants.

Meanwhile, Boodikka and Arisia close on Brother Hymn while I keep Superboy Prime just out of line of fire and take Swamp Thing down to his Stop Click. While I de-token, Dan takes out Brother Hymn and Regenerates Swamp Thing back to click 5. I decide to change tactics and use Hypersonic Speed to take out Arisia (who happened to be standing in Clear Terrain). By pumping up Superboy Prime’s Movement +1 with Ophidian, I’m able to dart around the map and take pot shots at Swamp Thing and Boodikka while usually avoiding a counter-attack. Of course, with my team a figure down, I’m also hard-pressed in terms of actions to do anything but get Swamp Thing to his Stop Click. Finally, I take out Boodikka on the Elevated Terrain in the Center of the map, and Dan meets me there with Swamp (back at Click 5 again, I believe). At this point, Superboy Prime is down a few clicks, and Swamp Thing can Ignore Characters on Movement, so waiting on Superboy’s penetrating Poison clicks won’t do anything.

Finally, I solved Swamp Thing’s stop click by choosing Pulse Wave from Ophidian and getting, well, lucky. I roll two fives for doubles on Pulse Wave, which knocked Swamp Thing off of elevation… AFTER he hit his Stop Click. Game over.

DECISION:

Victory! 300-85 (Though, as you can probably guess from the description above, this was MUCH closer than the score might indicate.)

Learning

WHAT I LEARNED:

–White Lantern Swamp Thing is the Truth! He’s got decent values, but the White Lantern “Life” Stop Click is great, and his special resurrection Damage Power really makes an opponent think about what order they should attack your figures in. Yes, it only has a 33% chance of going off, but that’s just as good as Shape Change or Super Senses, except HE’S GIVING THE POWER TO OTHER FIGURES! Very cool. The fact that he ignores everything on movement and has a TRAITED move-and-attack power means that he’s not just a support piece–he’s a legitimate threat as an attacker. That he can also place Hindering Terrain markers wherever you want on the map offers a ton of possibilities for army building in Constructed as well.

–Let there be no doubt–Ophidian was the difference in this battle. The fact that I could simply pick up a power as useful as Pulse Wave at the drop of a hat was really the difference in the game. If the roles had been reversed, and Swamp Thing had been Possessed by Ophidian, I would have been staring at a loss here.

ROUND 3:

VERSUS: A new player we’ll call A.

FACING:

"Get it? I'm the First Lantern. And I live... IN A LANTERN! Booyah!"

“Get it? I’m the First Lantern. And I live… IN A LIGHT LANTERN! Booyah! Honestly, this stuff writes itself at this point!”

WOL049 First Lantern – 260 Points

WOL001 Orange Lantern Construct – 35

=295 Points

THE MAP:

Coast City Map

Coast City (Again, again)

FIGHT!

For the final round, I faced a brand new player. I didn’t know a lot about the First Lantern, but I did know that A would need some advice during the game, given that it was only the second tourney game he’d ever played (he had a Round 1 bye).

Basically, First Lantern’s top dial Damage Special (DISCOVERED THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM FIRST: At the beginning of your turn, choose a color other than white. Until your next turn, any opposing character within range and line of fire can’t use powers of that color.) allowed A to take away my ability to use Hypersonic Speed. I was still able to slightly out-maneuver A’s team with Superboy Prime picking Sidestep from Ophidian and meeting up at the main Elevated Terrain with the patch of Blocking Terrain in the center. Finally, he got off a shot on Brother Hymn because of some careless placement and a failed attack by me, and then he brought in his Orange Lantern Construct on a Charge/Blades/Claws/Fangs, which finished off the good Brother. At this point, I realized that I needed to stop providing advice and start worrying about the fact that A was kicking my butt!

Because he kept choosing Brown (or Gold–however you want to describe the color of Hypersonic Speed and Impervious), he actually had Superboy on the ropes (or specifically, his penetrating Poison clicks). Eventually, I Poisoned the Construct to oblivion, but it wasn’t until I got a hit in on the First Lantern and got him past his Invincible clicks that the Poison actually did anything. Still, the game came down to A’s turn when he still had Superboy’s Impervious negated and 3 Damage showing. Superboy Prime had Shape Change from Ophidian… and hit it. Otherwise, a roll of six or higher would have ended the game.

Unfortunately for A, while I missed several more attacks, I proceeded to hit Shape Change TWICE MORE in the next couple rounds. Finally, a penetrating Poison went off, and the First Lantern was no more.

DECISION:

Victory295-85 (This was the closest game yet, and it was only through-yep!-more dumb luck that I won.)

Learning

–No one deserves to be on the receiving end of three Shape Changes in a row when they have the game basically won, but there it is. Yikes. Still, for just his second tourney game, A played very well.

–First Lantern is a good piece that would be great if he could either fly or if he cost about 200 Points. At 260 points, he’s just a bit expensive for what he does. Still, going forward, as the Build total increases each month, First Lantern will become a better and better piece with the ability to team more and better support figures with him.

–Orange Lantern Construct is a GREAT piece for his points. He’s the cheapest non-Entity piece in Wave One, and he’s well worth including in your force if you can fit him in.

–I just noticed that I haven’t said anything about Brother Hymn, but he was a champ. He’s arguably the BEST support piece in Wave One.

With the Final Round results, I finished first.

THE SPOILS:

He's MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

He’s MINE! AND MINE AND MINE AND MINE!!

(Although, if we’re being honest, Red Lantern Superboy Prime and freaking Ophidian are a pretty damn good haul on their own!!)

Team Ideas – The Bridge to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Idea

Among the other competitive pieces to come out in the Deadpool set (detailed here and here), we got a new figure that falls into a category of pieces that I refer to as “recruiters,” DP041 G.W. Bridge. Like TDW015 Duhg and SLOSH201 Cosmic Boy, DP041 G.W. Bridge has the ability to give any character a keyword that they didn’t have before. In a correctly built team, he can give any character the Six Pack, Weapon X, or Solider keywords. Just one problem… those are boring. Reasonable but boring. And they aren’t worth all the hoops you have to jump through to get them. That leaves the S.H.I.E.L.D keyword. That’s more fun.

So what does it take to get that keyword in a 300 point army? Well G.W. himself is 68 points, and the cheapest S.H.I.E.L.D generic, AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., is 19 points. Together the 4 generics required and G.W. are 144. That means I can give the S.H.I.E.L.D keyword to any character 156 points or less. So I can easily create a team like this:

 

Little known fact: this is how Michael Jackson would have looked in another 10 years.

Little known fact: Red Skull’s appearance is actually the result of the world’s worst nose job.

Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D, Director Skull

DP041 G.W. Bridge

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell

CATWS002 S.H.I.E.L.D. Soldier

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM016 Red Skull

Total = 296 points

 

See that was way more fun than the Six Pack keyword. Let’s try Another one for those of you who saw the latest Captain America Movie:

 

Sometimes his chest TV shows his face, other times it shows Game of Thrones.

My face, now in HD…

Arnim, Head of the I.T. Department

DP041 G.W. Bridge

AVM206 Agent Coulson

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AVM003 Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

DP054 Arnim Zola

Total = 300 points

 

Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s fun but not all that competitive. Is there any way giving someone S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword actually helps you in battle other than giving you a theme team bonus? Just one. It’s this guy: CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. I’ve tried this guy out in battle and he’s the real deal. Just about any attack aimed at the pieces you care about get redirected to this guy and you lose a 36 point character instead of your 100+ character. Alpha Strike? Just stand there and take it. If they swoop in for a hit on your team that just means they’ll be in a great position for you to hit them next turn. To bump it up a notch the special mastermind power on CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent also works with CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent because they share the same name. That means you would only lose 25 points of your force to an attack instead of 36. Even better.

The downside of having six S.H.I.E.L.D. characters on a team in a 300 point game is that it will take you all of your actions just to move them around, much less make any attacks. S.H.I.E.L.D. keyworded figures aren’t know for flying. What a S.H.I.E.L.D. team really needs is something to carry them. There is no helicarrier in HeroClix (currently), but I thought of the next best thing. Here’s my final (competitive) team:

 

The ring is the mightiest weapon in the universe... and it get's HBO.

The ring is the mightiest weapon in the universe… and it gets HBO.

Hal Jordan, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

DP041 G.W. Bridge

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

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

CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

TT033E Green Lantern

Total = 300 points

 

TT033E Green Lantern is exactly what S.H.I.E.L.D. needs. He can carry your whole team. That means moving all 6 guys in 1 action. He’s a virtual helicarrier. The offense on this guy is great. He’s got 8 range, perplex, and he can choose to gain Close Combat Expert, or Ranged Combat Expert as the situation warrants. Since the rest of his team all has the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA, that will allow him to turn his range up to 11.

This is actually what it looks like to turn a Green Lantern ring up to 11...

This is actually what it looks like to turn a Green Lantern ring up to 11…

DP041 G.W. Bridge is very similar to TT033E Green Lantern offensively as he also can gain Close Combat Expert, or Ranged Combat Expert as needed, but instead of perplex he has outwit. Additionally, they both strikingly similar defensively – which means they both have a lousy defense. That’s their weak point. At least it was until they got to this team. With two CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, and two CATWS106 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, it’s likely the first four times your team takes a hit neither Green Lantern or G.W. Bridge will take any damage at all. They will just be able to sit there and take pot shots with their RCE and willpower while any living S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents enhance their damage with the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA. The other team isn’t going to out range you with all the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA floating around and even if they base you, your damage dealers can get Close Combat Expert and your two CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents have empower! That’s a no win situation for the opponent. The only things you need to fear are Precision Strike, Pulse Wave, and Energy Explosion. You have an outwit to help nullify those powers.

Just like with my Iron Pharaoh team, I feel my Green Lantern S.H.I.E.L.D. team is very capable of competing at an event like the ROC and I haven’t seen anything like it published anywhere. It’s original to me right here and now. It’s designed to win in a no resource allowed tournament and will need to be changed for a tournament where resources are allowed. If you get a chance to play this team at a real tournament, leave a comment here and let me know how you did.