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

50 Greatest Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Marvel ZOmbies Villains

10. Z-Virus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Must Have Pieces: Headpool, Electro, Super Skrull.

 

LEgo Avengers

9. Avengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Black Lantern Lego

8. Black Lantern Corps

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

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

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

Working Together!: No Team Base…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lego GotG

7. Guardians of the Galaxy

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

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiters. Bummer.

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

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

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

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

Shadow of the Colossus: None.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lego Heroes for Hire

6. Heroes for Hire

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

Uncle Sam Wants You!: No recruiter.

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

Working Together!: No Team Base.

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

And he’s the “bad” Prime.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Tina Turner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–Deadpool (05/14/2014)

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

–War of Light (06/01/2014)

–Return of the King (06/04/2014)

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

Star-Lord Gif

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

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

–Guardians of the Galaxy (08/13/2014)

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

–Fast Forces: Rogues (11/12/2014)

–The Flash (11/12/2014)

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

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

Gold Swimming Pool

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

the_joker_smile_by_angrypig-d4k075d

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

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

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

 

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

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP051 Banshee

DP057 Tiamat

WOL025 The Weaponer of Qward

WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern)

GOTG062 Super Skrull

FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

FL050 The Flash

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Zombie Super Skrull

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

Notable Runners-Up:

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

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

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

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

 

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

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor

DP053A Speed Demon

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

WOL013B Tomar Tu

GOTGM012 Yondu

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP064 Electro

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

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

GOTGM101 Star-Lord

GOTGM106R Ronan

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

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

GOTG059B Doctor Spectrum

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Speed Demon

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

Notable Runners-Up:

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

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

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

 

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

FFDP006R Mercy 

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

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

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell

DP018 Blind Al

DP020 Weasel

DOFP008 Senator Robert Kelly

DOFP011 Destiny

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit

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

WOL033 Sister Sercy

WOL029 Brother Hymn

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon

GOTG003 Mantis

GOTG017A Kree Lieutenant

FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Rocket Raccoon Gif

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

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

Notable Runners-Up:

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

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

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

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

 

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

FL018 Steve Trevor

FL019B Bizarro Flash

SLOSH050 Toyman

SLOSH047A White Witch

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

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

WOL039 Kryb

WOL051 Krona

GOTGM010 Nebula

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notable Runners-Up:

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

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

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

 

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

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set

Days of Future Past

Deadpool

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

CATWS

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

Notable Runners-Up:

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

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

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

 

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

SLOSH005B Mon-El

DP019B Evil Deadpool

DP047B Cat

DP053B Whizzer

WOL013B Tomar Tu

WOL020B Laira

WOL046B Abin Sur

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

GOTG047B Thanosi

FL037B Dark Flash

FL053B Zoom

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Captain Marvel Marvel 2

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

Notable Runners-Up:

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

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

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

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

 

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

Guardians of the Galaxy

War of Light

Deadpool

Flash

Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

"We're number one!"

Guardians… pull my finger.

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

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

Notable Runners-Up:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

WE are Groot. (Or a Second Opinion on the Guardians of the Galaxy Comic Heroclix set)

Well he don't know talkin' good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to "I" and "am" and "Groot," exclusively in that order.

“Well he don’t know talkin’ good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to ‘I’ and ‘am’ and ‘Groot,’ exclusively in that order.”

So I am in the unusual position of HypeFox having given his Top Ten Set List first. The last time we did a top ten was for Deadpool. I went first that time and the process created the most popular article our site has ever published. I think HypeFox is feeling the pressure this time because this is my…

 

Second Opinion!!

A Second Opinion

 

Some General Notes About the Set:

"None of us made this list, but damn we look heroic!"

“None of us made this list, but damn we look heroic!”

Here’s some things HypeFox was actually right about. He said:

  • There is a metric Poop-Ton of generic figures in this set… which, for once, is actually awesome!” – These packs had two chances of pulling a good figure. Every pack has a rare, but now some also have a unique version of a generic that is usually very playable (AKA Tana Nile instead of Rigellian Colonizer). For example, I got a pack containing my 3rd Killraven (ugh), but it also contained my first Recorder #451. I ended up feeling that that a was pretty good pack. Bravo Wizkids.
  • In terms of Overall Power Level, Guardians is NOT Deadpool” – Agreed. There are less uber-powerful figures in this set, but everything seems remarkably playable. Great for sealed play with seemingly less figures that would give you an auto-win in sealed (like ThorPool).
  • “…the Chases in this set SHOULD have been the Black Order…” – Agreed in that they seem more Chase-like (think Prime’s Titans). However, on the plus side, I own a Thanos now and I wouldn’t own one if he were a Chase. So I guess it worked out in the end.
  • “Zombie Skrull is really just a waste of everyone’s time” – Zombie Skrull is the worst Chase I have ever seen. Ever. I would almost rather never pull a GotG Chase than open that Flaming pile of poopfarts.

Here’s something he was wrong on:

  • “The Inhumans didn’t turn out so hot, in my opinion” – There were some stinkers (Gorgon), but in general I like their inhumanity trait. That perplex brings a lot of value. Hypefox loved the same power on IIM002 Rescue when it was called “I’M NOT LETTING YOU TURN ME INTO A WEAPON“. Why is he suddenly hating on it now? [EDITOR’S NOTE: I have no problem with the Inhumanity Trait. I just don’t like any of their dials outside of maybe Thane. Either way, I think the only way to settle this is with an 800 Point Black Order vs. Inhumans Throwdown with a GotG Pack on the line!!]

Now then, on to:

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

"Yes I 'dare.' Honestly, being the fifth Honorable Mention isn't that bad, Volx."

“Yes, I ‘dare.’ Honestly, being the fifth Honorable Mention isn’t that bad, Volx.”

5.  GOTG010B Dire Wraith Queen – She brings Pen/Psy, Perplex, Stealth, Energy Explosion, Toughness, and Prob on her first click. In addition her crazy Traited Shape Change makes her hard for opponents hit. She reminds me a lot of SLOSH042E Helspont, but with less impervious and more stealth. What’s keeping her from being higher on this list? She needs slightly higher stats and the basic Dire Wraiths just aren’t that good.

 

"This job is not worth $2.13 an hour plus tips... "

“This job is not worth $2.13 an hour plus tips… “

4GOTG013B Recorder #451 – He’d be decent on his own, but his Trait is the real reason you’ll ever really want to field him. He brings a fun new spin on some pieces that would likely have not seen as much play otherwise. Time to dust off your IIM001A Iron Man!

 

"Don't touch which button? And what's a 'remote detonation' now?"

“Don’t touch which button? And what’s a ‘remote detonation’ now?”

3. GOTG008A Raptor – Sporting Stealth, Flight, and Sidestep, these members of the Brotherhood of Raptors make great taxis for the Armor and Shi’ar-keyworded figures of the world. Remember the Shi’ar? WatX wasn’t that long ago, was it? Remember armor teams? IIM, wasn’t it? … You get the idea.

 

"If do right, no can defense."

“If do right, no can defense.”

2GOTG028 Karnak – A solid close combat piece similar to Shang-Chi and Cat. His inhumanity trait is what pushes him over the top. It essentially gives him +1 to attack or +1 to defense that turn depending on your needs that turn. But the real kicker here is his trait and the awesome combo ability it brings. Imagine him with poison from a phoenix shard. Now imagine a penetrating quake from a hammer dropped from the book of shadows!

 

This sculpt wasn't creepy enough for Shriek so it was rejected and replaced with the version we have now.

This sculpt wasn’t creepy enough for Shriek so it was rejected and replaced with the version we have now.

1. GOTG044 Shriek – She would have made my top 10 except that she needs a lantern construct to be really good. Combine her with the sniper rifle and you’ve really got something there. Everything within 10 range gets battle fury. That means that with good positioning your team can’t legally be targeted by a ranged attack all game by 99% of the figures out there. Even Bullseye won’t be able to touch her. Plus she can mind control anyone in 10 range regardless of line of fire. She severely limits what you can play yourself (maximum carnage or close range figures only), but I think she can be the lynchpin of a successful team.

 

Alright, now that we’re done with the warmup, here are:

 

Star-Lord Gesture

He just found out he didn’t make the top ten…

My Top 10 Figures of the Set:

 

Maximus

10. GOTG038 Maximus AND GOTG018 Alpha Primitive –  I made these two figures one entry because the effectiveness of both pieces are closely tied to each other. [EDITOR’S NOTE: This seems an awful lot like cheating.]

They are either both effective or both not. I’ve been arguing with HypeFox for a few weeks now about this guy. I think he has a future in tournaments. HypeFox doesn’t. I think everything the Alpha primitives bring to the table make them well worth 30 points. (especially the Mind Control and free move) When you consider that Maximus can create 2 of them and add that 60 points to your force, then it’s really like you get the remainder of the Maximus dial for 15 points. That seems like a great deal to me.

 

"Y'know what? Let's just skip Father's Day this year. And, y'know, every other year. From now on."

“You know what? Let’s just skip Father’s Day this year. And, y’know, every other year. From now on.”

9. GOTG058 Mentor – Like a buffed up version of SOG038 David Cain – this guy is a sniper instructor just looking for the perfect student. He brings a lot of offense to the table himself, but his real value is transforming a high-range, low-offense character from zero to hero. If you make sure to keep him our your side of the map, he won’t go down easy.

 

Ronan the Accuser painted

8. GOTG208 Ronan the Accuser – This guy is the perfect sniper. You’d be hard pressed to find this much ranged offense in another character his point level. 9 range, 12 attack, and Pen/Psy make for a deadly character. As a bonus, he’s the glue you need to put together a great Kree team. All the Kree Generics are lacking is will power. This is how they can get it.

 

"Alright! I'm almost finished with my Voltron costume!"

“Alright! I’m almost finished with my Voltron costume!”

7. GOTG059B Doctor Spectrum – I this guy over GOTG059A Doctor Spectrum because he has a better offensive roll to play and costs less points (Plus Rokk isn’t very good). His Trait will make sure you almost never miss. Energy Explosion with 3 arrows will punish anyone standing next to your target. Just watch out for when your opponent starts shooting back, because his low-ish Defense Value makes him pretty squishy.

 

"Longest. National. Anthem. Ever!"

“Longest. National. Anthem. Ever!”

6. GOTG011B Jason of Sparta AND GOTG011A Spartoi Elite – Remember the Shia’r? Wait I said that already. This is another group of figures that you don’t want to play separately. Consider that one Spartoi Elite will give Jason 18 Defense and a Perplex to waste on whatever he wants. 3 will give him 20 Defense and 3 Perplexes to use on offense! Plus thanks to ship he can carry them all around at the same time. That’s 159  points total for that Defense/Perplex ball. In 300 you could throw in WXM023B Cerise and WXM022 Korvus and still have 17 points to share. Alternatively, Jason and a single Spartoi Elite could bring WXM048 Warstar along to pack a serious punch. You could even make a bunch of Raptor and Spartoi Elite pairs. Lots of options here.

 

Zombie Super Skrull

5. GOTG062 Super Skrull – You can look at his dial and wonder why it costs 170 points. What you need to do is imagine that he has a full dial of hypersonic speed, steal energy, and impervious. If I ever play him on my team that’s exactly what he will have. I was a big fan of WXM038 Legion and the Super Skrull brings that idea to a whole new level.

 

"Ugch. I have got to start washing my hands after using the bathroom!"

“Ugch. I have got to start washing my hands after using the bathroom!”

4. GOTG003 Mantis – For a mere 56 points she brings Prob, Mind Control usable on friendly Guardians, Combat Reflexes, Close Combat expert and Regeneration for when she’s taken a good hit. She’s a support character that can also handle herself in a fight. I’d love to say I originated the love for this piece, but it’s rated 5 stars on HCrealms and Patrick Yapjoco won the ROC championship with her. Consider me a band wagon fan.

 

"Hey, Marvel, let's ease up on the 'Holocaust' references, eh? It sounds like your comparing the horrifying ordeal of Jewish POW's in WWII concentration camps to the plight of  FICTIONAL CHARACTERS!"

“Hey, Marvel, let’s ease up on the ‘Holocaust’ references, eh? It sounds like your comparing the horrifying ordeal of Jewish POW’s in WWII concentration camps to the plight of FICTIONAL CHARACTERS!”

3. GOTG007B Captain Marvel – A defensive ability only seen before on 175 point Mon-el Prime now comes on an 82 point piece? And it can’t be countered? What the what? On Offense his penetrating damage ranged UNI-BEAM attack can keep any character he’s able to hit from attacking at all on the following turn. This well rounded piece has it all.

 

Thane

2. GOTG060 Thane – A month ago, Hypefox and I played a game with the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Starter pieces. He tried to use the starter set Starlord to attack my character once normally and then once with a free action Hadron Enforcer. That seemed way too powerful for me to believe it. We stopped and read Starlord’s card and I was right. If you use the special action Pulse Wave power, then that is your one action with that character this turn. They will never make a character that can do both in one turn, because that would be stupid.

So the next set comes out and we get Thane. Thane can do exactly the trick that Hypefox tried to pull on me last month. He can attack and then once per game do a free action Pulse Wave in the same turn! That’s potentially 9 clicks of damage to a single target in a single turn and all of it would bypass Impervious! Even discounting his Trait, his dial is very tough and deadly. 3 clicks of Invincible up front for only 115 points? That’s almost enough to be the best character in the set.

 

Proxima Midnight

1. GOTG050 Proxima Midnight – This is the best character in the set. For only 100 points you get a long 7 click dial and every click of it is deadly. Her Defense of 18 plus Combat Reflexes was called revolutionary when it originated on SOG039 Lady Shiva. It’s no less effective here. Her nine range and 11 Attack with Pen/Psy is deadly and the unique damage over time feature for hit targets is great. Sharpshooter means she can make ranged attacks while based with her opponent. 4 clicks of Steal Energy should allow her to get back into the fight when damaged. If all else fails she will least do some damage on the way out with her CULL OBSIDIAN trait. This is not a 100 point dial, but that’s all you will need to pay for it!

 

Blam!! Murdered You!! (Or, 5000+ Words About The Top 10 Figures in Guardians of the Galaxy!!)

"And remember, cool guys don't look at explosions."

“And remember Annihilators, cool guys don’t look at explosions. I’m mostly talking to you, Quasar.”

Okay! And we’re back to business as usual! War of Light is still going hot and heavy as we head into Month 4, but methinks we’ve got that set covered and then some! I mean, really.

Besides, we have a whole new set of cosmic goodness to talk about. Guardians of the Galaxy (not to be confused with the awesome GotG Movie Set that released in July) came out in August; it’s high time we had a Top Ten review!!

But first, as usual…

Some General Notes About the Set:

–There is a metric Poop-Ton of generic figures in this set… which, for once, is actually awesome! Taking a page from War of Light, there are a bunch of non-Prime A and B sides to most of the low-numbered sculpts. I know a lot of folks hate repaints, but doing the Common figures this way allowed WizKids to sneak a bunch of different races and characters into the set than they normally would have (like Brother Royal, Jason of Sparta, Ikon, etc.). And these aren’t just cheapies that you’ll never use–many of these are legitimate pieces to build an army around. For example, while the Spaceknight generic is cool, the B-side Ikon is a brick with two different dials that can power an Annihilators Theme Team with free action attacks and (with the Annihilators ATA) remove tokens from her brethren whenever she KO’s an opposing figure. Recorder #451 can enhance Scientist teams (especially those featuring Iron Man) to a lethal degree while being an attacker to reckon with on his own. And so on; if this is a new trend going forward, I’m on board. It really cuts down on the legions of useless Common dupes that you normally end up with each time a new set comes out.

–In terms of Overall Power Level, Guardians is NOT Deadpool (if you saw this coming last January, you’re a better man than me; I thought for sure it’d be the other way around). Of course, you might remember that when Deadpool came out in May, I said that Deadpool was not as strong as Iron Man or SLoSH. Well… I was an idiot!

Deadpool has proven to be almost annoyingly strong, although maybe not entirely in the way that the designers intended; I think Copycat is still a MAJOR problem that we have not seen the last of. While I applaud almost all of the ROC’s latest rules changes, their decision to ban Entities for half of their season is possibly short-sighted and is almost certainly going to make Copycat worse in terms of her ability to COMPLETELY disrupt a player’s strategy before the game has even started. But from a simple design standpoint, I don’t see how it makes any sense to reward the player who didn’t put any thought into their Build because they know Copycat will just completely screw with their opponent’s plan over the player who took the time to come up with an actual strategy. Of course, she was designed to be used in an environment that has Angrir’s Hammer and Nurse Constructs aplenty; it’s not WizKids’s fault (or their problem, really) that the ROC has a Tactics-less, Entity-less season. So now, instead of being dominated by a select few pieces, the ROC has created a season that could possibly be dominated by one. But, as this is really a Deadpool set issue, we’ll table it for the moment. More on all this in the next Weekly Roundup.

"How exactly is it that you've managed to almost single-handedly corrupt one of the funnest parts of Heroclix--army building?!"

“Copycat, how exactly is it that you’ve managed to almost single-handedly corrupt one of the funnest parts of Heroclix–army building?!”

Anyway, where Guardians as a set excels is in the breadth of its top to bottom roster. It’s also cool how many characters from recent storylines are finally making their Heroclix debut. This is one of the funner rosters that WizKids has put together in recent memory (so long as your a fan of Marvel’s cosmic heroes, I suppose, but since I am and this is my column, there ya go!).

–While I’ve been on record as saying that the Chases in this set SHOULD have been the Black Order, at least we got decent versions of all of those villains in other rarity slots. That a Thanos Prime exists in the game (his Prime is Thanosi, and it’s really stinking good) makes me smile–until I remember that we didn’t get a Zombie Thanos, which might have saved the Chases this go around. While half of them are solid (Magneto, Dr. Doom, Red Skull), there are no Damage Fountains like Zombie Electro this time around and there’s only one that made Top Ten (we’ll get to him in a lil’ bit!). And Zombie Skrull is really just a waste of everyone’s time (seriously? This slot couldn’t have been Zombie Thanos? Blccch).

–Speaking of the sub-themes of the set, I was pretty happy with the roster selections. The Inhumans didn’t turn out so hot, in my opinion, but we needed Modern versions of all of them, really, so I didn’t mind that they were in the set. We’ve talked about how cool the Black Order is, and I was glad to see all the different cosmic races featured, with a focus on the Kree. Again, outside of no Zombie Thanos, they did a great job of selecting who should or should not be in this set.

"There's a Chase inside! I guarantee it or your money back!" [EDITOR'S NOTE: Fictional characters have no money and thus cannot make binding money-back guarantees.

Star-Lord says: “There’s a Chase inside! I guarantee it or your money back!”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Fictional characters have no real money and thus cannot make binding money-back guarantees.]

–I think I mentioned this during the last Weekly Roundup, but for whatever reason, all the Primes (all 4), Chases (3) and most of the Super Rares (lost count at this point–I know, #FirstWorldProblems) that I’ve either pulled myself or witnessed be pulled by someone else have EXCLUSIVELY come out of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” front box art packs (as opposed to the “Thanos” bedecked boxes). If a small sample size of anecdotal evidence is enough to convince you that all Chases and Primes only come out of the GotG boxes, well, then, there ya go!!

(Somehow I suspect that your mileage will vary; still, thought it was an odd enough phenomenon to warrant mentioning).

–The Zombies Team Base is technically a character, and a very good one at that (I love Zombie Miasma!); I’ve precluded it from this list, however, for a couple of reasons. First, most of our readers will never own enough Zombies to make it work. It stinks, but it’s true–that’s what happens when you make a Team Base that can only be filled by some really pricey Chases. Second, just like the Avengers and X-Men Team Bases from the AvX set, the characters you choose to use with your Team Base and the order that you place them in can have a HUGE effect on how effective the piece is overall.

With all that said, I think it’s time we talked about:

FIVE SIX HONORABLE MENTIONS!!!!!!

 

So, last time out (for Deadpool’s Top Ten) I cheated and gave you a Top Twelve. Well, I’m not going to do that today, because I don’t need to, but there were six solid candidates at the Honorable Mention level, so you’re getting one bonus entry here. And it’s a doozy:

 

Thanos

6. GOTG047AE Thanos – 200 Points – Rare: Thanos is tough to field in a 300 Point game; let’s just get that out of the way first. He had no move-and-attack, and his Third Trait prohibits him from using Relics or Resources, so that doesn’t help. But these lists aren’t just about the effectiveness of these figures in 300 Point matches, and in Epic games (400 Points or more), Thanos is a MONSTER! His first Trait (CHOOSE – THE GAUNTLET OR THE TRIBUTE: At the beginning of your first turn, each opponent chooses one: Deal 1 damage to each character on his or her force 100 points or less; or choose a character on his or her force 101 points or more and deal that character 3 damage. Opponents can’t choose an option for which they have no characters.) is the only way in Modern that I know of to deal damage to your opponent’s force on your first turn–and you don’t even have to roll dice!!

But what this Thanos is really intended for is leading the Black Order into battle, as evidenced by his Attack Special (THE BLACK ORDER OBEYS: Thanos can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may remove the action token from any character with the Black Order keyword anywhere on the map.). Now, have you seen the rest of the Black Order? Actress Milana Vayntrub from the AT&T Mobile commercials has. I casually slipped her a copy of the entire Black Order roster and asked for her assessment:

AT&T GIRL

Yep. They ARE terrifying in large point games, and I bet we’ll be hearing from a few more of their number before the rest of this article is finished. Is your venue running a 600 Point Modern game this week? Play a Black Order team with Thanos and watch your opponent’s lip quiver when you start taking tokens off of Proxima Midnight or Corvus Glaive FROM ACROSS THE DAMN MAP!

Thanos’s lack of move-and-attack (beyond Sidestep) can be fixed with Entities (he even shares a Cosmic keyword with them), but honestly, he’s still a heavy hitter even without it. If he was better in 300 Point games, he might have cracked the Top Ten. But he’s still really good in larger point contests.

 

Dr Minerva

5. GOTG019B Dr. Minerva – 125 Points Uncommon PRIME: The worst of the Primes, Dr. Minerva is still useful in her own right–just narrowly so because of her Trait (IDEAL GENETIC MATE: When Dr. Minerva is adjacent to a friendly character named Captain Atlas or Captain Marvel, modify all of their combat values by +1.). When teamed with GOTG101 Captain Atlas, GOTG019A Captain Marvel or GOTG207R Captain Marvel, she becomes the engine of a pretty good offensive matrix. As a Prime, though, for what she brings to the table (and particularly with her relatively low Damage values), I’d have expected her to be in the 100-110 point area. Still, her second Trait (EXPERIMENT ON YOU TO IMPROVE OUR SPECIES: Once per game before an adjacent opposing character with one or two action tokens takes damage from Dr. Minerva’s attack, you may choose a standard power that character can use. Until the end of the game, friendly characters with the Kree keyword can use that power.) gives her the power to copy any standard power possessed by an opposing figure and give it to anyone on your side with the Kree keyword–that’s pretty cool. Outside of an all-Kree team that includes one of her two ideal genetic mates, she’s almost not playable at her point cost; that’s what keeps her from getting into the Top Ten.

 

"What do you mean 'Longmire' has been cancelled? Only on a backwater planet like Earth would a network like A&E cancel its second highest rated show simply because it didn't come from their own production company!"

“What do you mean ‘Longmire’ has been cancelled? Only on a backwater planet like Earth would a network like A&E cancel its second highest rated show simply because it didn’t come from their own production company. Now I’ll NEVER know if Branch is dead or alive!”

4. GOTG014B Brother Royal70 Points – Common: Look, it’s tough nowadays just finding a figure with 6 clicks of life and a couple of standard powers for 70 points. But the good Brother here gets Phasing, Psychic Blast, Toughness and a Special Damage power that grants either Outwit or Perplex. Then, if you play 2 of these guys (which puts you at 140 Points–10 less than HALF your Build in a standard point game), you get to bump up EACH of their Combat Values by +1 AND they each get Shape Change and Stealth! That’s a pretty badass 140 point figure there, but, since they’re actually two different characters, you get to attack twice a turn! Brother Royal rates a tick ahead of Dr. Minerva because the Brothers don’t need to be adjacent to each other for their +1 bonus to work (just need to be on the same map–ie, not KO’d). For just 15 more points, two Brother Royals provide so much more than Dr. Minerva, which is why the Brothers are two spots ahead on this list.

 

recorder 451

3. GOTG013B Recorder #451100 Points – Uncommon: Solid support piece who is also a very capable attacker top dial. His Trait is kind of bonkers, but really useful if you build your team around it (ENGINEERED YOU FROM BIRTH: At the beginning of the game, choose another friendly character with the Scientist keyword. Modify that character’s speed and range values by +1 for the rest of the game, even if this ability is lost. If that character is also named Iron Man or Tony Stark, modify all of that character’s combat values except damage by +1 instead.).

I just love pieces that suggest Builds right on their card that you might not normally play. If you’re using him purely as a support piece/secondary attacker, he’s fine, but not great for his points. But if you plan on taking full advantage of his Trait and his last Click Attack Special (GODKILLER: Give Recorder #451 a power action. Deal Recorder #451 1 unavoidable damage and for the rest of the game, the character chosen for his trait has “colossal damage symbol”, “Power Cosmic team ability symbol”, can use Impervious and modifies all of its combat values by +1.), you can really come up with some cool AND effective Builds!

So while the rogue Recorder is useful, and his dial is undeniably creative, his point cost is still a little high. Otherwise, he’d be in the Top Ten!

 

"She's a space pirate, Of course she drinks Captain Morgan."

“She’s a space pirate, Of course she’s got a lil’ Captain in her.”

2. GOTG016 Nebula87 Points – Common: Okay, if you’re a regular reader, you probably know that I’ve been pushing IIM040 Shaman on people for the better part of a year now, simply because his “No Flights” power makes it so hard to cross certain maps to get into attack position. Which means that if your playing a “stall” Build (Iron Pharoah, Fantomex, etc.), you’ll have a lot of time to prepare, which is exactly what those sorts of teams need to be effective.

Well, Nebula’s 5 points less and starts with a Damage Special Ability that straight out forbids your opponent from Carrying (STEAL YOUR TRANSPORT: Opposing characters can’t use the Carry ability. If there is an opposing character possessing the Carry ability, Nebula modifies her speed value by +3 and can use the Carry ability.). Moreover, if they have pieces that started with the Carry ability, she gains Carry AND gets to add 3 to her Movement Value.

SICK, SICK, SICK!! You want board control? Play Nebula and you’re almost guaranteed it. She also has the Robot keyword, which grants her access to their ATA (a special form of Perplex). She also starts with Running Shot, Pen/Psy, Sharpshooter, the ability to target through Hindering Terrain, Toughness, Willpower and 3 Damage.

Did I mention she’s only 87 Points?!

The once and future bearer of the Infinity Gauntlet was just a quick blink away from cracking the proper Top Ten!

 

"Let's see Hawkeye do THIS!"

“Let’s see Hawkeye do THIS–around Thanos, past the Badoon, nothing but target!!”

1. GOTG023 Yondu76 Points – Uncommon: His stats and power mix aren’t QUITE good enough to crack the Top Ten, but man, he has SUCH an exploitable Trait (YAKA ARROWS: Give Yondu a power action. Make a ranged combat attack targeting a single opposing character regardless of line of fire.), especially top dial when he has Precision Strike and 3 Damage showing! He only has the Mystical and Guardians of the Galaxy keywords, but GotG is obviously huge now, especially when paired with some of the folks coming up on this list (and it gives you access to a couple of different ATA’s, one of which is extremely good).

Everyone plays slightly differently, but if you’re the type of player who’s great at positioning, Yondu is a blessing. On the right map, he’s arguably the best secondary attacker in the game right now because of how much raw area he can cover with his Trait. And at the end of the day, he’s priced right and won’t cost you a Prime slot.

So Yondu gets the “Close… But No Cigar” Award!!

Okay! Enough with the also-rans!! That’s not why you clicked on this post! What you want to know is simply who are…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!!

 

Ebony Maw

10. GOTG025 Ebony Maw65 Points – Uncommon: Well, I said there’d be more Black Order on here, didn’t I? One of the creepiest characters from last year’s Infinity story arc is now one of the tricksy-ist supporting pieces in the set. Both of his Traits are fantastic; the first (WORDS, WORDS, WORDS: Whenever an opposing character uses Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control, place a Whisper token on this card. Give Ebony Maw a free action and remove a Whisper token to use either Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control until your next turn if he can’t already. He may be given this free action up to three times each turn.) helps you react to all of your opponent’s board control abilities with one piece. The second (CULL OBSIDIAN: When Ebony Maw is KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, deal damage to that character equal to the last amount of damage dealt to Ebony Maw. This damage can’t be reduced below 1.) is common to every member of the Black Order except Thanos (don’t worry–the Mad Titan has even meaner tricks of his own!) and acts like a snake in the mailbox for whoever finally KO’s the Maw.

But before they can KO Ebony Maw, they have to find a way around his Attack Special (TWIST YOU INTO BETRAYAL: Whenever Ebony Maw is targeted with an attack from an opposing character, you may choose an adjacent opposing character that isn’t the attacker to be the target of that attack even if that character couldn’t normally be targeted.). That is incredibly good, and it makes the Maw one of the best tie-up figures in Modern at the moment because he actually gets BETTER when you tie-up more than one figure at a time with him! When Ebony Maw is on the board, your opponent needs to make sure that either all of his characters have at least two squares between them (which means bye-bye to any standard Enhancement, Empower or Leadership powers they have, and makes Hydra, Police and a multitude of other TA’s useless) or he needs to make sure that he has enough Outwitters who can actually see Ebony Maw (remember, he also has top dial Stealth) to take away that Attack Special (of course, Outwitting Ebony Maw also GIVES Ebony Maw the ability to use a Whisper Token the next turn, so you better make your shots count!) long enough to off him.

This is one of the peskiest pieces they’ve designed in awhile.

 

"I will not have my opinions questioned by a penny-ante quick-change artist!" And if you remember that episode of G.I.Joe, well... you're a nut.

“Got a Ma-chine head. Better than the rest…  “

9. GOTG045 I.S.A.A.C. 88 Points – Rare: I’ll be honest–I have no idea who this guy is or why he looks like Destro from G.I.Joe. But a figure who can Outwit through just about anything AND THEN launch a 3 Bolt, 3 Damage Energy Explosion bomb from 10 freaking squares away can look like Rainbow Brite for all I care, especially when that character costs well under 100 Points.

"I will rain fire and death over any who would attack Titan. Tee-hee!"

“I will rain fire and death over any who would attack Titan. Tee-hee!”

Top dial, I.S.A.A.C. can also use Phasing/Teleport, Indomitable, Stealth and Carry, so he can get your other pieces into play before he turns his attention to blowing stuff up. But this is not a one-trick pony! I.S.A.A.C. ‘s back dial turns into an 11 Attack Value Support-sporting healer. Yep! That’s right–he’s a secondary attacker/supporting figure hybrid. And he’s even got the Robot keyword, so he can gain Perplex through their ATA. One of the more efficient pieces in the set–and, of course, like every other piece, he starts getting frightening when you equip him with Hammers. I would not be shocked if this guy makes a ROC Top 16 or two in the near future.

 

Zombie Super Skrull

8. GOTG062 Super Skrull170 Points – Chase: An 8-Click-long Primary Attacker who has the ability to become whoever–or whatever–you want him to be. Like all the other Zombie Chases, Super Skrull ignores characters for movement purposes and can gain Food Tokens while giving Virus Tokens whenever he deals damage. But his other Trait is where he really makes his money (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.).

I know that’s a lot of text, but here’s what it really says: Pick up to any four standard powers in the game that you want (choosing only ONE power for each combat slot); Super Skrull can use ALL of those powers until your next turn. Then, at the end of your turn, there’s a roughly 83% chance that he’ll take 1 Unavoidable Damage. That’s a small price to pay for being able to choose, say, Hypersonic Speed, Impervious, Precision Strike and Shape Change. Or Willpower if you don’t want to take pushing damage. Or whatever you want! There’s plenty of ways to heal one damage in the game right now, too. Black Lantern Ring, Angrir’s Hammer (Super Skrull gets REALLY sick when he gets a Hammer)… the point is, Super Skrull is like a Swiss Army Knife. When he’s on your side, you just need to figure out which tools you need for each situation as it comes up, and then Super Skrull can instantly use them.

(And in Golden Age games, considering his Monster keyword, teaming Super Skrull with GG026 Mole Man, where you can get TWO uses out of the chosen abilities instead of one… yikes!)

This is the one Chase I think they really got right.

 

"I totally just found a Power Ring. High Five bro!"

“I totally just found a Power Ring at the bottom of my Cracker Jack box! High Five bro!”

7. GOTG059B Doctor Spectrum110 Points – Super Rare (Prime):  I like him better than his A-Side, Non-Prime version simply because he costs significantly less (like 27 Points less). The good Doctor here starts with the Wing Symbol, Running Shot, 3 Bolt Energy Explosion with an 11 Attack and a sick Trait (POWER PRISM: When targeting a single character with an attack, modify Doctor Spectrum’s attack value by the number of different-colored standard powers on the dial of his target(s).) to go with an even sicker Defense Special (TOUGHENED ENERGY CONSTRUCTS: Doctor Spectrum can use Barrier and Toughness. Give Doctor Spectrum a free action, choose a standard attack power, and he can use that power this turn.).

To review, this guy can pick ANY standard attack power (like, say, Penetrating/Psychic Blast), graft a 3 Bolt Energy Explosion on top of it, and–oh, by the way–against most characters, he’s going to have a 12-13 Attack Value. In a Meta environment where Defense Values can routinely climb to 19, 20 or even higher, the ability to “Bunker Bust” a character in a Defense-ball squad with Spectrum’s high Attack Value AND splash 3 Damage to all his adjacent compadres is pretty huge!

 

"Wait, which one of us is in command again? I can never tell!"

“Wait, which one of us is in charge again? I can never tell!”

 6. GOTG017A Kree Lieutenant45 Points – Uncommon: The best generic in the set is a great supporting piece with top dial Enhancement, Sidestep and a 17 Defense with ES/D (thus making him very hard to splash with Energy Explosion Damage while he’s doing his Enhancement thing), but he’s actually a great tertiary attacker on his own as well! On his second click he keeps Sidestep and ES/D, but he actually GAINS Penetrating/Psychic Blast at that point (with 5 Range). Then, at the back end of his dial, he morphs into a close combatant and picks up Charge, Empower and Combat Reflexes!

Did I mention that this guy is a stupidly cheap 45 Points? And his Trait–yes, he has a Trait on top of all the rest of the powers on his dial–gives +1 to the Attack Value of all friendly adjacent Kree. With all the great Kree figures we’ve gotten in the past couple months, that’s awesome! While I’m sure a ton of different Kree Build possibilities will present themselves moving forward, my favorite thing to do with the good Lieutenant is to team him with GOTGM106R Ronan the Accuser, which turns Ronan into a 10 Range, 12 Attack and 4 Damage-sporting monstrosity… and oh, by the way, you’d still have 155 Points to spend. Play a second Lieutenant to bump Ronan’s damage to 5, and you’d still have 110 leftover. All because someone thought the Kree Lieutenant’s 70 Point dial should only cost 45. Nice calculating, WizKids!

 

Supergiant

5. GOTG048 Supergiant120 Points – Rare: 7 Clicks of brutal, dirty nastiness. Supergiant has the standard Cull Obsidian Trait, but she also has three Special Powers that are worth mentioning, too. First, her Movement Special (MENTAL POSSESSION: Supergiant can use Mind Control. When she does, she isn’t dealt unavoidable damage from it and modifies her attack value by +1. At the beginning of your turn, she can use Mind Control as a free action to target a character she hit with Mind Control during your last turn.) gives her a free Mind Control every turn (after the first one hits, of course). That’s awesome.

Second, her Attack Special (OMNIPATH: Supergiant can use Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When she does, she may target any number of characters.) lets her Multi-target with Pen/Psy.

Finally, her Damage Special Ability (MENTAL PARASITE: Supergiant can use Outwit. When she does, the target character modifies its combat values by -1 until your next turn.) is damn near broken. Not just an Outwit, but an Outwit that really hobbles whichever piece she targets.

Playing against Supergiant is a bad day. Take it from me…

 

Star-Lord Comic

4. GOTG030 Star-Lord110 Points – Uncommon: Oh look, another Uncommon! The Uncommons in this set are just stacked!

Star-Lord’s dial is very fair for 110 Points. Running Shot 2 Bolt Energy Explosion with 6 Range and an 11 Attack Value. 17 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection. Pretty standard, right? Well, he’s got 3 more tricks up his sleeve that put him over the top.

First, his Improved Targeting ignores Hindering Terrain. That’s always handy. Second, he has a Damage Special (TACTICAL MANEUVER: Star-Lord can use Outwit. When he does, he can count range and draw lines of fire from any friendly character that shares a keyword with him.) that’s really cool, especially when used with his Improved Targeting. Oh, Rocket Raccoon wants to shoot at Batman but he can’t because Bats has Stealth? Well, Peter Quill here can Outwit through Stealth FROM ROCKET’S POSITION ON THE BOARD!! I believe the industry term for a figure that can Outwit Stealth from across the map is “F#@king Awesomesauce!!

Obviously, this Star-Lord was designed to sort of quarterback GotG-keyworded teams, and he’s great at it. But his third trick–a Trait–is probably his best ability (GUARD THE WHOLE GALAXY: Friendly characters with the Guardians of the Galaxy keyword may replace their defense values with the highest printed defense values among friendly characters with that keyword.). Obviously, this was meant to be used with GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon and his printed 19 Defense.

So in addition to being a solid secondary attacker, Star-Lord is also gonna run some major support by Outwitting stuff other people can’t see AND by pumping everyone’s base Defense up to 19 (when played with Rocket, of course)! Which means that his 110 Point dial just went from “pretty solid” to “really damn good” in just four paragraphs!!

 

Proxima Midnight

3. GOTG050 Proxima Midnight 100 Points – Super Rare: Well, well well. Another great Black Order piece. If you just looked at her starting values and standard powers, she’d be worth her 100 Points without further explanation (although her Running Shot with Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Sharpshooter and ZERO Range would still seem like a pretty weird combo). But the designers gave her THREE awesome Traits on top of what’s already there on her dial. 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.) gives her 9 Range to start! How’s that Running Shot/Psychic Blast looking now?

Her next Trait basically makes her Tracer Tokens pretty damn ridiculous (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.). Yep. She’s basically got a 66.66% chance to (essentially) deal penetrating Poison from ANYWHERE ON THE MAP to up to three different characters that she’s previously hit. That’s a little bit good, no?

Finally, she also has the Cull Obsidian 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.) that all of her peers in the Black Order possess except Thanos.

She also has the Minions of Thanos and Warrior keywords, in case you wanted to team her up with some Guardians Movie villain pieces or enlist her in Duhg’s Army. She’s another piece that would not surprise me if she showed up on a few ROC Top 16 Teams, especially since she can possibly remove more than one token a turn from current Meta-staple Bizarro.

This is a sick piece.

 

Thanosi

2. GOTG047BR Thanosi 100 Points – Rare (Prime): Lots of folks like his 200 Point dial. That’s fine. It’s awesome. Frankly, Thanosi could have made this list 3 different times. But I like his 100 Point version the best. Power Cosmic TA, Running Shot with 2 Bolt Energy Explosion, 4 Damage with Probability Control… Oh, and this Trait ([100 PTS] BUILT TO TEST MY FOES: KA-ZAR: Opposing characters within range can’t ignore terrain for movement purposes.).

Yikes! And he’s got the Robot keyword, so he can gain a special version of Perplex as well! But can you imagine playing someone on, say, Wundagore Mountain with Nebula and Thanosi and plopping Thanosi near the center of the map on Turn 1? Your opponent would have to take the long way ’round with each and every character!

So, yeah, at 100 Points, Thanosi’s kind of a one trick pony, but damn, it’s one hell of a trick!

 

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

1. GOTG007B Captain Marvel 82 Points – Common (Prime): Yep! All 4 Primes from the set made this list in some form or another. They’re that good. But Captain Marvel beats them all, hands down. Running Shot with an 11 Attack and 6 Range to go with an 18 Defense and 3 Printed Damage is pretty good for 82 Points. But then you get to his Attack Special:

UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.

As far as Special Abilities go for the Attack slot, that’s arguably the best in the game. Certainly in Modern. The ability to prevent attacks is disgustingly good. But then you look at his Defense Special Ability:

DEFEND HUMANITY FROM MY PEOPLE: Captain Marvel can use Defend and Super Senses. Modify the defense values of adjacent friendly characters without the Kree keyword by +1. This power can’t be countered.

And that’s ALSO insane! So insane that Ninwashui used him as Superior Spidey’s sidekick in Let’s Be Lanterns, Too!

Marvel can be a Primary Attacker AND he can support your support pieces by raising their Defense to 19! That makes him a pretty damn efficient use of points, I’d say.

Kree, Soldier, Spy and Scientist keywords (and man, has the Scientist keyword made a comeback or what?!? All the best pieces from this set seem to be Scientists or Robots!) mean you can use him in a bunch of different Builds!

 

Okay! Soooo, that’s my list! You know what I think now! But who do you think is the best piece from this set? Sound off in the Comments below!

We Have a Winner!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 08/24/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Has it been two weeks already! Man, time has just flown by. Well, we’re back, andSONOVA#$%#!IT’SRAININGAGAIN!!!! Good Lord. Apparently Michigan is nothing but a flood plain. Ay-yi-yi. Add to that how depressingly mediocre my Tigers have been, and I’m really too depressed to do anything but jump right into the…

WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

–Like clockwork, Dial H for Heroclix was new for the past two weeks! Episode 57 dealt with the immediate aftermath of GenCon, and Episode 58 was a GenCon wrap-up with all the guys (and keep an ear out during the portion of the show when they field questions for a special rules question cameo by HypeFox from Critical Missives!)

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is back with a new and improved Season 2, Episode 6!! The guys discuss GotG, growing a Heroclix community and more.

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is still… Episode 24. It features an interview with Patrick Yapjoco-slayer recent ROC winner Kevin Afrooz as well as coverage of the Tulsa ROC. Seems like Edward took some time off to field a pretty damn creative Build for the Heroclix World Championship (see Dial H For Heroclix Episode 58 for more details)!

Welcome... to the ROC!

–In case you missed it, the ROC continues to streamline their system; they just offered a new breakdown (including costs and prize structure) to stores thinking about holding an ROC event.

–Speaking of, the ROC just made a few more Special Announcements. Basically, no Entities allowed as Possessors.

–You can check out the full ROC/DragonCon announcement here!

 

Preview

–No official Previews from WizKids. GotG has dropped; you can read our thoughts about it when we do our patented Top Ten Set Review in a couple weeks (here’s a free preview: Captain Marvel, the Common Prime, is the TRUTH!).

 

Wizkids

–Well well well! We finally have a Heroclix World Champion for 2014, and his name is… Patrick Yapjoco!! Patrick has really been the player of the year with how dominant Patrick has been at the ROC’s, so congratulations to him and his cadre of ‘Clixers at Majestix!

–Well, well, well WELL! We fianlly have a Heroclix World Champion TEAM for 2014–G–DAMMIT, it’s Patrick Yapjoco and his cadre (Team Majestix Apex Predators) AGAIN!! Jeez, let someone else win once in a while, eh Patrick (Just kidding. Congratulations Team Apex Predators!!)!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay, for this week’s Army of the Week, we’re gonna take a look at a team revolving around Maximus! No, no we’re not. Of course we’re gonna look at Patrick Yapjoco’s winning team! We’re gonna break from our normal Army of the Week format and just link to his actual World Championship Army Sheet! Enjoy!

(P.S.: Remember how I said that Iron Pharaoh was gonna be a thing and Ninwashui didn’t? Yeah, this:)

World Championship

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Ant-Man (starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly) has finally released some stills a still! Here it is:

Paul Rudd Ant-Man

Very strange that THAT’S the image Marvel wanted to leak first (there’s not really a ton going on, right? I mean, he’s got some stitches on his eyebrow or whatever, which could mean anything and/or nothing), but there ya go!

–Speaking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at Comic-Con Patton Oswalt’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. character (well, one of them) hinted that we’d be seeing Bobbi Morse (a.k.a. S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avenger extraordinaire Mockingbird) this season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!! Mockingbird would be the first Avenger from the 616 to make her Cinematic debut on M’sAoS (at least that I can think of). Well, regardless, we now have a pretty good idea of what Mockingbird will look like

 

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

Critical Missives:

–Two articles dropped these past two weeks: Part 1 and Part 2 of our 3-Part series “Let’s Be Lanterns!!”

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

And that’s it for this week’s Weekly Roundup!! We’ll be back later this week with the epic conclusion to our interstellar debate war (aka Part 3 of “Let’s Be Lanterns”), and next week you can expect a Local Tourney Report on Month 3 of War of Light along with a Top Ten Set Review for Guardians of the Galaxy!

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

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

Roundup

 

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd… we’re back!

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

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

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

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

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

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

During Michigan floods, orange construction barrels become road buoys.

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

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

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

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

 

WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

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

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

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

Push to Regen

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

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

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

Welcome... to the ROC!

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

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

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

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

 

Preview

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

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

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

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

 

Wizkids

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

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

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

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

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

Agency X

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

ThemeAgency X

Roster:

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

DP020 Weasel27

DP020 Weasel27

DP018 Blind Al13

DP018 Blind Al13

DOFPH002 Sentinel Sentry x 342 

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

FIH002 Warbot (Rocket) x345

FIH003 Warbot (Machine Gun) x345

IIMR100 Power Plant (everything but Ice Blast)28

=300 Points

 

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

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

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

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

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

 

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

Critical Missives:

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

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

 

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

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

Preparing For Launch!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 07/27/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Another day, another dollar, another week, another… Wait, is it Tuesday already? Good Lord, nevermind the intro, before I lose my train of thought with another Tigers rant, let’s just get straight into the…

WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

–As always, Dial H for Heroclix is back with another new episode! Episode 54 is an extended length podcast that delves into what the guys want/expect from Yu-Gi-Oh! Wave 2!

Push to Regen

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

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is still Episode 22!! It features some new Tryout Commentators analyzing the Oregon ROC!!… Hopefully we’ll get some more content soon, as no one covers the Meta like DarkLogos.

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

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

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

 

Preview

-Still no official Previews from WizKids, which, again, is weird since GotG releases IN LESS THAN 3 WEEKS!! I mean, the title of this week’s Weekly Rounup is PREPARING FOR LAUNCH!! C’mon, WizKids!! For what it’s worth, the Gravity Feed dials are all up in the Units section of HCRealms.com, as are the dials from the Justice League Strategy Game that released earlier this month (Hint: They’re freaking good!!). And yes, all four of those Justice League dials are SwitchClix that can be put on the JLA Team Base.

 

Wizkids

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

-In case you missed it last week, there will be a 5-figure booster set next February, and it will be based on… DC’s Trinity War!! So we’ll be getting 2 DC sets in a row, and–in addition to normal Chases–there will be a new “Ultra-Chase” rarity (uh, yay?). With the set being based on Trinity War (and the Crime Syndicate), early bets on the identity of the Ultra-Chase all seem to be landing on either alt-Alfred Pennyworth or, more literally, Ultra-Man of the Crime Syndicate. There will also be TWO new Brick-Incentive Exclusive Resource Dials!! How will it all play?!

We shall see next February…

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay, for this week’s Army of the Week, we’re gonna take a look at… the Army of the Week from 2 weeks ago. Why? Well, sometimes there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and sometimes, there’s more than one way to build an army! We’ll keep the same basic engine (Yondu and Rocket), but we’ll take out Star-Lord and sub in some Entities to go with the Resource, and see which army we like better!

"We may be the 18th team named Ravagers, but at least we're not Zombies."

“Once more… with FEELING!”

Team Name: Blam! Murdered You! AGAIN!!

ThemeEntity

Roster:

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon100 Points

WOL067P Adara25

GOTGM012 Yondu82

WOL065P Parallax – 25

WOLH002 Black Lantern Risen13

WOLH002 Black Lantern Risen13

ATA098 Ravagers x2 – 8

The Phoenix Force – 12

All 5 Fragments – 15

Assigned Character x 2 – 6

=299 Points

What We Said Before: “So, in addition to their dials (which are all awesome!!), Rocket (Magik Frag) and Yondu (Cyke Frag) will get Running Shot, Energy Explosion, Defend and +1 to Damage from the Phoenix Force (and keep in mind that Rocket can be carried by either of his teammates WITH NO PENALTY TO MOVEMENT, since he’s got Tiny Size. I’d highly recommend Yondu though, for reasons I’m about to get into.). Now let’s look at the individual dials: Rocket has a native 19 Defense, which means whoever carries him also has a 19 Defense since Defend is granted by the Phoenix Force. Also, Rocket Raccoon’s Trait (HOW ABOUT “ROCKET RACCOON AND HIS HUMAN HANGERS-ON”?: Friendly characters adjacent to Rocket Raccoon with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Ravagers keyword modify their attack values by +1.) and Damage Special (SMARTEST MAMMAL IN THE D’AST GALAXY: Rocket Raccoon can use Enhancement and Outwit.) also boost Attack and Damage by +1 for whoever’s carrying the lil’ mammal. Now let’s look at Yondu. His Trait (HIGHER GROUND: Yondu can use Energy Shield/Deflection.) gives him a 21 FREAKING DEFENSE AGAINST RANGED ATTACKS (not counting any Hindering bonuses), and his Damage Special is great, too: ONE. LITTLE. WHISTLE.: When making a ranged combat attack against a single target, modify Yondu’s attack by +2.

So, to review: Just by having Yondu carry Rocket, Yondu’s top dial when attacking one opposing character at range becomes (in addition to the fact that he now flies and has Poison) 7 Movement (w/Running Shot), 13 Attack with Precision Strike AND Three Bolt Energy Explosion, 21 Defense (at least) against ranged retaliation and 5 Damage (3 Native Damage + Rocket’s Enhancement + 1 from the Phoenix Force). Annnnnnd you still have Star-Lord waiting in the wings (and if you push him just once, Star-Lord gets Empower, Enhancement and Perplex).

The only real flaw this team has is the lack of Willpower, but if you need to take that second or third action, you can (particularly if the Phoenix Force is still on its first click and the character that’s pushing is adjacent to Rocket, since his Defend would still be tough to overcome.). This team should be a lot of fun to play AND pretty competitive!!”

What the New Version Brings: All that and more! Star-Lord is great backup, but the fact is we now have 4 characters (6 if you include the Bystander Tokens, but they count towards Theme) instead of 3, so we have a slightly better chance to win Map Roll and choose where we fight.

With this team, you’ll be going around in a mini-Defense Ball with Yondu Carrying Rocket. Try to have the Black Lanterns stay close, so that they are just as hard to hit. There will be times when your opponent will need to hit a 22 to hit Yondu with a Ranged Attack (Remember, Rocket’s using Defend with a native 19, Yondu’s Trait gives him ES/D, and if he’s in Hindering and his assailant doesn’t see through that Terrain, they’ll need a 22).

As always, even Jerry Seinfeld thinks that’ll be unlikely:

Seinfeld Good Luck

Yondu can increase Damage or Range via Parallax every turn, and he’ll of course have Running Shot with both Precision Strike and 3 Bolt Energy Explosion (thanks to the Phoenix Force). If he’s targeting just one character (while he’s Carrying Rocket), when you add up all the buffs (and assuming he pumped up Damage with Parallax), Yondu would have a 13 Attack with 5 Damage, Precision Strike AND that 3 Bolt Energy Explosion. AND he can also choose every turn to gain a Yellow Lantern Perplex and the Quintessence Team Ability, which would solve his lack of Willpower dilemma.

Essentially, we’re taking 82 Point Yondu, who’s already pretty good, and giving him +3 to Attack and +2 to Damage at virtually all times. And we haven’t even gotten to the fact that the Phoenix Force can hook him up with the Magik Fragment, Poison, Flight, Invuln (since that’s what you’d choose every turn and much, much more if you can start turning that Resource Dial. With native Sharpshooter and the Ravagers TA which lets him automatically break away, basing him does almost no good at all. The only thing he fears even a little is Pulse Wave.

Rocket would get the Cyke Fragment and wreck face every other turn (if an opposing figure is within Rocket’s Range, he can nail them for 5 Damage!). Oh, and since–at least for the first few turns–Rocket gets Defend from the Phoenix Force, he’s free to choose Prob Control from Adara every turn. Y’know, just in case Yondu somehow misses with his 13 Attack.

There are two Meta figures who can mess this team up before it gets going.

The first, of course, is Copycat (God, this figure is going to wreck the game. Just ban it already!!). She can take either part of your engine; neither choice works out well for you. You would reeeeeeaaaaallly have to slow your roll and basically just send out Copycat as a solo attacker and hope she gets whacked quickly or that she can carve off some meaningful clicks from the other side (not likely, but not impossible either, since she’ll have access to both Adara and a Resource in this scenario).

And the second figure to look out for is Lydea Mallor, but only because she can take Colossus’s Fragment from the Phoenix Force. This wouldn’t be a game ender, but it would suddenly open up both of your engine parts to Poison.

Of the two, Copycat is FAR more lethal to your plans that Lydea Mallor, but both are annoying.

So go forth and try this army out; you’ll only need three expensive Chases, the Complete Phoenix Force Resource, and a hard to find Rare from a CTD set that’s all but sold out most places.

Good Luck!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Movie Wonder Woman is officially a thing!

–Guardians of the Galaxy opens on Friday (really Thursday night). As of Sunday night, over 25 reviews were in and it still had a 100% Fresh rating on Rottentomatoes.com. Color me “excited.” UPDATE: It is now at 97%, as something called Jeff Coyle (an AP critic) has decided the movie was not his cup of tea. And now, in keeping with tradition, I will now go on a brief but ill-informed rant against this Jeff Coyle guy, and how little he clearly knows about this film, even though he’s seen the movie and I haven’t. Screw you, random movie reviewer I’ve never met, let alone read, and your negative opinion about a movie I’ve yet to see but really want to! What do you know about anything, anyway, except that you will die alone, bitter and unloved? 

Okay! Whew! Glad I got that off my chest… oh, yeah, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 already has a release date!

–Speaking of release dates, Gotham has a premiere date on FOX, and it is September 22nd!

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

Critical Missives:

–Okay, there were a couple of articles that dropped since the last Weekly Roundup! First, we finished our look at the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set by diving into a Starter Set Review! Secondly, Ninwashui recapped War of Light Month 2 at our local venue in his Local Tournament Report!

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

–Finally, this site has actually been growing by leaps and bounds these past 2 months, so I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s stopped by to check us out!

 

And that’s it for this week!! I’ll be back next week with a deeper look at War of Light, and in a few weeks we’ll be back with a Top 10 Review of Guardians of the Galaxy once that set releases!

Guarding the Galaxy Part 2: The Starter Review!! (Or, Y’know, A Review of the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set Starter Pack!!)

GotG Title

Annnnnnd we’re back! I swear, I haven’t been playing Hearthstone for three days straight! Honest!

(No, for reals–I mean, I would’ve spent the whole three days pulling my hair out trying to take on the Heroic versions of the Naxx Arachnid Quarter Bosses without Alexstrazsa–y’know what? Doesn’t matter right now.)

Okay! So, awhile ago, we published our take on the first 18 figures in the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set! But we promised we’d be back later with the back end of the review–namely, the six figures that come in the starter! Well, here we are!

As a whole, I highly recommend purchasing the Starter for the reasons we’re about to get into, but man, there’s not really a dud piece in the bunch! But before we get to the last six Clix in the set, I want to mention a few things.

First of all, the fact that you get an exclusive Map is just gravy on the cake (no, I’m not mixing metaphors–I just invented the greatest thing ever by combining the two FORMER greatest things ever. You’re Welcome. And yes, that was a reference to the film’s tagline. Ahem.). Yes, I know all Starters/Fast Forces come with a map, but it definitely adds to the value of the whole endeavor.

This particular map comes with two Indoor layouts–The Kyln (a space prison, I believe) and Nova Corps. headquarters. Let’s start with the last one first.

MAP: Nova Corps. Headquarters:

Yep--in all of InternetLand, this is the best image I could find for this map. For shame, cyberspace. For Shame!!

Yep–in all of InternetLand, this is the best image I could find for this map. For shame, cyberspace. For Shame!!

This map is a stay away for me. One side is fairly isolated, which can be gold if you’re playing an Iron Pharaoh or Fantomex (read: Stall Team) force, but you’ll never get to play there. If you win Map Roll, you get to choose what map you want, but then your opponent gets to pick what side he gets. And, since he’s seen what you’re playing at this point, if he has any idea how your team works, he’d never let you choose the isolated side. Plus, even if you were playing a Iron Pharaoh team, your Falcon would be neutered a tiny bit by not being able to see through Blocking Terrain (since you’re Indoors.). There’s a few teams that could work on a map like this, (The Hand, maybe, powered by Wolverine, Agent of Hydra?), but most of the teams that could work on this map could probably work even better on a different one.

Much more interesting, then, in my eyes at least, is:

MAP: The Kyln:

Ugh--this one's even worse, and I took it myself. Man, why doesn't HCRealms just catalog every map with a clean picture and document every last bit of Orange text and put it all into a nice, free and functional Search Engine? Man, it's like they're not even trying anymore...

Ugh–this one’s even worse, and I took it myself. Man, why doesn’t HCRealms just catalog every Clix map ever made with a clean picture AND document every last bit of Orange text and put it all into a nice, free and functional search engine on their site? Man, it’s like they’re not even trying anymore…

The Kyln has a ton of room to run and hide after striking for Hypersonic characters! Superboy Prime(s), Speed Demon, Whizzer–all would do well on this map! Very exploitable (reeeeeaaaalllly easy to sneak out, nail someone, then swing back around a corner and hide behind Walls!), and if you regularly play tourneys, at the very least, you’ll want this map for your toolbox.

And having said that, let’s move on to the Main Event! We’ll go right in order:

 

Star-Lord Movie Starter

GOTGM101 Star-Lord75 Points – Starter Set: Point for point, the best Star-Lord in the set. Chris Pratt’s alter ego starts out with the Improved Movement power that you probably scoured the other versions’ cards for (CAN’T KEEP THIS UP, BUT I DON’T NEED TO: Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain) only to find after much searching that it just wasn’t there. This dial is also interesting because it switches ROLES every other click! He alternates between being a pretty damn good Secondary Attacker in a 300 Point Modern Age game on his odd clicks to being the ultimate supporting figure (he gains Enhancement, Empower AND Perplex) on his even ones. Movie Peter Quill’s first three clicks all have a native 3 Damage, and he’s rocking a 6 Range with Running Shot and Penetrating/Psychic Blast top click (actually, he keeps that Pen/Psy for his first clicks!!). And while everything else is going on, his Trait (get used to seeing this–more than a few figures have it!) gives him a one-time, backstage pass to an improved version of Pulse Wave (HADRON ENFORCER: Once per game, give Star-Lord a free action and choose an unoccupied square of clear terrain within range and line of fire. When you do, Star-Lord can use Pulse Wave this turn as if he occupied that square.)!!

I can’t tell you off of the top of my head exactly how many figures for 75 Points or less have access to both Penetrating/Psychic Blast AND Pulse Wave of ANY kind–much less one that effectively DOUBLES your Range with it–without the benefit of a Resource, but I’m betting the number is EXTREMELY small. Like possibly just Starter Chris Pratt small. Remember, these are the two best Attack Slot powers IN THE GAME! His drawbacks are few. He only has five clicks of life (helped a tiny bit by Toughness on the first three clicks and Super Senses on the last two), and his Defense tops out at 17. Not terrible, but definitely hittable. Still, considering that he brings so many top tier standard powers to the table, he more than makes up for a questionable Defense. He even has decent keywords (GotG, Ravagers, Soldier, etc.). Good gosh, he’s only 75 Points!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (he’s not a Chase Rocket Raccoon, but he ain’t far off!)

 

"It's real!!"

“It’s real!!”

GOTGM102 Rocket Raccoon75 Points – Starter Set: Again, a lot to love. This version ditches the Improved Movement for better targeting potential (INDISCRIMINATE? NO, INCOMPARABLE: Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters). He’s Tiny, so he can still be Carried, and his Attack Special (TWO BIG GUNS: Give Rocket Raccoon a power action and he may then make 2 ranged combat attacks as free actions.) is REALLY GOOD if you can Outwit your opponent’s Defense first! His other assets include a 7 Range with two Bolts, top dial Stealth and the fact that he’s one of the only actual Guardians of the Galaxy to have top dial Willpower–that’s actually a difference between a lot of these figures versus they’re starter counterparts. The Starter figs tend to have it where the main set pieces don’t. His keywords are limited–just Animal and GotG–but he can still be a solid Secondary Attacker on the right team. Having said all that, this is the rare case (with this set at least) where the Starter set version is actually worse than the main set versions (of course, that bar is pretty high!). Still, I’d give him this:

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"Eyes up, Star-Lord."

“Eyes up, Star-Lord.”

GOTGM103 Gamora100/75 Points – Starter Set: Whoa!! There we go! On her first click of life, Gamora can use Charge, Precision Strike, Super Senses and a Special version of Close Combat Mastery that hoses any piece she hits. As I stated above with Rocket Raccoon, not many actual Guardians have Willpower, but Gamora here is rocking Indomitable. Plus, her Trait (DEADLIEST WOMAN IN THE WHOLE GALAXY: Give Gamora a free action and choose an opposing character. When Gamora attacks the chosen character, modify her attack and damage values by +1. Gamora can’t choose again until the chosen character has been KO’d.) potentially bumps her Attack Value to 12 and here Damage value to 4 when she attacks the chosen character! Her 75 Point dial is almost as good; I just prefer the top dial Charge of the 100 Point version  to the Special Movement Power that grants Sidestep (among other things). She’s right up there with the rare Target exclusive Drax the Destroyer, although he was only like 94 Points. I gave that Drax 3 and 3/4 rating, which means I have to give this Gamora:

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Drax Movie Starter

GOTGM104 Drax the Destroyer 125 Points – Starter Set: Hmmm… this piece is an odd duck. For 31 more points, Starter Drax has a solid 6 Range (up from 3), that same improved-range Pulse Wave Trait that Star-Lord had (HADRON ENFORCER: Once per game, Give Drax the Destroyer a free action and choose an unoccupied square of clear terrain within range and line of fire. When you do, Drax the Destroyer can use Pulse Wave this turn as if he occupied that square.), Indomitable (there’s that again!) and Impervious followed by Invincible instead of just straight Toughness followed by weird pseudo-Stop Clicks. But this Drax also has 1 less click of life, lower Defense (starts with a 17 versus the Mass Market Rare’s 18), slightly lower attack and Super Strength where his counterpart had Precision Strike. The Target-exclusive Drax had a clear role–take out any enemy pieces with Shape Change and/or Super Senses, since he ignores both of those powers. This Drax instead has Exploit Weakness and Close Combat Expert, so his damage dealing potential (if it gets through Super Senses and Shape Change) is a little higher, but not much. I’d personally stick with the Mass Market Rare and spend that extra 31 Points elsewhere.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"I... am... West Siiiide!"

“I… am… West Siiiide!”

GOTGM105 Groot100/75 Points – Starter Set: Another support figure, but this version will only cost you up to 100 Points and comes in two great flavors! The first (100 Point version) is rocking an 18 Defense with Invulnerability and the always useful Defend. He’s got Indomitable, so you don’t have to worry about pushing, and he’s also a giant like the main set version. His Movement Special (PHOSPHORESCENT FLOWERS: Lines of fire drawn to opposing characters within 6 squares of Groot ignore hindering terrain.) alternates with Charge (which the Rookie version starts with) and is a great way to open up lines of fire for any snipers on your side who don’t come with Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain. Having Experienced Starter Groot Carry his lil’ Raccoon buddy (either the Chase or the Common from the main set) is both movie-accurate and useful, and you’d still have 100 Points left!

His keywords are very narrow (just Brute and Guardians of the Galaxy), but Brute actually opens up a lot of builds (and makes him eligible for Duhg’s Army). I wish he had access to Plasticity or Exploit Weakness at some point to go with his Close Combat Expert or Charge, respectively, but there’s still a lot to like here, and at MUCH more reasonable costs than the main set Rare. GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (100 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (75 Point Dial)

 

"I'm told this is my best side."

“I’m told this is my best side.”

GOTGM106 Ronan300/200/100 Points – Starter Set: Like the main set version, Starter Ronan is a high risk/high reward brick who is meant to take up all–or most–of your points. Each version has an Improved Targeting Trait (YOU CANNOT EVADE ME: Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters), and the Veteran also has 11 clicks of life and a Trait that makes Outwit useless (I WILL NOT BE DENIED: Ronan’s powers can’t be countered.). 10 Range with Running Shot/Pulse Wave top dial (and a 12 Attack Value) means that if you tried to field just Ronan here at, say, a ROC, you won’t be laughed off the table (I still wouldn’t recommend it, since you’ll be hideously out-actioned, but he’s by far NOT the worst figure you could try this with). I wish his damage stayed at 5 beyond top dial, but he comes with an Outwit of his own (again, with 10 Range!) and an 18 Defense with both Impervious AND Energy Shield/Deflection (which is, as mentioned, uncounterable, so the only major fear he has from range is–as always–Pulse Wave).

His Experienced version keeps the 18 Defense with Imperv and ES/D, but only top click, and he loses his move-and-attack power in favor of Flurry. Now, you’ll have an extra 100 Points to play with here, but as Ronan flies, he cannot be carried by most Taxis, which locks you into having to play a TK’er. His damage drops to 4 with Perplex (instead of Outwit), and his starting Attack Value is actually LOWER than the Rookie dial’s.

Rookie Ronan is five clicks of pain. He picks up Charge, an 11 Attack (that goes to 12 on Click 2), a 17 Defense with Invincible and 3 Damage with Close Combat Expert. His last two clicks have a Damage Special that lets him use Regeneration for free. At 100 points, he has a high damage output ceiling if you can get him in close.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (1oo Point Dial)

There ya go! I hope you enjoyed this look at the back end of the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set. I know I’m pumped for this movie, and I’ll enjoy playing these figures for the next couple years.

I’ll see you guys next time; until then, if you need me, I’ll be here, opening Hearthstone packs… LIKE A BOSS!!

 

The Three Wars!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 07/13/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Annnnnnd welcome to another week of Heroclix coverage!!

We’ve been busy these last couple weeks, and we actually had some Heroclix news break recently as well! That wait is partially why you’re getting another Mid-Weekly Roundup a couple days off from the normal release. So let’s just dive right in to…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix has finally released Episode 52!! Check their Podbean for details, but you can finally see the guys on YouTube in addition to downloading the audio version like normal! Congratulations to them on their first year anniversary show!

Push to Regen

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

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is Episode 22!! It features some new Tryout Commentators analyzing the Oregon ROC!!…


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

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

-The recent HCRealms.com contest to create ROC standard objects has come to an end! Click here for the winning Objects!

Preview

Again, no official Previews this week, but check out the WizKids section for some upcoming set news…

Wizkids

-There will be a 5-figure booster set next February, and it will be based on… DC’s Trinity War!! So we’ll be getting 2 DC sets in a row, and–in addition to normal Chases–there will be a new “Ultra-Chase” rarity (uh, yay?). With the set being based on Trinity War (and the Crime Syndicate), early bets on the identity of the Ultra-Chase all seem to be landing on either alt-Alfred Pennyworth or, more literally, Ultra-Man of the Crime Syndicate. There will also be TWO new Brick-Incentive Exclusive Resource Dials!! How will it all play?!

We shall see next February…


Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week, in honor of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set, we’re going to build a Ravagers team!!

"We may be the 18th team named Ravagers, but at least we're not Zombies."

“At least we’re not Zombies.”

Team Name: Blam! Murdered You!

Theme: Ravagers

Roster:

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon100 Points

GOTGM012 Yondu82

GOTGM102 Star-Lord75

AVXR100 Phoenix Force – 12

2x Assigned Character6

All 5 Phoenix Fragments15

ATA011 Guardians of the Galaxy ATA x28

=298 Points

So, in addition to their dials (which are all awesome!!), Rocket (Magik Frag) and Yondu (Cyke Frag) will get Running Shot, Energy Explosion, Defend and +1 to Damage from the Phoenix Force (and keep in mind that Rocket can be carried by either of his teammates WITH NO PENALTY TO MOVEMENT, since he’s got Tiny Size. I’d highly recommend Yondu though, for reasons I’m about to get into.). Now let’s look at the individual dials: Rocket has a native 19 Defense, which means whoever carries him also has a 19 Defense since Defend is granted by the Phoenix Force. Also, Rocket Raccoon’s Trait (HOW ABOUT “ROCKET RACCOON AND HIS HUMAN HANGERS-ON”?: Friendly characters adjacent to Rocket Raccoon with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Ravagers keyword modify their attack values by +1.) and Damage Special (SMARTEST MAMMAL IN THE D’AST GALAXY: Rocket Raccoon can use Enhancement and Outwit.) also boost Attack and Damage by +1 for whoever’s carrying the lil’ mammal. Now let’s look at Yondu. His Trait (HIGHER GROUND: Yondu can use Energy Shield/Deflection.) gives him a 21 FREAKING DEFENSE AGAINST RANGED ATTACKS (not counting any Hindering bonuses), and his Damage Special is great, too: ONE. LITTLE. WHISTLE.: When making a ranged combat attack against a single target, modify Yondu’s attack by +2.

So, to review: Just by having Yondu carry Rocket, Yondu’s top dial when attacking one opposing character at range becomes (in addition to the fact that he now flies and has Poison) 7 Movement (w/Running Shot), 13 Attack with Precision Strike AND Three Bolt Energy Explosion, 21 Defense (at least) against ranged retaliation and 5 Damage (3 Native Damage + Rocket’s Enhancement + 1 from the Phoenix Force). Annnnnnd you still have Star-Lord waiting in the wings (and if you push him just once, Star-Lord gets Empower, Enhancement and Perplex).

The only real flaw this team has is the lack of Willpower, but if you need to take that second or third action, you can (particularly if the Phoenix Force is still on its first click and the character that’s pushing is adjacent to Rocket, since his Defend would still be tough to overcome.). This team should be a lot of fun to play AND pretty competitive!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–No big Hollywood news this week, but next week will have a Roundup Report on the statuses of Gotham (TV), Superman/Batman: Dawn of Justice (Film) and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV)!!

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

Critical Missives:

–Bunch of new articles in the last two weeks since we lasted ‘Rounded Up! We took a look at which pieces in the current Modern Age could replace the Meta staples that have recently gone Golden Age, we did a review of every figure (except those in the Starter) from the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set and, finally, Ninwashui took an in-depth look at Arnim Zola armies!!

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

 

And that’s it for this week!! Look for a review of the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Starter Set later this week!!

 

 

 

You’re Welcome!! (Or, A Look at the Best Pieces from the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set!!)

GotG Title

Welcome back!

Today we’re taking a big look at the recent Guardians of the Galaxy Movie set that just released last week. Before we being, to get you in the right mood, let’s take a look at the poster for the movie:

This is how a movie poster is supposed to look if you want people to want to see the movie. Now, if you would rather have your stars look like they're on the cover of a Betamax Porky's rip-off from the 80's, then you could just throw them in front of your movie's logo set against a boring black background. I'm looking at you, Sex Tape.

This is how a movie poster is supposed to look if you want people to actually see the movie. Now, if you would rather have your stars look like they’re on the cover of a Betamax Porky’s rip-off from the mid-80’s, then by all means you should throw them in front of your movie’s crappy logo and set it all against a boring black background. I’m looking at you, Sex Tape.

Yup! These are our heroes! To see the just-dropped extended trailer, click right here!

Now that everyone’s caught up on where these pieces came from, let’s take a look at the figures themselves (EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re skipping the Starter Set for today–it’ll take us 4000+ words just to get through the Main Set! Look for a Starter Set review next week.)!!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: As promised, you can find the Starter Review right HERE!!)

We’ll go right in order, and at the end of each figure review we’ll grade each piece on a scale of 1-5 Oxygen Filtration Masks!!

 

"I make this look good."

“I make this look good.”

GOTGM001 Star-Lord – 95 Points – Common: A tricksy dial that has move-and-attack powers throughout, depending on how you choose to move. Confusing? Sort of, but it kind of captures the character, I think. His Trait (OXYGEN FILTRATION MASK: Star-Lord ignores damage dealt by Poison.) becomes a bit more interesting in a world where Despotellis is a thing, but his top dial Leadership is almost wasted unless your playing a couple of Guardians from the Movie Starter (more on them later) at their Rookie point level. That he possesses the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ravagers AND Soldier keywords is a definite plus.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this version of Peter Quill actually HAS a Trait called “Oxygen Filtration Mask,” his grade was bumped up by a 1/2 Filtration Mask.)

 

Movie Gamora

GOTGM002 Gamora73 Points – Common: Three Traits on a 73 Point figure! Yay! At least, “yay,” you know, until you actually read them. She starts with a great Improved Movement Trait (DEADLIEST WARRIOR IN THE GALAXY: Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, May move through squares adjacent to opposing characters, but still needs to break away normally.) that’s immediately undone by the fact that her only native move-and-attack power is Sidestep, which alternates through her dial with Flurry. If you can get her hooked up with a Hammer or the Phoenix Force to provide her with Charge, then this dial starts to become very interesting. Her second Trait (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Gamora attacks an opposing character named Nebula, modify Gamora’s attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Nebula can’t use Shape Change.) will never, ever come into play, because as colossally Meh as this Gamora is, Nebula is even worse. Her final Trait (WORKING BOTH SIDES: When a hindered line of fire is drawn to Gamora, she modifies her defense value by +2 instead of +1.) is moderately useful in keeping her alive against ranged attackers long enough to base them for an attack if you can find the right approach. Still, without any Charge, that’s gonna be a long hike. Now, if any of her Blades/Claws/Fangs slots matched up with her Flurry slots, I’d like her a lot more. Heh. Looking back on what I just wrote, I think I used the word “if” roughly 3021 times. Which probably means that as she stands, she needs A LOT of help to be effective.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Nova Corpsman

GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman45 Points – Common: A bit expensive for their base stats, but on a Nova Corps team(for Magic: The Gathering fans, Nova Corps teams basically work like Sliver decks) , what they add to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword and occupying hindering terrain modify their attack and range values by +1 unless already modified by this effect.) make these guys well worth it. Let’s do a quick Flash Build with ’em!

Team Name: Ain’t Nova But a Thing

Theme: None

Roster:

WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points

GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman – 45

GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey – 75

R100C Power Plant – 30

=300 Points

White Lantern Swamp Thing is an awesome new piece from War of Light. Alongside his great stats and specials, his 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.) provides just what Nova Corpsman and Rhomann Dey need to gain the Corpsman’s Worldmind benefit, and mid-dial, Swamp Thing can also use those Hindering Terrain markers to keep the others alive with his Damage Special (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.). And if Dey does fall, Swamp Thing gets to join the Nova Corps and gains access to the Worldmind! This team won’t win you any tournaments, but it should be pretty fun to play.

There usefulness is pretty narrow, but if you intend on playing Nova Corps teams, either Modern or Golden Age, your gonna want a few of these guys.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Officers

GOTGM004 Nova Corps Officer 55 – Common: For 10 more points, you get a Trait that’s not nearly as good as the Officer’s subordinate (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Friendly Characters) and a mid-dial Movement Special (PULL BACK!: Nova Corps Officer and adjacent friendly characters not on their first click and of a lower point value can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain.) that kind of lets you move you cheap characters around the board a little easier IF THEY’RE ALREADY HURT! Uh… thanks?

On second thought, no thanks.

GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Rocket with gun

GOTGM005 Rocket Raccoon90 Points – Common: The breakout character from the movie is also going to be the breakout character from this set. All three versions of Rocket are pretty damn good. This particular Rocket is a straight nuisance from range with his Tiny Size (even if your attacker can see through Hindering, you’re gonna have to hit a 19 at least to touch him–and that’s assuming he’s using his Tactical Genius granted Perplex on Attack values), and with a 17 Defense base stat plus his Evasive Special (EVASIVE: When Rocket Raccoon is targeted with an attack, roll a d6 and subtract 3 (minimum 1). Increase his defense value by the result.), he’s not much easier to deal with up close, either. His damage dealing is fair to above average, and he’s best engaged with a heavy hitter who can deal 5 damage in one shot (cuz chances are you’re not hitting him twice unless you have Precision Strike or can get him in range of a full damage Pulse Wave–especially if he gets to click 4, where even if you somehow hit a 17-18 from range, you still have to get through Shape Change AND Super Senses. As always, let’s check in with Jerry Seinfeld to see if he has any thoughts on trying to hit Rocket with all those defensive abilities we just talked about:

Seinfeld Good Luck

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Highest grade so far! Silly Raccoon!)

 

Sakaaran Soldiers

GOTGM006 Sakaaran Soldier49 Points – Common: Let’s see… Dolphin Movement Symbol and Stealth. Um, okay. That’s solid I guess. 10 Attack with 3 damage top dial is not terrible for 49 Points, and they have the Minions of Thanos and Soldier keywords to go with the (so far at least) completely useless Sakaaran keyword. Their attack from the grave Trait sounds fun (UPON MY DEATH: DESTRUCTION: When Sakaaran Soldier is KO’d, before removing him from the map and even if he is adjacent to an opposing character, make a ranged combat attack with a locked attack value of 9 that can’t be rerolled. The area of effect for this attack is all opposing characters within 4 squares and each hit character is dealt 1 penetrating damage.), as it’s basically a free mini-Pulse Wave, but remember that you’re making that attack with a 9 Attack Value. Not the easiest thing in the world to do, but hey, if you roll a Critical Miss, you won’t have to worry about damaging your figure, since, y’know, they’ll be dead anyway.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Wait, "Sakaaran Commander," or "Cobra Commander?" I'm confused...

Wait, “Sakaaran Commander,” or “Cobra Commander?” I’m confused…

GOTGM007 Sakaaran Commander74 Points – Common: This is a weird dial. He has Leadership (but only for adjacent characters that share a keyword with him like Minions of Thanos), his mere presence gives friendly Sakaaran Soldiers Running Shot, and he also comes with top dial Enhancement. Yes, WizKids finally designed a support figure that costs more than the attacker its meant to support! 74 Points is too much to pay for a guy you’re only using to prop up 49 point secondary attackers.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Ronan

GOTGM008 Ronan the Accuser275/200/150 Points – Common: The biggest beast in the set! That 275 Point dial is almost begging to be put together with an Entity (Parallax would probably work best, especially on Click 2), but keep in mind that Ronan inexplicably DOESN’T have the Cosmic keyword, so using an Entity with him would break Theme. I like his Veteran and Rookie dials the best; His 200 Point dial just doesn’t have enough “beef.” 3 damage? Pen/Psy or no, that’s not enough for a 200 Pointer. His Rookie dial gives you almost exactly what his 200 Point dial does, except it does it for 50 less points. His starting Defense goes down one, but to be honest, I’d rather have a 17 Invincible instead of an 18 Impervious any day of the week.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (275 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

 

Groot 1

GOTGM009 Groot198/90 Points – Core Hobby Rare: A close combat/tie-up nightmare, Groot is a fun character who unfortunately is extremely over-costed for what he does. At 198 Points, Groot is almost certainly going to be your primary attacker, and with an Attack Value that never bests 10 (save for 1 Click), that’s going to be an uphill climb. His Defense Special (I… AM…: When turning the dial, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Groot has Tiny Symbol, can’t be targeted by ranged combat attacks, and is considered smaller than all other characters. If Groot occupies water terrain or your starting area, you may give him a double power action and heal him of 3 damage. This power can’t be ignored.) is one of the best Stop Clicks in the game (can’t even be targeted by ranged attacks? Good Lord!), but his Damage Special is merely good, not great (since he just has the default Outwit Range of 6).

His Rookie dial is much more reasonably costed, and he can still blow up Blocking Terrain (Barrier buster) and tie opposing figures up very well. Plus, he starts with Invincible! He has an even lower Attack Value, but that’s much more easily overcome at 90 Points versus 198.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (198 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (90)

 

Nebula Movie

GOTGM010 Nebula73 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Ugh. No move-and-attack and a Trait that’s useless (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Nebula attacks a character named Gamora, Nebula modifies her attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Gamora can’t use Combat Reflexes.) unless your opponent is specifically playing Gamora. No reducers–just regular Mastermind, which means a character under 73 Points will have to tag along wherever she goes. Of course, chances are high that whatever fodder you choose to tag along with Nebula will be a better piece, so you probably won’t want to transfer damage off of Nebula anyway. Decent Attack Value, but when you consider how hard you’ll have to work just to get her based with someone (remember–outside of some down dial Sidesteop, no native move-and-attack!), it hardly seems worth it when she’s only doing 2-3 Damage before any reducers. No Blades/Claws/Fangs, which seems weird if you’ve seen her big moment in the trailer. Unless you are completely beholden to a Minions of Thanos movie Theme Team (and even then, you should still play GOTGM002 Gamora over Nebula, since Gamora has–SPOILER ALERT!–the Minions of Thanos keyword), stay away. Stay far, far away.

GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (This hurts, since I’m a big Karen Gillan from her time on Doctor Who. But her agent clearly forgot to demand a decent Clix version of her character…)

 

"I'm not going to be ignored, Peter Quill."

“I’m not going to be ignored, Peter Quill.”

 GOTGM011 Irani Rael 60 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Glenn Close’s Alter Ego is the Maria Hill of Nova Corps teams. She’s very fragile and will just about never deal any damage. She basically stays in your starting area and offers an alternating Perplex or Outwit that she can use counting Range and Line of Fire from any friendly Nova Corps piece. That ability plus her dial is not worth 60 Points, but when you factor in what she brings to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword ignore knock back and modify their defense values by +1.), she becomes a much better deal. I’d love her if she was 45 Points; 60 is a LOT to spend on a figure that will never deal any damage under any circumstances. Still, she is the best supporting figure option for Nova teams right now.

(On a side note, how great is this cast? John C. Reilly and Glenn Close as supporting Nova Corps characters? Lee Pace, Karen Gillan and Djimon Hounsou as the villains? Djimon Hounsou’s been nominated for an Oscar! Benecio Del Toro doing weird Benecio Del Toro things as the Collector? Michael Rooker as Blue Michael Rooker? And then you have your main cast, which includes Vin Diesel and 2-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper as supporting characters! Even Peter Serafinowicz (the “What a bunch of A-holes.” Nova Corps Officer from the first trailer) has been in a TON of stuff! I can’t wait for this movie!)

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Yondu Michael Rooker

GOTGM012 Yondu82 Points – Core Hobby Rare: The best Core Hobby Rare, Yondu is kind of like Chaos War Hawkeye-lite. His Keywords aren’t as good (although Ravagers is kind of a sneaky good one), and he’s got a 6 Range instead of 9, but top dial, he can Running Shot for 3 with a Damage Special (ONE. LITTLE. WHISTLE.: When making a ranged combat attack against a single target, modify Yondu’s attack by +2.) that can pump his Attack Value up to 12! Down dial, he has Energy Explosion to go with his 3 BOLTS! With the right support, he can become quite the death dealer.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Drax the Destroyer Dave Batista

GOTGM013 Drax the Destroyer94 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A close combat nightmare without the shortcomings that hobbled Groot. Top dial, Drax features Charge, Flurry, Precision Strike, 18 Defense with Toughness and 3 Damage with Battle Fury. He also gets to choose an opposing figure at the beginning of the game and gets +1 while attacking that figure up close (which pumps his Attack Value to 12!). He even has a small Range of 3, which isn’t much, but isn’t 0 either. In one of the weirder Defense Specials I’ve ever seen, Drax has a chance to have 3 Stop Clicks (THERE WAS NOBODY IN IT I WANTED TO SEE: When this click is revealed while taking damage from an attack, roll a d6 and on a result of 5-6, stop turning the dial. Drax the Destroyer can use Regeneration and, if he has one or more action tokens, he can use it as a free action.) that also allows him to use Regeneration for free in certain circumstances.

In a world where Brother Voodoo and other Mind Controllers still run rampant, Drax should be able to carve out a meaningful place. The only thing holding him back is the lack of Indomitable or any Improved Movement, but something like the latter can quickly be fixed with Hammers or Phoenix Force Shards. Well worth his points.

GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE!!"

“PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE!!”

GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey75 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A perfectly average Nova Corps member, there are two things that stand out on Rhomann Dey. First, his keywords. He’s rocking Nova Corps, Cosmic (which is always very interesting in an environment with Entities) and Soldier. Second is his Trait (PASSING THE TORCH: When Rhomann Dey is KO’d, choose a friendly character for the rest of the game, that character can use Toughness, has a minimum range value of 6, and has the Nova Corps keyword.). Basically, if he dies, he becomes a bridge to inducting another figure into the Nova Corps, which is really only meaningful if you’re playing enough Nova Corps pieces to make granting access to the Worldmind worth it. Since he’s a Soldier (as are most of his brethren), you can include any piece with the Soldier keyword and pump them up mid-game if that’s the mechanic you’ve constructed your team around.

Having said that, banking on a strategy that includes one of your major pieces dying is almost never reliable–or a good idea. So while Rhomann’s Trait is intriguing, he really stands or falls based on his dial, which is… perfectly average, as I mentioned above. Two Bolt Energy Explosion is almost always useful (even with just a 6 Range), he has top dial Stealth and 3 Damage. Again, no Improved Movement or Targeting (unless you’re running him with other Nova Corps members who can share those powers through the Worldmind), so Stealth may not always be useful. I just have a sinking suspicion that Rhomann is another one of those pieces who will always SEEM more useful than he really is.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"Who?!"

“Who?!”

GOTGM015 Korath the Pursuer100/50 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, another Kree–although Korath isn’t blue like his brethren. Then again, their Supreme Intelligence is a giant green, blobby face, so it’s probably fictionally racist of me to assume that all Kree would be blue. Regardless, Korath here comes with a split dial that’ll either cost you 100 or 50 Points. His 50 Point dial is fine, but with only three clicks and a 16 Defense with Toughness, he’s not going to last long once the shooting starts. Most short dials like this are support pieces; Korath is still a secondary attacker at this point, so his dial doesn’t necessarily match his role. He’s really only useful here if you need a cheap(-ish) Outwitter for your Kree or Minions of Thanos team. Otherwise, stick to his 100 Point dial, which is much more worthwhile.

At 100 Points, Korath gets a really cool Trait (PURSUER TEMPLATES: During the beginning of the game, choose an opposing character. If that character moved and made an attack since your last turn, give Korath the Pursuer a free action and place him in a square adjacent to that character.), an Attack Special Power (AUGMENTED CYBERNETICS: Give Korath the Pursuer a power action and place an adjacent standard object on his card. Modify Korath the Pursuer’s attack and defense value by +1 for each of these objects on his card. When this power is lost, any objects on his card are removed from the game. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) and a Damage Special (SUBDUE THE TARGET: Korath the Pursuer can use Energy Explosion, Force Blast and Incapacitate.). All of which is to say, you can fairly easily get his Attack Value to 11 or 12 and his Defense to 18 or 19. Then, when you’re ready, you can unleash him on the target you chose for his Trait at the beginning of the game. Depending on the map you’re playing on, you’ll then have all sorts of options via that Damage Special. Is your quarry on Elevated Terrain? Force Blast him off! Is he a big’un with a lot of reducers? Incapacitate him! Does he have a Defense-ball going? Energy Explode it with your Augmented Attack Value! Korath is a versatile piece that requires patience and planning to play effectively, but he’s also a piece that can really punch above his weight class.

 GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (100 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (50 Point Dial)

 

The Collector Del Toro

GOTGM016 The Collector150 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, a figure with Power Cosmic! And a new Victory Condition Trait (I MUST POSSESS IT: During the beginning of the game, after characters have been placed, 1 Collectible token per 100 points of the game’s build total will be placed on the map. Each Collectible must be at least 3 squares away from each other and any starting area. An opponent places half of the Collectibles and you place the remainder. When a character occupies a square with a Collectible, give it a power action, roll a d6, and on a result of 4-6, place the Collectible on its card. If that character is KO’d, return each Collectible into a distinct adjacent square. When all friendly Collectibles are on friendly characters’ cards and those characters occupy your starting area, give the Collector a double power action and all opposing characters are KO’d.)!

That Trait is bonkers, but the Collector’s dial is pretty good for 150 Points. His un-Outwittable Phasing will help if you’re actually trying to collect the tokens, but he can also hold his own in a fight. 18 Invincible (which, again, can’t be countered because of his Power Cosmic TA) is a tough top dial nut to crack! His damage hovers between 3 and 4 for 2/3 of his dial, and the Collectible Token gimmick is just strange enough to distract an opponent from your real strategy, which should still be to wipe his characters off the board. Because the Collector is Cosmic, he’s also Theme Team-able with an Entity. And if all else fails, you can play him with characters who move freely like Despotellis or–in Silver/Golden Age games–Astral Dr. Strange and actually make a run for the Tokens. The point is, at a cost of only 150, you have plenty of options to fill out the rest of your team.

This is a cool addition to the game who scores highly just based on creativity alone!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (We have a new leader, ladies and gentlemen!)

 

Star-Lord Gif

GOTGM017 Star-Lord 150 Points – Core Hobby Chase: The first Chase! Yay! I just wish… he was better. I like the sculpt (the only Star-Lord that really features Chris Pratt’s likeness), and Running Shot, 11 Attack with Sharpshooter and Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts) is all good. He’s one of the few figures in the set with Indomitable, he’s got an 18 Defense with Invulnerability top dial, and down dial, his Movement Special (ALL-OUT: Star-Lord can use Running Shot. Once per game when he does, modify his combat values by +2 until actions resolve and then deal him 1 unavoidable damage.) could help turn the tide late in the game if things aren’t going your way or provide that last killshot you need to finish off an opposing figure. And if you push him too far with that and leave him vulnerable, his Trait (SCREAM RIGHT BACK IN HIS FACE: When Star-Lord is KO’d due to an opposing character’s attack, deal that character 2 unavoidable damage.) might take his target with him. Finally, his Damage Special (BURST FIRE: When you make a ranged combat attack that deals damage, you may choose to deal Star-Lord’s printed damage value to hit targets instead of normal damage.) is GREAT… it’s just too bad he doesn’t get it ’til he’s down dial.

All in all though, this feels like a 130 Point dial; at 150, I don’t know if there’s enough room to surround him with what he needs to be effective. A decent Primary Attacker, but that’s about it. Might be more effective in higher point games.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Rocket Raccoon Gif

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon100 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Chase: 4 Clicks, all of which are awesome. Top dial, the little guy with the big gun gets: Improved Movement (Hindering and Elevated); 8 Movement with Running Shot; 11 Attack with Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts); 19 Defense (19!!) with Super Senses and Tiny Size (which means he’s a minimum 20 if you’re trying to snipe him!); and 3 native Damage with Outwit and Enhancement. His Trait (HOW ABOUT “ROCKET RACCOON AND HIS HUMAN HANGERS-ON”?: Friendly characters adjacent to Rocket Raccoon with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Ravagers keyword modify their attack values by +1.) also lets like-keyworded teammates pump up their Attack Values.

What we have here then is a support piece that makes a very effective secondary attacker. I mean, outside of Despotellis, Rocket doesn’t have a lot of natural predators. I’ve seen some chatter from peeps worrying about his short dial, but man, you still have to hit him first. Considering all that, I’d have to say that this… is the marquee piece in the set!

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Yes!! We have our dramatically timed winner for Best Figure in the Set!!)

 

There ya go! Join us next week for a discussion of the Starter Set!

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