The Ghost of Christmas Present (Or, Let’s Face It, Christmas Past at This Point!) Is Back With a Harley Quinn Top 10!! (Or, The Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! Then the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! And the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! A couple days ago the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids! Then he came back again under the guise of The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation to talk about Marvel & DC stories that would make great Heroclix sets! Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Past stopped by once more to give us his Five Least Favorite Figures of the Year!]

Harley Quinn bombshell.jpg

After tonight, there’s just one Night left in the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2017!!

For Night Eleven, at long last, we’re gonna burn through a Top Ten Set Review for Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls!

 

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN HARLEY QUINN AND THE GOTHAM GIRLS:

 

Batman god of knowledge.jpg

10. HQ062 Batman, God of Knowledge — 225 Points — Chase: 

Advertised as the Uni-Mind killer (“His Trait shuts down Perplex!! Kind of!!”), Batman GOK is hardly that. He’s way too many points to be any sort of silver bullet.

Buuuut… that doesn’t mean he’s a terrible piece.

His God Trait (GOD OF KNOWLEDGE: Opposing characters within 6 squares and lower points can’t use Perplex.) is somewhat useful, he sees through Hindering Terrain and Characters, he has a 9 Range AND can Outwit a single opposing character twice a turn.

If you can keep him top dial, his Movement Special (MOBIUS CHAIR: Phasing/Teleport. Batman, God of Knowledge can use it as FREE if he has no action tokens. // Batman, God of Knowledge may carry friendly characters with “wing symbol”.) plus his Pen/Psy and 4 Damage will actually give him a puncher’s chance against almost any single foe.

 

Wonder Woman DS War.jpg

9. HQ067 Wonder Woman — 125 Points — Chase:

Yeah, this list is gonna be mostly Chases. I’m sorry, but that’s where most of the goodness in this set is. Don’t look at me. It’s not my fault.

Regardless, Diana has one of the most solid close combat dials I’ve ever seen. She’s a 9-click long Brick who’s almost impossible to Outwit, has a 12 Attack, Charge, Exploit Weakness with 4 Damage and Indomitable.

She also has a kind of bizarre Trait (NEVER GIVE UP: When a friendly character of 50 points or more is KO’d, give her a Determination token. When Wonder Woman would be KO’d, if she has one or more Determination tokens, instead turn her to click #8 then remove all Determination tokens and heal her that many clicks.) that let’s her resurrect if some of her teammates are KO’d!

 

Kite Man.jpg

8. HQ044 Kite Man — 15 Points — Rare: 

I hate when they put micro-costed characters at the Rare level. It can really screw up Sealed games.

Having said that, 15 Points for 4-clicks of anything is pretty good. When you factor in his Taxi Trait (KITE MAN. HELL, YEAH.: Passenger: 2. At the beginning of your turn, if Kite Man is holding an object, he may move up to 2 squares.) and the fact that he flies with a Movement Value of 10, he actually starts to become freaking AMAZING for his points!

 

Harley Quinn Yellow.jpg

7. HQ043B Harley Quinn — 100 Points — Rare Prime: 

Her Super Rare Prime got more buzz, but this is a really efficiently priced package!

100 Points for Hypersonic, Perplex (only on opposing pieces, but still), KNOCKBACK, 3 Damage with Enhancement and a 5 Range.

If you were to create the perfect Secondary Attacker in a lab, this dial is close to the result you’d come up with!

 

Green Lantern GOL.jpg

6. HQ064 Green Lantern, God of Light — 175 Points — Chase:

Nope. This isn’t the last Chase on this list (sigh).

Buuuuut, I have to put him on this list because of his Movement Special (I AM EVERYWHERE!: POWER: Place Green Lantern, God of Light in a square that’s within half his speed value, then make an attack.). He also has Pulse Wave and 4 Damage top dial, so that makes that Special even more ridiculous.

 

Kirk DePaul.jpg

5. HQ003B Kirk DePaul, Manhunter — 65 Points — Common PRIME:

Wow! This is another great Secondary Attacker. 6 Clicks for 65 Points, and that includes a top dial with Sidestep, Precision Strike with a 12 Attack and an absolutely awesome and versatile Trait (TALENT, TRAINING, AND GENETIC DESIGN: FREE: Choose: Close Combat Expert, Combat Reflexes -or- Ranged Combat Expert, Energy Shield/Deflection. Kirk DePaul, Manhunter can use the chosen powers until your next turn.)!

He even gets B/C/F and Regen at the end of his dial!

 

king Shark.jpg

4. HQ054 King Shark — 90 Points — Super Rare: 

So, if you can actually win the Map Roll and take your Suicide Squad to a Map with a lot of water, King Shark’s Damage Special (ME AND MY CHUM: Sidestep. FREE: If King Shark occupies water terrain, move him up to his speed value.) turns him into a straight up killer.

His top dial features Flurry, and 11 Attack AND 4 Damage with Shape Change and Exploit Weakness. So if you can use his Water Terrain Special and Sidestep effectively, he can start chopping away for 8 Damage (Dealt) a turn!

Also, the Sinister Six shared Trait (ONLY SIX OF US?: Stealth, but only if your force has three or more characters. Improved Movement: Hindering Terrain, but only if your force has five or more characters. Modify all combat values +1, but only if your force has exactly six characters.) is really cool and would let him one-shot significantly higher-costed characters if you can make it work!

 

Harley Quinn black and red.PNG

3. HQ059A Harley Quinn — 200 Points — Super Rare: 

Okay, yes, this dial might be a tad overcosted. But it’s one of the funnest dials I’ve ever seen!

Her first two Clicks are all gold–Hypersonic, Poison, Impervious and Perplex. She also has Indom and some darn good stats! Down dial, she gets a great Damage Special (I’M GONNA FURADICATE YOU!: When Harley Quinn hits an opposing character, for the rest of the game, if that character can use Invincible or Impervious, that character can’t use those powers but can use Invulnerability instead.) as well!

 

Prometheus.jpg

2. HQ045 Prometheus — 135 Points — Rare: 

Sidestep! Indom! Perplex! Good stats! Improved Targeting: Hindering Terrain. Plus one hell of a Trait (DOWNLOAD A COUNTER TO YOUR ABILITIES: FREE: Choose a standard attack and damage power. Prometheus can use those powers until your next turn.)!

If we haven’t mentioned it before, being able to continually pick good powers whenever you want is always pretty freaking good!

Incidentally, I was actually able to use Prometheus to take down a Shazam! Chase during our HQ Release Event. Very potent!

 

Flash GOD.jpg

1. HQ063 The Flash, The God of Death — 125 Points — Chase: 

Whoa!! 125 Points buys WAAAAY more than it used to!! There’s a reason this guy is WELL over a hundred bucks on the secondary market!

14 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, Precision Strike with an 11 Attack, 19 Defense with Super Senses and 4 native Damage top dial! Oh, and he ignores Hindering Terrain, keeps any opposing characters within 6 squares of him from healing, has Steal Energy AND has the ability to heal every time an opposing character is KO’d!!

Oh, and with the Quintessence TA, he has Willpower and none of his powers can be countered. That makes him one of the cheapest heavy hitting Primary Attackers Wizkids has ever designed!

 

Alright!! That’s it for tonight! Thank you to everyone reading this. Feel free to post your personal Top Tens below!!

Also… we’re one day away from hitting our 12 for 12 goal! Christmas Day is basically going to be a wrap-up with some info about what to look forward to from us in January!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and I’ll see you all here tomorrow!

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But THIS… Does Put A Smile On My Face!! (Or, Let’s Talk About the Infinity War Trailer!!)

Thanos Infinity Gauntlet

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t do many trailer reactions on this site, primarily because we’re mostly about gaming in general, and Heroclix specifically. Also, while some folks manage to publish genuinely entertaining reaction videos on YouTube (The Ecomog #StruggleNation guys and Emergency Awesome are some of my personal faves), most are just schlubby guys staring slightly below the camera while shouting “Wow!” and “Oh S—!!” over and over again.

But while we are assembling our Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls Top Ten (I’ve heard some people call it “Joker’s Wild” with funner Primes and Chases, but really–no, wait, that’s pretty much it), I thought I’d break from tradition and embark on a little story time about why I wanted to talk about this particular trailer, what exactly seems to be going on with the movie’s story, and maybe even why the Colossal Thanos on the Throne of Death is the default masthead for this blog! 

So, without further ado… on with the show!]

Infinity War poster.jpg

Marvel finally dropped a trailer for Infinity War today. This is the movie I’ve been waiting for ever since I was a little kid, and one that I never thought I’d ever get in my lifetime.

I’ve lived in Michigan my whole life. Grew up just outside of Detroit. For most of my childhood my family would drive up to Lexington, Michigan at least once during every  summer month (after school had let out). Lexington was about 90 minutes away from Detroit, and my grandparents had a small cottage there near Lake Huron.

Now Lexington was (and pretty much still is) the epitome of a small, Midwestern town. It had a Main Street, a few restaurants, a General Store (where, after much petulant badgering, my grandmother would break down and buy me DuckTales stickers and baseball cards) and an indoor bazaar/flea market that, at least in my memory, was always filled to the brim with dusty, undiscovered treasures.

My father was never one to pass up a garage sale or a flea market, so whenever he would head into town, my brother and I always got up early to go with him, particularly because every time we went to that indoor market, someone would be selling… comic books.

In 1992, I was 11 years old, and while I had a general idea who Batman, Superman and Spider-Man were, I was really just discovering the broader range of comic book characters that were out there. That was also the time in my life when I had started earning my own money through delivering newspapers and mowing lawns, so it was not uncommon for me to hit the comic stands with $5, $10 or sometimes even $20 (for our younger readers, you’ll have to trust me–this seemed like a small FORTUNE to 11-year-old me!).

Now I always had to examine the covers of all the comics that were for sale, and my gosh, if I saw a cover advertising a guest appearance by another hero, well, that comic was probably going home with me (I mean, what’s better than getting TWO heroes for the price of one comic?!).

Daredevil 306

I think I still have this issue in my basement somewhere. It came out the same month as Infinity War #1, I think. And it had Daredevil AND Spider-Man!! 11-year-old me was most impressed.

Well, later on in the Summer of 1992, I saw this:

Infinity War 1

A double-sized comic that pretty much had ALL the heroes in the MCU. This blew my mind! I eagerly devoured all six issues of Infinity War; then, the following year, I did it all over again with the sequel, Infinity Crusade.

When I got a little older and I could drive myself to the local comic shop on Wednesdays after high school, I was able to track down bits and pieces of Thanos Quest and Infinity Gauntlet (but, frustratingly, never the whole thing–finding those issues, or even a TPB, became sort of my white whale. Especially because this was before eBay and Amazon).

But the ending of Infinity Gauntlet, where Adam Warlock had to sacrifice his peaceful afterlife in the Soul Gem to literally take on the responsibility of the entire universe while Thanos lost universal omnipotence but gained a mantle of inner peace stuck with me.

Infinity Gauntlet ending

I can still quote the last line of Infinity Gauntlet decades later. “Somehow I feel that, in the long run, Thanos of Titan came out ahead in this particular deal.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Starlin does not get nearly enough credit for all the concepts and characters he introduced into the Marvel Universe. He has had a brilliant career, but he’s never mentioned in the same conversations as his contemporaries like Alan Moore and Frank Miller. Watchmen and DKR are brilliant, but Starlin did something arguably harder; he told an all-time great story that took place IN CONTINUITY. This is incredibly difficult to do. How many crossovers have come anywhere close to Infinity Gauntlet’s brilliance? Very few… And while we’re at it, when it comes to drawing Thanos, there’s Ron Lim, and then there’s everyone else. Period.]

It was such a powerful ending; I finally realized that sometimes the good guys don’t completely win, and sometimes the bad guys aren’t gonna get punished. And yet, from there, Thanos develops from a villain into more of an anti-hero who is eventually entrusted with the Reality Gem and actually helps save the universe during future Infinity catastrophes (and Keith Giffen even wrote a marvelously fun and complex Thanos 12-issue series back in 2003-2004 that continued this redemption arc in unexpected ways).

Fast forward to 2012. I can’t believe that Marvel movies that don’t have Spider-Man or an ‘X’ in the title are actually succeeding at the box office. My childhood is coming to life before my eyes. “Avengers” hits and its everything everyone wants it to be. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and nothing like it has ever been attempted at the level on which “Avengers” was executed. It’s a gigantic hit.

Also that year, I met a girl. My third date with her also happened to be my birthday. “Avengers” was our first date, and she’d been madly interrogating my friends in order to figure out what she should get me. Then, in front of a bunch of my family members who she’d only just met that night, my girlfriend handed me a gift bag. This is what was inside:

Infinity Gauntlet TPB

We were married in 2015.

Coincidentally, that was also an “Avengers” year.

I relate all this so that you know that when I hit “Play” on YouTube this morning to watch the “Avengers: Infinity War” trailer, I wasn’t just carrying 10 years of MCU movies with me; I was sitting there with memories of some of the happiest times in my life swimming around my head, waiting with giddy anticipation.

So you can probably guess that I liked it.

It could have been two minutes of a static, black screen and I would have called it “boldly understated” or something. But it wasn’t two minutes of a black screen. It was colorful; vibrant; thrilling; scary; nostalgic; bold; smart; new and surprising and familiar, all at the same time.

In two minutes and twenty-four seconds, this trailer brought together virtually every dangling thread from every Marvel movie in history. Somehow the writers have seamlessly blended the storylines of “Infinity Gauntlet” and “Infinity” (the talented Jonathan Hickman’s magnum opus from 2013) not only with each other but also woven them into the altogether different continuity of the MCU. This is such a complicated structural endeavor that it boggles the mind anyone would even attempt such a thing.

And that’s before you remember that Marvel can’t use the Fantastic Four, Galactus or the Silver Surfer (my God, Surfer was probably the fourth or fifth most important character IN Infinity Gauntlet!!) and that they are CHOOSING not to use Adam Warlock until the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie (or, at least, we assume this to be so).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I feel like this hasn’t been discussed enough. Again, to make this clear… ADAM WARLOCK IS THE #$&^#(! PROTAGONIST OF INFINITY GAUNTLET!! This would be like a producer going up to Peter Jackson in 1997 and saying, “Look, we’re gonna give you a green light on this Lord of the Rings thing, but only if you lose those weird Hobbit characters. Especially that Frodo guy.“]

This should be an impossible task. But then you watch the trailer, and Black Panther says “Get this man a shield!” and Cap steps out of the shadows to help defend Wakanda against an Outrider invasion, and I’m about frothing at the mouth to find out the earliest date I can pre-order tickets for this movie.

It’s like Kevin Feige and the screenwriters had a workaround for everything.

WRITERS: “Uh, Infinity Gauntlet basically starts with Silver Surfer rushing to warn Earth after a run-in with Thanos and crashing into the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Surfer Crashes

FEIGE: “And?”

WRITERS: “Annnd… we can’t use Silver Surfer.”

Doc and Wong

FEIGE: “Great. So, now the Hulk will be the one to crash into the Sanctum.”

WRITERS: “Uh… he’s not even in space.”

FEIGE: “He will be.”

Hulk Sanctum

Kevin Feige is an absolute stone cold gangster. I’m convinced of this. He saw the possibility for this whole cinematic universe when all anyone else saw was B- and C-list characters with no film potential at all. That’s what I love most about the MCU. Feige and his team just plow ahead.

–Don’t have the rights to Spider-Man or the X-Men? Guess what. We’re focusing exclusively on the Avengers. And we’re gonna do that so well that Sony will be begging us to take over Spidey from them.

–Natalie Portman doesn’t want to come back for Thor 3? Great. We’re not gonna set it on Earth anyway. We’re gonna get Tessa Thompson to play a Valkyrie and it’s going to get the best reviews of any of the Thor movies. Bye Felicia.

–Our original stars are now ten years older and want gobs of money? Great. We’re gonna give it to them for now, but we’re also going to create the next generation of heroes on screen to eventually replace them. And the audience is going to f-ing love every minute of it.

I’m amazed at how many times Marvel has reinvented what a “superhero movie” can be.

For all the reasons I just described, I loved, loved LOVED this trailer, and I can’t wait to take my wife to go and see it in a theater.

Look, I haven’t even really touched on the story of “Infinity” and how it relates to this production, but this probably isn’t going to be the last time I talk about this trailer or this movie, either. But I think I’ll leave it right here for now.

Excelsior.

Team Ideas–Special Gen Con Edition!!

Idea

Okay! Annnnnd, we’re back with a very special Team Ideas column!

Gen Con is coming up, and we’re going to be publishing a series of team-building teams for several of the Gen Con-exclusive WizKids events that were recently announced! While it wasn’t clear for a while if WizKids would even BE at Gen Con, their recent announcements not only confirmed their appearance but also delineated several new game types that players could prepare for.

Many of these games are great because their Build possibilities are nearly endless. Regardless, Ninwashui and I are going to posit several Builds and then choose the one we like best to take to Gen Con!

Today, I’m gonna focus on the Rumbles! We’ll start with the…

MARVEL HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

WizKids Says: “All players bring 5 Marvel Comics HeroClix Modern Age figures with them; one for each of the following point values: 0-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and 201-250. Players begin the game with only the lowest point value figure on their force. Every 5 minutes after the beginning of the game, players place the next highest point value figure on the map next to one of their figures or in their starting area. Players must play in the complete event in order to get their participation prizes.

What We Assume That Means: So, we’re going to take these Build rules at face value. We’re going to assume this means that you’re not building a FORCE per se, but rather taking 5 individual figures that will be played together with the 5-minute timing caveat. Which means no Themed Team rules (so no Themed Team probs, etc.), no Relics and no Resources. Also, only your 0-50 Point character will actually BEGIN THE GAME on the map, so characters with effects that go off at the beginning of the game (Chase Rick Jones and his supporting POG’s, for example) are going to be neutered some.

Also, while I see nothing in here disallowing Colossals (provided you play them at an eligible point level), I’m also going to assume that Team Bases are disallowed, since it seems that you add team members to the base during Force Construction and, again, you’re not constructing a Force here. And if you can’t add team members to your team base, then you have ZERO team members, and it’s pretty much automatically removed from the map (unless an effect specifies otherwise, team bases MUST have a minimum of three team members attached to it at all times). Further–and this is where the wording gets a little murky–team bases are (at least originally–I know there’s been some wording updates) defined thusly: “Characters with the new Team combat icon symbol are Teams.  A Team has locations on it where figures from corresponding SwitchClix bases can be placed.  Each such character is called a team member.” So, if we parse through WizKids’s wording there, even they seem to define Team Bases as “Teams” and individual team members as “figures.” And, going back to the original game posting, only “figures” are allowed, which means Team Bases should be ineligible. Right?

(Honestly, there are so many interpretations of Team Base rules out there, it’s hard to figure out what’s legit and what’s not–so we’re going to operate on the premise that they are not allowed for this game)

Okay! With all that legalese disseminated, let’s look at some Builds!!

Legalese

First up:

Lilandra

Team Name: So Long As My Lilandra Survives

Roster:
1-50: WXM005 Oracle49 Points

51-100: WXM052 Lilandra93 Points

101-150: WKM-013R Gladiator150 Points

151-200: WXM048 Warstar177 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator250 Points

Total Points Used: 719 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This is a pretty fun Build. You’re basically playing a “Best-of” Shi’ar team. But wait, you say, you just wrote a billion words on why Themed Teams don’t matter for this game. Yup. They don’t. You won’t get any Themed Team probs for fielding an all-Shi’ar squad. But what you will get is +1 to both Attack and Damage to every character on this team that stays within 8 squares of Lilandra, thanks to her Trait (DEFEND ME, SHI’AR WARRIORS!: Other friendly characters with the Shi’ar keyword and within 8 squares modify their attack values +1. Other friendly characters with the Imperial Guard keyword and within 8 squares modify their damage values +1.). That’s like 8 free Perplexes a turn.

Oracle, you’re starting character, offers Probability Control and Barrier, which you may need early on to keep Lilandra unharmed when she shows up after five minutes. You’re basically playing a keepaway game for the first ten minutes of the match, until Rookie Gladiator shows up. For those who haven’t seen this particular Gladiator, he heats up in a hurry. Provided that he hits the board within 8 squares of Lilandra (probable, since you can bring him in adjacent to her), you’re looking at a character who has Hypersonic Speed, a 13 Attack, 18 Defense with Invincible and 6 freaking Damage. He can start one-shotting your opponent’s characters IMMEDIATELY upon arrival.

Warstar and B’Nee are also capable of ruining your opponent’s day very quickly. Warstar can essentially Charge about 8 squares with his B’Nee shenanigans, and if he ends up attacking from within  8 squares of Lilandra, he’ll be rocking a 12 Attack and 5 Damage (and that’s if you DON’T use his Super Strength). He features an 18 Defense with Invincible, and if he still has B’Nee attached, his powers can’t be countered. All of which means he’ll be extremely tough to retaliate against. And, if your opponent does try to focus fire on Warstar, he gets Pulse Wave down dial, so he really only gets MORE dangerous.

Finally, Zombie Chase Gladiator from Guardians of the Galaxy is a great 250 Point option. Again, if you can keep Lilandra alive, you’re looking at a character that can come in with a Running Shot Pulse Wave that features a 12 Attack and 6 Damage!

Despite the fact that Themed Teams don’t matter in this sort of Build, it’s so synergistic that you’ll have a significant advantage over many of your opponents when it comes to buffs. Just remember to keep Lilandra as far back as possible while still allowing for her influence to reach the rest of your team. She is the key to your success.

 

When are we getting a Miguel Herrera Clix?

Actually, Miguel Herrera will not be appearing in this Build. But I think we’ve proved that we love this meme so much that we’ll run it for no reason whatsoever.

Team Name: Enormous Green Free Movement Monster!!

Roster:

1-50: FFOA006R Captain America50 Points

51-100: AVAS013B 3-D Man90 Points

101-150: FFOA003 Iron Man150 Points

151-200: AVX003 Thor200 Points

201-250: AAOU104 Hulk250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This one is pretty straight-forward. You’re using your first character, Cap, to give free movement to your other characters via his top dial Damage Special (AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE: Give Captain America a power action and choose another friendly character that shares a keyword with him and doesn’t have 2 action tokens. That character is immediately given a move action as a free action with their speed value halved for this action.). This should give you a leg up on board control, and given the firepower of your next four figures, you should be able to Alpha Strike your opponent’s pieces into oblivion.

 

Avengers Assemble Top Image

Team Name: Avengers Assemble!!

Roster:

1-50: AAOU015 Nick Fury45 Points

51-100: AAOU009 Hawkeye95 Points

101-150: AAOU005R Thor150 Points

151-200: AAOU008R Hulk200 Points

201-250: AAOU001 Iron Man250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Another Build where we’re using our starting piece–in this case, Nick Fury–to make all the pieces that come into play after him more efficient. The Avengers Assemble! Traits are all very good, but they have the possibility of completely ruining your opponent’s day if you’re allowed to pick the effect. That’s just what Fury’s Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…: When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) does 33% of the time.

Movie Hawkeye (from Age of Ultron) is an absolute beast for his points, and all the other members of the team, like Hawkeye, sport an easily exploitable Avengers Assemble! Trait. Oh, and if your opponent was counting on using any form of Stealth, he’s gonna be pretty pissed when he realizes that your entire team ignores it…

 

Zombie Villains

Team Name: Z-Virus Will See You Now

Roster:

1-50: FFDP006R Mercy50 Points

51-100: DP064 Electro90 Points

101-150: GOTG066 Red Skull120 Points

151-200: GOTG062 Super Skrull170 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator 250 Points

Total Points Used: 680 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Zombies, zombies everywhere! We’re running four Zombies with a rookie Mercy for support. She brings Flying, Phasing/Teleport, Telekinesis AND Probability Control, which are all things the Zombie pieces usually need.

Electro is, well, lightning in a bottle. He is straight offense and great at dishing out damage to multiple parties at once.

Red Skull is actually a slightly overcosted support-y type piece who also offers a decent amount of Penetrating close combat damage. But his Special Leadership Power (THE UBER-SCHEUSAL RACE: Red Skull can use Leadership as if he were 300 points. If he removes a token from a friendly character with the Hydra or Z-Virus keyword, modify that character’s combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is really useful for your final two hitters, and his third Trait (COLONEL AMERICA’S BRAINS WERE SO DELICIOUS…: When Red Skull uses Zombie Infection to add an opposing character to your force, Red Skull can use any standard powers that character possesses while it is on the map.) actually has the potential to make the Skull a very dangerous piece indeed.

Super Skrull is one of the most dominant tournament pieces in Modern right now, so he needs little explanation. And we just discussed Gladiator in the first entry.

Zombies as a group have decent values, but their true power lies in their ability to corrupt your opponent’s forces onto your side. Even if the early rolls don’t go your way, keep an open mind, because all it takes is one quick KO of any of your opponent’s pieces to turn the tide of the game to your favor in a hurry. Plus, their Zombie healing Trait means you don’t have to pack a dedicated healer. Having said that, Mercy might be able to help with that in a pinch, even though that’s not really her role on this team.

Incidentally, if you wanted to change the feel of this Build a little bit, you could substitute Zombie Magneto (13o Points) for Zombie Red Skull and/or Zombie Galactus for Super Skrull. Just keep in mind that Zombie Galactus doesn’t actually HAVE the Z-Virus keyword, so he doesn’t work with the other three Zombie characters in terms of building up Infection tokens and such.

So, personally, I would stick with Zombie Super Skrull since he’s, y’know, pretty good.

"Oh, so you're telling me Super Skrull is a good piece?"

Oh, so you’re telling me Super Skrull is a good piece?

So those are four possibilities for the Marvel Rumble (again, there are almost LIMITLESS combinations); now let’s take a look at the…

DC HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

WizKids Says: “All players bring 5 DC Comics HeroClix Modern Age figures with them; one for each of the following point values: 0-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and 201-250. Players begin the game with only the lowest point value figure on their force. Every 5 minutes after the beginning of the game, players place the next highest point value figure on the map next to one of their figures or in their starting area. Players must play in the complete event in order to get their participation prizes.

What We Assume That Means: Pretty much the same as we noted above, with the Marvel version. This game works exactly the same, only with DC characters.

Look, the easy way to go with the DC Rumble is to just field, like, three or four Bizarros and a Felix Faust. We’re not doing that here. We’re gonna try and be a little more creative. Having said that, don’t be surprised if you run into more than a few copies of those two characters.

With that said, here we go…

Secret Society of SUpervillains

Team Name: Mind Your Manners

Roster:

1-50: JLTW016 Signalman50 Points

51-100: JLTW032 Dr. Sivana83 Points

101-150: FL047 Zoom150 Points

151-200: FL056 Gorilla Grodd175 Points

201-250: JLTW059 Despero235 Points

Total Points Used: 693 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This team checks in closer to the “fun” side of the fun/competitive Heroclix Build Venn Diagram, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win with it. Signalman (yes, that Signalman) takes to the map first, and he’s there solely to help enable Mind Control shenanigans. His sole Trait (SYMBOLS AND SIGNS CONTROL OUR LIVES: At the beginning of the game, choose a combat symbol other than “boot symbol”, “fist symbol”, “shield symbol”, or “starburst symbol”. When an opposing character with the chosen symbol is targeted by Mind Control, modify that character’s defense value by -1 or, if Signalman is the attacker, by -2.) basically acts as a walking Perplex for any Mind Control attack you choose to launch at an opposing figure.

Your second piece to drop will be Dr. Sivana (yes, that Dr. Sivana), who offers an awesome Outwit Damage Special (EYE SEE YOUR MAGIC: Dr. Sivana can use Outwit. Dr. Sivana may activate Outwit with a power action and when he does, the countered power or ability is also countered on all opposing characters within 8 squares of Dr. Sivana that share a keyword with the target.) and protects everyone on the team from any possibility of Mystics damage with his only Trait (MAGIC AVOIDANCE: Friendly characters with the Secret Society of Super Villains keyword ignore the Mystics team ability.). He also offers down dial Mind Control, so he can eventually take advantage of Signalman’s Trait if Signalman is still around by that point.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, everyone and their mother will probably play Felix Faust in this slot; he is unquestionably a better choice, given that he’s the most broken character in the game–even more so when teamed with his Secret Society of Super Villains teammate Zoom and his multiple Probs. Well, we’re not going to be those people. Screw Felix Faust!!]

Zoom is, simply put, a pain in the backside to deal with. He gives you a great Hypersonic attacker who also offers some solid support.

Grodd is your first heavy hitter. Signalman’s Trait actually means that Grodd effectively has a 12 Attack for Mind Control, and if he hits with that, after actions resolve, he can use Penetrating/Psychic Blast as a Free Action AND takes no damage from Mind Control! He also has a 50% chance to be untargetable when he’s targeted with Mind Control, Outwit, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, or Perplex.

Finally, Despero’s Trait (PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Despero can’t be the target of Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast by characters of a lower point value.) also makes him hard to pin down with a plethora of attacks, and he packs a huge wallop on his own.

 

Sinestro Corps

Team Name: The Pieces You Have Come to Fear the Most

Roster:

1-50: WOL099 Despotellis30 Points

51-100: WOL021 Lyssa Drak91 Points

101-150: FLo53B Zoom (Black Lantern) — 120 Points

151-200: JLTW049 Sinestro200 Points

201-250: WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan) — 250 Points 

Total Points Used: 691 out of a possible 750

How It Works: When you choose Despotellis, you’re basically punting on first down with your first character, but in a way, so is your opponent. Look, it’s not impossible that your opponent will field someone at 50 Points who can hit Despotellis and his 20 Defense top dial (Bizarro at 50 Points with some dice luck would have a fighting chance), but it’s unlikely. Then Lyssa Drak comes in, and you suddenly have not just a Sidestepping Taxi for Despotellis but also a Barrier-laying supporting piece that can Prob opposing attacks from anywhere on the map (since she shares a keyword with everyone on this team!) thanks to her Trait (BOOK OF PARALLAX/BOOK OF THE BLACK: Lyssa Drak can use Probability Control regardless of range and line of fire, but can only target opposing characters with it, and only when they attack a character with a keyword she possesses.).

Black Lantern Zoom comes in with instant mobility, and given that your opponent will almost certainly have two lower costed figures still on the board, he’ll have plenty of fodder to pick off. Even if Zoom takes 3-4 Damage right from jumpstreet, he’s still amazing. His Damage Special (DEATH: WILL MAKE YOU BETTER: Zoom can use Steal Energy. When an opposing character is KO’d, heal Zoom of 1 damage and place a Speed token on this card.) makes it super easy to not only heal but to also build Speed Force tokens in a hurry. Heck, on click 3, it’s quite possible for him to nail your opponent’s 1-50 slot character for 3 damage and heal all the way to top dial (if the 3 damage KO’s that figure). Even though he’s under the points threshold for his slot, he works beautifully with the rest of this team (and Lyssa can Prob any attack aimed at him from anywhere on the board!!).

Trinity War Sinestro is a Quintessence-blessed behemoth with a wicked Attack Special (DEATH TO THE GUARDIANS: Sinestro can use Pulse Wave. Opposing characters that can use the Quintessence team ability instead can’t use it and modify their combat values by -1.) that can wreck pieces by itself if your opponents were also feeling frisky enough to field some Quintessence-wielders of their own. His Damage Special (FEAR THE SINESTRO CORP: Sinestro can use Perplex, but only to decrease combat values. Until your next turn, a character targeted by this Perplex can’t target Sinestro unless the targeted character or Sinestro are the only characters on their force on the map.) also means that you can essentially make Sinestro immune to an opposing figure of your choice.

Imagine that Black Lantern Zoom has done his job and eliminated one or even two of your opponents lower-point characters. Well, if Sinestro Perplexes down ANY combat value on their 151-200 slot big’gun, your opponent will be left with only one character who can even target Sinestro. And this scenario becomes even more dire for them if Despotellis is still around Poisoning his best guys.

Finally, Hal Jordan Parallax is just sick and wrong. Running Shot, Pulse Wave and Probability Control with a 12 Attack Value and 5 top dial damage? Again, he could start one-shotting folks as soon as he hits the board!

 

Justice League

Team Name: Justice… Like Lightning!! (Wait a minute, that’s a Marvel tagline!! Oh Hell No!)

Roster:

1-50: FL046E Harley Quinn50 Points

51-100: JLTW034 Element Woman88 Points

101-150: JLTW051 Batman150 Points

151-200: JLTW052 Wonder Woman200 Points

201-250: JLTW050 Superman250 Points

Total Points Used: 738 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Harley is really just there to start the game and see if she can stick around to really make dealing with the Trinity even that much harder. Element Woman is a little undercosted for her slot, but man, pick a supporting power, and she’s got it. No really, that’s her Trait–pick a supporting power: ELEMENTAL ARTISTE: At the beginning of your turn, choose one: Earth, Fire, or Ice. Element Woman can use the associated powers until your next turn.

Earth Barrier and Impervious
Fire Energy Explosion and Penetrating/Psychic Blast
Ice Incapacitate and Perplex

Batman is an absolute stud who will be public enemy number one as soon as he hits the board. Not only are his stats fantastic for his points, but his Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use the Batman Ally team ability. Friendly characters named Superman or Wonder Woman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) also makes dealing with what’s coming an absolute nightmare.

Wonder Woman’s Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use Support. Friendly characters named Batman or Superman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) gives Bats and Supes Support, and she can shut down opposing supporting pieces with one hit with her second Trait (LASSO OF TRUTH: Adjacent opposing characters that have been hit by Wonder Woman since the beginning of your last turn can’t use Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.). And that’s assuming that her 4 top dial damage didn’t straight up KO said figure.

Finally, Superman is everything you want in your 250 point-slot selection. 12 Attack, 19 Defense and 5 Damage top dial to go along with his starting Hypersonic Speed and Invincible. His Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use the Superman Ally team ability. Friendly characters named Batman or Wonder Woman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) gives Bats the ability to see through Stealth and move through Hindering (really the only thing that Batman is missing!). If your opponent hasn’t taken out at least one of your other two Trinity pieces by the time Supes hits the board, it’s probably goodnight Gracie.

 

Well, what do you think? Which Marvel and DC Builds are your favorites? Which ones should I take to Gen Con? Sound off in the comments below!

Check back soon for more Gen Con Builds, and until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

 

Team Ideas – It’s Not Suicide to Play the Squad

Idea

Suicide Blonde

Opps… I’ll have to cancel the INXS reunion I planned. Apparently they have nothing to do with the Suicide Squad.

So during my Flash Review I pointed out that Amanda Waller was one of the worst pieces in the set. My reasoning was that even though she can add a nice figure to the Suicide Squad, there really weren’t many reasons to actually play the other figures in Suicide Squad. They were okay, but not great. Add to this the fact that Amanda is about 40 points of offense in a 60 point body and I was just not seeing a good way to use the Suicide Squad in Modern Age games.

However, I like a challenge. So I’ve created 3 teams that actually seem to work with the Suicide Squad in a Modern Age,  No-Tactics environment.

Fiddler

Be careful of the B-Sharp…

Team Name: Fiddler’s on the Roof!

Theme: Suicide Squad

Roster: FFFL001 Captain Cold FFFL003 Mirror Master FL012 Captain Boomerang FL029 Fiddler

Total = 299 Points

How it Works: I’ve gotten around that whole Amanda Waller not being that good problem by omitting her completely. Problem solved. Instead the leader of this team is the Fiddler. Fiddler has no defensive ability on his whole dial (not even Shape Change) and he’s still a great piece. What he has in his defense slot instead of a reducer is a Special called “SONIC FORCE BUBBLE: Fiddler can use Defend. Adjacent friendly Characters with a lower point value modify their defense values by +1.” What that means is that Captain Cold, Mirror Master, and Captain Boomerang will be sporting a 19 Defense in addition to the defensive abilities they already have. Plus Fiddler and Mirror Master both have Probability Control for added headaches for your opponent. With no defense himself and the ability to ignore other figures for targeting, Fiddler is at home hiding behind of your other figures. Make sure to remember that Fiddler ignores elevation. Have fun blasting an opponent straight through a mountain if the situation presents itself.

Cheetah

So she’s like not wearing any clothes. You guys see that too right?

Team Name: Crouching Cheetah, Hidden Boomerang

Theme: Suicide Squad

Roster: FFFL003 Mirror Master FL034 Amanda Waller FFFL002 Captain Boomerang SLOSH017B Cheetah

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: Cheetah’s movement power states “POUNCE MY PREY: Cheetah can use Leap/Climb. When Cheetah resolves a move action, you may give her a close combat action as a free action.” That means that she should be garnering the majority of opponent’s attention. Then maybe they won’t notice that FFFL002 Captain Boomerang packs triple target energy explosion on to a dial that only costs 75 points. That will be the last time your opponent ignores that character. Mirror Master is transportation and support. Waller is just sort of support, but you need her to make the team possible.

Black Mask

He has a vast fortune.. and Pliers!

Team Name: Black Puddin’

Theme: Suicide Squad

Roster: FL034 Amanda Waller FL046 Harley Quinn FFFL003 Mirror Master BMAO015 Black Mask

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: Unlike the other teams I’ve mentioned above Mirror Master and Amanda Waller are actually primary attackers on this quirky team. Once your team is within approximately 14 squares or less from the opposing team, give Black Mask a Power Action to use his Special Attack Power (VAST FORTUNE: Give Black Mask a power action and all adjacent friendly characters that have the Assassin keyword or share a keyword with him may immediately be given a move action as a free action.) Everyone moves up as a free action (make sure to carry Black Mask), uses the three available Outwits, and takes a ranged combat shot. If you make Mirror Master Harley’s Puddin’ then he can get up to 4 damage with her Petplex. If you can Outwit the opposing defense, that’s going to hurt.

Flash Fact: This Top Ten Is Better Than Ninwashui’s!! (Or, A Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Flash!!)

Flash Family

 

What’s that? You thought you were only getting ONE Flash Top Ten Review just because it’s been, like, seven weeks since the set released?! Think again! Better yet, THINK FAST, cuz a second opinion is coming right at ya’… RIGHT NOW!!

Let’s start with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies...

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies…

–These sculpts are beautiful! In particular, Black Lantern Prime Zoom, Abra Kadabra, Kingdom Come Flash, Reverse-Flash, Mirror Master, Dark Flash and Captain Cold are some of the best looking sculpts and paint jobs they’ve put together in some time!

–Overall, the Power Level of this set is a slight notch below Guardians, but it’s pretty close. There’s a lot of great Supporting Pieces and Secondary Attackers in here; Meta-worthy Primary Attackers are few and far between here (see the end of this list for details on exactly who does make the cut!).

No joke--this time the Primes and Chases were all in the "Zoom" packs...

No joke–this time the Primes and Chases were all in the “Zoom” packs…

–This set was a lot of fun to play in Sealed formats. It almost seems like Sealed balance was a priority with this set more so than with the last 3 three main sets (SL0SH, Deadpool and GotG; not counting WoL as that set was theoretically designed primarily FOR Sealed) combined. Not really a criticism of those other sets; just an observation. That said, while Sealed play doesn’t necessarily matter in these evaluations, I will occasionally touch on that aspect if I think a figure happens to be extremely good in that format.

–The designers did a great job with figure selection on this set. The Sub-Themes (particularly the Rogues and Authority) are EXTREMELY well developed–much more so than in previous sets. You want to put together an Authority team? You have 11 different dials spread among 9 different characters for you to choose from. And if you’re a Rogues fan? Make that 27 different dials among 22 different characters–and that’s not counting the other six versions of the Rogues you get in the Fast Forces Pack (not technically part of the set if you go strictly by numbering, but still!)!! Only the Suicide Squad really didn’t get much to play with here (outside of Amanda Waller, who can induct folks into the Suicide Squad, which, as Ninwashui explained previously, is fairly useless, since there’s only, like, two or three playable Moderan Age Suicide Squad-ers).

Now, compare that with a set like Deadpool, which had a decent representation of Thunderbolts and Heroes for Hire, but really fell down with Sub-Themes like the Secret Empire (um, 3 characters doesn’t really make what I’d call an “Empire.”) or U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. (again, most hate groups have more than three dudes in their membership…). Not every keyword needs to be able to produce a Meta-worthy team, but there should be enough members to at least make a single 300 Point Build!!

 

–Alright! Enough with the Notes! Now for MY list! This is what Ninwashui SHOULD have told you. We’ll start with…

 

5 Honorable Mentions!!

 

Pied Piper

5. FL021 Pied PiperUncommon76 Points: This guy really took me by surprise. I pulled him in Sealed and he absolutely wrecked house. His top dial Pulse Wave Special is just awesome (HYPNOTIC TONES: Pied Piper can use Pulse Wave. When he does, hit characters modify their damage values by -1 [minimum 1] until your next turn and he can immediately use Mind Control as a free action to make a close combat attack with an area of effect that includes any hit opposing characters.), and the fact that he has Improved Movement (Ignores Hindering AND Elevated) is the cherry on top. Even if you NEVER get to use the Mind Control part, just the fact that you have a 76 Point Secondary Attacker running off rooftops and Pulse Waving is something that’ll bring a smile to your face every time.

He also offers a bit of support with top dial Enhancement before he totally switches gears to Mind Control, Willpower and Poison late dial. He just has the Rogues keyword, but if you’re only going to have one keyword in this set, that’s a good one to have. Finally, he has the Calculator team ability, which I was using to copy Mystics (from Abra Kadabra) during my Sealed games. PP very nearly cracked my Top 10, but if you’re playing Rogues, he’s practically a must play for me. Having a Secondary Attacker that costs under 100 Points who can also ignore all game effects (via Pulse Wave) is almost unheard of.

 

Elongated Man All this Trouble

4. FL051 Elongated ManSuper Rare81 Points: If you can get him safely to his second click, he is a tie-up monster. A crazily effective improved Plasticity Trait (GINGOLD SODA: Elongated Man can use Plasticity. Opposing characters within 2 squares and line of fire treat Elongated Man as adjacent for movement purposes.), Stealth and one of the best Outwits in the Modern Age game (MY NOSE IS TWITCHING: Elongated Man can use Outwit as if he had a range value of 8 and Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters.) means that Ralph Dibny is going to be a nightmare to deal with if he ends up next to your best attacker.

His second click brings a Defense Special that grants him Willpower, Barrier and Combat Reflexes to go with his native 18 Defense value. Good luck hitting that, especially when he’s countering your best power every turn. Now, a 9 Attack value with 2 Damage means he isn’t doing a ton of damage back, but with his power set he could easily tie-up some really good figs who are almost double his points! Besides, improving Attack and Damage values–even in a No Tactics environment–is waaaaay easier than finding someone with his tie-up skills and Special Outwit.

It’s a little early yet to know exactly how this massive influx of Speedsters (read: Hypersonic Speed pieces) is going to affect the Meta, but if Speed Demon continues his dominance (or if people start adopting Prime Zoom and others of his ilk en masse) expect to see more and more folks playing Mr. Dibny here as a legit countermeasure.

 

The Doctor Authority

3. FL016R The DoctorCommon50 Points: Whenever a Modern Age figure costs 50 Points even, I perk my ears up a little bit and pay attention. Going all the way back to FFCW006R Scarlet Witch, WizKids has a history of producing some EXTREMELY useful and EXTREMELY under costed pieces at that exact point level.

Now, the good Doctor here isn’t Fast Forces Chaos War Scarlet Witch. He isn’t even Fast Forces Deadpool Rookie Mercy. What he is, however, is a great Tertiary Attacker/Supporting Piece.

His Attack Value is subpar at just 9, but he comes packing Running Shot (with a 5 Range) and Pen/Psy top dial. He also offers Barrier and Probability Control to complete the package. Four clicks of life at his point value is pretty good, even if the last two are completely useless (Force Blast? Really?).  Lastly, his Mystical keyword ensures he’ll fit on a large array of Builds.

He’s not overpowered, and Prime Abin Sur from WoL won’t be losing any sleep over his place in the Meta, but The Doctor IS really efficient for his Point level, and is definitely worth a look.

 

Rainbow Raider

2. FL026 Rainbow RaiderUncommon68 Points: So, you’re probably not gonna go to the Finals at Worlds with this guy, but honestly, if I told you I had a fig that had seven clicks of life, Stealth down his WHOLE DIAL, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, 7 Range and a minimum of 2 Damage his whole dial AND he cost less than 70 Points, you might be interested in playing him just based on that information. But then if I told you that that same character has access to no less than FOURTEEN MORE STANDARD POWERS, your brain would probably explode.

Then imagine what would happen when I told you that his Trait (MY FAVORITE COLOR (TO DRAIN) THIS WEEK: Give Rainbow Raider a power action and choose Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Light Blue, Blue, or Purple. Opposing characters possessing a power of that color on their dial modify their combat values by -1 until he chooses again, if not already modifed by this effect.) allowed you to nerf the combat values of any opposing character you wanted by -1 (and in some cases, more than one opposing character)!

For his Point cost, he’s probably got as much going on throughout his dial as any character ever. He’s at his best on clicks 2 and 3, where he can access Energy Explosion and Toughness with an 11 Attack (Click 2) and Pulse Wave with a 10 Attack and Defend with a 17 Defense Value (Click 3).

The Raider is kind of a jokey character, but if you think about throwing an Entity like, say, Ophidian on him, he starts to creep into Meta territory, especially with that Trait.

 

Rival 2

1. FL001B RivalCommon PRIME105 Points: He has the Speed Force Trait, and he can ramp up in a hurry, but he’s only an Honorable Mention for me because of what he lacks versus the other top end Speedsters. He just has Charge top dial (he only gets Hypersonic Speed AFTER he gets a Speed Force Token, and that only works on his first four clicks); no Willpower or Indomitable; and he still costs 105 Points AND takes up the Prime slot in your Build. Still, he weakness (Charge) actually becomes an asset on those first few clicks because it means he can still move and attack once he gets a Speed Force Token even if his Attack Special that gives him Hypersonic is Outwitted (he’s the only character in the game that I’m aware of that has the potential for move and attack powers on two different slots simultaneously).

 

And now, for the MAIN EVENT!! These are…

 

THE TOP TEN ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN FIGURES IN FLASH!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Ninwa actually gave you a Top 12 Review, I had to do one better!! After all, this review is better than Ninwashui’s–that’s a FLASH FACT!!]

[NINWASHUI’S WEIRDLY OBTUSE PETER JACKSON’S HOBBIT-REFERENCING RESPONSE: Do better than MY list? Those are Rhosgobel Rankings–I’d like to see you try!]

 

Apollo Midnighter

10. FL048R ApolloRare125 Points AND FL049R MidnighterRare100 Points: Same #10 character as Ninwashui, but a different dial. AND THEN I ADDED ANOTHER AWESOME FIGURE ON TOP! Boom! Already I’m winning!!

APOLLO

As far as Apollo goes, I like his Rookie version just a little bit better than his Experienced dial for the points. For 75 points less, he still starts with Invincible (just with an 18 value instead of a 19), Running Shot, Precision Strike and Ranged Combat Mastery (with a native Damage Value of 4!), and he tops it all off with his Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain.

Basically, Rookie Apollo approaches Primary Attacker combat values but for a price that’s not unheard of for a great Secondary Attacker. But he also brings a lot more to the table.

Firstly, his Trait (I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING: Telekinesis can’t be used to place opposing characters in squares within Apollo’s range and line of fire.) will do wonders for slowing down Alpha Strikes; doesn’t make them impossible, but such a maneuver will often require even more planning on your opponent’s part–which means his Alpha Strike suddenly becomes a much riskier play. Secondly, yeah, he only has five clicks, but the Defense Special on his last two clicks has the potential to grant him FREE Regen (JUST NEED TO RECHARGE: Apollo can use Toughness. During the beginning of your turn, if Apollo occupies a square of outdoor terrain that is the highest elevation on the map, he can use Regeneration as a free action.). If he’s on click 4, you have 33% chance to get him top dial at the beginning of your turn–for FREE! Did I mention that it’s FREE?

The one caveat is that he really needs to be played on an Authority Themed Team that features Midnighter, as that’s the only way he can gain Willpower. This isn’t much of a handicap, though, since Midnighter himself is just as good–and he also made this list!

MIDNIGHTER

For 25 less points than his Experienced dial (which merely substitutes Super Senses for the Rookie’s Combat Reflexes–which is a trade you wouldn’t make anyway, given how you’re probably gonna play him), Midnighter’s Rookie dial is clean and efficient–he is a close combat tie-up nightmare, and he’s hard to hit on approach because he’ll usually be equipped with Stealth if he’s on one of his top three clicks thanks to his Movement Special (CYBERNETIC IMPLANTS: Midnighter can use Charge, Flurry and Toughness. When Midnighter doesn’t have 2 action tokens, he can use Stealth.) which also grants him both of the best close combat Movement-slot abilities.

He Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and he has not one but TWO Traits [(I KNOW WHAT YOU’LL DO: When an opposing character uses Close Combat Expert, they can only use it to modify one value by +1.) AND (WE’VE FOUGHT THIS FIGHT IN MY HEAD ALREADY: When Midnighter targets an opposing character with a close combat attack, until your next turn modify that character’s defense value by -1 and ignore any other modifiers to that character’s value.)] that ensure his triumph even when based with much higher-costed figures. Finally, his Damage Special (GO FOR THE SOFT SPOTS: Midnighter can use Exploit Weakness and Outwit. If he uses Outwit to target an adjacent character, Midnighter can use Plasticity and can’t be ignored for movement purposes.) ensures that his quarry won’t get away, either.

The ability to lock down almost any Primary Attacker in the game is well worth 100 Points, methinks.

 

Thorn 2

9. FL030 ThornUncommon65 Points: One of the better Secondary Attackers in Modern right now only costs 65 Points! On just her first click, Thorn brings Charge, Flurry, Stealth, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Shape Change. You want a better tie-up piece? You just got one! She doesn’t have Willpower, but who cares? Her second click is even better than the first, since her Defense Value actually goes up a notch and her Shape Change goes Special (MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES: Thorn can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When she does and succeeds, heal her of 1 damage and she can’t be targeted with an attack this turn.). So, 50% of the time, not only will her Shape Change succeed, but NO ONE else can attack her either.

The amount of annoyance you can cause by using her to tie-up your opponent’s best ranged attackers is almost endless.

 

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

8. FL046 Harley QuinnRare65 Points: And speaking of 65 Point-ers… Harley has to be the best of the bunch (EDITOR’S NOTE: What is with all the good figures in this set that cost exactly 65 Points? Even Murmur is really good for 65 Points–and he didn’t even make this list! Weird.) from this set at that Point level. She was designed by a World Champion to be a solid supporting piece that could also come through with some damage when needed, and that’s exactly what she turned out to be.

Mobility won’t be an issue in most games since she Ignores Hindering Terrain and Characters during movement, and if she has no action tokens she can use Sidestep. Her support is primarily provided by her Trait (MY PUDDIN’: Once per game, choose a friendly character with a higher point value. The chosen character is Harley Quinn’s Puddin’. Harely Quinn can use Perplex and Probability Control, but only to target her Puddin’. When her Puddin’ is KO’d, modify all of Harley Quinn’s combat values by +1.), which is both flavorful AND incredibly useful! She also starts with Stealth in her Movement slot and Outwit in her Damage slot, so she should be quite the enabler for whoever you pair her with.

Top dial, she has an Attack Special (NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY: Harley Quinn can use Poison. When she does, if she is adjacent to only one opposing character, the damage dealt is penetrating damage.) that can dish out some Penetrating Poison if you position her correctly, and she rounds out her resume with Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and the Calculator team ability.

She’s also very playable at 50 Points, but her top dial at 65 is so good that I had to go that route for my list.

 

Flash Running Laps

7. FL202 The FlashCommon (Gravity Feed) — 149 Points: The best of the Gravity Feed figs, he’s got the Police team ability, the normal Speed Force Trait, an 11 Attack, 18 Defense Value with Super Senses and Outwit. But once he starts building Speed Force Tokens, his Movement Special causes him to become something else entirely (RUNNING LAPS AROUND THE WORLD: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. Remove a Speed token from this card and once this turn, The Flash may consider squares on edges of the map to be adjacent to each other for movement purposes, as long as they are in the same row or column.). If you think it’s hard to hit speedsters now, with their ability to hit you and run away, just wait ’til you’re try to hit a guy who can Close Combat you from across the map!

He’s pricey, but I like him for 149 Points waaaaaay more than Wally West’s dial, which has the exact same cost.

 

Turtle

6. FL031 TurtleUncommon50 Points: I gotta be honest–for awhile, I thought this guy might finish at #2 or #3 on this list. In a No Tactics, No Entities Format (like the one that’s winding down in the ROC right now) he can be downright DEADLY when combined with Iron Pharaoh (there are a couple other ways to go, but that’s the main Build that strikes fear into people’s hearts!).

Zombie Chase Super Skrull and a few other pieces who have/can gain Invincible don’t care as much, because Turtle’s Trait (SLOWNESS AS A WAY OF LIFE: Turtle can use Plasticity. When another character moves at least 5 squares and actions resolve, give them an action token. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage.) only deals PENETRATING damage if they already have an action token, not UNAVOIDABLE damage. Still, as we talked about before, if you team him with someone like Shaman, you can force all your opponent’s flyers to the ground AND make them move 4 spaces or less a turn (unless they have Sidestep, which is a huge boon against a figure like this). Then, if you win Map Roll and choose Apokolips, Wundagore Mountain or R’yut, forget about it. You’ll be bombing your opponent before his best character can even see you!

This piece does what it says on the box:  he slows cats dooooooowwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn. With a Trait that good, his Outwit and Quake are just gravy. Definitely useful, but not why you play him.

 

"Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!"

“Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!”

Weather Wizard

5. FL038 Captain ColdRare100 Points AND FL040 Weather WizardRare100 Points: I’m grouping of couple of the Rogues together in the five slot because, frankly, I can’t decide which one I like better. But the best part is, you usually won’t HAVE to decide–they share a named keyword and they’re each just 100 Points, so you can play ’em both and still have room for more!

CAPTAIN COLD

The Rogues Leader [EDITOR’S NOTE: Ha! Quasi-Star Wars reference/joke! See what I did there, Ninwashui? That’s how you make an obtuse sci-fi/fantasy movie reference in a Heroclix blog!!] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Uh… noted?] comes packing with one of the most annoying Traits for an opponent to have to deal with since Iron Pharaoh’s Golden Falcon, Sharting (FROZEN FIELD: At the beginning of your turn, you may place an Ice Block special terrain marker within range and line of fire. When a character occupying or adjacent to one of these markers attempts to move, it must attempt to break away as if the marker was a character that can use Plasticity and is friendly to Captain Cold.). That’s right, baby, every turn until he’s KO’d, Captain Cold will fill up the map with those things. This is an insanely good power, and the fact that you get to do for free every turn is just stupid and wrong. You want board control? He is the CAPTAIN of board control.

He also brings some Running Shot, Toughness, Rogues-keyword-based Special Leadership and the Calculator team ability to the table, along with an Attack special (ABSOLUTE ZERO: Captain Cold can use Precision Strike. When he hits with an attack, you may place an Ice Block terrain marker in that square.) that grants Precision Strike and the ability to drop more Ice bombs when he hits!

WEATHER WIZARD

Weather Wizard is almost like “A Tale of Two Dials.” On his first three clicks, he offers a 7 Range with two Bolts, Running Shot, a 17 Defense Value with Energy Shield/Deflection and a native 3 Damage with Perplex! Plus, one of the coolest Special Attack Powers in the game (POWERS LIKE THE SEASONS: At the beginning of you turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Weather Wizard can use the power indicated by the result on the back of this card.
1 – Spring Storms: When Weather Wizard makes a ranged combat attack, it generates knock back and if the target occupies outdoor terrain, damage dealt is increased by the target’s elevation level.
2 – Summer Lightning: Weather Wizard can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.
3 – Autumn Winds: Weather Wizard can use Quake as if he occupied a single square of outdoor terrain within range. Characters with “standard damage symbol” or “tiny damage symbol” can’t ignore knock back during this attack.
4 – Winter Chill: Weather Wizard can use Smoke Cloud. When he does, after actions resolve, he can use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting all opposing characters occupying one or more of these markers with a close combat attack.
5-6 – Weather Wizard may choose any single result.).

Sooooo… y’know how people have been playing Bill, Agent of A.I.M. or using Zombie Chase Electro JUST to set up situations where they can attack opposing figures within Range no matter what Terrain lies between them? Yeah, Weather Wizard has a 50% each turn of being able to do that on his own. For free. On a d6 roll of 2, 5 or 6, you get his Summer Lightning power. Plus it combos with Running Shot, which means you can actually run Weather Wizard out of harm’s way and STILL make a ranged attack. This is beyond awesome.

The back half of Weather Wizard’s dial is a bucket of poo-poo with no top on it. He becomes almost worthless (until you get to his last click, where there’s no almost about it–he is worthless).

But those first three clicks? Man…

Taken together, this duo will really present board control issues for your opponent.

 

Jenny SParks

4. FL061 Jenny SparksSuper Rare125 Points: Running Shot/Pulse Wave PLUS her Trait (ELECTRICAL CORTEX SHORT CIRCUIT: When Jenny Sparks hits an opposing character, that character can’t use special powers from now until your next turn.) = A LONG DAY for your opponent.

She basically the Honey Badger Meme given clicks form:

Oh, you have special power that gives you Charge AND Flurry. Jenny Sparks don’t care. Now you can’t move and attack at all. Aww, you have some cute lil’ Stop Clicks? Well Jenny Sparks DON’T GIVE A $#!T!

She has above-average t0 great native combat values plus a dial that’s a robust 8 clicks long. The only things that keep her from being even higher on this list are a lack of Indomitable (she eventually gets a couple of clicks of Willpower down dial though) and no Improved Movement or Flight (hmmm… I wonder if there’s a Resource that grants the flight of the Phoenix… ).

I don’t think she’ll dominate the Meta, but I would not be surprised to see her show up quite often on some Top 8 ROC rosters (particularly since she’s an absolute Kyle Rayner assassin). And for some special fun (and a great taxi), try teaming her up on a Scientist Theme with Prime Captain Marvel from GoTG. You’ll thank me later.

 

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other

3. FL064 The QuestionChase100 Points AND FL062 PandoraChase125 Points: Two great flavors that taste great together!

THE QUESTION

Ninwashui had The Question as his number one piece in the whole set, which was clearly wrongheaded and stupid [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Hey! I’m right here!]. Still, The Question is a damn good piece. Top dial he features Charge, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison AND Precision Strike (and after using them, he can use Smoke Cloud for free), Indomitable, Super Senses (with a native 18 Defense), a special version of the Wild Card team ability and Outwit. And if he successfully Outwits an opposing character, he gets to take off an action token, which means you’ll essentially be using this guy every turn. And did I mention he only costs 100 Points?

The last Question we got was a con-exclusive that still features on a lot of Meta squads to this day. This Question is better.

PANDORA

Sort of the Ranged version of the Question. Pandora buffs her Range and Bolt number by the number of teammates she has with the Warrior or Trinity of Sin keyword. She has Sidestep, 6 Range, the Sharpshooter ability, Precision Strike, Indomitable, Super Senses, the Mystics team ability and Perplex. If she uses her Perplex to target an opposing figure, she too can remove an action token, so she, too, will probably be acting every turn. Especially since her Improved Targeting allows her to see through both Hindering AND other characters.

Great on their own, these two only get better when played together!

 

zoom-blacklantern

2. FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern) — Super Rare Prime —120 Points: In a set of speedsters, you’re looking at the one piece that’s arguably as good as DP053A Speed Demon. Zoom offers the Speed Force Trait, Indomitable (rare on speedsters), Hypersonic Speed, an 11 Attack (also rare on speedsters), Super Senses and a native 3 Damage. Additionally, his Attack Special (A NEW BLACK FLASH: Remove a Speed token from this card and choose either Exploit Weakness or Flurry. If you do, Zoom can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and the chosen power as a free action instead of making a close combat attack while using Hypersonic Speed this turn.) has the capability of just RUINING opposing strategies.

Need to take out a key support piece? Remove a Speed Token, choose Flurry and go to town for a possible six Damage–and then put another Speed Token on his card for hitting a character. And on and on. Unlike almost all speedsters not named Speed Demon, Zoom here actually gets better as he takes damage, picking up Steal Energy, Special Regeneration and Toughness.

Yes, he costs you your Prime Slot, but you weren’t gonna use that anyway if you’re playing a Black Lantern Themed Team. Zoom is a monster in a sub-150 Point body. Be very wary if you’re ever lined up against him.

 

Kingdom COme Flash

1. FL050 The Flash (Kingdom Come) — Super Rare195 Points: Criminally underrated by Ninwashui [NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Hey! I had him at # 8!!], this version of the Flash is the best Primary Attacker in the set. He has the normal Speed Force Trait (which, when fully active, punches his top dial Movement Value up to 20), the Kingdom Come team ability, ANOTHER TRAIT (HE NEVER GETS TIRED, HE NEVER STOPS MOVING: The Flash’s speed powers can’t be countered.) that ensures he’ll always be able to move and attack no matter how much Outwit your opponent is packing, Indomitable, a Hypersonic Speed Special that almost breaks Hypersonic Speed (PATROLLING BOTH CITIES AT ONCE: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, you may remove a Speed token from this card and he may then make a second close combat attack or use Outwit as a free action during this move and then continue his movement.), Super Senses (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value) and Probability Control (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value and you screw up your Super Senses roll).

Down dial (assuming your opponent ever gets The Flash down dial), he picks up normal Hypersonic Speed, Exploit Weakness, an Attack Special (WHO WOULD DARE BE A CRIMINAL IN THIS CITY?: Up to three times per turn, give The Flash a free action and remove a Speed token from this card. When you do, lock his damage value at its current value until the end of the turn and give him a close combat action as a free action.) that can absolutely pulverize even the heartiest of figures in one turn, and a Defense Special (HE’S JUST A BLUR: The Flash can use Super Senses, but succeeds on a roll of 3-6. This roll can’t be rerolled.) that makes him even tougher to damage.

Now add the Yellow Power Battery to your force (including the Yellow Decoy) and Possess The Flash with Parallax. Suddenly, after you give him the Decoy to start the game, The Flash has 18 Movement, Indomitable, 12 Attack, 20 Defense with Super Senses and (assuming you choose to up his Damage with Parallax) 4 Damage with Probability Control. Then you can either choose Stealth or the ability to gain the Quintessence team ability plus a Special Perplex (that only Perplexes values down). Then, assuming your opponents figures all cost 194 or less, they’ll have a -2 to each of their attack rolls against the Flash.

This is what you will look like every time your opponent makes an attack roll against the Flash:

"Oh, you're attacking me? Good luck."

“Oh, you’re attacking me?”

I mean, is your opponent REALLY gonna beat your Shape Change, Super Senses, 20 Defense AND Probability Control? As always, Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t think so:

Seinfeld Good Luck

And Jerry Seinfeld is always right!!

That’s why he’s a stupidly good Meta choice once Tactics rotate back in during the upcoming ROC season. And that’s also why, after 5000 words and 2 glasses of Oberweis chocolate milk, I can confidently say…

HE’S THE BEST FIGURE IN THE FLASH SET!!

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

Saving People – In a Flash! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Flash!!) (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Three of the 12 NIGHTS of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives, where we’re providing 12 straight nights of ‘Clix content! If you missed Night One, click here! The Second Night of Clix-Mas can be found here.]

"So we've had sets for  Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who's ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously... "

So we’ve had sets for Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who’s ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously…

Some General Notes About the Set:

Uh, did everyone else catch the irony of the HeroClix set centered around the fastest man alive arriving like three weeks late? Or that my Set Review is equally as late?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Eh, this is about the elapsement of time from release to review as our GotG Top Ten Set Reviews, so I’m going to say its more of an editorial choice than pure laziness on our part.]

Some Flash Facts about the set:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Uh… are all the italics supposed to make the words seem faster?]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yes. And it’s totally working!!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually… that’s not a bad gimmick for this.]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thank you. Now shush!!]

  • This set brings a new “Speed Force” shared Trait, but the effectiveness of the Trait varies greatly by character. For example, FL001B Rival gains Impervious, the ability to deal Penetrating Damage, Energy Shield/Deflection and Hypersonic Speed after gaining just 3 Speed Force tokens. FL202 The Flash can literally run off the edge of the map to the other side AND BACK AGAIN by removing just a single token. Meanwhile, FL003 Jesse Quick needs three Speed Force tokens just to get Toughness and Super Strength. You can see a real difference there. Something else to consider is that by the time you’ve built up enough Speed Force tokens to use some of the bigger powers, the game might well be over. Professor Zoom has a power that requires ten freaking tokens. In a 300 point game you will probably have either lost or won before you have more than 3 tokens. Most opposing teams won’t last long enough for you to get 5 hits in with a single character.
  • Flash has some real stinkers (FL002 Max Mercury) and some real winners (FL046 Harley Quinn). Overall, most of the set is pretty playable. With only 2 characters in the 200 point range it seems like it should be great for Sealed, in particular.
  • The set delivered a bunch of Hypersonic pieces, but it also delivered a lot of anti-speedster figures as well. FL028 Tarpit and FL049R Midnighter will stop a speedster or keep him in place, respectively. FL042 Fallout and FL015 Rag Doll punish Hypersonic attackers in particular. FL044 Savitar will cripple anyone who relies on the Speed Force as a way of life and FL031 Turtle will cripple any strategy that doesn’t involve going really, really freaking slow (or using a lot of TK to move around the board).
  • On the negative side, wouldn’t it have been fun if they had more of a Black Lantern sub-theme in this set to go with FL206 Captain Boomerang and FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)? FL051 Elongated Man was already in this set. There was space at the end of his dial for a Black Lantern resurrection the similar to what Captain Boomerang has on his dial. It’s a real missed opportunity. It also would have been a great way to include several characters in the set that needed Modern versions. They could have had 2 point costs with a normal dial and then a Black Lantern dial at the end. Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Firestorm come to mind right away. These could even have filled in the “missing” chase slots. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I LOVE this idea!! A Black Lantern Chase sub-theme definitely would have had me buying more packs. I hadn’t thought of this, but now that you bring it up, it’s probably all I’ll be able to think about during my next Flash Sealed Event. Damn! I mean, did we really need more Trinity of Sin versions ONE SET BEFORE THE TRINITY WAR SET?! Man. I also like this idea because Flash was such a huge part of Blackest night. Ninwashui, this might be your best idea ever.]
"Hello! We should have been your Chases!"

Hello! We should have been your Chases!

 

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

Elongated Man: One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days! Booster Gold: No you didn't. Elongated Man: Okay, maybe not. Who'd want to anyway? Booster Gold: Doesn't Plastic-Man do that all the time?

Elongated Man: “One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days!
Booster Gold: “No, you didn’t.”
Elongated Man: “Okay, maybe not. Who’d want to anyway?”
Booster Gold: “Plastic-Man. Usually in a women’s bathroom.”

5. FL051 Elongated Man – This guy is surprisingly good for his points. Admittedly he won’t be on next year’s Worlds team and you may never see him KO anyone, but he can be a fun support piece. He doesn’t have Willpower, so push through his first click to get him into position. His second click is where the magic happens. That’s the click you’ll use to tie up the opposing team. He shares a power with Groot from the Guardians movie set that lets him tie up characters that aren’t adjacent to him. Combine that with his super Outwit that let’s him draw lines of fire almost anywhere and there are some close combat characters that will be completely powerless against him. For example, if you are facing FL019A The Flash, you simply have to move within one space of him and then you can continuously Outwit Hypersonic Speed. Without outside help, it’s likely Flash won’t move again for the rest of that game.

Captain Thunder

4. FL052 Captain Thunder – This guy has a long dial, lots of damage reducers, and a Stop Click, and each of those attributes go well with his Mystics TA. Unfortunately, in HeroClix it’s very difficult to field a piece that costs 200 points or more that doesn’t also have Outwit protection built-in. Zero range also makes him even more of a risky play. However, in an environment where you aren’t likely to see much Outwit (like Flash sealed), he can really shine.

"Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?"

Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?

3. FL025 Golden Glider – For only 60 points she makes 6 squares of hindering terrain every time she moves. These hindering markers last until this character is KOed. You can use this for your team to hide in and your opponent can never make use of these squares at all. Beyond just being normal hindering terrain, they require an opponent to break away when they are adjacent to one of these squares. In a long game your opponent’s movement options could be very limited. If you can find a way to let her ignore characters for movement she could be really nasty. Also, she gets bonus points for being Captain Cold’s brother. I’d forgotten about that.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

2. FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician – Pop quiz. Who is the cheapest TK figure in Modern HeroClix? It’s this guy. Okay, now, who is the best cheap medic in modern HeroClix? That’s actually DOFP016 Moira MacTaggert, but I would say this guy on click 2 is in second place. Add to that his ability to give someone Precision Strike and we have a real winner in the support category.

Hmmm... why wasn't this the sculpt?

Hmmm… why wasn’t this the sculpt?

1. FL030 Thorn – With a first click that has Charge, Flurry, BCF, Combat Reflexes, Shape Change, and Stealth for only 65 points she was an easy inclusion on this list. The fact that her Shape Change gets better and starts healing her once she takes a hit is just gravy. The only thing keeping her out of the top 10 is that FL046 Harley Quinn is also 65 points and fills a similar role.

 

Sadly there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed...  [EDITOR'S NOTE: Sadly?!]

Sadly, there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed…
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly?]

My Top 10 Figures of the Set:

 

Apollo

10. FL048 Apollo – Any time you see a printed 19 Defense for under 300 points, you should pay attention. Apollo also brings Outwit protection that is sorely needed given his high cost. What sets him apart is that he has Hypersonic, Improved Targeting, Precision Strike, Invincible and Super Senses on his first click. The lack of Willpower on a 200 point character is frustrating, but you could do a lot worse than a team up with FL049R Midnighter.

"Boys, my ocular units are up here."

Boys, my ocular units are up here.

9. FL060R Engineer – With her ability to choose her own powers, she makes a wonderful support character. Running shot and Pulse wave or Hypersonic and Super Strength are great on offense. On defense you can still use Stealth and Shape Change to go along with her Toughness. I recommend the 90 point version over the 175 point version due solely to the existence of GOTG062 Super Skrull. At that 170+ point level Super Skrull is just better.

Kingdom COme Flash

8. FL050 The Flash – This guy can have up to a 20 Movement and he’s dangerous all the way through his dial. With Willpower and his incredibly high Movement there are characters who literally won’t be able to catch this guy. His double attack up front also helps justify his point cost. He’s good on his own, but with some Perplex to his Damage value he should end games very quickly. He’d make a real good Puddin’ for Ms. Harley Quinn.

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns’s REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

7. FL026 Rainbow Raider – For a character with 7 range, a full dial of Stealth, and 7 clicks of life, he’s very cheap by today’s standards. I think he plays best by Pushing to click 2 off the bat and being a ranged sniper. An 11 Attack and 3 Damage Value is great for sub 75 points. And then there is his Trait. If I told you that he gave your best figure a mostly permanent +1 to all stats, you’d be wondering why he isn’t on the watch list. Consider that what he really does is give your opponents best figure -1 to all its stats and you’ll see that his Trait is just about as good as the crazy broken Trait I just made up. Then he really gets nuts when you realize he might affect your opponent’s whole team.

Jenny SParks

6. FL061 Jenny Sparks – She is a capable attacker for her point cost, but it’s her Trait that really gets my attention. She is the one way in this game to get past powers that “can’t be countered or ignored“. Think about how often you see that phrase on really good powers that are on really good figures. The IIM103 Absorbing Man that is made of Uru metal folds like tin foil against this piece. WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern) and WOL026 Sodam Yat might not ever see their Ion clicks when they are facing Jenny Sparks. That’s right, she disables all Stop Clicks! Think about that. I mean, really, THINK ABOUT THAT!!

"Man... why does every portal end on top of Batman?"

“Man… why does every portal I go through always end on top of Batman?”

5. FL045 Etrigan the Demon –  If you are paying 135 points for just the six Demon Clicks, he’s not that impressive. At least not until you realize the Demon’s self healing potential. Your opponent might see those 6 clicks several times over and take Mystics damage for every hit. No matter how hurt the Demon gets, if he is alive, he can be back to full health in 2 turns. When you consider that he has Invincible to start, your opponent will need to focus fire or risk not being able to KO the Demon at all. Best of all, the sculpt kicks butt.

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

4. FL046 Harley Quinn – With Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and Stealth, she has great defensive options at her disposal. She is also the second cheapest figure in the game to start with Penetrating Poison (behind only Red Lantern Recruit). She also has Outwit with 5 Range, so you could try to stay hidden and make them come to you. Best of all she falls in love easily. Her ability to make anyone her Puddin’ turns a very good figure into an outstanding figure.

Captain Cold

3. FL038 Captain Cold – When you look at his dial without his Trait you see 10 Attack and 3 Damage and you’d think that was a pretty good 85 point dial. Then you do look at his Trait. Then you realize the Ice Block Markers don’t go away. What? I’ve played against him once where I was fielding a Hydra Team lead by DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra. Captain Cold moved into Range and ice blocked Wolverine without needing to make an Attack Roll. Wolverine never moved for the rest of the game. There are a lot of characters out there who can literally be Ice Blocked and just plain ignored thereafter. Captain Cold is well worth his 100 points.

zoom-blacklantern Rival Flash

2. Prime Speedsters (FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern), FL037B Dark Flash, FL001B Rival) – Listed in order from best to worst. I cheated a little with this entry but it’s not like you can ever play them all on the same team. And if I had listed them separately they would have all made my top 10 and pushed other figures out. Here they are in a Flash:

  • FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)– The best all around Prime. He has three ways to heal himself and Willpower for only 120 points. He also has great offense when you can remove a token. He also has the great monster and Black Lantern Keywords. His major weakness is that you’ll want to remove a Speed Token for the extra damage every attack and that will make it impossible to save them up for better Speed and Regeneration.
  •  FL037B Dark Flash- For 110 points you lose Willpower but you gain 4 top dial Damage. He has the best starting dial without Speed Tokens and only 2 tokens makes all his Damage Penetrating. He also has the best keywords with Teen Titans and Justice League. He doesn’t need to remove tokens for attacking, but he will for Regeneration. His major weakness is that if he has to Regenerate more than once he will likely lose his Penetrating Damage.
  • FL001B Rival – For 105 points he is the hardest of the Primes to get started. He has the best defensive powers, but with starting Charge he practically requires a support figure with TK to put up a good fight. Once he gets that first token things change for him quickly. Hypersonic Speed and Energy Shield/Deflection really bring up his power level. If he can make it to 3 Speed tokens then he additionally gains full Penetrating Damage and Impervious! If he’s still on his first click at that point he has Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and Energy Shield/Deflection. Just to hit that guy you’ll need to plow through an 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection, and Rival’s controller still gets 3 shots at rolling a 5 or a 6 to nullify your attack! Rival is the hardest of the three Primes to start with but is also the most powerful when he has Speed Tokens.

Question_Prime_Earth_0001

1. FL064 The Question – Let me compare this version of the question to the last version (WKD-008 Question), because that is still one of the best pieces in the Modern age.

One of the reasons the last version of the Question was so good was because you could sub in a power that appeared anywhere on his dial in place of one currently there. He could only use 4 powers at a time, but one of the 4 could be tailored to the situation. The new Question can’t pick powers to add, but his first click has 8 Standard Powers on it! Toughness, Charge, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison, Precision Strike, Super Senses and Outwit. Do you really need to pick more powers if you already have that many?

The Stats and cost are similar between both the old and new version of the Question. I love the older versions double Perplex that prevented the other teams from using Perplex, but the new version has the power to subtract an action token from itself every time it uses Outwit. The other team might not be playing anyone with Perplex, but most teams run at least 1 figure vulnerable to Outwit and that could let this figure act every turn! In addition, the new version has Traited Toughness, and if he is played with the Phantom Stranger he gains Quintessence as well! All this makes the new figure superior to the old figure, which should easily make it the best figure in this set.

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And that will do it for Night 3 of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives! We’ll see you right here tomorrow for a look at some potential issues with the game and what we’d do to fix them!!]