Dial “M” for Mutant Massacre!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Uncanny X-Men!!)

Morlock Massacre

Hello Again!! Been awhile, hasn’t it? I blame Ninwashui. Doesn’t matter though. Because today I’m back with an overdue look at the best pieces from the recent Uncanny X-Men set!

In fact, let’s just jump right in with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET!!

–This expansion continues the smaller-point, simplified wording and mechanics trend that started with TMNT (and continues unabated with the Civil War OP set). While you’ll find an occasional beater (UXM053B Phoenix is 250 Points… of something), the majority of this set sits between 60 and 110 Points.

–Also like TMNT, you really have to look hard to find any sort of Improved Targeting. Stealth means a lot more in UXM Sealed than it has in previous sets like World’s Finest or NFAoS. Which is fine. But it also puts a lot of these figures at a possible disadvantage in the Meta…

–Speaking of (well, not the Meta necessarily, but venue play), I wonder if shops will start running what would typically be standard Modern Age events as “TMNT-on” events. By which I mean, there was a definite shift in design and a scaling back of power creep when Turtles was released. TMNT, UXM and Civil War (both the Movie Set and the OP) all seem like birds of a feather in terms of power level, so they’re almost begging to be played without the added complication of, say, KC Chases from World’s Finest or Balls of Fury.

Alright then! Without further ado, let’s get into the…

TOP TEN FIGURES IN UNCANNY X-MEN!!

Sugar Man

9. UXM064 Sugar Man — 120 Points — Chase: Sugar Man is a hard piece to evaluate, because so much of what he does is ethereal text outlined in his monstrously-long-winded Trait (WHAT KIND OF SLAUGHTER DO I FEEL LIKE TODAY?: At the beginning of the game, if Sugar Man was not equipped with any other item during force construction, you may choose two of these three objects as described on this card: Axe, Hammer, Sword. Sugar Man may be equipped with both chosen objects. Sugar Man’s Weapons: When on the map, Sugar Man’s Weapons are considered heavy objects. A character in a square with our holding this object may be given a power action to equip it. If not equipped, this object can only be KO’d in an object attack. A character equipped with one of these objects may use the following effects: Axe Effect: Attack rolls of 10-12 count as critical hits. Hammer Effect: When character hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token if your attack was 10-12 Sword Effect: Can use Blades/Claws/Fangs).

But his other powers start to get a lot more interesting if he has, say, B/C/F and all of his rolls of 10 or more are Crits. His Stop Click (SHRUNK MYSELF INTO YOUR BOOT: STOP. Sugar Man has Tiny Symbol and can’t be healed. When this click is revealed, place any equipped objects onto the map adjacent to Sugar Man. When an adjacent opposing character moves or is placed, after actions resolve you may place Sugar Man adjacent to that character.) and 8-Click long dial also give him lots of longevity for someone under 150 Points.

As Secondary Attackers go, he’s not elite, but he does offer just enough to make him really interesting if you get lucky with some rolls. If you can get him next to a potential victim and roll two 10’s with Flurry and B/C/F and hit two 6’s, you could deal 14 damage from one attack.

On the other hand, unless you’re packing TK, it’ll be tough to get him where you need him (he’s only got Sidestep top dial), and while his 11 Attack Value is a tick above average, it’s hardly a guarantee that either Flurry attack will hit, and he has no built-in way to counteract Impervious, Super Senses or Shape Change. Which means that even after doing all the work to position him for a big strike, there’s a half-decent chance that you may still end up dealing no damage or missing entirely, even IF you make your Attack Roll.

Nightcrawler

9. UXM002 Nightcrawler50 Points — Common: Kurt Wagner gives you five solid clicks for 50 Points, and if you can get him next to a key opposing piece, he can tie them up with his 18 Defense (with Combat Reflexes) and give them fits with his Precision Strike on offense.

But the reason he’s in the Top Ten is because he can do what almost no other figure in the history of the game can do thanks to his Damage Special (*BAMF*: Give Nightcrawler a power action and place him in any square within line of fire. If that square is within 4 squares of the square he began this action in, he may make a close attack.).

Yup. He can zip across an entire map (if it’s the right map) if he wants to. There’s not another piece I’m aware of yet that can do the same thing.

Sunfire Prime

Yup. Even I’m an Avenger.”

8. UXM043B Sunfire — 120 Points — Rare PRIME: Honestly, all THREE versions of Sunfire from this set (are there that many Shiro Yoshida fans out there? Did we really need three versions of him? Especially since NONE of them have the Big Hero 6 keyword?!) are extremely good.

I decided to spotlight the Prime, who is almost impossible to hit from range (20-21 Defense), essentially has Mystics if you hit him with a close attack and sports Running Shot, Pulse Wave, Poison, Energy Explosion AND a natural 4 Damage top dial. That’s a hell of a lot going on with a figure who is still cheap enough to just be a Secondary Attacker.

And the best part? This iteration has the Avengers keyword, so he fits on a metric poop-ton of different teams.

Scarlet Witch

7. UXM055 Scarlet Witch 75 Points — Super Rare: And now we start a run of Super Rare pieces that are 75 Points and awesome!

Ol’ Wanda here has five clicks of support-y goodness including her Damage Special (WINDS OF MAGICK: Scarlet Witch can use Enhancement and Probability Control.) and a Trait (HEX MAGICK: Give Scarlet Witch a power action to attach the Hex Magic marker to a character within range and line of fire, removing it from anywhere else. If that character is friendly, when that character attacks, a Critical Hit is an attack roll of 10-12. If that character is opposing, when that character attacks, a Critical Miss is an attack roll of 2-4. When Scarlet Witch is KO’d, remove the Hex Magic marker.) that can drive grown men to cry.

Quicksilver!

“Nope, Not what we meant by ‘gun control,’ Pietro.”

6. UXM054 Quicksilver75 Points — Super Rare: We can’t spotlight Wanda and not showcase her brother, right?

His Movement Special (FASTER THAN YOU’LL EVER BE: Quicksilver can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does he can automatically break away and he can use Flurry as a free action instead of the close attack.) makes his somewhat fearsome except that his top damage is only three. However, if you can Perplex that up (or equip him with, like, Proteus), pretty soon you’ll have a guy who can cover most of the board–actually, with his Trait (IT’S LIKE I’M EVERYWHERE AT ONCE: When Quicksilver moves through a square, you may immediately place the Speed Shadow marker in it, removing it from anywhere else. Whenever Quicksilver makes a close attack, he may target characters adjacent to the Speed Shadow marker.), he pretty much CAN cover most of the board–and gets to attack twice with a 12 Attack and 4 Damage.

Another case of a Secondary Attacker who can put up Primary Attacker damage.

Malice Polaris

5. UXM059 Malice — 75 Points — Super Rare: This set seems to be chock full of entities who can possess people [EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s, like, two. That’s hardly a “chock.” Whatever that is.].

This is Malice right after she took control of Polaris, as represented by her Attack Special (STILL FIGURING OUT YOUR POWERS: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6. Until your next turn, on a result of 3-4: Malice can use Force Blast. 5-6: Malice can use Telekinesis.) and Damage Special (WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT WHAT YOU GET: Malice can use Perplex and Shape Change.).

Those two Specials combined with the rest of her dial make Malice a solid Secondary Attacker for a very reasonable point cost, but she has one last trick up her sleeve. Her Trait (I’M DONE WITH YOU, PRETTY: When Malice would be KO’d, you may equip her to another friendly character. EFFECT: Character can use Perplex and Shape Change.) means that even if your opponent takes Malice out early, well, that’ll only make your Primary Attacker that much better.

Pixie

For what basically amounts to a group of ‘gifted’ high school students, you guys sure seem to encounter and then murder a lot of aliens. I mean, like, a LOT.”

4. UXM056 Pixie — 75 Points — Super Rare: Yeah, she’s only got five clicks of life, but those are five pretty darn efficient clicks! She’s probably one of the best hybrid figures of the last few years, in that she fills three roles for your team for the price of one.

First, she starts with a 12 Movement Value top dial along with a Special Power (TELEPORTATION SPELL: Pixie can use Phasing/Teleport. When she does she may carry characters with “wing movement symbol” and may carry 2 characters. She may carry 4 characters instead if they all have the X-Men keyword.) that makes her a damn fine taxi if you’re not playing an X-Men Themed Team and a RIDICULOUSLY GOOD taxi if you are.

She also is a half-decent supporting piece since she offers Perplex on her first 3 Clicks and her Trait (PIXIE DUST: Pixie can use Smoke Cloud as a free action but places only 1 hindering marker. Characters occupying this hindering marker modify their defense values by -1 in addition to attack values.) can either help shield friendly Stealth-ers OR essentially Perplex down two more values on an opposing piece.

Finally, with a starting 3 Damage and a second Click that offers B/C/F AND Precision Strike, she’s got the Damage Output potential (hell, she might one-shot a piece that has top dial Super Senses!) AND the defensive moxie (Super Senses to evade attacks and the Mystics TA to make it hurt if your opponent does connect) to be an effective Secondary Attacker as well!

 

Kitty Pryde Phased

Winner of the “2016 Han Solo in Carbonite” modeling award…

3. UXM023B Kitty Pryde65 PointsUncommon (PRIME): Okay, so a couple years ago, Ninwashui wrote a piece wherein he made the case that Incapacitate was one of the worst powers in Heroclix. At that time, there were two types of figures with Incapacitate. Either it was a high-cost piece that you’d rather try and deal damage with anyway (so Incap was useless), or it was a low-cost piece that either had a bad Attack Value or a really thin dial so that they died before they were useful.

Well, Prime Kitty Pryde here doesn’t have Incapacitate–but she does have a Special Movement Power (PHASING ATTACK:  Kitty Pryde can use Phasing/Teleport and Stealth. When she uses Phasing/Teleport, after actions resolve she may make a close attack targeting all characters whose square she moved through. Hit characters are given an action token instead of normal damage.) that’s even better than Incap. All for just 65 points.

There’s no better way to get me excited about putting action tokens on my opponent’s pieces than giving me a weapon that potentially puts tokens on ALL my opponent’s figures at once instead!

And if you can find a way to give her Willpower…

Mags Proteus

Pink is the new purple, not the other way around!”

2. UXM057P Proteus35 PointsSuper Rare: It seems like a steep price to pay for an off-the-board +1 bump to all stats, all while risking a click of damage to the bumpee every turn, but in a world where all of the War of Light Entities have gone to pasture, Proteus is poised to become the new hotness.

There’s already a lot of theorycrafting on the best figures to break with his special Possession Trait (BURNING OUT HOST BODIES: EFFECT: Modify the combat values of the equipped character by +1. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled 1-2: Deal the equipped character 1 unavoidable damage.); Taskmaster from Civil War OP works like gangbusters, and I tested the Sentry LE from the same set with Proteus just the other day and had positive results. Even Rage from Avengers Assemble seems like fun.

And when you get right down to it, his 35 Point off-the-board cost actually isn’t that steep, for a few reasons. First, of course, that stat-bump is huge. But secondly, consider the fact that his other Trait (HE’S USING ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE PUPPETS!: When building your force, you may pay 35 points to equip Proteus to a character of 100 points or less. When the equipped character is KO’d, equip this to another friendly character of 100 points or less. If you can’t, place him on click #10 into the square of the last character he was equipped and he can’t be healed.) means he’s the first Possessor in the game who can hop from piece to piece as your army is KO’d AND the fact that he can actually pop onto the battlefield as a 11 Attack, 4 Damage Pulse Wave-r with Prob once he runs out of hosts. Yup! He’s the first Possessor who starts off-the-board but has a way to actually come into the game, so those aren’t just 35 dead points if your Possessed character gets KO’d!!

Even if you hate the X-Men or planned on skipping this set, this is a piece you’re gonna want for your collection going forward.

Iceman 1

So thaaaat’s where that sculpt came from…

 

1. UXM051 Iceman110 PointsSuper Rare: A deceptively deep dial that keeps turning up new ways to terrorize your opponent.

First, since he flies and Ignores Characters on movement, there’s not much on the map that’s gonna impede his mobility.

Second, his first Trait (FROZEN SOLID: When Iceman moves, after actions resolve you may make a close attack targeting a single opposing character whose square he moved through and didn’t target with an attack that action. If you hit, attach the Ice Wall marker to that character, removing it from any other character. As long as the Ice Wall marker is attached, that character can’t be moved, placed, given actions, or targeted with an attack. At the end of the next turn, remove the Ice Wall marker.) basically gives him a shot at two legit attacks each turn. No, he does not come with Willpower or Indomitable, but you’re really not losing out on actions since he can do so much in one turn.

Third, even though ICEMAN doesn’t lose out on actions, that doesn’t mean your opponent won’t. Iceman’s Special Damage Power (ICY FATE: When Iceman hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token.) means that on top of tagging his targets with damage, he’ll also keep them locked down with tokens–and that’s not counting the other piece he’ll be locking down with “Frozen Solid!”

In a set of smaller, efficient dials, Bobby Drake stands taller than the rest.

 

Well, that’s it for today. Lots of Builds to discuss, but I think we might wrap up our Uncanny X-Men coverage (finally–and less than a month before the next set drops!) with a spotlight on the WORST figures in the set. Keep it tuned right here, as that should drop later this week!

 

Local Tournament Report – 3/27/14 Comics & More

Magxorn

“I will bring you hope, old friend, and I ask only one thing in return – don’t get in my way.”

 

The Format: AvX Month 1. Must use at least 1 figure from the starter. Other figures must share a keyword with the starter figure. 400 point modern. No resources, relics, Colossals.

What I played:

AVX009E Cyclops

AVX010E Emma Frost

AVX014 Magneto

Total = 400 Points

Round 1: Facing AVX006E Scarlet Witch(with Secret Avengers ATA), IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC), IIM040 Shaman, ASM017B Brother Voodoo, GG014A Astral Dr. Strange. This was HypeFox’s team. I had some foreknowledge of the team because we hade played together earlier in the week and I helped him make a decision on which characters to use. (Really I just felt bad for stomping him last week with my sealed team.) So I knew my chances weren’t great going in, but I wasn’t about to go down without a fight. I knew my only chance was to get to the Iron Pharaoh in the first few turns. Otherwise he was going to get perplexed up and his stupid Falcon was going to just eat up my whole team. Hmm… I wonder where he got that idea? Was it here? My last minute decision to base my team around Magneto worked out better than I had planned. Even with no flight, Magneto’s TK helped me position my pieces fairly well and his pulse wave had the best chance of getting through well defended pieces like Scarlet Witch and Brother Voodoo. His traited Energy Shield made him one of the few pieces that could stand up well to a Falcon attack.

So the match starts with me walking around the mountain. I am halfway across the board when the real battle begins. Iron pharaoh is in his starting area. Scarlet Witch and Shaman are positioned apart about halfway to me. Astral Strange and Brother Voodoo come right up to my team and say hi (and block my way to getting to the other pieces.) All of my Characters have one token from walking to half map. First attack was Brother Voodoo missing Magneto. My response? I have Cyclops run up to him with a ranged attack that misses and then use a free action force blast that knocks voodoo into a wall for one. First blood goes to me. The bad news is that voodoo is on the other side of hindering terrain and now has stealth. No attack is possible for Magneto and I didn’t want to push Emma this early into the match.

Then the Golden Falcon catches up with me. Two perlexes to damage, an outwit from the Pharaoh and that’s a 1 hit KO to Cyclops. On the plus side that frees up some space for me to running shot pulse wave with Magneto next turn. I get a 5 and do 1 damage to Astral Strange and no one else is hit. In the following turns I slowly work Emma towards the Pharaoh through Her sidestep and finally Magneto’s free Action TK. Magneto continues to distract the rest of Hype’s team by dodging ranged attacks and in turn whiffing with a Pulse wave every turn. Emma gets to the Pharaoh and knocks him to Click 5, but the next turn Scarlet Witch gets through Emma’s defense and Emma is knocked to her last click. The following turn Magneto does another pulse wave damage to astral strange and finally KOs him. Everyone else was missed. Emma mind control’s the Pharaoh and uses him to do 3 to Scarlet Witch and then take one mystic back. Pharaoh then KOs Emma. Magneto finally hits on a Pulse wave and KOs Scarlet Witch. The round ends at that point. A win for Hypefox (200 to 113), but not the slaughter I thought it was going to be. Magneto had survived and was only on click 3 at the end of that game.

Round 2: Facing AVX015 Danger, WXM101 Colossus and Kitty Pryde, WXM203 Havok. (Starters sold out at my venue so my opponent wasn’t restricted to using a starter piece.) I’m not going to into the details of this match too much. My opponent was new to the game and didn’t have much experience on a map with elevation. So Wundagore mountain was very confusing. I ended up helping him with the rules and strategy regarding elevation. It’s not something I minded. We were all new to this game once. His strategy wasn’t the best that game, but in the end it didn’t really matter because his dice betrayed him until the match was all but decided. Emma and Scott each took a hit, but I didn’t lose any pieces. On the plus side, each time I play this opponent he has shown improvement.  He should take pride in that.

Round 3: Facing FFCW006 Scarlet Witch, CW049 Morgan Le Fay, AVX003E Thor, CW039 Hawkeye (with Great Lakes Avengers ATA). As the game starts I move to the high elevation on the center of the map carrying Emma. Cyclops starts up the mountain the long way. My opponent opens by TKing Thor to the edge of the mountain and having Thor do a running shot pulse wave targeting only Magneto.  He misses by one. I respond by outwitting Thor’s defense and having Magneto hit for 4 damage. Thor is on his last click. I choose not to push Emma. That might have been my big mistake. After that Morgan LeFey joins Thor my dice just go south. Thor stays alive on his last click for 30 minutes. Thor, Magneto, and Morgan LeFay just keep missing each other. On the other side of the map Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye are having no problem making Cyclops look foolish. I end up having him run away towards Magneto. I send in Emma. She gets a hit on Hawkeye and takes a Mystics damage. Then he uses incapacitate and pushes her. Now she is on an 8 attack value and can’t hit anything. It takes a while because of her defenses, but Hawkeye finally takes her out. On the other side of the map Thor is finally taken out and Cyclops is also KOed. Magneto and Morgan Lefay are left Heavily damaged. She flies next to Scarlet Witch and I go the rest of the game without being able to hit anyone. Because of Defend, Perplex, and Probability control I needed to roll two nines in a row just to do damage. After about 5 more turns Magneto is KOed.

What I learned

  • I hate Iron Pharaoh…
  • Magneto did really well for me tonight. I will field him again soon.
  • Emma Frost did decently, but she has a weakness to mystics damage and needs a taxi due to her lack of willpower.
  • Cyclops was always the first to be KOed. I won’t be looking to play him at the 100 point level again very soon. If I did a similar team again soon I would sub in 100 point Jean Grey or Tab app Wolverine.
  • I hate Iron Pharaoh…
  • I hate not flying…
  • Morgan LeFay is still cool.
  • I hate when my dice go cold… Thor’s 17 defense seemed like a million. Magneto’s Pulse wave couldn’t hit more that a 15 defense.
  • I hate Iron Pharaoh… (I really hate that guy. Where is a watch list when you need one?)