It’s Night Seven of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!
Today, just for poops and giggles, we’re gonna look at the Heroclix secondary market and determine which figures were the most valuable pieces released this year!
Now Heroclix usually follows the secondary market pattern of most other collectible games: high prices upon release; a big price dip two to four weeks after release; and then usually a tiny rebound that flattens into a plateau thereafter.
But every now and then, some pieces buck this trend, and it’s not always related to how competitive a piece is.
This is the story of the twelve most valuable pieces released by Wizkids in 2017.
[EDITOR’S NOTE:A quick caveat: there’s hundreds, if not thousands of places to buy Heroclix out there. For today’s purposes, we’re going to narrow it down and just compare prices from two of the larger outlets: eBay and Troll & Toad. Beyond that, your mileage may vary.
Finally, obviously this pricing research is current. If you’re actually living in the future and looking back at this article, just think of it as a snapshot of where the Heroclix secondary market at the end of 2017!]
11. DXF065 Pirate Deadpool— $63 – $89.95 on eBay; $54.99 on Troll & Toad;
Deadpool and X-Force was a big hit when it came out in March. The Chases all have synergy with each other, and after the release dust settled, Pirate Deadpool turned out to be the most valuable of the Chases (well, sort of–keep reading for the exception).
Having said that, Pirate Deadpool is a good piece that doesn’t specifically have any Meta implications. This valuation seems to be mostly fueled by the piece’s scarcity combined with the fact that it’s Deadpool in a pirate outfit (which, granted, is pretty cool).
10. EW050 Superman— $64.99 – $109.95 on eBay; $59.99 on Troll & Toad (1 left);
The Dark Knight Returns Chases from Elseworlds were all great pieces; this particular Superman is an absolute beast. His value is also helped by the existence of the Thor equipment, which gives him viability as an essentially one-man army (Thunderball’s Wrecking Ball or Thor’s Mjolnir make this Supes ridiculously deadly).
9. TMTG004 Carnage— $55 – $100 on eBay; $64.99 on Troll & Toad;
Almost all of the Colossals from The Mighty Thor are great; this one combines an absolutely murderous dial and power set with the fact that it features one of Spidey’s most popular villains in a way that we’ve never seen him before in the game.
8. EW049 Green Arrow— $73 – $109.95 on eBay; $79.99 on Troll & Toad;
Another Dark Knight Returns Chase from Elseworlds. This piece was going to be popular regardless; the fact that he’s among the best Call-In characters in the game meant that his value shot up into the $80’s and pretty much sat there. I don’t think it’ll come down until he rotates in 2019–and even then, he may not come down a ton.
7. TMNT3035 Shark Shredder— $??? on eBay (none for sale); $89.99 on Troll & Toad (also Out of Stock);
This beastly Chase was immediately popular with Turtles fans. It’s a great piece in its own right; it’s also needed for the Ocean Resurrection Trait on the Rare Shredder Clone (which is another great piece).
This valuation seems to be a combination of both character popularity and competitive usefulness.
6. TMNT3033 Mini Shredder— $88.00 – $99.99 on eBay; $99.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;
See above. Mini Shredder has shown up on a lot of ROC teams on his own.
5. HQ062 Batman, God of Knowledge — $103.36 – $117.53 on eBay; $99.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;
Haven’t seen him make a huge difference in the Meta right now. His possible application as a Uni-Mind “silver bullet” seems fine in theory until you look at the rest of his dial and compare it to his point cost.
Still, it’s a Batman Chase, so demand should continue to be high.
4. ADW067 Hawkeye— $94.99 – $124.99 on eBay; $124.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;
His Movement Special (RAPID-FIRE TRICK SHOOTING:Hawkeye can use Running Shot. Each time Hawkeye hits an opposing character with a range attack, after actions resolve, he can use Running Shot again as a free action, but only to target a character that wasn’t attacked this turn.) makes him very useful for his points. It’s also a cool sculpt.
3. TMT061 Thor — $119.99 – $153.95 on eBay; $106.99 -$124.99 on Troll & Toad;
While I’ve decided that this particular Thor is better than I initially gave him credit for, this value is being completely driven by the broken Mjolnir equipment that comes with him.
2. HQ063 The Flash, God of Death — $110 – $147.98 on eBay; $139.99 on Troll & Toad;
Probably the most useful of the recent Darkseid War Chases. Still, when Harly Quinn’s prices finally drop a bit, I expect his value to sag enough for Thor to take back the #2 slot.
1. DXF069 Deadpool — $??? (none available) on eBay; $229.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;
Deadpool on a unicorn. What more needs to be said? This Ultra-Chase is among the most valuable pieces Wizkids has ever made!
And don’t forget to park it right back here tomorrow for more of the Twelve Night of Clix-Mas!!
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 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!!
Team Name: So Long As My Lilandra Survives…
Roster: 1-50: WXM005 Oracle — 49 Points
51-100: WXM052 Lilandra — 93 Points
101-150: WKM-013R Gladiator — 150 Points
151-200: WXM048 Warstar — 177 Points
201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator — 250 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.
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!!
1-50: FFOA006R Captain America — 50 Points
51-100: AVAS013B 3-D Man — 90 Points
101-150: FFOA003 Iron Man — 150 Points
151-200: AVX003 Thor — 200 Points
201-250: AAOU104 Hulk — 250 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.
Team Name: Avengers Assemble!!
1-50: AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45 Points
51-100: AAOU009 Hawkeye — 95 Points
101-150: AAOU005R Thor — 150 Points
151-200: AAOU008R Hulk — 200 Points
201-250: AAOU001 Iron Man — 250 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…
Team Name: Z-Virus Will See You Now
1-50: FFDP006R Mercy — 50 Points
51-100: DP064 Electro — 90 Points
101-150: GOTG066 Red Skull — 120 Points
151-200: GOTG062 Super Skrull — 170 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?“
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 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…
Team Name: Mind Your Manners
1-50:JLTW016 Signalman — 50 Points
51-100:JLTW032 Dr. Sivana — 83 Points
101-150: FL047 Zoom — 150 Points
151-200: FL056 Gorilla Grodd — 175 Points
201-250: JLTW059 Despero — 235 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.
Team Name: The Pieces You Have Come to Fear the Most
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!
Team Name: Justice… Like Lightning!! (Wait a minute, that’s a Marvel tagline!! Oh Hell No!)
1-50: FL046E Harley Quinn — 50 Points
51-100: JLTW034 Element Woman — 88 Points
101-150: JLTW051 Batman — 150 Points
151-200: JLTW052 Wonder Woman — 200 Points
201-250: JLTW050 Superman — 250 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.
Barrier and Impervious
Energy Explosion and Penetrating/Psychic Blast
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!
So, some figures are Meta-bait as soon as they show up in a preview on Heroclix.com. You know the ones. You just know it the first time you see them. But other pieces come oh-so-close to that Meta-tier, but they fall just short because they’re missing… something. That last game element that’s keeping them on the wrong side of greatness divide.
Well, today, we’re gonna help two of those lucky pieces become forces to be reckoned with and foes for your foes to fear (try saying THAT five times fast! Oh, you can? Yeah, it’s actually not much of a tongue-twister. Unless you’ve bitten your tongue while chewing gum recently like I have. Sigh… let’s just move on…)!
1. DP032 Punisher — 100 Points — Uncommon:
The Only Way to Fix a Fixer Upper: We’re gonna give Frank Castle the Thunderbolts ATA!!
Why It’s the Best Fix: For 8 Points, you’ve just effectively given Frank the Avengers Initiative Team Ability (via the Thunderbolts ATA). It allows him to Ignore Hindering Terrain on both movement AND targeting. Just what this 5-star figure needs to take it to the next level!
(Yes, you could instead choose Mystics or a host of other Team Abilities, but 90% of the time, Avengers Initiative will be your best choice, for reasons we’re about to get into!)
So, if you’ve been to the movies in the last two weeks, this first scenario is a lot like the Heroclix version of the plot of Jurassic World:
The Executives at Ingen:
“Our scientists are gonna splice together some superhero DNA to give the Punisher even MORE deadly new abilities!”
Your Opponent: “Wait a minute. He’s already called “The Punisher.” He’s already an unstoppable killing machine who can’t be controlled and who can’t be reasoned with… and you want to make him MORE dangerous? …
Because now there’s no hiding from Frank’s wrath anymore. Combined with Punisher’s other powers, particularly his Trait (THE GUILTY MUST BE PUNISHED:Once for all characters with this ability, each time an opposing character hits a friendly character, put a Guilty token on the attacker’s card. When Punisher attacks a character, modify Punisher’s attack value by +1 for each Guilty token on its card, and modify his damage value by +1 for every 2 tokens on its card.) and Attack Special (FRAG GRENADE: Punisher can use Energy Explosion. When he does and targets only one character, damage dealt is penetrating damage.), not to mention his Damage Special (CONCENTRATED FIRE:Punisher can use Ranged Combat Expert as a ranged combat action.), the Punisher instantly becomes the most feared piece on your side.
His one offensive weakness and his main mobility issue (it’s hard to take advantage of his down dial Stealth if skulking in Hindering completely neuters his ability to move) are both solved in one 8-point-costing swoop. Best of all, we can still assign a Resource and/or Entity to him, since we didn’t have to use either to fix his flaws! Check this out:
This Build takes that 100 Point Punisher and turns him up to 11!! Punisher was already a damage fountain; now he’s more like a damage volcano–and there’s nowhere for opposing pieces to hide!
Punisher has so many options here it’s scary. Before any of your figures are hit (which would activate his “The Guilty Must Be Punished” Trait), once you put either the Decoy or the Sniper Rifle on Frank, the Punisher gets +1 to all of his combat values except Damage. So his Attack becomes 11 and his Defense is now 18. On top of that, you can choose to modify ANYONE of his combat values an additional +1, since Predator has higher values in every slot (I’d choose Defense at the beginning of the game). Then, you can choose to give Frank Sidestep, Energy Shield/Deflection or Shape Change. I’d recommend putting the Decoy on Frank, which should free you up to choose ES/D most turns.
So again, before ANY of your figures has taken a hit, you’ve created a Punisher that (we’ll just use my suggested choices for this example) has: 9 Movement (that Ignores Hindering Terrain) with Running Shot; 11 Attack (that Ignores Hindering Terrain on targeting) with Sharpshooter and an improved version of Energy Explosion that deals Penetrating Damage in most circumstances; 20 Defense against ranged attacks (18 Defense against close combat attacks) with Toughness; and 2 native Damage with an improved version of Ranged Combat Expert that allows Frank to use it in tandem with Running Shot (so you can boost your Damage to 3 or 4 quite easily) and Shape Change!
Oh, I forgot to mention his Range. It’s subpar at 6, but remember the Star Sapphires Emotional Spectrum power (EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM: LOVE:If the Power Battery, attached Power Ring, and Constructs are all the same color, friendly Corps Members modify their range values by +1 for each opposing character within line of fire.). That 6 can become an 8 or 9 very quickly (especially with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability–any Stealthed opposing figures suddenly add to your range value, since they’re now within your line of fire). And if you need to reach out even more, give Mr. Castle the Sniper Rifle instead of the Decoy and watch his Range soar to a 12 or even 13 (the Golden Rule of “Replace, then Modify” should result in you replacing Punisher’s Range Value of 6 with a 10, which you then modify per the Emotional Spectrum Power).
As the game goes on and some of your characters take Damage, Frank’s effectiveness goes up even more. Remember, if any opposing character connects with attacks against any of your characters twice, Frank’s Attack Value modifiers will be maxed out when attacking that piece, so you can start throwing your Predator and RCE modifiers on his Damage Value. What this means is, as long as you can limit Frank to taking 1 Damage or less, at this point Frank turns into a 13 Attack, 5 Penetrating Damage, 20 Defense (from ranged attacks) Monster when Punishing the Guilty. Oh, and he sees through Stealth. And he can hit you from across the map if he wants.
And God help you if you actually have characters adjacent to each other, cuz Frank and his Frag Grenades deal Penetrating EE Damage… basically, you end up with this:
And if your opponent decides they want a piece of that:
2. AVAS044 Arcade — 70 Points — Rare:
The Only Way to Fix a Fixer Upper: All this “Murderworld” shadiness has opened Arcade up to just an insane amount of civil liability, so we’re going to find Arcade a good lawyer! And when someone in the Marvel Universe needs a good lawyer, they Better Call Wal! Jennifer Walters, that is. AAOU023E She-Hulk is gonna take the case!
Why It’s the Best Fix: Arcade sports a split dial; the first part (his “default” dial) is very support-y, featuring Mind Control with a 7 Range, Poison with just a 9 Attack, Mastermind with just a 16 Defense and Perplex with 2 native Damage. All in all, it’s a pretty average dial for the points. Not bad, but nothing to write home over. However, the second part of his split dial features 4 “God Clicks,” especially when you consider his point cost. How do you access those clicks? Via Arcade’s Trait (WELCOME TO MURDERWORLD!:When rolling to determine first player, no player receives a modifier to their roll. When on a map whose name includes “Arcade’s Arena,” at the beginning of the game you may start Arcade on click 7. If you do, Arcade has Power Cosmic team ability, can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, and other friendly characters have the Robot keyword for the rest of the game.).
The problem is, you really don’t know which Arcade you’re going to get–because Arcade’s Trait disallows modifiers, the Map Choice roll is a straight coin flip. And a 50% chance to field a “God Mode” Arcade is, frankly, not good enough. But, if we could hire some to improve those odds…
That’s where Arcade’s representation comes in. She-Hulk’s Trait (FILE FOR CHANGE OF VENUE:If She-Hulk isn’t part of a themed team, the first time this game you wouldn’t win the roll for first player, you may roll again and add +1 to the result.) allows you a second chance at the Map Choice roll (yes, I know it’s technically “the roll to determine first player.” But that’s a mouthful, and much less fun to type than “Map Choice.” So there, verbiage lawyers!).
I’ll spare you the math (mostly because I haven’t been any good at statistics or probability since high school), but if one assumes that both parties are using non-biased dice with no modifiers (again, Arcade’s Trait nullifies that–even, alas, Jennifer’s +1 on the “if necessary” roll), then you ramp your odds up to 75%!! Now that’s a legal strategy I can get behind!
(Okay, if you want to see the math, here’s is the technical jargon on a similar problem where there are only 2 outcomes: flipping coins.)
Assuming you win one of those rolls, Arcade’s Attack Value shoots up to the 11-12 range and he gains Prob, a Special Attack Power (I CONTROL MURDERWORLD. SUCKS TO BE YOU.:Arcade can use Energy Explosion and Precision Strike. If Arcade occupies a player’s starting area, he can draw lines of fire and count range for his attack and damage powers from the square of any friendly character.) and a Special Defense Power (THIS IS MY WORLD, YOU’RE JUST LIVING IN IT. FOR NOW.:Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square within any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.) that take him near the border of Primary Attacker territory.
Let’s see what we can Build:
Team Name: Welcome to Murderworld. Sucks to Be You!
Theme: None, but you won’t need one.
AVAS044 Arcade — 70
AAOU023E She-Hulk — 75
WKM-015 Doop — 95
FI301 Splitlip — 20
FIR100C The Book of the Skull — 30
AVASAVID-002 Hawkeye — 5
AVASAVID-015 Triathlon — 5
AVAS013B 3-D Man — 90
AAOU106 Hawkeye — 75
So, adding Doop gives Arcade a great, durable friendly fig (he’s got a pretty good Defense Value at 18, but no matter what, he can’t take more than 1 Damage from an opposing attack!) to count range and draw lines of fire from. Also, he can reassign your opponent’s best Relic or Resource, and since he has the X-Men TA, Doop and Arcade can heal each other a click if the need arises.
Splitlip, makes it easier to dish out Hammers, but he can also pop a squat next to Arcade in a Starting Zone and pump Arcade’s Damage up to 3 or 4 (depending on what click Arcade is on). The Hammers themselves take Doop and She-Hulk up to a 12 Attack, and Arcade will start raining fire from across the map with a 14 Attack Value!
Finally, if She-Hulk just isn’t cutting it because your opponent is more vulnerable from range, she can call in Hawkeye for assistance. Conversely, if you need another close combatant, you can have Doop bring in 3-D Man for a massive 13 Attack, 4 Damage smackdown.
So there we are! Two great figures that work even better with just a little tweaking. Of course, these Builds are only the tip of iceberg. How would you improve these two pieces? Or better yet, which other Modern Age pieces should we “Fix Up” next?
Sound off in the Comments below, and maybe one of your suggestions will inspire “The Only Way to Fix a Fixer Upper 3!!”
Until next time,
Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!
“Whaddaya mean I’m the only one who didn’t make the Chase cut? I’m Nick Fury, dammit! Who the hell beat me out? Falcon? War Machine? Captain Marvel? I mean, as long as it’s not some Z-lister like 3-D Man or, God forbid, Rick $#!@&%( Jones… “
We’ve been living in what Jonathan Hickman might call an “Avengers World” for almost a month now, so you know what that means…
IT’S TIME FOR AN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE TOP TEN SET REVIEW!!
You know the rules. I’m going to give you 5 Honorable Mentions, then we’ll roll right into counting down the 10 best figures in the set!
But first, as always, I have…
SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:
–I was pretty pleased with the roster of figures in this set. Nice mix of the old and new. Are you a fan of classic Avengers villains Michael Korvac or Immortus? They’re both here. Did you like the more recent Avengers Academy series? There’s a ton of them in this set; everyone from Hazmat and Mettle to Turbo and Thunderstrike. And there’s also a ton of great, almost forgotten characters in this set that all debuted or had their heyday in the early-to-mid 2000’s and that I, frankly, never thought we’d see (I’m looking at you, Cammi and Juston Seyfert! I mean, yeah, Juston had a cameo or two in AA, but still, he kinda came out of nowhere!).
–The sculpts in this set are pretty solid–reminded me of a more toned down Flash set for some reason–although I thought that the Trinity War sculpts were a little more risky and dynamic than anything we got here (with the exception of the Chase Rick Jones, which is complete Bonkerssauce–in a good way!).
–This may be the best set of C/U/R dials ever, ahem, assembled. Especially the Commons. You don’t actually have to break the bank to grab some reeeeeallly cool figures this time around. While the Chases were once again very strong (4 out of 7 made the cut), I believe you will find only two Super Rares in this article. That might be a record low for them. And this might be the strongest set of Rares we’ve had in a loooooong, long time.
Okay. That’s it for all of my notes and musings–let’s get to some…
5. AVAS001 Black Widow — 110 Points — Common: Yep. Another Modern Age Black Widow. But you know what? She’s kind of my favorite of the recent Widow iterations. She’s a lil’ more costly, but she offers a great power set. First of all, her Stealth is part of a Trait (DOUBLE AGENT:Black Widow can use Shape Change and Stealth. When she uses Shape Change and succeeds, Black Widow can’t be targeted by opposing characters this turn.), so it ain’t gonna be Outwitted. Moreover, she also has Traited Shape Change to go with her top dial Super Senses, which, when combined with her Stealth, means she’s going to be reeeeallly tough to pick off at range (especially since she isn’t slowed down by green squares since she has Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain).
She’s only got 6 clicks of life, but 4 of those clicks are extremely productive, especially when she picks up her “anytime” Special Poison power (WIDOW’S BITE:Black Widow can use Poison, but may be given the free action to activate it at any time during your turn.) in the back half of her dial. And I haven’t even gotten to her top dial Perplex or Precision Strike! Moreover, just from a “storytelling” perspective, this just FEELS like a Widow dial. While her teammates are usually hammers, Widow should always be a scalpel (well, except for the OTHER version of her from this set…).
I’d love it if Natasha was 90 or 100 Points; but even at 110, she’s still an elusive, solid secondary attacker who offers a variety of offensive options.
4. AVAS002 Hawkeye — 85 Points — Common: Apparently this will be the easiest Top Ten Review ever. I just have to go right in order from the beginning! Now I know what you’re saying. “We just got 2 Hawkeyes from the AOU Movie set that were both better!” And you know what? I agree with you. But just because those RIDICULOUSLYAWESOME Hawkeyes were better, that doesn’t mean that THIS Hawkeye isn’t very good in his own right.
He sees through Stealth with his Improved Targeting, and his two Traits separate him from the average Secondary Attacker. His first Trait (LIKE FISH IN A BARREL:If Hawkeye targets a single character when making a ranged combat attack, modify his attack value by +1.) means that just about whenever he attacks, he’ll have at least an 11 Attack Value. But it’s his second Trait that everyone is talking about (TRICK SHOOTING:Give Hawkeye a power action to place an Aim token on this card. At the beginning of your turn, if he has 1 or more Aim tokens on this card you may remove them and choose one effect that Hawkeye can use this turn: Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Improved Targeting: Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, or a locked range value of 14.).
Remember all that drama last set about whether or not the Prime Doctor Light could Running Shot for, like, 16 Squares? Well, as long as you spend one turn setting things up, Hawkeye can run 5 Squares, shoot 14 #$&^#$% Squares, shoot through an opposing figure’s Stealth if need be AND Energy Explode!! Whaaa… ?
Now, he only has 5 clicks of life. No top dial Willpower (he’s got one of those annoying dials where Willpower shows up in the Defense slot at all the wrong times). His Movement slot alternates between Running Shot and Stealth (as opposed to having at least one of those powers Traited, like some of his other versions), which isn’t as big a deal as it might be for other characters who don’t have his Trick Shooting Trait, but still. Finally, his native 3 Damage is fine, but it’s nothing to jump over the moon about when you consider that he doesn’t have a built-in way to break through reducers.
Still, it’s an innovative and creative take on a figure that’s already been Clix’d quite a bit in the last 3 years.
3. AVAS003 Aleph — 140 Points — Common: I swear I’m not doing this on purpose. It’s just working out extraordinarily well.
But I’ve played against this guy, and he is an absolute brick. He’s got 9 simple clicks; no Traits, Improvements or Special Powers. But he’s almost like the perfect blank canvas on which to throw an Entity and/or a Resource. He comes standard with the Wing Symbol, Sidestep, a 10 Attack with Pulse Wave, 17 Defense with Invincible and the Indomitable Combat Symbol. If you hook him up with a Battery and an Entity, he gets real imposing real fast.
Team Name: Al-eph You Up!!
AVAS003 Aleph — 140 Points
AAOU039 Jocasta — 25 (Possessing Aleph)
AVAS020 Juston Seyfert — 40
AVAS044 Arcade — 70
WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps) — 2
WOLR300 Green Lantern Corps Ring — 8
WOLR200.04 Wall (Green) — 10
WOLR200.03 Mallet (Green) — 4
How It Plays: Jocasta’s Possession ability works just fine on Aleph, since he has the Robot keyword. With Jocasta, Aleph has the option of pumping up his Movement or Attack Value, and he can grab Running Shot, Precision Strike or Jocasta’s Special Damage Power (Sensors Coming Online: Jocasta can use Outwit and Perplex, but only to target characters within 3 squares.). All of which are great options.
Juston Seyfert hypercharges any Robot-keyworded character he assigns as his Sentinel. And since Juston Seyfert prevents us from fielding a Themed Team, we might as well level the playing field with Arcade. He’s a good supporting piece for his points if you lose the opening role; if you win it, you suddenly have a deadly and effective Secondary Attacker who is very hard to kill because of his Defensive Special Power (THIS IS MY WORLD, YOU’RE JUST LIVING IN IT. FOR NOW.:Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square within any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.).
The biggest weaknesses for this Build are the average to below average Defense values of all three characters and the lack of Probability Control. If your dice go cold, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But with Aleph’s rotating Pulse Wave and Penetrating/Psychic Blast, you should be able to cut right through most of your opponent’s defenses in short order.
Now this is just one of a myriad of ways you can take an Aleph Build. There are plenty of other options; as I said before, he’s kind of a blank canvas.
And that’s why he’s number 3 on the Honorable Mention list!
Now if Number Two is Son of the Serpent, then you’ll really know something’s up…
2. AVAS009 Turbo — 50 Points — Common: Long-time readers know that whenever I see a character whose cost is exactly 50 Points, my interest gets piqued. Turbo here is the latest in a long line of great 50 Points supporting characters. In her case, she’s a very effective Taxi who can also fill the role of Tertiary Attacker. Because of her Trait (THIS ARMOR IS AWSOME:Turbo can use Energy Shield/Deflection. When Turbo makes a close combat attack and hits, after actions resolve she can use Force Blast as a free action targeting a single hit character.) and her starting Defense Value of 17 (with Toughness), she’s really hard to hit at range (your opponent needs to hit a 19 Defense just to hit your Taxi!). She starts with a native 3 Damage and a 10 Attack (although that drops down to a measly 8 if you wish to use her Transporter-granted Move-and-Attack). Top dial Sidestep is also arguably the best standard Movement power for a taxi, as well, and she’s got it.
What holds her back slightly for me are her complete lack of Range and–more importantly–her keywords. The generic Armor keyword is probably her best; her named keywords (Initiative, Loners and New Warriors) all have very narrow Build options. Initiative is probably the best of those, and that’s really only because there were so many in this set (although previous sets had some very random entries as well, like Sleepwalker from GotG and Bloody Mary–but not Typhoid Mary–from Deadpool). Down dial she picks up CCE, so if your opponent moves up to attack her (to get around her ES/D), they could be in for a rude awakening. And I haven’t even brought up her Trait-granted Free Action Force Blast (which is, really, the only way to use Force Blast, since it kinda sucks.).
She is sort of a new flavor for Taxi’s, and really efficient for her points.
1. AVAS024 D-Man — 84 Points — Uncommon: Finally, a non-Common! D-Man makes his, uh, long-awaited Clix debut, and you know what? He’s pretty damn good. He has a solid, uncomplicated dial with no Improvements or Special Powers. His Attack Value is average to low, but he’s got some great Damage Output Potential for his Point Cost… and one very special Trait (HEADLOCK TAKEDOWN: D-Man can use Plasticity. When he hits an opposing character with a close combat attack, put a Headlock token on their card. Remove all Headlock tokens from characters not adjacent to D-Man. Characters with any Headlock tokens on their card must roll a d6 when given an action. If the result is: 1 – 3, the action ends immediately.; 4 – 6, remove all Headlock tokens from that character’s card an the action resolves normally.). Yeah, that’s basically the Handcuffs from the Utility Belt, which was among the most useful items you could equip. D-Man adds Plasticity on top of all that, which means he kind of hoses Hypersonic speedsters, too.
Is D-Man Meta? No, no he is not. Is D-Man fun as hell to play? Yes, yes he is. You have not lived until you’ve held down the 300 Point, Chase “Last Titan” Hulk with a little headlock from an 84 Point D-Man. This is a great concept for a Clix, and he’s a great addition to the game.
Okay! Enough foreplay. It’s time for…
THE TOP TEN FIFTEEN!! FIGURES IN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!
Yup! Once again, we have a set that was just too packed with goodness for a straight Top Ten list, so we’ve expanded it to a Top FIFTEEN countdown… AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU!!
And even with five extra slots, I still have to leave Hybrid (juuuuuust missed the cut) and Cammi (arguably deserves to be here over a couple of the other dials, and I love the character; but I’m bumping her up to her own future Build article, since she opens up a lot of Guardians Builds with her Drax Trait) off the list–there’s just a ton going on in this set.
Since we have so much to talk about, let’s keep countin’ ’em down!
15. AVAS064E Hulk — 300 Points — Chase: As I mentioned in “Straight, With CHASEr 3,” I think this dial is the closest we’ve gotten since AVXG001R Dark Phoenix Cyclops to a viable 1-Man Army for 300 Point Modern Age games. Now, that doesn’t mean he’ll win every game, or even most games; it just means that you’ll have a chance, even though you’ll likely be hideously out-actioned. He’s that powerful in the right hands.
As a 1-Man Army, you have three things in your favor with this Hulk. First, his Trait (THE LAST TITAN:Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) finally gives you a Hulk that can’t be Outwitted. Second, his top click (and his last click) feature one of the best Movement Specials ever (HULK HATES WORLD:Hulk can use Charge. When he does, he doesn’t halve his speed value and can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.). If you can manage to pick up an Ultra-Heavy object, you should have a fighting chance to one-shot a significant piece on your opponent’s side before he can really get going. And finally, his Defense Special (ONLY ONE THERE IS:Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a ton of survivability at the end of his dial–no Pulse Wave for the win here.
That last click grows in effectiveness every time Hulk smashes something, so try to make sure your first target doesn’t have too many avoidance powers (Super Senses, Shape Change, etc.).
He’s a lot of fun to play, which is another reason he’s on this list.
14. AVAS065 Black Widow — 200 Points — Chase: A second entry for Natasha? Yup. Look, no one ever looks at a Thor dial and goes, “Hmmm… not much offense there.” Thor is all about offense. It’s usually his Defense that’s a problem–even if it’s average, often you have to leave Thor out there to make a ranged attack, and if you miss, your opponent can kind of gang up on the Norse God to take him down quickly.
Well, what if Thor had Traited Stealth? And the means to continually place down Hindering Terrain tokens to hide in? All of a sudden, Thor would get a lot more interesting. Which is exactly what happens here when Natasha picks up Thor’s Hammer. Her Trait (DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS:Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.) does exactly what we just talked about for, really, no additional cost (most Thor dials–most GOOD Thor dials–are already 200 Points anyway).
She’s got great Damage Output Potential, and she’s left plenty of room for decent support and even a Resource. One of the more underrated pieces in the whole set.
13. AVAS043 Abyss — 139 Points — Rare: As a fan of Hickman’s Avengers run, this was one of the characters I really wanted to see in this set (along with her brother, Ex Nihilo). For 139 Points, you get a tricky Secondary Attacker (which means you’ll have to find a Primary Attacker who’s 100 Points or less–someone in the mold of, say, Banshee, but maybe with the Avengers keyword. Maybe the next guy on this list?) who has one of the best Poison Specials in the game (CREEPING DARKNESS:Abyss can use Poison. When she does, deal each adjacent opposing character damage equal to its printed damage value, instead of 1.) on her second click.
She starts with Power Cosmic, Traited Invuln and an Outsiders TA-like Damage Special (MOLECULAR LOCKDOWN:Give Abyss a free action and target a character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, the chosen character can’t use Shape Change or have its combat values modified.). Now, unfortunately her Range is only 4, but she Flies AND Phases, so getting her in position should be simple enough. Down dial, her Damage spikes at 4, so she’s capable of dishing out some hurt as well. In addition to the Avengers keyword, she also sports the Cosmic keyword, so depending on how you assemble your team, you could conceivably put together at Themed Team with her that also featured Entities (which would help her in particular A LOT).
12. AVAS051 Red Wolf — 80 Points — Super Rare: Arguably more effective than the underrated WOL037 Karu-Sil, but for 15 less Points! He’s got the Avengers, Soldier, Warrior and Animal keywords, which opens up a lot of possibilities for him. Like Karu-Sil, Red Wolf comes packed with an attachable Wolf token which Red Wolf can deploy to devastating effect with his Trait (LOBO, FAITHFUL WOLF COMPANION:Red Wolf begins the game with Lobo attached. While Lobo is attached, Red Wolf can use Flurry. Give Red Wolf a free action to remove and place Lobo in an adjacent square.). If Lobo gets KO’d, a simple Power Action brings him right back to Red Wolf’s base (where he can then be re-deployed as a Free Action).
Red Wolf himself also Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and anytime he finishes an action in Hindering he has Willpower thanks to his Defense Special (OWAYODATA CAME TO ME:Red Wolf can use Combat Reflexes and Super Senses. If he’s occupying hindering terrain, he can use Willpower.). He’s a wonderful Secondary Attacker who brings a great Tertiary Attacker with him FOR FREE! I really like this design!
To me, the most fun would be to play him with his cosmic DC Universe rival and see how many pet tokens you can get on the board! Which means it’s time for another Quick Build!!
Team Name: The Wolfpack
AVAS051 Red Wolf — 80 Points
(withATA057 Avengers Response Unit) — 3
WOL037 Karu-Sil — 95
ASM031B Alyosha Kraven — 70
WOL102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps) — 2
WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring — 8
WOLR202.06 Decoy (Red) — 6
WOLR202.09 Nurse (Red) — 10
WOLR202.13 Stop Sign (Red) — 8
WOLR202.04 Wall (Red) — 10
WOLR202.01 Net (Red) — 8
How It Plays: Each of these figures has the Animal keyword AND the ability to put out a bystander token of some sort. Alyosha is the engine that drives this Free Action car; each turn he’s given a non-free action, one of the other two figures can be given a move action for free!! Karu-Sil Flies, so she can also Carry if she needs to.
You have 5 Constructs to cover a potential 6 characters, so make sure you’re loading up every character (including tokens) you can with Constructs. Each Construct grants a specific power (obviously) PLUS Giant Reach and Penetrating Poison, two wonderful powers for this Build!
We’re also giving Red Wolf the Avengers Response Unit ATA (When one or more characters using this team ability is adjacent to a friendly character making a close combat attack, modify the characters attack value by +1.), which you don’t see very often but will, again, work perfectly with a close combat Build like this one.
You’ll have +3 to Map Roll, so if you win the roll, hopefully you can choose something that’s easy to traverse while still providing a modicum of Hindering Terrain cover. Elevation changes aren’t a complete dealbreaker, but they aren’t necessarily your friend, either.
This is a bit of a swarm team, but I love that your opponent will need to waste attacks on figures like The Pack and Lobo that can come right back the next turn. And your opponent will score 0 Points for their effort!
11. AVAS041B Starbrand — 150 Points — Rare PRIME: So, this isn’t the recent version that joined the Avengers during Hickman’s run and took a Beyonder with him when he died; this is the original “New Universe” Starbrand from the 80’s. But that origin does explain his major weakness: no Avengers keyword. He also has a pretty miserable Range Value (just 5 Squares, although with top dial Charge, this Starbrand is clearly meant to be a close combat bruiser) and his attack never goes above a 10–and remember, with Hammers most likely rotating in just over a month, Attack Value is once again gonna be really tough to fix. So that’s a problem.
So why is he this high on the list? Well, he’s got the Wing Symbol, the Power Cosmic Team Ability and 4 Damage top dial with Perplex (so you can fix his Attack if you need to). And starting with click 3, he gets a ridiculously good Damage Special (MAJOR EXPLOSION:Give Starbrand a double power action. Deal 2 penetrating damage to each other character within 2 squares and destroy all blocking terrain within 2 squares.).
That’s right. 2 Penetrating Damage WITHOUT HAVING TO ROLL ANY ATTACK DICE! I cannot overstate how awesome that is. Even the highest Attack Value in the game doesn’t guarantee you’ll hit, so there’s always a risk when you roll the dice. This power completely dissolves that risk–you can’t miss with it.
Then there’s his Trait (THE PITT:When Starbrand is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, minimum result 2. Deal 3 penetrating damage to all characters within that many squares and then choose another friendly character. That character modifies its combat values by +1 this game.). If your opponent does manage to kill Starbrand, he sets off a chain reaction that has the possibility of dealing a metric poop-ton of virtually unstoppable damage. So for half the game, he’s trying to keep you from exploding 2 Penetrating damage all over his team, and when he finally succeeds at KO’ing Starbrand, your opponent’s reward is EVEN MORE PENETRATING DAMAGE!
“That is a LOT of penetrating… damage. See what I did there? You did? Pervert.“
Finally, while his New Universe keyword is pretty much worthless (at least right now), he also has the Cosmic keyword, which is still pretty strong (and lets him be on a Themed Team with Entities!).
Overall, a solid, if unorthodox, package of powers and abilities.
10. AVAS013B 3-D Man — 90 Points — Common PRIME: And now we arrive at the Top Ten!! Triathlon is good; 3-D man is better. He starts with Hypersonic Speed (always good), 11 Attack, an 18 Defense (with Toughness) and 3 native damage. But his Damage Special [THREE TIMES PEAK HUMAN :3-D Man can use Perplex, but only to target himself. He can use it up to 3 times per turn, but can’t modify his damage value more than once. When he uses Perplex (no matter how many times), at the end of your turn, roll a d6 and on a result of 1, deal him 1 unavoidable damage.] is what really puts him over the top. Three freaking Perplexes a turn?!?! That’s borderline insane. You want a 13 Attack and 4 Damage from your 90 Point Hypersonic Speed character? You got it!
He obviously has the Avengers keyword, and if you can play him on a team with, like, Pandora’s Box–which would allow you to give 3-D Man the Wrath Token and Willpower–he becomes a very dangerous man. Especially a that 90 Point price! He’s not as good as Speed Demon, but he is poised to become one of the best Secondary Attackers in Modern Age.
9. AVAS015 Living Lightning — 80 Points — Common: So everything I just said about 3-D Man possibly becoming the preeminent Secondary Attacker in Modern? Well, meet his competition. For 10 less points, you get an Avenger-keyworded livewire who is a nightmare from range. He’s basically Zombie Electro with an ever-so-slightly better stat and power mix but without any of the awesome Zombie Traits.
He Flies, moves from Running Shot to Hypersonic as he goes down dial and he’s packing both Penetrating/Psychic Blast AND a Traited, Improved triple bolt Energy Explosion top dial (FLASH-FRY YOUR CIRCUITS:Living Lightning can use Energy Explosion. When Living Lightning hits an opposing character with the Armor or Robot keyword, increase the damage dealt to that character by 2.). And before you dismiss the second part of that power, let me assure you, because of the #1 figure on this list, Robots are going to be a thing for at least the next six months and they are NOT going away.
Living Lightning was one of the most popular UnClix’d Avengers, and the developers did a fantastic job interpreting him for Avengers Assemble.
8. AVAS034 Jarvis — 40 Points — Rare: Most of what Jarvis brings to the table happens before the game even begins. One of his Traits (I TIDIED UP:Friendly characters can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, but only if they occupy indoor terrain.) will help immensely if you win the Map Roll (and he has the Avengers keyword himself, so he’ll fit right on your Themed Team). The other (THERE’S STILL A FEW AVENGERS IN THE MANSION LEFT TO HELP:Jarvis counts as 3 characters for determining how many ID Cards can be added to your force. You don’t pay the cost for up to 3 ID Cards added to your force. Your opponent scores these ID Cards normally.) allows you to pack slightly more than 300 Points into your 300 Point Build!! I cannot tell you the exact number of pieces that allow you to pack more points than your supposed to into your Build, but it’s small. I mean, if you think about it, it’s almost like Jarvis’s actual dial is only costing you 25 Points. What do you get for that investment?
Four clicks of life, which is about par for the course, top dial Perplex and Stealth and a Defense Special (THE HEART OF THE AVENGERS:When Jarvis is adjacent to a friendly character with the Avengers keyword, reduce all damage dealt to him to 1. If Jarvis has taken damage from an opposing character since the beginning of your last turn, he ignores all damage dealt by opposing characters. This power can’t be countered.) that is fantastic, especially if you can find a way to funnel opposing damage towards him. Now, Masterminding damage to Jarvis won’t activate the second clause of his Defense Special, but it WILL reduce all the damage to 1, provided the keyword threshold is met. For the record, Mastermind is an exceedingly rare power to find on “good guys” like the Avengers, but AVX008 Professor X, CATWS015 Nick Fury and the new AOU201E Hank Pym all sport Mastermind top dial. Of those, I think Professor X and Nick Fury are the most interesting to pair with Jarvis–particularly the Professor, since survivability is one of the biggest question marks about that piece.
Hmmm… that might be worth exploring in another article…
Finally, Jarvis also has the Avengers Team Ability in case you need to move him into place but your running out of actions. It’s a terrible Team Ability for normal Avengers staples like Cap, Iron Man or Thor, but it’s occasionally useful on a pure support piece like Jarvis in 300 Point games.
7. AVAS046R Loki — 120 Points — Rare: Wow! While his 225 Point version is good, this Rookie dial takes the cake. Top dial Super Senses combined with an Improved Traited Shape Change (Master of Illusions and Trickery: Loki can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When an opposing character targets Loki with Outwit or Perplex, he can use Shape Change as if he were targeted with an attack. When Loki makes a successful Shape Change roll, he can’t be targeted for the remainder of the turn.) means that Loki is going to be reeeeeaaaal tough to pin down. Think about that. Every turn, Loki basically has a 50% chance to be untargetable by your opponent!
He also sees through Hindering Terrain and Characters with his Improved Targeting, and his Special Movement Power (To Trick My Brother… And His Friends: Loki can use Mind Control. When he does, he isn’t dealt damage from it and, if he targets only a single character, modify Loki’s Attack Value by +2 and he may target a character that can use Battle Fury.) grants him an awesome form of Mind Control. Now, Ninwashui has mentioned before that Mind Control can be a dangerous strategy, but with Loki’s improvements on the power via his Special and the fact that he has top dial Perplex, it’s a much less risky proposition (at the top of his dial, Loki has a 13! Attack Value when Mind Controlling a single character). Loki also has the Mystics Team Ability, so taking him out is going to require some blood, sweat and tears on the part of your opponent.
Lack of Willpower and low Damage Output are his only real negatives. The first you can fix that with the Asgardian ATA. The second actually improves as he gets down dial, but he does have that Perplex on his first two clicks. Besides, you’re probably trying to wreak havoc with his Mind Control Special at the beginning of the game anyway.
6. AVAS044 Arcade — 70 Points — Rare: I love this design!! Arcade will either be one heck of a supporting character, with Mind Control, Poison and Perplex, or he’ll be an insanely devilish Secondary Attacker. You won’t know exactly which dial you’re getting until the game is about to start, as his Trait is activated by the Map Roll (Welcome to Murderworld: When rolling to determine first player, no player receives a modifier to their roll. When on a map whose name includes “Arcade’s Arena,” at the beginning of the game you may start Arcade on click 7. If you do, Arcade has the Power Cosmic Team Ability, can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, and other friendly characters have the Robot keyword for the rest of the game.).
If you do get to chose his map, Arcade suddenly jumps from a 9 to an 11 Attack Value and picks up a Special Attack Power (I Control Murderworld. Sucks to Be You: Arcade can use Energy Explosion and Precision Strike. If Arcade occupies a player’s Starting Area, he can draw lines of fire and count range for his attack and damage powers from the square of any friendly character.). So he suddenly doesn’t need a move-and-attack power–he just needs to get back to his lair! After two clicks, he picks up Penetrating/Psychic Blast… WITH A 12 ATTACK!! His Damage alternates between 2 and 3, but he always has a way to get at least some of his damage through reducers, which is the main thing.
His Defense slot also picks up a Special Power (This Is My World, You’re Just Living in It. For Now.: Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square withing any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.) that works beautifully in conjunction with his Attack Special.
I believe we’ll see some Arcade teams start to show up at some R.O.C.’s across the country. He just allows you to do so much, and if you win the Map Roll, it’s almost like having another Prime on your squad.
5. AVAS053B Ragnarok — 200 Points — Super Rare PRIME: So, it’s a little hard to talk about Ragnarok without spoiling the number one figure on this list, but we can report that he’s already seen play at the World Championships at Origins. Why?
Well, he starts with a 12 Attack Value with Energy Explosion to go along with his 8 Range (with 2 Bolts). As we continue to see more “unkillable” Builds (basically any Build that’s built around characters who only take 1 Damage at a time, no matter how much damage is dealt. Think Doop and Gluttony–pieces like that), I believe Energy Explosion will take on added significance, since it essentially allows you to double your Damage Output against these sorts of teams.
Rags also has Indomitable, an 18 Defense with Impervious and Shape Change, and a 5 native Damage top dial. And hey, you can abbreviate his name as “Rags.” How cool is that? World of Warcraft players will suddenly think that Ragnaros has made his way into Clix! Ragnarok also has a Trait that bumps his Attack Value and Damage Value by +1 when targeting an Asgardian or Avenger, which is probably a good thing, given that we’re gonna see a lot more of both of those keywords in the Meta.
Perhaps most importantly, however, is the fact that he has the Robot keyword. As we hinted at before, this will be a MAJOR keyword going forward…
4. AVAS067 Rick Jones — 75 Points — Chase: His dial is 5 Clicks long for 75 Points, which might seem a tad expensive for a Secondary Attacker (don’t be fooled by the Mind Control and Perplex that show up on Click 2–this is a Secondary Attacker’s dial, not a supporting dial). But when you consider that his first Trait (Summon the Heroes I Grew Up Reading About: At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America Bystander Token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a Bystander Token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a Bystander Token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following: Bystander Token KO’d; Bystander Token Placed; Captain America; Namor. Namor; Blazing Skull. Blazing Skull; Captain America. This ability can’t be ignored.) is basically a perpetual motion machine that continuously generates Tertiary Attackers.
Rick’s second Trait is almost as good (Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 Unavoidable Damage.). Did you get all that? In case you didn’t, let me summarize. It said “Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, take another turn after this one.”
I mean, that’s almost how good that power is. Rick Jones doesn’t even care where the opposing characters are on the map. Give them all an action token. When you time it correctly, you basically shut them down for an entire turn. And keep in mind that Rick Jones is only 75 Points! That Points cost is looking a lot better now, isn’t it? Well, there’s more!
He also has a 10 Range with three Bolts and he has access to both Telekinesis AND Penetrating/Psychic Blast on his first 3 clicks! Yup–he can get your big hitter into position and then follow that up with a Penetrating Attack of his own. And since that pushes him to his second Click, he actually gets BETTER!
Expect to see him R.O.C.’ing the Meta soon.
Portrait of an Avenger.
3. AVAS037 Manifold — 58 Points — Rare: Yup. He’s reeeeeeaal good. The perfect Taxi/Tertiary Attacker for your Avengers Build. Or, you can bring him in with his ID Card and pump someone’s Movement up by +3 (incidentally, I’m finding that ID Cards are a great way to take your opponent by surprise, especially when used late game by a piece that’s all but defeated.).
For a more in-depth look at Manifold, plus a couple of Ninwashui-created Builds featuring him, click here!
2. AVAS066 Goliath — 98 Points — Chase: Another piece we’ve previously discussed, I just think he offers so much versatility in addition to being a solid piece in his own right. But any piece that lets you COMPLETELY change the complexion of your Build AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED deserves a special place on this list!
1. AVAS020 Juston Seyfert — 40 Points — Uncommon: How does a little dude from a nearly-forgotten early-00’s title and who deals NO Damage for his entire dial end up with the #1 spot over an entire set’s worth of Avengers and their classic villains?
By opening up a whole new subset of Builds. His Trait (Rebuilt From the Ground Up: When building your force, choose a friendly character with the Robot keyword. The chosen character is Juston Seyfert’s Sentinel.) combined with his Attack Special (Program In a New Prime Directive: Give Juston Seyfert a power action if he’s adjacent to his Sentinel. When he does, his Sentinel may be given a move action as a Free Action and then it may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially gives any Robot-keyworded a BETTER version of Multi-Attack. Yes, you read that correctly. A BETTER version of Multi-Attack, one of the best abilities the game has ever seen!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The wording is slightly wonky in terms of where the phrase “as a Free Action… ” is used. The designers stuck it between the clause that says you can give Juston’s Sentinel a Move Action and the clause that says the Sentinel may then make a close or ranged combat attack. Just trust us, it works exactly how you think it does: you get to move and then attack for free, and then either move or attack again (with the Damage Depletion Modifier). For a slightly more detailed explanation on how this all works, check out the Wizkids Event System ruling regarding Juston Seyfert.]
On top of making your best piece twice as good as it normally is, Juston also rocks a top dial Stealth/Outwit combo on his first two clicks, followed by a Sidestep/Robot Support Special on his bottom two.
So far, the best candidate to become his Sentinel in 300 Point Modern Age is Ragnarok, but the Age of Ultron SLOP is adding a ton of Robots to the game (as well as an Entity that can Possess Robots and make them even better), so we’ll see where this goes. But if you’re someone who enjoys coming up with shenanigans, then Juston Seyfert is the piece for you!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: FUN FACT: Yes, there are characters out there who could potentially attack more than twice in a turn in certain scenarios. For example, if you can get AVAS059 Korvac to his fourth click (it’s a Stop Click, so it shouldn’t be hard) while keeping Juston in good shape, then you get to move half of Korvac’s Movement Value and unleash THREE separate attacks (with the DDM, mind you) in one turn. At that point, Korvac has a 10 Movement with Phasing/Teleport (which would be halved in this example), a 12 Attack with Pulse Wave, 5 Damage and Probability Control. He’d have a 7 Range for the first attack and a 9 Range thereafter. Oh look! Once again, Jerry Seinfeld has something to say to your theoretical opponent:
And if you manage to pull this scenario off and still lose the game… I’ve got nothing for ya. Especially since you can just push everyone next turn and do it all again.]
We told you before in this article, and we’re going to say it again. “Robot” is now a keyword to be feared.
Whew! We’re at 6500 words and counting, so I think this is as good a time as any to quit while we’re ahead. So there you have it. Those are the best figures in the Avengers Assemble set. Now, Ninwashui is going to be along here in a couple days with a second opinion on who the best pieces in this set are. Just remember while reading his poorly researched ramblings whose opinions you REALLY trust the most…
Until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!
Today we’re gonna take a special look at the brand-spanking new Avengers Assemble set! Amongst a host of previously Un-Clix’d figures, WizKids gave us seven new Chases featuring future/past/alternate timeline versions of the six most popular Avengers (and one Chase that featured their OG sidekick–but we’ll get to him in a moment) on kickass translucent red bases.
Now, while the Chases are vaguely connected from a thematic standpoint, this is the first group of Chases from a main set that I can remember that do NOT all have a shared mechanic (think Zombies in Deadpool and Guardians, Bringers of the Great Darkness in SLoSH, Entities in WoL, etc.). Which is cool. While I don’t mind Chases that share mechanics, it’s kind of a nice palette cleanser every once in a while to see a set of Chase figures that all play completely differently.
Which leads me right into today’s main topic. Because they all play somewhat differently, we’re going to construct seven 300-Point Builds all based around one of the new Avengers Assemble Chases!
Let’s dive right in with a living legend… who kinda lives up to the legend!
AVAS061 Steve Rogers — 250/200 Points — Chase:
So, whether he’s played at 250 Points or 200, Steve Rogers hopped up on the Worldmind is gonna be a Primary Attacker. His Trait ( Nova Helmet Targeting Assist: Each turn, one friendly character with the Avengers keyword and another friendly character with the Nova Corps keyword can use Precision Strike, but only when targeting a single character.) is useful, but not exactly the type of thing you usually build an army around. Still, let’s give it a try.
I’m going to play Steve at 200 points so that I can surround him with a little bit of support–specifically, the new Avengers: Age of Ultron Starter Set Hawkeye! Hawkeye is a terrific secondary attacker that Steve can Carry into battle. Clint also offers some top dial Enhancement, so Steve will be shooting for 5 Penetrating Damage on his first click. Together, Steve and Clint come to 275 Points, which leaves 25 Points for a Resource. So our roster will look like this:
Team Name: You and I Remember Xandar Very Differently
AVAS061E Steve Rogers — 200 Points
AAOU106 Hawkeye — 75
AVXR100 The Phoenix Force — 12
AVXR101 Cyclops Fragment — 3
(Assigned to Steve Rogers) — 3
AVXR103 Colossus Fragment — 3
(Assigned to Hawkeye) — 3
Not bad. Playable. Hawkeye can bust any Stealth that you need him to (and unfortunately, Steve will need him to), and his Attack Value is actually higher than Steve’s; you’d probably do well to hit with Clint first, and follow up with Steve for the killshot. With the Precision Strike Steve grants him, Clint’s really only going to be shut down by Shape Change; he’s got an ability to deal with almost every other defensive power in the game. If you can just get the Phoenix Force to its second Click, you suddenly gain two Perplexes (and Hawkeye suddenly has a 19 Defense against ranged attacks), so you’re damage output should be fine from then on.
Still, getting there won’t be easy, and with only two figures, you’ll have little to no margin for error. It will be hard to get in the first attack–especially in such a way that won’t leave you open to a crippling counter-attack.
So, again, this is a decent Build, but I think we can do slightly better defensively than just ES/D. Austin on Dial H for Heroclix noted the potential this particular Chase has for beefing up Police-keyworded rosters, and I completely agree with his assessment! So let’s see what happens when we basically ignore Steve’s Trait (although Steve himself can still use it) and partner him up with a special agent from another universe.
I’m talking, of course, about the Chase Chun-Li D.E.O. Agent!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, but please note Critical Missives Build Rule #4: It’s never the Chase Chun-Li.]
“I’m the only Clix in the game that starts with top dial Hypersonic Speed AND an Attack Special that grants Leap/Climb! AND I have a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with the mere cost of a Power Action. Guess which two of those powers I won’t be using!“
So let’s try this again:
Team Name: You and I Remember Central City Very Differently
AVAS061E Steve Rogers — 200 Points
(w/Secret Avengers ATA) — 5
JLTW009 D.E.O. Agent — 56
JLTWR102 Rock of Eternity (Complete) — 28
(Assigned to Steve Rogers)
Rick Jones Avengers ID Card — 5
See?! We’ve suddenly given our 200 Point lynchpin Stealth (via D.E.O. Agent’s Trait: SAFETY IN NUMBERS:When D.E.O. Agent is adjacent to a friendly character with the Police keyword or team ability, both characters can use Stealth.)! Plus access to an Attack Value buff via the D.E.O. Agent’s Police TA. Not to mention we made Steve the Champion of the Rock of Eternity!
No matter what Build we came up with, it was always going to live or die with Steve–that’s true of any piece that costs 2/3 of your force allotment (which is also why so many high level players won’t play anything in the Meta right now that’s more expensive than WoL107 Kyle Rayner). So by giving him the Rock and Stealth, you made him that much tougher to kill.
This won’t win a ROC anytime soon, but if your opponent isn’t packing a solid targeting solution for Stealth, he’s in some deep trouble.
“‘But Chun-Li,’ you say, ‘don’t sell yourself short. You also have Flurry mid-dial. That’s good, right?‘ You bet it is. Especially since my Team Ability grants me the power to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which isn’t Charge! Which is what I’d need to enable the use of Flurry with it. But congratulations on pulling me! I’m a Chase! You definitely didn’t waste money irresponsibly in acquiring me.“
Uhhh… thanks, Chun-Li. I, uh, I think you’ve made your point. This isn’t really about you–we were just doing a quick bit–
“Oh, hey, speaking of my Special Attack Power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?“
I don’t–I really don’t think you’re still supposed to be here–
“Any %$&#!^* flyer.”
Sigh… Chun-Li, what did we say about the swearing?
“$#@& you! I’m 140 points and I do 2 damage. $#@& you.“
It’s time for some Heavy Metal…
AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 Points — Chase:
Now here is your classic Brick Sandwich. 270 Points! Yikes. Okay, well, believe it or not, we still have some options here. Iron Man has a great defensive Trait (ULTRA-DENSE ALLOYS:When Iron an would be dealt damage, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1, he can use Invulnerability; on a result of 2, he can use Invincible; on a result of 3 – 4, damage dealt is reduced by 3; on a result of 5 – 6, damage dealt is ignored.) and starts with 8 Movement with Sidestep, 11 Attack with a Special (MAGNETIC CONCUSSION:Iron Man can use Force Blast and Pulse Wave.), 18 Defense with Willpower and 4 native Damage with a pretty awesomely named Special Power (GIVE ME ALL THE CAMERAS:Iron Man can use Outwit and has Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.).
So, what are his main deficiencies? Well, he doesn’t fly, so even with Sidestep, he’s gonna have a tough time with mobility. At 270 Points, he leaves almost no room for supporting characters. And while his Defense is a solid 18 with a bunch of dampeners, 18 is still pretty hit-able in today’s game. So, having said all that, I would probably look to play him in a non-Resource environment that still allowed 1 Relic per force.
Team Name: Stark’s Industrial Forgers
Theme: Stark Industries
AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 Points
FIS104 Greithoth’s Hammer — 8
FI301 Splitlip — 20
Splitlip gives you a bunch of great little support bonuses. First, Iron Man has a 50% chance to pick up Greithoth’s Hammer, which will give him +2 to his Attack Value, Running Shot and Great Size, so Iron Man can ignore most Terrain types. Second, once Iron Man has that Hammer, he can tote Splitlip around and benefit from Splitlip’s top dial Enhancement. And third, they both form a Stark Industries Themed Team, so Splitlip will be able to use a Themed Probability Control on certain occasions.
In an environment without Resources, you should have a decent chance at setting up an Alpha Strike, especially since Iron Man can shoot through walls on his first two clicks. All in all, I think I like this team sliiiiightly better than the Steve Rogers teams I came up with, but only because there’s a slightly higher damage ceiling with this Build.
AVAS063 King Thor — 369/300/200 Points — Chase:
Another Brick, but one with a slightly different skill set and THREE(!) different dial options. The King here doesn’t pack quite enough of a punch to try him as a one-man army, so again, we’re gonna settle on his 200 Point dial (which is still 6 clicks long. That’s a decent amount of life for a THIRD point option). We’ll go full Asgardian here for a lil’ Map help, plus a few Horde tokens to help dish out Hammers.
Team Name: As-hats
AVAS063R King Thor — 200 Points
FI101R Loki — 30
FI301 Splitlip — 20
FIR100C Book of the Skull (Complete) — 30
CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support — 10
CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support — 10
Once again, we can have our best ranged attacker sling Splitlip over his shoulder and wreck some face. Or, we can have Loki Carry Splitlip first, drop him off in position, and have King Thor finish his Running Shot right next to the lil’ guy. What? King Thor doesn’t have Running Shot? Well, you have four Hammers to choose from. And once he’s equipped, if positioned next to Splitlip correctly, he’ll have two chances (via his own Prob Control) to fling a Hammer 8 squares for 5 Damage. That’s not half bad. The S.H.I.E.L.D. Support is there to help equip Hammers as quickly as possible AND to heal the King should the need arise.
With just a little bit of guile and cunning, you’ll be able to deal some serious dam–
“I’m sorry, did someone say my name?”
No!! Nope! I’m not going through this again with any more Street Fighters, you hear me? You’re not even a Chase!
“I don’t need a Chase. My Uncommon version will dominate any Clix contest! I have a Special Power that lets me move 3 squares and attack for 2 Penetrating Damage–and I get to put an action token on my opponent!“
That… actually, that’s not bad. Not really worth interrupting this article for, but, you know, uh… noted. Good for you.
“Or, for 10 points less, my Common version has a Special Power that lets me straight Incapacitate fools!“
Wait, what? Your other ability already does that. Why would I ever want to save 10 points so badly that I’d cut into you damage output so severely? That 2 Penetrating damage is definitely worth the extra 10 Points!
“Ha! See? I knew you’d be interested.“
I… can’t believe I fell for that. Moving. ON!
AVAS064 Hulk — 325/300/150 Points — Chase:
Okay, remember when I said that King Thor at 300 wasn’t good enough to be a one-man army? Well, meet the guy who is. This is the easiest Build of the article:
Team Name: The Last Last Titan
Theme: Hulk needs no Theme. Hulk strongest Theme there is!!
AVAS064E Hulk — 300 Points
His Trait (THE LAST TITAN:Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) is awesome; all those times that Ninwashui complained about the fact that the other great Hulks we’ve received this year have no Outwit protection? Yeah, you can forget about that; this guy has total Outwit protection from everyone except, like, Greed with Ophidian and the Omega Drive.
And even if you find yourself sitting across the table from the decked-out orange Sin, you can feel pretty confident in your ability to one-shot the lil’ bastard. On his first click, Hulk can Charge 10 squares (and that DOESN’T include his Giant Reach)–no halving or modifying of his Movement value is required–with a 12 Attack and 5 Damage (or up to 8 with an Ultra-Heavy). He also doesn’t care about Blocking Terrain, other characters, Hindering or Elevated Terrain, either. If you’re on the map, Hulk will find you. And he will obliterate you.
His Defense starts at 18, never falls below 17, and ends with a stupefyingly awesome Special Power (ONLY ONE THERE IS:Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.).
Now, will there be times when you’re devastating Alpha Strike is ruined when you roll a stinkin’ 3? Sure there will. You have no backup plan with a one-man army. That’s the deal.
But man, you will have some fun with this guy.
“Pssst… you know who else would make a good one-man army?“
Dammit! We know it’s you, baby Akuma. Go away!
“Ha-Ha!! It’s was me, Akuma, the whole time!!“
Yeah, somehow, we guessed that already. And you’re not a one-man army!
“Of course not. And I’m not a Chase, either. Just a Rare. But I do have a special power that lets me make 4 close combat attacks in one turn. With no Damage Depletion Modifier.“
Whaa… ? That can’t be a real power.
“GOSHORYUKEN: Give Akuma a double power action. He can use Flurry as a free action. If he hits at least one character, after actions resolve he can choose a square within 6 squares and be placed in it and then use Flurry again as a free action.“
Waitwaitwait! You get to Flurry, zip around the map Kyle Rayner-style, and then Flurry again? And you’re in the same set as that crappy Chun-Li Chase? What’s your point cost? If she’s 140, you have to be, like 220.
Who created your set?! Good Lord! It’s like, you would only lose in a Sealed if you actually DID pull a Chase.
“To reiterate: $#@& you.”
Hey!! I did not design you, Chun-Li! Don’t yell at me!
That’s it! NO MORE STREET FIGHTERS!! THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT AVENGERS, DAMMIT!!
[Deeeeeeep breath… ]
Okay. Annnnnnd, we’re back.
AVAS065 Black Widow — 200 Points — Chase:
So, Natasha, the spy, assassin, and all around master of dirty fighting tricks… has been found worthy to wield Mjolnir? Well, it happened! In an alternate universe, sure, but that’s never stopped a character from earning a Clix before! Let’s break down her dial.
Right off the bat, she has a fantastic Trait. Remember all the hoops we jumped through to give 200 Point Steve Rogers Stealth? And how it’s contingent on Steve lugging around a D.E.O. Agent and, y’know, FINDING COVER? Look what comes with Black Widow: “DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS:Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.”
So, for no additional cost, not only does Natasha have Traited Stealth, BUT SHE MAKES HER OWN HINDERING TERRAIN!! For FREE!!
Looking at her dial, it’s apparent she’s learned a lot from her Asgardian teammate. This is a Thor dial with just a few Black Widow trimmings (like the aforementioned Stealth Trait), most of which don’t show up until the end of her dial. Her Defense Special (WE’RE THE SACRIFICE – WE WILL SAVE THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE:Black Widow can use Combat Reflexes and Toughness. Whenever another friendly character is KO’d by an opposing character, you may heal Black Widow of 2 clicks.) is great, and it coincides with her move from Running Shot to Charge.
I really love Pandora’s Box with Black Widow; any of the Sins you choose to giver her will offer Sidestep (which allows her to better utilize her top dial RCE), and many will even give her ES/D (which gives you a ranged attacker who herself has Invincible and a 19 Defense Value from ranged attacks). Plus, if you can get the Resource Dial to Click #9, she’ll suddenly be able to bust Stealth (and more, depending on which power you get each turn).
We’re also going to stick with an Asgardian Theme for this squad, which will help with Map Choice and offer 3 Themed Team Probs. Since most Asgardians cost quite a bit, we’re gonna have to return to some of the usual suspects to ensure we can get out all the Sins we need to distribute.
Team Name: Strange Clouds
AVAS065 Black Widow — 200 Points
FI101R Loki — 30
FI301 Splitlip — 20
FIB003 Damaged Warbot — 10
JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Complete) — 40
Widow Carries Splitlip (once again, for Enhancement), Loki Carries the Damaged Warbot, and all of them can benefit from Pandora’s Box. Patience is your friend here (and Widow’s Stealth will help with that). Pick your spots to attack carefully, and don’t be afraid to move for board control or for future positioning; your pieces are only going to get better as the game goes on, so stretching things out to give yourself more time to distribute Sins is in your best interest.
“Did someone say they want to ‘stretch things out?'”
Nope! I’m not encouraging this. Moving. On.
AVAS066 Goliath — 98 Points — Chase:
Probably my favorite Chase in the set, Goliath may also be the most versatile CHASEr as well. His Trait seems harmless enough (BACK TO THE BLOND-HAIRED BOWSLINGER NAMED HAWKEYE!:Give Goliath a free action and replace him with any character of equal or less points named Hawkeye on the same click number minus 3, minimum 1.), but it really opens up endless possibilities for how you can use Goliath.
You can start you game by having Goliath Carry out one of your key pieces; then, if your facing, say, some Hypersonic Speedsters, or characters whose offense is based on mobility (especially pieces who have Running Shot or Ranged Combat Expert but DON’T have Sharpshooter), you can stay with Goliath and use Charge with either his native 4 Damage or Quake, if you want to reach out and touch a few opponents at once. Goliath’s Damage Special (GROUND SQUASH:Characters hit by Goliath’s attacks can’t automatically break away and modify their break away rolls by -1 until your next turn.) will all but ensure that anyone he hits (note that he DOESN’T have to actually damage them–just hit them) will be stuck exactly where they are for at least a turn.
Now it’s turn two or turn three… and this is when things REALLY get exciting!! Because Goliath’s Trait can help you customize your team… AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED!
So, imagine this scenario: Goliath has Carried out your big hitter to some prime real estate where your hitter can attack from next turn. Your opponent, however, decides to TK out his or her ranged beast of a Primary Attacker (say, someone who deals 4 or 5 Damage top dial and has Stealth to prevent retaliatory strikes–oh hey, maybe someone JUST LIKE the Black Widow Chase we just talked about) for an Alpha Strike on Goliath, and all of the sudden Clint is drilled all the way to Click 4. Half his dial is wiped away. Crap. Goliath no longer has Charge, and your Primary Attacker never had a way to see through Stealth. What do you do?
Well, since you thought to include Goliath to begin with, all your really need to do is give him a Free Action, sub in, say, AAOU009 Hawkeye, (who can now suddenly Sidestep–while ignoring Elevated AND Hindering Terrain) and start blasting away. Through Stealth. Oh, and by the way, Hawkeye himself now has Stealth, so your opponent’s big hitter? Yeah, if that piece can’t see through Stealth, your opponent is suddenly in for a world of hurt.
Of course, when you bring Hawkeye in, make sure you bring him in top dial, since his Goliath’s Trait specifies that the replacement character comes in on the same click as Goliath MINUS-3 (in this scenario, 4-3=1). So that big hit your opponent just spent all their resources last turn building up to? Completely wiped away.
With one Free Action, you’ve COMPLETELY changed the makeup of your team–and, in this scenario, you’ve also completely changed the complexion of the game. When used correctly, Goliath can actually devastate your opponent’s strategy WITHOUT EVEN ROLLING AN ATTACK! That’s pretty amazing.
Having said all that, we’re going to keep this Build pretty simple. This is a 300 Point, Modern Age, No Resources team.
Team Name: Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed & Furious
AVAS066 Goliath — 98 Points
AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45
AAOU005R Thor — 150
AVID015 Manifold— 5
As I stated above, you can get really complicated with a Goliath Build if you want. Here, however, we’re just gonna stick with Goliath (who can change into a ridiculously useful Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye) and Thor, with Nick Fury for support. Keep in mind, if you have Thor Carry Nick Fury, your Tertiary Attacker can suddenly do 4 freaking damage! That’ll make your opponent’s head spin!
“Did someone say ‘Electrify?'”
No! Dammit, no one said anything close to that!
Great. You know your own name. Congratulations.
“At least I’m a Chase.”
Yes. You ARE a Chase. You have a perfectly average dial that’s costed just about as one would expect it to be. Which means your perfectly average. Which also means that you’re probably one of the five best clicks in your set, since “perfectly average” is the new “completely broken” when it comes to Street Fighter Clix. There. Are you happy?
Are all of you rude, obnoxious, interrupting jerks from the Street Fighter set happy? Can I finally MOVE THE $#@& ON with my day?
Good. At last.
“Uh… something something, MIRROR SPIN?”
I hate my life.
AVAS067 Rick Jones — 75 Points — Chase:
So Rick Jones is kind of support mixed with some Secondary Attacker skills. He continually spawns some pretty decent Bystander Tokens via his Trait (SUMMON THE HEROES I GREW UP READING ABOUT:At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America bystander token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a bystander token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a bystander token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following. This ability can’t be ignored. Bystander Token KO’d: Bystander Token Placed; Captain America: Namor; Namor: Blazing Skull; Blazing Skull: Captain America.), and once per game, his other Trait allows him to immobilize your opponent’s entire team for a whole turn (GALACTIC BURST OF IMMOBILIZING LIGHT:Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.). Keep in mind too that your opponent gets no points for KO’ing any of the Bystander Tokens.
As Hunter Smith from Dial H for Heroclix likes to say, “Sounds fair.”
He’s somewhat hard to hit at range with ES/D down his whole dial, and he has Pen/Psy with a massive 10 Range for his first 3 Clicks. On his second click, he even picks up Perplex.
So again, as with Goliath, you have a single character who can fill multiple roles. Team him with, say, AVAS066 Goliath and AVAS034 Jarvis, add in like 3 ID cards of your choosing, and suddenly you have an extremely versatile team, especially in a Modern Age, No Resources format. Oh, and you still have 87 MORE POINTS!!
Team Name: Swiss Army Avengers
AVAS067 Rick Jones — 75 Points
AVAS066 Goliath — 98
AVAS034 Jarvis — 40
WXM078 Quicksilver — 87
AVID015 Manifold— FIVE 0 (via Jarvis)
AVID0XX Your Choice — FIVE0 (via Jarvis)
AVID0XX Your Choice — FIVE0 (via Jarvis)
Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice
Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice
Truly, this is a team designed to combat a multitude of threats. Not a hugely favorable damage output, but it should be able to run with most Builds. There’s nothing out there that you shouldn’t be able to bring a piece in to handle.
So, there you go. A whole bunch of Builds and analysis featuring the seven new Avengers Assemble Chases. Plus, random analysis for Golden Age Street Fighter figures that, frankly, no one asked for or wanted. Myself included.
“Speaking of Chases no one wants–“
What?! Don’t be so hard on yourself, Cammy! You’ve actually got a pretty good dial. Granted, it’s all close combat, but still, you can easily get your Attack Value to 11 or 12–
“I was talking about Chun-Li’s Chase again.“
Oh. Wow. Uh, this is awkward. So, you were just popping in to agree with me?
Well, until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire.
Today we’re here to share our first scenario with you. In celebration of the May 2nd premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ninwashui and I have prepared a couple special scenarios that we’re going to play out on our own time. Our first scenario is detailed here today!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: For those who are unaware, a scenario is any game of Heroclix with special rules that are specific to that particular game. Often times they are meant to be played with either a specific set of figures, or else they give you a much smaller range of figures with which to create your Build. Usually there is also a small bit of story context accompanying the scenario (that justifies its existence and/or explains the comic or movie-based storyline you’re about to play out). WizKids sometimes creates scenarios for added depth of play during their OP events and distributes instructions on how to play them with the OP Scenario Pack (for example, Fear Itself had 2 Scenario Pack, War of Light had 1).]
Ninwashui and I have been chomping at the bit to try out some of these new Age of Ultron Gravity Feed pieces, but this Scenario will also give us a chance to break out some of our favorite older Movie Set pieces as well.
So, without further ado, here is our first Critical Missives Scenario. Taking a page from Survivor, it’s simply titled…
HEROES VS. VILLAINS!!
The Scenario: It’s all out war in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!!
While inside Avengers Tower celebrating their ability to finally subdue the Hulk’s latest rampage, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers are finally able to relax. During a fun game of “Whosoever Is Worthy to Pick Up Thor’s Hammer,”all of the Tower’s computers suddenly light up. The Tesseract Thor had brought back with him from Asgard begins to spew energy, and a temporal anomaly forms in the Tower’s Quinjet hangar! For a moment, everything seems normal–until the hangar is ripped open, and the Avengers find themselves under attack from the menacing AI of Ultron and his Sentries! But things immediately go from bad to worse as almost EVERY major villain from the MCU–even some they thought they had dealt with permanently–begin flooding in from the anomaly! The fate of the world is in the hands of the Avengers, and to save it, they’ll have to fight their worst enemies or die trying.
But the Villains aren’t the only ones back from the beyond. An ally once thought lost has returned to aid the Avengers, and he’s brought a really big gun…
The Game: Designed for 2 Players. 1600 Points. Oreo Age. One player assumes control of the “Heroes” side. The other will guide the “Villains.”
The Map: Avengers Tower (from the Age of Ultron Movie Set Starter Pack). The “Heroes” should begin in the Starting Zone located on the side with the lab, while the “Villains” should start on the side with the open hangar.
The Special Scenario Rules:
–When forces are being built, the “Heroes” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.
–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.
–At the beginning of each player’s first turn, that player may select a single Additional Team Ability (ATA) and assign that Team Ability to all eligible members of their team. At least one member of a player’s force must have the printed keyword required for the chosen ATA.
–There is a restriction of 5 actions per team per turn (NOT COUNTING FREE ACTIONS). This total can be increased by Leadership as per normal.
–While we’re not going to bother with declaring Sidelines or anything, the “Heroes” player should have at least 4 Iron Legions stashed off the map (as well as a Captain America and Black Widow & Iron Man and War Machine Duo Figures if available) and the “Villains” should have at least 4 Test Subjects ready to go.
Special Character Rules:
–In addition to his normal stats and powers, Agent Coulson gets the following Special Damage Power on Click number 4: “So That’s What it Does: Once per game, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing attack, stop turning the dial and select an opposing character. Agent Coulson can use Pulse Wave. When he does, the area of effect for this attack is his range value, he has a locked damage value of 3, and this attack ignores all characters except the opposing character selected for this power. After actions resolve, deal Agent Coulson 1 unavoidable damage. This power cannot be countered or ignored.”
–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player may assign either Loki or Red Skull GGS102 Cosmic Cube without paying its cost. During the game, figures named “Loki,” “Red Skull” or “Captain America” automatically succeed when rolling for the Cosmic Cube.
AAOU003 Captain America — Common — 125 Points
AAOU101 Iron Man Mk. 43 — Starter Pack — 150
AAOU005 Thor — Common — 200
AAOU008E Hulk — Common — 250
AAOU013 Black Widow — Mass Market Rare — 80
AAOU009 Hawkeye — Core Hobby Rare — 94
AAOU010 Scarlet Witch — Core Hobby Rare — 55
AAOU014 Quicksilver — Mass Market Rare — 63
AAOU011 Vision — Core Hobby Rare — 100
IM3016 War Machine — Mass Market Rare — 220
CATWS006 Falcon — Common — 105
AAOU015 Nick Fury — Mass Market Rare — 45
AVM206 Agent Coulson — Common — 50
CATWS011 Maria Hill — Core Hobby Rare — 60
= 1597 (Hmmm… Heroes are apparently so confident that they’re leaving 3 Points on the board!)
AVM211 Loki — Chase — 220 Points
AVM041 Red Skull — Chase — 170
IM3008 Aldrich Killian — Common — 35
TDW004 Malekith — Common — 350
CATWS008 Winter Soldier — Common — 100
GOTGM106 Ronan — Starter Pack — 300
AAOU016 Baron Strucker — Mass Market Rare — 95
AAOU018 Ultron Prime — Mass Market Chase — 250
AAOU007 Ultron Sentry — Common — 40
AAOU007 Ultron Sentry — Common — 40
= 1600 Points!! (Villains got their $#!t together!)
Why These Teams?: Because, as I mentioned before, this gives us a chance to really dig into the new Age of Ultron Movie Set while also providing an opportunity to dust off some old favorites. As for these specific rosters, we chose them because–between the two of us–we happen to have all these pieces and the points match pretty damn close (in a 1600 Point game, I’m prepared to deal with a variance of 3 points).
Handicapping the Squads: While we haven’t decided who will play which side, just looking at the rosters, I’d expect the “Heroes” side to have a distinct advantage. While there is certainly a ton of raw power on the “Villains” side (and Ooooo, Malekith at 350 looks like soooo much fun…), the “Heroes” side is much more synergistic with their “Avengers Assemble!” Traits and such. Still, we shall see…
The Result: Check back in this space next week. Once we play out the Scenario, we’ll post the highlights and tell you who won right here!! (And/or in the next Weekly Roundup–we’re waaaay overdue for one of those!)
Until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!
Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Or a Happy Passover, or, if you’re not a person of faith, or at least not a person of a faith that celebrated this season, I hope you had, uh, a Happy Sunday!
As our belated gift to you, Ninwashui and I are teaming up to rip through the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron Gravity Feed Movie Set! We’re gonna go figure by figure using our popular and patented [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, it’s really neither of those things.] Oxygen Filtration Mask Numeric Scale!
It’s all part of our month-long ramp up celebrating the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! In addition to today’s article, we’re also going to review the Starter pack and write and play a scenario based on the movie (or, y’know, what little we know about the movie since it hasn’t released yet).
But today is about the Age of Ultron Gravity Feed, so let’s get it rolling!
SOME QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE SET:
–The whole set actually gets its flavor not just from AoU but also from prior Marvel movies as well. Iron Man (Iron Man 3), Iron Legion (Iron Man 3) and Nick Fury (Avengers) all have power sets and costumes that reference previous MCU outings. Conversely, Hawkeye and Black Widow are definitely in their Age of Ultron costumes (note Hawkeye’s longer tunic, which gets him a little bit closer to his comic book look), but their power sets almost seem like they’re taken directly from the first Avengers film (going back to Hawkeye, he has Traits and Powers with names like “Rooftop Maneuvers” and “Vantage Point.” He could certainly spend a lot of time on rooftops in Age of Ultron, but these really sound like Hawkeye’s abilities taken from the Battle of Manhattan sequence in the first Avengers film).
–Meanwhile, it seems like the designers went out of their way to make the most generic Cap, Thor and Hulk pieces they could possibly imagine (I’m speaking strictly from a flavor/sculpt standpoint–see each figure’s individual entry to see how we think they stand up as Heroclix figures!). Cap gets an abilities like “Rebounding Shield” and “His Enemies Fear Him,” while Hulk has “Fueled by Anger” and “He Only Leaves Rubble.”
–For those keeping score at home, we finally have MCU Clix for: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Baron Strucker and Ultron. First time generics include Test Subject and Iron Legion (although IM3 had at least 4 Armor Shell versions from the “House Party Protocol” scene at the end of the movie).
Alright, enough notes about the set! Let’s dig into the dials!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry bro, we need one more note.As always with Movie Set Reviews, we’re saving the Starter Review for a separate article, since we’re already over 7000 words on the Main Set alone, making this our largest single article ever!]
AAOU001 Iron Man — 250/185 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: At 250 Points, Iron Man here is certainly beefy, starting with a 12 Attack and an 18 Defense Value with Invincible. His awesomely-named second Trait (THE HOUSE PARTY PROTOCOL, SIR?:Give Iron Man a power action if there are less than 4 friendly undefeated characters named Iron Legion. If you do, place a AAOU002 Iron Legion in your starting area from outside the game.) allows him to bring in armor shells that are two clicks deep, but they come into play in your starting area. Depending on where the action’s centered, the battle may be lost before you can even get the shells into play. This is a bit of a problem, especially since there’s another figure in this set who does the same trick better. Similarly, his Avengers Assemble Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.) is a nifty lil’ bonus, but there are better versions of the same Trait on almost every other Avenger.
In a Modern Age environment that also includes Ultron Prime and Trinity War Superman at the 250 Point level, I just don’t know that you’re getting enough damage out of this Iron Man and his Iron Legion shells to really keep up with number of effective actions your opponent will be taking in a 300 Point game. Also, while any piece with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability is going to be a nuisance, his 7 Range is below average for a piece in his price range.
Now, at 185 Points… he’s still over costed. With five clicks of life and middling Attack Values (again, for the points), he still offers the same two Traits as his higher-costed version and the ability to target through Stealth. Still, this feels much more like a 150 or 160 Point dial. 185 is just a rip-off, frankly. Not the worst dial in the world, but not one that I would choose to play, especially with all of the other Iron Man options out there.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
Pretty short dials for both versions, actually. Both Traits are more fun than competitive. The Iron Legions he can bring into play hit hard enough, sure, but they’re easy to KO and award 50 Points to your opponent for each one that’s KO’d. And really, the Transport Symbol is pretty much wasted on figures that already fly and have top dial Running Shot.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
AAOU002 Iron Legion — 50 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Mildly effective for his points, but you’re probably not playing him this way very often. He’s useable, but far from groundbreaking. Actually, he’s kind of a boring way to use 50 points, but at least he can Taxi, too.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: Yeah, he’s only got 4 Clicks, but for 50 Points I get Running Shot, 10 Attack and a Damage Value that never drops below 3 AND never loses Enhancement. A great Tertiary Attacker with a mild amount of support with Enhancement and the ability to Taxi. I think he’s damn effective for 50 Points–I’d put him right up there with some of the better Lantern Recruits we just got.
GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU003 Captain America —125/80 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: One of the most creative Caps we’ve seen in awhile. The 125 Point dial is a brutally effective mid-range piece to start. He’s actually at his most deadly when he’s at least two squares away from an opposing figure, even though Cap is normally thought of as a close combatant. His Avengers Assemble Trait is pretty one-sided (there will be very few circumstances when your opponent would rather take a -1 hit to the Attack Value of all his pieces versus letting you give one of your pieces +1 to Damage). His top dial vanilla Leadership is somewhat wasted when the majority of Avengers cost more than him (or at least the majority of Avengers who can Carry him and keep him adjacent–yes, you can sometimes end up adjacent to a friendly after a Running Shot to set up Leadership next turn, but that’s a lil’ tricky to do usually). If he ignored characters on movement (instead of or in addition to) I’d love him; as it is, I merely like this dial.
His Rookie dial, on the other hand, offers a ton of value for 80 Points–and also plays way differently than his Blue dial. Now that’s a great design! He starts with a Leadership Special Power (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM:Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.) that he keeps his whole dial. He doesn’t even need line of fire to dish out tokens–opposing characters merely need to be within 4 Squares.
His Attack Value never descends below 10, and even gets up to 11 more than once. The only problem is a lack of Indomitable, but the last half of his dial features Willpower anyway. And top dial, once he gets in close on someone, they’re gonna need a 20 to hit him with a Close Combat attack.
This is a fun piece and one of my favorites from the set.
GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: Really dig his 125 Point dial. He’s difficult to hit at range, which should allow him to use his Avengers Initiative Team Ability to slowly close in on his opponents. After that first hit he magically transforms into an equally hard to hit close combat headache for your opponent.
His 80 Point dial is almost as good, but his Leadership Special–as powerful as it can potentially be–will only go off 33% of the time. And with no native damage reducers, it’s possible for a heavy hitter like AAOU005 Thor to knock him out with one lucky hit.
GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)
AAOU004 Test Subject —30 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Ugh. The first real loser of the set. Don’t let the 3 separate dials fool you–even for a generic, this is a bit uninspired. Their Trait (THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE YIELDING… INTERESTING… RESULTS:When Test Subject is first placed on the map, roll a d6 and click the character to the indicated starting line: 1 – 2 red; 3 – 4 blue; 5 – 6 yellow) ensures that you’ll never know which of their dials you’ll actually be playing, which is a problem when you are, y’know, TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLEMENTARY TEAM! These guys need help to be anything more than even just a tie-up piece for a turn. But with such limited mobility, it’ll take them forever just to get next to an opposing figure to tie them up in the first place. I can’t see 4 of these pieces ever taking out any 120 Point figure I can think of.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: Okay, taken on their own merits, they’re not the best use of 30 Points. However, what if I told you there was a way to easily get them within range of an opposing figure, to the point that they’d be all but guaranteed an Alpha Strike? Then would you be interested? If you can find a way around their awful mobility, these guys suddenly become pretty dangerous–especially since they’re only 30 Points. Having said that, no one is ever going to play them for 30 Points, for reasons we will get into as we get a bit further down the list…
GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU005 Thor —200/150 Points — Common:
HypeFox Says: Wow. We’ve gotten a ton of 4-Star Thors in the past couple years, but this version might just be a cut above. His AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Thor hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters modify their damage values by -1 until your next turn or, opposing characters can’t make ranged combat attacks until your next turn.) is absolutely brutal.
You: “So, would you prefer to do way less damage next turn, or would you prefer to do no damage next turn?”
Your Opponent: “Uhhh… is that a real power? That doesn’t sound like a real power.”
You: “It’s a Trait, not a power.”
Your Opponent: “I hate you.”
I mean, what kind of choice is that? But beyond that, he starts with 5 native Damage, an 11 Attack Value that alternates between Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion (with an 8 Range and 2 Bolts) and an 18 Defense Value that’s boosted by both Invincible and his second Trait (MJOLNIR TO CARRY ME: When Thor has one or more action tokens, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection.). And remember, he sees through Stealth via his AI Team Ability. The only thing keeping him from 5 Masks at this point is his one glaring weakness: no Willpower.
Still, in a Tactics format, this is pretty easily fixed, and in a No Tactics format, he hits so heavy that it may not even matter. If you only push him once or twice, you’ll be fine–heck, that first push basically just puts him on Pulse Wave. He only loses one Movement and one Defense.
His Rookie dial is a little more subtle, but just as effective.
GRADE(S): 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: User UncorkedMonk on HCRealms.com said “Hes an indom symbol away from being great. As is hes alright. But theres enough ways to give him willpower I spose.” Despite his clear vendetta against apostrophes, I have to completely agree. Outside of the normal Resource/Relic route, let’s remember that Thor is an Asgardian. For 5 Points, their ATA explicitly GIVES him Willpower on his first click. That’s right. The Asgardian ATA: it’s not just for Splitlip anymore.
His Rookie dial finds him switching from a 5 Damage Primary Attacker to a 4 Damage sniper squad leader. And while he plays differently than his higher point version, he’s just as effective. Especially if you put the right team around him, which you’ll have 50 more points to do with this version.
GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)
AAOU006 Hydra Soldier — 40 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: I think this was the only character in the set I wasn’t looking forward to getting (so guess who I’ve pulled 4 of so far… ). Even in groups, I don’t see this guy ever lasting long enough to hit anyone. I can see what they were trying to do with his Minion power that bestows Leadership (MINION: HAIL HYDRA:When a friendly character with the HYDRA keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, Hydra Soldier can use Charge. When that character uses Leadership and succeeds, remove an action token from all characters named Hydra Soldier within that character’s range and line of fire unless one has already been removed this turn from that character from this effect.), but the low inherent Movement and the existence of DP006 Hand Ninja means that this guy will likely never see play from me. On the plus side, he’s got a pretty cool sculpt though.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: For the first time in this article, I think I finally agree with Ninwa. His TA only works for ranged attacks (well, unless your running him with Wolverine, Agent of Hydra) but his skill set is only viable for close combat attacks. Come to think of it, running him with Hydra Wolvie is really the only way to make him work. Even then, as Ninwashui mentioned, DP006 Hand Ninja is pretty much a better choice all the way around.
GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU007 Ultron Sentry — 40 — Common:
HypeFox Says: 3 Clicks for 40 Points doesn’t instill a ton of confidence until you look a little closer at those three Clicks. Top dial they have Pen/Psy and Enhancement (although only a 4 Range) with a native 3 Damage. In other words, as they multiply, they can start dishing out 4-5 Penetrating Damage. That’s a huge amount of Damage output for a 40 Point figure. Yes, they can be destroyed quite easily with just a 15 Defense Value, but their Movement Special on Click 2 (THERE’S NO END IN SIGHT!:Once per turn, for all characters with this power, give Ultron Sentry a double power action. Place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry from outside the game in an adjacent square on click number 3.) means that they can replicate themselves over and over. In other words, for 40 Points, you can create a whole army INSIDE your army.
GRADE: 4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: It’s a 40 point character that can duplicate itself as soon as turn 4. And it can keep doing it until you run out of them on your sidelines with no outside help required. And when one dies, a double power action can put that guy right back out. Unlike Iron Legion, the duplicate figures are the exact same strength as the original. And they have two Traits that make it so they can work together to become far more powerful the more of them there are (COMBINED EFFORTS: Modify Ultron Sentry’s attack value by +1 for each adjacent friendly character named Ultron Sentry. Modify Ultron Sentry’s damage value by +1 for each 2 adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry AND CONSISTENT PROGRAMMING: When using the Carry ability, Ultron Sentry may carry any number of adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry regardless of their combat symbols.).
They also have additional Trait that works well with the other versions of Ultron: HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Sentry is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area:
3 – 4, place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry on its starting line; 5, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line; 6, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its blue starting line.”
Try to imagine this: Starting on Turn 4, Ultron Sentry makes another Ultron Sentry. Turn 5, the first Sentry you made makes another. Turn 6, the original makes another. You can just keep doing this in your starting area until you feel like you have enough. A 40 point investment can bring 8 more of these things into play and descend on the opponent as a cloud of nine sentries. Nothing in the game anywhere near 40 points can take that on. If you own enough of these you can bring a 900 point army to a 300 point game.
GRADE: 5Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU008 Hulk — 300/250/200 Points — Common:
Ninwashui Says: Going in, you have to know a couple things. First, you’re paying a metric poop-ton of points for a character that has absolutely no range AND that has absolutely NO OUTWIT PROTECTION!! These are major issues. It’s true that if Hulk gets Outwitted, he gets the small bonus of an Anger Token via his Trait (ENORMOUS GREEN MONSTER:Hulk can use Battle Fury. Each time Hulk takes damage from an opponent’s attack or one of his powers or combat abilities is countered, put an Anger token on this card.), but that’s not really Outwit protection, is it?
His 300 Point dial has an awesome top dial, but the chances of you being able to get to swing with that top dial in a 300 or even 400 Point game is minimal. He’ll most likely be picked apart on his approach.
At 250, he runs into the same problems. While his dial is fun, one Outwit can just absolutely ruin his day.
Finally, his Rookie dial actually gets a half-mask more from me because it leaves room for supporting figs (just from this set, adding AAOU015 Nick Fury and AAOU010 Scarlet Witch will form a perfect 300 Point team) that can really help Hulk deal maximum damage.
Just make sure that whichever dial you play, you use Colossal Stamina whenever there is a meaningful action to take UNLESS that would put you on a Stop Click.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: For a Hulk dial, there is a lot going on here, most of which I like. Traited Battle Fury means that Shape Change will not help you–and with a figure that costs this much (no matter which dial you play), any ability that can eliminate the possibility of wasted actions is a very good thing. His Avengers Assemble Trait is good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hulk hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Deal one target 1 unavoidable damage and give it an action token or, put an Anger token on this card.), but again, it’s pretty much one-sided (no opponent is going to choose to take an additional damage AND lose an action as opposed to giving Hulk a token that lets him increase a potential Regeneration roll somewhere down the line by +1 or increase the chance Hulk won’t take Colossal Stamina damage by just over 16%.). The first choice wreaks havoc on his team right now, while the second option might subtly benefit you at some unspecified juncture down the line. Not much of a choice there. Having said that, getting the Anger Token bonus is better than not having that Trait at all, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.
I like his Rookie dial a little more than Ninwashui, since I believe that his Defense Special Stop Click (HIS ANGER SUSTAINS HIM: When this click is revealed due to taking damage, stop turning the dial and remove all actions tokens from Hulk. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a little bit of Outwit protection (and Pulse Wave protection). And it shows up twice, in tandem with his Damage Special Power (HE ONLY LEAVES RUBBLE:Hulk can use Invincible and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration, you may remove any number of Anger tokens from this card. If you do, the d6 roll can’t be rerolled and you may increase the result by 1 for each token removed.).
So while he doesn’t have Outwit protection, he does have some built-in survivability.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 and 1/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)
First of all, he’s got arguably the best AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Hawkeye hits one or more characters with an attack, the opposing player chooses: Hit characters are each dealt 1 unavoidable damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye isn’t given an action token for this action.). Finally, an Avengers Assemble! where both of the choices really suck for your opponent! Remember, Hawkeye has 3 Bolts and Precision Strike, so chances are he’s already dealt 1 Penetrating Damage to two or three of your opponent’s characters (and keep in mind that Stealth won’t help them, because Clint has Avengers Initiative). Now, does your opponent want each of the hit characters to each take ANOTHER Unavoidable Damage? Or do you want to keep Hawkeye from getting an action token, which means he can do the whole thing over again next turn?
This is an actual dramatization of your next opponent trying to decide which of these options to go with after 3 of his characters have been hit by Hawkeye.
Now before you start worrying about his top dial 10 Attack Value, take a look at his second Trait (VANTAGE POINT:When making a ranged combat attack, modify Hawkeye’s attack value by +1 for each target of the attack. When he hits 3 characters, he may give one hit character an action token if he doesn’t assign that character any damage.). All of which means that it shouldn’t be hard to get Hawkeye a +2 or even +3 modifier to his Attack Value. Forget Perplex–this Hawkeye takes care of his own modifiers.
Finally, Ninwashui is probably gonna come on here and trash Hawkeye’s Movement Value. Sure, it’s a bit low at just 6 Squares, but even that, too, is deceiving. When you break it down, you’ll see that his starting Movement Special (ROOFTOP MANEUVER:Hawkeye can use Sidestep and Stealth. When he uses Sidestep, he can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain.) means that he can actually cover 8 Squares a turn AND he can change elevation, too (AND he can make an Attack afterwards, since it’s Sidestep!)! And since he already ignores Hindering Terrain on movement (again, thanks to the AI Team Ability), you actually have a figure who’s much more nimble than a lot of other figures with higher Movement Values.
Now, I can’t quite give him 5 Masks in an environment where Banshee is still Modern (he’s even more beastly for just 4 more points), but Hawkeye here is darn close. He offers a bunch of powers and abilities that you can’t get from Resources or Relics, and what he lacks CAN be fixed by Resources and Relics (The Phoenix Force or especially the new Pandora’s Box Resource should work wonders with this Hawkeye. If you use Pandora’s Box, I’d recommend it’s first setting–the Path of the Hunter. It’s got pretty easy early access to the abilities that Clint needs the most, like Energy Explosion and Running Shot, and it’s also pretty easy to get Hawkeye permanent access to both ES/D AND Combat Reflexes).
GRADE: 4 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: Low Movement Value, no dampeners or anything to help his Defense beyond Stealth and a lack of Running Shot hurt this guy. That being said, if your opponent can’t find a way to hide two or three of his pieces (and it’s admittedly tough to hide guys from a dude who has 8 Range, Sidestep, 3 Bolts and the ability to see through Stealth), then this guy could suddenly be the star of your team. All his is missing is Energy Explosion to be the best figure ever made at taking out clusters of opponents at a time. And AAOU015 Nick Fury (who will get to in a minute) has a Special Attack Power that goes great with this guy.
Ninwashui Says: Her Trait (UNCAGING THE BEAST: Give Scarlet Witch a free action when she has two action tokens and choose a friendly character within range and line of fire. Modify the chosen character’s combat values by +1 until the end of the turn, and, at the end of the turn, deal Scarlet Witch 1 unavoidable damage and don’t clear her action tokens. If the chosen character’s name is Hulk, you may modify the chosen character’s combat values by +2 instead.) seems to be begging for you to play her with some version of the Hulk to make her reach her full potential, but I think she’ll end up seeing a lot of play on a variety of tournament teams regardless of the presence of a Hulk. Even just a +1 boost to all stats is no joke, and she could technically do that for five turns in a row before being KO’d. That ability might be worth 55 Points by itself.
Factor in her 8 Range, 10 Attack and 3 Damage with Perplex top dial and you have a piece that’s useful even before her crazy-good Trait starts to kick in!
GRADE: 4 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: She has no Avengers Assemble! Trait on her own, which is a bit of a bummer. Her Point Cost is reasonable, but if Ninwashui thought that Hawkeye was too crunchy with only Stealth to protect him, I can only imagine what he thinks about a figure with one less Click of life and an even worse Defense Value. If you can get some mileage out of her Trait, she’ll make her cost worth it; if she gets destroyed before that, well… sorry.
GRADE: 3 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU011 Vision — 100 Points — Core Hobby Rare:
HypeFox Says: First of all, this is an awesome sculpt and paint job!! Second… yeah, I have no second. At 50 Points, he’d be amazing. Unfortunately he costs double that. Somehow, a figure with no Traits or Improved Movement or Targeting of any kind and with only six Clicks of life costs 100 Points.
He does fly and he has Indomitable, but he doesn’t do enough to be a Secondary Attacker and he costs WAAAAYYY too much to be a Taxi. And he has 0 Range. I’m glad that he has the Avengers keyword, but he is a Theme play only; he’s not turning up in any sort of competitive environment. Even with Hydra Soldier’s existence, this is probably the worst piece in the set (especially since he costs so much more).
GRADE: 1 and 3/4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: He’s not as bad as HypeFox makes him out to be, but I have to agree with the idea that if you are actually playing him, you’re playing him because you like the character and not because you think he’s a powerful HeroClix figure. He does have 3 Clicks of Outwit followed by 3 Clicks of Perplex, so I can tell why he’s clocking in at 100 Points. But in a world where even a 43 Point Hand Ninja has Traits and Special Powers [EDITOR’S NOTE: And a Team Ability!], it’s hard to justify a dial that costs more than double and has none of those things unless the power set is just top notch. Vision’s power set, alas, is not.
Ninwashui Says: For 120 Points you get a character that hits hard, but with a low Attack Value. He also is good at absorbing damage with four clicks of Invuln, but he doesn’t match well with other figures in his point range unless you take his Trait into account (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING:Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Mk 1 is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: (4)-(5), place 012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line. (6), place either 012 Ultron Mk 1 or 018 Ultron Prime on its blue starting line.). Basically, if you’re running any other Age of Ultron versions of him, then you will likely get him back in your Starting Area on Click one. His stats by themselves are average, but his synergy with other Ultron pieces is the real reason to play him.
His Rookie dial is kind of more of the same. You’d play it to fit in another Ultron on your force, but this dial will never see play otherwise.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (120 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (65 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: Kind of a must have piece if you’re trying to create an Ultron swarm. On its own, it’s average, but when you start running it with Ultron Prime or Ultron Sentry, it can really start to wear your opponent down.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial)
AAOU013 Black Widow — 80 Points — Mass Market Rare:
HypeFox Says: This is one of the stranger Black Widows we’ve gotten in recent years. On the plus side, she’s got a pretty decent AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:When Black Widow hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters can’t attack Black Widow until your next turn or opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage until your next turn.) and a cool Attack Special (WIDOW’S STING:When Black Widow hits with a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 4 – 6, Black Widow can use Incapacitate twice, each as a free action, but only to target a hit character.). On the negative side, she’s pretty much set up as a ranged attacker, but she’s only got a 4 Range and no move and attack. And if she can’t attack, her special powers are all wasted.
Having said that, like her former S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddy Hawkeye, much of what ails her can be fixed with a Resource or Relic (Mokk’s Hammer would solve almost all of her top dial problems).
So she has some potential in a Tactics environment, but in a game where you can’t use Resources or Relics, she’s gonna be a tough piece to use effectively. Chances are high that you won’t get out of her what you put into her.
GRADE: 2 and 3/4Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: She can really shine with an Avengers Themed Team around her, but you’re gonna have to team her up with a really effective Primary Attacker to distract the other team’s best offensive pieces and let her get a ranged attack (or two) off. Nearly full dial Stealth and intermittent Perplex make me like this version slightly more that her Starter pack counterpart (AAOU105 Black Widow, natch!). And, once again, AAOU015 Nick Fury‘s Special Power works really well with her as well.
GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU014 Quicksilver — 63 Points — Mass Market Rare
Ninwashui Says: He’s the cheapest character in Modern right now with top dial Hypersonic Speed. When you compare him to 65 point FL001A The Flash you’ll see that he moves much farther and has a better chance of hitting because of his ability to use Probability Control on himself. This is also one of the few instances where I think it’s really nice for this character to have Force Blast. I can just imagine him flinging opposing support figures off rooftops or into walls. And let’s be honest, 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection is pretty damn impressive for someone at his point level.
GRADE: 4Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: He’s been growing on me. I still don’t like that his Attack Value never exceeds “meh,” but his Damage Special (FAST ENOUGH TO TRY AGAIN:Quicksilver can use Probability Control, but only to reroll his own rolls.) means that he gets two shots at every attack roll. And an 18 Defense with ES/D is EXTREMELY good for any figure under 80 Points. He’s never going to do much damage, but at 63 Points he’s always going to be a Secondary Attacker at most. But depending on how you construct your army, he might even just be a third attacker on a 300 Point squad. And he’s perfect for that.
GRADE: 3 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45 Points — Mass Market Rare:
HypeFox Says: So, we’ve already mentioned this guy three or four times, so you probably had an inkling that he’d be good. I think he’s possibly Meta, although he necessitates building an Avengers Themed Team around him. His Trait is great (I STILL BELIEVE IN HEROES:If Nick Fury is part of an Avengers Themed Team and has the lowest point value character on your starting force, he can use Leadership and Outwit. When he uses Leadership, he is considered 300 points.), since at 45 Points he will almost ALWAYS be the lowest point value character on an Avengers Themed Team. So you don’t even really need to alter your team any to fit him in, and in a 300 Point game his Leadership is guaranteed to work on whoever he’s next to as long as you make the roll. On top of that, since he has Avengers Initiative, his Outwit sees through Hindering Terrain!!
Oh, and speaking of rolls, Fury 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.) gives him a 33% chance to just completely wreck your opponent’s day. Remember how we mentioned how one-sided some of the Avengers Assemble! Traits were on the figures in this set? Well, if YOU suddenly get to make the choice for your opponent, those AA Traits become stratospherically better!
On top of all that, he has Willpower, Shape Change, Stealth and a native 3 Damage. This is a great package for just 45 Points.
GRADE: 4 and 1/2Oxygen Filtration Masks
Ninwashui Says: He is really only viable on an Avengers Themed Team, but if you’re playing one, he is almost an auto-include if you have the points. Even if your not using his Attack Special because you’re running him with non-AoU Avengers, just the fact that he gives you a working Leadership and Outwit while also being a competent Tertiary Attacker is pretty amazing. I’m not sure if Avengers Themed Teams will start showing up at major tournaments, but if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll be running this Nick Fury.
GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks
AAOU016 Baron Strucker — 95 Points — Mass Market Rare:
Ninwashui Says: And finally we come to my top Want from this set. Sporting a creative and efficient dial, Baron Strucker is capable of changing a game just by himself. Like AAOU001 Iron Man, he can make himself a small army with just a few power actions via his Special Attack Power (WE LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM…:Give Baron Strucker a power action if there are less than 4 friendly characters with the Test Subject keyword on the map. When you do, place a friendly AAOU004 Test Subject from outside the game on the map within 6 squares of him.). Unlike Iron Man, when Baron Strucker’s army dies, his Trait (THEIR SACRIFICE ENSURES OUR FUTURE:When a friendly character with the Test Subject keyword is KO’d put an Evolution token on Baron Strucker’s card. Modify Baron Strucker’s combat values +1 for every two Evolution tokens on his card.) ensures that the Baron gets stronger! Keep in mind that for a 95 Point piece, he was already sitting on some pretty good stats to begin with. Several of his Clicks sport a 10 Attack Value with 4 Damage. Now imagine if that got pumped up to a 13 Attack and 7 Damage–those are Hulk Smash numbers!
And he has Mastermind, so, depending on how you place your Test Subjects, it’ll be damn near impossible for most of your opponents NOT to KO some Test Subjects along the way to Baron Strucker, unless their pieces are just dripping with Precision Strike. And you get all this for just 1/3 of your 300 Point Build!!
I am already dreaming of playing this guy with DP054 Arnim Zola for some friendly Mind Control shenanigans or IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0 to turn those Test Subjects into Claymore mines. Oh, the destruction I’ll wreak…
GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks
HypeFox Says: This is the piece I was referencing in my AAOU001 Iron Man writeup. Whereas the Iron Legion pieces have to come into play all the way back at your Starting Zone, Strucker here can place his Test Subjects wherever the hell he likes within a 6-Square radius! Think about how useful that is! Can’t get through that wall and into the room where your opponent is trying to heal his Primary Attacker back to full? Boom–now there’s a Test Subject adjacent to his healer. Who can make an attack on that same healer THIS TURN!! This ability is kind of like Deadpool’s Sheep Gun Word Balloon, only it’s about a thousand times more useful.
If Strucker’s Dial was crap except for that power, he’d still be good. But he’s got a great dial, and he gets stronger for every Test Subject that’s killed! You just need to get this man some Willpower!
I hate to say it again, but this is another near-Meta piece for me. More importantly, he’s going to be poop-tons of fun at house games…
HypeFox Says: Sort of a disappointing Chase, especially since we know we’re getting a comic version of the Hulkbuster armor one piece at a time in the Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. boosters this summer. But beyond that, his dial seems much more like a 200-250 Point character; at 300, you’re really only playing him in fun, epic games where you think you’re gonna run into other big’uns.
His AA Trait is actually pretty good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!:Once per turn, when Hulkbuster hits one or more characters with a close combat attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Modify Hulkbuster’s defense value by +2 until your next turn or Hulkbuster may make a close combat attack as a free action against a hit target, modifying his attack value by -2 for the attack.), but his other Trait (DESIGNED TO PUT YOU DOWN, BRUCE:At the beginning of the game for all characters with this trait, choose an opposing character with :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:. That character can’t ignore pushing damage or have its combat values increased.) and his Defense Special Power (SHE IS BUILT TO FIGHT THE BIG ONES:Hulkbuster can use Invincible. When Hulkbuster is hit by an attack from a character with the :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:, modify that’s character’s damage value by -1 for the attack.)are geared specifically towards putting down Giant-sized or Colossal figures, Team Bases or Vehicles. If you’re playing 1000 Point Brawl where those figures are allowed, he’s well worth his Points. If you’re playing almost any other format, you probably overpayed for this dial by at least 50 Points.
His Rookie version is a little bit better, if only because it’s 75 Points cheaper. You lose two really good Clicks, but you’re also closer to his Hypersonic slots.
These pieces are slight misfires for me.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)
Ninwashui Says: I have to agree. You should only play this guy if you know in advance that you have a good shot at facing Giants or Team Bases–and even then I’m not sure that he’ll win that fight. Against Colossals, you’d do much better playing AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man.
It’s not that this guy can’t win; it’s just that he’s a close combat piece that’s likely to get shot crossing the board and his combat values don’t hold up like they do with AAOU008 Hulk. He is also yet another figure above 200 points with no Outwit protection of any kind.
GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)
AAOU018 Ultron Prime — 250/125 Points — Mass Market Chase:
Ninwashui Says: At 250 points there won’t be much room for support (other than maybe an AAOU007 Ultron Sentry) He can use Energy Explosion with 3 Bolts, but he doesn’t have Running Shot until his third Click. Until then, he’s stuck with Charge or Hypersonic Speed with a 9 Attack. Not horrible, but not worth 250 Points, either.
He’s meant to be a close combat figure and just like AAOU008 Hulk he will have a hard time crossing the board without being weakened (this seems to be a Chase theme this set!). And he’s 250 Points with no Outwit protection (another Chase theme!), only an 18 starting Defense Value and no Stop Clicks. Again, Transport Symbol is really wasted points here, unless you’re in love with low Attack Values for some reason.
His Experienced dial is a little better just by virtue of being able to pack in a lot more compatible supporting figs. His actual power set is still mostly incompatible (and, again, no Running Shot ’til Click 3), and Transport Symbol is still wasted here.
GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)
HypeFox Says: I think I like him a little better than you do. Yes, he does not have an efficient power mix, but he’s not a pushover, either, and his Trait (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING:Once per game, when Ultron Prime is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 5 – 6 place this character in your starting area on its blue starting line.) gives him a 33% chance to come back and haunt your opponent all over again.
That Trait works even better on his Experienced dial, since it brings him back all the way to his Starting Line.
GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)
Alrighty! There you have it–the longest article (by word count) we’ve ever published! We hope you enjoyed this look into Avengers: Age of Ultron, and make sure to come back for our Starter Review!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!
I’ve been looking forward to this set for several reasons, none more so than the fact that the first Mass Market Avengers Movie Set is what got me back into Clix in the first place (bought a few on a whim–pulled a Loki Chase in my first pack and was hooked!).
A few quick notes before we get into the individual figures:
–We only really know the top dial for each character so far. That’s why we’re not handing out grades yet. This is strictly a preview/spoiler.
–Most of the core Avengers from the first film have a common Trait called Avengers Assemble! The effects vary with each character, but usually it makes your opponent choose between two effects every time your Avenger hits one or more of his characters. For example, Iron Man makes your opponent choose between letting you summon an Iron Legion figure or pumping up the Defense Value of all your friendly characters by +1. Not bad. Hawkeye’s is straight filthy (borderline broken!), but we’ll get to him in due time.
So, with that in mind, here is a list of figures that we know of so far, with some armchair analysis from yours truly:
001 Iron Man (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: He can be played at 250 or 185 Points. This seems to essentially be another version of ol’ Shellhead circa Iron Man 3, except they were able to give him some Traits and Special Powers (like “The House Party Protocol” and “The Clean Slate Protocol”) that may have been spoilers had this piece come out in that set. This Iron Man should play a little like Chaos War Gravity Feed Ultron in that Tony Stark can summon “Iron Legion” drones pretty easily.
He’s also a Transporter, which gives the 250-point version a top dial option of either Hypersonic Speed with a 10 Attack or a 12 Attack Running Shot that can cover 13 squares. And while he has no Improved Targeting, his Avengers Initiative Team Ability will let him bust Stealth all day long!
250 Points is almost your entire squad, but if you call in a few members of the Iron Legion to start the game, suddenly it’ll be a lot harder to out action you.
002 Iron Legion (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: Another holdover from Iron Man 3, this is basically one of the “empty shells” that Tony calls to his aid for the climax of that movie. It’s okay for its 50 point cost, but the fact that you can call them into play (depending on what you roll, it’ll either come in at full strength or on its yellow dial) for the cost of one power action if you’re playing Iron Man makes them an awesome bargain. His top dial has Running Shot (albeit with just a 5 Range), Toughness, 10 Attack, 3 native Damage and Enhancement. Plus Indomitable. Solid piece.
003 Captain America (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: He’s available for 125 or 80 Points, and he’s about what you’d expect: a competent close combatant. He has some vulnerability at range, but he’s got some tricks up his sleeve for opposing swarm teams. A solid close combat piece.
004 Test Subject (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: A 30-Point generic that’s comes with what are essentially 3 different dials, all of which offer at least something useful for his Points.
005 Thor (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: A brick that can pack a punch from range at either the 200 or 150 Point level. At some point on his dial he gets Energy Explosion, Pulse Wave or Penetrating/Psychic Blast. A little reminiscent of his AvX version, except with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability, this Thor can obliterate Stealthed foes as well.
006 Hydra Soldier (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: 60 Point foot soldier with the always useful Hydra Team ability and absolutely no Range Value of his own. Strange. For hardcore Hydra teams only.
007 Ultron Sentry (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: Basically the evil version of Iron Legion, this a drone that Ultron himself should be able to bring into being. Nothing too exciting.
008 Hulk (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)
Analysis: We don’t know how many clicks this Hulk has, but it’s probably a lot. He dial comes in 3 sizes too: 300, 250 or 200 Points. He’s Giant Sized with no Range, so his Avengers Initiative Team Ability is almost wasted. But as much as any figure in this set, Hulk will really be made or broken by the values and length of the rest of his dial.
009 Hawkeye (Rare to Core Hobby)
Analysis: The figure of the set. He’s got the best Avengers Assemble! Trait (either all hit characters are dealt an additional 1 Unavoidable Damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye doesn’t get an action token. Holy smokes, he’s good!!), he’s rocking a top dial of 8 Range with 3 Bolts, Sharpshooter, Sidestep, Stealth, Precision Strike, Willpower and 3 Damage! Triple Bolt Precision Strike WITH Avengers Intiative TA equals a bad day for your opponent! Plus, when he’s making a Range Combat attack, he pumps his Attack Value by +1 for each target (Yup! That means he can potentially have a 13 Attack!!). And, if he targets someone and hits them but decides to deal damage elsewhere, he can still give that hit character an action token. Genius!! All this for 94 Points!
When Chaos War Hawkeye was retired last year, I didn’t think we’d ever see his like again. Not only have we seen his like again, but it’s ANOTHER freaking Hawkeye!! Wizkids must hate Green Arrow…
This is the biggest Meta-baiting piece in the set that I have seen so far…
010 Scarlet Witch (Rare to Core Hobby)
Analysis: Finally an Avenger without the broken Avengers Assemble Trait. Sheesh! She’s only 55 Points, and, as you might expect, she’s a complete supporting piece, with Perplex top dial and Probability Control down dial.
011 Vision (Rare to Core Hobby)
Analysis: This is one of the coolest Vision sculpts ever. Having said that, he has NO Traits or Special Powers of any kind, so he’s kinda hard to judge until we get a look at his full dial.
012 Ultron Mk 1 (Rare to Core Hobby)
Analysis: A solid piece that can be played at 120 or 65, depending on circumstances. This figure also has a chance to resurrect itself once per game. 4 Damage top dial is niiiiiiiiice.
017 Hulkbuster (Core Hobby Chase)
Analysis: Your choice of either 300 or 225 Points of ass-whoop. He’s got a cool, unique sculpt, and his Avengers Assemble! Trait is almost as good. He’s a big can of beef that’s designed to take on other kinds of beef. Against other giant characters, he’s pretty fantastic. Against ordinary characters, not as much.
Some Final Notes:
Based on what we know, we are expecting the Target/Mass Market Rares to include:
–Baron Strucker (90% confident on this one)
–Black Widow (95% sure on this)
–Nick Fury (60% confident)
–Ultron Prime is probably the Mass Market Chase, but there’s a chance he could merely be another Mass Market Rare and that the Red Skull will be the Chase. We shall see!
Well, thanks for checking in with us! We’ll revisit this set (along with the Starter, which WizKids has officially started spoiling) in April!
Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!!
“THIS is what can happen when you ‘Imagine Dragons!'”
Welcome to Part 2 of our fourth “The Build” column! For information on the game I was building for and the thought process behind why I chose the army I did, click here.
And now that you’re all caught up, Let’s Get Fightin’!!
“Oh look, my shirt’s off again.”
WXM038 Legion – 119
(Assigned a Fragment)
AVX014 Magneto – 200
(Assigned a Fragment)
WXM016 Cyclops – 94
WXM045 Phoenix – 154
(Assigned a Fragment)
The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3
(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)
=600 (Exactly! Nice job, bro!)
I honestly don’t remember how Ninwashui had his Frags arranged; as it would turn out, it didn’t really matter.
We began by tying on map roll; we rerolled, and I took it. I chose the K’un Lun map. We each advanced slightly on our first turns; on turn two, I unleashed Sentry and Void and Hawkeye (with Mockingbird backing him up for the additional +1 to Attack), and Cyclops was pretty much dead in short order. Ninwa retaliated by having Legion choose good supporting powers like Perplex with his Trait (HIDDEN PERSONALITIES:Give Legion a free action and choose a standard power, then roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. He acquires a “Personality Quirk” from the table below, and uses that and the standard power until your next turn.1: “Cowardly” Legion modifies his attack value by -2.2: “Confused” Legion modifies his speed and defense values by -1.3: “Grounded” Legion can use Earthbound/Neutralized.4: “Enraged” Legion can use Battle Fury.5: “Compassionate” Immediately heal all adjacent characters 1 click.6: “Savant” Legion modifies his combat values by +1. Choose another standard power and he can also use that power.), and then he hit a Running Shot on Sentry and Void for 5 damage straight through (via her Penetrating/Psychic Blast)! Ouch! After this, though, 2 things happened.
First, I got slightly more conservative with my Sentry and Void placement. Second… poor Ninwashui never hit another roll (at least not after one of my Theme Team Probs or Scarlet Witch’s native Prob). The biggest insult to Ninwa came when he sent Legion on a Hypersonic run at Rookie Mockingbird just to pick up SOME points from the match. I believe at that point he needed a 7 to just straight up KO her; instead, he rolled yet another 3. This ended up as a 600-0 squash, which was not at all where I thought we were headed after the first couple turns.
WHAT I LEARNED:
–I went to the trouble of assigning the Cyclops Fragment to Sentry and Void, and then NEVER used it the whole day. That was a major mistake. It didn’t really cost me, but it wasn’t until the whole tournament was over that I realized that I could have been using RCE IN ADDITION to the bonuses provided by the Phoenix Dial, of which I was much more mindful. Don’t know if it would have made a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I’m sure I took a few second actions with Sentry and Void’s Multi-attack where I was just firing away without using any of the RCE bonuses. Boo hiss on me.
—Phoenix was potent offensively, especially in her first 3 clicks, but when she missed her Shape Change roll, Sentry and Void pretty much vaporized her over the course of the next couple turns. Her dial feels like it should be more in the 14o or so point range, which may not seem like a huge difference from the 154 she costs now, but those extra few points actually close of a lot of different build possibilities. I really like this piece, but I’ve never seen her take over a game to the extent that it seems like she should be able to (whether I was playing her or playing against her).
—Legion was a real surprise for me. He was extremely useful, even if Ninwashui rolled Battle Fury about 7 out of 10 times. He’s a figure I enjoyed playing against, even if he was really hard to plan for from turn to turn.
—WXM016 Cyclops is not a bad figure–he just got eaten up in this environment. For the extra six points, I’d probably prefer the Experienced AvX version, but I know Ninwashui has had terrible luck with that fig, so it didn’t surprise me that he went with a different Cyclops this month.
–200 Point AvX Magneto is good… unless he’s facing a 98 Point Chaos War Hawkeye. With the Phoenix Force slot I was starting on, Hawkeye basically had a 13 Attack, and if I could maneuver Mockingbird into a square adjacent to the one I wanted Hawkeye to end up in during a Running Shot, his attack zoomed up to a 14. This was huge in a couple games, because Magneto’s Defense is really hard to crack. It’s 18 with ES/D to start, and most people who played him gave him a Fragment and left the Colossus Fragment on the resource base, which meant that even if you hit him, Mags had access to BOTH Invuln and his native Invincible (while you can’t use two reducers at the same time, that meant that even if you Outwitted Invincible, he’d still be subtracting 2 from any non-penetrating damage). But after 3 damage, that defense drops from 18 to 16, which is much easier to touch (even with his Traited ES/D still in effect). So I had basically planned on using Hawkeye as a “bunker-buster” this tournament, Perplexing his Damage to 4 and hitting Mags for 2 on Hawkeye’s first attack and 2 more on his second in any game where I saw Buckethead. Didn’t QUITE work out that way this game (ending up targeting Cyclops first), but Hawkeye was still a straight beast. As the build total went up each month, Hawkeye only got better. His Wildcard TA (Spider-Man) meant that his effectiveness would grow as his supporting cast grew. In this build, AvX Scarlet Witch gave him Mystics TA on my opponent’s turns and IM3 Tony Stark gave him Avengers Initiative, one of the best TA’s in the game, which essentially let him target Stealthed figures.
“Eat $#!%, Green Arrow. If anyone deserves a show on the CW, it’s–wait, the CW? I don’t want a show on the CW! You know what? Eat you heart out, Oliver.”
All in all, CW039 Hawkeye was pound-for-pound my best performer in Month 4. He’s a 5-Star figure on HCRealms, and he was worth every point I spent to play him. He’s that rare figure who’s really damn good in a multitude of point builds.
VERSUS: A (Venue Regular–see below!)
Shiny Happy Avengers.
M10A009 Iron Man – 225
FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50
(Assigned a Fragment)
AvX003 Thor – 200
(Assigned a Fragment)
CW039 Hawkeye – 98
The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3
(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)
=600 (I believe that’s how Andrew had his Fragments set–if I’m wrong, I apologize Andrew. A smart man might have taken better notes, but here we are…)
My second opponent is A, a regular at our venue, Comics & More, and he is a high-level player. While he’s certainly capable of putting together some killer team builds, what he really excels at in my opinion is in-game strategy–specifically, adapting what his team does best to the conditions and positioning on the battlefield. I’ve gone against him several times with what I thought (at least at the time) were better teams only to watch as he picked me apart piece by piece. He also seems to enjoy finding some of the quirkier corners of the game and is a master at using Perplex to get most of his key pieces up to absurdly high Defense levels.
I was very nervous going into this game because A had defeated me with a similar version of this team (he added Hawkeye and the resource, and powered down Scarlet Witch from 75 to 50 Points) in Month 3. I just did not know what I was going to do about M10 Iron Man–I had been praying that I wouldn’t play against one, as both my main AND secondary attacker were using Phoenix Fragments.
I seem to recall that A won Map Roll; regardless of who did, we ended up fighting on the surface of the Moon. A brought his fully powered M10 Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye to the center of the map, setting Hawkeye down in Hindering Terrain. On my turn, I used “No More Mutants” to get rid of his Scarlet Witch’s Mystics TA (so that his Hawkeye couldn’t copy it anymore), then I ran my standard Hawkeye/Mockingbird play and–after Wildcarding Avengers Initiative–smacked his Hawkeye for 3, even though he was Stealthed. Sentry and Void then went to work–and missed twice, after A used up half of his Theme Team probs. Dang.
He countered back by taking out Tony Stark (bye-bye AI TA), but I came right back with Sentry and Void and used Multi-attack to finish off his Hawkeye and get a big blast in on Thor (at that point, I believe my dial had turned to the +1 to Damage, so that hit was about 6 damage straight through). Meanwhile, Mockingbird had tied up M10 Iron Man and even got a hit in with her CCE. Looking at the board, A actually used his Scarlet Witch to attack Sentry and Void–and hit! Then Thor went for the Pulse Wave against Sentry and Void. He needed an 8 at that point I believe to do 5-6 damage, which would have put Sentry and Void on one of its last clicks. He rolled the dice… and he missed! Whew. M10 Iron Man hit his own Pulse Wave, but with both Mockingbird and Hawkeye within range, he only did 1 damage to each.
On my next turn, Sentry and Void finished off his Thor and Scarlet Witch. A took out Mockingbird, but at this point the match simply became about whittling M10 Iron Man’s Adaptive Armor (ADAPTIVE ARMOR:When Iron Man would take damage from a character assigned a relic or resource, Iron Man ignores that damage and rolls a d6. On a result of 1-3, deal Iron Man 1 unavoidable damage. This ability can’t be ignored.) down with Sentry and Void, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye. M10 Iron Man lasted FOREVER, but couldn’t really muster any offense, and eventually Andrew missed enough rolls that he was KO’d–he just got out-actioned too badly at that point since it was 3-1. Still, it took forever–A made enough rolls to really flummox my troops with that Trait for a while there.
600-175 (I want to say that he killed Scarlet Witch, and I know he KO’d Tony Stark and Mockingbird. So we’ll go with 175. Yes, I know, a smarter man would have taken better notes!!)
WHAT I LEARNED:
–M10 Iron Man can be dealt with even by figures assigned Resources or Relics, but you need to be EXTREMELY patient and you REALLY need to take out his supporting figs first. Just like Silver Centurion brings his own secondary attacker with his Pulse Bolt Torpedo, M10 Iron Man really sort of brings his own Support team with top dial Perplex and Mid-Dial Outwit to go with his Adaptive Armor Trait.
The scariest “gently-swaying -in-the-jetstream” piece in the whole tournament!
–AvX Thor is great… until he gets hit. Outwit and Pen/Psy are his main weaknesses (aren’t they everyone’s main weakness?). His attack and damage output are great, but his native defense never rises over a 17. A Psychic Blast for even 3 damage can burn through 100 Points of clicks in one hit. That’s why I like his 100 Point dial better than his 200 Point Dial, incidentally.
–A assigned the Emma Frost Fragment to the Scarlet Witch, which was very clever. Most people play the 75-Point version just for her Telekinesis; A realized he could get that TK just by paying about 6 additional Points (3 for the Fragment and 3 for assigning that Fragment to her).
–A brief note about IM3 Tony Stark. For 50 Points, just the fact that he gives you Outwit and Enhancement with 17 Defense and Willpower is pretty damn good. That he can be promoted AND the fact that he provides Avengers Initiative to all your Wildcards is just gravy. One of my favorite pieces from the IM3 set, definitely.
VERSUS: B, (another Venue regular and my nemesis from Month 2!)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Nemesis is used rather loosely here, as Comics & More is a pretty friendly environment. Just thought I’d throw that out there.)
(DEADPOOL NOTE: Regarding the Editor’s Note above:
“We’ve waited 2 extra days already for this recap. How about you GET ON WITH IT?!”
End of DeadPool note.)
WXM032 Bishop -140
(Assigned a Fragment)
AVX014 Magneto – 200
(Assigned a Fragment)
AVX010 Emma Frost – 125
WXM209 Jean Grey – 100
(Assigned a Fragment)
The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3
(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)
=598 (I wish I could remember who had what Fragment; alas, this is my best guess recreation–B, if you’re reading this, go ahead and let me know what I screwed up in the Comments!)
B is another great local player who’d done well in previous AvX tourneys, so I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. His teams are usually pretty innovative, and like A, he enjoys exploring some of the weirder sides of team building. Having said that, this was a downright normal team for him, and after Map Choice was decided (he won, and we ended up back in K’un Lun), he moved his force up and sat Magneto in one of the printed Hindering Terrain squares on the first level. I countered with my “Hawkeye” bunker buster strategy and conglomerated around the other bit of printed Hindering Terrain that was just a few squares away from the one Mags was in and hit (albeit only for a small amount–only 1-2 damage) to open up the attacking, and we were off and running! On his turn, he started maneuvering the rest of his team into the fray, and I followed that by continuing to chip away at Magneto with Hawkeye and Sentry and Void. Soon I scored the KO on Mags (along with the early advantage), but it cost me Tony Stark (who I’d moved forward to counter Mags’s Invincible).
The tables started to turn my opponents way, and soon he had KO’d Scarlet Witch and Mockingbird as well, and while I had damaged just about everyone but Bishop, I hadn’t KO’d anyone else. Jean Grey was showing Support at that point, so I took her out with Sentry and Void, but it left him in a precarious position, and B. took advantage of that by plugging him for a decent chunk of damage. Eventually I managed to take out Emma Frost, but it cost me Sentry and Void when B. countered with a pretty Phoenix’d out Bishop. At that point the dial was showing +2 to all stats plus Hypersonic Speed.
The end of the game came down to Hawkeye still on first click and the Phoenix Force providing him with +2 to Attack and Hypersonic Speed, which was perfect because Bishop was down to either his last click or his second to last click, and trying to hit him from range was just asking for trouble. My opponent moved Bishop to temporary safety, and I had to move across the map to get into position for a Hypersonic strike, which I did… right as the Judge called time. As I went second to start the game, that meant that the game ended with my last move that turn. B. almost didn’t realize he had won, and announced that he was clearing Bishop. I almost had to shake him to tell him he’d won.
It was an extremely close match, and I can’t say for certain I would have come out on top even if time hadn’t ended. The way things sat, I would have needed about a 5 to KO Bishop with a close combat HSS strike (Hawkeye’s modified attack at that point was 14 while Bishop’s modified Defense was 19 (16 +2 from the resource plus resource granted Perplex +1 =19). Certainly not impossible, but not a gimme either.
I came close, but B’s team (or more accurately, his skilled play) turned out to be too much for me. He won the tourney; with about 1658 points (out of a possible 1798 or something like that), I finished 2nd, leaving me with finishes of 2, 1, 2 and 2 for the whole event. The Judge assigned Player Points to every competitor each month based on attendance, points earned and final place.
With the Month Four win, B… finished ONE Player Point behind me. It really could not have been any closer. He played a great game, had a great four months, and had he taken the top prize, he certainly would have been worthy. Congrats to him for winning the month and go home with a Phoenixbuster Iron Man (who may make some noise at a ROC–this isn’t the last you’ll here of Peanut Butter PB Iron Man).
“Hey, HypeFox–you missed me, @$$hole.”
WHAT I LEARNED:
–Bishop plus the Phoenix Force is pretty damn formidable. His Trait (TIMESLIDE:Once per game, give Bishop a double power action to use Phasing/Teleport. When you do, he can use Probability Control until your next turn, and after actions resolve, you may give him a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) can completely shift the balance of power in a game if used judiciously.
–Sentry and Void is sick and wrong, especially in a Build format where he has enough points left to field a pretty good support squad. Multi-attack has been slightly nerfed in the last year or so, but it’s still so powerful that you ONLY TEND TO SEE IT ON COLOSSALS WHO ARE MORE THAN 500 POINTS! A regular fig who’s 300 even? That’s still really good. Even Dark Phoenix Cyclops at 300 Points doesn’t have Multi-attack!
–WXM Gravity Feed Jean Grey is damn good!
–Going in, I thought Emma Frost would be a pain to deal with, but she ended up being beatable every month I played her. While she could be a pest with her Mind Control and Outwit, I mostly left her alone whenever I played her until most of her teammates were gone. She didn’t wasn’t as formidable as I thought she would be going in.
And now, after four months of blood sweat and tears of playing Heroclix:
Blocky, The Forgotten Go-Bot.
Take it easy everyone, and thanks for your patience. Back next week with some new stuff, including a final wrap-up of AvX wherein we’ll rate the best and worst pieces (now that we finally know the whole set), and keep an eye out for the Top 1o Deadpool figures, which should definitely drop before the end of the month!
“WHO’S behind me? Psh. Yeah, like I’d fall for that again.”
Annnnnnnd, welcome back! This is the Build 4, where I run down my options for a specific game build, choose one, and then take you through how my choices turned out during the event itself! As you might have guessed from the picture above, today we’ll be talking about Avengers Versus X-Men: Month 4, where Phoenixbuster Iron Man and Dark Phoenix Cyclops will be up for grabs!!
Okay!! Leading into the last month of AvX, I’ve finished 2nd, 1st (click here and here for Build coverage of Month 2!) and 2nd respectively at the first three AvX tourneys, so I’m in the running for the Dark Phoenix Cyclops overall grand prize along with Ninwashui and a couple others at my venue! So I’ve got to come up with something awesome! Here we go!
The Game: AvX Month 4
The Stipulations: 600 Points, Modern Age. Must use at least one figure from an AvX starter; the rest of your army must share a keyword with that figure (I have the Avengers starter). Only Phoenix Force Relics and Resources are allowed (but we don’t yet have access to the Magik Fragment; that final piece is one of the participation prizes for this month, so the Phoenix Force can have a maximum of 4 Fragments).
My first idea was to go back to what won me Month 2 (which was really Month 1, yadayadayada)–a “Mystical” Theme Team:
“I’d like your resource better if it glowed blue, but I’ll take it all the same.”
Team: Loki Charms
IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110
AVM211 Loki – 201
(Assigned Cyclops Fragment)
AVX006E Scarlet Witch – 100
IIM040 Shaman – 92
(with Alpha Flight ATA)
Thule Society Priest – 21
Astral Dr. Strange – 13
(Smoke Cloud version)
Astral Dr. Strange – 13
(Smoke Cloud Version)
The Phoenix Force – 12 + 9
(With the Colossus, Namor & Emma Frost Fragments Attached)
=600 (Exactly! Woo-hoo!)
What I Like About This Team:
I love playing Iron Pharaoh. I almost always have good results with him, and I need a good result this month. And I really like playing the Pharaoh with Shaman, even when many of Shaman’s potential “No Flight” victims will still fly just fine with the Phoenix Force, at least I’d take away their ability to Carry. Plus, I’m bound to run into some flyers who won’t be assigned a Fragment, right? Additionally, with the Alpha Flight ATA, there are matchups (against a team of, say, X-Men) where Shaman is going to sport an 11 Attack, 3 Damage and 7 Range top dial before he evens decides on what he wants to do with his Perplex. That’s not a bad tertiary attacker.
AVM Loki is a beast. He just needs a little help with finding a way to move and attack in the same turn (for just how beastly he gets with the Phoenix Force, click here). The Priest is just there for tie-up fodder/Prob Control, and the Astral Dr. Stranges are ridiculously meddlesome for just 13 points apiece. Plus, every attack my opponent wastes on one of them is one not directed at the Pharaoh or Loki.
With a +7 (!) to Map Roll, this team was pretty well rounded with two big hitters and a TON of trickeration. With 2 different characters (the Pharaoh and Loki) possessing some sort of special Mind Control and 6 Theme Probs to go with the Scarlet Witch’s native Prob (and with Shaman, Loki and Thule Society Priest all able to pick up Prob down dial), my opponents will probably be rerolling a LOT. Loki charms, indeed.
What I Don’t Like About This Team:
Not much. It’s pretty well-rounded, and even if Loki goes down I’ve still got some decent damage dealing pieces left. One thing that irked me with this build is not being able to give the Cyke Fragment to Iron Pharaoh. I’d like this army a whole lot better if I had access to all 5 Fragments. I’d dump the Alpha Flight ATA and add in Iron Pharaoh as an Assigned Character. Then he’d be able to shoot for at least 5 damage through his Falcon AND Loki could still have Running Shot (because the Phoenix Force would still start on the “3 Attached Fragments” tier of its dial). This may be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water, but the thought of Iron Pharaoh with that Cyclops Fragment teaming with a Running Shot-capable Loki would haunt me every game. It’s a little, stupid thought, but it would have the potential to linger in my mind and nag and distract me during each game–and I’m not nearly a good enough player to win against good players while I’m distracted.
So I was kind of uneasy about this army until my prep for this Build took a dramatic turn on Easter. My brother presented me with a special gift (yeah, me and my bro still do a small gift exchange–we’re dorks like that, but, since you’re reading a blog dedicated to ‘Clixin’, you probably already surmised that) in the monstrous form of…
… The Chaos War Chase piece Sentry and Void!!
In addition to being probably my favorite character created in the Modern era of comics, the Sentry is also usually an Avenger, so I’d been dying to play him in some form during this tournament. Well, when I received Sentry and Void, I knew I’d have to go out of my way to include him somehow. I grabbed his card praying that he’d have a keyword in common with one of the AvX Starter figures. I knew he’d probably have the Dark Avengers keyword, which wouldn’t really help me, but maybe he’d have a Mystical keyword too. It was a long shot, but then I turned his card over to its front side and had a look. There it was!! The very first keyword:
A selfie I took the second I found out that Sentry and Void has the Avengers keyword.
Not only does Rob Reynolds and his Dark Half have Hypersonic Speed and Multi-attack, but he also has… the AVENGERS keyword! This is both Awe and Some!!
And, somehow fitting, I think. Forget these namby-pamby generic keywords! This is Avengers Vs. X-Men–and come hell or high water, I’m gonna play an Avengers Theme Team, dammit (EDITOR’S NOTE: This sort of pretentiously righteous team-building bravado is made MUCH easier by being able to field a 300-point monster like Sentry and Void. At the event itself, when I turned in my Build card, the Judge casually wondered if I’d left my soul at home when he saw Sentry and Void on the list. And really, it was a fair question.) !
No more bad thoughts tugging at my brain of what could have been; I’m building everything around Sentry and Void!
“Calm down, bud! Hawkeye’s actually on your team!”
Team: A Void and the Noid
CW057 Sentry and Void – 300 (A Void)
(Assigned the Cyclops Fragment)
CW039 Hawkeye – 98 (The Noid)
(Assigned the Emma Frost Fragment)
AVX006E Scarlet Witch – 100
FFCW005R Mockingbird – 25
IM3006 Tony Stark – 50
The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3
(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)
=600 (Exactly! Again! Woo-hoo!)
What I Like About This Team:
Hmmm… well, I like that I get to play a ridiculously overpowered Chase piece AND assign the Phoenix Force to him. Annnnnnd I like that I get to back him up with that Chaos War Hawkeye, who has ridiculous offensive potential when you combine him with that rookie Mockingbird and the Phoenix Force resource (if I position my team correctly, when the time comes for him to take his first shot every game, he’ll take it with a 14 Attack–that’s AWESOME!). Scarlet Witch provides a ton of Support herself, and Tony Stark gives the team an Outwit that can see through Hindering Terrain, Enhancement and the Avengers Initiative Team Ability so that Hawkeye can see through Hindering himself! Plus, I’ll get a +5 to Map Roll AND five Theme Probs. Not bad!
What I Don’t Like About This Team:
Even with the Theme Probs, I don’t have a ton of trickeration (ie support powers), so if Hawkeye and Sentry and Void start missing, I could be in trouble. Additionally, Experienced AvX Scarlet Witch is no slouch in the attack department, but as a tertiary attacker in a 600 point game, she makes me nervous (her Precision Strike should help that though). Still, though… I’d get to play Sentry and Void!!
Alrighty then! I have my team, and everything is up for grabs! To find out how this team performed, what I learned and what I earned (if anything)…
Little known Keanu Reeves movie. You can find more info on Keanu’s IMDB page under the heading “Oh, God, this was actually a thing?”
TUNE IN TOMORROW for The Build 4: Part 2!!
(Yeah, I’m a #$%^ like that. But you won’t have to wait long, I promise!)