It’s Mighty’s Thor’s World; We’re Just Living in It! (Or, All The Mighty Thor Coverage I Could Fit Into One Post!!)

Mighty Thor Banner

Welcome back!!

I’ve been on vacation, gotten a cold and have been grinding away at some day job work drama since our last article. So I’ve been gone a minute.

But I’ve had a bunch to say about TMT, and, frankly, there’s so much to talk about with this set that a normal Top Ten column won’t cover everything (but we’re still going to do one, so sit tight–soon, soon!!).

Today, we’re going to break this set down into some random categories (chosen by me, natch) and talk about some of the hits and misses from this set.

BEST HEALER:

Jane Foster

TMT022 Jane Foster30 PointsUncommon: Back in the day (circa, oh, say 2012-2013), Donald Blake ruled the Meta scene (okay, maybe not “ruled,” but still… ) as the best Support-equipped supporting piece in the game. 33 Points got you an 11 Attack with Support, which made it extremely likely you could heal your pieces back to top dial. Donald even had a Movement Special on clicks 2-4 that let him turn into Chaos War Thor, too. And wit the Avengers keyword, he fit on a lot of teams.

Fast forward roughly five years, and WizKids has decided that, apparently, DONALD BLAKE WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH!! What?!?!

Jane Foster costs three points less, has one less click of life and and even worse Defense Value (15 to Blake’s 16). Buuuuuuut… she also comes packing Defend, so on her first two clicks, she will ALWAYS hit on just a six or more! Donald’s 11 Attack only hits a 17 Defense with that same roll.

Okay, so she’s a good healer, but what else? Well, first, she’s not a good healer, she’s a GREAT healer! Why? Cuz she can pull off her Support tricks no matter how close your opponent gets thanks to her wonderfully flavorful Damage Special (PLEASE TRY TO HOLD STILL: Support, even if her target is adjacent to an opposing character.)!

Another problem with Donald Blake was that he could be sniped fairly easily if your opponent really needed to stop a heal. If they could hit a 16 Defense Value and deal 4 Damage, Blake was wiped off the map.

Well, Jane’s Trait makes this a LOT harder (ONLY HERE TO HELP: Opposing characters of 75 points or more can’t draw lines of fire to Jane Foster unless it is the only character on the map from that force. When an adjacent friendly character is KO’d by an opponents attack, after resolutions you may roll a D6 and replace Jane Foster with TMT #017 Thor on a click # equal to the result.).

So you can’t even target her with your Primary Attacker (or even many Secondary Attackers). Moreover, if you don’t go after her first (which we just established is kind of difficult), Jane can transform into a Goddess of Thunder–possibly on click one!

Lady Thor

Dude, I’m top dial, I got this. I’m about to deal 8 damage. By the way, I cost 30 freaking points.

Yup. You have a 16% chance to sub out your 30 Point piece for a 100 Point figure WHO CAN IMMEDIATELY ATTACK TWO DIFFERENT ENEMIES FOR 4 DAMAGE EACH!! That’s a possible gain of up to 70 points for your army in a 300 Point game! This is a huge advantage! I CAN’T STOP USING CAPS LOCK AND EXCLAMATION POINTS WHEN I TALK ABOUT THIS PIECE!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wait, she has the Asgardian keyword too?! So I can recklessly advance my title character Thor Odinson up the map for an Alpha Strike and then, if my opponent retaliates, I can just spend 1 Plot Point to immediately place Jane next to Thor and heal him EVEN IF HE’S BASED?! That’s madness!!]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yup!]

 

COMMON PIECE MOST LIKELY TO BREAK THE BANK:

Loki 002

TMT002 Loki65 + 10 Points — Common: Yes folks, we have a Common piece that’s still holding over $5 a copy on eBay more than a month after release. My Lord this was a deep set.

Loki has what has to be the best value Wizkids has ever offered us in terms of add-on Traits (GOD OF TRICKERY (+10 POINTS): During force construction, you may add two TMT #002 Loki to your starting force on the click #1 that appears after the (orange) KO. It has a 0 point value for all effects (including scoring).).

For just 10 Points, you get two REALLY GOOD copies of a 65 Point piece. Huh?! THAT’S NOT HOW MATH WORKS, DAMMIT!!

First of all, Loki and all of his copies have both Super Senses AND Shape Change, so they are a nightmare to get rid of. If Loki actually HITS a Shape Change, he gets to spawn ANOTHER version of himself. And all of these copies have a 10 Attack with Incapacitate, so be prepared to, y’know, never get to do anything on your turn except take tokens off of your army at the end of your turn whenever you’re playing this guy. Sheesh.

Considering there’s not really a hard limit to the amount of TMT002 Lokis you can have on the map at one time, people have been scooping him up on the secondary market left and right.

 

THE MOST UNDERRATED COLOSSAL: 

Frost Giant

TMTG007P FROST GIANT — 20 Points — Colossal Booster: First of all, the sculpt is cool. Second of all, HOLY CRAP HAVE YOU SEEN HIS DAMAGE SPECIAL?!?!

(ONCE YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO FEEL THEIR CHILL… YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD AND JUST DON’T KNOW IT: At the end of your turn, choose one: Give an adjacent opposing character an action token, -or- Give each adjacent opposing character that’s lower points an action token.)

Uh… what is this doing on ANY 20 Point generic, much less one THAT CAN HOP AROUND THE BOARD AND BASE ANY OPPOSING FIGURE WHO SUCCESSFULLY ATTACKED LAST TURN?!

Incapacitate isn’t the best power in the game, but it becomes REALLY freaking good if you don’t even have to roll for it!! And when you start playing two (just costs 40 Points) or three (only 60 Points) or four (still just 80 points), it gets really silly. Remember, they give action tokens AT THE END OF YOUR TURN, so you can move them 6 squares beforehand.

Yes, Carnage is borderline broken. Yes, Mangog is borderline broken. Hell, even Surtur is really, REALLY good. But generic Frost Giant is definitely the most underrated, though I suspect not for long.

 

BEST PRIME: 

TIE: 

Skurge Prime

Prime Odin

TMT029B Skurge — 125 Points — Uncommon Prime:

TMT041BE Odin the Destroyer — 175 Points — Rare Prime:

I really can’t decide, but holy crap are the Primes solid in this set. Red Leader, the Common Prime, has a lot of potential as a supporting piece and can actually resurrect under certain circumstances; Angela is a lot of fun, but I’m not sure she’s actually better than her A-side, Hela (more on this from Ninwashui soon).

But Skurge is awesome. He is a killing machine who is just SO hard to take down.  Once he throws down his Last Laugh marker granted by his Trait (I WILL STAY BEHIND AND THE LAST LAUGH WILL BE MINE: FREE: Once per game, generate a Last Laugh marker in the square Skurge occupies. As long as Skurge occupies the square with the Last Laugh marker, he modifies defense +2, takes a maximum of 1 damage from attacks, and can’t be moved or placed by opposing characters.), he becomes next to impossible to hit AND he can dish out 4-5 damage up to 7 squares away pretty consistently (his Damage Special runs almost his entire dial and gives him his choice of RCE or CCE).

For 125 Points, he is a beast.

Odin the Destroyer is an absolute monster though. I like his 175 Point level the best for a couple reasons. The first reason is pretty basic: more support is almost always better when running a tentpole.

The second is more complicated. With the recent change to Invincible (which Odin starts with on his Experienced dial), Odin is extremely tough to bring down at range with abilities Pen/Psy, since he now reduces even penetrating damage. He also can’t be Outwitted due to his Power Cosmic Team Ability. This means there’s a good chance Odin will get where he’s going without being sniped to death, which is always a concern with Close Combat pieces.

But if he can actually get his hands on an opposing figure, the pummeling can commence. His second Trait even gives him the closest thing to Multi-Attack we’re likely ever going to see going forward (INCALCULABLE MIGHT: POWER: If Odin the Destroyer has 1 action token, give him any two actions at no cost.).

 

THE TOP TEN… PIECES OF EQUIPMENT IN THE MIGHTY THOR: 

Mjolnir

  1. TMTS009 Mjolnir — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Makes so many Chargers just otherworldly good. Try It With: EW050 Superman is just 240 Points of disgusting with this, and Mistress Death is Meta when she’s holding Thor’s hammer.
  2. TMTS008 Enchanted Ball and Chain — 10 Points — Heavy Object: When you absolutely, positively need to KO every Clix in the room, accept no substitutes. Try It With: You can put EW050 Superman on crowd control duty with this thing and watch him mop up the entire map. TMT052 Hulk will literally break through walls and then destroy the room with this thing.
  3. TMTS006 Mirror of Mysolljh — 7 Points — Light Object: For 7 Points, you can give any character a “66% get out of any attack FREE” card. That’s pretty damn good, no? Try It With: Literally any piece that does not have Shape Change, but if they already have Super Senses, that’s even better.
  4. TMTS012 Casket of Ancient Winters — 12 Points — Light Object: There will be builds that will abuse this to no end. Even more than Mjolnir, I think the Casket is the most likely piece from this set to end up on a future Watchlist. Try It With: Any team that is set up to keep your opponents from doing anything. Like, say, a build with 2-3 Frost Giants (who have the Asgardian keyword even at 20 points and thus would remain unaffected by the Casket).
  5. TMTS001 Bloodaxe — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Steal Energy, Battle Fury and Exploit Weakness. In other words, the works!
  6. TMTS011 Stormbreaker — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Deserves this spot for the static +2 to Range alone. Energy Explosion unfortunately isn’t as good as it used to be, or this would be higher. Having said that, Quake got a huge boost.
  7. TMTS016 Dragonfang — 10 Points — Light Object: It gives you re-rollable B/C/F. Try It With: Any “sticky/tie-up” figure with low damage output (<cough> Ha-Ha Joker <cough>).
  8. TMTS015 Gungnir — 10 Points — Light Object: The one-time +3 Attack, Penetrating Damage add-on is nice, but I’m more interested in the “This characters attack rolls can’t be rerolled” portion. Unfortunately, it stops YOU from probbing as well; otherwise, it’d be higher on this list.
  9. TMTS010 Thunderstrike — 10 Points — Heavy Object: Another object that lets you heal while causing maximum mayhem. The Bloodaxe is more efficient though.
  10. TMTS102 Asgardian Shield 4 Points — Light Object: One of the most simple pieces of equipment in the set is also one of the best. It just gives you ES/D. But it does it for just 4 freakin’ points! That means your average piece with an 18 Defense is now an impenetrable 20 from range! The cost/benefit ratio here is too good to pass up!

 

Well, that’s all for today! We will keep hammering (pun intended) out the Thor coverage until… well, really until the next set comes out!

In the meantime, keep up with all of our latest musings on Twitter @criticalmissive !!

 

Tiana house.png

Finally, on a personal note, my cousin and her husband just lost their home to the wildfires blazing through California.

If you have the inclination and ability to help, a friend of theirs has set up a GoFundMe page to assist them while they rebuild the next chapter of their life together. The page can be found here. Even small amounts help tremendously!

If you’re not in a position to donate, I totally understand. You can still help by going to our Twitter page and retweeting our pinned tweet about the fire.

Sunfire Chase

At the end of the month, I’m going to choose one person at random who retweeted that message and send them an Uncanny X-Men Age of Apocalype Sunfire Chase!

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

 

Mr. Furious Gets Angry!! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!!)

mr furious

Don’t mess with the volcano my man, ’cause I will go Pompeii on your… butt.

[WRITER’S NOTE: So the set is about Nick Fury and not Mr. Furious, but a guy can dream.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You have strange dreams.]

Some General Notes About the Set:

  • There are a lot of good figures in this set. I know it sounds like I say that every time, but seriously, there just aren’t many losers when you factor in their point value.  I listened to the Dial H for HeroClix Podcast today and one of the hosts joked that there are so many good figures in this set that when you do Sealed you don’t really need to think too hard. Just make sure the total point value is near 300 and the actual characters you select don’t matter that much. It will be a good team.
  • The Dial H guys also warned that this set is awful for Battle Royales. I would definitely agree with that. Your whole 5 member team might not add up to 300 points and someone else might start off by pulling the 300 point SR NFAOS006A Hulk. Or you might get a Hulkbuster torso in the rare slot of the pack you just opened.

Secret Warriors

  • I would have liked to have seen more Secret Warriors then just Quake and Druid. Most of this set seems to come from the pages of their series and all of the rest of Team White has rotated out of Modern.
  • [EDITOR’S NOTE: Last I checked, Eden Fesi, aka Manifold, was a very important character in that run and arguably–at least before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. blew up Daisy Johnson’s profile–the most recognizable member of Nick’s Caterpillar team, since he graduated to the Avengers when Hickman took that book over. And he was just Clix’d in Avengers Assemble!!]
  • Okay, yeah, I meant besides him.
  • [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sure you did.]
  • Anyway… some of the Invaders are individually powerful, but I don’t see myself ever playing that team. Maybe because they were before my time? It would have been cool to give Spitfire a Trait that shows she is now Blade’s girlfriend. Like +1 to defense when adjacent or something. Missed opportunity.
  • How can Wizkids not have made a “Watcher Eyeball” Special Object for the OP kit? Why would they include a Winter Soldier in that prize kit and not have him be the new “Man on the Wall” version of that character from the final panels of Original Sin? Where are all the villians from the Original Sin series? I want an intelligent “Mindless One” figure! More missed thematic opportunities–and this is coming from someone who really digs this set!
Uhhh... maybe not.

Uhhh… on second thought, maybe not.

  • Continuing that line of thought, everyone knows about the Fantastic Four/X-Men pseudo-ban that Marvel has imposed, so it would have been nice to see Wizkids really properly exploit some of the best Nick Fury stories of the last 6 years. Nick Fury “The Unseen” needs a whole dial–not just a final click. While the Invaders–old and new–are all fine and dandy, this set needed to pull more pieces from “Secret Warriors” and “Original Sin.” I realize we were probably never going to see a new Gorgon (part of his convoluted history involves him being a mutant), but instead of all those Invaders, I would have rather seen: JT James, Alexander, Ares (at this point, he almost HAS to be a Con Exclusive next year, right?), Norman Osborn, Jerry Sledge and, hmmm… oh yeah: Leviathan!! Two or three figures plus some Generics. And I haven’t even gotten to the members of The Great Wheel!! MISSED. OPPORTUNITY!

Alright. Enough moping. Time to get into some…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Just because we all look the same in these uniforms doesn't mean you can refer to us as 'Generics.'"

Just because we all look the same in these uniforms doesn’t mean you can refer to us as ‘Generics.’

5. NFAOS006A S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard – Here’s a quote from my appraisal of Iron Man’s blue-dial from my Avengers Assemble Top Ten article: “18 Defense with Defend is nothing to sneeze at. It was awesome when they released CT043 Invisible Girl and it’s almost as good now.” That applies double to S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard who, instead of costing 125 points like Iron Man, costs 35 points. That happens to also be two points less than CT043 Invisible Girl and with a much better dial. You’re going to want to push the S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard to Click 2 where he sports his 18 Defend along with Sidestep and Close Combat Expert (a skill he undoubtedly likes to keep handy for close encounters). If you then push him again onto Clicks 3 and 4 he becomes your team’s medic. So he’s at first protecting your team from damage and then he switches gears to heal your team if they get damaged. That’s a lot of usefulness for just 35 points.

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

4. NFAOS001 Nick Fury – Nick Fury for 65 points is just average. 10 Attack, 3 Damage, Stealth, Precision Strike, Toughness and Shape Change, and Indomitable. There are lots of guys like him in this set. However, his 65 point dial is hiding the best S.H.I.E.L.D generic in the set. The 25 point generic dial starts with the same exact first two clicks as the 65 point version, but for 40 points less! Once you pay for the 65 point leader, you can add as many of the 25 point version as you want. With all of those little guys you’ve added it’s a good thing they all have the rally trait which states, “Rally: Whenever Nick Fury hits one or more opposing characters, add one action to your action total this turn.” That means that even if you have ten of this guy on your team you won’t run out of actions as long as your attacks keep hitting. If you decide that you want to be “that guy” for one event and just run a metric poop-ton of generics, you could do worse than fielding one Fury and a bunch of his L.M.D.’s…

Imperial Hydra

3. NFAOS046 Imperial Hydra – I like him because he enhances a lot of other pieces rather than just being a powerful piece himself. The main reason to play this guy is his Trait that states, “TWO HEADS SHALL TAKE THEIR PLACE!: When another friendly character with the Hydra keyword is KO’d and actions resolve, you may give Imperial Hydra an action token. If you do, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. 4 – 5: Place a character from outside the game with the Hydra keyword of 40 points or less adjacent to Imperial Hydra. 6: Place up to two characters from outside the game with the Hydra keyword of 40 points or less adjacent to Imperial Hydra.

So keep him in your Starting Area and let him constantly re-spawn  more Hydra units for you all game. If you get even one 40 point Hydra unit out of him then you’ve broken even. He works way better on teams with a lot of Hydra units rather than teams with just a few figures.

"No I will NOT look behind me! You fools think you can outwit Demonicus with the oldest trick in the book?!"

No I will NOT look behind me! You fools think you can outwit Demonicus with the oldest trick in the book?!

2. NFAOS047 Dr. Demonicus – What a cool idea for a figure. He’s a Kaiju summoning mad scientist. “GIANT MONSTER SUMMON!: Give Dr. Demonicus a power action if no friendly bystander token named on this card is on the map. You may choose one you haven’t chosen this game and place it on the map adjacent to him.”

While each of his Bystander Tokens probably isn’t worth 80 points by itself, if you get most of them out over the course of a game then I’d say you definitely got value for his 80 points. Remember to keep the good doctor close to his creations. He has Perplex and the Special Power  “LIFESTONE DEFENSE: Adjacent friendly characters with “colossal damage symbol” modify their defense values by +1.” Those two powers together can raise any of his monster token’s Defense Value to 20 or more!

Shine bright like a diamond.

Shine bright like a diamond.

1. NFAOS041 Radiance – For 65 points you get a character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword that has the Wing Symbol and gives all adjacent S.H.I.E.L.D. pieces Shape Change. There are a lot of good S.H.I.E.L.D. pieces in this set and many that I would argue were great who came out even before this set. Radiance is the best low point Taxi for S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword that is not named AVAS037 Manifold. But, unlike Manifold, her duel target Incapacitate lets her also assist her teammates in battle. She reminds me a lot of one of Hypefox’s favorite pieces, IIM002 Rescue.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Probably one of my most-played Common pieces.]

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

"Need... more... arms... with guns!!"

Need… more… arms… with guns!!”

10. NFAOS022 Winter Soldier – This Winter Soldier shares a keyword with Steve Rogers and actually lets them make a Themed Team again. That warms my heart. On the other hand, seeing this guy across the table should chill your opponent’s heart.

Now, he doesn’t have opening Running Shot or any sort of native move and attack. Instead, he just sits in Stealth and bides his time. He sports Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering AND Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters AND he’s rocking a crazy-good Special Damage Power that reads like this: “Deadly Sniper: Winter Soldier can use Outwit and Ranged Combat Expert, both with a locked range value of 10. If he uses both in a turn, he must target the same character.

When you put it all together, he can Outwit right through Stealth from 10 squares away and then attack that same character for up to five damage. To paraphrase my earlier thoughts on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard, having Steath and Outwit together on one dial was good all the way back in Infinity Challenge (Why, it’s Infinity Challenge Experienced Black Panther! Hello again, old friend!), and it’s still good now. And when you add Winter Soldier’s Improved Targeting twist, it gets even better.

Ooooookay, that does not look safe...

Ooooookay, this does not look safe…

9. NFAOS061 Avengers Sky-Cycle – Hawkeye has been getting a lot of love lately in HeroClix. He’s got three good-to-great options in Modern (AAOU009 Hawkeye, AVAS002 Hawkeye, and AAOU106 Hawkeye.). He’s got two specialized Revert figures (AVAS066 Goliath, and AVAS052 Ronin). And now he has the best vehicle in this set printed for him.

Of all of the Chases in this set, this is the only vehicle that can actually carry more than just the pilot.  That’s a big thing. It will also let Hawkeye take a huge hit that might otherwise have KO’d him (seriously, this thing has six Clicks of life–with Toughness on the first three!).

But the best part about this vehicle is it’s printed power, “Unbelievable Upside-Down Shot: When Avengers Sky-Cycle makes an attack, you may modify its attack value by +2. If you do and actions resolve, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and on a result of 1, place the pilot in an adjacent square, dealing it and all passengers 2 unavoidable damage.” Keep in mind that with the new vehicle rules, the Sky-Cycle will be making attacks with its Pilot’s printed stats. So this power allows almost any Pilot to raise the Sky-Cycle’s Attack Value to a very “Hawkeye-like” 12 or 13 with only a very small chance of catastrophe.

Note to other comic artists: this is how you design and introduce a new look for an established character.

This piece is called “Killing It” by Stuart Immonen. And if it’s not, it should be. 

8NFAOS049 Captain America – The new Falcon as Captain America has a better then expected range of 7 along with Precision Strike, 11 Attack, and 3 Damage. But his defense is where he really shines. He has a Defense Special Power that contain the most standard powers I’ve ever seen combined into one white box. It reads, “How Did I Ever Survive Without a Shield?: Captain America can use Energy Shield/Deflection, Invulnerability, Super Senses, and Willpower.” That’s four standard powers in one! Apparently, Sam is able to use that shield better than Cap ever did (at least in HeroClix).

Being that he’s the artist formerly known as Falcon, this Captain America also gets help from his birds via 3 pigeon tokens and a Redwing token. Redwing’s use is obvious, but the pigeons will need a bit more strategic planning to get the most out of them. Being that they are tiny size I believe that their best use is to be Carried and then dropped into adjacency with opposing figures while your figures stay at least one square back. You opponent will hopefully have to waste an attack on each pigeon token.

I’m just picturing it in my head now:

"Hulk hate puny pigeons!"

Hulk hate puny pigeons!”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: By the way, has there been a better “new look” for an established character in the last ten years than Falcon’s Captain America costume? It’s like they took the best bits of Falcon’s original costume, Cap’s normal suit, and Cap’s “Winter Soldier” movie costume, blended it all together, and somehow the result is even greater than the sum of its substantial parts.

Also, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but of all the diversity initiatives Marvel has undertaken with their topline, A-list  characters lately (Thor is a woman! Spider-Man is black! Ms. Marvel is a Muslim!), Sam Wilson becoming Cap has always made the most sense to me, story-wise. If anything, Falcon should have been promoted to replace Steve a few years ago when the Winter Soldier ended up taking over as Captain America. Cap and Falcon had been friends and fellow Avengers for years; at the time, Bucky Barnes had only recently gotten his mind right after being brainwashed into becoming a Communist killing machine for decades! Which of those two would YOU choose to inspire millions of Americans and carry on your legacy if you were Cap?

Now don’t get me wrong; while I thought most of these storylines were bad ideas at the time (mostly because they seemed forced and contrived, as if they existed solely to round out some sort of character diversity quota instead of coming about naturally as each character’s story progressed), Marvel’s implementation of these stories has been nearly flawless, especially when you consider how easy it would be to screw these twists up and alienate your core readers.

Jane Foster Thor 1

As much as I didn’t understand replacing Thor with a woman called “Thor” (isn’t Thor Odinson Thor’s actual name, and not a title like “Captain America?” That’s like if everyone started calling the Falcon “Steve” after he took over the mantle of Captain America, which wouldn’t make any sense at all, right? Or am I just completely overthinking this?), the way that story has evolved (especially with the reveal of who this new Thor actually is) has kind of grown on me.

Miles Morales

And while I’m not a huge Ultimate Spider-Man fan, Miles Morales actually seems to work better when he exists in stories WITH Peter Parker interacting with/sort of guiding him. Peter’s traditionally portrayed as just barely having his own life together, so the idea of someone like that mentoring a kid with similar powers like Miles is actually pretty interesting to me, and I look forward to the upcoming post-Secret Wars merging where they will both exist in the same universe.

Kamala Khan

Finally, Ms. Marvel has become a wonderful book about a young girl trying to balance the power and responsibility of being a latent Inhuman with her Muslim faith while still trying to survive life as a normal American high-schooler (and not just in her own book–check out her delightful guest appearance in the second issue of Mark Waid’s wonderful new “S.H.I.E.L.D.” series from a few months ago). Also, her hero worship of Carol Danvers offers a unique window into what Kamala Khan values and plants a very compelling reason as to why she would consciously choose to fight for justice under the name “Ms. Marvel.” In other words, Ms. Marvel might be the most Spider-Man-like character Marvel’s published in a decade.

This is why I always loved that Marvel as a whole is called “The House of Ideas.” I love plenty of DC characters, and there are many wonderful stories in that universe. But I just can’t see DC pulling off something this crazy on paper and actually having it all work.

Alright, with all that said, let’s get back to Ninwashui’s Top Ten already!!]

Peggy Carter

7. NFAOS007B Peggy Carter – Ho-hum. Another set, another VERY good Common Prime. For 60 points, this bargain Batman piece Peggy Carter figure brings a lot to the table. First, her Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain helps her get to enemy territory and her Trait protects her when she gets there: “Behind Enemy Lines If Peggy Carter is closer to an opponent’s starting area than she is to her own, she can use Stealth and Shape Change.

If your opponent can’t see through Stealth, then she can keeping running between Hindering Terrain patches while she puts her Energy Explosion to work. If the opponent tries to engage her in close combat he faces the wrath of her exceptionally good Damage Special, “Saboteur At the beginning of your turn, choose a standard power or team ability. Opposing characters within 3 squares of Peggy Carter can’t use it until your next turn. ” If your opponent brings his whole team after her… well, she is only 60 points. Your other 240 points of team should be able to flank your opponent and easily take advantage of that.

Fitz and Henry

6. FFNFAOS004 Fitz (and FFNFAOS099 H.E.N.R.Y.)  If you’ve read any of our Top Tens before, you know that whenever I see a character cost exactly 50 points in a Fast Forces set, I tend to pay attention. 50 points is the magical point value for good support characters in HeroClix Fast Forces releases. It’s a trend that started way back with FFCW006R Scarlet Witch and continued on with pieces like FFDP006R Mercy and most recently FFOA006R Captain America. In the long tradition of 50 Point Fast Forces support pieces, Fitz does not disappoint.

Starting on click two, Fitz has Perplex, the Shield TA, Field Team Backup Trait and an extremely mobile Empower/Enhancement effect via Henry. Then he also has the choice to use a power action for Telekenisis or to grant another character an additional Perplex. That’s a ton of support for just 50 points, and that’s why he’s on this list at #6!

So... I'm thinking this is the image they referenced for her sculpt.

So… I’m thinking this is the image they referenced for her sculpt.

5NFAOS050 Thor – For 145 points this may be the best version of Thor ever printed. She has the damage reducers normally associated with Thor, but she also has the Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters, Elevation, and Hindering that seems more like it would be at home on DP036 Bullseye. She starts defensively with Impervious and Shape Change. Offensively, she has Running Shot and Energy Explosion. Once she takes some damage she switches to Super Strength and full move Charge! He dial finishes strong with Pulse Wave and then finally regeneration. She doesn’t have a bad click amongst her eight clicks of life and she gets a bonus against resource users: “If She Be Worthy: Modify Thor’s attack and damage values by +1 when targeting a single character that is assigned a relic or resource with an attack.”  A real steal for the points. 

This is a Primary Attacker that we’ll be seeing in ROC’s and other tournies for the next two years!

"Of course I use a gun! Who am I, Batman?"

Of course I use a gun! Who am I, Batman?

4NFAOS051 Steve Rogers – In HeroClix this is the best director that S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever had. You’ll notice the high Attack Values right away with the opening 12, but the surprising part is how consistent those values are. Only on his final Click does he get as low as a 10 Attack. While his Running Shot, Improved Targeting and dual target Energy Explosion make him look like a solo Primary Attacker, he is just as good at supporting his team. He has Leadership, Enhancement, the ability to grant other pieces Energy Shield/Deflection, and every time he hits with an attack anyone with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword can use Probability Control while attacking that turn. 

So you may not have a ton of room left after fielding Steve for 150 Points, but you won’t need it, since he gets the most out of his 40-60 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddies!

"No, I'm not a vampire. I know, I get that a lot. I think it's the cape. And the constant brooding."

I am called Nighthawk. Mostly because it is scarier than ‘Kyle.”

3NFAOS059b Nighthawk (Prime) – Think of how much you enjoy powers like Ranged Combat Expert, Traits that grant stat bonuses, or Resources that give +1 to all stats. For 65 points this guy shuts all of that down and much, much more. His Trait reads, “The People Must Think For Themselves: Friendly characters can’t be targeted by Mind Control. Opposing characters’ combat values can’t be increased unless they are adjacent to Nighthawk.” Offensively this guy is nothing too special, but he shines defensively. He defensive power reads, “President of the United States (of Earth-712): Nighthawk can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change, increase the result by +1 for each adjacent friendly character.” It’s kind funny that he gets energy Shield/Deflection himself  because that power is useless on opposing characters. But hey, what good is an unfair advantage if you can’t take advantage of it?

"What do you mean you think I look like a rejected monster from Resident Evil 4?!"

What do you mean you think I look like a rejected monster from Resident Evil 4?!

2NFAOS048 Iron Nail – Hypefox and I played a Sealed game with 2 packs each of this set. He pulled Iron Nail and SR Nighthawk. The truth is that he could have beaten my whole team with just this guy. His powers and stats are about average for a character of his point cost, but his Trait is borderline broken. It reads “Rapid Power Drain At the end of your turn, place a Drain token on the cards of all adjacent opposing characters. Opposing characters modify their combat values by -1 for each Drain token placed by him. An opposing character may be given a power action to remove all Drain tokens from that character’s card.

In our sealed game he just walked Iron Nail next to my Baron Blood prime and that was pretty much all he needed to do to win that match. Baron Blood had a 10 attack that became a 9 and of course he missed that attack roll the following turn. Even if he hit, he would have needed a good Blades/Claws/Fangs roll to even do damage. Iron Nail’s dial is 8 clicks long with damage reducers all the way and it has this Trait the whole dial, obviously. He could easily KO any of the 14 figures I have named so far. Even 300 point SR Hulk in this set would have a good chance of losing to this guy in a 1 on 1 fight. In Sealed he’s an auto play and I bet he’ll see a lot of constructed play as well. Especially when you consider he has the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword. Which leads me to my next thought: He has the freaking S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword! So you’re not even that limited in what teams you can build around him! Sheeesh.

Nick Fury Original Sin

1NFAOS056 Nick Fury – In the Original Sin storyline it was revealed that Nick Fury was secretly a cosmic assassin (called “The Man on the Wall”) that spent all his free time killing entities that were going to threaten the earth before anyone else even knew about it. If you were a mystical demon overlord, cosmic alien warlord, or a monster from the center of the earth, chances are that Nick and his frankly awesome-beyond-words-Gamma- bullet- sniper- rifle had you in his crosshairs.

They’ve translated this character into HeroClix extremely well. He doesn’t have Running Shot; like the Winter Soldier, Nick will just sit and wait for you to come into his (extremely long) range. When you do, you’re toast He accomplishes this with a Trait and Special Power. His Trait reads “Cosmic Assassin, Guardian of Earth: Nick Fury can use Shape Change. When Nick Fury targets only the highest point opposing character with an attack, modify his attack and damage values by +1 and he deals penetrating damage.

His special power reads, “Watcher’s Eyes to See Secrets: Nick Fury can use Probability Control. Give Nick Fury a free action and choose a power that an opposing character within range and line of fire can use. That character can’t use that power until your next turn.

Because of his Trait, the highest point opposing character is always dealt Penetrating damage on any attack (even close combat). If you are someone like IIM103 Absorbing Man who doesn’t fear Penetrating damage, then Nick Fury will just use his Special Power on you and take away your defense anyway. Think about that for a moment. He would deal Penetrating damage to 1000 point Shuma-Gorath and if Invincible showed up, Nick would just take that power away too. With an 11 Attack likely changing to 12 and Probability Control built in, he is not missing often and with his various Improved Targeting Traits, literally only Blocking Terrain is safe to hide behind. Defensively he has Stealth, Toughness, 18 Defense, Probability Control, and Shape Change! If an opponent wants to try and take Nick out, that’s far from a sure thing.

He reminds me a lot of DP036 Bullseye back when Bullseye and DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M. were the Meta team to beat. Nick is far superior to Bullseye for just 10 more points and he should see a bunch of Constructed play. Heck, the Meta might soon be  playing either him or playing a team designed to beat him (whatever that might be). That’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We also have a special announcement!! We’re teaming with Heroclix Underground to help provide content for their new venture! Look for versions of this article, a Top Ten Second Opinion and more to show up soon on their site. As for Critical Missives, we’re not going anywhere, and we’ll soon return with “Straight, With CHASEr 4” (where we take a special look at the new vehicles) and the aforementioned Second Opinion on Nick Fury!!]