The Ghost of Clix-Mas Present Presents: Team Ideas: From Pauper to Meta!! (Or, the Fourth Day of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Four of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; yesterday, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And now, here’s a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!!]

Brotherhood TWO

If you don’t remember the Brotherhood team that Roberto and HypeFox ran at the ROC Pauper events in October, they looked like this:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Vought
300 points (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

That team was run twice at that event and ended up taking 4th and 6th place that day. While it was not the only Juggernaut build, I am relatively certain it was the only Brotherhood build. In a world with colossal retaliation figures, location bonuses, and ID cards, The Brotherhood of Mutants just can’t compete in the Meta. I mean, none of them are Cosmic, so that should disqualify them right there.

Kobik 616

I am the living embodiment of the meta…

But, what if the Brotherhood did try to compete? What would that team look like? My answer would be “largely the same as pauper”.

First lets keep what worked from the Pauper Team. That would be:

  • XDPSG007R Juggernaut (100 points)
  • XDPS011B Magneto (50 points)
  • XDPS019 Amelia Vought (45 points)
  • XDPS023B Sabretooth (45 points)

That gives us a total of 240 points. So what do we do with the other 60? Lets start off by adding some additional offense since that what’s it seemed to be lacking in the pauper tournament. Sabretooth and Magneto are hard to kill, but they are also are hard to get kills with. Since this is a Meta team we’ll add offense the same way every other meta team does it… with ID cards.

Now, I don’t see Juggernaut ever not attacking since he’s the Juggernaut and that’s what he does. And it’s all he does. Using a card never seems like the right move for him.

By the same token, though, Amelia Vought should be doing absolutely nothing and using cards hurts her effectiveness. That leaves 50 point Magneto and 45 point Sabretooth. I can add up to 4 cards with the team I have so far so I’ll choose:

  • WKMVID-017 Beast Student ID – 3 points (WCR005E Beast – 40 points) – He can come into play with 11 att and 4 dam and use his charge to attack, or come into play with one less att and dam and be the teams only source of Outwit.
  • Stunner

    Stone Cold Stunner

  • WKMVID-019 Iceman Student ID – 3 points (XDPSG025P Iceman – 15 points) – What’s this, A colossal retaliation piece as a call in? Iceman has 3 dam and 11 att for his Colossal Retaliation attack and regardless of whether he hits he can use incapacitate as a free action on any opposing figure within reach. From there Iceman can simply walk off into the sunset (more than 5 squares away from the piece that called him in) to deny the other team points. Alternatively, Iceman can OPEN A SIX PACK OF STUNNERS on opposing Colossal figures with his trait that states “CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)” That’s huge upside for a 3 point investment.
  • WKMVID-020 Jean Grey Student ID – 3 points (XDPSG010P Phoenix – 25 points) – This is who you should summon if you are near 1 or more opposing figures that are vulnerable to poison. After using Poison, Phoenix can use her colossal retaliation to hopefully deal some penetrating damage and lower some combat values. Following that she can attack an opposing colossal figure, use her Telekinesis, or just walk off into the sunset.
  • WKMDOFP-005 Storm Wanted Poster – 5 points (XDPSG023BP Storm – 25 points) – Arguably the best sub 50 point call in and one of the best retaliation figures. Her colossal retaliation starts with an 11 att close combat attack. If you hit, then the fun begins and you get a free action triple target mind control at +3 att! Regardless of whether she hits she can then use her trait stating, “SUMMON A VORTEX OF WIND:  FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.” And everything I just mentioned so far is just the free actions. From there she can she can still use a standard action to attack ANY opposing character, or walk off into the sunset.

Then Lets Get This Started

Those 4 cards total 14 points which brings us to a total of 254. Let’s look at equipment next. Juggernaut can’t use equipment, and Amelia Vought doesn’t need it since she spends all her time doing nothing. That leaves Sabretooth and Magneto. I’ll put in the ABPIS002 Time Gem for Sabretooth and the ABPIS001 Reality Gem for Magneto. This will give the team some additional support powers it was lacking and help it deal with the inevitable dice altering powers it will face.

Those 2 gems total 20 points which brings us up to a total of 274. It looks like the only thing left to do is add another figure. Let’s add support figure XDPSG015P Magneto (25 points). The first thing you’ll notice about this Magneto is colossal retaliation and if you judge him like one of those pieces you will be sorely disappointed. What he really is, is a support figure with Telekenisis and Sidestep – which is a great combo. Compare him to TREKOS006 Lt. Kyle which is one of my favorite characters from the first trek set. This Magneto is there to position your figures, use theme team Prob Control and provide Leadership so that when you start calling in figures you aren’t short on actions. He can also take the occasional shot at the enemy via Colossal Retaliation (followed usually by running away).

Conclusion:

main-qimg-c0d6268cef42c2c00d3dbaee760a561c

Can this team compete with the primarily Cosmic Meta? Maybe. With some testing, tweaking, and practice – this team could potentially place high at a future event. One thing’s for sure, though… your opponent definitely won’t see this coming.

Unless, you know, your opponent read this article. In that case then you are probably out of luck.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought about this team in the comments below!

 

 

 

META Diary: Michigan ROC State Championship!!

Danger Room Dice Masters

Right concept, wrong game. Hmmm…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We have a guest columnist today! This is a firsthand account of Southeastern Michigan Meta player Roberto Ty and his run last week at the Michigan ROC State Championship! We’re hoping to feature Roberto semi-regularly on this site, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

Michigan ROC State Championship

November 9, 2019

By Roberto Ty

Warren, MI – Twenty-six players brought a wide range of teams for the ROC Michigan State Championship at Eternal Games. There was a lot of mystery in the days leading up to this event in part due to the new Pauper format where players are restricted to using game elements of a common or uncommon rarity level. Convention exclusives and OP figures are excluded and a Highlander rule is in effect. The most impactful rule, however, was not a restriction, but rather the inclusion of the WWE Universe figures. Released only two weeks earlier, the WWE characters brought their own multiverse abilities (such as Grand Entrance) and an even greater X-Factor–the WWE Ring–to the event that rivaled the latest Pauper meta contenders from the X-Men The Animated Series: Dark Phoenix Saga set like Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs, Nimrod, and Onslaught.

 

Brotherhood Pauper

It’s A Team Decision

A month before the event, I practiced several teams to gain insight both for my final build and to become familiar with character dials. The latter became moot as WizKids made a controversial decision: players were allowed to look at the back of an opponent’s card. This would go into effect on November 6, just three days before the event.

Juggernaut Pauper

Juggernaut, The… Quite Stoppable One-Man Army

What looks good on paper (for Pauper)… maybe should just stay on paper. Nothing exemplified this more than XDPS-G007 Juggernaut. He dominated many pre-release and release events and was the one-man army that seemed likely to dominate the Pauper format…until you practiced with him. At 300-points, he may be unstoppable, but he certainly wasn’t unbeatable. And just like the comics, he is easily overwhelmed by a team… and that team didn’t even have to be the X-Men. I lost to a Star Trek team that won map roll and placed us on a map without blocking terrain. Juggernaut needs blocking terrain to win because of his two synchronous Traits:

CITY-WIDE RAMPAGE: If Juggernaut destroyed 3 or more pieces of blocking terrain during one of his actions, after resolutions remove an action token from him.

MY MUTANT BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Once per turn when an effect other than clearing removes an action token from Juggernaut, after resolutions heal him 1 click.

Juggernaut can’t win map–certainly not consistently. So I shelved him and formed a new plan.

Nimrod Animated

Nimrod and My Dice

While map matters, so does a plan. The Juggernaut practice emphasized the importance of winning map and to win map I needed a Themed Team. I gravitated toward 175-point XDPS-G003 Nimrod and supported him with XDPS011b Magneto and XDPS-G002 Sentinel Squad One or XDPS011b Magneto,  XDPS023b Sabretooth, and XDPS-G001 Sentinel. While Magneto and Sabretooth were hard to kill due to their Danger Room Construct Traits, they also didn’t have the offensive output I typically like on my builds. 

DANGER ROOM CONSTRUCT TRAIT: When Magneto makes an attack, after resolutions give him an Error token for each [1] in the attack roll (maximum 3). // If Magneto has 2 or less Error tokens, characters take a maximum of 1 damage from Magneto’s attacks, Magneto takes a maximum of 1 damage from opponent’s attacks, and he can’t be healed or chosen for Mastermind. Protected: Pulse Wave.

Using Magneto as the pilot circumvented the damage restriction and allowed Sentinel Squad One to use the pilot’s offensive values (8 range, 12 attack, and 4 damage). Despite this, I didn’t feel the team was very strong: Nimrod didn’t have a move and attack, the team was only a +3 or a +4 (depending on the build) map roll, and there was no Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control. Without these support powers, a lot was left to my dice rolls. Nimrod’s Running Comparative Evaluation Of Reference Data trait offered him additional protection when being attacked…but only if I could roll higher than my opponent. The trait reads:

RUNNING COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF REFERENCE DATA: When Nimrod is attacked and would be hit, you may roll 2d6. If your roll is equal or higher than the attacker’s attack roll, Nimrod evades that attack and after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to their printed damage value.

I didn’t roll higher than my opponent’s attack roll in my practice games. I couldn’t even roll a 1 to get Error Tokens on my Constructs either. Leaving it to chance was risky and I needed to come up with another plan.

Phoenix Rise and Fall

Rachel Summers Phoenix

More lessons on paper. On paper, I didn’t like XDPS-G010 Phoenix because she had a short dial for 175 points, only had a move and attack on her top click, and a very hittable 17 defense up close (she has Energy Shield Deflection). Even with a STOP click, I wasn’t that impressed…until I played against my friend, who used her to great effect on a non-theme team. His team had a lot of options that centered on supporting her effectiveness and her incredible 10 range. Another practice friend use the XDPS Fast Forces X-Men, which also opened my eyes on their usefulness as main force characters and not just as Call-In options. I decided to go with Phoenix, XDPS03 Beast, FFXDPS005 Gambit, and XXS007 Moira McTaggert. This build offered the ability to Perplex by +4 (+2 from Beast, +1 Moira McTaggert, +1 Phoenix), +4 Named Theme Team Probability Control, X-Men Team Ability for healing, Leadership, and decent secondary attackers. Additionally, Gambit’s trait gave the entire team Probability Control against attacks from Great Size characters. His trait:

HUNTED AND ON THE RUN: Friendly characters that are adjacent or have the X-Men keyword can use Probability Control when attacked by characters with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol].

The team proved quite effective and won a lot of the practice matches, but despite this I was hesitant after playing a 300-point modern game that was restricted to non-Marvel and non-DC characters. My build was: TREKRF028r Q, TREKOS044 Trelane, TREKBG016 Miles O’Brien, WWE012 Asuka, and WWE017 Eddie Guerrero. This team exposed me to the effectiveness of the WWE characters and it gnawed on me up to the week of the event.

Brotherhood TWO

The Return of Juggernaut in The Brotherhood of Mutants

I had a competitive Pauper event prior to the ROC that was essentially a practice run. My friend, who couldn’t attend the ROC, offered me his team, which was 100-point Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, Blob, and Amelia Vought for a Brotherhood of Mutants named theme team.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This friend was indeed our own Ninwashui.]

This team build was a hard-to -kill and point-denial team. I went 1-1, losing the first game 0-0 in a roll off and winning the second game 13-0. These results didn’t offer me the certainty I needed. In fact, going into Saturday, I found myself returning back to the Phoenix team.

Juggernaut Bitch

“I’m the Juggernaut, B****”

Game Time Decision

Be prepared. I brought my Phoenix and Brotherhood teams and it wasn’t until I filled out my build sheet that I decided to go with Juggernaut. I was seeing enough WWE characters that I was concerned that Phoenix wouldn’t be able to target them because of the WWE rules:

WWE Rules: This character can’t be the target of range attacks or Outwit if: they’re on click #1, they’re on a click with a blue click #, -or- they’ve already been targeted by a ranged attack this turn. Protected: Pulse Wave.

So, then this was my…

FINAL TEAM:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Voght
300 (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

Maps: Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns, Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map, The Mighty Thor Jotunheim Lake

Having a plan. Based on the two games I played on Thursday, I would engage my opponent primarily with Magneto and Sabretooth, forcing the action. Blob would be a tie-up piece and a tertiary attacker. Juggernaut would break grouped formations with Quake and Amelia Vought would provide him support through her Mutant Messiah trait and her special defense power, Transmute Out of Danger.

MUTANT MESSIAH: At the beginning of the game, for all characters with this trait, choose a friendly character with the Acolytes or Brotherhood of Mutants or X-Men keyword. That character can use Mastermind, but only to choose characters with this trait.

TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voghtor an adjacent friendly character would take 3 or more damage, you may give that character two action tokens to take 1 unavoidable damage instead. If you do, after resolutions you may place that character in a square adjacent to her current square.

Swiss Rounds

Giant-Girl images.jpg

GAME 1—The matchup was with a friend and judge at a local venue I play at. I actually played him at the Thursday Pauper event and beat him 13-0. This was a nice first-round pairing since it would be a fun, low-stress, and friendly match that would allow me to ease into a potentially intense, strategic-thinking kind of day. He won map roll with his Avengers team—Voyager, Hulk, Medusa, Crystal, AIM White and Red, 2 Giant-Girls, several IDs, WWE Ring, and Iron Avenger Assemble (Stark Tower Location Bonus). We did a lot of positioning for the first few turns. I initially was going to engage him with one of my Constructs, but he left his Giant-Girl partly exposed and I took advantage with Magneto’s incredible range. Knocking her out. He then called in Kitty to generate Lockheed for an Energy Explosion, which missed. The game ended 13-0. Record:1-0.

Deathstroke images.png

GAME 2—Because of my low points, I was placed at one of the lower tables and was matched up against my brother-in-law, who ran a non-theme team that consisted of ABPI010 S.H.I.E.L.D. Diplomat, RE001 Deathstroke, EAX030 The Skull, AI004 Hawkeye, AIG001-20 Giant-Girl, and HQ029 Batman. It was an atypical build and I wasn’t sure initially what the main threat was, outside of Deathstroke. I didn’t worry about The Skull’s across the map Mind Control because I knew I would win map and put us on Underground Caverns. I positioned conservatively and managed to siphon his team in the middle of the map. The blocking terrain really hindered his team and I took advantage by targeting his Giant-Girl with Magneto. I then set to work on Deathstroke and took him out in a couple turns. His team really got locked down and he wasn’t able to really make a dent in my hard-to-damage team. Record: 2-0

Onslaught images.jpg

GAME 3—My next opponent was someone I played before at the major events. He ran one of the teams that I didn’t want to see, an Onslaught team that included Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, HQ004 Big Tony, BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins, and XDPSG004p Proteus. What I feared about Onslaught was his trait:

PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. // Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.

While Juggernaut could potentially charge right in on Onslaught, it was risky if he hit his Shape Change roll. If Onslaught failed his Shape Change roll, then Ensign Crusher’s special attack power allowed Onslaught the ability to reroll it once per turn. Crusher’s power:

I GOT IT, CAPTAIN!: Once per turn, when a friendly character that’s adjacent or has the Starfleet keyword rolls for Leadership, Shape Change, Super Senses, or Impervious they may re-roll that roll.

Onslaught could then attack and get Juggernaut off his top click and his special defense power:

SHIELDED BY MY HELMET: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.

This would have made Juggernaut susceptible to Onslaught’s Mind Control. With all this in mind, we both used the first few turns to position, until I made what could have been a fatal error. He blew out a piece of blocking terrain with Magneto that allowed him to hit Juggernaut with Onslaught. I forgot to Mastermind the damage to Amelia Voght. This forced me to retreat so I could heal by destroying blocking terrain and removing an action token from Juggernaut.

My Magneto then struck back on Onslaught, getting him off his top click, which was important so that he no longer had Shape Change. He was still formidable since he now had Super Senses, which Ensign Crusher allowed him to also reroll once per turn. I knew I had to take out his support out and I largely used Juggernaut to do this with:

MASS DESTRUCTION:  Super Strength. When Juggernaut is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.

I won, killing Ensign Crusher, Big Tony, Leslie Thompkins, and Proteus. Record: 3-0.

Mirror Match

GAME 4—The Mirror Match. I faced the brother of my friend who had built our Brotherhood teams.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This was our own HypeFox!]

He initially was playing a very good Onslaught team during the week and like me, decided to go Brotherhood. I won map roll and decided to change the map to Stark Tower because I wanted to limit the amount of healing either of us could do. I took out his Amelia Voght early and thought I had gained the advantage, but he quickly turned the game around thanks to me missing the first attack with Juggernaut. This was par for the course all day unfortunately. In each of my matches, Juggernaut missed his very first attack when it would have done the most damage. I battled, but he was able to make several Impervious rolls in a row and that cost me the win. Record: 3-1.

Top 16

Wakanda images.jpg

GAME 5—This was the 8-9 matchup. I was 8th due to my low point total and my opponent was 2-2 with a lot of points. He rocked a very cool Wakanda team: FFABPI003 Shuri, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, ABPI007 Wakandan Scientist, ABPI029A Black Panther, 75 FFABPI006 Okoye, and 30 ABPI021 Ayo. He won map and chose Rebirth Metal Arena with no blocking terrain! Juggernaut would be severely handicapped and I would need to use him judiciously.

This type of team is built to take you by surprise and I was really surprised. First, Shuri’s trait:

SCIENTIST OF WAKANDA: UNIQUE MODIFIER-Friendly characters with the Wakanda keyword modify defense +1 if they are closer to your starting area than any other starting area.

We of course battled closer to his starting area. I positioned midway on the map while he placed Okoye next to the Dune Buggy for added protection. I had to be wary not to get within her full charge special power:

THE DORA MILAJE ARE FIRST TO FIGHT: Charge, but do not halve speed.

Magneto would use Ranged Combat Expert to modify his attack to a 14 so he could hit Okoye’s high defense, dealing his 1 maximum damage. He knew this would be a problem because I wasn’t going to move my team in to be swarmed. His team had a ton of Perplex on his team that could do serious damage to Juggernaut. With the ability to look at the back of the cards, I knew that Black Panther and Okoye had middle-dial Outwit, which would be dangerous if Juggernaut was knocked off his special defense power that gave him PROTECTED: Outwit.

I knew I would have to move my team around to force him to come chase me. He approached my team with Black Panther and Okoye—his main attackers—but they didn’t have the reach to get there in one turn. Next turn I moved my team away and tried to hit his support and KO them with Juggernaut, but I missed badly. Again.

He then came back with Black Panther, but made a positioning error that allowed me to pummel him with Juggernaut rolling a critical hit with a heavy object. I followed up with a range attack from Magneto. I was up 95-0 and won. Record: 4-1.

Top 8

Wesley-Crusher-3.jpg

GAME 6—My opponent was another player I knew from a local venue. I was impressed by his performance. He was a new player and it was his first major event. Despite being new, he had gone undefeated for the day. His practice and diligence was paying off. 

I knew this was going to be a difficult matchup. It was another Onslaught build, but this time it consisted of TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, XDPS023A Sabretooth, RE024 Veronica Cale, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, AIG005 Dune Buggy Special Terrain, and EAXLB-SC I Keep The Trains Running (Location Bonus).

I won map and chose Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns Indoor Map. A good portion of this game was positioning, with neither of us willing to overextend our teams to get swarmed.

I had left my Blob exposed to Onslaught’s Mind Control, which he made. He used Blob to attack Sabretooth, but missed. Since Blob wasn’t friendly to my force, he was not Immobile from his trait and rolled for a breakaway that he was successful on.

NOTHING MOVES THE BLOB: Immobile, but only if it’s not your turn. // At the end of your turn, if the Blob was not moved or placed this turn, give him a Stability token. Blob modifies defense +1 for each Stability token. When he moves or is placed, remove his Stability tokens.

He was able to kill my Amelia Voght, which put me down on points. I had to get more aggressive and kill his support with Juggernaut’s move and quake. I moved and last action was called. I made my free Quake and was able to kill off a couple of support pieces for the win. It was a low-scoring affair that I won. Record: 5-1.

Top 4

Crystal

GAME 7—This matchup was against a well-known player and former World Champion. His team was Avengers: AIG001-10 Giant-Girl, FFAIG001P Giant-Girl, ABPI012 Crystal, ABPI017 Voyager, TMT106E Hulk, ABPI030 Medusa, TMT023 Eric Masterson, FFAI001E Iron Man, TMTS001 Bloodaxe, and 5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble  (Location Bonus).

My opponent won map and placed us on Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map. As I mentioned earlier, I was worried about this match up because the build has so many options for dealing with different teams. It also has multiple ways to hurt you with free attacks either from Crystal’s free Quakes or through multiple attacks from Medusa’s Living Hair. If that weren’t enough then Hulk comes in with a 12 attack and 4 damage.

I tried to position strategically again, but in hindsight should have been more aggressive from the opening bell. I took out his Giant-Girls early, but failed to make critical attacks with Juggernaut when I needed to in order to change the outcome of the game. Once he was able to get Juggernaut off his top defense power, he quickly pressed his advantage and Outwitted his defense. Once he took out Juggernaut, it was pretty much an uphill battle for my Danger Room Constructs and Blob. I got 1 Error Token the entire game and was never ever able to deal enough damage to his team while in contrast he was whittling me down with all his free attacks. Final Record: 5-2, 4th Place Finish.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui’s design finished the day at 10-3. Not a bad record for a Meta-rich environment!]

Final Thoughts

My 4th Place was not my highest finish in a major event, but it was my highest in constructed. While the Pauper format, did introduce a variety of interesting builds, there were still clear archetypes that were followed (Avengers, Nimrod, and Onslaught). It will be interesting to see what other winning builds will show up in other states. I wouldn’t be surprised if a WWE team winds up winning. They are that good, especially in this format.

Will Pauper catch on? I hope so, it can offer a more affordable game to newer players. I still think it could use more tweaking so that we see more creative and unique builds, but overall the format reinvigorated the game from my perspective. It really was fun to sit down across a team that wasn’t Cosmic with Colossal Retaliators and equipment.

Fast Five: The Five Worst Figures In Invincible Iron Man!!

FAST FIVE

Hey there!!

So my original intentions with this blog were to write at length about Heroclix, Comics, TV & Movies (and whatever else strikes my fancy, I guess) while offering up some (somewhat) thoughtful insights and opinions. At least once a week, I’ll try to write a long piece where I can really get in-depth on a subject–like my previous post.
And then there will be entries like today. Not every post is gonna be a list of something (I don’t wanna be this guy), but sometimes that is the most efficient way to address a subject quickly.

So then:

We’ve previously discussed the best pieces in the latest full set from Wizkids, Invincible Iron Man. But what are the worst? Not just the bad figs, mind you, but the pieces that you should avoid at all costs—that’s what we’re looking for today!

5. Juggernaut (#032) 115 points—Rare: This hurts. It really does. Juggy is one of my favorite villains, but this is just sad. He starts off just as you’d expect with a perfectly named Improved Movement Trait (UNSTOPPABLE: Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Blocking Terrain and destroys blocking terrain as the character moves through it, Ignores Characters). Okay, so far so good. The sculpt is great as well. Not mind-blowing, but it captures the ‘Naut just fine. Okay, so that’s the good. Those two things that are not awful. Now for the bad (also known as the reasons he’s on this list):
There’s only 7 clicks on his dial. Only 7 clicks?! At first I thought I had a misprint and he was on someone’s else’s dial. Just 7 clicks for the Juggernaut. Shit, even Spiral (at the same rarity level) got 8 clicks for 9 less points and even then they found room to include the most  exploitable Trait in the history of the game (okay, since she was completely broken, that may be an unfair example, but still…)!
He has no Willpower or Indomitable. No Indomitable?! For one of the most Unstoppable forces in the Marvel Universe. Apparently, the only thing that can stop the Juggernaut is his need to pause every other round to catch his breath and discover his inner peace. Are you serious?! No Indomitable for the Unstoppable Juggernaut?! Um… okay. Whatever. At least he’s still got Charge…
Charge doesn’t show up until the third click!! What?! WHAT?! WHAT?! He starts with freaking Sidestep? Those are basically activation clicks for a guy who is always in his power in the comics. He doesn’t have to “activate” anything! In the name of all that’s Holy, he’s called the freaking Juggernaut, not Doctor Twinkletoes. No. NO! That makes no sense. You’re making no sense right now, WizKids!! Get it together! And lock it up! I mean, all he’s got going for him at this point is his high printed damage…
Uh, you mean the 3 that he starts with? The printed damage for his first five clicks is 3?!?! That’s all you get until click 6! Somebody up there hates me. That’s the only explanation I have.
–Wait—he has a Flurry click with a 12 Attack, 18 D with Impervious and (finally!!) a printed damage of 4! Oh! Well, okay, now we’re talking! When you add in the object he’ll most likely be carrying—Nope! Sorry to interrupt, but he loses Super Strength on that click. <Sigh> Well, still, if he can stay in that 12 AV 4 Damage range for a few clicks he’ll—Ah-uh. No, that’s his last click. The one slot that’s the hardest for him get to. … I hate you. Almost as much as I hate this piece. Of $#!+. That is clearly NOT THE #$#@IY@I Juggernaut!!

Let’s just move on before I need a barf bag. Somewhere, Kuurth is facepalming.

4. Absorbing Man (#033) 145 points (Experienced Version)—Rare:

3. Bulldozer (#014) 145 points (Experienced Version)—Common:
Okay, these two get grouped together because they all have the same problem: way too many points for little to no upgrade over their Rookie versions!!
Absorbing Man at 95 points (a savings of 50 points!) still gets you 6 clicks, starts with the same Charge, same AV (10), same damage (3) and same specials! Why pay 50 more points for a measly two clicks of stuff you’re already getting?! Unless your Reverting Greithoth, I’d stay away.
Then there’s Bulldozer. As I mentioned in the Top Ten set review, he’s an even bigger rip-off! 75 more points for the Experienced version and you only get two more clicks. Same Charge, same AV, same DV (granted his Toughness is actually a slightly better Invuln in those first two clicks, but still…), and one click of 4 damage. One. For 75 points. I could run a rookie Piledriver and Splitlip for that much! Or a Booklip and an Asgardian Troll. The possibilities are endless!

2. Crossbones (#206) 62 points—Common: Not completely useless, just not nearly as good as his main set version (which only costs 17 more points and adds, among other things, Sharpshooter). Good starting AV (11), and a great Team Ability, but that’s pretty much where the good news ends. His range is only five, which—when combined with the presence of a single click each of Charge and Super Strength (Super Strength? For Crossbones? Am I missing something?)—I guess means that he’s supposed to be a close combat beatstick? Except that there are way better options, some for even less points (Rookie Piledriver anyone?), if that’s what you’re looking for.

1. Rescue (#202) 58 points—Common: You’ve heard me sing the praises of the 65-point Rescue before as one of the Top Ten figures in this set. Well, you will not hear me praise this one. The Gravity Feed Rescue is only 7 less points, but you lose soooo, soooo much. How much could one figure lose for 7 points? Let’s take a look.
–This Rescue has Phasing/Teleport, which the main set Rescue does not have, and they both fly and thus both can carry. Okay, so that’s good. But Gravity Feed Rescue’s movement is only 7 (which means it’s just FIVE when she’s carrying someone!) versus the main set’s whopping 11! Plus that Rescue has Force Blast and the trait that lets her carry up to 3 other characters if those characters are not on their first click.
–This Rescue has NO range, NO starting Attack Power and a very average 9 Attack Value; she gains Super Strength to go with her ZERO printed damage on clicks 2-4 (Uh… thanks?), but the main set Rescue starts with an 11 Attack Value that fuels her FIRST CLICK TK AND Double Incapacitate with 6 range!!
–This Rescue does have Traited Support and Toughness (the other has Toughness as well; it’s just not Traited), which is fine, but she has NO ADDITIONAL Damage Powers. The other Rescue has Toughness in the usual spot, and eventually picks up Support, but when she starts the game she has a limited Perplex (on anything but damage)!!
–Since this Rescue has Traited Toughness, surely there must be some incredibly interesting power on her defense slot, right? WRONG. She has a 16 defense value with Defend. Wow. She can give her incredibly putrid defense value to any friendly character she’s adjacent to. Great. I’ll get right on that…
And on and on it goes. On the first click alone, the main set version adds Force Blast, TK, Double Incapacitate, +4 Movement, +2 AV, +1 Defense and PERPLEX!! For a measly 7 more points. Bleeeeeccccch. Stop paying retail point costs and stay from this sucker’s “bargain.”
As a matter of fact, just stay away from the Gravity Feed figs altogether. If you happen to pull a chase from the main set, the Gravity Feed Iron Man is not bad, and the Dreadnaught is okay; everything else is “meh” at best, unless you just have to have every average Alpha Flight fig that came out this year… Speaking of which:

Happy New Year!!

Here’s to another great year of Clixin’!