The Ghost of Christmas Past Presents: My Three Favorite Golden Age Clix… And What I Think They Can Tell Us About the Current State of Figure Design!! (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 just went down right here!]

Top Ten Iron Man Figures

Okay!

Welcome to the Third Night of Clix-Mas!!

Today I’m gonna take a stroll down memory lane and look at my three favorite Golden Age Clix of All-Time and try to figure out A.) Why I like them so much and B.) If there’s something about their design that can inform us about the game as it stands today!

So, without further ado…

 

SAV

3. CW057 Sentry and Void — 300 Points — Chase:

Why This Piece: On an aesthetic and backstory level, I have always liked The Sentry. Actually, let me rephrase that. I loved Paul Jenkins initial Sentry event, where he wove The Sentry into the Marvel Universe via Forrest Gump-like flashbacks. Even Stan Lee and Wizard Magazine (the premier comics price guide and entertainment zine at the time) got in on the act.

I don’t really know what the hell Bendis was doing with The Sentry in New Avengers, but some people liked that storyline, so whatever. But even I will admit that The Siege was pretty cool.

When we got to Chaos War, Ninwashui and I were just starting to get back into Clix. Once I found out this figure existed, I knew I had to have it to complete my Sentry collection. So I was predisposed to like this piece. But there’s more to it than that. On a pure design level, Sentry and Void was a masterpiece.

Now, Heroclix has always had expensive tentpoles, including other 300 point “One Man Army” pieces. In the early days of Heroclix, high-pointed pieces were generally overpowered. As people got more sophisticated with army builds and tactical strategy, these larger point pieces sort of fell out of favor. Hell, even today there’s a post-Kyle-Rayner-WOL-LE unofficial rule that you shouldn’t try any piece in the Meta that costs more than 150 points (and Kyle has been out of rotation for a few years now).

But back in 2012, Sentry and Void was a 300 point piece that actually had teeth! Power Cosmic, the Multi-Attack ability and top dial Hypersonic Speed solved many of the issues that made other high-cost pieces not viable in the Meta. To wit:

–With Power Cosmic, “Sentroid” could not be Outwitted, so you could just about always count on being able to take the action you wanted to take on your next turn without worrying that, say, your move-and-attack power would be nullified by some 30 point support piece.

–The inherent Willpower from PC and the Multi-Attack ability went a looooong way towards keeping this piece from being hopelessly out-actioned by the opposing force, a common problem for other behemoths.

–And Hypersonic Speed and Flight meant that Sentry and the Void didn’t have any of the mobility issues that slowed other high-cost pieces.

Sentry and Void also had an interesting Trait that allowed you to sub in a different version of either The Sentry or The Void (kind of a clunky precursor to “Shifting Focus”) for additional battlefield flexibility and a mid-dial Movement Special Power (ASGARD MUST FALL: Once per game, give Sentry and Void a double power action. For the rest of the game even if this power is lost elevated terrain is considered grounded hindering terrain. Deal Sentry and Void and each character occupying elevated terrain 1 unavoidable damage.) that essentially allowed you to level the Map if you got stuck in a disadvantageous terrain position on the Map.

Having said all that, Sentry and Void did have a few weaknesses as well, beyond the obvious weakness of only having one figure make up your entire army.

–No Improved Targeting meant that despite Sentry and Void’s awesome Range (11), they still had to run up to anyone in hidden in Stealth, which could sometimes leave them in a slightly vulnerable position given that their Movement Speed was only 10, which was actually on the low-end for Hypersonic Speed figures.

–A top dial 11 Attack was fine, but hardly gamebreaking, and left Sentry and Void severely vulnerable to forces that had fielded multiple sources of Probability Control and–to a lesser extent–Perplex.

This left Sentry and Void in a spot where it was viable in the 300 point Meta, but hardly dominant.

What Can Be Learned From Sentry and Void: In an era of where it seems like even Thor is getting multiple 50 and 75-point representations, I was worried that we’d never see a serious 300 point OMA ever again. But The Might Thor set from last August and the Avengers: Infinity expansion from May brought us a lot of great high-point and Colossal figures.

Still, I think Carnage from TMT might be the closest they’ve gotten to a viable 300 point piece (the jury’s still out on 300 Point Tri-Sentinel and 300 Point Starro). I really want to see Wizkids give us a viable 300 Point piece that kind of lands right in that “Goldilocks” design sweet spot of not overpowered, not underpowered, but just right for the competitive scene.

Spectre 2

2. WF066R Spectre — 35 Points — Chase:

Why This PieceReally, this could be almost any of the KC “Tower Mode” pieces; I just chose the Spectre because he was my favorite.

But this whole series of pieces was a home run that has paid dividends over multiple sets (we seem to get new KC pieces every year as Con Exclusives, and two more showed up in last year’s “Elseworlds” expansion!).

35 Points for one Click is expensive, but his Damage Special (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.) is potentially game-altering if not dealt with promptly. He has great Defense (18 with ES/D plus the KC and Mystics TA) for his cost as well.

As a cherry on top, this is his SECOND dial; he has a whole main dial if you’d rather use him that way.

All in all, a ton of value.

What Can Be Learned From Spectre: WizKids has a history of releasing broken Chase figures (usually from the DC universe) that just oppress the Meta from the first day they’re released (Lydea Mallor; just about every Entity from WOL).

The KC Chases didn’t do that. Oh, they were powerful as hell, and certainly viable in some Meta Builds, but they weren’t “must-haves” for folks who want to play competitively (or even folks who were just trying to keep up with the Joneses at their FLGS).

I can’t think of another Sub-Theme of Chases and/or Primes that walked that “Goldilocks” tightrope of being useful and popular and yet not gamebreaking. The fact that these characters come from one of the most popular DC graphic novels of all-time also helps.

I would like to see more Chase Sub-Themes like this. Figures that are playable in so many different Builds. I pulled a Chase Raphael on a skateboard at the last Turtles release we did. Awesome! Except I haven’t really been able to find the right build to field him since then.

But if you lucked into one of the KC pieces, you were excited not just because you pulled a rare piece that was gonna be worth some money; you knew that you were going to be able to play that piece again and again and again (I can’t tell you how many “Mystical” theme teams I’ve rounded out with this Spectre. Suffice to say: a lot!).

The recent “Superfriends” Chase theme from BTAS is the closest I think Wizkids has gotten to finding another evergreen Chase/Con Ex sub-theme that excites fans, but even with those pieces most people are fielding them exclusively in their Sideboard, which can be really annoying. But that’s another discussion for another day.

Speed Demon Speeches

1. DP053A Speed Demon — 110 Points — Super Rare:

Why This PieceAnd now we come to my favorite piece of all-time! I used this guy probably more than any other piece I own. He’s the reason I still love running Sinister Syndicate teams to this day.

I’m gonna repeat myself again here, but it’s all about the design, design, DESIGN!!

Speed Demon was incredibly useful not just because of his whole dial Hypersonic Speed, but also because of his ridiculously awesome, unique Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.).

This Trait was sooooo good that I thought it would be repeated ad nauseam in the Flash set that had been announced for later that year.

Nope. They never used it again.

But that Trait was a silver bullet against so many turtle strategies and adjacency-based squads.

He was certainly beatable. Only six clicks with an average 17 Defense from range and no Outwit protection of any kind. And at 110 points, you were paying close to a Primary Attacker cost for a Secondary piece. But he was able to wreak so much havoc on the opponent’s gameplan that he was worth his points and then some.

What Can Be Learned From Speed Demon: Really, it’s that we need more creative Traits like “Speed Cyclone Uplift” in the game. I would love it if we got back to figure designs with characters that had powers that forced your opponent to adapt to on the fly (in other words, pieces that force your opponent to actually PLAY THE GAME WITH YOU), rather than pieces that are just there to facilitate the next Call-In card use.

 

Wow! I thought this subject would be 500 words and out, but I guess I got a little carried away. 1700 words later, here we are.

Who are your favorite Golden Age pieces?

Sound off in the Comments below, and then meet us back here on Monday for the Fourth Night of Clix-Mas!!

 

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Straight, With CHASEr 3!! [Or, 7 Builds for 7 Brothers! (Okay, 6 Brothers and a Sister!)]

Avengers Assemble

Welcome Back!

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!

Steve Rogers Nova Corps 2

AVAS061 Steve Rogers250/200 PointsChase:

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:

Steve Rogers Nova Corps

Team Name: You and I Remember Xandar Very Differently

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 Points

AAOU106 Hawkeye 75

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force12

AVXR101 Cyclops Fragment3

(Assigned to Steve Rogers) — 3

AVXR103 Colossus Fragment3

(Assigned to Hawkeye) — 3

=299

 

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 a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with just a Power Action! Guess which two of those powers I won't be using?"

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:

Nova Steve 3

Team Name: You and I Remember Central City Very Differently

Theme: Police

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 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 Card5

= 294

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, 'you only have Flurry mid-dial. So isn't it great that your Team Ability grants you some move-and-attack goodness?' You bet it is. It grants me the ability to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which is not Charge, which is what I'd need to use Flurry as well. But hey, I can still Carry folks. Did I mention I'm 140 Points and I only do 2 damage?"

“‘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 power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?"

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–

"Oh, hey, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures? Any flyer."

Any %$&#!^* flyer.”

Sigh… Chun-Li, what did we say about the swearing?

"$#@& you!"

$#@& you! I’m 140 points and I do 2 damage. $#@& you.

Moving on!

It’s time for some Heavy Metal…

 

Iron Man Extremis Buster

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 PointsChase:

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.

 

Chase Iron Man AA

Team Name: Stark’s Industrial Forgers

Theme: Stark Industries

Roster:

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 Points

FIS104 Greithoth’s Hammer — 8

FI301 Splitlip — 20

= 298

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.

 

King Thor Avengers Assemble

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.

 

King Thor Chase

Team Name: As-hats

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS063R King Thor — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIR100C Book of the Skull (Complete) — 30

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

= 300

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?"

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!"

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 that lets me Incapacitate fools!"

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."

Ha! See? I knew you’d be interested.

I… can’t believe I fell for that. Moving. ON!

 

Hulk Last Titan

 

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:

Hulk Chase Avengers Assemble

Team NameThe Last Last Titan

Theme: Hulk needs no Theme. Hulk strongest Theme there is!!

Roster:

AVAS064E Hulk — 300 Points

=300

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?"

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 me, Akuma!!"

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. I'm 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."

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."

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.

"170!"

170!!!”

Who created your set?! Good Lord! It’s like, you would only lose in a Sealed if you actually DID pull a Chase.

"$#@& you."

“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.

Black Widow as Thor

AVAS065 Black Widow200 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.

Black Widow Chase

Team Name: Strange Clouds

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS065 Black Widow — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Complete) — 40

= 300

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 mention strange clouds?"

Did someone say they want to ‘stretch things out?'”

Nope! I’m not encouraging this. Moving. On.

 

Goliath

AVAS066 Goliath98 PointsChase:

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.

Goliath Chase

Team Name: Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed & Furious

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS066 Goliath — 98 Points

AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45

AAOU005R Thor — 150

AVID015 Manifold5

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

= 298

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?'"

Did someone say ‘Electrify?'”

No! Dammit, no one said anything close to that!

Blanka 2

Great. You know your own name. Congratulations.

"At least I'm a Chase."

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?"

Uh… something something, MIRROR SPIN?”

I hate my life.

 

Rick Jones

 

AVAS067 Rick Jones75 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 NameSwiss Army Avengers

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS067 Rick Jones — 75 Points

AVAS066 Goliath — 98

AVAS034 Jarvis 40

WXM078 Quicksilver — 87

AVID015 ManifoldFIVE 0 (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

= 300

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--"

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."

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?

"Jerk."

Jerk.”

Well, until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire.

"$#@& you and goodbye."

“$#@& you and goodbye.”

 

“Ninwashui’s ‘A Clixmas Carol'” (Or, the Eleventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8Night 9 or Night 10 just by clicking the preceding links!]

A Clixmas Carol

by Ninwashui

"This is what me and HypeFox actually look like, FYI..."

This is what me and HypeFox actually look like, FYI…

It’s late at night on Christmas Eve and I am sitting here in front of my PC, with HCRealms.com up, planning teams. No, actually, that’s a lie. I am actually obsessing over a recent loss at a tournament.

A guy played 4 Wall Constructs on a 4 person team. I was piloting a Red Lantern team and when we met in battle and I got a few shots in, but it wasn’t nearly enough. He used Pulse Wave to quickly KO two of my men. I was left with 2/3 of my build, but only one character with a natural 3 damage showing and the other people left on team didn’t have move and attack abilities left on their dial. Even though I had all these characters on the board I was no longer capable of attacking his team. All these pieces left on the board and no matter what dice rolls I got or what strategy I used, from that point forward there was nothing to be done except lose.

So I am sitting here. Plotting. Obsessing. Planning team upon team. I should be lying in my bed, getting a decent night’s sleep so I can enjoy Christmas morning, but instead I am just sitting there planning. Plans of immortal Groots and Poisonous Grasshoppers are running through my head and I’m rejecting them all. They’re not good enough. None of them are good enough. And then my head starts to nod… and I am asleep. No, I’m awake! Asleep. Awake…

And then I hear it.

Someone–or more accurately some THING–creeping down the hallway, each step echoing like plastic parts rattling around in a cardboard box. Fearfully I turn my gaze to the door. Slowly now, ever slowly, it rounds the corner to my office and it’s… a man. Carrying several huge tackle boxes full of HeroClix, all stacked on top of each other in front of his face.

Trembling, I summon what courage I have left and ask, “W-who are you?” He–it’s a man, now, I can see his silhouette–he starts to reply in a deep jagged voice I don’t recognize. “Kyrphlxx.” Then he coughs and reveals himself by putting the boxes down on a chair.

In a familiar voice he bellows, “It’s me–your brother, HypeFox.”

“What are you doing here? Christmas isn’t until tomorrow.”

“You, Ninwashui, you… have brought me here,” and he points a bony finger in my direction. “You’ve forgotten what’s important. both in HeroClix… and in life. Will you be at my house on Christmas Day? Or will you still be here trying to figure out how to beat he who defeated you not a fortnight ago?

“You don’t understand! I’m so close!” I point at the Builds I’ve collected on the screen. “I’m SO CLOSE TO FIGURING IT OUT!”

“And once you finally figure out how to defeat that Build, Ninwashui, will someone else not find another Build that’s even more powerful? And will you not be right back where you started?”

“No,” I reply. “I can beat that guy. I’m going to buy some Entities off eBay. and I can always search the Forums on the Realms for strategies. I can beat that guy next time. I can beat them all!”

Hypefox sighs.

“I’ve been where you are. I’ve spent too much money and time on HeroClix. You need to learn what I could not before it’s too late. You need to remember that HeroClix is supposed to be a game, not an obsession. It’s not real life. I need to get that through to you before it’s too late. Now, you’re dreaming and it’s almost Christmas, so I’ve arranged something festive for you. Tonight you will be visited by three people. Without their help you cannot hope to shun the path you tread. Expect them tonight. But be warned: while the first two are friends, the last is one of the greatest enemies of fun the world has ever known. He will tempt you… but his is a path that leads to ruin. And years of obsolescence. Y’know what? It’ll make more sense after you meet him.” And just like that his giant tackle boxes fall over. I glance at the pile for just a moment, then turn back to HypeFox–but he’s gone. And now so are the tackle boxes. I am alone again. Or at least I thought I was…

Standing behind me I suddenly notice a tall figure. I turn and it’s my friend Scott. I’m startled, but he immediately cuts off my gasp and says, “I’m here to remind of your HeroClix past.” Suddenly we’re not at my house anymore. Instead, both of us are watching our younger selves in my parents basement. It’s 11 years ago. We had just stated playing HeroClix about a month earlier. Hypefox, Scott, and I were having a battle royal and sitting around an early map trying to figure what was hindering terrain and what was blocking. I noticed my team had Rogue and the Juggernaut. They weren’t very good, but they were some of my favorite characters from the comics and I just loved playing them for that reason.

Then something occurred to me. I turned to the older version of Scott that had brought me here. “I understand why you brought me here. You wanted me to remember why I play HeroClix. You wanted to remind me of why I thought it was fun. I get that. But, why are you here tonight? You don’t play HeroClix anymore.” He took a few seconds to think and replied, “That’s true. The way the game progressed didn’t follow my interests. Once they invented white powers the game was a little a more complicated than I liked for something that’s just a way to pass the time with friends. But, that’s not the case for you. You like Chess and you love playing complicated games. That’s how you have fun. Even though we have fun differently we can still have fun together–as long as it’s fun and not winning at all costs. That’s why I’m here tonight. Remember that and we’ll always be friends.” And then a mini Juggernaut comes flying through the air. I turn to look for who threw it, but I’m not there anymore. I’m back at my desk. But I’m not alone…

Standing there is my friendly rival Andrew from my local HeroClix venue. It seems that no matter how many people are at Comics & More on a particular night, we always end up playing each other. If I’m doing badly then I will see him at the losers table. If I am doing well then I see him in the Finals. The last time we played we were both competing to not be in last place at a Flash Sealed event. I won that round fielding a team that wasn’t good, but slightly less-worse than his. The time before that he won the day when he “Krampus’d” me.

He started addressing me as soon as he saw me. “I don’t have to take you far to show you what I need to show you tonight. What do you remember about playing HeroClix against Brian, the judge at our venue?”

“Well he’s very good. I’ve probably lost more than half the times I’ve played against him. I noticed he loves playing theme teams and usually they aren’t very good. I mean the pieces he uses aren’t the most powerful, but he plays them well and usually ends up beating me or at least playing me close. I’ve never had a blow out win against him. I know he got 4 Entities playing War of Light events. Maybe that means he’ll start using them on some really over-powered teams.”

“I know exactly what he’s doing with his Entities. Here let me show you.”

“Are you going to teleport me to his house?” He looks at me like I’m nuts.

“Wow. That’s creepy. I’d rather not, if that’s fine with you. Why would you even–”

“It’s been a long night.”

“I mean, how are we suppose to teleport, exactly? You know teleportation isn’t real, right? You know what? Just pull him up on Facebook. And then we’ll agree that we never had this conversation.”

I look up Brian, our venue judge, on Facebook. Just like Andrew said, his Facebook page shows all the unimaginably-evil plans for the Entities he owns. Actually, when I look closer the plans he has are the opposite of evil. The exact entry reads “I need X-Mas money! Make me an offer for these Entities.” He’s selling them all off to buy Christmas gifts for his family! He wasn’t really interested in making cutthroat teams–his Clixing would be just fine without the Entities. I turn to ask Andrew about it, but he’s gone.

But in his place is someone I sense is decidedly more evil…

Behind me is a figure in a black cloak, his countenance obscured by shadows from his large, billowing black hood.

“Your friends have shown you the weakling you are. But I can show you something else. Something… different.” His voice is strange. Each syllable drips with venom, but there is a hollowness to him, an emptiness that almost echoes against the walls. “I’ll show how to never lose a game of HeroClix ever again.”

Just like that his cloak opens up like a black hole and sucks me inside! It’s total darkness. When I can see again I’m looking at… myself. But I’m older. At least 5 years. I’m at very nice long wooden table. I look around at the room and it’s Comics & More. But it’s very different. The toys are gone and the comics are down to just one small bookshelf. In their place are row after row of nicely polished playing tables and some giant shelves with HeroClix for sale. There’s a slogan on the wall that says “Winning Means Never Having to Feel Like a Loser.”

I look at myself and notice that I’m arranging pieces for a tournament. I’m alone so I must be planning out my team before everyone gets there. I look at some of the things that I have displayed in front of me. I see at least 10 different Chase Primes. I see a new type of Possession Piece called a “Multiverse Alternate Reality Incursion Entity”. I see a new Infinity Gem Resource. I see a Quinjet. I even see two Team Bases with Galactus and the Spectre on them on them! All of these things must have come out in the next 5 years and it seems like I have them all!

The hooded figure speaks. “In your future HeroClix rides a wave of popularity generated by a new breed of player. The type of player that will win at any cost. Six months from now WizKids hires a new CEO. One they know will be able to get every last dime out of a well established successful brand. He’ll start by introducing new revenue streams such as needing a to pay for a special license just to purchase packs of HeroClix. Then he’ll make all of the most powerful figures more rare and hard to find with each passing set. The power level will increase so much from set to set that almost every figure in the previous set is useless as soon as the next set comes out.”

I look at all the pieces in front of me.

“Am I the new CEO?”

“No…” replies the hooded figure. “I am. But you’re the first and best of the new win at any costs HeroClix player base. You could even be the most successful Clix player ever. You just have make the right choice tonight–the choice to embrace your destiny.”

Then It happens. I was so busy looking at all of the HeroClix figures on display that I missed seeing the piece of paper on the table in front of my future self. I see it now, and I know that my future self has taken a dark path. The paper is a tournament flyer. It reads, “Come face the best HeroClix player in the world. Tournament hours 8-midnight on Christmas Eve.” I’m not alone at Comics & More because it’s early before a tournament. I’m alone because it’s Christmas Eve and everyone else is with their families tonight.

I point at the paper and turn to the figure in Black.

“I know now what kind of person I am in the future. That man has gone down a dark path. The only question now is who are you? Who is the CEO that is so determined to get every bit of profit out of his fanbase that he invented things like a pack license and the Prime Chase rarity?”

Slowly the hooded figure laughs and removes his hood. “My name? Oh, I think you know my name, Ninwashui. I think you’ve known it all along!”

The next CEO of WizKids

The next CEO of WizKids

“I’m former University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon.”

I wake up screaming at my keyboard, with Dave Brandon’s empty laughter ringing in my ears.

I look around. It’s morning. It’s Christmas. I look up at my screen and during the night I’ve created the most evil team I’ve ever seen. It exploits timing rules and a broken combo to KO an opposing team before they’ve left their starting area. This could beat anything wall guy could throw at me. I’ll be the best player ever. Then I look closely at it. A casual player wouldn’t even get an attack off against this team. It would win every game 300 to nothing. Before I even realize it I am pressing delete. I take a minute to send a simple text about my night to HypeFox and get ready to go see him. Somewhere he’s reading what he’ll soon tell me is the most confusing back-t0-back texts he’s ever seen.

“Hey HypeFox. It turns out I’m not evil.”

“Also, screw Dave Brandon.”

I stretch and stand. I head to the bathroom for a quick shower, but as soon as I look at the mirror, I’m startled by another visit from Phantom HypeFox.

“You know, Ninwa, I’ve been thinking–if you had used an Orange Power Battery, you could have prevented the Wall Guy from–”

I wave my hand to cut him off.

“Not today, HypeFox.” And I notice now that for the first time in the last couple days I’m actually smiling. “It’s Christmas, and I’ve got somewhere I gotta be.”

 

holly

From Hypefox and Ninwashui to all of our readers:

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

Feedback!! (Or, The First Night of Clix-Mas!!)

Christmas Marvel Peanuts

Hello! And welcome to the first NIGHT of Clix-Mas (the gimmick seems a little less stolen if I just change it from the 12 DAYS of Clix-mas to the 12 NIGHTS of Clix-mas! Yay! A Festivus for the rest of us!).

For today’s entry, we’re gonna talk about some direct feedback I received from local venue-goer–and fellow Nekron winner!–Matt, who pointed out that Black Talon wasn’t among the figures I highlighted when we were ROC’ing the Meta a month ago (Part 2 can be found right here).

Matt made his case that the ability to Mind Control friendly figures in general is still a viable strategy in the Meta, even with the retirement rotation of GG Mole Man.

"What?! I'm not legal in Modern Age unless I'm undead? What sense does that make?"

“What?! Retire?! But I’m in the best shape of my life!”

Also, he felt that Black Talon brought a lot to the table beyond that and, thus, was definitely a Meta-worthy fig. And you know what?

He’s not wrong.

I just don’t agree with him.

Insomuch as Black Talon being a difference maker in the current ROC formats (like many pieces, you can rapidly fix a lot of his flaws with an Entity or Resource).

But there’s many who would with Matt–including some very high-level players. Heck, the Dial H for Heroclix crew just listed Black Talon as one of the top Support pieces out there, considering everything he’s capable of.

Let’s take a quick look at him:

"Yessss! The only thing more effective than the original X-Men: actual ex-men! Cuz... cuz they're dead. Get it?  Yeah, that was a long way to go for nothing."

“Yessss! The only thing more effective than the original X-Men: actual ex-men! Cuz… cuz they’re dead. Get it? <Sigh> Yeah, that was a long way to go for nothing.”

–DP043 Black TalonRare — 60 Points

He has five clicks total, but he starts out with Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs with a 10 Attack, so he can definitely be a Tertiary Attacker or even a fringe-y Secondary Attacker (to use a baseball scouting term). But the best reasons to play him are his Trait (POWER OF THE LIVING LOA: When Black Talon uses Mind Control, you may place a KO’d opposing character in an adjacent square on its starting click, and that character becomes the target. After actions resolve, that character is removed from the game.) and his Special Damage Power (CONTROL OF THE MINDLESS UNDEAD: Black Talon can use Mind Control with a range value of 8, and when he does he may target friendly characters. If all of his targets are friendly, a lower point value, and have the Monster keyword, he may use it as if had 3 bolts.).

Forget that last part of “Control of the Mindless Undead”–you’d almost have to hamstring your Build just to have a chance to get it to go off. No, the reason people play him is for the first part of that power–the ability to target friendly characters with Mind Control (and with a very healthy Range of 8, at that!).

So, the concept behind armies that feature “friendly Mind Control” is to, essentially, cheat the batting order. Basically, you want to play your friendly Mind Control piece with a heavy hitter that you think can break the game if they get to attack more than their fair share during a turn. To continue the baseball metaphor, in other words, you’re trying to fix it so that your Triple Crown-winning All-Star first baseman best attacker(s) will attack bat twice in one inning Round.

Yup! This man is the face of our franchise (and the best hitter on the planet!).

Yup! This man is the face of our franchise (and the best hitter on the planet!).

One of the problems with this strategy is that you can most definitely miss with the Mind Control roll, and suddenly you’ve wasted an action from one of your support pieces AND a potential strike from one of your Heavy Hitters.

Also, specifically in Black Talon’s case, he doesn’t give you ANYTHING in terms of actual supporting powers such as Support, Prob, Perplex or Outwit. Not unless you outfit him with an Entity or a Resource or something.

So you REALLY need to make those Mind Control roles. Which means that you always need to make sure Black Talon is within 8 Squares and can draw a line of fire to your best attacker. And keep in mind, Mole Man IGNORED MIND CONTROL DAMAGE and pumped up his Mind Control rolls by a staggering +3! Black Talon does neither. With only 5 clicks, Mind Control damage can become a problem very quickly.

The Meta (as far as the ROC goes, I mean) has shifted away (for the most part) from this strategy recently because there are now a lot of options to get multiple attacks in one turn with a really good figure who doesn’t have to rely on a dice roll to be able to make that second attack.

Figures like:

–Anyone who can Charge or Hypersonic Speed and Flurry. Best Example: WOL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

–Any figure who starts with or can get Duo Attack. Best Examples: WOL107 Kyle Rayner or CATWS018 Captain America and Black Widow

–Figures who have other Special Traits or Powers that let them attack or cause damage twice in one turn. Best Examples: GOTG050 Proxima MidnightDP053A Speed Demon, DP053B Whizzer or DP057 Tiamat

–Figures with Penetrating Poison (or even just Poison). Best Examples: Like, every Red Lantern.

What do most of these figures have in common? Yup! You can find most of them being used by high-level players in the latest ROC results. Now, just because serious tournament players are using the heck out of a certain piece doesn’t mean it’s necessarily awesome–sometimes people screw up, even at that level. But it usually means there’s something very efficiently exploitable about a piece.

All of which is to say, Black Talon is good. Great, even, and he IS viable in the Meta–so Matt was right.

However, if you really want to win a tourney like the ROC, leaving yourself flexible options while taking as much risk as possible OUT of your gameplan is key. That’s why I prefer figures with built-in mechanisms for multiple attacks, as opposed to having to roll for it.

"Psssh. I never gotta 'roll' for it. Heh. You know what I mean. See? This guy gets it."

“Psssh. I never gotta ‘roll’ for it. Heh. You know what I mean. See? This guy gets it.”

 

Well, that’s all for Day Night One of the Twelve Days Nights of Clix-Mas!

Join us tomorrow for a special (and long overdue!) Tourney Report!

 

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw those lines of fire!!

 

ROC’ing the Meta 2: Electric Boogaloo!! (Or, a Look at the Top Meta Figures for the 2014-2015 ROC Season!)

ROC

Okay! So it’s been awhile since I wrote anything that wasn’t a Weekly Roundup (or that had the “Electric Boogaloo” subtitle!), and I noticed that we really haven’t addressed the new ROC season format in any real detail yet. Well, that changes today!!

In this article, we’re going to look at which figures are doing well–basically, what you can expect to see at the next few ROC’s. In part 2, we’ll discuss which figures are not working like they use to in the Meta, and which figures might yet have their day in sun!

This should explain everything.

This should explain everything.

 

First, let’s take a look at the format the ROC is using this year. I mean, you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is, right?

From HCRealms, here is the current format:

1.2.1: The first half of this season the format will be “300 Points, Modern Age, and “No Tactics” “No Entity Possession”.

No figure with a base larger than a double base (peanut). Runs Sep 2014-Mar 2015.

What is “No Tactics?” Again, from the rules:

“Part 4: TACTICS
Tactics are optional elements of HeroClix that you can choose to play in your HeroClix games. Each brings new strategic depth and exciting opportunities to the game, but also additional rules and complexity.
Tactics should be added to your game only when you feel you’ve mastered all other aspects of the HeroClix rules. Even then, you and those you play with might want to add only one Tactic at a time, learning each in turn. Tactics covered in this section include:

• Special Objects
• Resources
• Feats
• Battlefield Conditions
• Event Dials
• Bystanders Tokens
• Themed Teams

That’s right. No Resources, Relics, Colossals or Entities. No Bystander Tokens! No ATA’s, even! Yikes! Annnnd, you have to declare three maps on your Build sheet to choose from if you win Map Roll, so it’s a lot harder to hose teams simply via Map Choice. So what does that leave you? Well, quite a bit, actually, with one mechanic rising above the rest–at least so far. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Looking at the results of the few ROC’s that have been run so far under these rules (you can see the results of the FAT OGRE ROC right here, and the Dial H guys have talked at length about the ROC they ran in their last couple episodes), here is what you can expect to see.

SUPPORTING CAST:

Ranged figures are at such an advantage in this format. Probably because of that, everyone is looking for supporting figures that aid in targeting and pump up Range, Attack and/or Damage. Also, TK and Support are two KEY abilities that almost every team needs to have or needs to deal with. Healing, especially, is hard to come by in today’s Meta without a Power Battery. As such, these are the solutions some high level players have turned to in order to solve for X so far in this early part of the ROC season:

The Dead Set:

Deadpool Supporting Cast

DP018 Blind Al: She’s cheap (just 13 Points) and she enables shenanigans. She’s only got 2 clicks, but that doesn’t matter. Do you need to get a figure to its second click in a hurry? Do you want the cheapest Perplex in the game for your turtle (read: Iron Pharaoh) team? One of her main drawbacks–her keywords–doesn’t matter a lick in this format, since Theme Teams are disallowed.

DP020 Weasel: Now we’re up to 27 Points and 3 clicks of life! Again, his dial is so useful it doesn’t matter. He’s got 2 specials that just make him the best supporting piece for ranged attackers in the game (Well, a case could be made for the next fig on this list, but I’m getting ahead of myself). Weasel’s Tech-Guru to the Underworld Damage Special essentially allows him to give an adjacent friendly attacker +1 to their Range, Attack AND Damage. His top dial Attack Special is slightly less useful, but it will let you reroll a nearby friendly character’s missed range attack roll if you miss by 1 (unless it’s a critical miss). As a nice little bonus, Weasel has Pulse Wave on the last two clicks of his dial. He only has an 8 Attack to go with his 5 Range (3 on the Pulse Wave), but when you remember that Pulse Wave ignores opposing Shape Change, Super Senses, Energy Shield/Deflection and Probability Control (if the Prob’er is in the area of effect), it’s not inconceivable that  Weasel could actually hit someone with it.

Bill Agent of Aim

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M.: 3 clicks of life for 30 Points! Bill does just about everything Blind Al does, only better! His Defense Special (I’M NOT ACTUALLY A QUALIFIED BLIMP PILOT, IT TURNS OUT: Bill, Agent of A.I.M. can use the Carry ability to carry any number of characters. After he carries a character and actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 3-6, deal him and the carried characters 1 damage.) will actually let you move most of your figures into place, and it also gets Bill to his two back clicks, which are absurdly useful for the points. He has the Hydra TA, Sidestep, Willpower and Outwit, but it’s his Attack Special that makes him a must play for a lot of folks (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING: Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character without line of fire to that opposing character.). Bascially, as long as your Primary Attacker is in range, he can attack your opponent’s best figure regardless of Terrain or Stealth or whatever, which is never not useful.

Again, Bill’s keywords aren’t the greatest (his best is probably Scientist), but that doesn’t matter a lick in this format.

The War Veterans:

War of Light is one of the largest sets they’ve ever made (actually, it’s gotta be the largest, right?), so just on shear numbers, it would have to offer a ton of great pieces for every role in a Build. As far as supporting pieces go, there’s definitely a few that you will run into again and again:

Soranik Natu

–WOL016 Soranik Natu: This is neither here nor there, but man, as I was looking for Soranik Natu images to put at the top of this entry, I noticed that half of what I found were Cosplay photos. I guess Soranik and her rather boobilicious uniform hit the Cosplay target right in the Bullseye. She’s alien, yet she basically looks like a sunburnt human; her costume wouldn’t be too hard to throw together, and dressing up as Ms. Natu offers the chance to display a lot o’ cleavage. There ya go–I think we just worked out a Cosplay algorithm that solves for the basic elements that need to be satisfied when choosing a character to Cosplay! Well done, us!

Anyway, Soranik Natu is a 70-Point Lantern from Wave 2 offers decent stats for her cost; what makes her Meta-worthy is the back half of her Trait (TANGLED LIVES: Opposing characters named Sinestro modify their combat values by -1 if not already modified by this effect. When Soranik Natu is adjacent to a character named Kyle Rayner, they both modify their attack values by +1 if not already modified by this effect.) and her top dial Attack Special (BATTLEFIELD MEDIC: Soranik Natu can use Telekinesis and Support. When she uses Telekinesis and places a friendly character next to her, she can use Support as a free action, but only to heal that character.). Please believe me when I say that there are very few good characters with Support in this format. Many teams in the normal Meta rely on the Power Battery for Support, or use Agrir’s Hammer for some Steal Energy/Quake shenanigans. Well, you can’t use either of those in the ROC right now. But Soranik here can fit right in with what a lot of Meta teams are already doing, and a 10 Attack Support as a FREE ACTION is a Godsend. Her TK also opens up a lot of doors in terms of your plan of attack.

As far as her Trait goes, we’ll see why that matters (if only a little) a little further on in this article.

Brother Hymn

–WOL029 Brother Hymn: He’s a bit pricey at 85 Points, but he will have just about every supporting power in the game (except maybe Empower, which doesn’t do much for you in the current environment anyway) somewhere on his dial. Top dial, he can use Perplex (only to increase values, but still), Enhancement (that also gives +1 to Range, not unlike Weasel), Barrier and Probability Control. Down dial he also morphs into a warrior monk with Running Shot and 3 damage along with Support (that he can occasionally use as–you guessed it–a Free Action!). He also flies, which means he’s a decent taxi, too.

Sister Sercy

–WOL033 Sister Sercy: She costs less than Brother Hymn (66 Points to his 85), but you get less, too. 1 less click of life, 2 less range, and less damage output throughout her whole dial. What you do get, however, is a phenomenal top click. Flight with 9 Movement and the Blue Lantern Perplex (can only Perplex values UP), 10 Attack with TK (so useful in this format), 17 Defense with Willpower and Prob with 2 Damage. She does pick up the same Support Special at the end of her dial that Brother Hymn has, but with an essentially naked 17 Defense and only 5 clicks, it is very possible someone can one shot her. Still, she is someone that you may see at a ROC.

The Old School:

Void

–SOG035 Void: At 70 Points with Flight and Phasing on all five of her clicks, along with the ability to Carry up to four friendly characters (with no keyword requirement, which, again, works brilliantly in a no Themed Teams environment), she’s one of the best Taxis in the game. She also gives you a (all together now!) Free Action Support after she resolves a move action. If her attack wasn’t stuck at 8 for her whole dial, she’d be nearly broken. She also possesses a wonderful Damage Special (PRECOGNITION: Void can use Outwit, Probability Control, and Super Senses; when an action resolves after she uses any of these powers, roll a d6 that cannot be rerolled and on a result of ‘one’ deal Void 1 unavoidable damage.) that might eat away at her over time, but chances are the game will already be decided before that damage really hurts her enough to matter.

SECONDARY ATTACKERS:

Modern Age currently has a good number of figures (thanks primarily to War of Light) that can act as very efficient Secondary Attackers who cost a pittance compared to what you used to have to pay. Most are Primes, but not all. If you’re going to a ROC soon, expect to see one of these pieces backing up the Primary Attacker:

The Lanterns:

Abin Sur

–WOL046B Abin Sur (Prime): Okay! Now we get to that mechanic I was talking about earlier–the one that’s been rising above the rest. It’s the Construct mechanic (CONSTRUCT: When building your force, you may attach a construct to this character by paying its point cost. Give this character a power action and replace the construct with any other construct, up to 2 points higher than the original construct. If this character has no action tokens and the new construct is a lower point value than the original construct, this is a free action instead.)! And Abin Sur here has it! He also has Running Shot, Energy Explosion, an 8 Range, 3 native Damage and some down dial Support (so useful!) and Perplex. Now, all that might seem pedestrian enough, but there are two MAJOR things to think about with Abin Sur here.

First, consider the WIDE range of abilities Abin’s Construct ability grants him (RCE, ES/D, Free Action Barrier, Free Action Smoke Cloud, Regen, CCE, Exploit Weakness, Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, etc., etc. … ). He can evolve with the game for the low, low price of 10 extra points when building your force (that’s the cost of the most expensive Construct, and he can switch them out at will by using a Power Action or a Free Action depending on which Construct you’re attaching.

Second, you’ll have that extra 10 Points (and more) to spend since Abin Sur ONLY COSTS 50 FREAKING POINTS!! Whaaa… ?!?!? Yep. He’s INSANELY good for his points. The other Construct pieces from War of Light are really good for their points, but 50 Points for everything Abin Sur brings you is just stupid.

Tomar Tu

–WOL013B Tomar Tu (Prime): 99 Points of awesome. He has the Construct ability, a mid-dial mini-Highfather-esque shenanigans-baiting Movement Special (FINAL STAND AGAINST HAL JORDAN: Give Tomar Tu a power action and choose an opposing character within 6 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t target any friendly character with an attack.), an absurd 9 Range, 18 Defense with Super Senses and Running Shot/Pulse Wave top dial. He can also use Willpower and has a conditional Outwit! You will be seeing this piece QUITE a lot in future ROC’s.

The Lil’ Guys:

Despotellis

–WOL099 Despotellis: Despotellis is sometimes referred to as a supporting piece, but make no mistake–his only purpose is dealing damage. Now, a 30-Point Hockey Puck with a 20 Defense is hard to deal with in the normal Meta; take away Resources and Relics, and his 20-Defense becomes ridiculously difficult to deal with. His Penetrating Poison is a great way to bust through particularly tough to deal with defensive abilities like Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and so on. Additionally, some of the Construct-sporting Lanterns can get up to a 20+ Defense from Range with the Shield, so having a way to knock them through their clicks without having to roll attack dice is key.

Headpool

–DP002 Headpool: Okay, he’s more of a tertiary attacker/tie-up piece, but he makes this list because you’re going to see him a lot. While he doesn’t have the Construct ability, he does have the Merc With a Mouth ability, which lets him attach Word Balloons (not as good as Constructs, but useful in and of themselves). He’s easy to get into the fray, and his Exploit Weakness should allow him to get through most defenses. Plus, his Defense Special (IMMORTAL ZOMBIE HEAD THAT EVERYONE WANTS: Headpool ignores other characters’ Poison and all but 1 damage that would be dealt to him. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) will keep him around far longer than his 3 clicks of life might suggest he would stay. The fact that he has the ability to dish out Virus tokens as well is something that might also be exploited, but we’ll touch on that a little more next time in Part 2…

PRIMARY PIECES:

These are the main pieces to watch out for. Not every army will feature one of these, but most will. They’re also not all Primary Attackers–there’s a couple Meta Builds that revolve around pieces that change the game without attacking. Either way, whatever Build you come up with, you are gonna need a way to deal with these guys (and gal) if and when you encounter them.

Yup. More Lanterns:

Kyle Raynor ION 2

–WOL107 Kyle Raynor (Green Lantern): They finally made a good Kyle Raynor?! Yup. His 180 Point cost is worth it, especially since Kyle can use the Construct ability. He can deal a ton of damage his first two clicks, but then a Stop Click (ION: When this click is revealed due to an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Kyle Rayner can use Impervious and the Quintessence team ability. This power can’t be ignored.) on Click 3 kicks things into overdrive. It bumps Kyle up to a 19 native Defense along with 5 Damage and Outwit. But it’s his Movement Special that’s really bonkers (I CAN BE EVERYWHERE I NEED TO BE: Kyle Rayner can use the Duo Attack Ability. When he does, before making each attack, you may place him in a legal square up to half his speed value away.). Read that ability again. It’s stupid, it’s so good. And you still have 110-ish Points (depending on what Construct you buy Kyle) left for supporting pieces. He is fully capable of doing 9 Damage or more while using that crazy Duo Attack of his, and there’s next to nothing that your opponent can do to tie him down!

John Stewart

–WOL105 John Stewart: A more traditional from-range beatstick who becomes more interesting in this format since he has the Construct ability. His top dial includes Running Shot, Precision Strike, RCE and the ability to use RCE as a ranged combat action instead of a power action. He also naturally sees through Hindering Terrain and other characters. For those reasons, he’s better than the 160 Point Hal Jordan that came with the Scenario Pack. He doesn’t have the crazy movement powers that Kyle Raynor does, but he’s damn good in his own right and he still packs a serious punch.

The Kool-Aid Kult Member:

Proxima Midnight

–GOTG050 Proxima Midnight: First of all, how awesome is her sculpt? It’s the exact image above, including the fallen victim at her feet. But I digress. Proxima is 100 points of aggression; her dial has 7 Clicks that start out range-based, then turn to close combat before finishing with some clicks that are somewhere in between. Top dial she has 10 Movement with Running Shot, 11 Attack with Pen/Psy (and Sharpshooter), 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes and 3 native damage. Her Range is dependent on her first Trait (THREE TRACERS OF BLACK LIGHT: Proxima Midnight begins the game with 3 Tracer tokens on this card. Proxima Midnight has a range value equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card times 3, and has a number of bolts equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card.), but it’s her second Trait that makes her so useful against foes with strong defensive abilities (THE SPEAR OF PROXIMA MIDNIGHT: When Proxima Midnight hits with a ranged combat attack, remove a Tracer token from this card and place it on a hit character’s card if it doesn’t already have one. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 for each of her Tracer tokens on other character’s cards, and on a result of 3-6 deal 1 penetrating damage to the character with that Tracer token on its card. When a character with her Tracer token on its card is KO’d, place the Tracer token on Proxima Midnight’s card.). Yup. Depending on that Spear roll, you could potentially do two separate packets of penetrating damage to a character. For pieces with Stop Clicks or other shenanigans (Bizarro, the Kyle Raynor from above that we just talked about), this is a huge headache.

With her combination of Sharpshooter, Pen/Psy and Combat Reflexes, sometimes your best move is to simply Running Shot right next to your target and stay there–if they don’t have an available Outwit, it’s going to be very tough for most pieces to hit a 20 Defense–especially if Proxima hits them first and they’re mid-dial.

Lots of folks have been teaming her with Bill, Agent of A.I.M. to get that first shot in from a safe place where it’s hard or even impossible for the enemy to return fire. This is certainly a valid strategy; just be ever mindful of your positioning with her, because she can get chewed up from range real quick. Her native 18 Defense isn’t bad by any stretch, but she has no reducers of any kind. Of course, even if she does go down hard, she still has her final Trait (CULL OBSIDIAN: When Proxima Midnight is KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, deal damage to that character equal to the last amount of damage dealt to Proxima Midnight. This damage can’t be reduced below 1.) to leave as a parting gift. Oh, and Ninwashui is kind of a fan.

The Shapeshifter:

Zombie Super Skrull

GOTG062 Super Skrull: This was the winning Primary Piece at the Dial H ROC event, I believe. He’s 170 Points and possesses all the same Zombie Traits that every other Zombie Chase has. Those alone make him pretty good, but what he’s really good at is mimicking that Green Lantern Construct ability! Super Skrull’s Trait (IT’S HARD TO EMULATE FOUR POWERS WITH HALF MY LIMBS: Give Super Skrull a free action and choose up to one each of standard speed, attack, defense, and damage powers. Super Skrull can use the chosen powers until your next turn. For each power chosen this way, place a Power token on his card. At the end of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, and subtract 1 for each Power token on his card and remove all Power tokens from his card. On a result of 1 or less, deal Super Skrull 1 unavoidable damage.) lets him actually choose up to FOUR standard abilities to pick up on the fly, and he does it all AS A FREE ACTION (not every Construct flip with the Lanterns is gonna be a Free Action). He’s a multi-tool for every occasion! And with his Zombie Traits, you frankly don’t care about taking one measly damage, since you have multiple ways to get it back!

And he teams very well with Headpool and some of the other Z-Virus figs like–well, we’ll get into that in Part 2 when we talk about some possibly overlooked figures!

The Ol’ Standards:

"I;m back?! My dear, I never left!"

“I’m back?! My dear, I never left!”

–IIM051 Iron Pharaoh: He is still a thing, going forward. I don’t know if there’s a piece I’ve discussed more on this site. He’s one of my favorites to use, and he’s not going anywhere until he’s rotated out. There’s not really a format that he’s not at least above average in. Krampus/Helspont teams (and, to a lesser extent, Shatterstar teams) are probably his main weakness at the moment, but even then, he probably still has a 40%-50% of coming out on top. I’ll take those odds if I’m matched up against a team designed to exploit my fatal flaw. And while he keywords are actually pretty good, the fact that you can play whoever you want with him in this environment only makes him better–he doesn’t have any NAMED keywords, so he was never gonna get those Theme Team probs anyway!

Shatterstar

–WXM010 Shatterstar: At 73 Points, he seems like he should be considered a Secondary Attacker. And on many builds, he probably will be. However, there’s a good chance that his team is going to revolve around him anyway thanks to his easily exploitable Trait (X PORTAL: Once per game, give Shatterstar a power action. Place Shatterstar and an adjacent friendly character of a lower point value in any adjacent squares on the map.) and the fact that, top dial, he can Charge 5 squares, has an 11 Attack with both Flurry AND B/C/F (Yup. If the rolls go your way, a 73 Point character can dish out 12 Clicks of raw damage on the second freaking turn no matter where your opponent is on the map. And once he’s up close and personal with an opposing figure, they’ll have to hit a 19 to Damage him (17 native Defense plus Combat Reflexes). Hell, you can run two of him and still have almost 150 Points leftover for the rest of your army. He’s that good. And just like the comics, he pairs really well with Rictor, especially since they both have top dial Charge (and Rictor pumps up their Attack values).

Highfather

–SLOSH052 Highfather: Yes, he’s still hanging around. He’s a supporting piece masquerading as a primary figure. His top dial TK , Prob and Support are somewhat useful, but the only reason he’s really played is his Trait (THE PACT: At the beginning of the game, you may announce a pact. If you do, the highest point character on your force and the highest point character on your opponent’s force (300 points or less) can’t target opposing characters with an attack until one of them has taken damage from an attack or they are the only 2 characters on the map. This ability can’t be ignored.). He can shut down Tentpole pieces, but it’s very rare in this environment that you’re going to find yourself facing a really heavy-costed piece outside of Kyle or Zombie Super Skrull. And even then, it’s not inconceivable that they won’t have a supporting piece who can get a shot in on Highfather.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I think Highfather is a losing strategy at this point. If you go this route, you will run into a few games where he guides you to an easy win. You may even make Top 8, but usually by then you’re gonna face some really well-put-together teams that will have not one but MULTIPLE answers for Highfather, and your day will be done right quick. But I have to include him on this list because he is still out there and you may run into him.

Helspont Krampus 2

WK002 Krampus/SLOSH042 Helspont: These guys come as a pair. An unlikely one, I grant you, but they’re pretty effective. The basic idea here is to use these two along with Blind Al. You Perplex Krampus twice with Blind Al and Helspont (who also has Perplex) to get Krampus to a 12 Attack, then you give Blind Al a power action to activate her Booby Trap power and expel Helspont from the starting area and deal him one unavoidable damage. The tricky part here is to find a spot to place Helspont that’s outside of your starting area yet adjacent to Krampus (not all maps will have a good spot, so winning Map Roll will definitely help you here). Then you activate Helspont’s Movement Special (I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO: Give Helspont a double power action and select an opposing character of a lower point value. Place Helspont and the chosen character in each other’s squares, and after actions resolve, Helspont may be given a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) to trade places with a key member of your opponent’s force who’s 199 Points or less. If at all possible, you want to choose someone who doesn’t have Shape Change, Super Senses or Probability Control (again, with no Themed Teams, Probability Control will be a lil’ easier to avoid) to take as many variables out of the equation as you can.

Then you activate Krampus’s special Capture Trait (NAUGHTY CHILDREN ARE MY HOLIDAY FEAST: Krampus can use the Capture ability. He can use it normally or, if the target is a higher point value, he must be given a double power action instead of a power action. When Krampus releases a captured character in his starting area, in addition to the normal effects, heal Krampus to his starting line.) and hope to all that is holy (or maybe unholy) that you hit. Krampus’s Attack Special gives him +1 to hit as well for each token on the target, so that will help you as well. With a 12-13 Attack, you should have a fighting chance against most figures.

You’ll probably have to wait through one round of clearing before you can release your Captive, but if you can succeed at all those steps, there’s a high probability that the game will be effectively over, especially if you were also able to take a Free Action shot with Helspont at another figure on your opponent’s team (and since there’s no chance of a Colossal-Sized Power Battery being in the way in their starting area in this environment, you should be good to go). Because Krampus never left his starting area, he’s still there, and he can release his Captive as soon as he has the ability to take a Power Action.

Now, if you miss with Krampus, you’re not doomed, since his Plasticity will keep most figures right where they’re at and he other Special Powers that grant him Super Senses and the ability to Perplex Attack Values down by -2, but you’ll also be giving your opponent a LOT more time to react, which is never good with this sort of combo team. There was also a ruling recently in the WizKids rules forum where they basically expanded the first turn Immunity rule to prevent you from doing this on your first turn; waiting until turn two isn’t exactly a dealbreaker, though–if you hit your rolls, crippling your opponent on turn two is just as effective as crippling him on turn one.

Hypersonic Speed is also a horrible matchup for this team (Speed Demon in particular, who people seem to have forgotten about so soon after his domination last season. But with his ability to cross the map in two turns, attack Krampus for 3 Damage AND also catch the creature in a Speed Cyclone Uplift, it’s possible he can KO Krampus in that token-clearing turn after he Captures someone but before he can release them.), but so far, we haven’t seen a ton of those figs show up in this specific Meta (outside of Super Skrull, who can gain it if he wants it). Having said all that, this is still a wickedly viable Build. I’d suspect you’d have much better results playing this than Highfather, at the very least.

The Best of the Rest:

Briefly, IIM001B Silver Centurion, ASM017B Brother Voodoo and WOL104 & WOL104R Guy Gardner are a few other figures you may run into in your ROC travels that are definitely still viable in the Meta.

Okay! So there you have it. Almost 5000 words on what you can expect to run into if you attend a ROC this season. Next time, we’ll discuss which former Meta figures you should avoid, and which figures and Builds you can try that haven’t really shown up yet this season.

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw your lines of fire!