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

mr furious

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

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

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

Some General Notes About the Set:

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

Secret Warriors

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

Uhhh… on second thought, maybe not.

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

Alright. Enough moping. Time to get into some…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

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

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

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

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

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

Imperial Hydra

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shine bright like a diamond.

Shine bright like a diamond.

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

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

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

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

Need… more… arms… with guns!!”

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

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

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

Ooooookay, that does not look safe...

Ooooookay, this does not look safe…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m just picturing it in my head now:

"Hulk hate puny pigeons!"

Hulk hate puny pigeons!”

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

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

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

Jane Foster Thor 1

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

Miles Morales

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

Kamala Khan

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

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

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

Peggy Carter

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

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

Fitz and Henry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Fury Original Sin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Assembly Required (Or, A Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Avengers Assemble)

Avengers Assemble Ninwashui Byline

Some General Notes About the Set:

  • It seems like Attack Values are being subtly lowered by WizKids in this set. There are a lot of 10 Attacks in this set where 11 seemed to be the norm for sets like Flash and Trinity War. Thankfully, they seem to be compensating for this by subtly ramping up the powers. For example, In another set I think AVAS007 Mettle would have just given AVAS006 Hazmat Mastermind and called it a day. Instead, in this set he actually teleports to her side from any distance whenever she is attacked to absorb damage for her. That’s a huge step up in effect.
  • All of the Movie Avengers got both a regular version and an ultra powerful Chase version. Black Widow with Thor’s Hammer. Steve Rogers with a Nova helmet, Tony Stark with… armor so thick it doesn’t move around very well. Some of these ideas were better than others.
  • The new cosmic Avengers from Hickman’s recent 3-year run are in the set, but for the most part their dials underwhelmed me. AVAS041A Starbrand, AVAS043 Abyss, AVAS054 Nightmask, AVAS056 Ex Nihilo, and AVAS036 Captain Universe all have great looking sculpts to go with dials that are so underpowered they will never be played at any real tournament. I mean, obviously not every figure is going to be a tournament piece, but c’mon. “Ooo, watch out! My 190 point Ex Nihilo is going to grow grass around your Ragnarok! It will be angry grass!” Sigh…
  • Not only were the new Cosmic Avengers underpowered for their cost, they were underpowered compared to what they do in the comics. For example, in the comics, Star Brand knocked the Hulk into orbit and almost beat the rest of the Avengers roster combined (including Thor and Hyperion) by himself. In HeroClix Wiz Kids decided that amount of power translated into having a 10 attack and… 3 damage. 3 damage? Really WizKids? Really?

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Hulk Last Titan

5. AVAS064E Hulk – He is the best No-Tactics 300 point one-man army in Modern Age. Rivaled possibly only by… himself (AAOU008 Hulk). While I think he would lose against his movie version one-on-one, I think the Hulk in Avengers Assemble would do better in a tournament for two very important reasons. First, his powers can’t be countered. Secondly, his Stop Click can’t be ignored by Pulse Wave. Add to that his Movement Special Power that lets you Charge 10 squares up a mountain while carrying an ultra heavy object, and this Hulk is really good at what every Hulk should be good at… Smashing!

Echo_as_Ronin

4. AVAS010 Echo I love figures with Super Senses and Shape Change. I tend to use those figures to tie up my opponent’s big hitter because no matter its Attack Value, those defenses will always be just as effective.

So I love that Echo has has Super Senses and Traited Combat Reflexes and that in addition to those two powers she can copy a power, like, say, Shape Change, from someone on your team or even an opposing figure. Sure she can copy any Attack or Damage power (even Telekinesis, which is weird for that character), but copying Shape Change gives her a third defensive ability which is just awesome for a character under 100 points. Plus, unlike another recent, cheap defensive powerhouse (JLTW034 Element Woman), she actually has a decent offense. 11 attack (with her own Perplex) and Blades/Claws/Fangs.

I’ll take that all day. Her downside is her lack of Willpower and the fact that while she has Stealth, she doesn’t ignore Hindering Terrain on movement. Both issues can generally be solved by a good taxi. In a No-Tactics environment she’d do well with Chase AVAS065 Black Widow.

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America

3. FFCA006R Captain America Whenever I see a character cost 50 points, I know my writing partner Hypefox tends to pay attention. How he missed this guy I’ll never know. Didn’t he remember my Trinity War Top Ten Article where he said we’d be including Fast Forces figures in our Top Ten Lists from now on

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Absolutely! But I decided not to use any Fast Forces: Classic Avengers pieces BECAUSE THEY’RE ASSOCIATED WITH AGE OF ULTRON, NOT AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!]

Uh… what?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Look at the set symbol for any Avengers Assemble piece.]

Um, okay. It’s a slanty “Avengers-A.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Now look at the set symbol for any Age of Ultron SLOP piece.]

It’s Ultron’s face.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And as we all know, all of the Fast Forces pieces feature the Fast Forces symbols–which looks kind of like a blocky, italicized “6,” plus a smaller version of the set that it’s supplementing.]

Oh crap. So, since the Classic Avengers feature the Fast Forces symbol with an Ultron head in the middle…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: They would be considered a supplement to Age of Ultron, not Avengers Assemble. Which is probably why the Age of Ultron Wave 1 Instructions allowed the use of the Hank Pym ID card from the Classic Avengers pack.]

Hmmm… it’s just…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, I know. You’re kind of pot-committed at this point, so you might as well just go with it.]

<Ahem> So, there isn’t too much to say about this version of Cap that isn’t obvious. His special power will let another Avenger move 4 or 5 squares without that figure taking an action and that can just be huge. But the real interesting thing about this guy is that he can do that from any distance. You can leave him in the (relative) safety of your starting area and he is just as effective. If you do want to bring him into battle, for 50 points his Precision Strike will give him a chance to hurt characters well above his point cost.

Black Widow AVAS

2. AVAS001 Black WidowI love figures with Super Senses and Shape Change–did I mention that before? And Natasha’s Shape Change is especially good. It’s Traited so it can’t be Outwitted and if you hit make the roll then she can’t be attacked for the rest of the turn. She could have 5 other figures around her and they will just have to sit and stare at her. Making that roll a few turns in a row could be back breaking to your opponent in terms of lost actions.

Her Damage Value is low for a Primary Attacker, but she makes a great Secondary Attacker on any team. Willpower, Stealth, Improved Movement, Perplex, Precision Strike… everything else you would want besides a high Damage Value. If you can compensate for that, then she will do quite well.

1. AVAS037 Manifold  He is the #1 best way to Carry around groups of Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D or Hydra keyworded figures. Only a lack of willpower kept him out of my Top Ten. For more on this figure, see this article.

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

Red Wolf AVAS

10. AVAS051 Red WolfWho is this guy? I have to say, I’ve read a lot of comics and I’ve never even heard of him. He has conditional willpower and good defense to go along with both Super Senses and Combat Reflexes. Which is okay as it is.

But then I looked at his offense. In the right circumstances, this guy can deal more close combat damage than any Wolverine I’ve ever seen in HeroClix. Is that a wooden spear he’s holding, or a light saber? He can Flurry for two shots at 3 damage. Then he can drop his pet, Lobo, who can attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs. That’s up to 12 damage without a critical hit or even using his Super Strength… and he’s only 80 points! Did this guy beat up Odin in the comics and I just missed reading that issue?

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man

9. AVAS050E Iron Man – Even in today’s game, 18 defense with Defend in nothing to sneeze at. It was good when they released CT043 Invisible Girl and it’s still good now. Add to that fact that any adjacent Avenger also gets Defend and you’ve got two ways to exploit Iron Man’s Trait. He could Carry around pieces with Combat Reflexes or Energy Shield/Deflection–AVAS049E Captain America is a great example of that. Or, he Carry Avengers that have the Tiny combat symbol and have a Defense Value higher than 18 like FFCA002R Wasp.

Beyond his Defend tricks, this Iron Man also packs 4 damage, Hypersonic Speed, Indomitable, Invincible, and Ranged Combat Expert. He could fly in to punch an opposing figure and land one square away while dropping a figure like AVAS010 Echo to tie up the figure he just smashed. Then, the following turn, he can follow up with an Ranged Combat Expert attack for big damage. Always use your Hypersonic Speed to strike and then leave him behind the rest of your team. He doesn’t take a hit very well at the 125 point level.

Something else that lead to his high placement on this list is that at his 125 point level he makes a great ID card call in figure–especially at the end of his dial.

Charles_Barton_(Earth-616)_0001

8. AVAS048 Trick Shot – Compare him to DP036 Bullseye and I think he’ll compare favorably. We all remember how good Bullseye was when the Deadpool set came out. Trick Shot is 6 points cheaper and has much better defensive powers. Instead of Bullseye’s Probability Control, Barney Barton gets Stealth and Shape Change, which means he ends a lot of strikebacks before they begin.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not sure if “strikebacks” is a word, but I like it.]

But, even better then comparing the two, play them together–they share two named keywords (Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts, the latter of which opens up all kinds of possibilities). Any opposing figure will be full of holes before they even know what’s happening.

3082549-black+swan+from+new+avengers+v3+6

7AVAS045 Black Swan – Probably the coolest new character to be introduced in the last few years. She has also been given one of the coolest dials in her point range.

Her opening movement power states, “HURRY TO EACH THREATENED WORLD: Black Swan can use Phasing/Teleport. When she does, after actions resolve she can make a close combat attack as a free action.” This means she can move up to 10 squares through buildings, mountains, water, or whatever else is in your way and still make an attack by dropping an ultra heavy on someone’s head for 7 damage! When she gets targeted by opposing teams she has Invincible, which eventually turns into Impervious. And remember, her powers can’t be countered thanks to her Power Cosmic Team Ability.

However, the power that has everyone excited about her is “YOU HAVE FAILED TO STOP THE INCURSION: Unless this click is revealed due to taking damage from an opposing character, immediately deal Black Swan 1 unavoidable damage. At the beginning of your turn, if Black Swan is the only character on your force, KO all opposing characters. This power can’t be ignored.” As of yet, no one has thought of a way to get around the formidable restriction on that power and activate it on a less random basis, but people are working on it.

In the mean time, I like to think of it a nice bonus on an already efficient figure. 

Thor_Odinson_(Ragnarok)_(Earth-12131)

6. AVAS053B Ragnarok – Marvel’s Thor/Terminator combo character. For 200 points you get a ranged Primary Attacker with all of the attributes you’d want. 12 attack, 5 damage, Indomitable, Impervious, Shape Change and Running Shot. You get great stats and great powers for a bargain price. Being Outwittable is really his only true weakness.

This best part of his dial isn’t even anything I’ve mentioned above, It’s his keywords. Specifically the “Robot” keyword. They got a huge boost this set (more on that later). Ragnarok may the best character in Modern with that keyword.

Which means you’re going to be seeing him a lot.

new-avengers-27

5. AVAS052 Ronin – This spot on my list was going to be either Ronin or AVAS066 Goliath. I ended up going with Ronin. Here’s why. If either figure needs to make a ranged combat attack, they both will likely turn into AAOU009 Hawkeye. So that’s even, or even a little slanted to Goliath due to the heal when replacing to Hawkeye.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A “little slanted?!” That’s up to a 3-Click heal!!]

But, If Ronin or Goliath were to be in a close combat battle then I would rather have Ronin (or even Echo), hands down. Another thing to keep in mind is that compared to the Stealthy Ronin, Goliath is a Giant-symbol-ed target when moving across the board.

Ronin brings to the table Charge, Blades/Claws/Fangs and either Exploit Weakness or Flurry depending on what the situation demands. That’s some high powered offense for only 109 points. Later in the dial Ronin also has some nice Outwit. Also, until set retirement later this year he can change into Blade from Amazing Spider-Man and use Regeneration if he has taken too much damage. That’s another option Goliath doesn’t have.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, that’s a good point.]

Rick Jones

4. AVAS067 Rick Jones – This spot on my list was going to be either Rick Jones or AVAS047 Master Pandemonium. Even though Master Pandemonium was the king of sealed at my local venue, I went with Rick Jones due to his much lower point cost and the fact that Rick doesn’t have to use a power action to resummon his Bystander Tokens when they are destroyed.

What Rick Jones brings to the table for 75 points is 10 range and three bolts (wow!) with Telekinesis, Psychic Blast, Mind Control, Perplex, a 19 Defense from ranged attacks, an 11 Attack Value and a never ending stream of his own personal tie up Bystander Tokens.

If that’s not enough to impress you, he’s a got a unique Trait that states: “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.”

Loki AVAS

3. AVAS046R Loki – 120 points of Asgardian support figure with no Willpower or damage reducers or move-and-attack and a starting damage of two? Why do I like him again?

Because he is awesome. To be more specific, he’s the best defensive character in this set, and sometimes, the best offense is a good defense–especially if that defense makes your opponent waste turns.

His Trait reads, “MASTER OF ILLUSIONS AND TRICKERY: Loki can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When an opposing character targets Loki with Outwit or Perplex, he can use Shape Change as if he were targeted with an attack. When Loki makes a successful Shape Change roll, he can’t be targeted for the remainder of the turn.” So Loki is just waiting for an excuse to shut down your opponent’s attacks against him this turn. You could try to Outwit his Super Senses or Perplex down his defense, but you’d be stupid to do so. That Perplex or Outwit might shut down your attack before you even declare one!

Offensively his damage is low, but you probably won’t be making many standard attacks. His Mind Control Special Power reads, “TO TRICK MY BROTHER…AND HIS FRIENDS: Loki can use Mind Control. When he does, he isn’t dealt damage from it and, if he targets only a single character, modify Loki’s attack value by +2 and he may target a character that can use Battle Fury.” He has double targets, 8 range, 13 attack (with the bonus) and he can use that to Mind Control pretty much any piece(s) in the game–2 at a time–without taking feedback damage for it! When your opponent only has one piece left on his team, then you can feel free to go and Poison him.

If you are looking for ideas for teams I have two suggestions:

"Stop trying to hit me AND HIT ME!"

“Stop trying to hit me AND HIT ME!”

Team Name: “Try to Hit Me… If You Can.”

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS046R Loki120 Points

(w/ ATA055 Asgardian) — 5

IIM103 Absorbing Man153

(w/ ATA055 Asgardian) — 5

=283

Which means you have 17 Points left to add in whatever Bystander tokens or Resource pieces you want. Hammers would be fun. But the funnest part of this Build is watching your opponent’s attacks do absolutely nothing turn after turn.

Or…

"AAUGH!! Not the Blue Battery again!"

“AAUGH!! Not the Blue Battery again!”

You can work him into the old Blue Battery team with Superior Spider-Man (you’d be taking out Captain Marvel and some Constructs). Give Superior Spidey the Decoy and Loki the Net and just have fun with your opponent finally hitting only to have the Blue Emotional Spectrum Power take it away again. I call it my “Charlie Brown and Lucy Kicking the Football” team. Feel free to call your opponent a “Blockhead”. Click here to see more info about using Superior Spider-Man and the blue battery.

Juston Seyfert AVAS

2AVAS020 Juston Seyfert – Okay, so, everyone remembers GG026 Mole Man and what he did for monsters. Well he and his three similar friends DP043 Black Talon, GOTG003 Mantis, and IIM015 Tony Stark all share a similar power. They can all Mind Control certain types of friendly figures and, if they make the Mind Control roll, assign that figure one action.

When WizKids made Juston Seyfert, they made him similar to those other guys except THERE IS NO ROLL REQUIRED AND ZERO CHANCE OF FAILURE!! And the cost to activate–a Power Action for Juston or a Close or Ranged Combat Action for the others–is exactly the same!! That alone makes him better than all of those other guys I mentioned.

At 40 points he is also cheaper, too! Then, just to add insult to injury, they let Justin give any Robot a full move AND a close or ranged combat attack all with one action. That is two actions instead of the one that everyone else ever made like him before gets. That’s not power creep, that’s a power leap!

If you want team ideas go to the HCrealms units section and get a list of every robot in Modern with a point value between 140 and 260. They are now suddenly all tournament viable. All of them. You don’t even have to try and pick a good one. Honestly, sometimes it’s funner if you pick a crappy one–it stings your opponent more when you win.

Wtf?! How in God’s name did I lose to a team featuring Ladytron and Computo?!”

Expect to see Juston on Top 8 army lists until he is retired.

3D Man AVAS

1AVAS013B 3-D Man – For 90 points you get a Hypersonic piece with 9 movement, 11 Attack, 18 Defense, and 3 Damage. Those are pretty good stats for that point level. He’s missing Willpower, but what he does have is the game’s first Perplex that can be used three times! Even the ASMS102 Dr. Octopus Arms Relic only lets you use Perplex twice! The drawback is that he can only target himself and that Outwit ruins his day. The good news is that with his 9 Movement, often times he can strike before your opponent can get within Outwit range.

This gives him some incredible utility. For example, you can increase your Damage by one and Movement by 2 and then suddenly you’ll have a near carbon copy of the 110 point FL037B Dark Flash Prime! Or you could add +1 to Damage and +2 to Attack and land a massive 13 attack 4 damage Hypersonic blow. Or you can do what I would likely do all game and just Perplex his defense to 21… every… single… turn! That’s a 90 point character that can get to a the highest Defense Value that has ever been printed on any HeroClix figure ever. The Spectre, Galactus, and Dr. Manhatten all seem like great company to be in for a 90 point character!

However he uses his Perplex, he is still a great scout for the other 210 points of your team. His trait reads, “SEE A PERSON’S TRUE FORM AND INTENT: Opposing Characters within 6 squares and line of fire can’t use Shape Change or Stealth. Friendly characters within line of fire may modify their defense values by +2 when targeted by Mind Control.” That means that as long as he’s around your whole team will be ignoring opposing Shape Change and Stealth. That would absolutely wreck the defense for a ton of different characters and it’s not even an action, he just has to be standing near the opposing team, just nodding and saying “What’s up?”

Everything I’ve listed above is still not enough to make him my number one figure in the set. What makes him the top figure is that he is also the best ID Card character to call in that is under 100 points. When you summon him for a turn, any figure within 6 spaces of him has their Shape Change and Stealth spoiled by his Trait. Then you get to do a giant 13 attack value 4 damage Hypersonic hit. And after all that any friendly figure next to him when the dust settles gets the Triathlon inspiration which states, “Modify speed value by +1. Modify attack value by +1 when making a close combat attack. Modify defense value by +1 against close combat attacks.”

That is a plethora of effects for a 5 point investment and that’s why he is the best figure in the Avengers Assembled set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Alright! We hope you enjoyed this counter look at Avengers Assemble! We’ll have an upcoming local game announcement here in the next couple days, followed by some new articles next week! Thanks for reading.]

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments section below!

How to Summon the Heroes You Grew Up Reading About!! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Avengers Assemble!!)

"Whaddaya mean I'm the only one who didn't make the Chase cut? Who beat me out? Falcon? War Machine? Captain Marvel? I mean, as long as it's not, like, Rick $#!@&%( Jones."

Whaddaya mean I’m the only one who didn’t make the Chase cut?  I’m Nick Fury, dammit! Who the hell beat me out? Falcon? War Machine? Captain Marvel? I mean, as long as it’s not some Z-lister like 3-D Man or, God forbid, Rick $#!@&%( Jones… 

Welcome back!

We’ve been living in what Jonathan Hickman might call an “Avengers World” for almost a month now, so you know what that means…

IT’S TIME FOR AN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE TOP TEN SET REVIEW!!

You know the rules. I’m going to give you 5 Honorable Mentions, then we’ll roll right into counting down the 10 best figures in the set!

But first, as always, I have…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–I was pretty pleased with the roster of figures in this set. Nice mix of the old and new. Are you a fan of classic Avengers villains Michael Korvac or Immortus? They’re both here. Did you like the more recent Avengers Academy series? There’s a ton of them in this set; everyone from Hazmat and Mettle to Turbo and Thunderstrike. And there’s also a ton of great, almost forgotten characters in this set that all debuted or had their heyday in the early-to-mid 2000’s and that I, frankly, never thought we’d see (I’m looking at you, Cammi and Juston Seyfert! I mean, yeah, Juston had a cameo or two in AA, but still, he kinda came out of nowhere!).

–The sculpts in this set are pretty solid–reminded me of a more toned down Flash set for some reason–although I thought that the Trinity War sculpts were a little more risky and dynamic than anything we got here (with the exception of the Chase Rick Jones, which is complete Bonkerssauce–in a good way!).

–This may be the best set of C/U/R dials ever, ahem, assembled. Especially the Commons. You don’t actually have to break the bank to grab some reeeeeallly cool figures this time around. While the Chases were once again very strong (4 out of 7 made the cut), I believe you will find only two Super Rares in this article. That might be a record low for them. And this might be the strongest set of Rares we’ve had in a loooooong, long time.

Okay. That’s it for all of my notes and musings–let’s get to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Black Widow AVAS

5. AVAS001 Black Widow110 PointsCommon: Yep. Another Modern Age Black Widow. But you know what? She’s kind of my favorite of the recent Widow iterations. She’s a lil’ more costly, but she offers a great power set. First of all, her Stealth is part of a Trait (DOUBLE AGENT: Black Widow can use Shape Change and Stealth. When she uses Shape Change and succeeds, Black Widow can’t be targeted by opposing characters this turn.), so it ain’t gonna be Outwitted. Moreover, she also has Traited Shape Change to go with her top dial Super Senses, which, when combined with her Stealth, means she’s going to be reeeeallly tough to pick off at range (especially since she isn’t slowed down by green squares since she has Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain).

She’s only got 6 clicks of life, but 4 of those clicks are extremely productive, especially when she picks up her “anytime” Special Poison power (WIDOW’S BITE: Black Widow can use Poison, but may be given the free action to activate it at any time during your turn.) in the back half of her dial. And I haven’t even gotten to her top dial Perplex or Precision Strike! Moreover, just from a “storytelling” perspective, this just FEELS like a Widow dial. While her teammates are usually hammers, Widow should always be a scalpel (well, except for the OTHER version of her from this set…).

I’d love it if Natasha was 90 or 100 Points; but even at 110, she’s still an elusive, solid secondary attacker who offers a variety of offensive options.

AVAS Hawkeye

4. AVAS002 Hawkeye85 PointsCommon: Apparently this will be the easiest Top Ten Review ever. I just have to go right in order from the beginning! Now I know what you’re saying. “We just got 2 Hawkeyes from the AOU Movie set that were both better!” And you know what? I agree with you. But just because those RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME Hawkeyes were better, that doesn’t mean that THIS Hawkeye isn’t very good in his own right.

He sees through Stealth with his Improved Targeting, and his two Traits separate him from the average Secondary Attacker. His first Trait (LIKE FISH IN A BARREL: If Hawkeye targets a single character when making a ranged combat attack, modify his attack value by +1.) means that just about whenever he attacks, he’ll have at least an 11 Attack Value. But it’s his second Trait that everyone is talking about (TRICK SHOOTING: Give Hawkeye a power action to place an Aim token on this card. At the beginning of your turn, if he has 1 or more Aim tokens on this card you may remove them and choose one effect that Hawkeye can use this turn: Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Improved Targeting: Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, or a locked range value of 14.).

Remember all that drama last set about whether or not the Prime Doctor Light could Running Shot for, like, 16 Squares? Well, as long as you spend one turn setting things up, Hawkeye can run 5 Squares, shoot 14 #$&^#$% Squares, shoot through an opposing figure’s Stealth if need be AND Energy Explode!! Whaaa… ?

Now, he only has 5 clicks of life. No top dial Willpower (he’s got one of those annoying dials where Willpower shows up in the Defense slot at all the wrong times). His Movement slot alternates between Running Shot and Stealth (as opposed to having at least one of those powers Traited, like some of his other versions), which isn’t as big a deal as it might be for other characters who don’t have his Trick Shooting Trait, but still. Finally, his native 3 Damage is fine, but it’s nothing to jump over the moon about when you consider that he doesn’t have a built-in way to break through reducers.

Still, it’s an innovative and creative take on a figure that’s already been Clix’d quite a bit in the last 3 years.

Aleph

3. AVAS003 Aleph140 PointsCommon: I swear I’m not doing this on purpose. It’s just working out extraordinarily well.

But I’ve played against this guy, and he is an absolute brick. He’s got 9 simple clicks; no Traits, Improvements or Special Powers. But he’s almost like the perfect blank canvas on which to throw an Entity and/or a Resource. He comes standard with the Wing Symbol, Sidestep, a 10 Attack with Pulse Wave, 17 Defense with Invincible and the Indomitable Combat Symbol. If you hook him up with a Battery and an Entity, he gets real imposing real fast.

For example:

Team Name: Al-eph You Up!!

Theme: None

Roster:

 AVAS003 Aleph 140 Points

AAOU039 Jocasta — 25 (Possessing Aleph)

AVAS020 Juston Seyfert40

AVAS044 Arcade70

WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR300 Green Lantern Corps Ring8

WOLR200.04 Wall (Green) — 10

WOLR200.03 Mallet (Green) — 4

=297

How It Plays: Jocasta’s Possession ability works just fine on Aleph, since he has the Robot keyword. With Jocasta, Aleph has the option of pumping up his Movement or Attack Value, and he can grab Running Shot, Precision Strike or Jocasta’s Special Damage Power (Sensors Coming Online: Jocasta can use Outwit and Perplex, but only to target characters within 3 squares.). All of which are great options.

Juston Seyfert hypercharges any Robot-keyworded character he assigns as his Sentinel. And since Juston Seyfert prevents us from fielding a Themed Team, we might as well level the playing field with Arcade. He’s a good supporting piece for his points if you lose the opening role; if you win it, you suddenly have a deadly and effective Secondary Attacker who is very hard to kill because of his Defensive Special Power (THIS IS MY WORLD, YOU’RE JUST LIVING IN IT. FOR NOW.: Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square within any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.).

The biggest weaknesses for this Build are the average to below average Defense values of all three characters and the lack of Probability Control. If your dice go cold, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But with Aleph’s rotating Pulse Wave and Penetrating/Psychic Blast, you should be able to cut right through most of your opponent’s defenses in short order.

Now this is just one of a myriad of ways you can take an Aleph Build. There are plenty of other options; as I said before, he’s kind of a blank canvas.

And that’s why he’s number 3 on the Honorable Mention list!

Now if Number Two is Son of the Serpent, then you’ll really know something’s up…

Turbo

2. AVAS009 Turbo — 50 PointsCommon: Long-time readers know that whenever I see a character whose cost is exactly 50 Points, my interest gets piqued. Turbo here is the latest in a long line of great 50 Points supporting characters. In her case, she’s a very effective Taxi who can also fill the role of Tertiary Attacker. Because of her Trait (THIS ARMOR IS AWSOME: Turbo can use Energy Shield/Deflection. When Turbo makes a close combat attack and hits, after actions resolve she can use Force Blast as a free action targeting a single hit character.) and her starting Defense Value of 17 (with Toughness), she’s really hard to hit at range (your opponent needs to hit a 19 Defense just to hit your Taxi!). She starts with a native 3 Damage and a 10 Attack (although that drops down to a measly 8 if you wish to use her Transporter-granted Move-and-Attack). Top dial Sidestep is also arguably the best standard Movement power for a taxi, as well, and she’s got it.

What holds her back slightly for me are her complete lack of Range and–more importantly–her keywords. The generic Armor keyword is probably her best; her named keywords (Initiative, Loners and New Warriors) all have very narrow Build options. Initiative is probably the best of those, and that’s really only because there were so many in this set (although previous sets had some very random entries as well, like Sleepwalker from GotG and Bloody Mary–but not Typhoid Mary–from Deadpool). Down dial she picks up CCE, so if your opponent moves up to attack her (to get around her ES/D), they could be in for a rude awakening. And I haven’t even brought up her Trait-granted Free Action Force Blast (which is, really, the only way to use Force Blast, since it kinda sucks.).

She is sort of a new flavor for Taxi’s, and really efficient for her points.

DMan AVAS

1. AVAS024 D-Man84 PointsUncommon: Finally, a non-Common! D-Man makes his, uh, long-awaited Clix debut, and you know what? He’s pretty damn good. He has a solid, uncomplicated dial with no Improvements or Special Powers. His Attack Value is average to low, but he’s got some great Damage Output Potential for his Point Cost… and one very special Trait (HEADLOCK TAKEDOWN: D-Man can use Plasticity. When he hits an opposing character with a close combat attack, put a Headlock token on their card. Remove all Headlock tokens from characters not adjacent to D-Man. Characters with any Headlock tokens on their card must roll a d6 when given an action. If the result is: 1 – 3, the action ends immediately.; 4 – 6, remove all Headlock tokens from that character’s card an the action resolves normally.). Yeah, that’s basically the Handcuffs from the Utility Belt, which was among the most useful items you could equip. D-Man adds Plasticity on top of all that, which means he kind of hoses Hypersonic speedsters, too.

Is D-Man Meta? No, no he is not. Is D-Man fun as hell to play? Yes, yes he is. You have not lived until you’ve held down the 300 Point, Chase “Last Titan” Hulk with a little headlock from an 84 Point D-Man. This is a great concept for a Clix, and he’s a great addition to the game.

Okay! Enough foreplay. It’s time for…

THE TOP TEN FIFTEEN!! FIGURES IN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!

Yup! Once again, we have a set that was just too packed with goodness for a straight Top Ten list, so we’ve expanded it to a Top FIFTEEN countdown… AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU!!

You’re welcome.

And even with five extra slots, I still have to leave Hybrid (juuuuuust missed the cut) and Cammi (arguably deserves to be here over a couple of the other dials, and I love the character; but I’m bumping her up to her own future Build article, since she opens up a lot of Guardians Builds with her Drax Trait) off the list–there’s just a ton going on in this set.

Since we have so much to talk about, let’s keep countin’ ’em down!

Hulk Last Titan

15. AVAS064E Hulk300 PointsChase: As I mentioned in “Straight, With CHASEr 3,” I think this dial is the closest we’ve gotten since AVXG001R Dark Phoenix Cyclops to a viable 1-Man Army for 300 Point Modern Age games. Now, that doesn’t mean he’ll win every game, or even most games; it just means that you’ll have a chance, even though you’ll likely be hideously out-actioned. He’s that powerful in the right hands.

As a 1-Man Army, you have three things in your favor with this Hulk. First, his Trait (THE LAST TITAN: Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) finally gives you a Hulk that can’t be Outwitted. Second, his top click (and his last click) feature one of the best Movement Specials ever (HULK HATES WORLD: Hulk can use Charge. When he does, he doesn’t halve his speed value and can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.). If you can manage to pick up an Ultra-Heavy object, you should have a fighting chance to one-shot a significant piece on your opponent’s side before he can really get going. And finally, his Defense Special (ONLY ONE THERE IS: Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a ton of survivability at the end of his dial–no Pulse Wave for the win here.

That last click grows in effectiveness every time Hulk smashes something, so try to make sure your first target doesn’t have too many avoidance powers (Super Senses, Shape Change, etc.).

He’s a lot of fun to play, which is another reason he’s on this list.

Black Widow as Thor

14. AVAS065 Black Widow200 PointsChase: A second entry for Natasha? Yup. Look, no one ever looks at a Thor dial and goes, “Hmmm… not much offense there.” Thor is all about offense. It’s usually his Defense that’s a problem–even if it’s average, often you have to leave Thor out there to make a ranged attack, and if you miss, your opponent can kind of gang up on the Norse God to take him down quickly.

Well, what if Thor had Traited Stealth? And the means to continually place down Hindering Terrain tokens to hide in? All of a sudden, Thor would get a lot more interesting. Which is exactly what happens here when Natasha picks up Thor’s Hammer. Her Trait (DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS: Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.) does exactly what we just talked about for, really, no additional cost (most Thor dials–most GOOD Thor dials–are already 200 Points anyway).

She’s got great Damage Output Potential, and she’s left plenty of room for decent support and even a Resource. One of the more underrated pieces in the whole set.

Abyss AVAS

13. AVAS043 Abyss139 PointsRare: As a fan of Hickman’s Avengers run, this was one of the characters I really wanted to see in this set (along with her brother, Ex Nihilo). For 139 Points, you get a tricky Secondary Attacker (which means you’ll have to find a Primary Attacker who’s 100 Points or less–someone in the mold of, say, Banshee, but maybe with the Avengers keyword. Maybe the next guy on this list?) who has one of the best Poison Specials in the game (CREEPING DARKNESS: Abyss can use Poison. When she does, deal each adjacent opposing character damage equal to its printed damage value, instead of 1.) on her second click.

She starts with Power Cosmic, Traited Invuln and an Outsiders TA-like Damage Special (MOLECULAR LOCKDOWN: Give Abyss a free action and target a character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, the chosen character can’t use Shape Change or have its combat values modified.). Now, unfortunately her Range is only 4, but she Flies AND Phases, so getting her in position should be simple enough. Down dial, her Damage spikes at 4, so she’s capable of dishing out some hurt as well. In addition to the Avengers keyword, she also sports the Cosmic keyword, so depending on how you assemble your team, you could conceivably put together at Themed Team with her that also featured Entities (which would help her in particular A LOT).

Red Wolf AVAS

12. AVAS051 Red Wolf80 PointsSuper Rare: Arguably more effective than the underrated WOL037 Karu-Sil, but for 15 less Points! He’s got the Avengers, Soldier, Warrior and Animal keywords, which opens up a lot of possibilities for him. Like Karu-Sil, Red Wolf comes packed with an attachable Wolf token which Red Wolf can deploy to devastating effect with his Trait (LOBO, FAITHFUL WOLF COMPANION: Red Wolf begins the game with Lobo attached. While Lobo is attached, Red Wolf can use Flurry. Give Red Wolf a free action to remove and place Lobo in an adjacent square.). If Lobo gets KO’d, a simple Power Action brings him right back to Red Wolf’s base (where he can then be re-deployed as a Free Action).

Red Wolf himself also Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and anytime he finishes an action in Hindering he has Willpower thanks to his Defense Special (OWAYODATA CAME TO ME: Red Wolf can use Combat Reflexes and Super Senses. If he’s occupying hindering terrain, he can use Willpower.). He’s a wonderful Secondary Attacker who brings a great Tertiary Attacker with him FOR FREE! I really like this design!

To me, the most fun would be to play him with his cosmic DC Universe rival and see how many pet tokens you can get on the board! Which means it’s time for another Quick Build!!

Team Name: The Wolfpack

ThemeAnimal

Roster:

AVAS051 Red Wolf80 Points

(with ATA057 Avengers Response Unit) — 3

WOL037 Karu-Sil95

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

WOL102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring8

WOLR202.06 Decoy (Red) — 6

WOLR202.09 Nurse (Red) — 10

WOLR202.13 Stop Sign (Red) — 8

WOLR202.04 Wall (Red) — 10

WOLR202.01 Net (Red) — 8

=300

How It Plays: Each of these figures has the Animal keyword AND the ability to put out a bystander token of some sort. Alyosha is the engine that drives this Free Action car; each turn he’s given a non-free action, one of the other two figures can be given a move action for free!! Karu-Sil Flies, so she can also Carry if she needs to.

You have 5 Constructs to cover a potential 6 characters, so make sure you’re loading up every character (including tokens) you can with Constructs. Each Construct grants a specific power (obviously) PLUS Giant Reach and Penetrating Poison, two wonderful powers for this Build!

We’re also giving Red Wolf the Avengers Response Unit ATA (When one or more characters using this team ability is adjacent to a friendly character making a close combat attack, modify the characters attack value by +1.), which you don’t see very often but will, again, work perfectly with a close combat Build like this one.

You’ll have +3 to Map Roll, so if you win the roll, hopefully you can choose something that’s easy to traverse while still providing a modicum of Hindering Terrain cover. Elevation changes aren’t a complete dealbreaker, but they aren’t necessarily your friend, either.

This is a bit of a swarm team, but I love that your opponent will need to waste attacks on figures like The Pack and Lobo that can come right back the next turn. And your opponent will score 0 Points for their effort!

Starbrand Prime AVAS

11. AVAS041B Starbrand150 Points Rare PRIME: So, this isn’t the recent version that joined the Avengers during Hickman’s run and took a Beyonder with him when he died; this is the original “New Universe” Starbrand from the 80’s. But that origin does explain his major weakness: no Avengers keyword. He also has a pretty miserable Range Value (just 5 Squares, although with top dial Charge, this Starbrand is clearly meant to be a close combat bruiser) and his attack never goes above a 10–and remember, with Hammers most likely rotating in just over a month, Attack Value is once again gonna be really tough to fix. So that’s a problem.

So why is he this high on the list? Well, he’s got the Wing Symbol, the Power Cosmic Team Ability and 4 Damage top dial with Perplex (so you can fix his Attack if you need to). And starting with click 3, he gets a ridiculously good Damage Special (MAJOR EXPLOSION: Give Starbrand a double power action. Deal 2 penetrating damage to each other character within 2 squares and destroy all blocking terrain within 2 squares.).

That’s right. 2 Penetrating Damage WITHOUT HAVING TO ROLL ANY ATTACK DICE! I cannot overstate how awesome that is. Even the highest Attack Value in the game doesn’t guarantee you’ll hit, so there’s always a risk when you roll the dice. This power completely dissolves that risk–you can’t miss with it.

Then there’s his Trait (THE PITT: When Starbrand is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, minimum result 2. Deal 3 penetrating damage to all characters within that many squares and then choose another friendly character. That character modifies its combat values by +1 this game.). If your opponent does manage to kill Starbrand, he sets off a chain reaction that has the possibility of dealing a metric poop-ton of virtually unstoppable damage. So for half the game, he’s trying to keep you from exploding 2 Penetrating damage all over his team, and when he finally succeeds at KO’ing Starbrand, your opponent’s reward is EVEN MORE PENETRATING DAMAGE!

"That is a LOT of penetrating... damage."

That is a LOT of penetrating… damage. See what I did there? You did? Pervert.

Finally, while his New Universe keyword is pretty much worthless (at least right now), he also has the Cosmic keyword, which is still pretty strong (and lets him be on a Themed Team with Entities!).

Overall, a solid, if unorthodox, package of powers and abilities.

3D Man AVAS

10. AVAS013B 3-D Man90 PointsCommon PRIME: And now we arrive at the Top Ten!! Triathlon is good; 3-D man is better. He starts with Hypersonic Speed (always good), 11 Attack, an 18 Defense (with Toughness) and 3 native damage. But his Damage Special [THREE TIMES PEAK HUMAN : 3-D Man can use Perplex, but only to target himself. He can use it up to 3 times per turn, but can’t modify his damage value more than once. When he uses Perplex (no matter how many times), at the end of your turn, roll a d6 and on a result of 1, deal him 1 unavoidable damage.] is what really puts him over the top. Three freaking Perplexes a turn?!?! That’s borderline insane. You want a 13 Attack and 4 Damage from your 90 Point Hypersonic Speed character? You got it!

He obviously has the Avengers keyword, and if you can play him on a team with, like, Pandora’s Box–which would allow you to give 3-D Man the Wrath Token and Willpower–he becomes a very dangerous man. Especially a that 90 Point price! He’s not as good as Speed Demon, but he is poised to become one of the best Secondary Attackers in Modern Age.

Living Lightning

9. AVAS015 Living Lightning80 PointsCommon: So everything I just said about 3-D Man possibly becoming the preeminent Secondary Attacker in Modern? Well, meet his competition. For 10 less points, you get an Avenger-keyworded livewire who is a nightmare from range. He’s basically Zombie Electro with an ever-so-slightly better stat and power mix but without any of the awesome Zombie Traits.

He Flies, moves from Running Shot to Hypersonic as he goes down dial and he’s packing both Penetrating/Psychic Blast AND a Traited, Improved triple bolt Energy Explosion top dial (FLASH-FRY YOUR CIRCUITS: Living Lightning can use Energy Explosion. When Living Lightning hits an opposing character with the Armor or Robot keyword, increase the damage dealt to that character by 2.). And before you dismiss the second part of that power, let me assure you, because of the #1 figure on this list, Robots are going to be a thing for at least the next six months and they are NOT going away.

Living Lightning was one of the most popular UnClix’d Avengers, and the developers did a fantastic job interpreting him for Avengers Assemble.

Jarvis AVAS

8. AVAS034 Jarvis40 PointsRare: Most of what Jarvis brings to the table happens before the game even begins. One of his Traits (I TIDIED UP: Friendly characters can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, but only if they occupy indoor terrain.) will help immensely if you win the Map Roll (and he has the Avengers keyword himself, so he’ll fit right on your Themed Team). The other (THERE’S STILL A FEW AVENGERS IN THE MANSION LEFT TO HELP: Jarvis counts as 3 characters for determining how many ID Cards can be added to your force. You don’t pay the cost for up to 3 ID Cards added to your force. Your opponent scores these ID Cards normally.) allows you to pack slightly more than 300 Points into your 300 Point Build!! I cannot tell you the exact number of pieces that allow you to pack more points than your supposed to into your Build, but it’s small. I mean, if you think about it, it’s almost like Jarvis’s actual dial is only costing you 25 Points. What do you get for that investment?

Four clicks of life, which is about par for the course, top dial Perplex and Stealth and a Defense Special (THE HEART OF THE AVENGERS: When Jarvis is adjacent to a friendly character with the Avengers keyword, reduce all damage dealt to him to 1. If Jarvis has taken damage from an opposing character since the beginning of your last turn, he ignores all damage dealt by opposing characters. This power can’t be countered.) that is fantastic, especially if you can find a way to funnel opposing damage towards him. Now, Masterminding damage to Jarvis won’t activate the second clause of his Defense Special, but it WILL reduce all the damage to 1, provided the keyword threshold is met. For the record, Mastermind is an exceedingly rare power to find on “good guys” like the Avengers, but AVX008 Professor X, CATWS015 Nick Fury and the new AOU201E Hank Pym all sport Mastermind top dial. Of those, I think Professor X and Nick Fury are the most interesting to pair with Jarvis–particularly the Professor, since survivability is one of the biggest question marks about that piece.

Hmmm… that might be worth exploring in another article…

Finally, Jarvis also has the Avengers Team Ability in case you need to move him into place but your running out of actions. It’s a terrible Team Ability for normal Avengers staples like Cap, Iron Man or Thor, but it’s occasionally useful on a pure support piece like Jarvis in 300 Point games.

Loki AVAS

7. AVAS046R Loki120 PointsRare: Wow! While his 225 Point version is good, this Rookie dial takes the cake. Top dial Super Senses combined with an Improved Traited Shape Change (Master of Illusions and Trickery: Loki can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When an opposing character targets Loki with Outwit or Perplex, he can use Shape Change as if he were targeted with an attack. When Loki makes a successful Shape Change roll, he can’t be targeted for the remainder of the turn.means that Loki is going to be reeeeeaaaal tough to pin down. Think about that. Every turn, Loki basically has a 50% chance to be untargetable by your opponent! 

He also sees through Hindering Terrain and Characters with his Improved Targeting, and his Special Movement Power (To Trick My Brother… And His Friends: Loki can use Mind Control. When he does, he isn’t dealt damage from it and, if he targets only a single character, modify Loki’s Attack Value by +2 and he may target a character that can use Battle Fury.) grants him an awesome form of Mind Control.  Now, Ninwashui has mentioned before that Mind Control can be a dangerous strategy, but with Loki’s improvements on the power via his Special and the fact that he has top dial Perplex, it’s a much less risky proposition (at the top of his dial, Loki has a 13! Attack Value when Mind Controlling a single character). Loki also has the Mystics Team Ability, so taking him out is going to require some blood, sweat and tears on the part of your opponent.

Lack of Willpower and low Damage Output are his only real negatives. The first you can fix that with the Asgardian ATA. The second actually improves as he gets down dial, but he does have that Perplex on his first two clicks. Besides, you’re probably trying to wreak havoc with his Mind Control Special at the beginning of the game anyway.

Arcade AVAS

6. AVAS044 Arcade70 PointsRare: I love this design!! Arcade will either be one heck of a supporting character, with Mind Control, Poison and Perplex, or he’ll be an insanely devilish Secondary Attacker. You won’t know exactly which dial you’re getting until the game is about to start, as his Trait is activated by the Map Roll (Welcome to Murderworld: When rolling to determine first player, no player receives a modifier to their roll. When on a map whose name includes “Arcade’s Arena,” at the beginning of the game you may start Arcade on click 7.  If you do, Arcade has the Power Cosmic Team Ability, can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, and other friendly characters have the Robot keyword for the rest of the game.).  

If you do get to chose his map, Arcade suddenly jumps from a 9 to an 11 Attack Value and picks up a Special Attack Power (I Control Murderworld. Sucks to Be You: Arcade can use Energy Explosion and Precision Strike. If Arcade occupies a player’s Starting Area, he can draw lines of fire and count range for his attack and damage powers from the square of any friendly character.). So he suddenly doesn’t need a move-and-attack power–he just needs to get back to his lair! After two clicks, he picks up Penetrating/Psychic Blast… WITH A 12 ATTACK!! His Damage alternates between 2 and 3, but he always has a way to get at least some of his damage through reducers, which is the main thing. 

His Defense slot also picks up a Special Power (This Is My World, You’re Just Living in It. For Now.: Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square withing any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.that works beautifully in conjunction with his Attack Special. 

I believe we’ll see some Arcade teams start to show up at some R.O.C.’s across the country. He just allows you to do so much, and if you win the Map Roll, it’s almost like having another Prime on your squad.

Ragnarok AVAS

5. AVAS053B Ragnarok200 PointsSuper Rare PRIME: So, it’s a little hard to talk about Ragnarok without spoiling the number one figure on this list, but we can report that he’s already seen play at the World Championships at Origins. Why?

Well, he starts with a 12 Attack Value with Energy Explosion to go along with his 8 Range (with 2 Bolts). As we continue to see more “unkillable” Builds (basically any Build that’s built around characters who only take 1 Damage at a time, no matter how much damage is dealt. Think Doop and Gluttony–pieces like that), I believe Energy Explosion will take on added significance, since it essentially allows you to double your Damage Output against these sorts of teams.

Rags also has Indomitable, an 18 Defense with Impervious and Shape Change, and a 5 native Damage top dial. And hey, you can abbreviate his name as “Rags.” How cool is that? World of Warcraft players will suddenly think that Ragnaros has made his way into Clix! Ragnarok also has a Trait that bumps his Attack Value and Damage Value by +1 when targeting an Asgardian or Avenger, which is probably a good thing, given that we’re gonna see a lot more of both of those keywords in the Meta.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is the fact that he has the Robot keyword. As we hinted at before, this will be a MAJOR keyword going forward…

Rick Jones

4. AVAS067 Rick Jones75 PointsChase: His dial is 5 Clicks long for 75 Points, which might seem a tad expensive for a Secondary Attacker (don’t be fooled by the Mind Control and Perplex that show up on Click 2–this is a Secondary Attacker’s dial, not a supporting dial). But when you consider that his first Trait (Summon the Heroes I Grew Up Reading About: At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America Bystander Token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a Bystander Token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a Bystander Token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following: Bystander Token KO’d; Bystander Token Placed; Captain America; Namor. Namor; Blazing Skull. Blazing Skull; Captain America. This ability can’t be ignored.is basically a perpetual motion machine that continuously generates Tertiary Attackers. 

Rick’s second Trait is almost as good (Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 Unavoidable Damage.). Did you get all that? In case you didn’t, let me summarize. It said “Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, take another turn after this one.”

I mean, that’s almost how good that power is. Rick Jones doesn’t even care where the opposing characters are on the map. Give them all an action token. When you time it correctly, you basically shut them down for an entire turn. And keep in mind that Rick Jones is only 75 Points! That Points cost is looking a lot better now, isn’t it? Well, there’s more!

He also has a 10 Range with three Bolts and he has access to both Telekinesis AND Penetrating/Psychic Blast on his first 3 clicks! Yup–he can get your big hitter into position and then follow that up with a Penetrating Attack of his own. And since that pushes him to his second Click, he actually gets BETTER!

Expect to see him R.O.C.’ing the Meta soon.

Portrait of an Avenger.

Portrait of an Avenger.

3. AVAS037 Manifold58 PointsRare: Yup. He’s reeeeeeaal good. The perfect Taxi/Tertiary Attacker for your Avengers Build. Or, you can bring him in with his ID Card and pump someone’s Movement up by +3 (incidentally, I’m finding that ID Cards are a great way to take your opponent by surprise, especially when used late game by a piece that’s all but defeated.).

For a more in-depth look at Manifold, plus a couple of Ninwashui-created Builds featuring him, click here!

Goliath

2. AVAS066 Goliath98 PointsChase: Another piece we’ve previously discussed, I just think he offers so much versatility in addition to being a solid piece in his own right. But any piece that lets you COMPLETELY change the complexion of your Build AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED deserves a special place on this list!

Juston Seyfert AVAS

1. AVAS020 Juston Seyfert40 PointsUncommon: How does a little dude from a nearly-forgotten early-00’s title and who deals NO Damage for his entire dial end up with the #1 spot over an entire set’s worth of Avengers and their classic villains?

By opening up a whole new subset of Builds. His Trait (Rebuilt From the Ground Up: When building your force, choose a friendly character with the Robot keyword. The chosen character is Juston Seyfert’s Sentinel.) combined with his Attack Special (Program In a New Prime Directive: Give Juston Seyfert a power action if he’s adjacent to his Sentinel. When he does, his Sentinel may be given a move action as a Free Action and then it may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially gives any Robot-keyworded a BETTER version of Multi-Attack. Yes, you read that correctly. A BETTER version of Multi-Attack, one of the best abilities the game has ever seen! 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The wording is slightly wonky in terms of where the phrase “as a Free Action… ” is used. The designers stuck it between the clause that says you can give Juston’s Sentinel a Move Action and the clause that says the Sentinel may then make a close or ranged combat attack. Just trust us, it works exactly how you think it does: you get to move and then attack for free, and then either move or attack again (with the Damage Depletion Modifier). For a slightly more detailed explanation on how this all works, check out the Wizkids Event System ruling regarding Juston Seyfert.]

On top of making your best piece twice as good as it normally is, Juston also rocks a top dial Stealth/Outwit combo on his first two clicks, followed by a Sidestep/Robot Support Special on his bottom two.

So far, the best candidate to become his Sentinel in 300 Point Modern Age is Ragnarok, but the Age of Ultron SLOP is adding a ton of Robots to the game (as well as an Entity that can Possess Robots and make them even better), so we’ll see where this goes. But if you’re someone who enjoys coming up with shenanigans, then Juston Seyfert is the piece for you!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: FUN FACT: Yes, there are characters out there who could potentially attack more than twice in a turn in certain scenarios. For example, if you can get AVAS059 Korvac to his fourth click (it’s a Stop Click, so it shouldn’t be hard) while keeping Juston in good shape, then you get to move half of Korvac’s Movement Value and unleash THREE separate attacks (with the DDM, mind you) in one turn. At that point, Korvac has a 10 Movement with Phasing/Teleport (which would be halved in this example), a 12 Attack with Pulse Wave, 5 Damage and Probability Control. He’d have a 7 Range for the first attack and a 9 Range thereafter. Oh look! Once again, Jerry Seinfeld has something to say to your theoretical opponent:

Seinfeld Good Luck

And if you manage to pull this scenario off and still lose the game… I’ve got nothing for ya. Especially since you can just push everyone next turn and do it all again.]

We told you before in this article, and we’re going to say it again. “Robot” is now a keyword to be feared.

 

Whew! We’re at 6500 words and counting, so I think this is as good a time as any to quit while we’re ahead. So there you have it. Those are the best figures in the Avengers Assemble set. Now, Ninwashui is going to be along here in a couple days with a second opinion on who the best pieces in this set are. Just remember while reading his poorly researched ramblings whose opinions you REALLY trust the most…

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

 

 

 

Team Ideas – The Many Faces of Manifold

Avengers commuting to work.

This is how Avengers commute to work.

Idea

So Avengers Assembled brought us AVAS037 Manifold. He’s a great transport character, but unlike the very similar SLOSH022 Gates, you need to share a Keyword with Manifold for him to Carry your team and ignore combat symbols. He’s got the Avengers Keyword, but there are plenty of good flyers with the Avengers keyword. He’s also got the Secret Warriors Keyword… and he is the only figure in Modern Age that has it. Bummer, right?

Thankfully, that is not the case! Why? Because of ATA033 Secret Warriors!! It states: “Before you reveal your force, choose the H.A.M.M.E.R., Hydra, or S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword. Characters using this team ability also possess the chosen keyword. Uncopyable.” Due to the strange wording I checked online and there is a ruling saying that this ATA works like you think it should (i.e., Manifold would get the chosen keyword… “As You Build your force.”). Manifold can get the H.A.M.M.E.R., Hydra, or S.H.I.E.L.D keywords as long as everyone else on the team has those keywords. Essentially he is a walking Quinjet for those keywords (which all happen to sorely need good transportation, natch). This is something I have been looking for since I drafted Hal Jordan into S.H.I.E.L.D. last year. 

Here are some teams that explore how Manifold’s extra mobility really helps these keywords that are full of mostly grounded characters.

Wolverine Agent of Hydra

I just added Sue Storm, Agent of Hydra to my most needed in HeroClix list. C’mon Wizkids, I didn’t get even get my Captain Marvel Constantine in Trinity War. You owe me. 

Team Name: The Hand’s Lawnmower Man

Keyword Theme: The Hand

RosterDP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra, AVAS037 Manifold (with ATA033 Secret Warriors), DP006 Hand Ninja, DP006 Hand Ninja, DP006 Hand Ninja, WOLR106 Power Battery (Star Sapphires) – (WOLR306 Star Sapphire Ring, WOLR200.11 Bulldozer (Green), WOLR202.11 Bulldozer (Red), WOLR206.11 Bulldozer (Violet))

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: This a simple team with a simple plan.

AVAS037 Manifold Carries the three Hand Ninjas while hiding behind their Stealth. When a prime target wanders into his killbox (which, in this Build, has an incredibly impressive Threat Range of 11 squares! Don’t worry, we’ll do the math on that in a second.) it’s time for Manifold to strike with his 3 Ninja cargo!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, let’s do some quick Heroclix math (and remember, class, you have to show your work): Manifold can move 10 squares while using Carry and he can drop his Hand-y passengers off in the adjacent squares ahead of him, where they can each make close combat actions AS FREE ACTIONS. (The fact that the attacks are Free Actions is the only reason this works–Ninwashui will explain why they’re Free Actions in a second when he gets to their Special Damage Power). 10+1=11 square melee Threat Range for Manifold and the Hand Ninjas! Great job class!]

So Manifold Phases forward Carrying his secret ninja payload and drops them adjacent to a fat, juicy, sizzling opposing character just begging to be lit up. All three DP006 Hand Ninjas [EDITOR’S NOTE: They are freaking AMAZING in this Build.] can then immediately attack due to their Special Damage Power “THERE’S ALWAYS MORE NINJAS: When Hand Ninja is adjacent to at least one friendly character with the Hand keyword, Hand Ninja can make a close combat attack as a free action.” On the offensive side these guys have a 10 Attack Value, Precision Strike, and the option of generating automatic Knockback due to their Bulldozer constructs. This can add extra damage by knocking people off of Elevated ledges or repeatedly bouncing them into walls.

It will also be easier for them to hit because DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra is on the board, and he happens to be badass in a can. He has a Trait that says “MY KIND OF HYDRA: When friendly characters use the Hydra team ability, they can also affect close combat attacks and don’t need line of fire to the target.” On the defensive side, Hand Ninjas will have Stealth, Shape Change and Mystics (once they have a Construct), and their Trait “RETURN FROM DEATH: When Hand Ninja would be KO’d while adjacent to a friendly character with The Hand keyword, roll a d6. On a result of 5-6, Hand Ninja isn’t KO’d and after actions resolve, is placed in your starting area on click #2 instead.

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

Since Wolverine isn’t being carried by Manifold, he can either choose a different target to go after or he can arrive the following turn after your big attack to shore up your line of ninjas. Manifold is mostly there for transportation, but his TK and Barrier can also help the team out if they get in a pinch (as you can pull back an attacker or block lines of fire as needed, natch.).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Stop trying to bring “natch” back, Ninwa. It ain’t going to happen.]

As the Hand Ninjas fall in battle, their constructs can be reassigned to Wolverine and Manifold as needed.

daisy johnson

This is how I know we will be getting more Secret Warriors in a future set.

Team Name: The Secret Warriors of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Keyword Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D.

RosterCATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow, AVAS037 Manifold (with ATA033 Secret Warriors), CATWS013 Agent 13, CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Edwin Jarvis ID CardFIR100 The Book of the Skull (FIR101 Kuurth’s Hammer, FIR106 Nul’s Hammer, FIR107 Angrir’s Hammer)

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow was easily the most powerful character to come out of the Winter Soldier set. It has a few short comings as a Primary Attacker that are now easily overcome by this team.

The piece’s biggest weakness was that it could not be Carried (since it has the “Duo” Symbol), so it always arrived a little late to the battle–and with a action token already weighing on it. Now with AVAS037 Manifold, that is no longer a problem. Manifold says “PORTALS OF SPACE AND TIME: Manifold can use the Carry ability. When he does, he may carry up to 3 friendly characters regardless of their combat symbols if they each share a keyword with him. When Manifold is given a move action and actions resolve, you may give him a free action and friendly characters adjacent when this action was given modify their defense values by +1 until your next turn.” Now, a lot of folks looked at Manifold’s Trait and said, “Hey, he can Carry flyers!” Well, the Duo Symbol is also a Combat Symbol. Thus, Manifold can Carry a single base Duo figure.

Angrir’s Hammer takes care of  Captain America and Black Widow‘s Attack Value (which was already a solid 11) and lets them use Steal Energy with their duo attack! CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent lets them use Empower for close encounters and the S.H.I.E.L.D. T/A for long distance fights. However, his number one reason to be on the team is “TAKE A BULLET IN THE LINE OF DUTY: When a friendly character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, that character can use Mastermind, but only to deal damage to friendly characters with the name S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent.” That should let your Primary Attacker completely ignore the first damage it might otherwise take. CATWS013 Agent 13 is on the team both for limiting opposing free actions and for bypassing opposing defenses. Giving her Kuurth’s Hammer should allow her to make it to her targets easier and allow her to clear away any troublesome walls or Barrier tokens.

And if you give Manifold Nul’s Hammer, he can use the Willpower it gives him to use Carry and Barrier more often. Or, the +2 Attack Value and Running Shot (plus the slight bump to his Range Value) it also grants makes him a decent Secondary Attacker.

Portrait of an Avenger.

Eden decides whether to stick with S.H.I.E.L.D. or join Hydra…

So there you have it. In the never-ending war between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, one man may make the difference between a world a chaos… or a world of order. Which Build would you rather play?

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