[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a quick series of local game announcements for SouthEast Michigan Clix’ers before we go back to our regular programming!! We’re running a Scenario called Heroclix: The Gathering, obviously inspired by the eternally popular CCG Magic: The Gathering. Each month is based–very loosely–off of an existing Magic expansion. We then weave everything together with an ever-evolving narrative that changes based on the results of our local tournaments. Think of this as a “What If” Magic: The Gathering story told through Heroclix! Read about the Month One posting here!]
HEROCLIX: THE GATHERING: MONTH ONE: RAVNICA, CITY OF GUILDS!!
AND so it was though nine great guilds battled and intrigued for supremacy of Ravnica, their titanic struggle was but a deception. For there was another great house, a guild that had fallen from the memory of all but a very few, and even then the House Dimir was spoken of only in nervous whispers in back alleyways.
After lying seemingly dormant and forgotten for more than ten thousand years, Szadek, the vampiric Lord of Secrets and Parun of the House Dimir, finally re-emerged with his faction after he had manipulated his fellow guilds into shattering the Guildpact.
In the chaos that followed, Szadek’s schemes culminated in an attack that left the Azorius Senate guild hall Prahv a smoking crater and their guild leader Augustin IV dead by Szadek’s own hand.
Now House Dimir is whispered about no longer; in fact, they are now the supreme faction on Ravnica…
But the sundering of the Guildpact enchantment that had kept the peace for so long does not come without a price, or unforeseen consequences. Indeed, if one was so attuned, the ripples of such a massive disenchantment could be felt even from another plane…
HEROCLIX: THE GATHERING: MONTH TWO: NEW PHYREXIA!!
Across the multi-verse, a vile, oily corruption has taken hold over the metal landscape of what used to be called Mirrodin. What was once machined and precise has been violently twisted into a dark war machine, one with a growing hunger for conquest beyond the borders of its own reality.
Soon, Mirrodin will fall and be resurrected as New Phyrexia, and then its forces will look high and low for other worlds to consume…
And Ravnica has just been noticed.
If the City of Guilds is to survive the coming onslaught, the factions of Ravnica will have to regroup and evolve. For this conflict will not be about the right to rule Ravnica; it will be a fight for its right to exist at all.
Okay!! Hello fellow Clixers, and welcome to Month Two of Heroclix: The Gathering, exclusiviely at Comics & More in Madison Heights, MI!! Month One ended with Roberto Ty piloting a House Dimir team to victory (with noted Spy Nick Fury standing in for Szadek!), which is why House Dimir came out on top in our story.
And those changes aren’t just cosmetic! Roberto’s win has altered the fabric of our game itself! Let’s get to the specifics:
The Game: Heroclix: The Gathering: Month 2: New Phyrexia!
(I think that ties the record we set last month for most colons in a Heroclix Scenario Title!!)
The Build: 400 Points (a bigger conflict means bigger armies!!), Modern Age, No Tactics (No Resources, ATA’s or Relics.)
No figure larger than a peanut base. No Call-Ins.
Possession pieces are okay to play. (Basically the Heroclix version of an Aura Enchantment, right?)
You must choose a Guild or other faction from the chart below. Once you’ve chosen, your army must be built around the generic keyword pairings associated with that Guild or faction. This means that everyone on your force must have at least ONE of the two generic keywords listed.
All characters friendly to your force can use the associated Guild Team Ability (GTA) or Faction Team Ability (FTA).
NOTE: After the sundering of the Guildpact, the Guild Team Abilities are all your figures have to fall back on. This means that ANY OTHER TEAM ABILITY POSSESSED BY YOUR PIECES CANNOT BE USED. Note that characters still POSSESS whatever Team Abilities are printed on their base and card; they just cannot USE them.
And that’s not the only change. Some of the Guilds have had to adapt to their changing environment to survive. And one Guild didn’t make it out of Month One…
List of Ravnica Guilds (Guild descriptions provided by MTGSalvation.com):
The Azorius Senate functions as the government of Ravnica and creates Ravnican laws.
Keywords: Politician, Ruler
Azorius Senate Team Ability: At the beginning of the game, place an Immunity token on the character card of one character with the highest point value of those using this team ability. When a character with an Immunity token is within 8 squares of an opposing character’s starting area and is dealt damage, it may be given an action token to remove the Immunity token from its card and ignore the damage dealt. When a character with the Immunity token on its card is KO’d, you may place the Immunity token on the card of the remaining character on your force that is the highest point character that can use the team ability.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: The Azorius Senate was all but destroyed following the events of Month One. Their leader, Augustin IV was murdered and their guild hall was decimated. Therefore, the Azorius Senate MAY NOT BE CHOSEN for Month Two builds.
Ravnica’s security force, the Boros Legion is both Ravnica’s constabulary and standing army. Their numbers will be sorely tested when the New Phryexians invade…
Keywords: Police, Soldier
Boros Legion Team Ability: When a character using this Team Ability is adjacent to a friendly character making a ranged combat attack, modify the target’s defense value by -1 if the target is within line of fire of this character.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to the Boros Legion.
In practice, little information on the Dimir is known. It is, however, known that the Dimir are involved in assassinations, criminal activity, and espionage on a contractual basis.
Szadek has led his House to victory, but the celebration is short lived. Even if he can muster enough strength to repel the invaders, the other guilds may use this new conflict as an opportunity to take back what was taken from them.
While subtlety will always be the primary tactic of House Dimir, the time has come to step out from the shadows and remind everyone why they should be afraid of what stirs in the night…
Keywords: Spy, Assassin
House Dimir Team Ability: A character using this team ability can’t have their defense power countered if they occupy the lowest elevation of terrain.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: The House Dimir Team Ability has changed. While their presence in the shadows of Ravnica is now common knowledge, they are still very hard to deal with if encountered on their home turf–Ravnica’s sewers and Underbelly…
Denizens of Ravnica’s agricultural and waste management sectors. Run by Gorgon sisters. And creepy fungal sewer monsters.
Keywords: Monster, Assassin
Golgari Swarm Team Ability: Characters using this team ability can use Stealth on their starting click. If that character can already use Stealth on their starting click, lines of fire may not be drawn to that character by opposing characters while on that click.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Golgari Swarm.
Ravnica’s foresters, gamekeepers, park rangers, wildlife officers, and wildskeepers. But with the wilds declining, the role of the Clans has also diminished, and many Gruul Clans members have adopted an anarcho-primitivist ideology and become Ravnica’s defenders of nature, intent on destroying civilization.
Keywords: Animal, Brute
Gruul Clans Team Ability: All successful attacks made by a character using this Team Ability generate knock back. Knock back generated by a character using this Team Ability cannot be ignored.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Gruul Clans.
Ravnica’s formative and physical scientists and engineers. The Izzet League are known to perform magical experiments, ever with reckless abandon and sometimes with spectacular but severe results.
Keywords: Scientist, Mystical
Izzet League Team Ability: When a character using the Izzet League Team Ability takes damage from an attack, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and consult the chart below for the resulting effect.
1: This character takes 1 additional unavoidable damage and gets an action token after actions resolve.
2: This character takes 1 additional unavoidable damage.
3-4: The attacker is dealt 1 unavoidable damage.
5: The attacker is dealt 1 unavoidable damage and gets an additional action token after actions resolve (if able).
6: The attacker is dealt 2 unavoidable damage.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Izzet League, although now that normal Mystics is turned off, this should work more as intended (instead of being EXTREMELY overpowered).
Nearly every business in Ravnica ties back to the Orzhov in some devious way or another. Whilst they bear the facade of a religious group and may well have been a true faith at the signing of the Guildpact, they now worship only profit and power.
Keywords: Mystical, Politician
Orzhov Syndicate Team Ability: Characters using this Team Ability can’t be the target of an opponent’s Outwit or Perplex unless they’ve been targeted with an attack previously in the same turn.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to Orzhov.
CULT OF RAKDOS
Founded by Parun Rakdos, an ancient demon, the Cult of Rakdos attend to menial labor and the services industry, which includes some less-than-savory offerings, such as assassination, as well as more agreeable ones, such as the catering (i.e., food service) and entertainment industries.
Using the strife of the end of the Guildpact as a distraction, acolytes of Rakdos have finally managed to raise their Parun from the depths of darkness and despair. But will Rakdos choose to fight the invaders or decide to use this opportunity to thwart Szadek and seize Ravnica for his own?
Keywords: Monster, Mystical
Cult of Rakdos Team Ability: Whenever a character using this team ability is KO’d, you may roll a d6 and subtract 2 (minimum 1). Deal that much damage, divided as you choose, among any number of opposing characters adjacent to the square the KO’d character occupied.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: No change to the Team Ability, but please note that the return of the demon Rakdos has slightly altered the Cult of Rakdos keywords. Now a character must have either the Monster or Mystical keyword to be eligible for the Cult of Rakdos (I mean, they just awakened their demon overlord, so, yeah… )
Despite their superficial appearance of being a “good” and “peace-loving”, in truth the guild is just as hypocritical and as sinister, if not more so, as other Ravnican guilds. The Selesnya Conclave often employs its quietmen and other members to silence the civilians of Ravnica from up close and wreak havoc.
Keywords: Brute, Spy
Selesnya Conclave Team Ability: When characters using this Team Ability roll doubles on a successful close attack roll, that attack generates no knock back; instead, that attack cannot be evaded, damage dealt can’t be reduced below 1 and any hit characters get an action token.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: Very slight change here. Now this Team Ability only activates on a successful CLOSE attack roll. Again, this was done merely to help balance.
The original purpose of the Simic Combine was to preserve the health of all Ravnican life-forms. They were devoted to the study of life, medicines, and biomancy. But just as life can adapt, so did the Combine. Momir Vig, the Simic guildmaster, was dissatisfied with this original purpose and formed a new purpose: to improve upon life-forms of Ravnica.
Keywords: Animal, Scientist
Simic Combine Team Ability: At the beginning of your turn, choose one option to last until the end of your turn for all friendly characters using this Team Ability. All friendly characters using this Team Ability ignore Shape Change; or all friendly characters using this Team Ability ignore Stealth this turn.
GAMEPLAY NOTES: Another slight change to the Team Ability. I don’t think any of our players chose the Simic Combine in Month One, so we’re going to make their Team Ability a little stronger by making it more predictable for the user.
Instead of rolling a d6 and getting nothing half of the time, now the Simic Team Ability splits the ability up and allows the user to chose whichever effect they want to use that turn.
It came not in the form of a noble struggle, a fair contest of warriors clashing will against will, but as a wave of unstoppable slaughter. Mirran partisans resisted bravely, using their wits and magic to fend off the onslaught that originated from inside their own world. But their efforts were for naught. Phyrexia is victorious. Mirrodin now goes by a different name: New Phyrexia.
And New Phyrexia hungers…
Keywords: Robot, Armor
New Phyrexia Team Ability: Characters using this team ability can use Perplex, but only to target a character with the Armor or Robot keyword. This use of Perplex may not modify damage values, and no character may be targeted by this ability more than twice per turn. This use is in addition to any other uses of Perplex.