The Ghost of Christmas Booker T Presents: Our Fifth Anniversary!! (Or, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

Booker T 5 time

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement!]

Well, Night Seven of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas 2018 is going to be short and sweet.

I officially got the notification today: Critical Missives is five years old. Wow! Where did the time go?!

Personally, my life has undergone some major changes in that time. I had just started dating a wonderful girl when I started this blog five years ago; we’ve now been married for three years with our first bundle of joy on the way!!

My brother Ninwashui has been here the whole time as well; first as a reader, and then (when he couldn’t stand my Top Ten rankings and felt the need for a rebuttal) as a contributor. The site wouldn’t be what it is today without him.

We started small, and we’re still small, but we’ve picked up some wonderful fans along the way. As of this year the site has garnered more than 80,000 views among a dozen different countries (actually, there’s a dozen different countries with more than a thousand logged views. The actual list of countries where we have at least a single view is 143. Not bad for a southeast Michigan gaming blog!!).

So whether you’ve read one of our articles or a hundred, I’d like to end our little celebration with a simple Thank You! Hopefully we’ll see you again!

And join us right here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas mayhem!!

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Missing: One God Doom. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review of Secret Wars Battleworld!!)

Some Notes About the Set:

  • We didn’t get God Doom in this set and we are never going to. We didn’t get Doom with the combined powers of the Iron Fist, the Starbrand, the Sorceror Supreme, and the Spirit of Vengence. We’ll never see him either. We also won’t ever see Universe creatin’ Reed or Franklin Richards. We did get three of the Avengers B.C.. So at least that’s something. I’ve been hoping to see them for a while now.
  • The power level of the set is high with at least 3 (probably more) good choices for new tent pole characters to build around in today’s meta. (see entries 1,2 and 3 on the list below for examples)
  • The Battleworld Keywords were poorly done. Nick the Fury and Big Boss Hill should definitely not share a named Battleworld keyword.
  • The Baron Traits are even more powerful than the Headmaster traits from the X-men set. On the flip side, any character with a Battleworld keyword has a hidden weakness to opposing Barons. If you come up against a baron that can apply the -2 modifier to your best figure, then you will lose a large majority of those games.
  • The uncommons are where it’s at for this set. If you’ve only got a little bit to spend on this set, I would recommend picking up those. You’ll be happy with what you get.

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

15) SWB015 Molly Hayes (25 points)- For 25 points she has trait stealth, occasional sidestep, 4 starting damage, 5 clicks of health (all with toughness), a damage value that doesn’t go below 3, and 18 starting defense. She is deadly on every click. I have seen her embarrass other figures more than 4 times her cost. Her weaknesses are her movement value and her inability to push. Thankfully these are weaknesses you can compensate for. Any taxi will usually be enough to help you get the most out of her. However, she may also be the answer to Heroclix’s greatest question. “Now that we have all of these vehicles in modern, who should we use to pilot them?” A simple AIG005 Dune Buggy will remove all of her weaknesses and both figures together cost a total of 55 points.

14) SWB006 Sheriff Steve Rogers (50 points)- I have to admit that I expect big things from Sheriff Steve and I haven’t seen them yet in tournament results. His special power states, “NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW: Leadership. When Sheriff Steve Rogers or an adjacent friendly character is attacked, the attacker cannot positively modify or replace their attack value.” Which essentially boils down to your figures with Energy Shield (including him) being well nigh unhittable with ranged attacks. With the right team build that could make Sheriff Steve essentially the new version of JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow.

13) SWB030 Stick (45 points)- For 45 points you get 5 clicks of pretty decent close combat powers and stats. He’s got Close Combat Expert and Combat Reflexes on every click as well as steady combat values. But the real reason to play him is for what he can do to help other close combat pieces. He’s got starting Empower and a trait that allows someone who missed a close attack roll to make a close combat attack once as a free action. What you might not realize when you first read him is that the character that missed doesn’t need to use that free attack immediately. You can save it up for whenever it’s needed most. 

Image result for spider island

12) SWB018 Spider-Man (70 points)- It’s the same Spiderman Dial we’ve been getting for years. Charge, Super Senses, 18 defense, 6 Range, Spider-man TA, etc… Only this one has starting outwit along with full dial perplex and full dial leadership. He’s a 50 point support piece melded with your typical Spider-man dial and still only costs 70 points. Sure he does have a trait that says he can’t move or attack the first two turns of the game, but I find that typically doesn’t make a huge difference in most games. His lack of willpower is the only thing keeping him out of the top 10 and I’m wondering if that that was a mistake.

11) SWB022 Ultimate Thor (125 points)- What can I say I love the ability to see through stealth and I really love the even rarer ability to use outwit on a character hiding in stealth. Beyond that he’s got steady attack and damage values, the wonderful crack the case trait, and damage reducers his whole dial. You could also plan a nice team around his 100 point value and the ability that point level gets to teleport to other Thors. It all depends on what you need, but both point values are good.

10) SWB044 Witch Hunter Angela (45 points)- There are 2 constants you are going to see at competitive modern tournaments: ID Cards and Colossal Retaliation. Witch Hunter Angela (and to a lesser extent SWB040 Spiderling) is Wiz Kids silver bullet for Colossal Retaliation. Her trait reads: “THE WITCHBREED SUMMON MORE FOUL MONSTROSITIES: Witch Hunter Angela and other friendly characters within 4 squares modify attack +2 when attacking characters with [Colossal symbol] or the monster keyword. Witch Hunter Angela and other friendly characters within 4 squares modify defense +2 when being attacked by characters with [Colossal symbol] or the monster keyword.” That boils down to +2 defense against Colossal Retaliation and +2 attack against them to make sure they they won’t live to make a second attack. Beyond that she’s a standard Charge/Blades piece that’s cheap enough to fit on a lot of teams and still have plenty of points for a main and secondary attacker.

9) SWB023B She-Hulk (130 points)- Similar to SWB018 Spider-Man this is the typical She Hulk piece that we’ve seen several times before, but with several support powers thrown in and still a reasonable point cost. She has starting Empower and Enhancement to go along with her full dial Perplex and Leadership. Unlike Spider-man she does have some cool new tricks that we haven’t seen a She-Hulk come with before. She has full dial plasticity (which is always great on any close combat piece) and a 19 starting defense which combos well with her perplex. Additionally, she has a steady attack value and a neat trick where figures next to her can’t use Shape Change, Mastermind, or Stealth.

8)  SWB028 Maestro (175 points)- He’s like a slightly bigger badder version of She-Hulk. He’s got the same leadership, perplex, and 19 starting defense. He’s got full dial steal energy. He should be very tough to KO because of his damage reducers, dial length, and steal energy. And at the end of his dial he’s got the ability to make multiple attacks and even attack while double token-ed, so just when you think you are finally going KO him he’ll start healing again. If you don’t outwit you’re in trouble.

7) SWB065 Agamotto (170 points)- He’s got starting 12 attack, 19 defense, and 4 damage. He can see through stealth, he’s got a power cosmic TA, and his Probability control can hit you anywhere on the board. He’s a great ranged attacker who should do quite well for you as long as you can keep him out of close combat. Make sure to team him up with ADW035 Dr. Strange for token removal and let the mystical fun commence. (Side Note: I can’t ever see myself using this guy at his 90 point line. If it were 60 points that would be more appropriate.)

6) SWB055 Dino-Thor (90 points)- It’s hard to believe this guy is only 90 points, but I guess with a negative trait and no damage reducers it somehow still works out in the points system. His starting click powers just work really well together. He has 12 movement with Hypersonic Speed. So he can move 12, make a close combat attack, and then use his special power SCALES OF JUSTICE to give an adjacent opposing character -1 to all stats and greatly reduce their ability to fight back. When he does finally get hurt his combination of steal energy and regeneration should quickly get him back in fighting shape.

5) SWB031 Alex Wilder (25 points)- This guy hasn’t caught on yet, but I think that’s only a matter of time. For 25 points he’s great on almost any team. He’s got traited Stealth, traited Shape Change, occasional Sidestep and a Special Power that reads, “SEVERAL STEPS AHEAD OF YOU, YOU JUST DON’T KNOW IT: FREE: An opponent chooses two: Outwit, Perplex, Probability Control. Alex Wilder can use the chosen powers until your next turn.” Generally that special power translates in him having perplex and prob control most turns. That’s great for a 25 point character. There is a problem of the opponent gaining control of Alex when he is a KOed, but with proper planning you should be ready for that and essentially turn that into 25 easy to score points followed by you getting your figure back.

4) SWB063E Sheriff Strange (50 Points)- At 50 points he’s the cheapest Baron in the set and he shares the Battleworld: Other keyword with a lot of the best figures in the set. He’s not a primary or secondary attacker, but he can do decent damage at range if you line things up correctly. He’s really more of a Taxi/Support piece. He does have a stop click and he’s the only figure in the Battleworld set with Mystics TA. (Side Note: does anyone else think the Mystics TA is getting really rare now? Not even Morgan Le Fay has it in this set.) I believe you can definitely get 50 points worth of use out of him for everything I mentioned so far, but he’s also the silver bullet for ID cards. His trait reads “THE WALLS OF BATTLEWORLD MUST REMAIN INVIOLATE: Opposing characters must use a DOUBLE POWER action instead of POWER action to activate ID cards.” That won’t stop your opponent from completely using ID cards, but it will slow them down a lot! (Side Note: Sheriff Strange works great with SWB007B Thanos. He can give Thanos a lift and +2 to one of his stats before Thanos has killed anyone. That first kill is always the hardest.)

3) SWB056 Witch Queen Le Fay (150 points)- In a competitive scene where perplex is rampant and even built into arguably the top character (TMT058R Uni-Mind) there is definitely a place for someone like Witch Queen Le Fay. Her Weirdworld trait says, “UNTAMED WEIRDNESS: Opposing characters’ combat values, except range, can’t be modified when attacking Witch Queen Le Fay or being attacked by Witch Queen Le Fay.” It’s true that she can still have her values perplexed down, but I find myself doing that a lot less often than I use perplex on my own figures. Beyond that she has a Special White Power the likes of which we have never seen before. “IT’S NOT YOUR MYSTIC DRAGON, ARKON: [Wing] symbol. Witch Queen Le Fay can use all standard speed powers except Earthbound/Neutralized and Stealth. When she misses any target of an attack, after resolutions she can’t use this special power for the rest of the game.” The available combinations boggle the mind. Plasticity to break away, then sidestep, then running shot, then pulse wave with knock back thanks to force blast. How about sidestep, charge, and flurry? Lots of options to explore.

2) SWB061 Black Panther (150 points)- For 150 points he doesn’t have a bad click… because any click he’s on can be whatever you want it to be. His very first click makes him a defensive powerhouse. I would recommend adding the symbiote on him to make him even harder to damage. With the symbiote on his first click he would have Impervious, Shape Change, Super Senses, and probability control all while being immune to both Pulse Wave and Outwit. That sounds like a giant headache to go up against. On offense you’ll be attacking with the Hypersonic Speed on click 1 most of the time. 11 attack (backed up by probability control), and 4 damage are a great Power/Stat combo for a 150 point character.

1) SWB007B Thanos (175 points)- This should have been a nearly unobtainable SR Prime, but instead it was the common prime that is much more obtainable. Thank you Wizkids for the early Christmas present. His dial is 8 clicks long with reducers the whole dial and the Power Cosmic TA to make sure opponents have to go through those reducers the hard way. He can pick any generic keyword during force construction for easy team building. He also has a cool Special Probability Control that states, “TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO TRY AGAIN: Probability Control. When Thanos uses it to target an attack that would have hit Thanos and it misses him (after all rerolling), generate a [SW: B] #007a Thanos Duplicate on the click #1 that appears after the orange KO. This game, it has a 0 point value for all effects (including scoring).” I don’t think Thanos duplicates are that great, but they are well worth 0 points. I’ll take that deal every time it’s offered. What really makes him great is his ability to upgrade himself. Every time he KOs a character (including his own) of 25 points or more he gets a gem token. His trait states, “ONE STONE AWAY FROM THE INFINITE: FREE: Modify X different combat values of Thanos +2 until your next turn, where X is the number of his Infinity tokens.” He starts with lowish Stats for a 175 point character, but adding +2 to even a couple of those stats makes him real crazy very quickly and that’s why he’s the best character in this set.

 

To Infinity… And Beyond!! (Or, A List of the Top Ten Pieces in Avengers Infinity!!!)

Were waiting

So we’ve been waiting for an Avengers Infinity Top Ten Set Review…

So have I guys!

But since HypeFox is still working on his, I thought I’d drop mine… hmmm… how about right now!!

But first…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • The packs were more expensive, but worth it. Each one had seemingly two chances to pull something cool. In my Dune Buggy pack I pulled a chase and in a pack with 4 regular sized uncommon and common figures you’re going to get a Colossal rare or Super Rare.
  • The abstract entities are godlike in the comics, but none are very good for their cost in HeroClix. AIG023R Eternity may be the lone exception. Thankfully they are good for display purposes and people will likely seek them out for that reason.
  • Although there were only two really bad characters in this set (AI003 Black Widow, AI027 Starfox), I wasn’t real impressed by the Space Knights. They were ok, but not interesting and likely wouldn’t do well as a team. Unfortunately they were literally every Prime in the set. Which means this was another set with lackluster Prime figures. Which is a real bummer when you buy a brick and get a Prime instead of a Chase.
  • Early on I was worried that every colossal in this set would be a Colossal Retaliator. I was glad to see that wasn’t the case.
  • I love that the Infinity Watch got such nice remakes. Maxam was a great new figure. Now we just need a modern Mole Man. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Do we though? I mean, he was in like one issue of Infinity Watch! Maxam was in a ton! It was great that the GG version of him had the IW Keyword, but really, he was basically just their landlord. This is the Infinity Watch roster we really wanted!]
  • Why did we not get a Thanos with the Reality Stone? All the other Infinity Watch members made the set with their respective stone Traits. Missed opportunity. [EDITOR’S NOTE: It seems like a huge oversight. The only thing I can think of is that we might get him as a Con Exclusive next year. It’s possible that this was their intention all along, but that they were already too far down the road with the Thanos-Copter as a ConEx this year. Alternatively, Reality Gem Thanos could show up randomly in another cosmic set or cosmic-adjacent set (the only thing on the schedule that’s even remotely fits this description is Battleworld in October). Remember, Thanos is coming back in Avengers 4, so there will still be a bunch of Thanos tie-in products from Marvel licensees arriving next year.]

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Adam-Warlock

5) AI038 Adam Warlock (125 points) – With most of his stats and powers he appears to be just an average attacker. However push him to click 2 and he gains a special power that allows him to do what no one else in modern Clix can: “OUTSIDE OF ETERNITY, CHAOS AND ORDER: Outwit. FREE: Choose a target opposing character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t use PROTECTED: Outwit and its powers lose Protected: Outwit.

Throw in a trait that grants steal energy for ALL attacks and then passes regular Steal Energy to another piece when KOed and I can see him being quite successful with the right support around him. If he had his special power on his first click he would be on the cusp of being Meta.

He’s also one of HypeFox’s favorite Marvel heroes, so listing him as a mere Honorable Mention will annoy him to no end.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: ]

Spider Mobile.jpg

4) AIG015 Spider-Mobile (50 points) – Don’t think of it as a vehicle, think of it as armor. It’s armor that grants another piece with (hopefully) great stats 7 extra clicks of health for just 50 points. For Example, if you use Chase Thor from this set as a pilot then all 7 clicks will have a constant 12 attack and 4 damage the whole dial. And once you get through those clicks your opponent still faces an angry Thor on click 2 or 3.  However the real reason to play this piece is the Trait: SPIDER SPOTLIGHT LOCKED ON: FREE: Improved Targeting: Hindering. Choose a character within range and line of fire. That character can’t use Shape Change or Stealth this turn.” We’ve seen characters before that allow your team to ignore stealth (JW052 Green Lantern, ADW038 Jessica Jones, WKM17-013 Dazzler, etc…), but I’ve never seen a character that will also allow others to ignore Shape Change.

Photon.jpg

3) AI049 Photon (90 Points) – The best thing she brings to the table is a Special Power that hurts opposing bystanders the likes of which the game has never seen before. Additionally she has a Trait that would be good to build a team around. “THE 5TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: DIVERSITY: Flurry. Once per turn, when Photon’s attack roll has a 5, friendly characters modify their defense +1 for every two printed keywords they have until your next turn.”

(Hint: CWSOP002 Iron Man has 6 keywords!)

She’s good up close with Traited Flurry and Pulse Wave that starts showing up on click 2. If you are planning to use her at range then you should probably bring another character with Enhancement. She also has the best Stop Clicks of any of the Chases with your choice of using Flurry or RCE to go along with her Precision Strike.

Vision.jpg

2) AI005 Vision (100 points) – Vision’s Special move power is what puts him on this list. “WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT ME: Phasing/Teleport. When Vision is given a MOVE action, after resolutions he may make an attack (close or range).”

Unfortunately, his 10 attack and three damage aren’t going to scare many people. So make sure to bring some other characters along that can help those values.

The Unseen.jpg

1) AI043 Unseen (65 points) – On the eve of NFAOS056 Nick Fury retiring from Modern they decided to include another version of him from that same “Original Sin” storyline in this set… albeit with some major focus/role changes. This new piece is similar in that they both have Probability Control, almost every form of Improved Targeting known to man and a way to turn off powers. Where the new version is better is that it’s almost exactly half the point cost of the original and can free action smoke cloud after moving. All it’s missing is offense. Like any form of offense at all. Time will tell if a 65 point support character is Meta, but I am just hesitant enough about it that it didn’t quite make the top 10.

Speaking of which… here is my…

TOP TEN PIECES IN AVENGERS INFINITY!!:

Gamora.jpg

10) AI020 Gamora (65 points) – For 65 points you get a very efficient close combat piece who is dangerous on every click. What sets her apart from other similar characters are her 12 starting attack, relatively low cost, and Traited Probability control that passes to another friendly character when she is KOed: TIME GEM CHOOSES ITS BEARER: Probability Control with minimum range value 8 // When Gamora is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, choose a friendly character. For the rest of the game, that character can use Probability Control.”

The only things keeping her from being higher on this list are a weak defense and the existence of AI030 Mantis who fills a similar roll and costs less.

Sentry 459

9) AIG013R Sentry #459 (150 points) – There is a new Trait introduced on this set that was seen on quite a few Colossal figures that shows some promise thanks to the new rules for Quake called Mass Destruction. It reads, MASS DESTRUCTION: Super Strength. When Sentry #459 is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” In my opinion this 150 dial is the most efficient character to feature that Trait.

It has better combat values then all of the other similarly costed characters with “Mass Destruction” and the Green Hulk is the only other “Mass Destruction” piece that comes close to being as useful in combat.

Giant Girl.jpg

8) AIG001 Giant-Girl (70 points) – Giant Girl has roughly 250 thousand different starting lines. I feel like the 70 point line isn’t too expensive and doesn’t make it very easy for the opponent to KO her before she gets an attack off.

To be honest I’d probably vary her point value according the team I was playing with her. The best parts about her is that she can Colossal Retaliate on any click, gets bigger when she KOs someone, and she makes a great Taxi for as low as 10 points. I didn’t include her Fast Forces or title character version on this list because I felt their combat values were just not up to snuff.

Iron Man 1.jpg

7) FFAI001E Iron Man (50 points) – Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, just a really efficient piece for the points. His great movement values make him a very good Taxi. His 4 clicks of Invulnerability make him tougher than just about every other 50 point piece. And his ability to see through Stealth is just the cherry on top.

Cosmo

6) AI039 Cosmo (70 points) – This is one of the Guardians pieces in the new set with a Trait that grants Protected: Outwit or +1 to Attack and Defense. There are very few situations where I’d chose Protected: Outwit with this or any of the Guardians pieces. +1 to Attack and Defense is just too good.

Now let me tell you what’s special about Cosmo. He has Outwit and Ignores Hindering for Targeting which a great combo. He also TK and Willpower on his first click. So on turn one move everyone up and on turn 2 use TK without taking push damage. Because of his Trait he has 19 starting defense and can get up to 12 Attack with his multi-target Mind Control. But the real kicker is his unique special power starting on click two that reads “YOU HAVE LOUD BRAIN: Free: Choose an opposing character within range. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given POWER actions.” That’s a free action and doesn’t require line of fire. There are lots of Power actions in the game, but the first ones I will be looking to use this on are Charge, Running Shot, and Hypersonic Speed.

Nadia Van Wasp.jpg 5) AI044 Wasp (70 points) – While she isn’t great on offense without some help, her defenses are excellent. She has a special Traited Shape Change that reads PYM PARTICLES IN MY BLOOD, RED ROOM TRAINING IN MY MIND: Shape Change. When Wasp uses it and succeeds, after resolutions the attacker is dealt 1 penetrating damage.” It reminds me of TMT002 Loki and WF030 The Wizard. If I was facing her I would attack her last. She also gives you the option of Outwit on click 1 or a Special Perplex when you push to click 2.

Mantis

4) AI030 Mantis (50 points) – Like AI020 Gamora she is an efficient close combat piece that features a 12 starting Attack Value. The advantages that Mantis has over Gamora are a better Defense, an extra click of life, a lower point cost, and IM:Hindering. While Gamora has a better Trait, Mantis’s trait is no slouch either. It reads: I WILL HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: Friendly characters within 4 squares have “FREE: This character can’t use Battle Fury or Earthbound/Neutralized this turn.” At very least that can help you carry Battle Fury characters and you could potentially build a team around it.

Quasar

3) AI037 Quasar (125 points) – Whenever Quasar hits with a ranged attack he gets to use Barrier as a few action. That can be crippling to the opposing team. If he does that more than a couple of times in a game, you’re likely going to win. So it’s up to you to do everything you can to make that happen. Run him with someone like ADW038 Jessica Jones to counter Stealth. You should also include some good close combat pieces to discourage your opponent from basing him.

Tonys car

2) AIG012 Tony Stark’s Car (10 Points) – As a 100 point vehicle this piece is Ok, but as Special Terrain it’s Meta.

Everyone knows special terrain can be useful because of the WKDP17-008 Boxing Ring. Unfortunately every Special Terrain created since then has been less powerful.

Until now.

This car has a power that reads, It’s still rolling. Use as cover:” Adjacent friendly characters can use Energy Shield/Deflection.” It also has an option to move it one square at the risk of KOing it. I would never do that. As long as your opponent can’t shoot you across the car, then they won’t be able to KO it. I would place the car within firing range of the opposing starting zone and then stand in front of the car for the whole game. You still get ESD and the opponent won’t be able to KO the car. 10 points to give your whole team ESD for the whole game is a steal. Buy this now while it’s still cheap.

Starfox.jpg

1) AI048 Starfox (80 points) – Hmm. This character has a double Perplex and the Eternal keyword. Where have I seen that before? I wonder if there is some top meta piece out there that he would work well with?

Chase Starfox is still a great piece in it’s own right. We all know that a double Perplex can be deadly, but Starfox also sports the best of the Chase Traits. it reads, THE 4TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: PASSION: Flurry. Once per turn, when Starfox’s attack roll has a 4, after resolutions heal each friendly character 1 click if they are adjacent to another friendly character.” So whenever you roll any 4 while attacking with this guy he will heal your entire team for 1 click of damage regardless of where they are on the board (as long they have a friendly piece next them.) That’s huge. I don’t ever remember seeing any other figure capable of a full team heal. And this isn’t even it’s own action, it’s just part of him attacking.

His whole dial also features Steal Energy so when he gets damaged he has an additional option to heal up. He’s not an offensive powerhouse, but with his Trait, Stop Click, Power Cosmic TA, and 12 starting attack — he’s the best character in this set.

 

It’s A Clix-Mas Miracle!! Ninwashui’s Back With A World Exclusive New Heroclix Accessory!! (Or, The Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! Then the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! And the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! Then the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year! A couple days ago the Ghost of Christmas Future published an editorial on the putrid state of Marvel’s publishing division and why that makes IndyClix sets even more important to Wizkids! Then he came back again under the guise of The Ghost of Irresponsible Speculation to talk about Marvel & DC stories that would make great Heroclix sets! Next, the Ghost of Christmas Past stopped by once more to give us his Five Least Favorite Figures of the Year! Finally, the Ghost of Overdue Top Tens presented us with the Top Ten Figures of Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE PART TWO:My God! King! King! That’s… that’s Ninwashui’s music! I can’t believe it! It’s pandemonium! Ninwashui is back! And if he’s back, that means…

Jim Ross

Yup! Ninwashui is back for the Twelfth Night of Clix-Mas! You didn’t think he was gonna sit the whole gimmick out, did you?! He’s been cooking up something special for the last article of the year!

But before we turn things over to him, all of us here at Critical Missives want to wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season! This is going to do it for us this year (but this is the first time we’ve hit our Clix-Mas goal since we started the stupid thing three years ago!!), but we’ll be back and better than ever in January of 2018!

Until then, enjoy the final Clix-Mas article of 2017, and until next year, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!]

Yep! It’s me, Ninwashui. What, you didn’t think I’d let HypeFox have all the fun, did you? Nope. I’ve been quite busy, as it turns out, coming up with something I happen to think is pretty cool. Today, dear Critical Missives readers, I bring you… a world first (or at least internet first) Heroclix accessory!

You’ve seen custom maps:

You’ve seen custom action tokens:

You’ve even seen custom terrain markers:

After seeing all that it got me thinking about what I use to carry around my heroclix and if I could add a custom touch to that. Currently I have a box inside my backpack I use to carry around 1-3 armies at a time. This us what it looks like:

It’s the box my kid’s tablet came in. Perfectly usable, but not aesthetically pleasing. There is room for improvement. My brother Hypefox is in the same boat. Being that this is the Christmas season this seemed like a good opportunity for a gift for him. So I started by questioning him about his favorite hero. It came down to this guy:

This was a good choice because the recent movie means that there was a ton of Deadpool themed decorative items that could be used on the box.

Once I had an idea and a theme I created this:

The first ever heroclix army box! It’s Deadpool themed so I refer to it as “the Deadbox”. It features deadpool vinyl decals, a jack chain hinge, an automatic light, a magnetic lock, medical foam interior, and decorative neon accent lighting.

This wasn’t my first attempt. This actually is actually the Mark III version. It was definitely a learning process.

What’s in the box?

So here is what worked that ended up in the final design:

  • The box – to save time and money I started with a craft box I found at Hobby Lobby. It didn’t have a flat top so to I had to fill in the top with a piece of wood that I cut to size.
    • Magnetic lock – it’s actually a child lock I found at Baby’s R’ Us. It allows the box to be locked and have no visible locking mechanism on the outside. The only way to open the box is to hold a superstong magnet in the right place. I hid a strong magnet on the back of a deadpool keychain I got off EBay. It looks like this when you open the box:

  • The light – It lights up automaticly when the box is opened. I found it on Ebay for just over $1. I also bought shorter screws from home depot to avoid going through to the outside of the box.
  • The neon accent lighting – This was EL wire I found at 5 Below.
  • The foam – I’ve been through some stuff this year. In March I got flesh eating bacteria in my leg. My leg was saved, but I have been in physical therapy ever since. They just happened to have some unused foam laying around so it was free. If I didn’t have access to that I would have tried the Foam Factory , Home Depot, or just ordered some from Omni Medical Supply.

  • Some things that didn’t work:

    • Sound module – I ordered a sound module that is normally used in greeting cards from Bigdawgs. The idea was the that I could get the box to play Salt n’ Peppa’s “Shoop” when the box was opened. I chose that song because it was used in the movie and Deadpool didn’t have a theme song. It was working pretty well, but the batteries ran out too quickly. Plus replacement cell batteries of that size aren’t sold anywhere except online.
    • Wireless Bluetooth speaker. I found a wireless Bluetooth speaker for $10 at meijer. Even after taking it completely apart my box just wasn’t big enough to contain the components and protective housing. I hope to revisit this on future boxes.
    • Traxxit – I found this Bluetooth gps tracking unit at 5 Below and I couldn’t even begin to get it work. I threw it out. It’s tracking a garbage truck now.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or suggestions for future box improvements, let me know in the comments.

The Totally Awesome Set!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Avengers Defenders War!!)

AVD War.png

Well now! It’s been awhile, but I’m finally back, and my return to writing articles here on Critical Missives couldn’t have come at a better time!

Because Avengers Defenders War is here, and it’s so much more than “Marvel’s Joker’s Wild,” as some around here (HypeFox) have dubbed it, although there are some such comparisons to be made..

To wit:

(AKA, Some Notes About the Set:)

Porcupine

Yup. If you open Porcupine in a meaningful tournament, you are definitely “FIKKT.”

  • The Commons and Uncommons are both exciting  and good, but the Rares kinda suck. And by “kinda” I mean, like, they are really, truly, awfully garbage-y. There are MAYBE three Rares that might ever see play from me in this set. Opening a pack with ADW049 Porcupine or ADW043 Machete as your Rare is just a real downer. 
Gladiator

Pull me as your Rare in Sealed and you’ll have the same look on your face.

  • While I had some very good experiences using this set in Sealed, most people (HypeFox) were not as enthusiastic. I spoke to one person playing sealed at a Wizkids Open whose Rares were ADW042 Gladiator and ADW041 Foggy Nelson. In fact, Gladiator was his most expensive piece at 60 points. It’s hard to face off against pieces that are 150 points or more like ADW040 Count Nefaria when nothing you have to use is over 60 points. Those boosters might as well have come with a note telling you what time Battle Royals were going to start.

Ron Burgandy Wizkids

  • There were no Primes in this set. That meant a case might have 3 SR’s and a Chase in one brick, and just 3 SR’s in the other. So if you bought just a brick you weren’t guaranteed a Chase or a Prime.

Sir Not Appearing.png

  • Big pictures of Thor and Namor on the boxes, no trace of  them in set. I’m still waiting to pull one.

Shifting Focus key

  • And finally, on a personal level, I really love Shifting Focus and I hope they do more of it in sets to come.

Okay! Enough of that! Let’s get into some…

TOP FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Vision Phasing

5. ADW006 Vision —  50 Points — Common: I don’t remember ever seeing a dial with 5 clicks of Invincible and Impervious for 50 Points. It’s also unusual to see a 50 Point dial with Indomitable. Add to that an offense that lets him do 3 Damage through reducers and you’ve got yourself a great package.

His only weaknesses are a complete lack of range and no move and attack save for two top clicks of Sidestep. Thankfully, both of those weaknesses can be fixed with a free action when you shift to ADW024 Vision because, oh yeah, HE ALSO SHIFTS FOCUS IN CASE HE WASN’T ALREADY OVERPOWERED FOR HIS POINTS!

Hulk Gray

4. ADW021 Hulk —  75 Points — Uncommon: For 75 points you get 6 Clicks featuring Invincible and then Impervious. He has 4 Damage for his entire dial and Traited Super Strength to add to the damage even more (and add knockback under the new rules that are coming out). When he does get hurt, his combination of Flurry and Steal Energy will help minimize the pain.

He’s very undercosted for his points which is why Wizkids added a negative Trait to his card (LEAVE HULK ALONE!: At the beginning of your turn, if Hulk was targeted with an attack since your last turn, place an Anger token on his card. If Hulk wasn’t targeted with an attack since your last turn, remove an Anger token from his card. After placing or removing Anger tokens, if Hulk has 5 Anger tokens or more he is immediately KO’d.). Fortunately for Hulk enthusiasts, Wizkids was too conservative with the trait and I have a hard time imagining it ever mattering in a game. 

Wasp Costume Change.gif

3. ADW023 Wasp —  40 Points — Uncommon: I’ll bet a fair amount of you reading this article will think that that this an unusual choice. But I love this piece. She is one part Secondary Attacker and one part Support Figure. Offensively she is similar to ADW035 Dr. Strange, but instead of hiding behind your other characters she can remain in the open. Why? Because this 40 point character has a 21 defense against ranged attacks! Psychic Blast allows her to bypass damage reducers when she wants to get offensive or she can Costume Change to ADW023 Wasp and use her dual target Incapacitate. Her supporting Leadership power allows her to remove tokens from a much higher point character and her small size also allows almost anyone to carry her.

Batroc.jpg

2. ADW050 Batroc —  40 Points — Rare: Batroc usually doesn’t get much respect in the comics, but in the HeroClix world he’s the real deal. Even though his Attack and Defense values are average, he really stands out in three areas: His low point cost of 40; his Improved Movement that ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain and also Characters; and his Special Movement Power Zey Call Me… Ze Lee-Pair. It reads,Batroc can use Sidestep. When he has one action token, he may use Sidestep twice this turn and may be given a free action to make a close attack.” If he starts a turn with one action token, he can move up to 4 spaces (ignoring most terrain and moving through characters) and make a free action attack with Precision Strike. And after all that, he still clears tokens!

Klaw.jpg

1. ADW059 Klaw —  110 Points — Super Rare: Klaw is that rare balance of strong offense, defense, and movement. On offense he’s got a starting 4 Damage Value and the ability to pick any Attack Power once each turn. That can be Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, or even Telekinesis if the situation warrants it. He also has a Movement Special Power that lets him ignore almost all terrain and Sidestep as many as 6 squares each turn.

That means he could Sidestep through a wall and then Pulse Wave someone on the other side. On defense he has Can’t Hurt What’s Made of Sound which states,Klaw can use Super Senses. If Klaw would take more than 2 damage, he takes 2 damage instead.” The only thing keeping him from going higher on this list are low(-ish) Attack Values and a lack of Willpower.

All of which brings us to…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN AVENGERS DEFENDERS WAR!!

Ghost Rider

10. ADW064 Ghost Rider —  75 Points — Super Rare: This is the best of the mounted figures that move through opposing forces in a straight line, but all three in this set are worth owning. He starts with his super movement power that lets you do 2 Penetrating Damage by attacking every opposing figure in a straight line.  On defense he starts with Invulnerability and Indomitable.

What sets him apart from the other mounted figures is that when he hits an opposing figure he can move them one space to either side of the path he traveled. Taking into account that he ignores most terrain this could make him very good against opposing Stealthy characters or really any piece that relies on adjacency (defense balls, Mastermind, etc.).

Nuke

9. ADW048 Nuke —  70 Points — Super Rare:  I love characters that can heal themselves and Nuke has that covered. At the start of his turn he can choose the Red Pill for +1 attack in close combat, the Blue Pill for Precision Strike, or the White Pill for a one click heal in lieu of attacking this turn.

He starts with Running Shot, Energy Explosion (which combos nicely with the Blue Pill and Precision Strike) and when he gets damaged he gains Charge plus Super Strength (which is when you’ll want to start popping Red Pills to grant him +1 attack). When it’s time to clear tokens a White Pill will heal some of the damage he’s taken. He’s not going to take down a 150 point (or more) figure single-handedly, but he offers a lot for just 70 points.

Totally Awesome Hulk

8. ADW052 (Totally Awesome) Hulk —  160 Points — Super Rare: I’ll say it again. I love characters that can heal themselves. Before you play him (or play against him) his healing isn’t obvious. He is one of those pieces that is better in practice than on paper.

His BATTLING MONSTERS! Trait (BATTLING MONSTERS!: When Hulk hits an opposing character with the Monster keyword or with a printed damage value of 4 or more, after actions resolve remove an action token from him.) doesn’t come in handy that often, but his BEST HULK EVER Trait is one of the best Traits I’ve ever seen. It reads, “Hulk can use Super Strength. When he KO’s an opposing character, heal him a number of clicks equal to the damage that would have been taken minus the actual damage taken.” When you combine the Traited Super Strength with his printed 4 damage on every click, he can dish out a lot of damage. That leads to high damage KOs which in turn power his healing.

I used him in Sealed to take first place during a Prerelease. In all three games he was knocked down to at least his second to last click, but ended each game near the top of his dial. While he can’t do everything himself, with the proper supporting figures he can soak up damage and KO his way to good health.

CountNefaria

7. ADW040 Count Nefaria —  200 Points — Rare: He has bad keywords (Lethal Legion, Maggia, Ruler), but a pretty decent dial for 200 points. He starts with Running Shot, Psychic Blast, Invincible to go along with his Stealth. His 7 Range and Stealth helps keep Outwit from targeting him on his first three clicks and Flight means that his movement won’t be hampered by hiding in Hindering Terrain.

The reason why he is so high on this list is his improved form of regeneration “IONIC RESERVES.” He has it sprinkled through out his dial. It says, “Count Nefaria can use Invulnerability and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration and has one action token, he doesn’t subtract 2 from the d6 roll.” With a lucky roll he could regenerate for 6 clicks of healing!

Chairdevil

6. ADW068 Daredevil (AKA Chair Devil)—  80 Points — Chase: For 80 Points you get the 6 clicks with the Mystics TA, Traited Stealth, Precision Strike, and Super Senses. He has better than average attack and Flurry in the middle of his dial to make that Precision Strike hurt.

That might be enough to justify his point cost right there, but his Trait “LEADER OF THE HAND” allows him to generate nearly unlimited tie up figures with Stealth and the Hydra TA. It reads, “Once per turn, give Daredevil a power action to place a #adw015 Hand Ninja from outside the game in a square of hindering terrain within range and line of fire. If a friendly character with The Hand keyword was KO’d since your last turn, this is a free action instead.

So at the beginning of the game you can make a few ADW015 Hand Ninja before the other force even gets close. Then for the rest of the game when ANY other member of the Hand on your team gets KOed you can make another ADW015 Hand Ninja as a free action on your turn.

Doc Strange SF

5. ADW035 Dr. Strange —  50 Points — Rare: This version of the Doctor is equal parts Finger Bang DXF017 Deadpool (Sidestep, Psy Blast) and DXF059B Wiz Kid (+1 to stats to adjacent characters)Add to that his Shifting Focus versions that Transport your team (ADW001 Dr. Strange) or Defend it (ADW019 Dr. Strange) and you’ve got a great figure and one of the most versatile pieces in the set!

Punisher Rocket Launcher.png

4. ADW030 Punisher-–  50 Points — Uncommon: Everyone who attended an ADW Prerelease knows about (Rocket Launcher) ADW009 Punisher. That guy dished out ranged group damage that far exceeds his 50 point value. Unfortunately, as easily as he can dish out the damage he can also easily take it in return. That means that most of the time you will need to use the much more subtle ADW030 Punisher.

This close combat version of the Punisher features an improved form of BCF, Combat Reflexes, Indomitable, Wildcard TA, and most importantly Stealth. This dial alone is worth the 50 points even if you never switch forms. So keep him in that form until it’s just the right time to strike and then “say hello to my little friend!” for fun and profit!

Iron Man ADW.jpg

3. ADW053 Iron Man —  165 Points — Super Rare: So the first thing everyone thinks of when they see a Primary Attacker character in Modern that allows them to pick a power is “how does that character compare to JW053B Jakeem Thunder?”

Here are Iron Man’s advantages:

  • Better Keywords
  • Slightly better combat values
  • Better powers before you start picking powers (including damage reducers)
  • He can gain new powers via a free action, not just at the start of turn

Here are Jakeem’s advantages:

  • 1 click longer dial
  • 25 points less cost
  • 1 square longer range
  • Can chose a Defense Power
  • Doesn’t lose existing powers when he gains new powers
  • Choosing powers is Traited and lasts the whole dial
  • Has a Team Ability

JW053B Jakeem Thunder is still a better piece, but there are some situations where Iron Man is better. Keeping in mind that Jakeem Thunder is the piece to beat right now in competitive play, coming close means that this Iron Man is a piece you should look to own.

RiRi Williams.jpg

2. ADW071 Iron Heart—  25 Points — Chase: She is one part ADW007 Black Panther (cheap Outwit), one part JW025 Hawkman (cheap Taxi),  and one part JW060V The Joker (she doesn’t die easy).

Her Sidestep, Flight, and 10 Movement make her a top tier Taxi and at 25 points there is no Taxi piece cheaper in Modern Age. She starts with Outwit, but she shuffles among all the best supporting powers (Outwit, Perplex and Probability Control) as she takes damage.

Her 18 defense is bolstered by the Trait ARMOR’S FALLING APART ON ME. It reads, “Iron Heart begins the game with 1 Broken Armor token. When she is dealt damage, instead roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. If the result is equal to or less than the number of Broken Armor tokens, she is KO’d. If not, turn her to that click number and give her another Broken Armor token. This can’t be ignored.” So the first time she takes damage she has an 17% chance of being KOed. After 2 hits it’s 33%. After 3 it’s 50%. On average she will be KOed after 3 hits, but it can take as many as 6 hits to KO her if you have lucky rolls. Also, it’s only the number of hits that count, not the amount of damage, not even if it’s Pulse Wave damage. It’s all the same to RiRi.

WF061 Superman with an Ultra Heavy Object will do 8 damage to any other character, but it still is just one broken token for Iron Heart. WF048 Zatara can sacrifice himself to do a 4 damage Pulse Wave attack. Iron Heart will just take one broken token in place of that damage. That’s insane for 25 points.

Dr. Strange Earth's Guardian.png

1. ADW051 Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian—  80 Points — Super Rare (Title Character): One of my main complaints about DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With A Mouth is that his keywords (Initiative and X-Factor) don’t leave a lot of options for team building. In fact they kinda suck. Well, Wizkids must have heard those complaints because Dr. Strange was made with the Avengers and Mystical keywords. If you can’t find good team building options with those keywords then I have nothing for you.

His dial alone is almost worth 80 points. 7 range with Sidestep, 11 Attack, Psychic Blast, 3 Damage, and Probability Control should do well on offense. Defensively, 18 Defense, the Mystics TA, and Energy Shield/Deflection are above average for his point cost. He also has 6 clicks of life and his values for attack and defense stay relatively the same throughout.

He has three Title Character Abilities. His first ability reads “Every Scrap Of Hidden Sorcery: Modify Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian’s or an adjacent friendly character’s damage value by +1 this turn.” That’s a great effect and I would use that often, but it’s his third title ability that really blows me away. It says, “Sorceror Supreme: For the rest of the game, as long as Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is on the map you may reroll an attack roll each turn.” That’s huge. It’s in addition to any use of Probability Control your team might have, and it lets him join the ranks of the only two other characters in Modern who can affect your rolls anywhere on the board: SMWW060 Mr. Mxyzptlk and TMNT2029 Renet Tilley.

And that’s why Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is the best character in this set.

Upcoming Games: Heroclix: The Gathering: Month 2: New Phyrexia!!

[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.

szadek

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.

Decimate.jpg

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!!

New Phryexia.jpg

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):

 

azorius

AZORIUS SENATE

The Azorius Senate functions as the government of Ravnica and creates Ravnican laws.

Keywords:  PoliticianRuler

Azorius Senate Team AbilityAt 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.

 

boros-legion

BOROS LEGION

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 AbilityWhen 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.

 

house-dimir

HOUSE DIMIR

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…

 

golgari-swarm

GOLGARI SWARM

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.

 

gruul-clans

GRUUL CLANS

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 AbilityAll 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.

 

izzet-league

IZZET LEAGUE

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 AbilityWhen 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).

 

orzhov-syndicate

ORZHOV SYNDICATE

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 AbilityCharacters 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.

 

rakdos

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 AbilityWhenever 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… )

 

selesnya-conclave

SELESNYA CONCLAVE

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 AbilityWhen 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.

 

simic-combine

SIMIC COMBINE

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.

 

phryexian-mana

NEW PHYREXIA

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.

 

Upcoming Scenario: Heroclix: The Gathering: Ravnica!!

[UPDATE01/03/2017!! A previous version of this article listed The Cult of Rakdos as having “Brute, Assassin” for their keywords. This should have read “Brute, Mystical.” I am sorry for the misprint! To remedy this, for Month 1, teams made up of Brutes and/or Mystical characters OR teams made up of Brutes and/or Assassins will be allowed to choose The Cult of Rakdos as their guild.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is just a quick local game announcement for SE Michigan Clix’ers before we go back to our regular programming!!]

Okay! We are starting a multi-part proprietary Comics & More Heroclix Scenario based on the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering!

And here it is:

HEROCLIX: THE GATHERING: RAVNICA!!

The Guilds of Ravnica are ten sociopolitical factions that hold power on the city plane of Ravnica. Each guild has its own distinct ideology that unifies its members with one another, with the guild itself, with its functions and purposes, and with its structure.

But unease is starting to grow like wildfire among the locals and lines are being drawn in the sand. If you want to control Ravnica, you’re going to have to choose a faction and fight for it!! But beware… once you choose a home among the ten factions, the other nine are going to try and destroy you!

The Game: Heroclix: The Gathering: Ravnica: Month 1!

(I think that sets a record for most colons in a Heroclix Scenario Title!!)

The Build: 300 Points, 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.

You must choose a Guild from the chart below. Once you’ve chosen a Guild, your army must be built around the generic keyword pairings from the list below. 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).

List of Ravnica Guilds (Guild descriptions provided by MTGSalvation.com):

azorius

AZORIUS SENATE

The Azorius Senate functions as the government of Ravnica and creates Ravnican laws.

Keywords:  PoliticianRuler

Azorius Senate Team AbilityAt 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.

boros-legion

BOROS LEGION

Ravnica’s security force, the Boros Legion is both Ravnica’s constabulary and standing army.

Keywords:  Police, Soldier

Boros Legion Team AbilityWhen 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.

house-dimir

HOUSE DIMIR

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.

Keywords:  Spy, Assassin

House Dimir Team AbilityWhen it is not your turn, lines of fire drawn to a character using this team ability are blocked if this character is adjacent to a wall or blocking terrain.

golgari-swarm

GOLGARI SWARM

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.

gruul-clans

GRUUL CLANS

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 AbilityAll 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.

izzet-league

IZZET LEAGUE

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.

orzhov-syndicate

ORZHOV SYNDICATE

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 AbilityCharacters 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.

rakdos

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.

Keywords: Brute, Mystical

Cult of Rakdos Team AbilityWhenever 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.

selesnya-conclave

SELESNYA CONCLAVE

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 and wreak havoc.

Keywords: Brute, Spy

Selesnya Conclave Team AbilityWhen characters using this Team Ability roll doubles on a successful 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.

simic-combine

SIMIC COMBINE

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, roll a d6 once for all friendly characters using this Team Ability. On a result of 4-6, all friendly characters using this Team Ability ignore Shape Change and Stealth this turn.

The Joke Is On Us!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Joker’s Wild!!)(Or OR The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again (and this time, with feeling!), we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 5! If you missed The First Night of Clix-Mas, you can read what it’s all about right here! Night 2 was the nascent edition of a new holiday scenario we’ve been cooking up and can be found… here-ish! Night 3 took a brief look back at Horrorclix. Night 4 was the debut of a new feature called “Overlooked” which examined some pieces from World’s Finest that don’t see quite as much play as they seemingly should… . And Night 5 was Part 1 of a brief 3-part series that examines how Heroclix would look if there were a Core Set released every year or two… And Night 6 saw HypeFox Theory-craft his own Marvel Heroclix Core Set! Night 7 saw Ninwashui calling an audible and promising to throw his hat in the ring and finally write an article!]

im-not-going-to-kill-you-joker

Actually, I’m not going to do much of anything in this movie! A-ha. A-ha-ha-haaa. Yeah.

Hello again! I feel like it’s been too long since I published an article, so I think tonight is as good a night as any to pop by.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wow. You only waited ’til Night 8 this year to actually contribute something? Welcome to the party, pal. I’ll just be over here, GENERATING THE FIRST SEVEN ARTICLES MYSELF!!]

Really? Oh, hey, great. Thank you. You really didn’t have to do that.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh no, I REALLY DID!!]

Ahem. Well… thank you?

Anyway, so as not to waste any more time, I am jumping in feet first with… a full Top Ten Set Review!! And speaking of jumping in feet first, let’s get right to it with some…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • Overall Power Level of the set ? More than any other set I can remember, the power level of this set seems to vary widely.  For 50 points you can get Rare JW047 Killer Croc or Rare JW033 The Joker, who just flat aren’t very good. However, for that same 50 points you can get Chase JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow who can essentially nullify ranged attacks against your entire team.
  • To reiterate: for 45 Points, you can field Chase and noted turd-ka-bob JW065 Aquaman and just let your opponent know right away that you really aren’t into competing this game. Or for 5 more points, you can play an essentially unkillable JW060 Joker. Hmmm… Should I play the figure who can “make water” for one whole turn, or should I play the piece that changes how my opponent wants to come after my team? So hard to choose…
  •  I feel like 5 or 6 pieces in this set weren’t made with the same point system as the rest of the set just to sell it. In fact, I don’t think JW060V The Joker was made with any regard to the point system at all.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You ain’t kidding!]

  • Comic Accuracy – Overall not great. This set gave us JW034 Harley Quinn, whose top dial 10 Movement Value with Hypersonic Speed matches FL001A The Flash. JW060V The Joker  can take more punishment than any Superman ever made. And JW041 The Specter only has a 4 click dial for 40 points.
  • Sub Themes:
    1. JSA – They may not reflect the power levels in of the characters in the comics well, but if you ignore that fact you have great filler pieces for a variety of teams. The “Past” keyword gets a huge bump this set to go along with a an already good list of characters like SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur (who was possibly my biggest Top Ten article miss ever.)
    2. Court of Owls – It seems on the surface that this might be a good team to run, but problems that aren’t obvious right away (like JW038 Talon not having the Underworld TA) make me wonder if this keyword will ever see tournament play. Their saving grace is that they all also share the Gotham City Keyword.
    3. Outsiders – The Outsiders TA has always been good, but in the past it’s seemed like most of the characters with it have had point values far too high for the value the character brought to the team. This set I could see most of the outsiders being worthy of tournament play. Any outsider not named JW054 Geo-Force or JW037B Looker (Prime) in this set is worth a look (See what I did there?).
    4. League of Assassins – The league had 4 pieces in this set. 3 of them are okay, but they probably won’t amount to much as a team because the new JW021 Ra’s Al-Ghul is pretty useless outside of sealed play.
    5. Suicide Squad – The Squad got 9 pieces in this set and they are the complete opposite of the Outsiders. Most of the pieces they got are terrible except for where those pieces also have keywords for other teams like JW044 Katana, and JW034 Harley Quinn.
    6. Gotham Underworld, Arkham Asylum, and Gotham City – The Batman villians have a similar keyword problem to the Justice League. There is the Justice League keyword and the Justice League of America Keyword. Usually figures don’t have both. They seem to give Batman villians Gotham City or Gotham City Underworld keywords at random. For example, Rare JW034 Harley Quinn has the Gotham City keyword and not Gotham City Underworld. The Common and Uncommon versions of JW002 Harley Quinn and JW018 Harley Quinn both have the Gotham City Underworld Keyword and not the Gotham City Keyword. Other characters have both. I’m also not sure why the Arkham Asylum Keyword exists. Those should all just be Gotham City Underworld. Taking all of that into account the Gotham City Underworld keyword did the best in this set, but with few fliers and a lack of the Underworld TA these villains still lack a reliable way to get battle other than walking there individually.

My Honorable Mentions:

talon

5. JW038 Talon 120 PointsRare: Talon would be much higher on this list except for three problems. At 120 points he lacks Willpower. 3 damage is low for a primary attacker (yes I am aware of his precision strike). And, finally, it’s hard to keep a good amount of JW005A Court of Owls Initiates with him unless you choose to ignore Theme.

He does have a lot of good points with this character (like Improved Movement, Traited Stealth, and conditional Mastermind) and with a lot of planning he may just work for you.

flash-jsa

4. JW036 The Flash35 pointsRare: He’s the cheapest Hypersonic Speed character in Modern and almost the cheapest of all time. He’s completely a one trick pony, but at 35 points he really doesn’t need anything else to be worth playing. Beyond his Hypersonic Speed, his 12 Move, 11 Attack, and 18 Defense are great for the points.

Al Pratt Atom.jpg

3. JW022 The Atom25 pointsUncommon: This guy is the cheapest character ever printed with Close Combat Expert and 3 or more top dial Damage. He’s tied with JLTW204R The Trench for being the cheapest character to ever start with 17 Defense and Combat Reflexes. He makes a super effective team with JW025 Hawkman. He’s even somewhat pushable because he doesn’t lose any powers or Attack Value from Click 1 to 2. It’s possible this guy could start showing up as filler on tons of tournament teams the same way that FFJLTW007 Atomica does.

Lady Shiva.png

2. JW043 Lady Shiva 50 points Rare: One of the first ever figures with the Batman Enemy TA and a starting 12 Attack. She’s also the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 Attack. Her Attack Value along with precision strike and flurry mean that she can hurt pieces well above her point cost. On defense she is eligible for the League of Assassins ATA and her special defensive power could keep her in the fight against pieces that need a help to hit her 19 defense in close combat. It reads, “I AM THE ULTIMATE TEST: Lady Shiva can use Combat Reflexes. Adjacent opposing characters can’t have their combat values increased when making close attacks.”

mr-freeze

1. JW049 Mr. Freeze 90 pointsSuper Rare: He’s somewhat similar to UXM051 Iceman. The differences are that he’s less offense and more defense. Iceman had Running Shot, two targets, and a 7 Range.

Mr. Freeze has sidestep, 1 target, and 5 range. They both give an action token and a marker to people hit from range. Both have a consistently high damage value of 3 their entire dial and Mr. Freeze’s version of the ice wall token does an additional penetrating damage. The real difference is on defense.

His last two clicks have the power, BACK TO REFRIGERATION: Mr. Freeze can use Toughness. At the beginning of your turn, heal Mr. Freeze a number of clicks equal to 3 minus the number of adjacent opposing characters.” That means that at the beginning of your turn (assuming he isn’t next to someone) he will heal three clicks without even using an action. It’s like he has a Regeneration power that guarantees you roll a 5 and doesn’t cost you an action! Keep in mind that he has damage reducers every click, so the chance of you seeing those clicks is reasonably high and then the opponent will have to go through those damage reducers for a second time. (or a third, or a forth, or…)


The Top Ten:

Batman Outsiders.jpg

10. FFJW001 Batman 75 points – Fast Forces: His Trait “STUDENT OF ALL MARTIAL ARTS” means that lowest Attack Value will be a 10 and his first two starting clicks will be at least a 12. (he gets +1 per adjacent character and he has zero range so if you are attacking you are adjacent to at least one enemy) His Traited Toughness, 18 starting Defense, full dial Combat Reflexes, and 7 click dial make him very hardy for a 75 point figure. On offense his “HIT YOU WITH MY HANDS AND FEET” is just ripe for abuse. It lets him attack all adjacent characters at once and unlike other similar powers, each hit is dealt normal damage not just printed damage. That means Perplex and Empower can help deal additional damage. Imagine you have 2 uses of Perplex for his Damage Value and b\Batman is next to 3 people. If he hits with his boosted 14 attack value, each target would be dealt 5 damage.

killing-joke-joker

9. JW059 The Joker140 points Super Rare: For some reason they decided that any Super Rare or Chase version of the Joker would be really hard to KO. This version is hard to even damage. He has Mastermind that you can’t bypass with Precision Strike thanks to his MAD AS A HATTER trait. You could Outwit it if he’s not in Stealth, but you can’t Outwit his best power because it’s a Trait and it’s not even on his card. The 10 point JW003A The Joker Thug printed in the same set has a trait that states, “THE JOKER IS THE KING OF GOTHAM: When building your force, The Joker Thug does not count against a themed team if your force has a character named The Joker on it. If an adjacent friendly character named The Joker is hit with an attack, The Joker Thug may become the hit target of that attack instead, even if it would be illegal.” Because of the keyword exception there is no good reason not to run a least few Joker Thugs with this Joker on every team. When they stand next to him, pulse wave is the only power in the game that will do damage to him. And even Pulse Wave will still stop at the Joker’s last click – which is a stop click with even more Mastermind.

On offense the Joker has Traited Poison that deals Penetrating Damage to lower point characters. Then on odd clicks he has Blades/Claws/Fangs and his Special THE KILLING JOKE!: The Joker can use Ranged Combat Expert and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters. When The Joker hits with an attack, hit characters are each given up to 2 action tokens.” On his even numbered clicks he has the less exciting Precision Strike and Outwit, but that’s still a deadly powerset.

What keeps Joker from being higher on this list? Two things. The first is that he’s only able to KO people he can reach. By that I mean he has no move and attack ability, and as no improved movement. That means on offense you will often need to walk the Joker up to an opposing figure and  wait until the following turn to attack. In the meantime you have to hope that figure hasn’t moved out of your range or you might not be able to attack anyone the next turn either. A taxi or a figure with Telekenesis helps greatly with this. The second thing is that in order to remain untouchable, you will need to have several Joker Thugs at your side. The Joker has a 10 Movement, but the thugs only have a 6. The ideal situation would be to have the Joker carry two thugs by himself via the underworld TA. The problem is that he doesn’t have the underworld TA. The best ideas I could think of without breaking up your theme team are to either play WF059R Lex Luthor & Joker or play JLTW002 Catwoman. Neither seem like ideal options.

penguin-jw

8. JW050 The Penguin — 40 points — Super Rare: For 40 points you are getting a slowly building robot army that provides the opponent no points when killed, have no limitations on how many can be in play at once, and don’t even count against your actions unless they are attacking. Depending on what you are playing against, I would likely suggest leaving penguin in your starting area and making a JW050BTC Robo-Penguin (the ranged attacker) every other turn. He’s the new version of one of my favorite pieces AAOU007 Ultron Sentry, and he’s even easier to use. Penguin only has 4 clicks and really only Stealth to protect him, but you’ll have 260 points worth of your team left to do that job!

katana-jw

7. JW044 Katana75 pointsRare: Katana in this set is just an all around strong figure. She has Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering Terrain,. she gets stronger the first three times she KOs a character each game (which great against opposing figures that make tokens), and she has the Outsiders TA while still having a reasonable point cost. On offense her Charge and Exploit Weakness with 3 damage means that she can heavily damage almost any character. Adding the slash token to whomever she hits will make an opponent think twice about hitting her back the following turn. A real steal for the points.

Alan Scott.jpg

6. JW052 Green Lantern35 pointsSuper Rare: At only 35 points Green Lantern is a great taxi with 10 Movement, Flight, and Willpower. But unlike a lot of low cost Taxis, when he is not using his actions to move other characters, he can help turn the tide of battle.

His Trait GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT gives him 1 Barrier token he can place each turn as a free action. He can also use Barrier normally and then again that turn a free action to place a total of 5 blocking terrain tokens. Especially on an indoor map, that could keep the opposing team from making any attacks against you on the following turn.

What I’ve just mentioned is plenty of value for 35 points.

However, he’s got two other tricks up his sleeve. First, he can make a wall instead of one of his Barrier tokens. What good does that do? Well if you place a wall between two characters, they are no longer adjacent. You can use that wall that to prevent Poison damage, block line of fire to help friendly pulse wave be move effective, prevent an opposing character from using Mastermind, prevent an opposing character from being carried, or allow a friendly character to automatically break away. His second trick is that opposing characters adjacent to any of his Light Wall or Barrier markers can’t use Stealth and modify their defense values by -1. So he can place a free action barrier token next to a stealthy character and now not only can your entire force target that character with Ranged attacks, but that (formerly stealthy) character will be at minus 1 defense the entire time!

Bizarro Joker.jpg

5. JW063 Bizarro Joker — 45 points — Chase: Bizarro Joker only has one purpose. He’s arguably the best tie up figure – ever. He has Traited Plasticity, a full dial of damage reducers, and two Stop Clicks. The trick is getting him next to at least two opposing figures before he takes too much damage from ranged attacks. If you can get him next to at least two opposing figures, then his Special Power “BIZARRO POISONwill heal him for at least two a turn. That healing, combined with his STOP clicks means that even if he is on his last click he will heal past his STOP clicks and as long as he isn’t damaged three times in a row, he can’t be KOed. Then your opponent will just be stuck. They can’t break away (Plasticity), kill Bizarro Joker (Stop Clicks and healing), or attack anyone else (because they are adjacent to Bizarro Joker). This 45 point figure may completely neutralize half of the opposing team. His only real vulnerabilities are that his healing can be Outwitted, or that he can taken out by ranged attacks (probably at least 4) before getting adjacent to enough characters. But that is totally understandable. I mean it’s not like they could make a Joker that is completely unkillable and still be in the in the 50 point range. Right? RIGHT?

Anarky JW.png

4. JW003B Anarky75 points — Common Prime: Anarky’s dial is pretty unremarkable, but if you are looking for a way to keep opposing figures from coming to your side of the board you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to do it then with this figure. If you need time to build Robo Penguins, turn a Supreme Intelligence dial or deploy Pandora’s Box Sins – this is your guy. Bomb markers give you the option of blowing up if an opposing character is within 3 of the marker and they have a 50% chance of doing 3 Penetrating damage to everything within 3 of the marker. At the start of the game you get 6 bomb markers to place anywhere except within 4 of a starting area or another bomb marker.

That’s pretty strong by itself, but you can maximize their efficiency in two ways. First there no limit to how many bombs can be set off at the start off your turn. If an opposing figure is in range of two or more bombs you can set off all of them at once for maximum damage. The second way to maximize efficiency is to recognize that while the bombs you start with can’t be placed near other bombs, there is no such restriction on bombs brought into play via Anarky’s special attack power “LEAVING THEM A LITTLE SURPRISE: Give Anarky a power action. Place adjacent a Bomb special marker as described on this card.” You can use that power to place bombs adjacent to other bombs which should prevent an opponent from going anywhere near that area for the rest of the game.

Jakeem Thunder JW.png

3. JW053B Jakeem Thunder 140 points SR Prime: The newest figure made that allows you to pick your powers every turn. Jakeem Thunder is no Zombie GOTG062 Super Skrull, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be highly effective. With only a few restrictions, Jakeem can pick any two powers each turn to add them to his own. He can still pick a lot powerful combinations. For example, Running Shot/Pulsewave, Ranged Combat Expert/Sidestep, Plasticity/Poison, Combat Reflexes/Stealth, Hypersonic Speed/Super Strength, Perplex/Telekinesis, or Flurry/Blades/Claws/Fangs. On turns where you aren’t taking any action with him, you can choose Shape Change or Stealth and any defense power. You can even have Regeneration at any point on your dial, or choose support to heal others.

Where he really gets nuts is where he’s helped by Possession or Resources. The Wrath Sin from Pandora’s Box will make it so he doesn’t need to worry about his lack of Willpower and he’ll have Combat Reflexes to go along with the Energy Shield/Deflection already on his dial. Or you could add an entity like Eclipso so you can choose a defensive ability from Eclipso and let Jakeem choose 2 offensive abilities with his trait. Even better, you can do both!

bizarro_green_arrow_01

Me am mascot for Target!!”

2. JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow50 PointsChase: Me am making entire team vulnerable to range attacks. Me no offer unprecedented protection like has been seen many times before in HeroClix. Me am not most expensive figure in set and not for good reason. Me will not let team essentially ignore the first four (or more) range attacks made against them. Me will not define the meta and will not be a piece that you need to plan around when making a tournament team. Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Green Arrow love seeing me on opposite team. They know that they will have an easy time dealing with me.

the-killing-joke-joker

Why is he dripping wet in this picture?

1. JW060V The Joker50 PointsSuper Rare: So they went ahead and made a Joker that is completely unkillable in the 50 point range. I mean yeah he does take damage if you attack him, but he has 30 clicks of life.  Oh and he doesn’t take pushing damage. Oh and he has traited Super Senses. Oh and he may randomly heal up to three clicks at the start of your turn without using an action. So an opponent may KO the Joker if he devotes all his actions to it over 8-10 turns, but what is the other 250 points of your team doing during that time? There is two reasons why I’m saying that the joker is unkillable during a standard time length game. The first is that with everything I just mentioned, your opponent will likely run out of time. Especially if you are weakening his team with attacks during that time. The second reason that Joker is unkillable is that by now everyone knows about him. And If your opponent knows about this figure, they won’t even bother trying to attack him.

But what about offense? This 50 point character would a take a long time to KO anyone. Well that’s actually true, but you have 250 points left to play some offense. This isn’t the best offensive figure ever, it’s arguably the best tie up figure ever. Place him next to your opponents best attacker and just sit him there. If your opponent attacks him, you win. If your opponent tries to break away and fails, you win. If your opponent breaks away for a turn, then just move right back next to him the following turn, and eventually you’ll win.

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, there you have it! Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments below! And don’t go too far–Night 9 drops tomorrow!]

I’m The Best There Is at What I Do… And What I Do Is Lose to the Best!! (Or, Local Tourney Report: ROC Super Qualifier – Eternal Games in Warren, Michigan 10/01/2016)

ROC

While I still play every week or so, in general my family duties don’t allow me to attend some of the bigger HeroClix events. However, on the night before the ROC SQ in Warren, Michigan, I was able to rearrange my schedule to where I had a mostly free day on Saturday.  My only real problem was that I needed to make an ultra-competitive team for a big field of Meta players and I had only a few hours to dream something up.

Still, I had a few ideas floating around in my head:

  • A Pro-Registration team with CWSOP102 Iron Man, CWSOP008 Wasp, and CWSOP020 Jack O’Lantern. I figured if I threw Jocasta and Eclipso on the first two they would be nearly unkillable and Jester was just there to gum up the works. Add in a full Pandora’s Box and that’s 300. [EDITOR’S NOTE: How is “Nearly Unkillable” NOT the title of a straight-to-video Steven Seagal and/or Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? It’s not. I checked. But it definitely SHOULD be!]
  • A Wild Card Team with SFSM049 Spider-Man, AOU007 Yellowjacket, SMWW055P Eclipso, FFJLTW007 Atomica, WF062R Batman and a full Pandora’s Box to make 300. Yellowjacket at full size is a surprisingly capable Taxi. Each attacker had Perplex and Batman could suck up a CSA Team Ability action token each turn with no ill effects.
  • A Soldier team with SMWW065R Superman, CWSOP101 Captain America, UXM057P Proteus, NFAOS062 Captain America’s Motorcycle, SMWWG006P War Wheel (or the Atom), and a full Pandora’s box to make 300.  Sadly I didn’t have a War Wheel or Atom that I could get my hands on in time…
  • The Sinister Syndicate Team I detailed in my Top 10 Article for The Superior Foes of Spider-man. Nearly that exact team took second in an ROC Qualifier down south a few weeks ago.

While I felt those were all at least viable builds (“viable” meaning I’d at least have a chance against most matchups I’d see), I ended up going a different way. So who did I play?

In a way I was forced into the final roster I chose because the only Colossal Retaliation Figure I owned was Titano and I felt Colossal Retaliation would be big on the competitive scene (as it turned out, I was right–Colossals literally LITTERED the field). Since I wanted to play Theme, I was slightly limited by Titano’s keywords. Probably a backwards way into army building, but that’s where I was.

I wanted something that would be really fun for me to play, too. Well, my favorite two HeroClix mechanics are token generation and Stop Clicks. I also wanted multiple attackers and in my opinion Klarion is far and away the best figure in the 60-90 point range I was looking at for the Animal theme. I’d argue he might be the best 70 point figure ever. Still, I needed a Primary figure with the Animal keyword to anchor the Klarions and Titano around.

Arriving at the SQ:

I saw a lot of interesting teams when I showed up. A guy from my venue had a combo team with Black Swan (which seemed like a good idea, but I heard did not go that well). Another guy used some borrowed pieces to play a team centered around CWSOP101 Captain America and CWSOP102 Iron Man (he mentioned later that he didn’t suffer many KOs in his games, but the games were slow and low scoring.) Looking around the room I saw a team made almost entirely of Ultron Drones along with 3 SMWWG003P Brimstone, and a SMWWG004P Solaris. The Colossals were lined up like missiles (just like I talked about doing way back in my Superman Wonder Woman Top 10 article). In general Colossals were on most teams, there weren’t as many KC figures as I would have thought, and one particular figure showed up on a lot of teams… including mine!

devildinosaur

It turns out SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur was on a lot of the top teams. Part of that could have been the fact that the entire world championship team that designed him showed up and was playing him, but in general he was on a lot of different teams. As the day went on I could also see that he was on a lot of teams that WON, including the eventual overall winner. I barely remember seeing Devil Dinosaur in the standings of the last ROC.

So, my final roster was:

Team Name: Pokémon Trainers (Animal Theme)

WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy

WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy

SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur

SMWWG005P Titano

JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Full)

Total = 300 Points

And off I went!

rules-lawyering

Round 1 VS. A new player from Flint, MI (name unknown):

I remember talking to this guy after we finished our match and he was a real nice guy. He’d only started playing about 6 months previous to our match. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way. His team was good and his tactics weren’t bad, but this was a bad matchup for him. That combined with good dice for me and bad dice for him meant that I took the win. I score 300 points for the round.

This was actually my first big HeroClix tournament in forever. Before this I had only done local shop play and Battle Royals. In the back of my mind I was worried that all I would face would be “rules lawyers” all day. So this was good friendly opening match to get rid of any nervousness.

aquaman

Or just unite two of me!

Round 2 VS. A Younger Player from Toronto, CA (name unknown)

This round I faced a team with BVS006 Aquaman, FFBVS004R Aquaman, three 30 point Ultron Drones, and a Round Table. In my wildest imagination I never believed I would face an Aquaman today, much less 2. The Drones and Round Table were more of what I expected.

If I had won Map Roll (I had +4 to my roll versus his nothing), this would have been a much easier game. Of course I lost. So now I am fighting 2 Aquamen on a map of entirely water terrain that gives swimmers improved movement and +2 speed.

His force came at me in two waves. The Aquamen came at me first while the Drones slowly advanced. To start off he did a couple of hit and runs with Hypersonic Speed versus the Klarions and Devil  Dinosuar. He made it hard to strike back by using free action Barrier with the other Aquaman to block himself into a corner. He couldn’t attack Titano because of Titano’s Plasticity. It took me a few turns to remember that Devil could see right over the barrier since he was a giant and we were on an outdoor map. So I popped out both Teekl’s and used their Perplex to pump up Devil’s Damage Value to 5 and had him attack the Hypersonic Aquaman directly.

It was near that time that the Ultron Drones got in range and popped out a Nick Fury. Nick took away Devil’s defensive ability and hit him for 4 damage. I forgot about Devil’s second type of stop click on click 4 and clicked him to click 5 instead. Then both Aquamen followed up and KOed him.

I responded by dropping an angry Titano on the Ultron Drones the next turn. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped. After his first attack dealt 1 damage to each drone, Titano was KOed by future Ultron’s power, “SPIKES AND CRACKLING ENERGY: Ultron can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. If Ultron possesses this power after taking damage from an attack, deal the attacker 1 unavoidable damage.

Thankfully even after Devil Dinosaur was KOed, the Klarions (and one Teekl) empowered by the Box were able to mop up the entire opposing team. In fact, I don’t believe they took any damage after that point. I score 300 points for the round.

Zatara 2

Round 3 VS. Tom Kerr from the Meta Lab

Tom was the eventual first place finisher and he played like it. He was very methodical, but also still very friendly. I lost, but didn’t feel bad about it.

His team was SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, FFUXM002 Jean Grey, WF048 Zatara (played forward), War Wheel, and a Full round table. Of course I lose map roll. So he takes us to a map with the smallest amount of hindering terrain I have ever seen on a map. Almost none for my Klarions to hide in.

Turn one he has Devil call in Nightwing who brings out Tony Zucco and this advances the Round Table. Then he uses the Wheel to carry his Devil up. I respond by equipping a Klarion with Wrath and then passing. I was thinking that he was going to have to come to me. I was wrong.

On turn two he uses Jean to TK out Zatara. Zatara calls in Green Arrow and uses his Perplex to up green arrows attack to 14. Tony Zucco ups his Damage by one. Green Arrow uses running shot and easily KOs Titano, hurts Devil, and a Klarion. Then Jean Grey simply teleports Zatara back to the starting area. It’s then that I realize the situation I am in. He doesn’t have to come to me. He can hurt me while most of his characters are in his starting area; I have to take my team and go to him or I will lose the game without making an attack.

I move my Klarions up at full speed and my Devil Dinosaur moves up slowly. His Devil Dinosaur is now in the middle of the map and it makes tokens that together with the figure make an incredibly effective roadblock. As I kill his tokens that just advances his table a click or two each KO. He doesn’t really need need them to do damage. They just need to get in the way.

Two turns after the Green Arrow attack Hawkeye shows up and takes out my healthiest Klarion with the exact same starting area TK trick. Somehow I get all the way to his starting area and can attack, but he is already well into power 2 on the Round Table. It states, “I CAN’T GET THERE, BUT I CAN ADVISE: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an ID Card attached to this resource that you didn’t choose last time. Until your next turn, friendly characters can use the Inspiration of that ID Card.” That combined with the inspirations on the Superman and Wonder Man cards means all of his characters can use Invincible their entire dial every single turn. So even if I had hit Jean Grey I couldn’t have done much. Not that it mattered because my dice revolted on me at that point. My opponent suggested that I throw them out after the game. I should have listened.

My Klarions and Teekls die before Devil Dinosaur can effectively threaten the other team. So it’s just him versus the entire other team. I have some fun taking on his Devil Dinosaur token army versus my token army, but after a couple of turns of that his round table clicks to the end and he spits out a full point Martian Manhunter. I end up only KOing the War Wheel, some Devil tokens, and Tony Zucco (after missing him once). I score 45 points for the round.

arcade

Round 4 VS. Local Player Adam

Adam is well known in the SE Michigan area and I have seen him at every major event I ever attended. He even helped judge the Battle Royals at the Gen Con I attended. He’s very friendly. The winner of our match would make the top 16. The loser might not.

He was playing SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, a 30 point Ultron drone, UXM018 Vanisher, SMWWG004P Solaris, AVAS044 Arcade, and the Round Table (featuring Nick Fury, Green Arrow, and Spider-Man).

He had an interesting trick built into his team that quite frankly I would like to copy in the future. We did the map roll and he lost. Arcade is pretty bad when he is not on his own map so Adam used a Round table power I have never seen used before, “I’M BETTER SUITED FOR THESE FOES: After revealing your force but before placing characters in your starting area, you may replace a friendly character on your force with an ID Character of equal or less points from your sideline. That character is no longer an ID Character and its ID Card is removed from this resource.” Suddenly that nearly useless arcade was a CWSOP108 Spider-Man.

The Map I picked had lots of walls and made moving up difficult. I stayed near my starting area and kept putting on Sin Relics. I was able to equip 4 before the battle started in earnest. He used Vanisher to take Spider-Man and 3 Devil tokens and they all based my Titano. My devil was close enough to spawn Homocide Crabs, but I was not careful with how close I placed one to Titano and my attack KOed him while it did 1 damage to to the 5 opposing characters. That was my first placement mistake this game.

I had taken out the tokens and a teekl took out vanisher without an issue. When his Solaris retaliated a low roll meant I only lost one crab Token. Unfortunately at that point my rolls turned on me again and they would stay awful for the rest of the game. I spent two turns with my whole force just missing Spider-man. By then his devil was close enough to Call in Green Arrow and that was the turning point. Green Arrow did 1 to my devil and 3 to each of the Klarion hiding in stealth right next to him. That was my second placement error this game.

A turn later his Devil summoned some Rockabilly Modoks and hit my Devil past his bystander summoning clicks. Fearing a Nick Fury Call in next turn I charged in with my Devil and took out his Ultron Drone. That’s where I made my third placement mistake. I could have based all three Modoks and denied him Psychic Blast, but I missed it. On his turn his Devil attacked me and knocked my Devil past Invulnerability and his unbased Modok put my Devil on his last click. I had Regeneration and a use of Probability Control from Teekl. I rolled two 1s in a row and the next turn my Devil was KOed.

After that his Table reached power three and Nick Fury came out and KOed a Klarion. We battled back and forth and as time was called I just had a Teekl left and he had a heavily injured Devil Dinosaur. I scored 190 points just missing out on Devil and two cards.

Conclusion:

At the end of 4 rounds I had scored 835. They posted everyone’s scores and cut the tournament down to just the top 16 at this point. I was ranked as #17. The 16th ranked player had 845 points. I lost by 10 points.

After that I dropped and played Jay Solomon (Meta Lab, Married with Clix, 2 Clicks from KO) and George Massau in the first battle royal of the day. The bad rolls continued and I finished fourth. The good news? HypeFox showed up right after my Battle Royal, won the Battle Royal he joined (by pulling, of all things, a Devil Dinosaur)… and actually ended up with worse prizes winning his heat than I did by losing mine.

superheroes-laughing

Takeaways:

  1. My biggest mistake was made in building my team. As the 3rd and 4th rounds proved the Round Table is far superior with Devil Dinosaur and I think just superior in general.
  2. At any major tournament anyone plays in the near future I will need to have a plan for Devil Dinosaur. Calling in Green Arrow and Nick Fury worked the best today.
  3. I am totally going to use that Arcade trick soon (Thanks Adam!).

A Superior Review of the Top Ten Figures in the Superior Foes of Spider-Man!!

Hey everyone! It’s me, Ninwashui! I’m back!

Where have I been? Well, my family life (a.k.a. my kids) occupies a large chunk of my time now, but this set was simply so hot that I just… haaaaad to neglect them all for a few hours and put together my Top Ten list!

With Great Power

That’s me, Mr. Responsibility!

And look, just to be clear, I would never ACTUALLY neglect my family… unless there was a great set that had just come out. I mean, you didn’t see me wasting any father daughter time on Uncanny X-Men, did you?

(Oh, you still want an Uncanny X-Men Second Opinion? Here is what my Top Ten would have been: Iceman, Iceman, Iceman, Proteus, Common Storm, Mystique, Pixie, Quicksilver, Prime Kitty annnnd Iceman! Bleeeeccch. There were, like, three really good pieces in the whole set. Next!)

Anyway, I was very impressed with the dial designs this time around and the Sealed event at our local shop was great–lots of really close games. So let’s get right to it with…

Some Thoughts About the Set:

  • The Super Rares and Chases in this set are awesome. With the exceptions of Ares, Morlun, and Spider-Man 2211, there could be an argument made that all of them deserve to be on this list. Ares is just alright. Morlun and Spider-Man 2211 don’t have a place on any constructed team that I can think of.
  • The Primes kinda suck. There aren’t many bad pieces in this set and even the Serpent Society has their uses (I can envision a Rattler constructed team.).
Rattler

“Hmmm… should I revolve my team around Rattler this evening?

However the Primes in this set just aren’t good. A Prime is supposed to be (theoretically) extra-powerful for the points that’s why you can only ever have one on a team at a time. Even if I ignored that restriction I don’t see myself ever playing any of these guys. If they are going to keep making Primes like this they should just stop making them.

  • The Call in Help From the Spider-Verse Trait is really powerful and fun. I used it to great effect at the Pre-Release and it allows you to chain together attacks from across the map like never before.
  • They are continuing the trend from UXM: point costs are lower (with only a few 200 pointers in the SR slot), almost no one gets Indomitable, almost no Improved Targeting, and a lot less Improved Movement then they should have had in a set full of spider people. I love this new direction the game is heading. It’s nice that Willpower, Phasing, Leap/Climb, Leadership and Stealth are much more useful now.
  • The sketch variants are super cool. I will always buy or trade for a sketch piece over a standard painted one. Not sure why some people don’t like it; doesn’t hurt the game in any way. But hey, that just means more for me.

But enough thinking! Let’s get to…

My Top Five Honorable Mentions:

Miles

5. SFSM031 Spider-Man – 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes and Shape Change makes this guy a top choice for engaging the opposing team’s best figure in close combat. His special white power PARALYZING VENOM STRIKE lets him deal damage AND gives any opposing character hit and action token. That action token doesn’t deal pushing damage, but it still keeps the opposing figure from taking actions. So it’s great in my book.

When you want to tie someone up, this guy is the one you want to call in from the Spider Verse.

Scarlet

4. SFSM017 Scarlet Spider – Another character whose attack deals damage AND gives any characters hit by a ranged attack an action token. The difference is that this character has Running Shot and two targets. He also has a lot of improved movement options. A Defense of 18 with Super Senses which is just fine for his point cost. His real weakness is getting tied up in close combat. Thankfully he has the Spider-man Family keyword so any other character that you have with the CALL IN HELP FROM THE SPIDER-VERSE trait can transport him out of adjacency and safely back to ranged combat.

Cloak 2

3. SFSM036 Cloak – Sure he’s at his best when played with Dagger, but for 35 points Cloak brings enough to the table that he is worth using without her.  He has Stealth, Improved Movement of every kind, the Spider-Man TA, and the Carry ability. What really puts him over the top is his 18 Defense with Defend. Use him to carry a character into battle and then move him around as needed to keep your teams defense consistently high.

Doc Ock

2. SFSM055 Doctor Octopus – Half Superior Scientist, half Weed Whacker.  This guy is delicate in close combat and is fairly vulnerable to Outwit, but he’s still well worth his points. He has a special power up front that allows him to make far more attacks than any 80 point character should ever be able to make in one turn. It reads, “MENTALLY CONTROLLED TENTACLES: When he makes a close combat attack Doctor Octopus can use Giant Reach: 3 and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters. Give him a power action to make 4 close combat attacks that deal 2 damage. After actions resolve modify the defense value of any character hit more than 2 times by these attacks by -2 until your next turn.” Your opponent is going to see this coming a mile away and target him first, but if you somehow get Doc Ock to make an attack in the middle of the opposing team then it will all be worth it.

SPidey 001

1. SFSM001 Spider-Man – This is a well rounded Spider-Man. 18 Defense, Charge, Super Strength, Close Combat Expert, and a better form of Super Senses are a good value for 70 points. Where he really shines is when he’s Called in from the Spider Verse. If you can call this guy in and have him appear adjacent to an opposing character, then he can combine his Close Combat Expert with a heavy object and make an attack with 12 attack value and 5 damage! It’s got to be the right circumstances, but that’s exceptional for 70 points.

Which brings us right to…

The Top Ten Figures in the set:

Speedy Demony

10. SFSM040 Speed Demon – He’s not as good as his previous version from the Deadpool set that essentially let you move opposing characters around at will, but he is still very good. He has a lower point cost, much better Defense, and Willpower. If you are playing Sinister Syndicate or Thunderbolts he is almost a lock for those teams. Try this team:

Team Name: Need for Speed

Keyword: Sinister Syndicate

  • SFSM040 Speed Demon
  • SFSM029 Overdrive
  • SFSM056 Chameleon
  • WKM16-001 Doctor Octopus
  • 35 points for ATAs, Resources, Thugs, Etc…
  • Total = 300
  • Strategy Tips: Have Chameleon disguise himself as Jester. Start an Alpha strike up to 11 squares away by having Speed Demon run in, attack, and end up one space back from the target after actions resolve. Give Doc Ock the Power Action to double Flurry. Have Overdrive carry Doc Ock and Jester next to Speed Demon. Share attack value. Give Doc Ock 4 attacks. After those resolve have Jester make Jester Bots to tie up the opposing team. Hopefully do it all again next turn.

Betty Brant

9. SFSM007 Betty Brant – It took thirteen damn years, but they have finally made a worthy replacement to the Rookie Con Artist from the X-plosion set in 2003. Anyone who played HeroClix at that time will know this piece. Betty is admittedly 4 more points than the Con Artist, but those extra points give a second useful click where she can heal your team if needed. She also gets a Trait, “I’LL PROVE MY HUSBAND WAS NOT THE HOBGOBLIN IF I HAVE TO RETRIEVE EVERY GLIDER!: UNIQUE MODIFIER. Opposing characters with “Wing Symbol” modify their speed values by -1. If that character is named Hobgoblin, instead modify all of that character’s combat values by -1.” That might not seem like much, but moving one less space can be the difference between making an attack or not.

Moon Knight.jpg

8. SFSM037 Moon Knight – This is a Secondary Attacker that continues to get more dangerous the longer he is ignored. Moon Knight has a great Special Power that helps him land hits and a Trait that essentially gives him a Stop Click at the end of his dial for every two hits that he lands. And SPOILER ALERT: the last Click on his dial is his best click with 11 attack 18 defense and 4 damage. He should have no problem finding a place with Marvel Knights, Mystical, or Soldier teams. 

 

The Battle of New York. We've seen it, and we covered it.

“The Battle of New York. We’ve seen it, and we covered it.”

7. SFSM006 J. Jonah Jameson – I wanted to come up with something witty here, but user MarcSpectre from hcrealms said it best: “He’s the Spider-man Family insurance policy. He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two.” If you are going to play with any Spider-Man Family pieces you’re going to want him on your team even if he is going to break your Theme. +2 to Defense on the already high defenses of the spider family is just too high to hit for a lot of teams.

Spider-Man_noir

6. SFSM061 Spider-Man Noir – This is actually one the better ranged attackers in the Spider-Man Family. That and his low 75 point cost makes him one of the best for setting off the CALL IN HELP FROM THE SPIDER-VERSE Trait.

His combination of 6 Range, 11 Attack and Sidestep combine with his Stealth and Outwit to make him a well-rounded figure. He alternates between Outwit and Ranged Combat Expert so you can easily switch his function depending on your need. His 18 defense with Super Senses is perfectly acceptable for his point cost. 

Chameleon

5. SFSM056 Chameleon – HypeFox and I both love this guy. I’ll be very surprised if Chameleon is not high on his list. His flexibility is hard to beat.

Some of our favorite characters so far to use as disguises: CWSOP022 Jester, WKD15-010 Miss Arrowette, SMWW003 Batman, WF034 Batman, UXM047 Mystique, AVAS013A Triathlon, and WKD16-007 Captain Cold. That could actually probably be an article on its own.

Anyway, once he’s hit, if Chameleon’s on click 3 or 4  you could choose to be SMWW026 Clark Kent and start throwing out Hypersonic Superman tokens. Or if you are on exactly click 4, going to JLTW055 Tim Hunter can be a game breaking play. It’s going to be tough limiting this guy to just three options a game…

Spider-Gwen

4. SFSM052 Spider-Gwen – She’s got 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes, just like SFSM031 Spider-Man. But unlike him, she also gets Indomitable. Add that to her Super Strength, Improved Movement, a Traited Super Senses that is impossible to bypass with Precision Strike and her last click that may well send you back to her top dial.

There’s no secret combo with her, she’s just that good.

Thug

3. SFSM005 Thug – This guy is the best ten points you can spend on a Themed Team right now. You will be seeing him abused in multiples and en masse in tournaments very soon. Sure he doesn’t get a Themed Team Prob, but he does get to use ATAs. Pick any good ATA and build a team around that. For example, the Wonders of the World ATA which states, “Give a character using this team ability a power action to heal an adjacent friendly character 1 click. Heal 2 clicks instead if the adjacent character has the Wonders of the World keyword. Deal the character given the action 1 unavoidable damage.” Suddenly any thug you play is a heal battery for your real characters. The Sinister 12 ATA is also a good choice, “When you have more characters on the map than each opponent, modify the attack value of each character using this team ability by +1.

They are also really great to fill out keywords that don’t have enough pieces, or enough good pieces, or enough low cost pieces. Want to make an Amazon army? Here are your soldiers. The same can be said for Asgardians, Atlantians, and White Lanterns. The list is endless.

They are also great in situations where a special power on a figure affects your whole army. JLTW050E Superman’s leadership, UXM005A Emma Frost‘s perplex, and SMWW064 Green Light‘s Empower a Brigade Trait are all good examples. And certainly they are some of the best Mastermind fodder out there. You could even take someone with the Green Lantern Team Ability and fly 8 of them up to tie up the opposing team for several turns.

Try this example team:

Team Name: Thunder Thugs

Keyword: Thunderbolts

  • SFSM040 Speed Demon (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • SFSM051 Baron Zemo (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • 4* SFSM005 Thug (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • Full Pandora’s Box
  • Total = 298
  • Strategy Tips: Set The Thunderbolts ATA to Mystics. The Thugs and Speed Demon also get +1 attack and Sidestep from Zemo. Add to that the Relics from Pandora’s Box and you’ll end up with a gaggle of Thugs with some pumped-up kicks. With 6 people on the team it should be fairly easy to distribute all of the sin relics by turn 7. Use Sidestep to edge ever closer to battle when you are low on actions.

Spider-Punk

2. SFSM062 Spider-Punk – This is the best of the Spider Chases and a pretty straight forward pick. His Improved Movement, Charge and Flurry with 3 starting Damage makes him a great choice to teleport in with the Spider-Verse Trait. In addition, his Super Senses and Shape Change along with his 18 Defense makes it hard for opponents to strike back. And if an opponent DOES manage to damage him, then he gives you your choice of Pulse Wave or Close Combat Expert to go along with his Sidestep. He’s a real steal at 75 points.

Spidey 048.jpg

1. SFSM049 Spider-Man – This guy fills a completely different role, but he is Nick Fury-level good. With the Perplex on his dial and his Super Strength, he can pick up an ultra-heavy object, pump up his Attack to 12, Hypersonic 9 spaces and hit someone for 6 Damage. This isn’t Spider-Man, it’s Superman in disguise.

He has Willpower (unlike most of the rest of the set) and the same hard to bypass Super Senses that Spider-Gwen has, but even better. The web Tokens he puts out by hitting people are even more effective here than on other figures because of his Hypersonic Speed. He has Improved Movement and the best keywords of any of the Spider-Man Family (Avengers and Reporter keywords!)

He only has Hypersonic Speed on his first 3 clicks, but on his last three clicks he has a Special Power that states, “LAST DITCH EFFORT: Spider-Man can use Precision Strike. Give Spider-Man a free action to make a close attack.” So he can still move his full movement and use Outwit! And then he can free action close attack. And then call in someone from the Spider-Verse.  And give the hit character a Web Token.  And then Side step away without having to break away (because of the Web Token).  So even his three “weaker” clicks aren’t actually that weak.

 

Okay! That’s it for me today, but keep it tuned to this space. We’ve got a lot of content in the pipeline!

See ya real soon!