Flash Fact: This Top Ten Is Better Than Ninwashui’s!! (Or, A Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Flash!!)

Flash Family

 

What’s that? You thought you were only getting ONE Flash Top Ten Review just because it’s been, like, seven weeks since the set released?! Think again! Better yet, THINK FAST, cuz a second opinion is coming right at ya’… RIGHT NOW!!

Let’s start with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies...

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies…

–These sculpts are beautiful! In particular, Black Lantern Prime Zoom, Abra Kadabra, Kingdom Come Flash, Reverse-Flash, Mirror Master, Dark Flash and Captain Cold are some of the best looking sculpts and paint jobs they’ve put together in some time!

–Overall, the Power Level of this set is a slight notch below Guardians, but it’s pretty close. There’s a lot of great Supporting Pieces and Secondary Attackers in here; Meta-worthy Primary Attackers are few and far between here (see the end of this list for details on exactly who does make the cut!).

No joke--this time the Primes and Chases were all in the "Zoom" packs...

No joke–this time the Primes and Chases were all in the “Zoom” packs…

–This set was a lot of fun to play in Sealed formats. It almost seems like Sealed balance was a priority with this set more so than with the last 3 three main sets (SL0SH, Deadpool and GotG; not counting WoL as that set was theoretically designed primarily FOR Sealed) combined. Not really a criticism of those other sets; just an observation. That said, while Sealed play doesn’t necessarily matter in these evaluations, I will occasionally touch on that aspect if I think a figure happens to be extremely good in that format.

–The designers did a great job with figure selection on this set. The Sub-Themes (particularly the Rogues and Authority) are EXTREMELY well developed–much more so than in previous sets. You want to put together an Authority team? You have 11 different dials spread among 9 different characters for you to choose from. And if you’re a Rogues fan? Make that 27 different dials among 22 different characters–and that’s not counting the other six versions of the Rogues you get in the Fast Forces Pack (not technically part of the set if you go strictly by numbering, but still!)!! Only the Suicide Squad really didn’t get much to play with here (outside of Amanda Waller, who can induct folks into the Suicide Squad, which, as Ninwashui explained previously, is fairly useless, since there’s only, like, two or three playable Moderan Age Suicide Squad-ers).

Now, compare that with a set like Deadpool, which had a decent representation of Thunderbolts and Heroes for Hire, but really fell down with Sub-Themes like the Secret Empire (um, 3 characters doesn’t really make what I’d call an “Empire.”) or U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. (again, most hate groups have more than three dudes in their membership…). Not every keyword needs to be able to produce a Meta-worthy team, but there should be enough members to at least make a single 300 Point Build!!

 

–Alright! Enough with the Notes! Now for MY list! This is what Ninwashui SHOULD have told you. We’ll start with…

 

5 Honorable Mentions!!

 

Pied Piper

5. FL021 Pied PiperUncommon76 Points: This guy really took me by surprise. I pulled him in Sealed and he absolutely wrecked house. His top dial Pulse Wave Special is just awesome (HYPNOTIC TONES: Pied Piper can use Pulse Wave. When he does, hit characters modify their damage values by -1 [minimum 1] until your next turn and he can immediately use Mind Control as a free action to make a close combat attack with an area of effect that includes any hit opposing characters.), and the fact that he has Improved Movement (Ignores Hindering AND Elevated) is the cherry on top. Even if you NEVER get to use the Mind Control part, just the fact that you have a 76 Point Secondary Attacker running off rooftops and Pulse Waving is something that’ll bring a smile to your face every time.

He also offers a bit of support with top dial Enhancement before he totally switches gears to Mind Control, Willpower and Poison late dial. He just has the Rogues keyword, but if you’re only going to have one keyword in this set, that’s a good one to have. Finally, he has the Calculator team ability, which I was using to copy Mystics (from Abra Kadabra) during my Sealed games. PP very nearly cracked my Top 10, but if you’re playing Rogues, he’s practically a must play for me. Having a Secondary Attacker that costs under 100 Points who can also ignore all game effects (via Pulse Wave) is almost unheard of.

 

Elongated Man All this Trouble

4. FL051 Elongated ManSuper Rare81 Points: If you can get him safely to his second click, he is a tie-up monster. A crazily effective improved Plasticity Trait (GINGOLD SODA: Elongated Man can use Plasticity. Opposing characters within 2 squares and line of fire treat Elongated Man as adjacent for movement purposes.), Stealth and one of the best Outwits in the Modern Age game (MY NOSE IS TWITCHING: Elongated Man can use Outwit as if he had a range value of 8 and Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters.) means that Ralph Dibny is going to be a nightmare to deal with if he ends up next to your best attacker.

His second click brings a Defense Special that grants him Willpower, Barrier and Combat Reflexes to go with his native 18 Defense value. Good luck hitting that, especially when he’s countering your best power every turn. Now, a 9 Attack value with 2 Damage means he isn’t doing a ton of damage back, but with his power set he could easily tie-up some really good figs who are almost double his points! Besides, improving Attack and Damage values–even in a No Tactics environment–is waaaaay easier than finding someone with his tie-up skills and Special Outwit.

It’s a little early yet to know exactly how this massive influx of Speedsters (read: Hypersonic Speed pieces) is going to affect the Meta, but if Speed Demon continues his dominance (or if people start adopting Prime Zoom and others of his ilk en masse) expect to see more and more folks playing Mr. Dibny here as a legit countermeasure.

 

The Doctor Authority

3. FL016R The DoctorCommon50 Points: Whenever a Modern Age figure costs 50 Points even, I perk my ears up a little bit and pay attention. Going all the way back to FFCW006R Scarlet Witch, WizKids has a history of producing some EXTREMELY useful and EXTREMELY under costed pieces at that exact point level.

Now, the good Doctor here isn’t Fast Forces Chaos War Scarlet Witch. He isn’t even Fast Forces Deadpool Rookie Mercy. What he is, however, is a great Tertiary Attacker/Supporting Piece.

His Attack Value is subpar at just 9, but he comes packing Running Shot (with a 5 Range) and Pen/Psy top dial. He also offers Barrier and Probability Control to complete the package. Four clicks of life at his point value is pretty good, even if the last two are completely useless (Force Blast? Really?).  Lastly, his Mystical keyword ensures he’ll fit on a large array of Builds.

He’s not overpowered, and Prime Abin Sur from WoL won’t be losing any sleep over his place in the Meta, but The Doctor IS really efficient for his Point level, and is definitely worth a look.

 

Rainbow Raider

2. FL026 Rainbow RaiderUncommon68 Points: So, you’re probably not gonna go to the Finals at Worlds with this guy, but honestly, if I told you I had a fig that had seven clicks of life, Stealth down his WHOLE DIAL, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, 7 Range and a minimum of 2 Damage his whole dial AND he cost less than 70 Points, you might be interested in playing him just based on that information. But then if I told you that that same character has access to no less than FOURTEEN MORE STANDARD POWERS, your brain would probably explode.

Then imagine what would happen when I told you that his Trait (MY FAVORITE COLOR (TO DRAIN) THIS WEEK: Give Rainbow Raider a power action and choose Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Light Blue, Blue, or Purple. Opposing characters possessing a power of that color on their dial modify their combat values by -1 until he chooses again, if not already modifed by this effect.) allowed you to nerf the combat values of any opposing character you wanted by -1 (and in some cases, more than one opposing character)!

For his Point cost, he’s probably got as much going on throughout his dial as any character ever. He’s at his best on clicks 2 and 3, where he can access Energy Explosion and Toughness with an 11 Attack (Click 2) and Pulse Wave with a 10 Attack and Defend with a 17 Defense Value (Click 3).

The Raider is kind of a jokey character, but if you think about throwing an Entity like, say, Ophidian on him, he starts to creep into Meta territory, especially with that Trait.

 

Rival 2

1. FL001B RivalCommon PRIME105 Points: He has the Speed Force Trait, and he can ramp up in a hurry, but he’s only an Honorable Mention for me because of what he lacks versus the other top end Speedsters. He just has Charge top dial (he only gets Hypersonic Speed AFTER he gets a Speed Force Token, and that only works on his first four clicks); no Willpower or Indomitable; and he still costs 105 Points AND takes up the Prime slot in your Build. Still, he weakness (Charge) actually becomes an asset on those first few clicks because it means he can still move and attack once he gets a Speed Force Token even if his Attack Special that gives him Hypersonic is Outwitted (he’s the only character in the game that I’m aware of that has the potential for move and attack powers on two different slots simultaneously).

 

And now, for the MAIN EVENT!! These are…

 

THE TOP TEN ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN FIGURES IN FLASH!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Ninwa actually gave you a Top 12 Review, I had to do one better!! After all, this review is better than Ninwashui’s–that’s a FLASH FACT!!]

[NINWASHUI’S WEIRDLY OBTUSE PETER JACKSON’S HOBBIT-REFERENCING RESPONSE: Do better than MY list? Those are Rhosgobel Rankings–I’d like to see you try!]

 

Apollo Midnighter

10. FL048R ApolloRare125 Points AND FL049R MidnighterRare100 Points: Same #10 character as Ninwashui, but a different dial. AND THEN I ADDED ANOTHER AWESOME FIGURE ON TOP! Boom! Already I’m winning!!

APOLLO

As far as Apollo goes, I like his Rookie version just a little bit better than his Experienced dial for the points. For 75 points less, he still starts with Invincible (just with an 18 value instead of a 19), Running Shot, Precision Strike and Ranged Combat Mastery (with a native Damage Value of 4!), and he tops it all off with his Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain.

Basically, Rookie Apollo approaches Primary Attacker combat values but for a price that’s not unheard of for a great Secondary Attacker. But he also brings a lot more to the table.

Firstly, his Trait (I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING: Telekinesis can’t be used to place opposing characters in squares within Apollo’s range and line of fire.) will do wonders for slowing down Alpha Strikes; doesn’t make them impossible, but such a maneuver will often require even more planning on your opponent’s part–which means his Alpha Strike suddenly becomes a much riskier play. Secondly, yeah, he only has five clicks, but the Defense Special on his last two clicks has the potential to grant him FREE Regen (JUST NEED TO RECHARGE: Apollo can use Toughness. During the beginning of your turn, if Apollo occupies a square of outdoor terrain that is the highest elevation on the map, he can use Regeneration as a free action.). If he’s on click 4, you have 33% chance to get him top dial at the beginning of your turn–for FREE! Did I mention that it’s FREE?

The one caveat is that he really needs to be played on an Authority Themed Team that features Midnighter, as that’s the only way he can gain Willpower. This isn’t much of a handicap, though, since Midnighter himself is just as good–and he also made this list!

MIDNIGHTER

For 25 less points than his Experienced dial (which merely substitutes Super Senses for the Rookie’s Combat Reflexes–which is a trade you wouldn’t make anyway, given how you’re probably gonna play him), Midnighter’s Rookie dial is clean and efficient–he is a close combat tie-up nightmare, and he’s hard to hit on approach because he’ll usually be equipped with Stealth if he’s on one of his top three clicks thanks to his Movement Special (CYBERNETIC IMPLANTS: Midnighter can use Charge, Flurry and Toughness. When Midnighter doesn’t have 2 action tokens, he can use Stealth.) which also grants him both of the best close combat Movement-slot abilities.

He Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and he has not one but TWO Traits [(I KNOW WHAT YOU’LL DO: When an opposing character uses Close Combat Expert, they can only use it to modify one value by +1.) AND (WE’VE FOUGHT THIS FIGHT IN MY HEAD ALREADY: When Midnighter targets an opposing character with a close combat attack, until your next turn modify that character’s defense value by -1 and ignore any other modifiers to that character’s value.)] that ensure his triumph even when based with much higher-costed figures. Finally, his Damage Special (GO FOR THE SOFT SPOTS: Midnighter can use Exploit Weakness and Outwit. If he uses Outwit to target an adjacent character, Midnighter can use Plasticity and can’t be ignored for movement purposes.) ensures that his quarry won’t get away, either.

The ability to lock down almost any Primary Attacker in the game is well worth 100 Points, methinks.

 

Thorn 2

9. FL030 ThornUncommon65 Points: One of the better Secondary Attackers in Modern right now only costs 65 Points! On just her first click, Thorn brings Charge, Flurry, Stealth, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Shape Change. You want a better tie-up piece? You just got one! She doesn’t have Willpower, but who cares? Her second click is even better than the first, since her Defense Value actually goes up a notch and her Shape Change goes Special (MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES: Thorn can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When she does and succeeds, heal her of 1 damage and she can’t be targeted with an attack this turn.). So, 50% of the time, not only will her Shape Change succeed, but NO ONE else can attack her either.

The amount of annoyance you can cause by using her to tie-up your opponent’s best ranged attackers is almost endless.

 

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

8. FL046 Harley QuinnRare65 Points: And speaking of 65 Point-ers… Harley has to be the best of the bunch (EDITOR’S NOTE: What is with all the good figures in this set that cost exactly 65 Points? Even Murmur is really good for 65 Points–and he didn’t even make this list! Weird.) from this set at that Point level. She was designed by a World Champion to be a solid supporting piece that could also come through with some damage when needed, and that’s exactly what she turned out to be.

Mobility won’t be an issue in most games since she Ignores Hindering Terrain and Characters during movement, and if she has no action tokens she can use Sidestep. Her support is primarily provided by her Trait (MY PUDDIN’: Once per game, choose a friendly character with a higher point value. The chosen character is Harley Quinn’s Puddin’. Harely Quinn can use Perplex and Probability Control, but only to target her Puddin’. When her Puddin’ is KO’d, modify all of Harley Quinn’s combat values by +1.), which is both flavorful AND incredibly useful! She also starts with Stealth in her Movement slot and Outwit in her Damage slot, so she should be quite the enabler for whoever you pair her with.

Top dial, she has an Attack Special (NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY: Harley Quinn can use Poison. When she does, if she is adjacent to only one opposing character, the damage dealt is penetrating damage.) that can dish out some Penetrating Poison if you position her correctly, and she rounds out her resume with Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and the Calculator team ability.

She’s also very playable at 50 Points, but her top dial at 65 is so good that I had to go that route for my list.

 

Flash Running Laps

7. FL202 The FlashCommon (Gravity Feed) — 149 Points: The best of the Gravity Feed figs, he’s got the Police team ability, the normal Speed Force Trait, an 11 Attack, 18 Defense Value with Super Senses and Outwit. But once he starts building Speed Force Tokens, his Movement Special causes him to become something else entirely (RUNNING LAPS AROUND THE WORLD: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. Remove a Speed token from this card and once this turn, The Flash may consider squares on edges of the map to be adjacent to each other for movement purposes, as long as they are in the same row or column.). If you think it’s hard to hit speedsters now, with their ability to hit you and run away, just wait ’til you’re try to hit a guy who can Close Combat you from across the map!

He’s pricey, but I like him for 149 Points waaaaaay more than Wally West’s dial, which has the exact same cost.

 

Turtle

6. FL031 TurtleUncommon50 Points: I gotta be honest–for awhile, I thought this guy might finish at #2 or #3 on this list. In a No Tactics, No Entities Format (like the one that’s winding down in the ROC right now) he can be downright DEADLY when combined with Iron Pharaoh (there are a couple other ways to go, but that’s the main Build that strikes fear into people’s hearts!).

Zombie Chase Super Skrull and a few other pieces who have/can gain Invincible don’t care as much, because Turtle’s Trait (SLOWNESS AS A WAY OF LIFE: Turtle can use Plasticity. When another character moves at least 5 squares and actions resolve, give them an action token. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage.) only deals PENETRATING damage if they already have an action token, not UNAVOIDABLE damage. Still, as we talked about before, if you team him with someone like Shaman, you can force all your opponent’s flyers to the ground AND make them move 4 spaces or less a turn (unless they have Sidestep, which is a huge boon against a figure like this). Then, if you win Map Roll and choose Apokolips, Wundagore Mountain or R’yut, forget about it. You’ll be bombing your opponent before his best character can even see you!

This piece does what it says on the box:  he slows cats dooooooowwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn. With a Trait that good, his Outwit and Quake are just gravy. Definitely useful, but not why you play him.

 

"Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!"

“Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!”

Weather Wizard

5. FL038 Captain ColdRare100 Points AND FL040 Weather WizardRare100 Points: I’m grouping of couple of the Rogues together in the five slot because, frankly, I can’t decide which one I like better. But the best part is, you usually won’t HAVE to decide–they share a named keyword and they’re each just 100 Points, so you can play ’em both and still have room for more!

CAPTAIN COLD

The Rogues Leader [EDITOR’S NOTE: Ha! Quasi-Star Wars reference/joke! See what I did there, Ninwashui? That’s how you make an obtuse sci-fi/fantasy movie reference in a Heroclix blog!!] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Uh… noted?] comes packing with one of the most annoying Traits for an opponent to have to deal with since Iron Pharaoh’s Golden Falcon, Sharting (FROZEN FIELD: At the beginning of your turn, you may place an Ice Block special terrain marker within range and line of fire. When a character occupying or adjacent to one of these markers attempts to move, it must attempt to break away as if the marker was a character that can use Plasticity and is friendly to Captain Cold.). That’s right, baby, every turn until he’s KO’d, Captain Cold will fill up the map with those things. This is an insanely good power, and the fact that you get to do for free every turn is just stupid and wrong. You want board control? He is the CAPTAIN of board control.

He also brings some Running Shot, Toughness, Rogues-keyword-based Special Leadership and the Calculator team ability to the table, along with an Attack special (ABSOLUTE ZERO: Captain Cold can use Precision Strike. When he hits with an attack, you may place an Ice Block terrain marker in that square.) that grants Precision Strike and the ability to drop more Ice bombs when he hits!

WEATHER WIZARD

Weather Wizard is almost like “A Tale of Two Dials.” On his first three clicks, he offers a 7 Range with two Bolts, Running Shot, a 17 Defense Value with Energy Shield/Deflection and a native 3 Damage with Perplex! Plus, one of the coolest Special Attack Powers in the game (POWERS LIKE THE SEASONS: At the beginning of you turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Weather Wizard can use the power indicated by the result on the back of this card.
1 – Spring Storms: When Weather Wizard makes a ranged combat attack, it generates knock back and if the target occupies outdoor terrain, damage dealt is increased by the target’s elevation level.
2 – Summer Lightning: Weather Wizard can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.
3 – Autumn Winds: Weather Wizard can use Quake as if he occupied a single square of outdoor terrain within range. Characters with “standard damage symbol” or “tiny damage symbol” can’t ignore knock back during this attack.
4 – Winter Chill: Weather Wizard can use Smoke Cloud. When he does, after actions resolve, he can use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting all opposing characters occupying one or more of these markers with a close combat attack.
5-6 – Weather Wizard may choose any single result.).

Sooooo… y’know how people have been playing Bill, Agent of A.I.M. or using Zombie Chase Electro JUST to set up situations where they can attack opposing figures within Range no matter what Terrain lies between them? Yeah, Weather Wizard has a 50% each turn of being able to do that on his own. For free. On a d6 roll of 2, 5 or 6, you get his Summer Lightning power. Plus it combos with Running Shot, which means you can actually run Weather Wizard out of harm’s way and STILL make a ranged attack. This is beyond awesome.

The back half of Weather Wizard’s dial is a bucket of poo-poo with no top on it. He becomes almost worthless (until you get to his last click, where there’s no almost about it–he is worthless).

But those first three clicks? Man…

Taken together, this duo will really present board control issues for your opponent.

 

Jenny SParks

4. FL061 Jenny SparksSuper Rare125 Points: Running Shot/Pulse Wave PLUS her Trait (ELECTRICAL CORTEX SHORT CIRCUIT: When Jenny Sparks hits an opposing character, that character can’t use special powers from now until your next turn.) = A LONG DAY for your opponent.

She basically the Honey Badger Meme given clicks form:

Oh, you have special power that gives you Charge AND Flurry. Jenny Sparks don’t care. Now you can’t move and attack at all. Aww, you have some cute lil’ Stop Clicks? Well Jenny Sparks DON’T GIVE A $#!T!

She has above-average t0 great native combat values plus a dial that’s a robust 8 clicks long. The only things that keep her from being even higher on this list are a lack of Indomitable (she eventually gets a couple of clicks of Willpower down dial though) and no Improved Movement or Flight (hmmm… I wonder if there’s a Resource that grants the flight of the Phoenix… ).

I don’t think she’ll dominate the Meta, but I would not be surprised to see her show up quite often on some Top 8 ROC rosters (particularly since she’s an absolute Kyle Rayner assassin). And for some special fun (and a great taxi), try teaming her up on a Scientist Theme with Prime Captain Marvel from GoTG. You’ll thank me later.

 

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other

3. FL064 The QuestionChase100 Points AND FL062 PandoraChase125 Points: Two great flavors that taste great together!

THE QUESTION

Ninwashui had The Question as his number one piece in the whole set, which was clearly wrongheaded and stupid [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Hey! I’m right here!]. Still, The Question is a damn good piece. Top dial he features Charge, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison AND Precision Strike (and after using them, he can use Smoke Cloud for free), Indomitable, Super Senses (with a native 18 Defense), a special version of the Wild Card team ability and Outwit. And if he successfully Outwits an opposing character, he gets to take off an action token, which means you’ll essentially be using this guy every turn. And did I mention he only costs 100 Points?

The last Question we got was a con-exclusive that still features on a lot of Meta squads to this day. This Question is better.

PANDORA

Sort of the Ranged version of the Question. Pandora buffs her Range and Bolt number by the number of teammates she has with the Warrior or Trinity of Sin keyword. She has Sidestep, 6 Range, the Sharpshooter ability, Precision Strike, Indomitable, Super Senses, the Mystics team ability and Perplex. If she uses her Perplex to target an opposing figure, she too can remove an action token, so she, too, will probably be acting every turn. Especially since her Improved Targeting allows her to see through both Hindering AND other characters.

Great on their own, these two only get better when played together!

 

zoom-blacklantern

2. FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern) — Super Rare Prime —120 Points: In a set of speedsters, you’re looking at the one piece that’s arguably as good as DP053A Speed Demon. Zoom offers the Speed Force Trait, Indomitable (rare on speedsters), Hypersonic Speed, an 11 Attack (also rare on speedsters), Super Senses and a native 3 Damage. Additionally, his Attack Special (A NEW BLACK FLASH: Remove a Speed token from this card and choose either Exploit Weakness or Flurry. If you do, Zoom can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and the chosen power as a free action instead of making a close combat attack while using Hypersonic Speed this turn.) has the capability of just RUINING opposing strategies.

Need to take out a key support piece? Remove a Speed Token, choose Flurry and go to town for a possible six Damage–and then put another Speed Token on his card for hitting a character. And on and on. Unlike almost all speedsters not named Speed Demon, Zoom here actually gets better as he takes damage, picking up Steal Energy, Special Regeneration and Toughness.

Yes, he costs you your Prime Slot, but you weren’t gonna use that anyway if you’re playing a Black Lantern Themed Team. Zoom is a monster in a sub-150 Point body. Be very wary if you’re ever lined up against him.

 

Kingdom COme Flash

1. FL050 The Flash (Kingdom Come) — Super Rare195 Points: Criminally underrated by Ninwashui [NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Hey! I had him at # 8!!], this version of the Flash is the best Primary Attacker in the set. He has the normal Speed Force Trait (which, when fully active, punches his top dial Movement Value up to 20), the Kingdom Come team ability, ANOTHER TRAIT (HE NEVER GETS TIRED, HE NEVER STOPS MOVING: The Flash’s speed powers can’t be countered.) that ensures he’ll always be able to move and attack no matter how much Outwit your opponent is packing, Indomitable, a Hypersonic Speed Special that almost breaks Hypersonic Speed (PATROLLING BOTH CITIES AT ONCE: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, you may remove a Speed token from this card and he may then make a second close combat attack or use Outwit as a free action during this move and then continue his movement.), Super Senses (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value) and Probability Control (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value and you screw up your Super Senses roll).

Down dial (assuming your opponent ever gets The Flash down dial), he picks up normal Hypersonic Speed, Exploit Weakness, an Attack Special (WHO WOULD DARE BE A CRIMINAL IN THIS CITY?: Up to three times per turn, give The Flash a free action and remove a Speed token from this card. When you do, lock his damage value at its current value until the end of the turn and give him a close combat action as a free action.) that can absolutely pulverize even the heartiest of figures in one turn, and a Defense Special (HE’S JUST A BLUR: The Flash can use Super Senses, but succeeds on a roll of 3-6. This roll can’t be rerolled.) that makes him even tougher to damage.

Now add the Yellow Power Battery to your force (including the Yellow Decoy) and Possess The Flash with Parallax. Suddenly, after you give him the Decoy to start the game, The Flash has 18 Movement, Indomitable, 12 Attack, 20 Defense with Super Senses and (assuming you choose to up his Damage with Parallax) 4 Damage with Probability Control. Then you can either choose Stealth or the ability to gain the Quintessence team ability plus a Special Perplex (that only Perplexes values down). Then, assuming your opponents figures all cost 194 or less, they’ll have a -2 to each of their attack rolls against the Flash.

This is what you will look like every time your opponent makes an attack roll against the Flash:

"Oh, you're attacking me? Good luck."

“Oh, you’re attacking me?”

I mean, is your opponent REALLY gonna beat your Shape Change, Super Senses, 20 Defense AND Probability Control? As always, Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t think so:

Seinfeld Good Luck

And Jerry Seinfeld is always right!!

That’s why he’s a stupidly good Meta choice once Tactics rotate back in during the upcoming ROC season. And that’s also why, after 5000 words and 2 glasses of Oberweis chocolate milk, I can confidently say…

HE’S THE BEST FIGURE IN THE FLASH SET!!

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

Flash Forward!! (Or, The Mid-Weekly Roundup for 10/19/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Welcome Back!!

So what’s happened since our last Roundup? Well, let’s see….

–The Tigers flamed out of the playoffs in just three short games. Joba Chamberlain and the bullpen were characteristically awful (seriously, it seemed like they were filming a sequel to “Firestarter” there EVERY FREAKING NIGHT!), as was manager Brad Ausmus, who–when it came to making pitching changes–made the wrong choice just about every time:

Bossmus

What’s that? Anibal Sanchez is available? No thanks! Joba just blew an inning last game, so, mathematically, there’s no possible way he can blow a 4-run lead today! It’s science!”

I get that the number of good bullpen options he had were limited, but to not use virtually ANY of them is just idiotic. Even Blaine Hardy would have inspired more confidence than the Pu-Pu Platter of Joba Chamberlain and Joaquin Soria that he kept shoveling out there night after night.

Brad Ausmus's version of Sabermetrics.

While demonstrating his mastery of Sabermetrics, Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus delivers the results of his statistical analysis of using Joe Nathan as his closer.

Overall, I actually thought Ausmus was fairly solid as a manager during the regular season. We’ll see how Year 2 goes. I can’t imagine that the leash is long for him after such a playoff debacle. We shall see, though. Bring on the Hot Stove league!

 

–The Lions have tricked everyone into thinking they’re respectable again. Spoiler Alert: They’re not. They’ve beaten up on a Murderer’s Row of awful quarterbacks , and they still managed to find a way to lose at home to Kyle Orton. That’s not easy. Now, they are 5-2, and they still have 3 games against Minnesota and Chicago, who are terrible, so getting to 10+ wins should be fairly straightforward. Of course, with this team, things are never straightforward.

I’m cautiously optimistic, but after last year’s swoon, I’m gonna need to see a lot more than what they’ve shown me so far before I get my hopes up. Remember, we’re not even, like, a month removed from this highlight yet:

"Oh, Stephen, noooo!"

“Oh, Stephen, noooo!”

 

But enough about sports! What you’re really here for is a Heroclix recap, right?

Well, look no further than…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was back with an episode near and dear to my heart! Episode 66, “Lantern Team Building Advice,” was a shortie but a goodie. Similar in premise to the “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we ran right here in August (but with much more of a “Dial H” spin, of course, and a much more thorough analysis of each color’s Power Battery), there’s no shortage of good advice for players contained within (FYI–the Blue Lantern actually does NOT work with LE Absorbing Man–that’s a pending errata right from Wizkids’s own rules forum–but the rest of the advice they give is spot on!).

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–As far as I can tell, Episode 27, which covers the end of the ROC’s first season, is still the most recent entry!

Push to Regen

–In case you missed it last time, in somewhat sad news, Push to Regen has announced on Reddit that they have released their final episode. Their Facebook page is still up, and still posting the occasional news item, but for now, the show has reached its final destination.

"We're a Thing again!"

–ClixCast is back! They have yet to release an October ep, but you can catch their August and September offerings right here!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–While I haven’t seen any recent results, you can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–Having said that, I know I went on a big rant last time about the possibility of Copycat screwing up the ROC’s current format. Until I get some hard results that will either back up or destroy my argument, I’m going to back off a little bit… but I will definitely be watching these next few ROC’s with great interest!

 

Preview

–Want to know what it’ll be like tearing into a case of FLASH boosters next month? Well, wonder no longer, because Friday Night Lights alum and celebrity Heroclix fan Scott Porter (Iceman425 on the Realms) has teamed with DC VP of Creative Sciences Kevin Kiniry to do just that–and they recorded it all!

A couple of takeaways from that video:

-There are only 3 Chases (unofficially, they will be The Question, Pandora and Phantom Stranger)

-If you buy a case of The Flash, well… you are NOT guaranteed to pull one of them!! That’s right, Scott and Kevin pulled 2 Primes (the Common and Uncommon Prime, I believe). This means that the Chases will probably be REALLY expensive on the secondary market, especially initially. And if they’re actually good… yikes! Will they even be able to replace the Trinity of Sin Team Base figures? That is a dark horse rumor. That I just started.

-Some of the sculpts are amazing. Or at least they look amazing on film.

-I don’t know much about any of the Flash characters beyond Wally West, Barry Allen and Jay Garrick. I know virtually nothing about their Rogues’ Gallery. Having said that, a lot of people who do seem to be really, REALLY excited for this set. Basically, this seems like the DC version of the DeadPool set we got back in May. The characters I’d probably be most excited for are the Trinity of Sin characters, and they’re gonna be some really hard to pull Chases. And maybe a Kingdom Come Flash (He’s rumored to be a Super Rare. I loved that story, and all of the initial Kingdom Come characters were so overpowered it was ridiculous!). So while I may not grab nearly as much of this set as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy, I’m glad all the folks who really love these characters are finally getting a set!

-Finally, Deadpool kind of set the bar for how broken/awesome a Hypersonic Speed character can be with Speed Demon (and, to a lesser extent, Whizzer), so we’ll see if any of the characters in Flash can hang with the most recent Marvel speedsters!

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week, we’re gonna spotlight local player Andrew’s team from Ninwashui’s most recent Local Tourney Report!

Krampus

Team Name: Krampin’ Your Style

Theme: None

Roster:

WKWK–002 Krampus79 Points

(assigned The Utility Belt with 1 item)–8

SLOSH042 Helspont200

DP018 Blind Al13

=300 Points

 

What We Liked About This Build: Holy crap, this was pretty fun to play against! Krampus with a 13 Attack and Capture is just devastating, and Helspont’s ability–and Andrew’s creative way of getting Helspont to the correct click–was just some awesome out-of-the-box thinking! Ninwashui mentioned in his report that while he admired the creativity of the Build, he didn’t have a great time losing half of his army by Turn 2. I had a different experience.

Playing the Orange Power Battery with Iron Pharaoh (Possessed by Ophidian) and Speed Demon (Possessed by Ion), I saw Andrew capture Iron Pharaoh on Andrew’s first turn (using a double power action) and had to spend my next two turns racing across the board to try and free the Pharaoh. Speed Demon ended up rolling a 12, which did enough damage to KO Krampus in one hit. Had I not gotten that stroke of luck, I still would have had about a 66% chance to do the last two damage that I needed via Speed Demon’s Cyclone Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.), but had I rolled a 1 or a 2, I would have been in a world of hurt; Krampus would have scored Iron Pharaoh on his next turn, which would have healed him back up to full, Speed Demon would be on his second click, and Andrew could just trade places with Speed Demon again using Helspont and sent my last piece all the way across the map (while double-tokened!).

In other words, the game would almost be over at that point. I’d have needed an extraordinary amount of luck to get back in the match, so it all came down to that initial push with Speed Demon to try and get Iron Pharaoh back. At the risk of coming across as the biggest nerd to ever pick up a pair of dice, it was probably my most dramatic Heroclix moment so far!

But that’s mostly a recap. What I want to focus on is Andrew’s army! Ninwashui and I spent probably 15 minutes after that tournament discussing Andrew’s Build and how it affected every decision each of us made in our respective matches. We also looked at it from Andrew’s perspective; after I described our match, Ninwashui was absolutely sure that Andrew should have grabbed Speed Demon instead of Iron Pharaoh. But I pointed out that Andrew then would have had a double tokened Helspont in a prime position (roughly 3 squares away) to get 2-shotted by Iron Pharaoh (who was sporting the Orange Crossbow and would have basically had a 13 Attack of his own and would have been sporting 5-6 Damage against Helspont at that point). So if Andrew takes Speed Demon, he scores around 185 Points, but he’d probably lose a 200 Point character immediately after! That would leave him Krampus and Blind Al, who, frankly, would have had no shot against the Pharaoh.

And that was just a small snippet of the dozens of scenarios Ninwashui and I were running through A HALF HOUR AFTER THE TOURNAMENT ENDED! I can’t remember the last Build that got us talking so much. Ninwashui was right in his report insomuch as there ARE several team types that will have next to no shot against Andrew’s team IF HIS CAPTURE GOES TO PLAN. But there are also plenty of Meta Builds that still match up well against Andrew’s squad! I was simply lucky in that I was playing just such a team (although, as I stated above, I still needed one really lucky roll!).

At the end of the day, I think Heroclix is actually a better game for having a team like Andrew’s in it. It was different and creative, and that’s why it’s this week’s Army of the Week! Great job, Andrew!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Agents of Shield Title

–So last time, I talked about what was wrong with Gotham, and some things they could do to fix the show. The last two episodes weren’t fabulous, but they were a step in the right direction. So this week, I want to focus on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

If you gave up on this show last year, you are really missing something this year. These episodes have a raw momentum that was missing from many of the initial offerings last season. The creators have somehow also managed to introduce a TON of new characters while still remembering to give each of the main characters a share of the spotlight in every episode so far. More than that, the villains this year have been much more formidable (and, y’know, actually INTERESTING in their own right!).

As opposed to the Mort of the Month C-list roster fodder that the writers seemed to shuffle into every episode last year, this year started with a bang with an impressively realized Absorbing Man, Kraken (aka Daniel Whitehall) and Skye’s Evil Father (Mr. Hyde? A Kree? An original creation? We don’t know exactly who he is yet!).

This week’s episode also introduced Mockingbird into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it looks like things are just picking up.

Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix has been all over M.A.o.S.’s resurgence this year, and you can read his latest recap right here!

I have a lot of thoughts regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. specifically, and the MCU as a whole, that are probably best saved for a separate post. For now, I’ll just say that if you’ve been off the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bandwagon for awhile, now is a great time to climb back on!

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–Okay, we’ve already linked to Ninwashui’s articles from the last couple weeks, and we’ve got more content planned for the next couple weeks as well. Remember to Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates (and random thoughts) as soon as they happen! You can Follow us at @criticalmissive to stay up to date on articles (think I’ve got the kinks worked out; it should Tweet the link every time there’s something new to read).

 

And that’s it for this week!! See ya next time, and until then, stay safe (and DRY!!), and watch where you draw your lines of fire!