When You Absolutely, Positively HAVE To KO Every $&*#(@! In The Room… Accept No Substitutes!! (Or, A Second Opinion On The Top Ten Figures in Captain America and the Avengers!!) (Or OR, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2020! For Night One’s announcement trailer, click here. We built an Excalibur Themed Team with some new pieces on Night 2; Ninwashui finally released his SVC Top Ten on Night 3; he came back to talk Watchlist results on Night 4; and he came back once more to build an Apocalypse Prime army on Night 5! And we postulated that Bystander Generators are the new Duos on Night 6!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE 2: Why are you getting a Top Ten for a set that released in February?! Well, this article has been stuck in WordPress hell for the better part of a year. I normally write in the Classic Editor, but somehow, some way, WordPress decided to convert the entire article into their new Block format with, well, disastrous results. Still, we thought it would be neat to finally finish an article that was started before Covid was even a thing. Hope you guys and gals enjoy a look back at a time capsule from… well, still from 2020, but it feels like a lifetime ago!]

Cap and the Avengers 3

Let the new Clix year begin!!

Oh. Wait. It’s already begun.

Well then. Ninwashui already led off with his Top Ten figures from CAATV, so it’s time I got back on the saddle… to explain how wrong he was with his Captain America selections (well… a few of them, anyway)!

Sorry this has taken so long, but I’ve had a lot of personal things going on these past two three nine <ahem> ten months. But now I’m back!

But before we get to the CORRECT rankings, let’s look at…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

War Machine dual Target

Rhodey was best known for once bringing three guns to a knife fight.–Wow!! That was quite the lil’ power creepage, eh? How many pieces did we get in this set that get two attacks a turn? Yes, there are conditions for most of these pieces to make the second attack (Thor, War Machine), but those conditions (usually just, y’know, hit with the first attack) are fairly easy to meet and the benefits are ridiculous! Punisher War Machine just literally needs to have two tokens to unleash hell.

Captain Marvel Busting Through

–Beyond that, there’s a higher than usual amount of figures that get two-for-one special abilities or Traits. Sharon Carter has a Perplex that grants Outwit to any friendly character she uses it on (provided they have the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword). SR Captain Marvel deals automatic penetrating damage AFTER she makes a Hypersonic Attack. Okay, she probably belongs in the list above. But still. The pieces in this set aren’t just strong; many are among the most versatile figures Wizkids has ever printed!

Ultron Chase

–Once again, we have a set of Marvel Chases that don’t have a strong thematic connection. In this case, they’re connection was actually material–as in, they are each the only pieces in the set that come with Clix FX, a previous mechanic making a welcome return here.

(Anytime I can see a visual representation of a mechanic on the map, I’m a happy camper. Makes it harder to forget elements during a match!)

So with that, let’s get on to five…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Namor 2

5. CAAV069 Namor — 75 Points — Chase:

This dial would probably crack the Top 10 of most other sets. Unfortunately, the King of Atlantis here is trapped in an absolutely stacked lineup, so he will have to settle for Honorable Mention.

Still, a 12 Attack top dial with a native 4 Damage for 75 points is always going to get some notice. But what I really love about this version of Namor is how his two Traits really open up Water Builds, a sub-genre of team building that’s never really been Meta but is always a ton of fun.

Namor comes with a Flood Marker Clix FX that counts a Water Terrain and works with his first Trait (AVENGING SON OF ATLANTIS: Namor starts the game with the Flood marker in his square. // The Flood marker is water terrain. // Smoke Cloud as FREE, but to generate water terrain markers instead of hindering terrain markers. // FREE: Place the Flood marker in Namor’s square.). So on any Map, he can literally flood seven squares every turn, which can activate Traits and Special Powers on a ton of other Dolphin-symbol characters (check out the aptly-named Dolphin from DC Rebirth, for example. If you can guarantee she starts her Charge in Water Terrain every time she attacks, she doesn’t halve her movement and suddenly she’s probably worth double her Point Cost).

His second Trait complements the first and helps other Dolphin characters hit their marks (MASTER OF THE SEVEN SEAS: (Dolphin symbol). // Friendly characters with (Dolphin symbol) or who share a keyword (with Namor) modify attack +1 if making a close attack while occupying water terrain.).

Losing Map Roll is always a big risk with Water Builds, but Namor mitigates that risk quite a bit!

Songbird

4. CAAV065 Songbird — 60 Points — Super Rare:

As we’ll soon see, the Super Rare slot in this set is PACKED with heavy hitters!

So there’s nothing really tricky here. Songbird is just REALLY efficient for her points.

Top dial, she’s rocking a 10 Movement with Running Shot, an 11 Attack with Pulse Wave, 18 Defense with Super Senses and 3 Damage with Probability Control. That right there is about as packed as you can get for 60 Points!

She also has one of the set’s Theme-based token Traits (ASSEMBLED BOLTS AND MASTERS: Once per turn when Songbird hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Masters Of Evil or Thunderbolts keywords, remove an action token from Songbird -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.), which is fine, but her second Trait (SOLID SOUND CONSTRUCTS: Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 1 marker then remove all other blocking terrain markers adjacent to the generated marker.) is borderline amazing!

Basically, she can put up one Barrier marker to make it difficult to target her, or you can use that Trait offensively to destroy opposing Barrier markers and open up strategic lines of fire!

This is the best version of Songbird they’ve ever made (and get used to that, because it’s going to be true for a bunch of different characters that we’re going to be covering!).

Sharon Carter

3. CAAV006 Sharon Carter — 35 Points — Common:

So, just in case you were thinking the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword would be gone from the Meta for awhile, here’s the first of MANY pieces with that keyword that we’ll be discussing today.

Sharon only has three clicks, but she’s ridiculously affordable, has great survival instincts with the recurring Espionage Trait (ESPIONAGE: Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, Improved Targeting: Hindering.), gives your squad some cheap Leadership AND comes packing with a Special Damage Power (STAND BY FOR UPDATES: Perplex. When Sharon Carter uses it to target another friendly character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword, that character can use Outwit until your next turn.) that can be gamechanging.

Her Leadership special works better when she’s teamed with any almost any version of Steve Rogers, but that Damage Special absolutely breaks a different soldier that we’ll be talking about when we get to the top of this list…

Taskmaster2

2. CAAV049 Taskmaster — 60 Points — Rare:

Yet another switchblade version of one of my favorite villains, this Taskmaster comes STACKED with powers and abilities!

He moves through Hindering Terrain, he has the Wildcard TA, starts with a 12 (TWELVE!!) Attack with B/C/F AND Perplex, and his pick-a-power Trait (YOU FORGET THAT I TOOK ON THE AVENGERS: FREE: Choose a standard speed or defense power printed on this card. Taskmaster can use that power until your next turn.) makes him extremely hard to KO. Heck, with Stealth up top, he’s hard to even touch!

The Black Widow Movie set gave us a bunch more Taskmasters, but I don’t know that it gave us anything (for the points) that’s better than this.

1. CAAV060 Blade — 50 Points — Super Rare:

A potentially neverending Charge (provided he offs an enemy with the Monster or Mystical keyword each time); Stealth; Improved Movement: Hindering; Improved Targeting: Hindering; Steal Energy (with the ability to heal past his starting line); Blades (of course) and a 17 Defense with Combat Reflexes.
Yes, he’s a bit chewy, but he recovers well and his offense could potentially swing the match. His subpar 10 Attack at this level is the only thing keeping him from the Top Ten.
And NOW…..

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE AVENGERS!!

War Machine CAAV

10. CAAV053A War Machine — 100 Points — Super Rare:

Two Team Abilities. A Trait (MINI-GUN TARGET LOCK: When War Machine hits, after resolutions you may give a hit character a Target Lock token, then remove all other Target Lock tokens. // FREE: Make a range attack using War Machine’s printed attack and damage values, but only to target the character with his Target Lock token.) that allows up to a second ranged attack in one turn.

Plus Indomitable, Improved Targeting: Hindering, the ability to make ranged attacks while based and some pretty good stats. Also, this Preview set off a firestorm of anticipation among Heroclix fans for this set.

Hell, War Machine would be higher on this list if his B-Side wasn’t EVEN BETTER

Old Steve Rogers

9. CAAV038 Steve Rogers — 50 Points — Rare:

Stats are aight. He has the recurring Living Legend Trait (LIVING LEGEND: The first time each game Steve Rogers would be KO’d, instead turn him to his last non-KO click, then roll a d6 and heal him equal to half the result. Protected: Pulse Wave.), so he’s a bit harder to put away than his point cost might suggest.

But his Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. Building Trait (WE’LL TAKE ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET, IF YOU’RE WORTHY: Leadership. During force construction, you may choose a standard character of 50 points or less. That character loses its printed keywords (for the entire game) and then gains either the Avengers –or– S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword (choose one).) is the main reason to play him.

This can even lead to some comic-ly ridiculous scenarios, like:

-Chase Ultron on his rookie dial can now suit up for S.H.I.E.L.D.!
-Valeria Von Doom can now be a child Avenger!
-Heck, if you want, you can take SR Q’s 50 point dial… and do nothing with it (as he’s not a standard character. Not all of these ideas were going to be winners.).

Peggy Cap

I don’t know who photoshopped this, but it’s pretty good!

8. CAAV075E Peggy CarterSideline Active (Aka “Free”) — Ultra Chase
So you’re telling me that if I field the ridiculously good Steve Rogers I just ranked at #9, I can also back him up with a 50-Point Peggy that Charges, has Precision Strike, has Indomitable, sports Leadership AND generates a really good Bystander Token… and that I can do all that FOR FREE?
That Rogers is good enough on his own. He doesn’t need any more value packed in.
This Peggy is just kind of alright for her points on her normal dial, but her Sideline Active free dial is bananas!
Maria Hill
7. CAAV008 Maria Hill — 45 Points — Common:
Why is a 45-Point Common all the way up at #7 in my Top Ten? Because she has an Omega-Level Movement Special Power (WELCOME TO PLEASANT HILL: Mind Control. Once per turn when a friendly character uses Mind Control to target a character that hasn’t been damaged this turn, after resolutions that targeted character can’t make attacks or be attacked until your next turn unless it’s the only character on its force.) that opens up all kinds of new Build possibilities!
I remember when Ninwashui and I thought Mind Control was one of the weaker powers in the game a few years ago; well… not anymore. Suddenly Mind Control is essentially a Maze of Ith (for non-MTG lifers, read “neutralizing force”) for your opponent’s best piece.
She also has Leadership coupled with the Espionage Trait and Shape Change for survivability. Even when she finally loses her special power, she gains Perplex and the ability to do Penetrating damage.
Truly a groundbreaking piece!
Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider
6. CAAV071 Ghost Rider — 70 Points — Chase:
His dial is great for his points (except for an average to low Attack across the dial), but he adds some wrinkles that really make him worthwhile.
First, his Special Ram ability (THE AVENGERS HAVE A SWEET NEW RIDE: Passenger: 3, but only to carry character who share a keyword regardless of [Wing symbol]. // Ram. When Ghost Rider uses it, he modifies speed +3 and does not take unavoidable damage from it.) is basically the best of its kind in the game.
Secondly, he has the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Mystical keywords… I mean, what team DOESN’T he fit on?
Ultron Age of Ultron
5. CAAV074(?) Ultron — (???) — Chase:
Yup! Another Chase from just a killer run of Chases (and we’re not done yet). I just threw question marks up there for his exact set number and Point cost because, honestly, each of his three point levels is just stupidly ridiculous.
For God’s sake, they even brought back his classic 14 Attack Value, which is honestly just stupid. If his dial was naked and you just had to make due with his native stats, he’d be a great value. Instead, you can pretty much just name a random great power, and he probably has it.
The second click on his 150-Point dial has a 13 Attack with Pen/Psy, 18 Defense with Impervious and 3 Damage with Perplex. Yeah. A 13 Attack Value. On his second click. #$%# off, Wizkids!
If your opponent places this guy in his Starting Area when forces are revealed, good luck.
Immortal Hulk
4. CAAV058 Immortal Hulk — 100 Points — Super Rare:
At some point when designing this set, someone in charge at Wizkids looked at all the broken pieces they were already stuffing into this set and thought, “Hey… why don’t we make a Hulk piece where we combine the survivability of that “Ha-Ha Joker” from Joker’s Wild with, y’know, the offense of an enraged, uh, Hulk. That seems like it’d be a pretty fair figure to play against.”
That was a real thought that a real adult had.
This piece is just stupid. He’s already starting to put his stamp on the Meta.
I actually got to play against this guy in Sealed, and the only reason I beat him is because I miraculously pulled the #1 piece on this list.
Thor Chase 2
3. CAAV070 Thor– 125 Points — Chase:
Another piece that–like Ultron–is darn near broken at any of its point levels.
It must have come from the same design space as that Immortal Hulk we just talked about.
Designer One: “Uh… what if we designed the Quintessential Thor dial”
Designer Two: “Hmmm… okay, we could–
Designer One: “And then added Probability Control!”
Designer Two: “But… why though?”
Again: this was a real thought that a real adult had.
Thor’s Lightning Marker Trait (BRING THE LIGHTNING: Thor has PROTECTED: Energy Explosion. // Thor starts the game with the Lightning marker attached. // When Thor hits with an attack not using Energy Explosion, you may place the Lightning marker in the square of a hit character. If you do, after resolutions make a range attack using Energy Explosion at no cost targeting that character regardless of range or line of fire. At the beginning of your next turn, attach the Lightning marker to Thor.) alone will make sure you get your investment out of fielding this absolute Monster.
Captain Marvel Anime
2. CAAV054 Captain Marvel — 95 Points — Super Rare:
Wizkids has been on a mission lately to make the perfect Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel, and if there’s a better Captain Marvel to been had, I’ve not seen it.
Her top dial Movement Special Power (HIGHER!: Hypersonic Speed. When Captain Marvel uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to an opposing character she moved through. If that character is a vehicle, deal it 3 penetrating damage instead.) is among the best versions of Hypersonic Speed we’ve ever had.
And the Chewie Bystander Token she generates is also top notch.
Altogether, she is going to be a force until she rotates.
Punisher War Machine 2
1. CAAV053B Punisher War Machine — 95 Points — Super Rare PRIME:
And now we circle back to the title of the article!
When you absolutely, positively have to KO everything in the room…
Here’s the best Colossal Stamina Trait you’ll ever see (THE WAR NEVER ENDS: Colossal Stamina. // If Punisher War Machine has two action tokens, he has “FREE: Make an attack.”).
He also has a great Attack Special Power (JUST NEED TO LIGHT THE FUSE: Energy Explosion, KNOCKBACK.).
By the way, he sees through Hindering and has a starting 12 Attack and 4 Damage.
He is a one-man army except he only costs 95 Points at most.
And he is the number one figure in this set!!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the Comments below.
And we’ll see you here tomorrow night!!

Wait, There’s Only One Daily Planet Employee in This Set?! (Or, a Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in World’s Finest!!)

WF 3

Whew! Made it.

It’s been a sick winter for yours truly, and I mean that literally (while I can’t say for sure that reading HypeFox’s Top Ten is the thing that made me throw up so violently these last two weeks, I can’t really rule it out, either.).

But I’m finally on the mend, so I think it’s high time I offered all of you true believers out there a fit and proper SECOND OPINION to the World’s Finest Top Ten drivel that HypeFox has already so eloquently vomited out into cyberspace.

And like my esteemed colleague, I shall start with…

Notes

Some Notes About the Set:

  • All of the Chases are excellent and they could have easily taken up this whole list if I let them. Easily. For the purposes of having an interesting article I limited my list to the two best Chases in “tower (lower point) mode” and the two best Chases when played at full points. I suppose that qualifies as a Preview!
  • Once again, this set takes a power leap from the set that immediately preceded it, not unlike the leap we had last year going from Avengers Assemble to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which was one of the most powerful sets ever put to plastic). The Chases have base stats that we haven’t ever seen much outside of Colossals (13 attack, 20 defense, 12 range, etc.). The Commons have redefined replacement figures and several Super Rares that I am not even including in my Top Ten list would have been near the top of the heap in other set reviews.
  • Outwit is not what it used to be; there are now a bevy of Meta-viable Primary Attackers who are either mostly or completely immune to it. In this set there are 5 SRs and 6 Chases that are worthy Primary Attackers and whose powers are also nigh impossible to counter. Add those to the Primary Attackers that are resistant to Outwit from the last set (First Born, Rare Wonder Woman, etc.) and Outwit is not nearly a sure path to victory like it used to be. Personally I am going to start using perplex as my go-to power.
  • These Commons are excellent; what trashy blogger said they weren’t? Oh, that’s right, HypeFox said that since none of the Commons were in his Top Ten, the Commons might be underpowered. I contend that they are just as strong (if not  stronger) as they were in the Nick Fury set and it’s just the Common Prime that wasn’t quite up to snuff. Poison Ivy Prime is no Peggy Carter, Captain Marvel, or 3-D Man. However, the rest of the commons are pretty playable. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Soooo… to counter my argument that the Commons in this set aren’t as strong, you’ve submitted as your first piece of evidence that the top end of the Common slot–the Prime–can’t touch the Common Primes from pretty much any previous set going back to Flash? Uh… doesn’t that help MY side of the argument?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: I’m not finished yet!] [HYPEFOX’S NOTE ABOUT NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Oh.]
  • Ahem. As I was saying… I’ll put my Booster Gold and Creeper up against your Eric Koenig and Clay Quartermain any day. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Uh… was that it? Are you finished?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE TO HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Now I’m finished. You have been debunked and rebuked. Possibly in that order.] [HYPEFOX’S RESPONSE TO THE RESPONSE: Hmmm… I think I smell a Common-Off!] [NINWASHUI: You mean that Russian kid with the BO issue who kept joining Battle Royals at Gen Con?] [HYPEFOX: Nope. Not–that kid’s name was Komanov. That’s not–that’s the wrong Common-Off. No, I mean a Common-Off, as in, you make your best 300 Point team of World’s Finest Commons, and I’ll make my best team of Nick Fury Commons, and we’ll see who wins to settle this debate once and for all!!] [NINWASHUI: Okay. Why didn’t you just suggest that in the first place? You’re just killing my word count here. Anything above, like, 3500 words and people just start tuning you out.] [HYPEFOX: I hate you.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: To be continued… look for the first annual Common-Off results in an upcoming article!]

Okay! Enough tomfoolery. Let’s bounce straight into my…

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Mercury

5. WF043 Mercury – He’s the cheapest figure with TK that the game has ever seen (yes, Clix old-timers, at 25 Points he’s even cheaper than Rookie Mandroid Armor from Clobberin’ Time–that piece cost 28 Points!). He definitely works best with another Metal Man around because gaining Sidestep and improving his Super Senses roll by 1 makes this original Merc With a Mouth (in that his name is Mercury and he, y’know, has a mouth) even more useful for his low 25 point cost (seriously, if you can bait your opponent into wasting a meaningful attack on one of your Mercury pieces and then you hit that 50% Super Sense? Those are the kinds of plays that can swing games).

The best Idea I have for including other Metal Men is… just play two of him. Even 2 of him at 50 Points are still almost the cheapest TK available in Modern. I’ve got a good team idea for him that will rate it’s own separate article. Let’s just say that this guy bringing TK to the Robot keyword is a BIG DEAL.

Shifting Focus Batman

4. WF003 Batman (And WF004 Batman, WF018 Batman, WF034 Batman) – I’ve been a huge fan of Morph pieces in the past, such that I even wrote this article about them. The new “Shifting Focus” pieces in this set do not disappoint. Unlike all of the pieces I wrote about in my previous article, these “Shifting Focus”-Traited pieces say “Give X a free action if he began your turn on the map.” That’s a step up from “Give X a close combat or move action”.

Now these Batman pieces aren’t going to take down a 200 point piece by themselves, but you’d be hard pressed to find a piece their size or less that they can’t take down. You’ll spend most of your time as the 003 Batman due to his free action movement power, “HIDING BEHIND YOU: Give Batman a free action if he occupies hindering terrain or no opposing character can draw a line of fire to him. If you do, place him into a square of hindering terrain within 6 squares and line of fire.” Once you move up as a free action you can then switch to 034 Batman and use double target Incapacitate. If your opponent bases you then you can switch to 004 Batman. And if you really need an Outwit, 018 Batman is ready and waiting.

Consider the following team:

Do you Bleed? You Will.

(KeywordJustice League)

  • WF003 Batman (with Justice League ATA)
  • WF049 Superman (with Justice League ATA)
  • AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (all fragments, 2 assigned characters)
  • ID Card of your choice
  • Total=300 points

Sorry about the title, but I am running out of unique things to call a Batman/Superman team. The Phoenix Force at this level grants Running shot, +1 damage, and defend. Also at any level it grants Flight and Poison. The Flight helps Batman in particular to use Charge and Running Shot regardless of terrain, and the Emma Fragment will let Batman TK Superman out for an Alpha Strike.

Metallo

Just gonna go ahead and recycle this art from HypeFox’s Top Ten…

3. WF055 Metallo – If you told me two or three sets ago that a figure with a constant 19 Defense Value on his entire dial and a 12 starting Attack was coming out for only 150 points I would have told you that was definitely going to be the best character in that set. Then Mary Marvel, World’s Finest, and the KC chases happened. This guy is getting ignored and he is going to surprise people some day soon when he finally gets noticed. I was just at a Wizkids open where he Pulse Waved a 200 point World’s Finest to death by himself and made it to the final match. Ignore this guy at your peril.

Zatara 2

2. WF048 Zatara – This guy is similar to Zatanna in the way his dial works, but I think he is superior in every way for 20 points less. I like his front support dial versus his back offensive dial. The offensive dial is about Average. The support dial is superior. With TK, Prob, and a double Perplex I like to refer to him as Mary Marvel’s pit crew. What really puts him over the top is the incredible power you see after he takes one damage: “SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.” If this power shows up and you are near 2 or more characters on the opposing team I would almost always use it. If the time isn’t right to use this power, then you can just choose to Regen and still come out ahead because of your Mystics TA.

Rita Farr

1. WF035E Elasti-Girl – This is likely the best 50 point non-support oriented character we’ve ever seen. There really aren’t many good reasons not to keep her as a Colossal the whole time, since the new Colossal rules make her so good.

She could already charge 6 spaces, but now she also has a Giant Reach of 3 squares. She can  also carry smaller figures without losing movement and she has a 10 Attack and 4 Damage. On defense she has Shape Change and Super Senses which together nullify about 55% of all attacks before you even consider her 18 defense.

Okay! Enough of the pieces that ALMOST made the cut. Unlike some other namby-pamby bloggers, I made the tough choices and got my Top Ten down to an actual Top Ten. Funny how that works, eh?

I give to you…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

The Chief Doom Patrol

10. WF051 The Chief – Here is that great 50 point support character that they seem to slip into every set. Even if you don’t share a keyword with him he can still grant any nearby friendly character Sidestep as well as having Outwit and Perplex himself. If your pieces do have either the scientist or Doom Patrol keywords, then he gives you an option to make another friendly character immune to Outwit and he can target his own Perplex and Outwit through any nearby friendly character. He’s definitely a Meta piece that you will start seeing at ROCs soon.

Supes v Bats

9. WF001 Superman (AND WF002 Superman, WF017A Superman, WF033 Superman) – So with this pick I am cheating a little. From what I saw at the sealed events I played at this is a good collection of pieces and I kept dreaming of ways to abuse the +1 defense granted by the 001 Superman. It’s just a really good play to attack with Superman 002 from 15 spaces away and then transform into Superman 001 before the opponent has a chance to hit you back. However I still wasn’t sure if I should include these pieces on my list. 

Then some guy played three copies of these characters on the same team and placed second at a ROC super qualifier. Only Patrick Yapjoco beat him by running the free action limiting Agent 13 with Nick Fury. Now it’s a lot easier to see how viable these pieces are in the Meta. Three copies of Superman 001 grouped together along with the Justice League ATA make for a 21 or 22 defense and that power is uncounterable. That’s just really hard to fight and even worse when you have to face it in a format like ROC Limited.

The Wiz Ard

8. WF030 The Wizard – World’s Finest does everything bigger and better than previous sets. This is the second awesome 50 point support figure in this set and the third 50 point figure on this list. So if you played in any Sealed event you probably heard about this guy and what he can do. For 50 points he’s incredible for 3 reasons. The first reason that he’s almost unhittable at range. His power states, “ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.

Secondly, he has 5 clicks each with a different support power that you can push to. You start with Prob. If you need Outwit instead just push once. If you need Perplex instead that’s just one more push away. You get the idea. Finally, his Trait is what’s getting everyone excited “POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.” Sure you might not roll Shape Change successfully in the average game, but everyone seems to have stories where their rolls went well and this guy made three tigers in a single game [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup. That happened to me.]. That’s an insane amount of value coming from a 50 point character.

7. WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy – He’s similar to AVAS051 Red Wolf in that he can put a secondary attacker into play as a free action, but where Redwolf is a close combat attacker, Klarion is a ranged support piece. Klarion is better than Red Wolf because of his ability to help your other pieces while still remaining moderately dangerous himself. He has Stealth plus Energy Shield/Deflection to keep him safe and Sidestep with Psychic Blast for offense. The fact that Teekl comes into play as a free action means that you can Phase across the board, drop Teekl and have him Charge an opposing character all in the same turn.

KC SUpes

6. WF061 Superman -In terms of raw stats you won’t find a superior character for under his cost. From his first click to his last, he is really dangerous. He’s been criticized for his lack of Hypersonic Speed, but as far as I am concerned that’s just means you will have to put a little planning into playing him. Whether that’s just some TK (FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician) or going to resources (AVXR100 The Phoenix Force), the lack of Hypersonic Speed is not that hard to compensate for. Something additional to keep in mind is that his defense is better than it first appears. The trait that all the Chases share is “WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Superman’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol. Superman’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol.” Among other things that means his defense can’t be reduced and his defensive abilities can’t be countered so the opponent will have to get through all those damage reducers the hard way. Then there is the new KC team ability. It grants an additional use of Super Senses against ranged attacks and since it’s a Team Ability it might be the one thing that Nick Fury’s Watcher Eyes can’t bypass.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Although Prime Peggy Carter’s normal eyes can, since she knows her worth, and anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.]

KC SHAZ

5. WF065 Shazam! – Now here’s a piece that isn’t lacking in Hypersonic Speed or a high speed value in general. In fact with his 15 speed value in the Modern Age the only piece under 1000 points that is faster is KC Flash. He shares the WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN trait and KC team ability with Superman and the rest of the Chases in the set. He starts with Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength on offense along with Invincible and Shape Change on defense. His Attack Value never goes below 11 and he has some surprise Running Shot/Pulse Wave clicks at the end. The thing that really puts him over the top for me however is the Calculator TA. He already has the Mystical and Metropolis keywords, so it should not be too hard to find some good TAs for him to copy.

Bat SUpes Duo

4. WF060R World’s Finest – I chose the 75 point version of this character to put on this list because with Duo Attack, this is the hardest hitting 75 point character we’ve ever seen. It unfortunately has quite possibly the short 75 point dial we’ve ever seen, but with Combat Reflexes for close combat protection and the Batman TA for ranged protection World’s Finest should stay top dial for quite a while. Even at 75 they retain their trait: “WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.” The ability to straight up stop Outwit like that has never been seen at the 75 point level. Finally the combination of the Superman TA, their native 4 Damage Value and Duo Attack means that if they can get within 7 of Nick Fury they could potentially knock him out if both attacks hit.

KC GL

3. WF064R Green Lantern – This is the second best Tower Mode KC chase in the set. He has 9 Range, Barrier, and Perplex for just 30 points. At that point level if he is able to use barrier to give your team a breather for a turn then he is an incredible value for his points. On the minus side with barrier on his 18 Defense he is the easiest of the Tower Mode Chases to KO. On the plus side his Perplex is literally the only Perplex you could use to target any of the KC Chases.

2. WF041 Mary Marvel – This set’s best attacker, Primary or otherwise, and the only character I believe to be a real threat to Nick Fury. If she can attack him with Hypersonic Speed before he can attack her, then he’s in a world of trouble. She will have a Probability Control she can use to help herself hit and his Probability Control won’t be able to touch her due to her Trait: “SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.” And if she hits with an ultra heavy object then that’s enough damage to KO him outright. Her values and powers do start to go down quickly past her first click, but she still has a viable way to get right back into the game. She has a white power on her 7th click that states, “SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.” If you roll a 6 on the Regeneration roll then you will be right back to your top dial.

Spectre 2

1.WF066R Spectre – This is the figure in the set that I predict with eventually see the most play. He has Energy Shield deflection and Probability Control that along with his 18 Defense and KC team ability make him exceptionally difficult for even a primary attacker to KO him from range. He also has the Mystics TA that he can share with wildcards (like shazam) and it will guarantee that if anyone does KO him they will take Mystics damage back. The truly overpowering thing about him is his 12 Range combined with his special power, ” I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.” Boards are 24 spaces long. This means that you can place him 10 rows out from your starting area and he can use Probability Control anywhere on the board except the opposing starting area. Your opponent won’t really be able to do anything about it either because the difficultly KOing this piece from range. For 35 points he’s like a half price Mr. Mxyzptlk with the added bonus of having good keywords.

For additional fun try possessing him with Parallax to use the special power, “GRIP OF FEAR: Opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage.” Not bad for 60 points.

Okay! There ya go! See you next time with some special Build articles to help you make use of all these new tools in your toolbox!

Upcoming Games: Clix TV!! (Or, The 2nd Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 2! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here!]

Clix TV

Welcome to Night 2 of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!

Another quick local game announcement for SE Michigan Clix’ers…

On Wednesday, December 16th, at Comics & More in Madison Heights, we’ll be playing: Clix TV!

In honor of all the great comics-based TV, we will play a 300 Point, Golden Age game with a $5 Entry Fee.

Prizes will come from the “Arrowette” Monthly OP Kit, although…

IMPORTANT PRIZE NOTE: IF WE GET THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN KIT WIZKIDS HOLIDAY KIT IN TIME, WE WILL AWARD PRIZES FROM THAT INSTEAD!!

The Stipulations: Each character on your team must have appeared on a Network, Cable or Streaming LIVE ACTION Television show. Animated appearances don’t count, but the show does not have to currently be on.

As long as piece shares a real name OR a character name (ie, Clark Kent or Superman) with a character from a TV show, that piece is eligible.

Now, if you don’t watch a lot of TV but want some examples, you can build your team from Clix’d characters who have appeared on such shows as:

(DC)

Supergirl (2015: Notable characters include Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen, Hank Henshaw, Lucy Lane, General Lane, Red Tornado, etc.)

Flash (2014-Current: Flash, Firestorm, Jay Garrick, Vibe, Killer Frost, Zoom, Reverse Flash, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Vandal Savage, Heat Wave, Captain Cold, Golden Glider, Girder, Jesse Quick, Captain Boomerang, Rainbow Raider, Gorilla Grodd, Weather Wizard, Dr. Light, etc.)

Arrow (2012-Current: Green Lantern, Black Canary, Arsenal, Mister Terrific, The Atom, John Constantine, Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Deathstroke, Merlyn, Huntress, Brother Blood, etc.)

Smallville (2001-2011: Clark Kent, Bizarro, Lex Luthor, General Zod, The Martian Manhunter, etc.)

And so on…

(Marvel)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-Present: Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Agent Ward, Nick Fury, Lady Sif, Agent Fitz, Agent Simmons, Absorbing Man, Skye/Quake, John Garrett, Mockingbird, Deathlok, Victoria Hand, Major Glenn Talbot, Eric Koenig, Mister Hyde, Graviton, Blackout, Blizzard, etc.)

Marvel’s Agent Carter (2014-Present: Peggy Carter, Dum-Dum Dugan, Jarvis, etc.)

Daredevil (2015-Present: Daredevil, Kingpin, etc.)

Jessica Jones (2015-Present: Jessica Jones/Jewel, Luke Cage, The Purple Man, Hellcat, etc.)

You get the idea.

Clarifications:

Ninwashui and some others have brought up certain pieces to inquire whether they’re eligible.

To wit:

Zoom (Black Lantern): Eligible. Remember, the parenthetical information doesn’t actually count when determining whether certain game effects work or don’t work.

Batmobile: Eligible. Vehicles are still characters, so yes, the ol’ Adam West show qualifies the Batmobile.

Thor (any version): Eligible. A live action Thor appeared in The Incredible Hulk Returns, which, while technically a TV Movie, still premiered on network television and was, in fact, a continuation of the Incredible Hulk TV series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.

 

Okay! Hope to see you down at Comics & More for some good ol’ fashioned boob-tube mayhem!

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for another Night of Clix-Mas! We’ll be taking a closer look at what sets, intellectual properties and characters YOU want in the upcoming year!

(Actually, it’ll mostly be what I want in the upcoming year, seeing as I’m writing the article!)

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

mr furious

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

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

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

Some General Notes About the Set:

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

Secret Warriors

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

Uhhh… on second thought, maybe not.

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

Alright. Enough moping. Time to get into some…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

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

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

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

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

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

Imperial Hydra

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shine bright like a diamond.

Shine bright like a diamond.

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

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

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

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

Need… more… arms… with guns!!”

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

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

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

Ooooookay, that does not look safe...

Ooooookay, this does not look safe…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m just picturing it in my head now:

"Hulk hate puny pigeons!"

Hulk hate puny pigeons!”

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

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

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

Jane Foster Thor 1

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

Miles Morales

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

Kamala Khan

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

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

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

Peggy Carter

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

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

Fitz and Henry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Fury Original Sin

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Missive for All the Mothers!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 05/11/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Annnnndddd, we’re back!! Hello again, gentle readers! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! My gift to you? A Weekly Roundup that’s only ONE day late, instead of the normal two…

Things are going pretty good. My Tigers have opened up a wide lead in the American League Central Division, you can go outside with only one jacket on now and, more importantly–at least as far as this column is concerned–we’re inching very close to the release of TWO major new sets that will keep us busy into August (Deadpool and War of the Light, of course.)! And that’s not even counting X-Men: Days of Future Past, which should come right on the heals of Deadpool (as an AvX Avengers player, it didn’t bother me, but man, how much would it stink to be playing X-Men and know that there were hordes of new X-Men-keyworded figs just on the horizon that would be released just in time to not be useful AT ALL in AvX? I mean, Banshee from the Deadpool set alone could have changed X-Men builds–depending on your venue’s rules–DRASTICALLY).

"Release me!"

“RELEASE ME!!”

But enough reminiscing–it’s time for…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix has released Episode 44! This week Hunter flies solo before welcoming in a special guest to talk about a couple of previews, and then Hunter and his guest start dissecting the just-released Deadpool Gravity Feed (or CTD, if you prefer).

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still brewing Episode 2.3. Until then, you can check their Podbean for updates and the first two episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry’s latest episode is … still Episode 17! Roundtable discussion with Patrick Yapjoco on the Hanford SQ and the Iowa SQ. Having had the chance to listen to most of it now, I can say that there’s some great insight provided by Patrick, this week’s special guest–he’s won several ROC’s himself. The main conclusion Edward, Hunter and Patrick hammer home is to know your format. In the Meta, that usually means 300 points, but things can vary wildly after that–are resources allowed? How about relics? Feats? In tourneys where resources AREN’T allowed, different pieces are going to rise. Map choice is also VITALLY IMPORTANT. Patrick guided a Iron Pharaoh team to victory at a recent ROC because he had a great understanding of the types of teams he’d see in the environment he was playing in and was able to choose a map when he won map roll that virtually guaranteed him victory (in his case, it was the recent Apokolips map from the SLoSH OP kit–the elevated terrain changes make it virtually impossible for even the most aggressive team to get the Alpha strike on the Pharaoh–more often than not, the Golden Falcon will have several opportunities to shart on opposing figures before they’re in range of the Pharaoh).

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right HERE!

–Recent tourney results indicate that Tellus has infiltrated the Meta in a major way (pretty much as expected). However, with most people using Astral Dr. Stranges to ensure dynamic firing positioning, these teams are going to be in trouble very soon when Galactic Guardians rotates out of Modern. Will folks find another piece that moves as efficiently? We shall see…

"I don't know what a 'Tellus' is, but it feels good to be needed."

“I don’t know what a ‘Tellus’ is, but it feels good to be needed.”


Preview

Previews:

–New War of the Light dials seem to go up every day–Newsarama is a good place to look, but eventually all that info filters down to HCRealms, so you can always check their Units page. Indigo-1 and her Tribe of ring-wielders are the latest to get spoiled.

Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers are the last figs from X-Men: Days of Future Past to be spoiled. I like Franklin a little better, since I think he’s better in his role (support piece) than Rachel Summers is in hers (secondary attacker), but both get much better when you play them together (which I don’t like, as it kind of means your paying a tax to play them–especially Rachel. She really needs Franklin to make her viable, in my opinion, as just the mere presence of him pumps up her Attack, Defense AND Damage). Still, there not terrible for 140 points.

Btw, pretty much the entire X-Men: DoFP set is now available for perusal on HCRealms now.

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–We’re only one day away from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale, and over the weekend ABC announced that they are renewing the show! In addition, they are turning the “Agent Carter” one-shot short film from the Iron Man 3 Blu-Ray into an ongoing series starring Haley Atwell! As I really liked Peggy Carter in Cap 1 & 2, this is welcome news indeed

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Okay! Another quick new segment for the Weekly Roundup! Basically, I’ll use this space to talk about winning ROC armies, something I saw at my local venue or even just a force that’s been bubbling on the back burner of my brain.

This week we’re going to spotlight Patrick Yapjoco’s build that won him the Hanford Super Qualifier in April (and you can hear a lot more about it in Episode 17 of The Quarry).

Here it is:

Iron Pharaoh 110
Scarlet Witch FF x2 100
Brother Voodoo 79 w/
(Heroes for Hire ATA)

=297 (Theme: Mystical)

As we previously discussed, Patrick used his +4 Theme Bonus to Map roll to take every game he played into the furnaces of Apokolips, which put his opponents at a HUGE disadvantage, especially with the double barrier provided by his Scarlet Witch double tap. I’ve written previously about Iron Pharaoh teams wherein I used Shaman and the Wundagore Mountain map to earn victories; that Apokolips map that just came out in the SL0SH OP kit is probably even better for Iron Pharaoh strategies. Props to Patrick for designing and playing such an awesome team. The fact that this won is really cool; the fact that a major build component of this army was actually the MAP is even cooler. Depending on your venue, Map Choice may or may not be integral to what you’re trying to do with your army, but it’s definitely something to consider.

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article last week, which was Ninwashui’s Local Tournament Report from AvX Month Three. Some nice analysis by Ninwa in there. Check it out if you’re looking for more AvX strategy and tips.

Back later this week with a Build column featuring AvX Month 4 and a blow-by-blow of how that finished at our local venue. And then, hopefully–in the next few weeks–that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode Guide!

"I'll believe it when I see it."

“I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch Your Lines of Fire!