Simply The REST, Part 1!! (Or, With Apologies to Tina Turner… Again!!)(Or OR, the Ninth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, lemme see if I can remember all this: Ahem! Once again (and this time, with feeling!), we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 5! If you missed The First Night of Clix-Mas, you can read what it’s all about right here! Night 2 was the nascent edition of a new holiday scenario we’ve been cooking up and can be found… here-ish! Night 3 took a brief look back at Horrorclix. Night 4 was the debut of a new feature called “Overlooked” which examined some pieces from World’s Finest that don’t see quite as much play as they seemingly should… . And Night 5 was Part 1 of a brief 3-part series that examines how Heroclix would look if there were a Core Set released every year or two… And Night 6 saw HypeFox Theory-craft his own Marvel Heroclix Core Set! Night 7 saw Ninwashui calling an audible and promising to throw his hat in the ring and finally write an article! Night 8 featured Ninwashui ACTUALLY writing an article, although, strangely, not the one he promised… ]

simply-the-rest-gif

You pulled Bizarro Aquaman?

Longtime readers may remember “Simply the Best,” our year-end best-of gimmick wherein we hand out some Oscar-like “Critters” to the best Heroclix figures and concepts of the previous year, as well as recognize the best in genre entertainment and–most especially–memes.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: As noted in the above link“Critters” is (still) the current short name for the annual “Simply the Best” awards handing out by Critical Missives. It’s creepy. We know it’s creepy. We’re working on it. We’ve accepted it.]

While we skipped last year, we hope to hand out some 2016 “Critters” next month some time (invites to the nominees are currently in the mail).

Still, it occurred to us that you can’t have the Academy Awards without holding a Golden Raspberry Ceremony. That’s right–tonight, Critical Missives is proud to present our own version of the Razzies! It’s time for…

THE CRIT MISSES!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sometimes I amuse even myself. Although skeptical readers might wonder why it took us the better part of three years to realize we had the perfect name for our own Razzies. To those readers, I can only say–hey, what’s that over there?!]

Without further ado…

 

worst-chases

WORST SET OF CHASES

The Nominees:

Age of Apocalypse Chases (Uncanny X-Men)

Bizarro Chases (Joker’s Wild)

First Marvel or DC Movie Set With No Chases (Batman V Superman)

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

age-of-apocalypse-banner

Sorry X-Folk. But the truth is, you guys managed to take a beloved chapter of X-Men history and turn it into some of the most boring Chases we’ve ever gotten. I mean, Sunfire was fine, except that was, roughly estimating, the 18th version of Sunfire we got JUST IN THAT SET!!

Wolverine was okay; Ninwashui swore up and down that Magneto was the best piece in that set, surpassing the likes of Iceman and Proteus. Then he reread Mags’s card AND LEFT HIM ENTIRELY OUT OF HIS TOP TEN.

But Colossus. Oh, sleepy, boring, crappy Colossus. Even the great Scott Porter was completely underwhelmed when he was just drooling to pull a Chase for his unboxing video and ended up with this doorstop.

Sure, Joker’s Wild gave us the walking poop-ka-bob that some folks call Bizarro Aquaman, but the truth is, most of the Bizarros are pretty good; Bizarro Joker is downright useful; and Bizarro Green Arrow is a straight Meta monster who can force your opponent to CHANGE THEIR ENTIRE STRATEGY WHEN THEY ATTACK YOU!!

And as much as it sucked that BvS didn’t have any official Chases, the Hobby Exclusive Bats and Target Exclusive Supes felt close enough to Chases anyway.

 

worst-prime-rib

WORST PRIME

The Nominees:

SFSM053B Kraven (Superior Foes of Spider-Man)

JW037B Looker (Joker’s Wild)

UXM053B Phoenix (Uncanny X-Men)

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

phoenix-2

The only upset here is that it wasn’t even that close.

Oh, you played Phoenix here? Well, she’s pretty much your whole team since she costs 250 Points, so enjoy that top dial 10 Attack. And heaven help you if your opponent has Stealth!

Phoenix is the type of tentpole that did well in, like, 2007. Unfortunately, she was created in the wrong era.

 

batman-and-robin

WORST COMIC-BOOK MOVIE

The Nominees:

Batman v Superman

Suicide Squad

X-Men: Apocalypse

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

suicide-squad-2

Wow was this bad. Batman v Superman gets killed a lot, but there were at least a few watchable scenes in that movie.

And X-Men Apocalypse had another cool(-ish) Quicksilver scene, which is more than I can say for our “winning” film.

Suicide Squad is just straight up bonkers. Not in a good way; no, it’s bonkers in more of a “What the #%$* were they thinking here?” And Will Smith was TRYING!! He was doing everything he could to charisma this movie into something watchable, but even he couldn’t save it.

I remember sitting in the theater when the group finally gears up, we’re finally (FINALLY) done with Act 1, except we’re not, because then freaking Katana shows up out of the blue for the first time in the movie seemingly so Joel Kinnaman can deliver one of the worst lines in modern movie history about her stupid sword that never really does anything.

Honestly, every scene feels like they shot the first draft of the script and then only used first takes.

This should have been so much better…

 

Okay!! Well, that’s enough for tonight! Sometime after Clix-Mas, we’ll revisit the Crit Misses and hand out a few more awards!

And remember to park it back here tomorrow night for more Clix-Mas goodness!!

 

Fast Five: The Five Worst Figures in Uncanny X-Men!!

FAST FIVE

So, we just talked about the 10 best pieces in Uncanny X-Men. But who are the worst?

Yep, we’re giving the cream of the dreck their own article today! Let’s count them down from worst to even worst-ier to most worst-est!

Wolverine Star Trek

Oh wow! So this happened once…

5. UXM006 Wolverine — 50 Points — Common: Uncanny X-Men actually doesn’t have a ton of crap. The Common slots are much better comparatively than, say, World’s Finest.

Having said that, this is not a great Wolverine. The designers tried to shove everything the character can do in the comics into a tiny, 50 Point blended drink of a dial, but it doesn’t quite taste right.

With no Willpower, no top dial reducers and a survival Trait (HEALING FACTOR: When Wolverine clears action tokens, you may heal him 1 click.) that definitely ISN’T the best there is at what it does (at most, it MIGHT go off once or twice in a game for one Click of healing at a time), this version of Logan is entirely dependent on basing someone and praying that the opposition has no way of dealing with his Combat Reflexes (such as Outwit, or, y’know, just sniping him). His 10 Attack Value is fine for his point level, but it’s still nothing to write home about.

Now, I’ve seen some chatter about his last Click, and it is a monster: Flurry with B/C/F, Battle Fury to ignore Shape Change and a 13 Attack Value! Yay!! Except you’ll rarely if ever get to it. And even if you do, that Flurry means that he better already be basing someone, otherwise he’s probably not going to survive long enough to ever use his last Click abilities.

(*Finding a way to give him JLTWS106 Wrath for 8 Points would go a long way towards fixing much of what ails this iteration of Wolverine. But his native dial on its own is not very good.)

Blockbuster

That awkward moment when you think you just made a dramatic entrance by punching through a wall but you suddenly realize that the exertion involved in doing so actually made you crap your pants.

4. UXM010 Blockbuster — 65 Points — Common: 65 Points of slow-moving molasses. He can Charge up to a (measly) three squares on his top dial (only); after that, he’s entirely dependent on the grace of friendly taxis or a TK’er.

By the time he finally gets to someone, the game could be half over. And even if you do drop everything and focus the rest of your team on getting Blockbuster where he needs to go, his 10 Attack Value still has a great chance of missing.

Honestly, I didn’t love that Wolverine we just talked about at 50 Points, but that dial was still clearly better than Blockbuster’s–for 15 LESS points.

Super_Sabre_2

3. UXM032 Super Sabre70 PointsUncommon: At 70 Points, you’re paying Secondary Attacker money for a character who’s more like a Tertiary Attacker. And that first click is just brutal: 10 Attack with Hypersonic Speed, Force Blast, a native 2 Damage and a Defense Value of just 17 with ES/D.

If you can get him down dial (not easy to do without getting him KO’d), he finally picks up some Precision Strike, but that’s about the only power on his dial that will allow you to cut though dampeners.

Basically, if you are choosing to use Super Sabre, you’re already putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Cameron_Hodge_(Earth-616)

2. UXM058 Cameron Hodge200 PointsSuper Rare: He’s got a long(-ish) dial… a couple of survivability Traits (MYSTICAL TELEPATHIC IMMUNITY: Cameron Hodge can’t be targeted by Mind Control or Penetrating/Psychic Blast.)(PHENOMENAL REPAIR RATE AND PHASING MODULE: When Cameron Hodge has two action tokens, he can use Super Senses. At the beginning of your turn, if Cameron Hodge has two action tokens, he can use Regeneration as a free action. ) that actually work… and that’s about it.

Do you want your 200 Point tentpole to start with Stealth top dial? I really don’t, unless the piece also has some sort of Traited Sidestep or something. The middle of his dial is actually somewhat useful, with a limited Charge of up to four squares and an Attack Special Power (IMPALE: Give Cameron Hodge a close action to make a close attack targeting a character within 3 squares and line of fire. Damage dealt from this attack is penetrating and the hit character may be placed in a square within 3 squares and line of fire of Cameron Hodge.) that augments his Threat Range another three squares.

But his limited mobility (his starting Movement Value is 7 and it NEVER goes higher, and since he’s a peanut base he can’t be TK’d) is a real issue, and with only 100 points left to support him, there’s very little you can do about it. The fact that he starts out as a ranged attacker with no move and attack, no Improved Targeting and only a 6 Range isn’t helping his case as a Primary Attacker, either.

If you pull a Cameron and decide to play him at some point, you really have to get comfortable living in the middle of his dial, where his mobility and damage are at their highest. But if I’m paying 200 Points for a piece, I really expect more bang for my theoretical buck.

Phoenix

Okay… gonna use Ranged Combat Expert and, uh, I’ll put everything into Attack. Again.

1. UXM053B Phoenix250 Points — Super Rare PRIME: Yup. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, I hate, hate HATED this version of Phoenix… at least in 300 Point games. In UXM Sealed, she would probably wreck face, just because most of the rest of that set is filled with little 50 Point facehuggers that she can one-shot… if she can see them, that is.

And that’s one of her main problems, especially in 300 Point Constructed. She has no Improved Targeting, so even with a native 9 Range she can be completely defeated by something as simple as basic Stealth on an opposing figure. Even Energy Shield/Deflection poses a big problem for her when she’s on her top dial, since she’s rocking just a 10 Attack.

She does have a Stop Click at the end of her dial, and she has Pulse Wave on her last two clicks along with a 19 Defense. But if you’re playing an opponent with access to Prob and/or Perplex at that point, she’s really quite beatable. Honestly, 60 Point Peggy Carter would actually be a nightmare for this piece to face.

(Yes, I know, every piece has bad matchups, but still…)

The other thing I really dislike about this piece is that her non-Prime version (UXM053A Phoenix) is 140-150 Points of bonkers fun with a dial that’s constantly changing… but you need the Prime version on your sideboard to get the most out of her. So even if you just want to play the better, funner version of this piece, you still need to get really lucky OR shell out about $50 or so just to play the A-side the way you want to. Lame.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece was originally $75-$80 right after the set came out. Most Heroclix figures depreciate a healthy amount after a month or so post-release, but Phoenix Prime has lost almost half of her value on the open market. Looks like the word is out about her dial… ]

But hey–at least her sculpt is pretty cool.