By The Numbers: A Captain America and the Avengers Preview!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberto Ty is back with a preview of the next set! Roberto’s already on to some other column ideas, so if you like what you see here, let him know in the Comments below!]

Cap Prerelease

Pre-release events for Captain American and the Avengers began Wednesday, January 22nd. The set has been largely spoiled through various unboxing videos and retail store online previews. As with any new set, the anticipation is high for new figures that will impact the Metagame. Before looking at Meta construction, most players will have the chance to test run the new figures in Sealed Pre-release events. The Sealed format offers a more level playing field for casual and competitive players alike…if the set design is balanced. While I’m sure there will be primers written in the next few days that will do a deep dive, figure by figure analysis, I prepare by taking a broader view at the numbers.

Rarity Distribution

 

Rarity # Figures
Common 17 plus 1 Prime
Uncommon 17 plus 1 Prime
Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Super Rare 17 plus 1 Prime
Chase 6 with ClixFX base
Ultra Chase 1

 

The Numbers

The following numbers are based on what has been spoiled so far. We’re still missing a handful of figures, but this small number shouldn’t impact greatly our general analysis.

Point Value Distribution

 

Point Value # Figures
150 2
125 2
100 7
95 1
90 5
85 7
75 17
70 2
65 7
60 8
55 1
50 21
45 5
40 3
35 1
30 4
25 3
20 2
15 1

 

The bulk point values for figures fall in these two values, 50 and 75 points, providing most builds the potential to field at least 3 figures on average. At the high-end is 150-point Captain Marvel and on the low-end a 15-point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. As most experienced players know, a tentpole figure doesn’t always translate to success. Low-point support pieces are just as critical and this set has many low-point characters to fill out your teams. There are 16 figures under 50 points.

Keywords and Team Abilities

 

Keyword # Figures
Avengers 29
Soldier 21
S.H.I.E.L.D. 19
Thunderbolts 19
Scientist 18
Spy 17
Masters of Evil 17
A.I.M. 11
Ruler 11

 

No surprise here, the dominant keyword for an Avengers set is Avengers, followed by Soldier, Scientist, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Spy, Masters of Evil, and A.I.M. Since Probability Control is typically in short supply, making a Named Themed Team is another way for you to manipulate the dice in your favor. Look to build an Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., Thunderbolts, Masters of Evil, or A.I.M. named theme team.

 

Team Ability # Figures
No Affiliation 32
S.H.I.E.L.D. 10
Masters of Evil 10
Avengers 8
Team Player 6
Mystics 4
Underworld 3
Power Cosmic 2
Hydra 2
Defenders 1
Spider-Man 1

 

While the Avengers keyword dominated, the team ability doesn’t top the list. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. is prevalent, thanks to all the low-cost support agents and officers. Let’s review these team abilities. Knowing what they do will help you build your sealed team quicker.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Adjacent friendly characters modify range +1. POWER: Choose an adjacent friendly character. Once this turn, the chosen character modifies its damage +1 when making a ranged attack.

Masters of Evil. Colossal Stamina.

Avengers. When this character is given a MOVE action, modify speed +1.

Team Player. Wild Card. Uncopyable.

Of these team abilities, S.H.I.E.L.D can really have a great impact on your build, especially if your team has range. So let’s look at the range breakdown next.

Range and Improved Abilities

Range # Figures
0 10
1-5 33
6 16
7 10
8 4
9 1

 

Expect the bulk of your team to have limited range. This means that if you do pull a figure with a range of 6+, set it in the pile for consideration to make your team. Characters with the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability can aid your team if your range is limited.

  • Improved Ability
# Figures
  • Movement: Hindering
27
  • Targeting: Hindering
19

 

Thanks to the Espionage trait, many characters have Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering. Let’s look at the dominant traits next.

Traits

 

☆ Trait # Figures
Assembled Bolts and Masters 19
Assembled Avengers 14
Espionage 13

 

☆ Assembled Bolts and Masters. Once per turn when (name of character) 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 Ghost -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

☆ Espionage. Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, and Improved Targeting: Hindering.

☆ Assembled Avengers. Once per turn when (name of character) hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Avengers keyword, remove an action token from Iron Man -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.

I think the most impactful Trait is Espionage, primarily as a Stealth-busting option. There is a large number of characters with Stealth, but thanks to this Trait I wouldn’t build around it.

Team Mobility: Flight and Telekinesis

 

Team Mobility # Figures
Flight 19*
Telekinesis 3
*051 Moonstone has flight, but Passenger: 0.

 

The ability to move your team can often be the difference in a victory or a loss. In this set, there are 19 characters with flight, with only 18 being able to carry. I would, therefore, value flight characters and automatically put them in the pile for consideration when building my sealed team.

The other method for moving your teammates is Telekinesis. Unfortunately this power is in short supply with only 3 characters possessing the power.

Indomitable and Willpower

INDOMITABLE
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 4
Rare 3
Super Rare 8
Chase 3
Ultra Chase 1
TOTAL 22
WILLPOWER
Rarity # Figures
Common 3
Uncommon 1
Rare 1
Chase 1
TOTAL 6

 

The ability to perform an action in consecutive turns without taking pushing damage can be a difference maker. Indomitable is more prevalent in the Super Rare rarity while Willpower isn’t too common a special power at all. If you pull a Super Rare or higher, chances are you’re playing it. Therefore if you do find a lower rarity character with either Indomitable or Willpower, you just might put the figure in your consideration pile.

Powers

A little programming note before we breakdown the powers for movement, attack, defense, and damage. If a power is included in a special power, then I listed it as that power and not under the special power breakdown. For example, if a special damage power provided Shape Change then I listed it under Shape Change and not under the special. In evaluating the powers, I considered the starting clicks and not later clicks. While later-dial powers are a consideration when building your force, most of the time these are tiebreakers evaluations.

Movement

 

Power # Figures
Running Shot 27
Stealth 25
Charge 21
Sidestep 17
Phasing / Teleport 5
Mind Control 3
Hypersonic Speed 2
Plasticity 2
Force Blast 2
Flurry 1
Leap / Climb 1
Earthbound / Neutralized 1

 

As discussed earlier, the Espionage trait provides many characters with Stealth, but they also neutralize that power through their Improved Targeting: Hindering. I wouldn’t build round Stealth in sealed.

Next is Running Shot. With the bulk of characters having 5 or less range, look for Running Shot characters that have 6+ range to include on your build.

Both Charge and Sidestep see a good representation in this set, coming in at 18 and 15 figures respectively.

Looking at the higher quantities is one way to evaluate the figures to include on your team. Another is to look at the small numbers on powerful abilities like Hypersonic Speed. With only 2 figures, pulling a Hypersonic Speed character for your team gives you a mobility advantage other players might not have.

Attack

 

Attack Value # Figures
14 1
12 10
11 42
10 20
9 3
Attack Power # Figures
Precision Strike 14
Penetrating / Psychic Blast 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Explosion 10
Super Strength 7
Blades, Claws, and Fangs 7
Quake 7
Incapacitate 5
Telekinesis 3
Pulse Wave 1
Steal Energy 1

 

The majority of figures have an 11 or 10 attack, which is common in modern. Some of the attack powers like, Precision Strike, will be better evaluated when we look at the defensive powers. Certainly both Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast will be strong against higher rarity tent poles that are more likely to have better defenses.

Defense

 

Defense Value # Figures
19 1
18 39
17 35
16 2
Defense Power # Figures
Toughness 13
Impervious 11
Invincible 11
SPECIAL 10
Energy Shield Deflection 9
Combat Reflexes 9
Invulnerability 9
Super Senses 8
Mastermind 7
Willpower 6
STOP 5
Defend 3
Barrier 3
Regeneration 1

 

18 and 17 defenses are the most common. With 11 being the most common attack value, there is a 58.3% chance of hitting. See the probability chart below.

 

PROBABILITY CHART*
Defense
Attack 19 18 17 16
12 58.3 72.2 83.3 91.7
11 41.7 58.3 72.2 83.3
10 27.8 41.7 58.3 72.2
9 16.7 27.8 41.7 58.3
* Probability chart courtesy of Ninwashui

 

Damage

 

Damage Value # Figures
5 1
4 18
3 41
2 12
1 6
Damage Power # Figures
SPECIAL 17
Leadership 17
Outwit 16
Perplex 12
Shape Change 11
Probability Control 8
Exploit Weakness 5
Empower 5
Close Combat Expert 4
Battle Fury 3
Enhancement 3
Ranged Combat Expert 1

 

Because of the low-cost of many figures in this set, many teams will have 4 or more characters on their team. Leadership will be critical and thankfully there’s plenty of it. With few characters having PROTECTED: Outwit (either from a special trait/power or the Power Cosmic team ability), Outwit is a must include on your team. Other common support powers, like Perplex and Probability Control, will also be an auto-includes, but look for other less common powers that enhance damage, like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability to help your team to victory.

When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield

Breaking the set down to numbers is allows you to look at the set broadly without studying every figure for your pre-release. We get a sense of what to expect and can quickly evaluate figures for our team builds. Some key takeaways are:

  1. Leadership. Chances are you’ll have more than 3 characters on your team, you’ll need leadership to increase your action total by 1 in a standard 300-point build. Good chance you’ll pull a character with Leadership.
  2. Mobility. You’ll want to have flyers. You’ll need to taxi your team, right?
  3. Range. Ranges of 1-5 is common. Look for 6+ to gain an edge.
  4. Move and Attack. Running Shot, Charge, and Sidestep dominate. Hypersonic Speed would give you the edge, but highly unlikely you’ll land 1 of the 2 characters with it.
  5. Outwit. You’d better include it on your build. There’s a lot of it so you know your opponent will be doing the same.
  6. Perplex. Not prevalent enough to guarantee that you’ll pull a character with it. Look for other means to modify your stats with powers like Empower, Enhancement, or the S.H.I.E.L.D. team ability. But if you do manage to get a character with it, you better include it on your team. Just a look at the probability chart and you’ll easily see how modifying values will greatly increase your victory chances.
  7. Probability Control. Always useful to have, just hard to come by. Look to build a named theme team to get access to it. Plenty of Avengers keyword in this set.
  8. Precision Strike and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. These two powers are always good to have. So when you pull them, put these figures in the strong consideration pile for your team.

 

What’s Next?

While I would love to do a detailed breakdown of figures before the release in a few weeks, it’s unlikely I’ll have the time. However, look for more game recap articles that will hopefully give you insight into what’s really working in this set. After all, what’s good on paper isn’t always good in practice.

Good luck and have fun at your Pre-release and Release events!

2019 Critical Review: Colossal Retaliators!! (Or, The Tenth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! Next, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far! We revisited our Simply The Best series for Night 7! Two nights ago we listed three licensed properties we’d love to see Clix’d! And yesterday we tracked the history of MCU movie setsand the one piece from Marvel’s movies that hasn’t been made yet… ]

Welcome to Night Ten of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, 2019!

Once again… it’s Roberto Ty!

Having 2020 Vision

Time for another year end critical review. Like the previous article on call-in figures, we’re looking at retaliators that survives rotation. Previously, I suggested that the time to sell your was now and while that still holds true, the retaliators have fewer options going forward. You may have to keep them until just before Nationals.

The Colossal Retaliator Sequence

For newer players, a typical sequence for colossal retaliation looks like this:

  1. Colossal Retaliators are played on their final retaliation click (the last click before KO). They are low-cost figures that add utility to teams.
  2. An opponent damages a teammate or attacks a retaliator (assuming he doesn’t kill the retaliator) and this triggers a Colossal Retaliation.
  3. On your turn, you can retaliate against the attacker through the Colossal Retaliation ability, provided that character is still on the map. The retaliation ability varies from figure to figure and may have additional benefits and conditions.

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye…Like Really, Really, Really Hard

The list of retiring retaliators are:

  1. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl
  2. 25-point AIG009P Jakar
  3. 15-point AIG017P Giganto & Namor
  4. 20-point AIG025P Groot
  5. 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl
  6. 25-point TMTG001P Surtur
  7. 20-point TMTG003P Groot
  8. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage
  9. 15-point TMTG005P Ms. Marvel
  10. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog
  11. 20-point TMTG007P Frost Giant
  12. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus
  13. 35-point WKM17-G001P Dormammu
  14. 15-point WKMP17-001P Giant-Man
  15. 30-point WKD17-G001P Titano
  16. 25-point WKDP17-001P Sinestro
  17. 20-point WKDP18-001P Starro
  18. 15-point EWG001P The Skyscraper Wonder Woman

We go from 26 colossal retaliators to 8. While it’s better to sell before rotation, can you make a deep run at Nationals without these retaliators?

The OG

With limited options going forward, we need to evaluate which retaliators to keep. 

Value Factors

 

  • Keywords. Due to their low cost, multiple retaliators are used to increase the roll for map initiative on theme teams.

 

  • Bystanders. Retaliators that generate bystanders are valuable. Bystanders can be used to tie up an opponent or as fodder to trigger a retaliation.

 

  • Abilities. Beyond retaliation, does the character bring additional qualities like Leadership, Outwit, Perplex, Poison, Probability Control, or Telekinesis to a team?
  • Defense. Can the retaliator survive? Most retaliators have hittable defenses. The better retaliators have ways to evade or reduce damage.

 

 

 

Tier I (MVP)

 

Groot Colossal.jpg

20-POINT AIG025P GROOT

Hands down, Groot is the MVP of retaliators. His value isn’t solely from his retaliation, but from his other abilities. He has a 3 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION special power with 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 17 defense, and Leadership with 3 damage. On paper, his combat values seem average. So let’s look at his abilities:

(☆ TRAIT) ORIGIN: BEFORE THE GUARDIANS: If Groot is part of a Guardians of the Galaxy themed team, he has PROTECTED: Outwit this game. Otherwise, he modifies his attack and defense +1 this game.

(☆ TRAIT) PUNY MORTALS, WE WILL CRUSH YOU LIKE AN INSECT: At the beginning of the game, you may generate a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander in an opponent’s starting area that’s friendly to their force. If you do, generate two Walking Wood bystanders. // Whenever Groot hits one or more characters with an attack, after resolutions generate a Walking Wood bystander (maximum 5 on the map).

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Groot or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Groot such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Groot began the game on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

His value can be summed up as follows:

  1. 11 attack (10 printed +1 from his trait) and 18 defense (17 printed +1 from his trait).
  2. Leadership.
  3. Generates a Dr. Leslie Evans bystander for the opponent’s team and you get two Walking Woods.

When we survey the Cosmic-keyword characters that have Leadership, there are very few. It makes Groot that much more valuable to Cosmic theme teams. While giving your opponent a Dr. Leslie Evans can work against you, the trade off to get two Walking Woods is worth the exchange. Let’s look at these bystanders.

AIG025BTA Dr. Leslie Evans. The good doctor has Stealth with 5 movement, 8 attack, I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT! special power with 15 defense, and Outwit with 1 damage. His special reads:

I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GROOT!: When attacked by a Groot or Walking Wood, Dr. Leslie Evans modifies his defense +3.

AIG025BTB Walking Wood. The Walking Wood has ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL special power with 4 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 3 damage. Its special reads:

ALL TIMBER IS UNDER MY CONTROL: Flurry, Plasticity, Sidestep.

You can see why the trade off is worth it. Walking Woods are formidable attackers and can tie up your opponents. If your opponent attacks and kills them, it would trigger a retaliation.

 

Tier II (The Real Retaliators)

 

Mangog.jpg

1. 30-point TMTG006P Mangog

Surtur.jpg

2. 30-POINT TMTG006P MANGOG

I rank Mangog slightly higher than Surtur because of his damage potential, higher defense, and the Cosmic keyword. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, Sidestep with 5 movement, Super Strength with 10 attack, IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 19 defense, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL special power with 4 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) PULL THE ODINSWORD: POWER: Once per game, if Mangog completely occupies an opponent’s starting area and hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, turn his dial to the next starting line higher than his current starting line, and that becomes his new starting line and point value.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) IMPERVIOUS COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Impervious. If Mangog began the game on the 30-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MULTI-POWERED TAIL: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Mangog or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Mangog such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire, then do so. Hit characters are each dealt 4 damage instead of normal damage. After resolutions, make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.

Mangog’s playability is really high. I considered placing him in Tier I, but ultimately decided to keep the attackers together in Tier II. To breakdown his value:

  1. With only a 10 printed attack, you’ll want to have Perplex handy before retaliating. Perplex his attack to an 11. Twelve would be better. You don’t want to miss so make sure you have Probability Control too.
  2. When he hits, he deals 4 damage to the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares and line of fire. After resolutions, he can make a close attack targeting each opposing character within 2 squares and line of fire. When he hits, he deals another 3 damage. 
    1. Be careful positioning Mangog for his retaliation. While he can use colossal reach 3 squares, you may want to actually be in closer because the second attack targets characters within 2 squares. Position him strategically for maximum carnage!
  3. Power Cosmic team ability gives him Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  4. A 19 defense with Impervious! Most retaliators don’t have values so good. This gives him survivability to pull off his trait.
  5. Finally, don’t sleep on his trait. If he hasn’t been moved or placed by another friendly character this game, he can take a POWER action to PULL THE ODINSWORD when he fully occupies an opponent’s starting area. When he pulls the sword, he can be healed to his next starting line at 150 points. That’s value!

25-POINT TMTG001P SURTUR

Surtur has the following keywords: Asgardian, Deity, Monster, and Ruler. Because the monster keyword is strong right now, Surtur makes the list of retaliators to keep until rotation. He has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 8 range with a single target, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN special power with 6 movement, 12 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM special power with 3 damage. His trait and special powers read:

(☆ TRAIT) VULNERABLE TO COLD: Characters that can use Incapacitate modify their damage by +1 when attacking Surtur.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WATCH THE WORLD BURN: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Surtur or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Surtur such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then do so. After resolutions, deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Surtur began the game on the 25-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM: Opposing characters can’t use defense powers if they are the only target of Surtur’s attack.

Most likely, you’ll find Surtur on Monster teams. If you provide him some protection, he’s a fierce retaliator:

  1. He has the Power Cosmic team ability, which will give him PROTECTED: Outwit and Willpower.
  2. He has a 12 attack.
  3. Before retaliating, I would Perplex up damage. His first attack against the attacker deals his normal damage. His TWILIGHT, SWORD OF DOOM power will get around pesky defense powers.
  4. After hitting, he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character within 2 squares. 
  5. Like Mangog, you’ll want to pay attention to placement. Always retaliate from 2 squares away. 

 

Tier III (Honorable Mentions)

The last tier, I won’t spend too review in-depth because I feel these are judgement calls and will depend more on your play preference. Notice that they all have the same point value.

Carnage.jpg

1. 10-point TMTG004P Carnage

Flora Colossus 2.jpg

2. 10-point TMTG008P Flora Colossus

GG1.jpg GG

3. 10-point AIG001-10 Giant-Girl and 10-point FFAIG001P Giant-Girl

 

10-POINT TMTG004P CARNAGE

With the Monster-keyword, Carnage will see play. When he retaliates, after attacking he can generate a Symbiote bystander adjacent to the target. He doesn’t need to hit to produce the Symbiote.

TMTG004BT Symbiote. Plasticity with 6 movement. Blades/Claws/Fangs with an 11 attack, Super Senses with 16 defense, and Shape Change with 2 damage.

 

10-POINT TMTG008P FLORA COLOSSUS

Flora is a low-cost addition to cosmic theme teams and is used to increase your map roll. She can heal past her starting line. At the end of your turn, roll a d6. On a result of 5–6: Heal 1 click. If she occupyies water terrain, Heal 2 clicks.

 

10-POINT AIG001-10 GIANT-GIRL AND 10-POINT FFAIG001P GIANT-GIRL

Giant-Girl is low-cost retaliator that helps Avengers theme teams win map roll. She’ll be relevant in 2020 when we get more Avengers. The AIG001-10 Giant-Girl does not have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters. When she KO’s an opposing character, roll a d6 and heal half the result. She can heal past her starting line. The FFAIG001P Giant-Girl has Colossal Indifference. Her value comes from her ability to use Colossal Retaliation even if another character used retaliated that turn. You’ll want to use her retaliation last.

 

New Year, New Wave

Heading into the new year, here’s the new wave of retaliators, post-rotation:

  1. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  2. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus
  3. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  4. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  5. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  6. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  7. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm
  8. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

It’s a short list. Let’s take a look at these eight.

 

Tier I

  1. 30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix
  2. 30-point WKMP18-G001P Tri-Sentinel
  3. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  4. 25-point XDPSG023BP Storm

 

DP

30-point XDPSG020P Dark Phoenix

I debated on who should be crowned number one in Tier I. Ultimately I gave the crown to the Hellfire Queen who later was infected by the Phoenix Force and became Dark Phoenix. Does she deserve top bill? Let’s find out.

Dark Phoenix has the Cosmic, Hellfire Club, Phoenix Force, and X-Men keywords. She has the Power Cosmic team ability and has 10 range with 3 targets, flight, Sidestep with 9 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS special power with 11 attack, SPECKS OF DUST TO ME special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) FEEDING ON LIFE FORCES: When Dark Phoenix KO’s an opposing character, or an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, after resolutions heal her 1 click. She may heal past her starting lines this way but can’t be healed in any other way.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CHILD OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Dark Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Dark Phoenix such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so also targeting all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. Hit characters are given an action token and each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) SPECKS OF DUST TO ME: STOP. Impervious.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. All her keywords are great to build around, specifically Cosmic and X-Men.
  2. Power Cosmic team ability provides her Willpower and PROTECTED: Outwit.
  3. Incredible 10 range with 3 targets.
  4. 11 attack value.
  5. While her defense value is only 17, she has Impervious to help reduce damage to 0.
  6. Her retaliation will target the attacker and all other characters (friendly or opposing) within 3 squares. So be careful placing her for retaliation! When she hits, she deals 2 penetrating damage instead of her normal damage.
  7. She doesn’t have Colossal Indifference and can attack smaller characters.
  8. Now for why she’s number one. When she KO’s an opposing character or when an opposing character takes 4 or more damage from her attack, she can heal 1 click and can heal past her starting line. Let me break this down:
    1. Perplex her damage to 4 (she has 3 printed) before she retaliates. In many games, I also Perplex her defense.
    2. Early in a match, the penetrating damage from her retaliation isn’t enough to heal unless you are targeting bystanders or other low-cost figures.
    3. Finally it’s been ruled that Dark Phoenix heals 1 click when she deals 4 damage and another click for a KO’d character. So by Perplexing her damage to 4 before the retaliation, you can place her, attack, and deal penetrating damage. Then hit with a normal attack for 4 damage to heal 1 click. If you manage to KO a character then you can heal her 1 more click.
    4. One other thing to consider is if you heal her 1 click, she loses her Colossal Retaliation power and Impervious (she gains Invulnerability). Her defense does go up to an 18, but if you paid attention to my advice, she’ll actually be a 19 defense if you Perplexed her up beforehand.

 

Tri.jpg

30-POINT WKMP18-G001P TRI-SENTINEL

As a 30-point investment, Tri-Sentinel brings a lot to a team. He has 9 range with 3 targets, flight, THE PRIME DIRECTIVE special power with 8 movement, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO special power with a 10 attack, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with 18 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(+) IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.

(☆ TRAIT) MYSTICAL WARDINGS: Energy Shield/Deflection. Tri-Sentinel has PROTECTED: Mind Control. When Tri-Sentinel is dealt penetrating damage by an opposing character, after resolutions heal it 1 click.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) THE PRIME DIRECTIVE: Plasticity, Sidestep. When Tri-Sentinel destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that was adjacent to one or more destroyed pieces.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: WHEN NOTHING LESS THAN GENOCIDE WILL DO: FREE: If no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Tri-Sentinel or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Tri-Sentinel such that it can target the chosen character using Pulse Wave at no cost, then do so. After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within 3 squares.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. Toughness. If Tri-Sentinel began the game on the 30-point starting line, it can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. Excellent keywords: Hellfire Club, Mystical, Robot, and Sentinel. We initially saw him on Mystical teams (alongside Sheriff Strange, Earth X Daredevil, Alex Wilder, and Black Adam), but thanks to the X-Men Animated Series set, we’ll see him on Robot or Sentinel teams.
  2. Used strategically on a map with blocking terrain, he has IMPROVED MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through.
  3. Incredible reach. He can Sidestep and make a ranged attack of 9 squares—an 11-square reach.
  4. MYSTICAL WARDINGS trait makes him worth his 30-points. Its benefits are:
    1. Energy Shield/Deflection. He goes from an 18 defense to a 20 against ranged attacks.
    2. PROTECTED: Mind Control.
    3. But the most important part of this trait is that when he destroys one or more pieces of blocking terrain, after resolutions he deals 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that is adjacent to one or more pieces he destroyed.

Let’s break down the final part of MYSTICAL WARDINGS. He deals 1 penetrating damage to opposing characters adjacent to one or more pieces of blocking terrain that he destroyed. He’s essentially doing damage to opposing characters by destroying blocking terrain through:

  1. His Improved Movement.
  2. A Range Destroy action.
  3. His Colossal Retaliation special. The important thing to note is that he retaliates with a Pulse Wave that destroys all blocking squares within 3 squares. So first he deals his damage from Pulse Wave then after resolutions he’s dealing 1 penetrating to each opposing character that is adjacent to one of more of the destroyed pieces. Incredible!

You can see why he’ll be a major retaliator going forward, especially on a map with lots of blocking terrain. Commonly used maps with him are Star Trek’s Underground Map (though this will rotate out next year) and ROC Hedge Maze. The Underground map is indoors and provides him protection because of limited sight lines. The outdoor Hedge Maze map has lots of blocking terrain and is difficult to maneuver for non-flyers while he can target them with his great size.

 

Colossus Prime.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

Juggernaut Colossus is a Giant with the X-Men team ability. He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(+) MOVEMENT: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through. This character can move through squares adjacent to or occupied by opposing characters without stopping, and automatically breaks away, even if adjacent to a character than can use Plasticity.

(☆ TRAIT) FLYING DEBRIS: When Colossus uses Charge, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character that’s adjacent to one or more debris markers he created this turn.

COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Colossus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. If that character is within the same row or column as Colossus, place Colossus adjacent to that character and make a close combat attack targeting all characters in the rows or columns between where Colossus began this action and his current square, regardless of adjacency. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with either the 5-point WKMDOFP-003 Colossus Wanted Poster or 5-point WKMVID-011 Colossus headmaster ID card.
  2. Colossus is a Giant, but can attack smaller characters because he doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. He can use Charge, destroying blocking along the way, and for every character that is adjacent to a piece of terrain he destroyed, he deals them 1 penetrating damage.
  4. He can Charge (moving 4 squares) and use Giant Reach to target characters within 2 squares, and then Quake on an 11 attack.
  5. His retaliation can target several characters. When he hits, he deals 2 penetrating damage for each character.

 

Storm colossal.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG023BP STORM

Ororo has been possessed by Shadow King and has the Deity, Monster, Ruler, and X-Men keywords. Since she is being controlled by Amahl Farouk, she doesn’t have the X-Men team ability. She has 8 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Precision Strike with 11 attack, THIS NEW HOST PLEASE ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT special power with an 18 defense, and 2 damage. Her abilities are:

(+) TARGETING: Lines of fire drawn by this character are not blocked by characters. This character can make ranged attacks while adjacent to opposing characters. (May target adjacent or nonadjacent opposing characters.)

(☆ TRAIT) SUMMON A VORTEX OF WIND: Energy Shield/Deflection. // FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.

(☆ TRAIT) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MIND WARP: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Storm or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Storm such that she can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. If she hit, after resolutions she can use Mind Control at no cost as RANGE, modifying attack +3, to target the hit character and up to two others (within range and line of fire).

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) THIS NEW HOST PLEASES ME, I WOULDN’T WANT TO LOSE IT: STOP.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a standard-size character with the Colossal Retaliation power, she can attack characters of any size since she doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  2. Her attack value is 11 while her damage is only 2. The second part of her retaliation allows her to use Mind Control at no cost. When she does, her attack is modified by +3 and she can target the hit character along with two others that are within her range and line of fire.

Tier II (Call-In Help)

These Tier II retaliators may be included on the main force, but also as call-in figures. For more on call-in figures, read my earlier article 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures.

  1. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto
  4. 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman

As we look at the Tier II list, I will only review the retaliators that have not been covered previously.

 

25-POINT XDPSG017BP COLOSSUS

See the Tier I Colossus review above.

 

Phoenix Rachel.jpg

25-POINT XDPSG010P PHOENIX

Phoenix’s keywords are Cosmic, Excalibur, Phoenix Force, Starjammers, and X-Men. Easy to include on Cosmic and X-Men teams, she has the Power Cosmic and X-Men team abilities. Her range is an incredible 10 with 3 targets and she has Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE with 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) COSMIC ENTITY: Phoenix can’t be the target of an attack with more than one target.

(☆ TRAIT) ETERNAL FLAME OF DESTRUCTION AND REBIRTH: Energy Shield/Deflection, Poison. When Phoenix uses Poison and an opposing character took damage from it, after resolutions choose one: heal 1 click for each opposing character damaged this way -or- heal each adjacent friendly character 1 click.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. If Phoenix starts on the 25-point line, she can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Phoenix within 3 squares of the chosen character then make a ranged attack targeting that character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares, regardless of line of fire. Instead of normal damage, deal each hit character 1 penetrating damage for each action token they have. Hit targets that can use Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast modify their combat values -1 until your next turn.

Why she’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator. At 25-points she can be called in with either the 3-point WKMVID-020 Jean Grey student ID or the 5-point WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers Wanted Poster.
  2. She has Cosmic and X-Men keywords, two of the most common keywords in modern.
  3. Telekinesis. She can use Telekinesis to place a special object on another figure so that they can equip it on the first turn. Or she can use it to position another teammate.
  4. Poison. As a call-in, she can be placed adjacent to an opponent and use her Poison before retaliating.
  5. Her retaliation targets the attacker and all other opposing characters within 3 squares. When she hits, she does 1 penetrating damage for each action token on the hit target.

For an 8-point investment in two ID cards, I just might have two of her on the sideline.

 

Mags Colossal

25-POINT XDPSG015P MAGNETO

The leader of the mutant resistance will retaliate against his oppressors! While he’s a 2×2 base, Magneto is a standard-size character. He has the Brotherhood of Mutants team ability, an 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with an 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) THE FORCE OF MAGNETISM IS AT MY COMMAND: Leadership. FREE: Choose a character within range and line of fire. Place that character in a square adjacent to its current square.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM: FREE: If no other friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Magneto or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Magneto such that he can make a ranged attack targeting the chosen character then do so.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 5-point WKMDOFP-006 Magneto Wanted Poster.
  2. Magneto can attack characters of any size. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference.
  3. Telekinesis. Like Phoenix, he will be used to TK equipment objects to teammates or place friendly characters.
  4. Leadership.
  5. The other significant part of his trait is that he can choose a character within his range and line of fire to move them into an adjacent square from its current square. Note that this works for friendly or opposing characters. You could use TK to place your teammate and then move them an additional square.
  6. His keywords: Acolytes, Brotherhood of Mutants, Hellfire Club, and Ruler. Of these he’ll likely be included Brotherhood or Ruler theme teams.

 

Iceman.jpg

15-POINT XDPSG025P ICEMAN

One of my favorite sculpts in Heroclix, Iceman has taken the ice form of Voltron! He is Colossal size and has 0 range, Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS special power with 3 damage. He has Armor, Champions, Defenders, X-Factor, and X-Men keywords along with the X-Men team ability. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT!: STOP. If Iceman started the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Iceman or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Iceman such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. After resolutions, he can immediately use Incapacitate at no cost, but may target smaller characters.

Why he’ll see play:

  1. As a call-in retaliator with the 3-point WKMVID-019 Iceman student ID.
  2. The first part of his trait gives him Blades/Claws/Fangs.
  3. The second part of his trait is interesting, but will be difficult to pull off. When he KO’s a Giant or Colossal, after resolutions, he can use Charge at no cost but only to attack another Giant or Colossal. He only Charges 3 squares (half his 5 movement rounded up) and can attack using a Colossal reach of 3 squares. Effectively it’s only a 6-square reach (3 from Charging and 3 from Colossal reach).
  4. His retaliation allows him to attack a target (don’t forget the Blades/Claws/Fangs) then after resolutions, he can use Incapacitate at no cost and can target smaller characters. What’s important to note is that he has 0 range. So the use of Incapacitate will be from a close attack.

 

Tier III

 

Proteus.jpg

1. 20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

 

20-point XDPSG004P Proteus

Proteus is a straight-forward retaliator that will find his way onto a Monster theme team. He has the Brute keyword and the Power Cosmic team ability. He starts with Improved Movement: Blocking and a 4 movement value, COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR special power with a 10 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER special power with an 18 defense, and Battle Fury with 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WARPING REALITY: Barrier, Shape Change, Smoke Cloud. Once per turn, Proteus can use Barrier as FREE or Smoke Cloud as FREE, but only to generate 2 markers. // Other characters within 3 squares can’t use Improved abilities.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: A PARALYZING FEAR: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Proteus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Proteus such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. A hit character gets 2 Fear tokens. Even if this power is lost, characters with Fear tokens must roll a d6 when making an attack, and negatively modify their attack value by half the result, then remove one Fear token.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: I DON’T KNOW BETTER: STOP. If Proteus starts on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

Proteus has average values, but his Battle Fury will help with pesky Shape Change figures. He becomes above average when you factor in his ability to use Barrier or Smoke Cloud as FREE to generate 2 markers. A fun pairing is to use two Proteus with XDPSG007E Juggernaut (who also has the Brute keyword). Juggernaut has Improved Movement: Blocking. After moving, Juggernaut can use Quake at no cost and destroys all adjacent squares of blocking. When Juggernaut destroys 3 or more squares of blocking terrain he gets to remove an action token. When he removes an action token from an effect other than clearing, he gets to heal 1 click. With two Proteus retaliators providing him barrier, Juggernaut is less dependent on a map with lots of blocking terrain and is a more effective tentpole.

 

Colossal Thoughts

A lot of teams employ an alpha strike strategy. If you plan on including retaliators on your main force, you’ll need to protect them from that first strike. That’s why I like the idea of using call-in retaliators. It’s better to concede points from the ID or Wanted Poster than the points of a retaliator. 

Retaliators aren’t just used to attack, many are used for the initiative bonus (map roll) on theme teams. Typically these are low cost figures like the 10-point Flora or Giant-Girl. Post rotation, most of the retaliators will be around 20 points. Iceman is the lowest at 15 points. But at these point levels, it makes it difficult to include these on the main force just to win the map.

Keeping these thoughts in mind, I personally lean toward building teams without main force retaliators and plan on using call-in retaliators instead in 2020.

 

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Past Presents: The 2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures! (Or, the Second Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Two of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! Yesterday, we reviewed the ground rules; today, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty!]

Over the Hill club

Little Known Fact: For a time, Wizkids toyed with Call-In cards for pieces from Undead

2019 Critical Review: Call-In Figures

by Roberto Ty

Having 2020 Vision

As 2019 closes, I thought this would be a good time to look at the best ID Call-In figures in Heroclix for 2020. Quicker than a Thanos finger snap, the rotation will be upon us (most likely in July) and the value of your tightly-held meta pieces will drop faster than Thor’s Hammer on a Frost Giant. The time to sell is now, but can you really make a Nationals run without these ID cards?

The Call-In Sequence

Deadpool ID.jpg

But first, let’s start at the beginning. For newer players, a typical call-in sequence looks like this:

  1. A friendly character (the summoner) uses a POWER action for the Call-In Help ability from the ID card. Your opponent scores the ID card.
    1. Call-In Help – Friendly characters have “POWER: If no other friendly characters have been given this same action this turn and this character is equal or more points than the ID character, place the ID character adjacent, then remove this ID card from the game and your opponent scores it. The ID character returns to your Sideline: at the beginning of your next turn, immediately if no square it occupies is within 5 squares of this character, or it is removed from the map by another effect. ID characters can’t: be carried, be equipped, be given DOUBLE POWER actions, replace, or be replaced. ID characters can be KO’d.
    2. Note the restrictions: The Call-In figure must remain within 5 squares of the summoner. The Call-In cannot be Carried, use Equipment, or be given DOUBLE POWER actions.
  2. In most Meta encounters, typically a team will have Perplex (or multiple Perplexes) at the ready to modify attack and/or damage on the Call-In figure.
  3. Call-in would perform a POWER action.
  4. Ideally, the Call-in would then be removed from the map to prevent being KO’d and scored by the opponent. This is done by moving the call-in 6 squares away from the summoner through Sidestep or Telekinesis. Not always possible though. 

It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

Alright, with the basic rules and strategies for Call-Ins covered, the top ID Cards and Call-In figures to rotate out in 2020 are:

  1. TIER I
    1. XXSXID-020 Jean Grey ID (5 points) and 60-point XXS065E Jean Grey
    2. XXSXID-018 Cyclops ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS052E Cyclops
    3. XXSXID-025 Wolverine ID (5 points) and 50-point XXS053E Wolverine
    4. WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn ID (5 points) and 60-point HQ049 Harley Quinn
  2. TIER II
    1. 50-point XXS037AE Professor X and 50-point XXS037BE Professor X
    2. XXSXID-010 Chamber ID (3 points) and 70-point XXS041 Chamber
    3. XXSXID-004 Rusty ID (3 points) and 50-point FFXXS005 Rusty
    4. XXSXID-012 Jubilee ID (3 points) and 50-point XXS026 Jubilee

While this list of retiring ID cards and call-in figures isn’t comprehensive, I focused on the most used cards and Call-In Figures. Let’s look forward to 2020 and the changing landscape of call-in figures.

The Future of Call-In Figures

We go from 43 ID Cards and Wanted Posters to just 18 after rotation. How many are usable? We need to evaluate what abilities the post-rotation call-in figures bring.

ID / WANTED POSTER PTS INSPIRATION / INTIMIDATION OTHER IDENTITIES
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 5 Blades/Claws/Fangs Logan, Old Man Logan, Colonel Logan
WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 5 Exploit Weakness Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite
WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 5 Charge
WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 5 Running Shot Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 5 Penetrating/Psychic Blast
WKMVID-011 Colossus 5 Impervious
WKMVID-012 Professor X 5 Shape Change
WKMVID-013 Banshee 5 When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.
WKMVID-014 Rogue 5 Steal Energy
WKMVID-015 Psylocke 5 Exploit Weakness
WKMVID-016 Angel 3 No Inspiration Archangel
WKMVID-017 Beast 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-018 Cyclops 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-019 Iceman 3 No Inspiration
WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 3 No Inspiration Marvel Girl, Phoenix
WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 5 Exploit Weakness Dr. Harleen Quinzel
WKDCID-009 The Joker 5 Perplex
WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze 5 Incapacitate
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 5 Poison, Smoke Cloud
WKDCID-012 Two-Face 5 Probability Control Harvey Dent

FIGURE 1 | Post-rotation ID cards, point cost, and their Inspiration or Intimidation.

The Call-In Value Proposition

In deciding on ID cards and Call-In options, the goal is to look for value. I like figures around 50-points. At this point cost, the Call-In Help ability can be used by a lower cost support figure. While a higher cost Call-In sometimes has better combat values, its higher cost requires a figure of equal value to call it in. This means that a POWER action is being used by a primary attacker just to call in another attacker. It’s a bad two-for-one tradeoff. Still, you may find value in a higher cost Call-In, depending on its abilities. I just don’t like the value proposition.

Now not all Call-In figures are for attacking. You can supplement utility powers in your Build by calling-in characters with support powers like Perplex, Telekinesis, Support, Outwit, Enhancement, Empower, Probability Control, etc.

Furthermore, you not only have to evaluate what the Call-In brings, but whether or not the piece itself is a liability. Can you protect it from being scored? Can you remove it from the map through Sidestep or Telekinesis? 

Since most ID cards are scored once they’re used, you need to factor these things into your evaluation. Points matter and you don’t want to concede them easily.

With that said, ID cards are prevalent because of the high value proposition for a low point investment (3-5 points).

Wanted Posters

The Wanted Posters differ from ID cards because of the Bounty mechanic, which reads:

Bounty: When an opposing character hits this ID character, immediately return it to your sideline and, after resolutions, heal the attacking character 1 click. If this ID character is returned at the beginning of your next turn, heal the character that used “Call In Help” 1 click.

Because of this mechanic, you may opt to use a higher-cost Call-In, hoping your opponent can’t hit. If the Call-In survives, then you can heal the summoner 1 click on your next turn. To me, it’s risky. I don’t want to concede any points and would prefer to just “poof” the Call-In. 

Let’s look at some low-cost options for the Wanted Posters. I won’t review every possible Call-In, but instead recommend what I think is the best option.

Wolvie Wanted poster

WKMDOFP-001 WOLVERINE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Blades/Claws/Fangs

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point WKM19-003 Wolverine

 

  • 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine (OUR PICK!)

 

 

  1. 70-point WCR001E Wolverine
  2. 70-point WCR101E Wolverine
  3. 75-point WCR107 Wolverine

The best options are 50-point FFXDPS001E Wolverine and 50-point XDPS001 Wolverine.

FFXDPS001E Wolverine. Wolverine has Improved Movement: Hindering, TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE special power with 8 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His value is in his Special Movement Power:

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) TELL CYCLOPS I MADE HIS CAR A CONVERTIBLE: Charge, Flurry.

50-point XDPS001 Wolverine. While Wolverine’s damage isn’t as good (no Flurry), he does brings value with his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE NOSE KNOWS, BUB: Opposing characters within 3 squares can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

This stealth-busting, Shape Change-denying Wolverine has Charge with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with an incredible 12 attack, Toughness with 18 defense and 2 damage. I ranked him lower than the Fast Forces version, but remember that you can list multiple options for each ID/Wanted Poster. You just need to declare which one you’re using at the beginning of the game.

Kate Pryde

WKMDOFP-002 KATE PRYDE WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Other Identities: Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, Ariel, Sprite

Call-In Options:

 

  • 60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WKMP18-006 Shadowcat

60-point or 40-point WCR003 Kitty Pryde. Kitty can be used as a 60-point or a 40-point call-in. The only changes in combat values are her attack (11 to 10) and her defense (18 to 17).

With 0 range and only Sidestep, she’ll need to be close to attack. Her real value comes from her trait:

(☆ TRAIT) LOCKHEED: FREE: Once per game, generate a Lockheed Bystander.

Lockheed is the main threat. He has 5 range with a single target, Running Shot with 8 movement, Energy Explosion with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with a 17 defense, and 1 damage. Kitty is called in, Sidesteps, and generates Lockheed. Lockheed uses Running Shot and targets an opponent 5 squares away with Energy Explosion. That’s a 12-square reach (2 from Kitty’s Sidestep, 1 form being placed adjacent, 4 from Running Shot, and 5 from range). You’ll always use Energy Explosion because of his 1 printed damage. By using Energy Explosion that damage becomes 2.

ENERGY EXPLOSION RANGE: Make a range attack, and all other characters adjacent to an original target also become targets. Hit characters are dealt 2 damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus.jpg

WKMDOFP-003 COLOSSUS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Charge

Call-In Options:

    1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus

 

  • 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus. Colossus is a Giant Colossal Retaliator without Colossal Indifference. This means he can attack smaller characters normally and not just by Colossal Retaliation. Colossus has:

+ Improved Movement: This character can move through Blocking terrain. Immediately after movement resolves, destroy all Blocking terrain moved through. This character can move through squares adjacent to or occupied by opposing characters without stopping, and automatically breaks away, even if adjacent to a character than can use Plasticity. 

He has Charge with 7 movement, Quake with 11 attack, Impervious with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: NOW, YOU FACE WRATH: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Colossus or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. If that character is within the same row or column as Colossus, place Colossus adjacent to that character and make a close combat attack targeting all characters in the rows or columns between where Colossus began this action and his current square, regardless of adjacency. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.

Colossus will be mainly as a call-in to retaliate. Because his retaliation has a condition of being in the same row or column of the opposing attacker, you’ll need to pay attention to his placement. If you do a non-retaliation attack first, it may help position Colossus for his retaliation. Bottom line: pay attention to position.

Rachel Summers ID

WKMDOFP-004 RACHEL SUMMERS WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Running Shot

Other Identities: Hound, Marvel Girl, Phoenix

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point WCR009E Rachel Summers

 

  • 25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

25-point XDPSG010P Phoenix. Between the two, Phoenix call-in is the better call-in. Phoenix has Colossal Indifference and can’t attack smaller characters unless it’s through retaliation. She has 10 range with 3 targets, Phasing/Teleport with 10 movement, Telekinesis with 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE special power with a 16 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM with 3 damage. Phoenix’s traits are:

(☆ TRAIT) COSMIC ENTITY: Phoenix can’t be the target of an attack with more than one target.

(☆ TRAIT) ETERNAL FLAME OF DESTRUCTION AND REBIRTH: Energy Shield/Deflection, Poison. When Phoenix uses Poison and an opposing character took damage from it, after resolutions choose one: heal 1 click for each opposing character damaged this way -or- heal each adjacent friendly character 1 click.

The first trait is situational while her second trait is Poison.

POISON: FREE: If this character hasn’t moved or been placed this turn, deal 1 damage to all adjacent opposing characters.

It’s important to note that being placed on the map from the sideline isn’t the same being moved or placed when on the map. Therefore, Phoenix can use Poison before she retaliates.

Now, let’s look at her special powers:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: STOP. If Phoenix starts on the 25-point line, she can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: PSIONIC MAELSTROM: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Phoenix or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Phoenix within 3 squares of the chosen character then make a ranged attack targeting that character and all other opposing characters within 3 squares, regardless of line of fire. Instead of normal damage, deal each hit character 1 penetrating damage for each action token they have. Hit targets that can use Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast modify their combat values -1 until your next turn.

Her retaliation is where Phoenix increases her value. She deals 1 penetrating damage for each token on each hit target! Incredibly potent if timed right.

Magneto.jpg

WKMDOFP-006 MAGNETO WANTED POSTER (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Penetrating/Psychic Blast

Call-In Options:

  1. 50-point XDPS011B Magneto
  2. 65-point XDPS100 Magneto
  3. 25-point XDPSG015P Magneto (OUR PICK!)

25-point XDPSG015P Magneto. Another fantastic colossal retaliator call-in! It’s important to note that Magneto is a standard size, even though he has a 2×2 base. He doesn’t have Colossal Indifference, which means he can make normal attacks and not just through retaliation. Magneto has 8 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, Telekinesis with 10 attack, Toughness with 18 defense, and COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM special power with 3 damage.

Let’s look at his trait:

(☆ TRAIT) THE FORCE OF MAGNETISM IS AT MY COMMAND: Leadership. FREE: Choose a character within range and line of fire. Place that character in a square adjacent to its current square.

Magneto increases his value with his Leadership. His trait also allows him to reposition one of your opponent’s characters. Now for his retaliation:

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: MASTER OF MAGNETISM: FREE: If no other friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Magneto or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Magneto such that he can make a ranged attack targeting the chosen character then do so.

His retaliation power is good, but isn’t the the main reason he will be used.

 

ID CARDS

 

colossus id

WKMVID-011 COLOSSUS ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Impervious

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point XDPS037 Colossus
  2. 25-point XDPSG017BP Colossus (OUR PICK!)
  3. 70-point WCR012E Colossus

We reviewed our Colossus pick earlier under the Wanted Posters.

Prof X ID.jpg

WKMVID-012 PROFESSOR X ID (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Shape Change

Call-In Options: Uhhhh… none, actually. There is a 100-point XDPS035 Professor X, but I don’t recommend him.

Banshee ID.jpg

WKMVID-013 BANSHEE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: When hitting with a ranged attack, after resolutions give all hit characters an action token.

Call-In Options: No options available post-rotation. 

Rogue ID.jpg

WKMVID-014 ROGUE (5 POINTS)

Inspiration: Steal Energy

Call-In Options:

    1. 50-point FFXDPS002E Rogue
    2. 60-point XDPS002 Rogue

 

  • 60-point WCR011E Rogue (OUR PICK!)

 

60-point WCR011E Rogue. Rogue has flight, Charge with 9 movement, Quake with 11 attack, SOUTHERN BELLE special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. Her combat values are on a par with the other Rogue call-ins, but it’s her trait adds additional value to make her our selection. Her abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) LET ME GIVE YOUR POWERS A SPIN FOR A WHILE, SUGAH: When Rogue hits a single opposing character with a close attack, after resolutions you may choose a standard power that character can use. Until you choose again, Rogue can use the chosen power and has the printed range value of the hit character.

(SPECIAL POWER) SOUTHERN BELLE: Invulnerability, Willpower.

True to the Rogue in the comics, when she hits she steals a standard power. In most cases, you’ll target a character with support powers like Perplex, Outwit, and Probability Control..

Psylocke ID.jpg

WKMVID-015 PSYLOCKE (5-POINTS)

Inspiration: Exploit Weakness

Call-In Options:

    1. 45-point DCXM009 Psylocke

 

  • 40-point WCR020E Psylocke (OUR PICK!)

 

40-point WCR020E Psylocke. Psylocke has Improved Movement: Hindering, 6 range with 2 targets, NINJA TRAINING special power with an 8 movement, Precision Strike with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Perplex with 2 damage. Her trait gives her Incapacitate that can disable an opponent’s attack or defense powers.

(☆ TRAIT) PSYCHIC BOW: Incapacitate. When she uses it and hits, after resolutions, choose a standard attack or defense power the hit character can use and that character can’t use that power until your next turn.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) NINJA TRAINING: Sidestep, Stealth.

Both these abilities make this Psylocke our pick. She can Sidestep, Perplex her attack up for Incapacitate, then when she hits, she can choose an attack or defense power to turn off? Yes, please! It’s a great way to get around pesky defenses! Unfortunately, she’s a Chase.

Angel ID.jpg

WKMVID-016 ANGEL (3-POINTS)

Other Identities: Archangel

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point WCR015E Angel (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point WCR105E Archangel

40-point WCR015E Angel. Angel has flight, RETURN TO EARTH special power with 10 movement, 10 attack, DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE? Special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) RETURN TO EARTH: Charge. When Angel uses it, you may choose to not half his speed. If you do, he has PASSENGER: 0

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) DO YOU NOT KNOW AN ANGEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE?: Super Senses, Willpower.

While the 80-point version of this character has a 12 movement and an 18 defense, the other stats are the same.  It’s why I recommend using the 40-point version—less risk of your opponent scoring him.

Beast ID.jpg

WKMVID-017 BEAST (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 FFXDPS003E Beast

 

  • 50 XDPS003 Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 40 WCR005E Beast (OUR PICK!)

 

 

50 XDPS003 Beast. Our first double selection. Both call-in options bring different value to a team. This Beast supplies Perplex and has Improved Movement: Elevated, Hindering, and Characters. He has Sidestep with 10 movement, 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME special power with 2 damage.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Perplex, but only to target other characters. When Beast uses it, if the target shares a keyword with him, you may instead modify the value except damage +2 or -2.

40 WCR005E Beast. Beast provides Outwit or Battle Fury to attack those pesky Shape Change characters. If he chooses Battle Fury, he modifies his combat values by +1. He has Improved Movement: Elevated Hindering and Charge with 8 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and 3 damage.

(☆ TRAIT)  LETTING THE BEAST OUT: FREE: Chose one: Outwit -or- Battle Fury and modify Beast’s combat values +1. Beast can use the chosen effect(s) until your next turn.

Cyclops ID

WKMVID-018 CYCLOPS (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

 

  • 70 XDPS013 Cyclops (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 70 WCR002E Cyclops
  2. 70 WCR102E Cyclops
  3. 75 WCR108 Cyclops

70 XDPS013 Cyclops. The first ID where we feel the pain of rotation. The post-rotation call-in options for Cyclops just can’t compare to the 50-point XXS052E Cyclops. This version has 8 range with a single target, OPTIC BEAMS special power with 10 movement, Penetrating/Psychic Blast with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and COMMANDING LEADER special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) OPTIC BEAMS: Running Shot, Force Blast.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COMMANDING LEADER: Leadership. When Cyclops use it and succeeds, after resolutions chose another friendly character that shares a keyword and has 0 action tokens. This turn, that character has “FREE: Halve speed, then Move.”

While the special movement power is nice, his damage power only benefits X-Men teams (Cyclops’ only keyword: X-Men).

Iceman ID.jpg

WKMVID-019 ICEMAN (3-POINTS

Call-In Options:

 

  • 15-point XDPSG025P Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-point WCR013E Iceman (OUR PICK!)

 

 

15-point XDPSG025P Iceman. Both Iceman options are excellent and bring different utility. This Iceman is a colossal Ice Voltron and has Charge with 5 movement, 11 attack, COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! with 17 defense, and COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT! special power with 3 damage. His abilities aret:

(☆ TRAIT) CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: ICE ROBOT!: STOP. If Iceman started the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) COLOSSAL RETALIATION: GLACIER FISTS: FREE: If no friendly character has been placed this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked Iceman or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Iceman such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character then do so. After resolutions, he can immediately use Incapacitate at no cost, but may target smaller characters.

Voltron Iceman’s trait is can potentially take out multiple colossal retaliators. While he has Colossal Indifference, his retaliation power allows him to use Incapacitate at no cost on smaller characters.

 

50-point WCR013E Iceman. Iceman has 5 range with 2 targets, Hypersonic Speed with 9 movement, 10 attack, MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT…EVENTUALLY special power with 17 defense, and 3 damage. His abilities are:

(☆ TRAIT) WATCH YOUR STEP…IT’S SLIPPERY: When Iceman hits one or more opposing characters with a range attack, choose one for all hit characters: speed -2 -or- attack -1. Hit characters modify the chosen combat value until your next turn.

(SPECIAL DEFENSE) MY ICE SLIDE WILL MELT… EVENTUALLY: Barrier, Toughness, Willpower. Whenever Iceman moves, after the resolution of each move, you may immediately place a Blocking terrain marker in a square he moved through. Remove that marker at the beginning of your next turn (even if this is lost).

Iceman’s trait and special defense increase his value. While he can only move 5 squares with his Hypersonic Speed since he must be close to the summoner, he can make a ranged attack, targeting an opponent 3 squares away (half his 5 range, rounded up). His special defense can be used strategically to place a blocking terrain in a square he moved through.

Jean Grey ID.jpg

WKMVID-020 JEAN GREY (3-POINTS)

Call-In Options:

    1. 50 XDPS014 Jean Grey
    2. 75 XDPS047 Jean Grey

 

  • 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50 FFXXS004E Jean Grey

For the XDPSG010P Phoenix call-in, refer to the review above.

harley Quinn ID

WKDCID-008 HARLEY QUINN (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Exploit Weakness.

Call-In Options:

 

  • 65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

  • 50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn (OUR PICK!)

 

 

These two Harley Quinn options don’t compare to the title character, but each one should still see play.

65-points BTAS014 Harley Quinn. Harley has 5 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Poison with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, and Outwit with 3 damage. While having no move and attack, Harley is a good secondary character that can bring a Outwit to a team.

50-points FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn. Where the other Harley brought Outwit this one supplies Perplex. She has a 5 range with two targets, Sidestep with 7 movement, Quake with 10 attack, Energy Shield/Deflection with 17 defense, and AIN’T WE THE GREATEST? special power with 2 damage.

AIN’T WE THE GREATEST?: Perplex. When Harley Quinn uses it, if she does not choose damage and targets a friendly character named Poison Ivy, Catwoman or The Joker, modify the chosen value by +2 instead.

Joker ID

WKDCID-009 THE JOKER (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Perplex

Call-In Options:

    1. 100-point WKDP18-009 The Joker

 

  • 30-point BTAS003 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

    1. 80-point BTAS042 The Joker

 

  • 75-point BTAS054 The Joker (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point FFBTAS103 The Joker

With two solid call-in options for Joker, I prefer the 30-point version. Both are worth reviewing.

30-point BTAS003 The Joker. Joker has 4 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS? special power with 10 attack, Super Senses with 17 defense, Probability Control with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL ATTACK) DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.

This Joker packs a lot of neat tricks that make him an asset beyond his Probability Control.

 

75-point BTAS054 The Joker. I always hesitate calling in higher-point figures for my opponent to potentially score, but this Joker brings Plasticity, Perplex, and Outwit. He starts with 0 range, JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG… special power with 9 movement, Blades/Claws/Fangs with 11 attack, Willpower with 18 defense, and BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY special power with 3 damage.

(SPECIAL MOVEMENT) JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS, ROBIN LAID AN EGG…: Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep.

(SPECIAL DAMAGE) BATMOBILE LOST A WHEEL, AND JOKER GOT AWAY: Outwit, Perplex. When the Joker uses either, his minimum range value is 9.

Mr Freeze ID

WKDCID-010 MR. FREEZE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Incapacitate

Call-In Options:

  1. 75-point BTAS009 Mr. Freeze
  2. 100-point BTAS022 Mr. Freeze

At these high-point levels, I can’t really recommend any.

Poison Ivy ID.jpg

WKDCID-011 POISON IVY (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Poison, Smoke Cloud

Call-In Options:

 

  • 40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 50-point BTAS031 Poison Ivy
  2. 65-point BTAS043 Poison Ivy
  3. 75-point FFBTAS104 Poison Ivy

 

40-point BTAS004 Poison Ivy. As a call-in for Perplex, Poison Ivy brings 3 range with a single target, Stealth with 8 movement, Incapacitate with 10 attack, Combat Reflexes with 17 defense, and Perplex with 1 damage.

Two Face ID

WKDCID-012 TWO-FACE (5-POINTS)

Intimidation: Probability Control

Other Identities: Harvey Dent

Call-in Options:

 

  • 55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent (OUR PICK!)

 

  1. 75-point BTAS008 Two-Face

55-point BTAS021 Harvey Dent. Harvey has nice support: the Police team ability and Probability Control. Dent has 6 range with a single target, Sidestep with 7 movement, 10 attack, Toughness with 17 defense, and Probability Control with 2 damage. He also has the Batman Ally team ability that gives him Stealth.

 

Final Call

While we don’t know all that 2020 will bring, we can assume that there won’t be too many more X-Men options. My recommendation is to practice and test which call-in options work for your play style. While I tend to use lower-cost call-in figures, you may find that a higher-point option might be the better for your team. Just remember to value and protect points! 

The chart below shows the ID cards with our call-in selections.

ID / WANTED POSTER CALL-IN
WKMDOFP-001 Wolverine 50 FFXDPS001E Wolverine

IM: Hindering, Charge, Flurry, BFC

50 XDPS001 Wolverine

Charge. Opposing within 3 can’t use Stealth or Shape Change.

WKMDOFP-002 Kate Pryde 60 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

40 WCR003 Kitty Pryde

Lockheed bystander, Running Shot w/ EE

WKMDOFP-003 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMDOFP-004 Rachel Summers 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKMDOFP-006 Magneto 25 XDPSG015P Magneto

Sidestep. TK. FREE place a character within range and line of fire in an adjacent square from its current square.

Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters.

WKMVID-011 Colossus 25 XDPSG017BP Colossus

Giant. Colossal Retaliator, can attack smaller characters. Penetrating damage.

WKMVID-012 Professor X NONE
WKMVID-013 Banshee NONE
WKMVID-014 Rogue 60 WCR011E Rogue

Flight, Charge, Quake. Can pick a standard power that a hit character can use, Rogue can use that power.

WKMVID-015 Psylocke 40 WCR020.1E Psylocke

IM: Hindering, Stealth, Precision Strike, Incapacitate. Choose attack or defense power on hit character. Hit character can’t use the chosen power.

WKMVID-016 Angel 40 WCR015E Angel

Flight, Charge.

WKMVID-017 Beast 50 XDPS003 Beast

Sidestep. IM: Elevation, Hindering, Characters. Perplex, modify +2/-2 if target shares a keyword.

40 WCR005E Beast

IM: Hindering, Elevated. Charge. Outwit or Battle Fury and +1 combat values on Beast.

WKMVID-018 Cyclops 70 XDPS013 Cyclops

8 range, RS, Force Blast, PPB.

WKMVID-019 Iceman 15 XDPSG025P Iceman

BFC trait. When Iceman KO’s a Giant/Colossal, can charge at no cost another Giant/Colossal. Colossal Retaliator, can use Incapacitate for FREE on smaller characters after retaliating resolves.

50 WCR013E Iceman

HSS, Hit Characters -2 speed or -1 attack. 1 Barrier Marker on movement path.

WKMVID-020 Jean Grey 25 XDPSG010P Phoenix

Poison. TK. Colossal Retaliator does 1 penetrating damage for each token on targets. 10 range with 3 targets.

WKDCID-008 Harley Quinn 65 BTAS014 Harley Quinn

Stealth, Outwit.

50 FFBTAS106 Harley Quinn

Sidestep, Quake, Perplex.

WKDCID-009 The Joker 30 BTAS003 The Joker

Sidestep, PC, Smoke Cloud. Free close attack on opposing in his smoke cloud, give an action token instead of normal damage.

75 BTAS054 The Joker

Charge, Plasticity, Sidestep. Outwit/Perplex with a 9 range.

WKDCID-010 Mr. Freeze NONE
WKDCID-011 Poison Ivy 40 BTAS004 Poison Ivy

Stealth, Perplex.

WKDCID-012 Two-Face 55 BTAS021 Harvey Dent

Batman Ally/Police TAs, Sidestep, PC.

And that’s all I have for tonight! Thanks for reading!

META Diary: December ROC Win-A-Map!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberto Ty is back with another META Diary including a breakdown of the team he used and the detailed planning he put into the role of every piece on his team! Roberto’s already on some other column ideas, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

By Roberto Ty

December 1, 2019

RoC November 2019.jpg

Garden City, MI — What qualifies as a great attendance for a Heroclix event? Looking at the numbers from the various ROC States Championship, a great turnout is 12 players (Michigan had 26). It’s reasonable to expect a smaller crowd for a less prestigious event like a ROC Win-A-Map. Today’s competition drew a great crowd of 13 players.

Restricted Win-A-Map

The local shop hosting the Win-A-Map prefers to run major events with restrictions. Usually they  ban Colossal Retaliators (cannot start on their lower-point retaliation-click) and ID cards along with one-man-army Uni-mind and the annoying Q Prime.

WIN-A-MAP FORMAT

  • 500-point Modern
  • Highlander Rule (Primes are primes, all other characters are considered to be silver ring)
  • Ban List: ID cards, Special Terrain, Colossal Retaliators starting on their lower-point retaliation-click, Uni-mind, and Q Prime.

After brainstorming some builds, I gravitated toward a monster team with Onslaught. There was little time to practice with Thanksgiving, but I managed to put in four hours of testing on Black Friday. I tried a couple Onslaught-based teams and a Cosmic team nested around Dark Phoenix. Woefully under-practiced and feeling my usual stress before a competitive meta event, I rolled the dice and stuck with Onslaught.

Breaking Down My Monster Mash Team

MY MONSTER TEAM
200 RE068 Barbatos
125 XDPSG006R Onslaught
50 EAX062E Captain Venom
– 5 WKMP19-S105 Nightbringer (Mandarin Ring)
75 XDPSG022R Mojo
35 RE014 Prez Rickard
– 5 WKMP19-s103 Spin (Mandarin Ring)
5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble
500

Suffering the Onslaught

Onslaught images

By now most meta players (which I’m not) have experienced just how annoyingly good Onslaught is (I have), but in case you’re not as lucky, I will highlight his abilities:

  1. (☆TRAIT) BEHIND THE SCENES: Onslaught can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.
  2. (☆TRAIT) PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.
  3. (SPECIAL ATTACK) “KILL YOU, CAIN MARKO? WHAT A SPLENDID IDEA!”: Onslaught can knock back characters that can use Charge or Combat Reflexes. // When Onslaught hits with a close attack, a hit character unequips all equipment and drops any held objects and after resolutions, Onslaught knocks back a hit character 9 squares.
  4. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) RESHAPING REALITY: Probability Control, Shape Change. When Onslaught uses Probability Control to reroll an opposing character’s attack roll and the final result is a miss, after resolutions you may place that opposing character up to 3 squares away from their current square.
  5. Improved Targeting: Hindering and Characters with nine range and three targets.
  6. Brotherhood of Mutants and X-Men Team Ability

Having seen enough of this guy in the X-Men Animated Series pre-release and release day events and in the ROC States Championship, I wanted to build around his strengths. With the format being 500-modern, I would have plenty of room to include more formidable attackers and complementary support.

The Bad Mofo

Barbatos.jpg

Barbatos is exactly that: one bad Mofo. He is the must-have of the Rebirth chases. At 100-points he is more of a secondary attacker with some unique abilities that can be useful on the right build. However, the correct move was to use him at the full 200-points as the primary attacker on my monster team. What makes him such a bad-ass:

  1. (☆TRAIT) ASSEMBLE AN ARMY OF NIGHTMARES: Friendly characters with the Monster keyword can use the Batman Enemy team ability. Friendly characters with the Dark Knights keyword can use the Batman Ally team ability.
  2. (☆TRAIT) DRAG YOU INTO THE DARK MULTIVERSE: Phasing/Teleport. Phasing/Teleport as FREE, but only to move up to 4 squares and when he does, after resolutions adjacent opposing characters have Immobile until your next turn.
  3. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) SO FALLS THE REALM OF LIGHT: Opposing characters within 6 squares that can use Outwit, Perplex or Support can use Battle Fury.
  4. Improved Targeting: Hindering
  5. Quintessence Team Ability
  6. Giant

On top click he has a 12 movement, 8 range, 12 Penetrating Psychic Blast, 19 Invincible, and 4 Damage. The idea was to free phase 4 squares, immobilize adjacent opposing characters and/or attack with Penetrating Psychic Blast. Then I could use Onslaught’s FREE Telekinesis to place him in hindering terrain for his Stealth via the Batman Ally team ability. Additionally, Barbatos gave monster keyword friendlies, the Batman Enemy team ability. With his top attack of 12, my entire team got a bump to their attack when they were adjacent to Barbatos.

The Director

aug180908__82487.1538762497

Now that I had my bad Mofo, it was time for a behind-the-scenes maestro and what better director than the Electrifyin’ Mojo? What he brings to the team:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) BEHIND THE SCENES: Mojo can’t be targeted by opposing characters 5 or more squares away.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) MORE ACTION!…RATINGS ARE DROPPING!: Whenever a character misses all targets of their attack, give Mojo a Bored token. FREE: Remove 2 Bored tokens to either place Mojo anywhere on the map -or- make an attack.
  3. (SPECIAL MOVEMENT) KEEP THE CAMERAS ON THEM!: Sidestep. When an opposing characters uses Sidestep, after resolutions Mojo may move up to 2 squares.

You can begin to see that my team doesn’t have the traditional move and attack capability (i.e. Running Shot, Hypersonic Speed, or Charge), but there’s a lot of mobility inherent to each monster’s special trait. With the prevalence of Sidestep in the game, Mojo takes incredible advantage of this fact by being able to move after the resolution of my opponent’s Sidestep. A subtle, but very effective special damage power that could help control positioning. Additionally, Mojo would help place Barbatos through his own Telekinesis. Like a good director, Mojo sets the battle scene.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Venom Cap

The minute Captain Venom was introduced, the monster keyword got a huge bump. Let’s breakdown why:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) ALIEN SYMBIOTE: Plasticity, Shape Change. Captain Venom automatically breaks away.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED: During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.
  3. (SPECIAL DAMAGE) READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES: Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.

Captain Venom is the natural leader for my monster band. He makes the generic monster keyword into a named one. This would provide me with additional sources of Probability Control through Theme Team Probability Control. It also gave me a fighting chance to win the map and gain control of the environment my team would battle on. As I mentioned in the previous Meta Diary, a good map can neutralize an advantage your opponent’s team possesses (i.e. XDPSG007 Juggernaut is incredibly weak on a map like Galador Promenade that has no blocking terrain). Captain Venom’s role wouldn’t be on the front lines, but as a commander providing the support for a victory. I decided to play him at his 50-point level, where he’s only four clicks long. My foot soldiers would have to rally around him to keep him alive. Despite his short dial, most of my opponents never thought to target him for a quick kill. This often was to my advantage because Captain Venom just needed to attack in a turn and all monster keyword friendlies would get a +1 to their attack.

The Human

Prez Rickard.jpg

In monster movies, there’s always one human that sympathizes with the monster’s plight. By playing Captain Venom at his lower point value, I was able to include my version of the human monster sympathizer: Prez Rickard. Kudos to Jose Rodrigo Rosales Guerrero, the 2016 Mexican Heroclix Champion,  for designing such a capable figure. At 35-points Prez Rickard has the best Leadership in the game. His two traits and low point cost make him an easy addition to any team:

  1. (☆ TRAIT) EVERYONE’S FAVORITE TEENAGE PRESIDENT: Prez Rickard doesn’t count for or against themed teams.
  2. (☆ TRAIT) THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICA: Leadership, but succeeds on [4-6]. When Prez Rickard uses it and succeeds, instead you may remove one action token each from any number of opposing characters. For each one removed, remove an action token from a friendly character within 6 squares. In all my games, he was well-worth his points.

Final Team Building Thoughts

The strategy would be to attack my opponent from range while not being able to be targeted at distances greater than four squares away. To further help control the battlefield, I added the following game elements:

  1. IRON AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE MAP LOCATION BONUS FROM EARTH X STAR TOWER INDOOR MAP. With only a +4 to map roll, there was a good chance I wouldn’t win map since all the teams had to be themed. Including this map location bonus meant that at the very least I could generate a Crimson Sage bystander for her Probability Control if I didn’t win the map roll. If I won map, then I would use Captain Venom’s Indomitable to POWER action in consecutive turns to roll a d6 to potentially generate a bystander (d6 result: 1-Tank, 3-Crimson Sage, or 5-Bolt).
  2. NIGHTBRINGER (MANDARIN RING). I would equip this to Captain Venom to give him Stealth and the ability to generate 2 Smoke Cloud markers for FREE.
  3. ZERO (MANDARIN RING). I would equip this to Prez Rickard to give him Barrier. He could generate 1 Barrier marker for FREE.

Swiss Rounds

Phoenix Mags.jpg

GAME 1 — My first round opponent was a regular at the venue. He thought that we were required to bring a named theme team and therefore had built an X-Men team that consisted of the Convention Exclusive WKMP19-002 Phoenix Force Magneto, which he would equip with the Red Skull’s s007 Cosmic Cube, OP WKM19-013 Wakanda Queen Storm, XDPS003 Beast, XXS053E Wolverine at the 50-point starting line, XXS007A Moira MacTaggart, ABPIS001 Reality Gem (Infinity Gem), and WKMP19-S101 Remaker (Mandarin Ring). He won map and chose X-Men Regenesis Lombard Street Outdoor Map. I generated a Crimson Sage bystander for my consolation. I chose the side with the higher elevation 3. In all my games, my first turn is usually spent using Onslaught’s and Mojo’s Telekinesis to equip the Mandarin Rings to Captain Venom and Prez Rickard. His team was pretty scary with a lot of Perplex abilities to boot. Magento would present the greatest challenge with his Running Shot 11 Movement and 8 Range with 2 Targets. He could easily get into the radius necessary to target Onslaught with a few Perplex modifications to his movement. The Storm is also a nice addition to his team because she gives Stealth to characters within three squares that share a keyword with her. Unfortunately for him, both Onslaught and Barabatos has Improved Targeting: Hindering. We both positioned conservatively at first, but once he moved his team midway I went after his Wolverine with Barbatos hitting him to his STOP click. I tried to follow that up with Onslaught’s Mind Control, but Wolverine had Battle Fury. I had to choose a different target, Storm, but failed to hit due to her defense being Perplexed up. He would try to retaliate using his Magneto, but I successfully rolled for Shape Change with Onslaught. I then would KO his Wolverine with Barbatos and move my team away from the Magneto threat. I won 50-0. Record: 1-0.

Loki.jpg

GAME 2 — Game 1 was a low-scoring affair and was proof that I hadn’t practiced enough with my team. Despite this I learned a few things that I hoped to correct in my Game 2 matchup with a well-known Clix player. He has an incredible track record locally, winning several major events and usually placing in the Top 4. Most recently he placed 2nd in the Michigan ROC States Championship. He brought a mystical swarm team in the form of TMT002 Loki with TMT002T God of Trickery that allowed him to generate two faux Lokis, TMT053A Hela, EW040 Al Jhor Dan, SWB031 Alex Wilder, RE026E Billy Batson, TMNT4024 Shredder with TMNT4024A ILLUSIONARY DOUBLE, RE014 Prez Rickard, and WKMP19-S107 Incandescence (Mandarin Ring). He was a +8 to map roll, a net of +4. I rolled a 12! Quickly looking at his team I knew that he would definitely force the action by basing me with his Lokis. They are really annoying tie-up pieces that generate more Lokis if they successfully hit their Shape Change rolls. Then if I managed to KO them, Hela would bring out a Warrior Soul in their place. After first turn positioning and equipping, the action started with his Loki basing my Onslaught. This was definitely a faux Loki and I spent a couple actions killing it, not realizing that I didn’t score the points for them. Once that was explained to me, I decided to simply avoid them. He managed to land some damage on Captain Venom and I knew I would have to carry him away with Onslaught. I really used the map to my advantage to isolate his swarming ability and placed Captain Venom in a safe location protected by a wall and Onslaught. At this point, he had moved Al Jhor Dan into position where he could choose Telekinesis through his pick-a-power ability to place Hela within 4 of Onslaught. Unfortunately, his rolls were terrible. When he needed a 5, he would roll a 4. This allowed me to come in with Barbatos and immobilize his Hela. Because of her Mystics Team Ability I didn’t necessarily feel a need to attack and instead one-shot his Alex Wilder, killing him, and because he’s a traitor figure, he was now friendly to my force. This gave me two of the following powers: Perplex, Probability Control, or Outwit, depending on the power my opponent chose that I couldn’t use. He gave me Perplex and Probability Control. This allowed me to modify Onslaught with all my Perplexes and kill Al Jhor Dan in a single shot. Win 115-0. Record: 2-0.

Thanos UC

GAME 3 — Another matchup with a well-known and highly-skilled player. Because of my low point total, I knew I had to win this game to make Top 4. His Cosmic team consisted of full-point Ultra Chase ABPI074 Thanos equipped with the Ego Gem (Infinity Gem) and ABPIS002 Time Gem (Infinity Gem), Chase CMM021 Captain Marvel with the TMTS005 Enchanted Crowbar, ABPI048 Astronomer with ABPIT006 Bearer of the Power Gem, ABPI064 Collector with ABPIT003 Bearer of the Reality Gem and ABPIS003 Power Gem (Infinity Gem), and WKD17-B003 Ape Green Lantern bystander. I win map roll. Much of the game was positioning and I knew he had excellent sources of Telekinesis in Astronomer and Collector with the Reality Gem. I would have to use the walls to prevent line of sight and use Prez Rickard’s Barrier through the Zero ring to prevent him taking a running shot with Captain Marvel. Ultimately I made a couple errors that cost me the game. The first error was not anticipating that Captain Marvel’s ability to Charge at no cost after using Running Shot was not dependent on hitting. He used Telekinesis to position Captain Marvel to Running Shot and destroy my Barrier. She then Charged on Barbatos landing a huge hit. This forced me to retreat to keep him alive. I decided to retaliate and Mind Control his Thanos to attack his own team, which I did successfully, but not enough to KO anyone. He then placed Thanos into position with Telekinesis where he could Sidestep within Onslaught’s radius. Having used Thanos only once myself, I forgot about his awesome Perplex, which essentially neutralizes PROTECTED: Outwit when he uses it on an opponent. He Perplexed Onslaught’s defense down then proceeded to Outwit my Shape Change and defense. He then modified Thanos’ damage and hit Onslaught, killing him  in one shot as last action was called. Loss 0-125. Record: 2-1. Final placement was 6 of 13 players.

Twilight of the Monsters

Progenitus.jpg

I really enjoyed my team and felt it mostly performed as I had anticipated. My strategy was sound. I do believe that if I had practiced more I could have possibly placed even higher. I forgot a few other items that could have helped my team. Particularly Mojo’s bored tokens that he accrues when any characters miss an attack, including my own team. Mojo then can remove two bored tokens to either be placed anywhere on the map or to make a close attack. I had utilized this in practice, but forgot it on my own missed attacks on game day. Overall, I’m not sure I would change much to my team since each element served a purpose and all my pieces worked well together. About the only adjustment I could make was to the equipment, but even then I thought they did well. I did forget to use normal Barrier from the Zero Ring and not just the free 1 Barrier marker. This definitely could have helped in my third game, where I could have put up a Barrier that was 2 squares deep. I would like to possibly consider adding the Pym Pocket Tank, but that would force me to either drop both Mandarin rings or the map location bonus and a ring. Overall, it wasn’t the day for Monsters, but then again you never know when they might return to rule the day.

Thanks for reading another Meta Diary installment.

META Diary: Michigan ROC State Championship!!

Danger Room Dice Masters

Right concept, wrong game. Hmmm…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We have a guest columnist today! This is a firsthand account of Southeastern Michigan Meta player Roberto Ty and his run last week at the Michigan ROC State Championship! We’re hoping to feature Roberto semi-regularly on this site, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

Michigan ROC State Championship

November 9, 2019

By Roberto Ty

Warren, MI – Twenty-six players brought a wide range of teams for the ROC Michigan State Championship at Eternal Games. There was a lot of mystery in the days leading up to this event in part due to the new Pauper format where players are restricted to using game elements of a common or uncommon rarity level. Convention exclusives and OP figures are excluded and a Highlander rule is in effect. The most impactful rule, however, was not a restriction, but rather the inclusion of the WWE Universe figures. Released only two weeks earlier, the WWE characters brought their own multiverse abilities (such as Grand Entrance) and an even greater X-Factor–the WWE Ring–to the event that rivaled the latest Pauper meta contenders from the X-Men The Animated Series: Dark Phoenix Saga set like Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs, Nimrod, and Onslaught.

 

Brotherhood Pauper

It’s A Team Decision

A month before the event, I practiced several teams to gain insight both for my final build and to become familiar with character dials. The latter became moot as WizKids made a controversial decision: players were allowed to look at the back of an opponent’s card. This would go into effect on November 6, just three days before the event.

Juggernaut Pauper

Juggernaut, The… Quite Stoppable One-Man Army

What looks good on paper (for Pauper)… maybe should just stay on paper. Nothing exemplified this more than XDPS-G007 Juggernaut. He dominated many pre-release and release events and was the one-man army that seemed likely to dominate the Pauper format…until you practiced with him. At 300-points, he may be unstoppable, but he certainly wasn’t unbeatable. And just like the comics, he is easily overwhelmed by a team… and that team didn’t even have to be the X-Men. I lost to a Star Trek team that won map roll and placed us on a map without blocking terrain. Juggernaut needs blocking terrain to win because of his two synchronous Traits:

CITY-WIDE RAMPAGE: If Juggernaut destroyed 3 or more pieces of blocking terrain during one of his actions, after resolutions remove an action token from him.

MY MUTANT BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Once per turn when an effect other than clearing removes an action token from Juggernaut, after resolutions heal him 1 click.

Juggernaut can’t win map–certainly not consistently. So I shelved him and formed a new plan.

Nimrod Animated

Nimrod and My Dice

While map matters, so does a plan. The Juggernaut practice emphasized the importance of winning map and to win map I needed a Themed Team. I gravitated toward 175-point XDPS-G003 Nimrod and supported him with XDPS011b Magneto and XDPS-G002 Sentinel Squad One or XDPS011b Magneto,  XDPS023b Sabretooth, and XDPS-G001 Sentinel. While Magneto and Sabretooth were hard to kill due to their Danger Room Construct Traits, they also didn’t have the offensive output I typically like on my builds. 

DANGER ROOM CONSTRUCT TRAIT: When Magneto makes an attack, after resolutions give him an Error token for each [1] in the attack roll (maximum 3). // If Magneto has 2 or less Error tokens, characters take a maximum of 1 damage from Magneto’s attacks, Magneto takes a maximum of 1 damage from opponent’s attacks, and he can’t be healed or chosen for Mastermind. Protected: Pulse Wave.

Using Magneto as the pilot circumvented the damage restriction and allowed Sentinel Squad One to use the pilot’s offensive values (8 range, 12 attack, and 4 damage). Despite this, I didn’t feel the team was very strong: Nimrod didn’t have a move and attack, the team was only a +3 or a +4 (depending on the build) map roll, and there was no Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control. Without these support powers, a lot was left to my dice rolls. Nimrod’s Running Comparative Evaluation Of Reference Data trait offered him additional protection when being attacked…but only if I could roll higher than my opponent. The trait reads:

RUNNING COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF REFERENCE DATA: When Nimrod is attacked and would be hit, you may roll 2d6. If your roll is equal or higher than the attacker’s attack roll, Nimrod evades that attack and after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to their printed damage value.

I didn’t roll higher than my opponent’s attack roll in my practice games. I couldn’t even roll a 1 to get Error Tokens on my Constructs either. Leaving it to chance was risky and I needed to come up with another plan.

Phoenix Rise and Fall

Rachel Summers Phoenix

More lessons on paper. On paper, I didn’t like XDPS-G010 Phoenix because she had a short dial for 175 points, only had a move and attack on her top click, and a very hittable 17 defense up close (she has Energy Shield Deflection). Even with a STOP click, I wasn’t that impressed…until I played against my friend, who used her to great effect on a non-theme team. His team had a lot of options that centered on supporting her effectiveness and her incredible 10 range. Another practice friend use the XDPS Fast Forces X-Men, which also opened my eyes on their usefulness as main force characters and not just as Call-In options. I decided to go with Phoenix, XDPS03 Beast, FFXDPS005 Gambit, and XXS007 Moira McTaggert. This build offered the ability to Perplex by +4 (+2 from Beast, +1 Moira McTaggert, +1 Phoenix), +4 Named Theme Team Probability Control, X-Men Team Ability for healing, Leadership, and decent secondary attackers. Additionally, Gambit’s trait gave the entire team Probability Control against attacks from Great Size characters. His trait:

HUNTED AND ON THE RUN: Friendly characters that are adjacent or have the X-Men keyword can use Probability Control when attacked by characters with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol].

The team proved quite effective and won a lot of the practice matches, but despite this I was hesitant after playing a 300-point modern game that was restricted to non-Marvel and non-DC characters. My build was: TREKRF028r Q, TREKOS044 Trelane, TREKBG016 Miles O’Brien, WWE012 Asuka, and WWE017 Eddie Guerrero. This team exposed me to the effectiveness of the WWE characters and it gnawed on me up to the week of the event.

Brotherhood TWO

The Return of Juggernaut in The Brotherhood of Mutants

I had a competitive Pauper event prior to the ROC that was essentially a practice run. My friend, who couldn’t attend the ROC, offered me his team, which was 100-point Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, Blob, and Amelia Vought for a Brotherhood of Mutants named theme team.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This friend was indeed our own Ninwashui.]

This team build was a hard-to -kill and point-denial team. I went 1-1, losing the first game 0-0 in a roll off and winning the second game 13-0. These results didn’t offer me the certainty I needed. In fact, going into Saturday, I found myself returning back to the Phoenix team.

Juggernaut Bitch

“I’m the Juggernaut, B****”

Game Time Decision

Be prepared. I brought my Phoenix and Brotherhood teams and it wasn’t until I filled out my build sheet that I decided to go with Juggernaut. I was seeing enough WWE characters that I was concerned that Phoenix wouldn’t be able to target them because of the WWE rules:

WWE Rules: This character can’t be the target of range attacks or Outwit if: they’re on click #1, they’re on a click with a blue click #, -or- they’ve already been targeted by a ranged attack this turn. Protected: Pulse Wave.

So, then this was my…

FINAL TEAM:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Voght
300 (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

Maps: Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns, Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map, The Mighty Thor Jotunheim Lake

Having a plan. Based on the two games I played on Thursday, I would engage my opponent primarily with Magneto and Sabretooth, forcing the action. Blob would be a tie-up piece and a tertiary attacker. Juggernaut would break grouped formations with Quake and Amelia Vought would provide him support through her Mutant Messiah trait and her special defense power, Transmute Out of Danger.

MUTANT MESSIAH: At the beginning of the game, for all characters with this trait, choose a friendly character with the Acolytes or Brotherhood of Mutants or X-Men keyword. That character can use Mastermind, but only to choose characters with this trait.

TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voghtor an adjacent friendly character would take 3 or more damage, you may give that character two action tokens to take 1 unavoidable damage instead. If you do, after resolutions you may place that character in a square adjacent to her current square.

Swiss Rounds

Giant-Girl images.jpg

GAME 1—The matchup was with a friend and judge at a local venue I play at. I actually played him at the Thursday Pauper event and beat him 13-0. This was a nice first-round pairing since it would be a fun, low-stress, and friendly match that would allow me to ease into a potentially intense, strategic-thinking kind of day. He won map roll with his Avengers team—Voyager, Hulk, Medusa, Crystal, AIM White and Red, 2 Giant-Girls, several IDs, WWE Ring, and Iron Avenger Assemble (Stark Tower Location Bonus). We did a lot of positioning for the first few turns. I initially was going to engage him with one of my Constructs, but he left his Giant-Girl partly exposed and I took advantage with Magneto’s incredible range. Knocking her out. He then called in Kitty to generate Lockheed for an Energy Explosion, which missed. The game ended 13-0. Record:1-0.

Deathstroke images.png

GAME 2—Because of my low points, I was placed at one of the lower tables and was matched up against my brother-in-law, who ran a non-theme team that consisted of ABPI010 S.H.I.E.L.D. Diplomat, RE001 Deathstroke, EAX030 The Skull, AI004 Hawkeye, AIG001-20 Giant-Girl, and HQ029 Batman. It was an atypical build and I wasn’t sure initially what the main threat was, outside of Deathstroke. I didn’t worry about The Skull’s across the map Mind Control because I knew I would win map and put us on Underground Caverns. I positioned conservatively and managed to siphon his team in the middle of the map. The blocking terrain really hindered his team and I took advantage by targeting his Giant-Girl with Magneto. I then set to work on Deathstroke and took him out in a couple turns. His team really got locked down and he wasn’t able to really make a dent in my hard-to-damage team. Record: 2-0

Onslaught images.jpg

GAME 3—My next opponent was someone I played before at the major events. He ran one of the teams that I didn’t want to see, an Onslaught team that included Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, HQ004 Big Tony, BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins, and XDPSG004p Proteus. What I feared about Onslaught was his trait:

PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. // Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.

While Juggernaut could potentially charge right in on Onslaught, it was risky if he hit his Shape Change roll. If Onslaught failed his Shape Change roll, then Ensign Crusher’s special attack power allowed Onslaught the ability to reroll it once per turn. Crusher’s power:

I GOT IT, CAPTAIN!: Once per turn, when a friendly character that’s adjacent or has the Starfleet keyword rolls for Leadership, Shape Change, Super Senses, or Impervious they may re-roll that roll.

Onslaught could then attack and get Juggernaut off his top click and his special defense power:

SHIELDED BY MY HELMET: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.

This would have made Juggernaut susceptible to Onslaught’s Mind Control. With all this in mind, we both used the first few turns to position, until I made what could have been a fatal error. He blew out a piece of blocking terrain with Magneto that allowed him to hit Juggernaut with Onslaught. I forgot to Mastermind the damage to Amelia Voght. This forced me to retreat so I could heal by destroying blocking terrain and removing an action token from Juggernaut.

My Magneto then struck back on Onslaught, getting him off his top click, which was important so that he no longer had Shape Change. He was still formidable since he now had Super Senses, which Ensign Crusher allowed him to also reroll once per turn. I knew I had to take out his support out and I largely used Juggernaut to do this with:

MASS DESTRUCTION:  Super Strength. When Juggernaut is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.

I won, killing Ensign Crusher, Big Tony, Leslie Thompkins, and Proteus. Record: 3-0.

Mirror Match

GAME 4—The Mirror Match. I faced the brother of my friend who had built our Brotherhood teams.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This was our own HypeFox!]

He initially was playing a very good Onslaught team during the week and like me, decided to go Brotherhood. I won map roll and decided to change the map to Stark Tower because I wanted to limit the amount of healing either of us could do. I took out his Amelia Voght early and thought I had gained the advantage, but he quickly turned the game around thanks to me missing the first attack with Juggernaut. This was par for the course all day unfortunately. In each of my matches, Juggernaut missed his very first attack when it would have done the most damage. I battled, but he was able to make several Impervious rolls in a row and that cost me the win. Record: 3-1.

Top 16

Wakanda images.jpg

GAME 5—This was the 8-9 matchup. I was 8th due to my low point total and my opponent was 2-2 with a lot of points. He rocked a very cool Wakanda team: FFABPI003 Shuri, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, ABPI007 Wakandan Scientist, ABPI029A Black Panther, 75 FFABPI006 Okoye, and 30 ABPI021 Ayo. He won map and chose Rebirth Metal Arena with no blocking terrain! Juggernaut would be severely handicapped and I would need to use him judiciously.

This type of team is built to take you by surprise and I was really surprised. First, Shuri’s trait:

SCIENTIST OF WAKANDA: UNIQUE MODIFIER-Friendly characters with the Wakanda keyword modify defense +1 if they are closer to your starting area than any other starting area.

We of course battled closer to his starting area. I positioned midway on the map while he placed Okoye next to the Dune Buggy for added protection. I had to be wary not to get within her full charge special power:

THE DORA MILAJE ARE FIRST TO FIGHT: Charge, but do not halve speed.

Magneto would use Ranged Combat Expert to modify his attack to a 14 so he could hit Okoye’s high defense, dealing his 1 maximum damage. He knew this would be a problem because I wasn’t going to move my team in to be swarmed. His team had a ton of Perplex on his team that could do serious damage to Juggernaut. With the ability to look at the back of the cards, I knew that Black Panther and Okoye had middle-dial Outwit, which would be dangerous if Juggernaut was knocked off his special defense power that gave him PROTECTED: Outwit.

I knew I would have to move my team around to force him to come chase me. He approached my team with Black Panther and Okoye—his main attackers—but they didn’t have the reach to get there in one turn. Next turn I moved my team away and tried to hit his support and KO them with Juggernaut, but I missed badly. Again.

He then came back with Black Panther, but made a positioning error that allowed me to pummel him with Juggernaut rolling a critical hit with a heavy object. I followed up with a range attack from Magneto. I was up 95-0 and won. Record: 4-1.

Top 8

Wesley-Crusher-3.jpg

GAME 6—My opponent was another player I knew from a local venue. I was impressed by his performance. He was a new player and it was his first major event. Despite being new, he had gone undefeated for the day. His practice and diligence was paying off. 

I knew this was going to be a difficult matchup. It was another Onslaught build, but this time it consisted of TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, XDPS023A Sabretooth, RE024 Veronica Cale, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, AIG005 Dune Buggy Special Terrain, and EAXLB-SC I Keep The Trains Running (Location Bonus).

I won map and chose Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns Indoor Map. A good portion of this game was positioning, with neither of us willing to overextend our teams to get swarmed.

I had left my Blob exposed to Onslaught’s Mind Control, which he made. He used Blob to attack Sabretooth, but missed. Since Blob wasn’t friendly to my force, he was not Immobile from his trait and rolled for a breakaway that he was successful on.

NOTHING MOVES THE BLOB: Immobile, but only if it’s not your turn. // At the end of your turn, if the Blob was not moved or placed this turn, give him a Stability token. Blob modifies defense +1 for each Stability token. When he moves or is placed, remove his Stability tokens.

He was able to kill my Amelia Voght, which put me down on points. I had to get more aggressive and kill his support with Juggernaut’s move and quake. I moved and last action was called. I made my free Quake and was able to kill off a couple of support pieces for the win. It was a low-scoring affair that I won. Record: 5-1.

Top 4

Crystal

GAME 7—This matchup was against a well-known player and former World Champion. His team was Avengers: AIG001-10 Giant-Girl, FFAIG001P Giant-Girl, ABPI012 Crystal, ABPI017 Voyager, TMT106E Hulk, ABPI030 Medusa, TMT023 Eric Masterson, FFAI001E Iron Man, TMTS001 Bloodaxe, and 5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble  (Location Bonus).

My opponent won map and placed us on Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map. As I mentioned earlier, I was worried about this match up because the build has so many options for dealing with different teams. It also has multiple ways to hurt you with free attacks either from Crystal’s free Quakes or through multiple attacks from Medusa’s Living Hair. If that weren’t enough then Hulk comes in with a 12 attack and 4 damage.

I tried to position strategically again, but in hindsight should have been more aggressive from the opening bell. I took out his Giant-Girls early, but failed to make critical attacks with Juggernaut when I needed to in order to change the outcome of the game. Once he was able to get Juggernaut off his top defense power, he quickly pressed his advantage and Outwitted his defense. Once he took out Juggernaut, it was pretty much an uphill battle for my Danger Room Constructs and Blob. I got 1 Error Token the entire game and was never ever able to deal enough damage to his team while in contrast he was whittling me down with all his free attacks. Final Record: 5-2, 4th Place Finish.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui’s design finished the day at 10-3. Not a bad record for a Meta-rich environment!]

Final Thoughts

My 4th Place was not my highest finish in a major event, but it was my highest in constructed. While the Pauper format, did introduce a variety of interesting builds, there were still clear archetypes that were followed (Avengers, Nimrod, and Onslaught). It will be interesting to see what other winning builds will show up in other states. I wouldn’t be surprised if a WWE team winds up winning. They are that good, especially in this format.

Will Pauper catch on? I hope so, it can offer a more affordable game to newer players. I still think it could use more tweaking so that we see more creative and unique builds, but overall the format reinvigorated the game from my perspective. It really was fun to sit down across a team that wasn’t Cosmic with Colossal Retaliators and equipment.

My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part TWO!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Previously, on Critical Missives, HypeFox journeyed to his local WKO to try his hand at some Sealed Meta. He made Top 8, and was just about to start his Top 8 playoff run… ]

TOP EIGHT:

versus…

Roberto Ty (@tydesign)

Superman Animated.jpg

His Team:

BTAS001A Batman — 50 Points

BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points

BTAS006 Alfred — 20 Points

BTAS022 Mr. Freeze — 100 Points 

BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points

Total = 300 Points

What Goes Down: Here we go! This was my first WKO playoff game. I know Roberto very well–he plays at my LGS, so we’ve faced off many a time.

I’m usually much more aggressive than Roberto; his turns are much more planned out than mine (to his credit). Still, looking at his lineup, I’m feeling pretty confident.

We dance for the first few turns as we line up potential Alpha Strikes. Eventually he has no choice but to go for it with Supes’s once-a-game Hypersonic Speed.

He misses. Now I’ve got him!

Except I miss. Reroll with my Robin–miss again. Yuck.

He quickly moves his Batman and Mr. Freeze up. After I take out his Alfred, his Mr. Freeze starts to go off. Eventually, Wonder Woman and my Joker fall. My Duo Flurries through his Batman, and his Supes is a bit injured.

I take out his Joker finally, and he responds by chopping through my Hawkman dial. This works to my advantage though, as I get to start on Click 1 of Hawkgirl’s dial, which give me Outwit and Hypersonic Speed.

The Outwit allows me to take away Freeze’s dampeners, and Robin lands a couple hits.

Roberto moves Freeze back. On my turn, I clear Hawkman & Hawkgirl. It’s neck and neck. Still, Freeze is now within Hypersonic range, and on my next turn I should be able to take him out, although then Superman will get a free shot on Hawkgirl (he’ll need an 8 though to do three).

I’m running through these Scenarios as Roberto contemplates his next move. And then:

“TIME! LAST ACTION!”

Doh!

Roberto’s not in a position to make an attack at that point, so it’s going to come down to points.

I’ve KO’d his Joker, Batman and Alfred for 100 Points.

Roberto has KO’d my Chase Wonder Woman and Joker for… wow. 100 Points!

That’s right! We’re going to a roll-off!

We roll at the same time, and I watch carefully as my first die comes to a stop on a 6. Yes! The second bounces for a bit before it lands on a 1. No!

Still, 7 is respectable. I look over at Roberto’s dice:

CRITICAL HIT!

Yup. He rolled two 6’s!!

I’ve lost, and Roberto is moving on.

Still, it was a hard fought battle on both sides, and Roberto deserved to move on in this tournament.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Of course, I almost screwed that up when I absent-mindedly packed up my stuff and accidentally grabbed his Superman!! Luckily, he had another one with him. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CLEANUPS, FOLKS!]

RESULT: LOSS (4-1), OUT OF TOURNAMENT

Which brings me to what I learned, and my…

TOP TEN SEALED PIECES IN BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES!!

 

Green Lantern SF.gif

10. BTAS069 Green Lantern — 70 Points — Chase: He’s a reasonably priced Taxi that morphs into your Primary Attacker just one click in.

That’s when his Flying combines with Running Shot, Pulse Wave and 3 Damage top dial–with Perplex to boot!

While his Trouble Alert Trait might entice you to keep him in your Sideline, he’s actually one of the most effective mobile attackers in the set.

He’s crunchiness against anyone sporting a yellow power and his inability to do anything against Stealth keep him from going higher on this list.

 

Joker BTAS.jpg

9. BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points — Common: Four PACKED clicks for just 30 Points, including TOP DIAL PROB!! He also offers a Special Attack Power (DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.) that essentially combines Smoke Cloud and Incapacitate.

This plays like a 50 Point dial that they inexplicably mislabeled. If you pull him, I strongly suggest you play him.

 

Hawkgirl SF.png

8. BTAS073 Hawkgirl — 50 Points — Chase: Charge and Exploit and SIX FREAKING Clicks for 50 Points is great (yeah, she has to attack first each turn or get a major penalty, but whatever). But her ability to generate up to TWO Autonomous Bird tokens with Flurry is why she’s on this list.

If you can move up someone with Empower after generating the tokens… oh boy! She can cause no end of issues for you opponents.

 

Zatanna JLU

7. BTAS061 Zatanna — 75 Points — Super Rare: Solid dial with a Perp & Prob Special plus the ability to pop out free Bats with Enhancement. See above for why useful tokens are good (okay, these Bats aren’t quite as good, but Zatanna has a better dial for Sealed than Hawkgirl).

 

Man-Bat BTAS.png

6. BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points — Super Rare: Hypersonic AND Stealth, plus some Special Super Senses shenanigans. He’s a solid attacker that can unleash some real havoc if played on the right map.

 

The_Flash SF.png

5. BTAS068 The Flash — 60 Points — Chase: Yep. Another freaking Chase. But most of them are soooo good for their points! And that’s before you look at the Meta implications of their TroubleAlert Traits.

Still, in a Sealed environment, 3 Damage top dial is good. Hypersonic Speed is great. Probability Control is priceless.

Barry Allen here gives you all three for just 60 Points.

 

Supes

4. BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points — Rare:  Sometimes, you just want to open a brick to build your team around. Well, here you go. 4 Damage top dial plus two really good Specials, especially in Sealed.

The first (I’LL BE THERE IF YOU NEED ME: Charge. Once per game, Superman can use Hypersonic Speed.) gives you a great chance at landing an Alpha Strike. The second (TAKING THE HITS MY TEAMMATES CAN’T: Leadership. Adjacent friendly characters can use Mastermind, but only to choose Superman.) can really throw a monkey wrench into your opponent’s attack plans.

 

Wonder Woman SF.jpg

3. BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points — Chase: Hypersonic Speed top dial with 3 Damage, a great Taxi ability (GIVING THE SUPER FRIENDS A RIDE IN THE INVISIBLE JET… EVEN AQUAMAN: Hypersonic Speed, [Wing Symbol], Passengers: 2. Wonder Woman may carry one same size character with [Dolphin Symbol] in addition to any other carried characters.) and an even BETTER Attack ability (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.).

Add in some Shape Change to eat up some opposing attacks and you have one of the best Sealed pieces in the set.

 

Batman BTAS.jpg

2. BTAS040 Batman — 125 — Rare: Wow! This piece will absolutely wreck opposing Primary Attackers. He’s got Outwit, TA-granted Stealth, Sidestep, Quake with a 12 (!) Attack, 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes (and remember, he’s got Stealth, so most attacks against him are going to be from Close Combat) and Indomitable, Toughness and the ability to ignore opposing Shape Change.

And that’s just his top dial.

And that’s before you add in the Batarang Equipment which gives him a FREE RANGED ATTACK EVERY TURN THAT IGNORES ALL KINDS OF STUFF ON TARGETING!!

 

Hawkman and Hawkgirl

1. BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 — Super Rare: I went on and on about this piece last time in Part One of this article. But it’s all true.

There is no more mobile attacker in the whole set. This piece also has the best survivability AND the most consistent offense of any piece in the set.

If you open this piece in a Sealed, you must build your team around it.

It’s that good.

 

Okay! Thanks for staying with us. Our next piece should be Ninwashui’s Top Ten Set Review for Batman: The Animated Series.

So we’ll see you then!!