The Ghost of Christmas Past Presents: My Three Favorite Golden Age Clix… And What I Think They Can Tell Us About the Current State of Figure Design!! (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas 2018!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 just went down right here!]

Top Ten Iron Man Figures

Okay!

Welcome to the Third Night of Clix-Mas!!

Today I’m gonna take a stroll down memory lane and look at my three favorite Golden Age Clix of All-Time and try to figure out A.) Why I like them so much and B.) If there’s something about their design that can inform us about the game as it stands today!

So, without further ado…

 

SAV

3. CW057 Sentry and Void — 300 Points — Chase:

Why This Piece: On an aesthetic and backstory level, I have always liked The Sentry. Actually, let me rephrase that. I loved Paul Jenkins initial Sentry event, where he wove The Sentry into the Marvel Universe via Forrest Gump-like flashbacks. Even Stan Lee and Wizard Magazine (the premier comics price guide and entertainment zine at the time) got in on the act.

I don’t really know what the hell Bendis was doing with The Sentry in New Avengers, but some people liked that storyline, so whatever. But even I will admit that The Siege was pretty cool.

When we got to Chaos War, Ninwashui and I were just starting to get back into Clix. Once I found out this figure existed, I knew I had to have it to complete my Sentry collection. So I was predisposed to like this piece. But there’s more to it than that. On a pure design level, Sentry and Void was a masterpiece.

Now, Heroclix has always had expensive tentpoles, including other 300 point “One Man Army” pieces. In the early days of Heroclix, high-pointed pieces were generally overpowered. As people got more sophisticated with army builds and tactical strategy, these larger point pieces sort of fell out of favor. Hell, even today there’s a post-Kyle-Rayner-WOL-LE unofficial rule that you shouldn’t try any piece in the Meta that costs more than 150 points (and Kyle has been out of rotation for a few years now).

But back in 2012, Sentry and Void was a 300 point piece that actually had teeth! Power Cosmic, the Multi-Attack ability and top dial Hypersonic Speed solved many of the issues that made other high-cost pieces not viable in the Meta. To wit:

–With Power Cosmic, “Sentroid” could not be Outwitted, so you could just about always count on being able to take the action you wanted to take on your next turn without worrying that, say, your move-and-attack power would be nullified by some 30 point support piece.

–The inherent Willpower from PC and the Multi-Attack ability went a looooong way towards keeping this piece from being hopelessly out-actioned by the opposing force, a common problem for other behemoths.

–And Hypersonic Speed and Flight meant that Sentry and the Void didn’t have any of the mobility issues that slowed other high-cost pieces.

Sentry and Void also had an interesting Trait that allowed you to sub in a different version of either The Sentry or The Void (kind of a clunky precursor to “Shifting Focus”) for additional battlefield flexibility and a mid-dial Movement Special Power (ASGARD MUST FALL: Once per game, give Sentry and Void a double power action. For the rest of the game even if this power is lost elevated terrain is considered grounded hindering terrain. Deal Sentry and Void and each character occupying elevated terrain 1 unavoidable damage.) that essentially allowed you to level the Map if you got stuck in a disadvantageous terrain position on the Map.

Having said all that, Sentry and Void did have a few weaknesses as well, beyond the obvious weakness of only having one figure make up your entire army.

–No Improved Targeting meant that despite Sentry and Void’s awesome Range (11), they still had to run up to anyone in hidden in Stealth, which could sometimes leave them in a slightly vulnerable position given that their Movement Speed was only 10, which was actually on the low-end for Hypersonic Speed figures.

–A top dial 11 Attack was fine, but hardly gamebreaking, and left Sentry and Void severely vulnerable to forces that had fielded multiple sources of Probability Control and–to a lesser extent–Perplex.

This left Sentry and Void in a spot where it was viable in the 300 point Meta, but hardly dominant.

What Can Be Learned From Sentry and Void: In an era of where it seems like even Thor is getting multiple 50 and 75-point representations, I was worried that we’d never see a serious 300 point OMA ever again. But The Might Thor set from last August and the Avengers: Infinity expansion from May brought us a lot of great high-point and Colossal figures.

Still, I think Carnage from TMT might be the closest they’ve gotten to a viable 300 point piece (the jury’s still out on 300 Point Tri-Sentinel and 300 Point Starro). I really want to see Wizkids give us a viable 300 Point piece that kind of lands right in that “Goldilocks” design sweet spot of not overpowered, not underpowered, but just right for the competitive scene.

Spectre 2

2. WF066R Spectre — 35 Points — Chase:

Why This PieceReally, this could be almost any of the KC “Tower Mode” pieces; I just chose the Spectre because he was my favorite.

But this whole series of pieces was a home run that has paid dividends over multiple sets (we seem to get new KC pieces every year as Con Exclusives, and two more showed up in last year’s “Elseworlds” expansion!).

35 Points for one Click is expensive, but his Damage Special (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.) is potentially game-altering if not dealt with promptly. He has great Defense (18 with ES/D plus the KC and Mystics TA) for his cost as well.

As a cherry on top, this is his SECOND dial; he has a whole main dial if you’d rather use him that way.

All in all, a ton of value.

What Can Be Learned From Spectre: WizKids has a history of releasing broken Chase figures (usually from the DC universe) that just oppress the Meta from the first day they’re released (Lydea Mallor; just about every Entity from WOL).

The KC Chases didn’t do that. Oh, they were powerful as hell, and certainly viable in some Meta Builds, but they weren’t “must-haves” for folks who want to play competitively (or even folks who were just trying to keep up with the Joneses at their FLGS).

I can’t think of another Sub-Theme of Chases and/or Primes that walked that “Goldilocks” tightrope of being useful and popular and yet not gamebreaking. The fact that these characters come from one of the most popular DC graphic novels of all-time also helps.

I would like to see more Chase Sub-Themes like this. Figures that are playable in so many different Builds. I pulled a Chase Raphael on a skateboard at the last Turtles release we did. Awesome! Except I haven’t really been able to find the right build to field him since then.

But if you lucked into one of the KC pieces, you were excited not just because you pulled a rare piece that was gonna be worth some money; you knew that you were going to be able to play that piece again and again and again (I can’t tell you how many “Mystical” theme teams I’ve rounded out with this Spectre. Suffice to say: a lot!).

The recent “Superfriends” Chase theme from BTAS is the closest I think Wizkids has gotten to finding another evergreen Chase/Con Ex sub-theme that excites fans, but even with those pieces most people are fielding them exclusively in their Sideboard, which can be really annoying. But that’s another discussion for another day.

Speed Demon Speeches

1. DP053A Speed Demon — 110 Points — Super Rare:

Why This PieceAnd now we come to my favorite piece of all-time! I used this guy probably more than any other piece I own. He’s the reason I still love running Sinister Syndicate teams to this day.

I’m gonna repeat myself again here, but it’s all about the design, design, DESIGN!!

Speed Demon was incredibly useful not just because of his whole dial Hypersonic Speed, but also because of his ridiculously awesome, unique Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.).

This Trait was sooooo good that I thought it would be repeated ad nauseam in the Flash set that had been announced for later that year.

Nope. They never used it again.

But that Trait was a silver bullet against so many turtle strategies and adjacency-based squads.

He was certainly beatable. Only six clicks with an average 17 Defense from range and no Outwit protection of any kind. And at 110 points, you were paying close to a Primary Attacker cost for a Secondary piece. But he was able to wreak so much havoc on the opponent’s gameplan that he was worth his points and then some.

What Can Be Learned From Speed Demon: Really, it’s that we need more creative Traits like “Speed Cyclone Uplift” in the game. I would love it if we got back to figure designs with characters that had powers that forced your opponent to adapt to on the fly (in other words, pieces that force your opponent to actually PLAY THE GAME WITH YOU), rather than pieces that are just there to facilitate the next Call-In card use.

 

Wow! I thought this subject would be 500 words and out, but I guess I got a little carried away. 1700 words later, here we are.

Who are your favorite Golden Age pieces?

Sound off in the Comments below, and then meet us back here on Monday for the Fourth Night of Clix-Mas!!

 

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Straight, With CHASEr!! (Or, 4600 Words About the Top Ten Most Effective CHASE Pieces in Heroclix Modern Age!!)

"Even consumed by my darkest demons, I have all the power of a million exploding suns. Oh, and I'm like $55 on eBay."

“Even consumed by my darkest demons, I still have all the power of a million exploding suns! Oh, and I’m like $55 on eBay.”

Hello again! We’re gonna go off the beaten path for a just a moment this week (don’t worry–the Deadpool Top Ten set review is coming soon!) with a JOINT column that takes a look at those figures that are the hardest to find, yet create the most excitement when you stumble into a store and find them buried deep inside a tall pack. We’re talking, of course, about Lone Ranger Heroclix Chases.

These weren't hard to find and they created no excitement. Wait, a whole Gravity Feed set that had just four #$@&!ng pieces? Why did they bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that's probably a wide target market. Okay, you win WizKids!

Wait, did they really make a Gravity Feed set that had just FOUR f$@&!ng pieces? Why did they even bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that was probably a wide target market. Okay WizKids, you win!

Chases, by their very nature, are usually pretty expensive. Often that’s just because of their scarcity. But occasionally, WizKids will publish a Chase figure that dominates most of the pieces it encounters and becomes significant in the Meta (or dominant in higher point games). This is our list of those pieces. We’ll tell you why we like them, we’ll create a quick and fun build featuring that piece, and we’ll let you know how much you’re going to have to invest to get each piece if you haven’t had the luck to pull one!

We give you… THE TOP TEN CHASE PIECES IN MODERN AGE!!

 

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face...

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face…

10. SLOSH059 Guardian – 207 Points: Most of the recent full sets in the current Modern Age all feature Chases that share at least one (and in a lot of cases, more) Trait or ability. The SLoSH Chase pieces were all granted one of the most Meta-baiting Traits yet (THE GROWING DARKNESS: At the beginning of the game for all friendly characters with this trait, you may remove one attached game element from an opponent’s resource and, if it is a relic, assign it to a character with this trait. At the beginning of your turn, roll 2d6 for all friendly characters with this trait. If the result is lower than the sum total of all of these characters’ click numbers, then modify all opposing characters’ combat values by -1 until your next turn.), which is ridiculous enough (in the Meta, unless the whole tourney is No Resources or Relics, at least 75% of all teams will feature something these Chases can steal), but all the SLoSH Chasers also get a special Stop Click (SPACE WARP: When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial. Guardian can use Phasing/Teleport. When he does, after actions resolve, he may immediately use Regeneration as a free action.). But Guardian here has a couple things going for him that his SLoSH Chase brethren do not have.

Firstly, he has a 9 Range with 2 Bolts, which goes great with his top dial Psychic Blast and 4 damage! Running Shot (with an 11 Movement) and Enhancement mean that he can act as a Primary Attacker, Support Piece and Taxi, all at once. Secondly, that Stop Click I mentioned? Guardian gets 2 of them! He’s the only one from the set who does–every other SLoSH piece has only one. His 207 Point cost doesn’t leave a lot of room for the rest of your force, but his Enhancement definitely helps that. And in Epic Games (400 Points or more) his versatility makes him even more valuable. Let’s see what Ninwashui’s cooked

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Not my favorite of the SLoSH Chases, but if I were forced to use him in a 300 Point army (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: You’re forced to. That’s kind of the gimmick here, genius!), I’d do this:

Team Name: Guarding Skadi

Theme: Monster

SLOSH059 Guardian 207

GG026 Mole Man47

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot 30

IIMR100 The Power Plant10

IIMR003 White Light Ring2

IIMRoo7 Matter Rearranger Ring2

IIMR009 Electro Blast Ring 2

=300

As of this writing, Mole Man is still Modern Age, so giving Guardian two actions a turn seems like a good idea to me. If you keep Skadi’s Warbot adjacent to Guardian, it can do 4 damage with Psychic Blast. 18 Defense with Super Senses makes him difficult to bring down. Even before you start messing around with rings, you have the possibility of doing 8 penetrating damage a turn between Guardian and Skadi’s Warbot (and with the Matter Rearranger ring, even Stealth shouldn’t bother your pieces too much). Throw in some abbreviated Power Plant goodness, and you’ll have an army that can compete with just about anything it might run into.  You won’t win every game, but you should at least take out a significant figure of your opponent’s army just about every time.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Actually, not much. About $15-$20.

 

"Hmmm... I think this mirror is broken!"

“Hmmm… I think this mirror is broken!”

9. IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200 Points: There’s a lot to like here. Running Shot with an 11 Attack, Energy Explosion and a standard 4 damage. This is the type of figure that’s just begging to get its hands on some Resource goodness. Hammers make the most sense, since you can team ’em with Splitlip and still have a Stark Industries Theme Team.

Also, Duo Attack is one of the best attack abilities in the game, and the fact that they have an enhanced Duo Attack Trait (TRYING TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER: When Iron Man and War Machine use the Duo attack ability, you may give them a ranged combat action instead of the second attack.) makes it even better. Even better, uh, ER, these guys are on a single base (and can therefore be TK’d)! Their other Trait (WATCH EACH OTHER’S BACKS: When Iron Man and War Machine do not have two tokens, Iron Man and War Machine can use Energy Shield/Deflection.) combines with their top dial 18 Defense with Impervious to give them at least 20 D at range (for most turns). HypeFox in particular loves these guys, and uses them every chance he gets.

 

HypeFox Says:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

As noted, I love these guys. Probably the Duo piece I’ve played the most. Heck, they’re probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Tell that to Iron Pharaoh, you jackwagon!). Our venue usually doesn’t allow resources, so I haven’t played this army exactly as written, but I definitely would like to. If you’re in an event that doesn’t allow relics or resources, sub out Bethany Cabe and the BotS for IIM002 Rescue, and you’ll be almost as deadly!”

Team NameDwarven But Deadly

Theme: Stark Industries

IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200

FI301 Splitlip – 20

IIM102 Bethany Cabe – 39

DOFPH002 Sentinel Sentry – 14

FIR100 The Book of the Skull – 6

Plus 7 Hammers (every Hammer except Greithoth’s)21

=300

Iron Man and War Machine carry Splitlip around, which pumps their ranged damage up to 5, and if they get to Duo Attack, they can do up to 9 freaking damage a turn. If you can get Hammers on both Iron Man and War Machine AND Splitlip (keep in mind, that gives IM & WM a 13 FREAKING ATTACK), you may find yourself choosing Splitlip as the ‘dial’ character most turns. Even on Click 1, the BotS dial gives Splitlip Smoke Cloud, Barrier AND Perplex to go along with his native Enhancement. Usually you’ll be dumping Splitlip 1 square behind Iron Man and War Machine so that you can slip Bethany Cabe in front of the lil’ guy and adjacent to IM & WM. This gives everyone +1 to their Defense (and with her Police Team Ability, she can make it so that Iron Man and War Machine basically only miss on a roll of 2 against characters with 17 Defense or less!). The Sentinel Sentry is really just there to round out your points and help you get out the maximum amount of Hammers quickly and to provide cover mid-game (if he’s still around) with Smoke Cloud (especially if you’ve gone beyond the Smoke Cloud clicks on the resource).

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These dudes are still popular. You don’t see more than 2 or 3 being auctioned at a time, and they still command $25-35.

 

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course...

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course…

8. DP064 Electro 90 Points: The most recent entry on this list and the best of the DeadPool Chases that just released this month. He is offense in a bottle. If left unchecked, he can take over a game real quick. What’s special about Mr. Dillion in his Zombie form here is that his Zombie Traits (ZOMBIE HUNGER: When Electro damages an opposing character, place a Food token on this card if there are less than 5 Food tokens. When Electro would be KO’d by an opponent’s attack, turn to its first KO click, remove all Food tokens from this card, and heal it that many clicks. & ZOMBIE INFECTION: When Electro damages an opposing character, give that character a Virus token if it has less than 5 Virus tokens. When an opposing character is KO’d by this character, you may add it to your force, turn to its first KO click, remove all of its Virus tokens and heal it that many clicks.) actually work perfectly with his dial. He starts out with Psychic Blast top dial and a special damage power (LIGHTNING ROD OF THE DAMNED: Electro can use Energy Explosion. When he does, he does not need a line of fire to one target within range if that character has a Virus token.) that is nearly broken when combined with everything else. Why? BECAUSE ALL OF HIS FREAKING POWERS COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER! He has top dial Running Shot with a 10 Attack Psychic Blast, 7 Range and THREE FREAKING BOLTS!! Combined with his Damage Special that we just mentioned, this means that Electro can split 3 PENTRATING Damage in up to 3 different directions, and any hit characters will splash 3 more damage onto adjacent figures! This is insane! In one attack, he could potentially fill up his “Zombie Hunger” meter! And then, he can keep pounding them with shots REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE! Just freaking insane. Lots of “Iron Pharaoh” type of potential here, and I would not be surprised to see him show up in the Meta. His ES/D gives him a 19 Defense against ranged retaliation, but even if he’s damaged to the point of being KO’d, that Zombie Hunger Trait means he’ll come right back at nearly full strength!! And we haven’t even touched on the fact that every figure he KO’s JOINS YOUR TEAM!! Or that you can’t really base him to shut him down BECAUSE HE IGNORES CHARACTERS FOR MOVEMENT!! This is a piece that could get real stupid real fast.

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Like this guy. I still have my Zombie Power Cosmic Wolverine that I think would be fun to play with this guy. For a quick, fun team, try this:

Team Name: Meat-ster Sinister

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP064 Electro – 90

DP053A Speed Demon – 110

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven – 70

IIMR100C Power Plant (with any 4 Rings plus the Electro Blast Ring) – 20

ATA090 Sinister Six x3 – 9

=299

If this doesn’t end up being the most expensive team on this list, I’ll be surprised (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Geeee, the best of the brand new crop of Chases, a brand new Super Rare that’s even rarer cuz it’s the front half of a Prime slot and a Meta-level Rare Prime. Expensive? Y’think?!). Still, lots of versatility here, Electro’s damage output starts out very strong and should only get better as the game goes on. If you want to set up a shot for him, you can use Speed Demon’s Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) to Cyclone opposing figs next to each other for maximum lightning madness. Alyosha and his pet lion are insane on their own, but with the ATA, if Alyosha can use his superior Attack value to score a couple of hits, things will be that much easier for Electro. The Power Plant is just there to fill out points effectively; you’ll probably find yourself draining rings for an emergency Outwit or +1 to all stats as much as you will find yourself using them for their native abilities. Having said that, giving Electro the “Electro Blast” ring is basically broken–which is the polite way of saying that you should do it as often as you can.

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: The word is out on Zombie Maxwell Dillon. When you can even find him, he usually starts at $55 and ends up in the $70-$80 range.

 

"We're only #7? Then how broken are the pieces ahead of us?"

“We’re only #7? Jesus, how broken are the pieces ahead of us?”

7. CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130 Points: Another HypeFox favorite, this Duo fig came out only a few months ago in the ridiculously good Captain America and the Winter Soldier Gravity Feed set. If nothing else, what have we learned so far in this article? Duo Attack is gooooood. Duo Attack that ignores damage modifiers (WORKING TOGETHER: When Captain America and Black Widow use the Duo Attack Ability, they may target more then one character with a ranged combat attack and ignore damage modifiers from the Duo Attack ability.)? Hooooo, boy! They also possess two of the best TA’s in the game (Avengers Initiative and S.H.I.E.L.D.), they occupy a single base so they can be TK’d, they have Sidestep, Precision Strike, Traited Stealth–actually, just read this before we spend another 1000 words repeating ourselves!

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Man, I know what I said last time, but I think this may be the Chase figure that I play most often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Seriously?). They’re great as is, but they get even better with the Phoenix Force!

Team Name: The Soldiers and the S.H.I.E.L.D.

Theme: Avengers.

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130

(w/ the Magik Fragment) – 3

CW039 Hawkeye 98

(w/ the Cyclops Fragment) – 3

FFCW005R Mockingbird25

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support 10

The Phoenix Force12

3 Fragments Left On 9

2 Assigned Characters6

=296

With the TA’s granted by Cap and Black Widow, Hawkeye becomes a Stealth busting machine, and even if you go up against a team that messes with resources, he can still move through Hindering Terrain without an issue. Cap and Black Widow now have access to Invuln and, more importantly, un-Outwittable Running Shot! Mockingbird pairs with Hawkeye to pump up his attack and pop off the occasional Theme Team Prob.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These two are consistently available in the $17-$22 range.

 

"Does that dude know he's in the shot?"

“Does that dude know he’s in the shot?”

 6. IM3017R Iron Man and Iron Patriot200 Points: Okay, everything we said about Iron Man and War Machine? That goes double for these guys. Another single based Duo fig, these two have even better defensive Traits than their counterparts (I’VE GOT YOUR BACK. NO, I’VE GOT YOUR BACK: Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Defend. Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use the Sharpshooter ability and may target non-adjacent characters with a ranged combat attack even when they are adjacent to an opposing character.), and their Duo Attack Trait is even better as well (THIS LONE GUNSLINGER ACT IS UNNECESSARY…YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE!: When Iron Man and Iron Patriot use Duo attack ability, each attack may use 2 targets instead of 1 target and one of their attacks may be a ranged combat action instead.). They are, in a word, sick and wrong. Which is two words, actually. But there ya go!

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

“I like this Duo better than Iron Man and War Machine. This Build is simple and fun. Enough of these Theme Teams and Resources and ATA’s–we’re keeping this as simple as possible. Here goes nuthin’!

Team Name: Leftover Parts

Theme: None

IM3017 Iron Man and Iron Patriot200

DP019B Evil DeadPool – 100

=300

Simple, right? Evil DeadPool’s only real weakness is his erratic Defense, which we’ve fixed to some degree with Iron Man and Iron Patriot’s top dial Defend. Point and shoot, basically. Then repeat. And, y’know, repeat, uh, again.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: This Duo, while more powerful than their IM3 counterparts, were not as popular. You can find them for $18-$20.

 

"Wait, I thought we were just posing!"

“Wait, I thought we were just posing!”

5. CW060R Avengers Prime300 Points: This is the biggest kitchen sink piece in the game. It’s not quite good enough to stand on its own in a 300 Point game, but in larger builds, man, these guys are TOUGH. But the main reason they’re this high on this list is their ability to take a three actions in one turn (TRIO ATTACK: Give Avengers Prime a double power action. They can be given 3 close or ranged combat actions as free actions, each targeting a single character. These free actions may be used to activate the same effect.). Yes, it’s as nuts as it sounds. But the ability to do that while holding a couple of Hammers is even crazier, as HypeFox is about to discuss:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Avengers Prime needs very little help to be competitive in Epic Games. That said, for a 400 Point game, I’d surround ’em with some Asgardian love.

Team Name: As-Whoop-ians

Theme: Asgardian

CW060R Avengers Prime300

FI301 Splitlip20

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot 10

The Book of the Skull (Complete)30

=400

You know the drill. Avengers Prime is basically carrying Splitlip after picking up a couple Hammers. You can hook the Warbots up with Hammers too if you like, but honestly they’re really just there as distractions until you can pull off a Trio Attack that will cripple your opponent’s best figures. Yes, you only get two Theme Team Probs, but with two Hammers, Avengers Prime has a 15 attack. If you’re constantly missing with a 15 Attack, I really can’t help you.

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: I’ve seen them go occasionally in the $50 range, but it’s rare. Usually you’re spending at least $65 to get them to your door.

 

"Well hello again, you mewling quim."

“Well hello again, you mewling quims.”

4. AVM211 Loki – 220 Points: Another figure we’ve talked about at length before! His ridiculous number of TA’s (Power Cosmic, Mystics and ANY COPYABLE TA’S POSSESSED BY YOUR OPPONENT’S FIGURES), Traited Toughness, 18 Defense with Super Senses AND Shape Change (dampeners are great, but Super Senses AND Shape Change is a great way to avoid having to dampen any damage), Pulse Wave with a Range of 9… and that’s before you hook him up with a Resource. He’s great in Epic games, but even in 300 Point contests, he’s not a bad fig to hang your hat on. Plus, I mean, it’s Movie Loki, and he’s holding the Tesserect! Pretty much the definition of awesome, as Ninwashui is about to discuss:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Normally I wouldn’t play a piece this expensive in a 300 Point game, but if Resources are allowed, it’s viable. Still wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket though.

Team Name: All Your Eggs in Loki’s Basket

Theme: Asgardian

AVM211 Loki220

FI301 Splitlip20

Skadi’s Warbot30

Store Clerk3

The Book of the Skull (with 7 Hammers)27

=300

Loki gets Charge and Running Shot after picking up his dual Hammers (I’d start with Mokk’s Hammer, and then have him grab Angrir’s once you start your second wave of Hammer distribution), and he can still be carried by Splitlip if you turn your lil’ dwarf into a Greithoth-powered monster (Greithoth’s Hammer grants, among other things, Giant Reach). We’ve talked about how good Skadi’s Warbot is; the Store Clerk is just there to dish out Hammers. But basically, you’re banking on a hopped-up Loki going nuts with his Running Shot, 13 Attack, 5 Damage (with Splitlip’s Enhancement) Pulse Wave (and don’t forget that you gain a Perplex from the Resource dial at the start as well).

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Loki can be found for $21 and up.

 

"Tonight on FOX--When X-Rays Go Wrong!"

“Tonight on FOX–When X-Rays Go Wrong!”

3. CW057 Sentry and Void300 Points: And now we come to someone–or someTHING–who COULD hold his own in a 300 Point game with no backup. Sentry and Void’s list of abusive powers starts with their Multiattack Trait–yes, not just Multiattack, but a Multiattack TRAIT (EMERGENT EVIL: Sentry and Void can use Multiattack ability. Give Sentry and Void a power action if it has no tokens and replace it with CW #035 Sentry or CW #045 Void on the same click number. When the replacement character would be KO’d, you may instead return this character to the map on click #10.), because Multiattack clearly isn’t good enough on its own. Then you add in top dial Hypersonic Speed, Psychic Blast, 18 Defense with Impervious and 5 native damage and, frankly, you start to feel guilty just for playing him/them/it. Sentry and Void has finished in the Top 16 of several ROC tourneys in the last year–and again, since they’re 300 Points, that means there is NO BACKUP in those games. And it was still a pretty successful piece. Pretty amazing. In larger point games, where you have extra points for a resource or relic, this piece gets downright stupid.

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This one’s an easy inclusion for me. This is one of my favorite pieces ever made, and Sentry and Void is probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: I’m not talking to you any more.). This piece is ridiculously good in Epic Games. But we’ll keep it simple:

Team Name: What About Bob?

Theme: None

CW057 Sentry and Void300

=300

You run around with Sentry and Void. You kill stuff. Then you rinse off the blood and repeat.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Sentry and Void can be yours, too! Y’know, for the low, low price of $55 to $80.00.

 

"Is it cold in here?"

“We’re sure I’m Lydea Mallor and not Lyssa Drak?”

2. SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79 Points: She’s got the same broken Trait that Guardian has, except she’s only 79 FREAKING points–the cheapest of the SLoSH Chases. Her dial without the Trait would easily be worth that investment–when you add in her ability to steal Relics right off of their Resource base, she starts to get silly. On top of that, good luck finding her with her top dial Movement Special (WRAPPED IN SHADOW: Lydea Mallor can use Smoke Cloud and Stealth. Once per turn, when Lydea Mallor occupies hindering terrain and is given a non-free action, before the action begins or after actions resolve, you may place Lydea Mallor in any square of hindering terrain within 5 squares and line of fire.). Basically, she’s the best way to spend 79 Points this side of Brother Voodoo.

At any ROC that allows Resources and Relics, you can expect her to turn up somewhere in the Top 16–probably multiple times, actually. There’s a lot of different ways you can go with her; let’s check in with Ninwashui for his way:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

She’s the most used Chase from SLoSH, that’s for sure. But I wouldn’t necessarily say she’s the best; people are just playing her as the cheapest way to acquire that Trait for their Build. Having said that, it’s hard to argue with the results she’s consistently showed at ROC tourneys across the globe.

Team Name: Smoke and Mallor

Theme: Monster

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79

ASM101 Frankencastle102

SLOSH039X Bizarro – 100

FIR100 The Book of the Skull (with 4 Hammers)18

=299 Points

Hopefully you’re able to steal a key piece from your opponent’s Resource. Either way, you’ve got a pretty balanced yet unpredictable team to go against whatever your opponent has in store for you. Bizarro, with his 3 Stop Clicks and the possibilities that his ever-spinning dial represents, can get really crazy when you start tossing him Hammers. Lydea will be hard to find until your ready for her to attack, and Frankencastle’s Leadership could work on any of these pieces. Happy hunting.

What She’ll Cost You on eBay: Lydea Mallor will run you about $60 right now.

 

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward...

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward…

1. IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110 Points: He’s stupid good. He’s been the winning figure on a winning ROC team not too long ago. He’s great with Resources, but in matches and at venues that don’t support the use of Resources… he gets even better. For those who don’t know, his Trait (GOLDEN FALCON, SHARTING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.) is what makes him so exploitable. Barrier Tech teams in the Meta generally feature either Fantomex or Iron Pharoah. Iron Pharaoh’s inherent stat-boosting Trait (FIGHT THE FUTURE: Iron Pharaoh modifies his attack and damage values by +1 when attacking a character that shares a keyword with him.) works on a LOT of the best figures in the Meta, and there’s a bunch of figures <cough>Shaman<cough> that make him even stupider to deal with. Versatility combined with overall usefulness for the points make Iron Pharaoh our #1 Chase figure in Modern Age (at least as of this writing).

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This is another of my favorite pieces in the game (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: A-HA! Finally!); I just wish I got to play him more often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Oh c’mon!!). Having said that, winning Map Choice can sometimes straight win you the game with Iron Pharaoh–the longer you make your opponent take to get to you, the easier it will be to pick him off with IP’s Golden Falcon. With that in mind, for the final Build of the article, I’m actually going to steal from myself! This army originally appeared in my look back at the Invincible Iron Man set article that ran a few weeks ago:

Team NameNo Flights, No Tights

Theme: Mystical

Map ChoiceAvX Month 1 (Wundagore Mountain)

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110

(w/Cyclops Fragment) – 3

IIM040 Shaman92

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

The Phoenix Force12

1 Assigned Character3

=300

What I wrote before: ‘This team can double Barrier to protect Iron Pharaoh while his Golden Falcon goes out and treats the map like a Seagull treats a parking lot after a big lunch. If you win Map Roll, yikes. Your opponent better have a non-flying piece equipped with Phasing/Teleport and the Carry ability–essentially, Cloak from ASM (there’s a couple others, but he’s the best). If not, he or she will have to take the long way around a freaking mountain only to be met by a double Barrier tandem who each have the Mystics TA when AND IF you can actually hit them. All the while, Iron Pharaoh will be chilling like the Boss that he is and taking pot shots of at least 5 damage (and it’s quite easy to make that even more) at your best figs after he’s Outwitted their defense. This is the definition of “a bucket of yuck” for your opponent.’

Yup! Pretty much that!”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Iron Pharaoh could have been had for about $25 awhile back. Now that he’s a Meta hero, he’ll run you about $40-$60.

 

Well then! Hope you enjoyed this look at a bunch of different armies that were all strangely built around Skadi’s Warbot some of the harder-to-acquire pieces in the game. Agree? Disagree? Hit us up in the Comment section below!

Eh… On Second Thought, What the Heck? Go Ahead and Do This, Scott!! (Or, The Build 4, Part 2!!)

"And this is just from indigestion. Imagine what'll happen when I'm really mad."

“THIS is what can happen when you ‘Imagine Dragons!'”

Welcome to Part 2 of our fourth “The Build” column! For information on the game I was building for and the thought process behind why I chose the army I did, click here.

And now that you’re all caught up, Let’s Get Fightin’!!

ROUND 1:

VERSUS: Ninwashui!

FACING:

"Oh look, my shirt's off again."

“Oh look, my shirt’s off again.”

WXM038 Legion – 119

(Assigned a Fragment)

AVX014 Magneto – 200

(Assigned a Fragment)

WXM016 Cyclops – 94

WXM045 Phoenix – 154

(Assigned a Fragment)

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=600 (Exactly! Nice job, bro!)

FIGHT!

I honestly don’t remember how Ninwashui had his Frags arranged; as it would turn out, it didn’t really matter.

We began by tying on map roll; we rerolled, and I took it. I chose the K’un Lun map. We each advanced slightly on our first turns; on turn two, I unleashed Sentry and Void and Hawkeye (with Mockingbird backing him up for the additional +1 to Attack), and Cyclops was pretty much dead in short order. Ninwa retaliated by having Legion choose good supporting powers like Perplex with his Trait (HIDDEN PERSONALITIES: Give Legion a free action and choose a standard power, then roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. He acquires a “Personality Quirk” from the table below, and uses that and the standard power until your next turn.1: “Cowardly” Legion modifies his attack value by -2.2: “Confused” Legion modifies his speed and defense values by -1.3: “Grounded” Legion can use Earthbound/Neutralized.4: “Enraged” Legion can use Battle Fury.5: “Compassionate” Immediately heal all adjacent characters 1 click.6: “Savant” Legion modifies his combat values by +1. Choose another standard power and he can also use that power.), and then he hit a Running Shot on Sentry and Void for 5 damage straight through (via her Penetrating/Psychic Blast)! Ouch! After this, though, 2 things happened.

First, I got slightly more conservative with my Sentry and Void placement. Second… poor Ninwashui never hit another roll (at least not after one of my Theme Team Probs or Scarlet Witch’s native Prob). The biggest insult to Ninwa came when he sent Legion on a Hypersonic run at Rookie Mockingbird just to pick up SOME points from the match. I believe at that point he needed a 7 to just straight up KO her; instead, he rolled yet another 3. This ended up as a 600-0 squash, which was not at all where I thought we were headed after the first couple turns.

DECISION:

600-0 Victory.

WHAT I LEARNED:

–I went to the trouble of assigning the Cyclops Fragment to Sentry and Void, and then NEVER used it the whole day. That was a major mistake. It didn’t really cost me, but it wasn’t until the whole tournament was over that I realized that I could have been using RCE IN ADDITION to the bonuses provided by the Phoenix Dial, of which I was much more mindful. Don’t know if it would have made a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I’m sure I took a few second actions with Sentry and Void’s Multi-attack where I was just firing away without using any of the RCE bonuses. Boo hiss on me.

Phoenix was potent offensively, especially in her first 3 clicks, but when she missed her Shape Change roll, Sentry and Void pretty much vaporized her over the course of the next couple turns. Her dial feels like it should be more in the 14o or so point range, which may not seem like a huge difference from the 154 she costs now, but those extra few points actually close of a lot of different build possibilities. I really like this piece, but I’ve never seen her take over a game to the extent that it seems like she should be able to (whether I was playing her or playing against her).

Legion was a real surprise for me. He was extremely useful, even if Ninwashui rolled Battle Fury about 7 out of 10 times. He’s a figure I enjoyed playing against, even if he was really hard to plan for from turn to turn.

WXM016 Cyclops is not a bad figure–he just got eaten up in this environment. For the extra six points, I’d probably prefer the Experienced AvX version, but I know Ninwashui has had terrible luck with that fig, so it didn’t surprise me that he went with a different Cyclops this month.

–200 Point AvX Magneto is good… unless he’s facing a 98 Point Chaos War Hawkeye. With the Phoenix Force slot I was starting on, Hawkeye basically had a 13 Attack, and if I could maneuver Mockingbird into a square adjacent to the one I wanted Hawkeye to end up in during a Running Shot, his attack zoomed up to a 14. This was huge in a couple games, because Magneto’s Defense is really hard to crack. It’s 18 with ES/D to start, and most people who played him gave him a Fragment and left the Colossus Fragment on the resource base, which meant that even if you hit him, Mags had access to BOTH Invuln and his native Invincible (while you can’t use two reducers at the same time, that meant that even if you Outwitted Invincible, he’d still be subtracting 2 from any non-penetrating damage). But after 3 damage, that defense drops from 18 to 16, which is much easier to touch (even with his Traited ES/D still in effect). So I had basically planned on using Hawkeye as a “bunker-buster” this tournament, Perplexing his Damage to 4 and hitting Mags for 2 on Hawkeye’s first attack and 2 more on his second in any game where I saw Buckethead. Didn’t QUITE work out that way this game (ending up targeting Cyclops first), but Hawkeye was still a straight beast. As the build total went up each month, Hawkeye only got better. His Wildcard TA (Spider-Man) meant that his effectiveness would grow as his supporting cast grew. In this build, AvX Scarlet Witch gave him Mystics TA on my opponent’s turns and IM3 Tony Stark gave him Avengers Initiative, one of the best TA’s in the game, which essentially let him target Stealthed figures.

"Eat $#!%, Green Arrow."

“Eat $#!%, Green Arrow. If anyone deserves a show on the CW, it’s–wait, the CW? I don’t want a show on the CW! You know what? Eat you heart out, Oliver.”

All in all, CW039 Hawkeye was pound-for-pound my best performer in Month 4. He’s a 5-Star figure on HCRealms, and he was worth every point I spent to play him. He’s that rare figure who’s really damn good in a multitude of point builds.

ROUND 2:

VERSUS: A (Venue Regular–see below!)

FACING:

Shiny Happy Avengers.

Shiny Happy Avengers.

M10A009 Iron Man – 225

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

(Assigned a Fragment)

AvX003 Thor – 200

(Assigned a Fragment)

CW039 Hawkeye – 98

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=600 (I believe that’s how Andrew had his Fragments set–if I’m wrong, I apologize Andrew. A smart man might have taken better notes, but here we are…)

FIGHT!

My second opponent is A, a regular at our venue, Comics & More, and he is a high-level player. While he’s certainly capable of putting together some killer team builds, what he really excels at in my opinion is in-game strategy–specifically, adapting what his team does best to the conditions and positioning on the battlefield. I’ve gone against him several times with what I thought (at least at the time) were better teams only to watch as he picked me apart piece by piece. He also seems to enjoy finding some of the quirkier corners of the game and is a master at using Perplex to get most of his key pieces up to absurdly high Defense levels.

I was very nervous going into this game because A had defeated me with a similar version of this team (he added Hawkeye and the resource, and powered down Scarlet Witch from 75 to 50 Points) in Month 3. I just did not know what I was going to do about M10 Iron Man–I had been praying that I wouldn’t play against one, as both my main AND secondary attacker were using Phoenix Fragments.

I seem to recall that A won Map Roll; regardless of who did, we ended up fighting on the surface of the Moon. A brought his fully powered M10 Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye to the center of the map, setting Hawkeye down in Hindering Terrain. On my turn, I used “No More Mutants” to get rid of his Scarlet Witch’s Mystics TA (so that his Hawkeye couldn’t copy it anymore), then I ran my standard Hawkeye/Mockingbird play and–after Wildcarding Avengers Initiative–smacked his Hawkeye for 3, even though he was Stealthed. Sentry and Void then went to work–and missed twice, after A used up half of his Theme Team probs. Dang.

He countered back by taking out Tony Stark (bye-bye AI TA), but I came right back with Sentry and Void and used Multi-attack to finish off his Hawkeye and get a big blast in on Thor (at that point, I believe my dial had turned to the +1 to Damage, so that hit was about 6 damage straight through). Meanwhile, Mockingbird had tied up M10 Iron Man and even got a hit in with her CCE. Looking at the board, A actually used his Scarlet Witch to attack Sentry and Void–and hit! Then Thor went for the Pulse Wave against Sentry and Void. He needed an 8 at that point I believe to do 5-6 damage, which would have put Sentry and Void on one of its last clicks. He rolled the dice… and he missed! Whew.  M10 Iron Man hit his own Pulse Wave, but with both Mockingbird and Hawkeye within range, he only did 1 damage to each.

On my next turn, Sentry and Void finished off his Thor and Scarlet Witch. A took out Mockingbird, but at this point the match simply became about whittling M10 Iron Man’s Adaptive Armor (ADAPTIVE ARMOR: When Iron Man would take damage from a character assigned a relic or resource, Iron Man ignores that damage and rolls a d6. On a result of 1-3, deal Iron Man 1 unavoidable damage. This ability can’t be ignored.) down with Sentry and Void, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye. M10 Iron Man lasted FOREVER, but couldn’t really muster any offense, and eventually Andrew missed enough rolls that he was KO’d–he just got out-actioned too badly at that point since it was 3-1. Still, it took forever–A made enough rolls to really flummox my troops with that Trait for a while there.

DECISION:

600-175 (I want to say that he killed Scarlet Witch, and I know he KO’d Tony Stark and Mockingbird. So we’ll go with 175. Yes, I know, a smarter man would have taken better notes!!)

WHAT I LEARNED:

–M10 Iron Man can be dealt with even by figures assigned Resources or Relics, but you need to be EXTREMELY patient and you REALLY need to take out his supporting figs first. Just like Silver Centurion brings his own secondary attacker with his Pulse Bolt Torpedo, M10 Iron Man really sort of brings his own Support team with top dial Perplex and Mid-Dial Outwit to go with his Adaptive Armor Trait.

The scariest gently-swaying -in-the-jetstream piece in the whole tournament!

The scariest “gently-swaying -in-the-jetstream” piece in the whole tournament!

–AvX Thor is great… until he gets hit. Outwit and Pen/Psy are his main weaknesses (aren’t they everyone’s main weakness?). His attack and damage output are great, but his native defense never rises over a 17. A Psychic Blast for even 3 damage can burn through 100 Points of clicks in one hit. That’s why I like his 100 Point dial better than his 200 Point Dial, incidentally.

–A assigned the Emma Frost Fragment to the Scarlet Witch, which was very clever. Most people play the 75-Point version just for her Telekinesis; A realized he could get that TK just by paying about 6 additional Points (3 for the Fragment and 3 for assigning that Fragment to her).

–A brief note about IM3 Tony Stark. For 50 Points, just the fact that he gives you Outwit and Enhancement with 17 Defense and Willpower is pretty damn good. That he can be promoted AND the fact that he provides Avengers Initiative to all your Wildcards is just gravy. One of my favorite pieces from the IM3 set, definitely.

ROUND 3:

VERSUS: B, (another Venue regular and my nemesis from Month 2!)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Nemesis is used rather loosely here, as Comics & More is a pretty friendly environment. Just thought I’d throw that out there.)

(DEADPOOL NOTE: Regarding the Editor’s Note above:

"We've waited 2 extra days already for this recap. How about you GET ON WITH IT?!"

“We’ve waited 2 extra days already for this recap. How about you GET ON WITH IT?!”

End of DeadPool note.)

FACING:

WXM032 Bishop -140

(Assigned a Fragment)

AVX014 Magneto – 200

(Assigned a Fragment)

AVX010 Emma Frost – 125

WXM209 Jean Grey – 100

(Assigned a Fragment)

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=598 (I wish I could remember who had what Fragment; alas, this is my best guess recreation–B, if you’re reading this, go ahead and let me know what I screwed up in the Comments!)

B is another great local player who’d done well in previous AvX tourneys, so I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. His teams are usually pretty innovative, and like A, he enjoys exploring some of the weirder sides of team building. Having said that, this was a downright normal team for him, and after Map Choice was decided (he won, and we ended up back in K’un Lun), he moved his force up and sat Magneto in one of the printed Hindering Terrain squares on the first level. I countered with my “Hawkeye” bunker buster strategy and conglomerated around the other bit of printed Hindering Terrain that was just a few squares away from the one Mags was in and hit (albeit only for a small amount–only 1-2 damage) to open up the attacking, and we were off and running! On his turn, he started maneuvering the rest of his team into the fray, and I followed that by continuing to chip away at Magneto with Hawkeye and Sentry and Void. Soon I scored the KO on Mags (along with the early advantage), but it cost me Tony Stark (who I’d moved forward to counter Mags’s Invincible).

The tables started to turn my opponents way, and soon he had KO’d Scarlet Witch and Mockingbird as well, and while I had damaged just about everyone but Bishop, I hadn’t KO’d anyone else. Jean Grey was showing Support at that point, so I took her out with Sentry and Void, but it left him in a precarious position, and B. took advantage of that by plugging him for a decent chunk of damage. Eventually I managed to take out Emma Frost, but it cost me Sentry and Void when B. countered with a pretty Phoenix’d out Bishop. At that point the dial was showing +2 to all stats plus Hypersonic Speed.

The end of the game came down to Hawkeye still on first click and the Phoenix Force providing him with +2 to Attack and Hypersonic Speed, which was perfect because Bishop was down to either his last click or his second to last click, and trying to hit him from range was just asking for trouble. My opponent moved Bishop to temporary safety, and I had to move across the map to get into position for a Hypersonic strike, which I did… right as the Judge called time. As I went second to start the game, that meant that the game ended with my last move that turn. B. almost didn’t realize he had won, and announced that he was clearing Bishop. I almost had to shake him to tell him he’d won.

It was an extremely close match, and I can’t say for certain I would have come out on top even if time hadn’t ended. The way things sat, I would have needed about a 5 to KO Bishop with a close combat HSS strike (Hawkeye’s modified attack at that point was 14 while Bishop’s modified Defense was 19 (16 +2 from the resource plus resource granted Perplex +1 =19). Certainly not impossible, but not a gimme either.

I came close, but B’s team (or more accurately, his skilled play) turned out to be too much for me. He won the tourney; with about 1658 points (out of a possible 1798 or something like that), I finished 2nd, leaving me with finishes of 2, 1, 2 and 2 for the whole event. The Judge assigned Player Points to every competitor each month based on attendance, points earned and final place.

With the Month Four win, B… finished ONE Player Point behind me. It really could not have been any closer. He played a great game, had a great four months, and had he taken the top prize, he certainly would have been worthy. Congrats to him for winning the month and go home with a Phoenixbuster Iron Man (who may make some noise at a ROC–this isn’t the last you’ll here of Peanut Butter PB Iron Man).

"Hey, HypeFox--you missed me, @$$hole."

“Hey, HypeFox–you missed me, @$$hole.”

WHAT I LEARNED:

–Bishop plus the Phoenix Force is pretty damn formidable. His Trait (TIMESLIDE: Once per game, give Bishop a double power action to use Phasing/Teleport. When you do, he can use Probability Control until your next turn, and after actions resolve, you may give him a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) can completely shift the balance of power in a game if used judiciously.

–Sentry and Void is sick and wrong, especially in a Build format where he has enough points left to field a pretty good support squad. Multi-attack has been slightly nerfed in the last year or so, but it’s still so powerful that you ONLY TEND TO SEE IT ON COLOSSALS WHO ARE MORE THAN 500 POINTS! A regular fig who’s 300 even? That’s still really good. Even Dark Phoenix Cyclops at 300 Points doesn’t have Multi-attack!

–WXM Gravity Feed Jean Grey is damn good!

–Going in, I thought Emma Frost would be a pain to deal with, but she ended up being beatable every month I played her. While she could be a pest with her Mind Control and Outwit, I mostly left her alone whenever I played her until most of her teammates were gone. She didn’t wasn’t as formidable as I thought she would be going in.

And now, after four months of blood sweat and tears of playing Heroclix:

THE SPOILS:

"My Precioussss...."

“My Precioussss….”

And:

Blocky, The Forgotten Go-Bot.

Blocky, The Forgotten Go-Bot.

 

Take it easy everyone, and thanks for your patience. Back next week with some new stuff, including a final wrap-up of AvX wherein we’ll rate the best and worst pieces (now that we finally know the whole set), and keep an eye out for the Top 1o Deadpool figures, which should definitely drop before the end of the month!

I Can’t Let You Do This, Scott!! (Or, The Build 4!!)

"RIght then. Who's next?"

“WHO’S behind me? Psh. Yeah, like I’d fall for that again.”

 

Annnnnnnd, welcome back! This is the Build 4, where I run down my options for a specific game build, choose one, and then take you through how my choices turned out during the event itself! As you might have guessed from the picture above, today we’ll be talking about Avengers Versus X-Men: Month 4, where Phoenixbuster Iron Man and Dark Phoenix Cyclops will be up for grabs!!

Prep:

Okay!! Leading into the last month of AvX, I’ve finished 2nd, 1st (click here and here for Build coverage of Month 2!) and 2nd respectively at the first three AvX tourneys, so I’m in the running for the Dark Phoenix Cyclops overall grand prize along with Ninwashui and a couple others at my venue! So I’ve got to come up with something awesome! Here we go!

The Game: AvX Month 4

The Stipulations: 600 Points, Modern Age. Must use at least one figure from an AvX starter; the rest of your army must share a keyword with that figure (I have the Avengers starter). Only Phoenix Force Relics and Resources are allowed (but we don’t yet have access to the Magik Fragment; that final piece is one of the participation prizes for this month, so the Phoenix Force can have a maximum of 4 Fragments).

The Build:

My first idea was to go back to what won me Month 2 (which was really Month 1, yadayadayada)–a “Mystical” Theme Team:

"I'd like your resource better if it glowed blue, but I'll take it all the same."

“I’d like your resource better if it glowed blue, but I’ll take it all the same.”

Team: Loki Charms

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110

AVM211 Loki – 201

(Assigned Cyclops Fragment)

AVX006E Scarlet Witch – 100

IIM040 Shaman – 92

(with Alpha Flight ATA)

Thule Society Priest – 21

Astral Dr. Strange – 13

(Smoke Cloud version)

Astral Dr. Strange – 13

(Smoke Cloud Version)

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 9

(With the Colossus, Namor & Emma Frost Fragments Attached)

=600 (Exactly! Woo-hoo!)

What I Like About This Team:

I love playing Iron Pharaoh. I almost always have good results with him, and I need a good result this month. And I really like playing the Pharaoh with Shaman, even when many of Shaman’s potential “No Flight” victims will still fly just fine with the Phoenix Force, at least I’d take away their ability to Carry. Plus, I’m bound to run into some flyers who won’t be assigned a Fragment, right? Additionally, with the Alpha Flight ATA, there are matchups (against a team of, say, X-Men) where Shaman is going to sport an 11 Attack, 3 Damage and 7 Range top dial before he evens decides on what he wants to do with his Perplex. That’s not a bad tertiary attacker.

AVM Loki is a beast. He just needs a little help with finding a way to move and attack in the same turn (for just how beastly he gets with the Phoenix Force, click here). The Priest is just there for tie-up fodder/Prob Control, and the Astral Dr. Stranges are ridiculously meddlesome for just 13 points apiece. Plus, every attack my opponent wastes on one of them is one not directed at the Pharaoh or Loki.

With a +7 (!) to Map Roll, this team was pretty well rounded with two big hitters and a TON of trickeration. With 2 different characters (the Pharaoh and Loki) possessing some sort of special Mind Control and 6 Theme Probs to go with the Scarlet Witch’s native Prob (and with Shaman, Loki and Thule Society Priest all able to pick up Prob down dial), my opponents will probably be rerolling a LOT. Loki charms, indeed.

What I Don’t Like About This Team:

Not much. It’s pretty well-rounded, and even if Loki goes down I’ve still got some decent damage dealing pieces left. One thing that irked me with this build is not being able to give the Cyke Fragment to Iron Pharaoh. I’d like this army a whole lot better if I had access to all 5 Fragments. I’d dump the Alpha Flight ATA and add in Iron Pharaoh as an Assigned Character. Then he’d be able to shoot for at least 5 damage through his Falcon AND Loki could still have Running Shot (because the Phoenix Force would still start on the “3 Attached Fragments” tier of its dial). This may be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water, but the thought of Iron Pharaoh with that Cyclops Fragment teaming with a Running Shot-capable Loki would haunt me every game. It’s a little, stupid thought, but it would have the potential to linger in my mind and nag and distract me during each game–and I’m not nearly a good enough player to win against good players while I’m distracted.

So I was kind of uneasy about this army until my prep for this Build took a dramatic turn on Easter. My brother presented me with a special gift (yeah, me and my bro still do a small gift exchange–we’re dorks like that, but, since you’re reading a blog dedicated to ‘Clixin’, you probably already surmised that) in the monstrous form of…

"Hello, tasties..."

“Hello, tasties…”

 

… The Chaos War Chase piece Sentry and Void!!

In addition to being probably my favorite character created in the Modern era of comics, the Sentry is also usually an Avenger, so I’d been dying to play him in some form during this tournament. Well, when I received Sentry and Void, I knew I’d have to go out of my way to include him somehow. I grabbed his card praying that he’d have a keyword in common with one of the AvX Starter figures. I knew he’d probably have the Dark Avengers keyword, which wouldn’t really help me, but maybe he’d have a Mystical keyword too. It was a long shot, but then I turned his card over to its front side and had a look. There it was!! The very first keyword:

Avengers.

A selfie I took the second I found out that Sentry and Void has the Avengers keyword.

A selfie I took the second I found out that Sentry and Void has the Avengers keyword.

Not only does Rob Reynolds and his Dark Half have Hypersonic Speed and Multi-attack, but he also has… the AVENGERS keyword! This is both Awe and Some!!

And, somehow fitting, I think. Forget these namby-pamby generic keywords! This is Avengers Vs. X-Men–and come hell or high water, I’m gonna play an Avengers Theme Team, dammit (EDITOR’S NOTE: This sort of pretentiously righteous team-building bravado is made MUCH easier by being able to field a 300-point monster like Sentry and Void. At the event itself, when I turned in my Build card, the Judge casually wondered if I’d left my soul at home when he saw Sentry and Void on the list. And really, it was a fair question.) !

No more bad thoughts tugging at my brain of what could have been; I’m building everything around Sentry and Void!

"Go home, Void! You're drunk!"

“Calm down, bud! Hawkeye’s actually on your team!”

Team: A Void and the Noid

CW057 Sentry and Void – 300 (A Void)

(Assigned the Cyclops Fragment)

CW039 Hawkeye – 98 (The Noid)

(Assigned the Emma Frost Fragment)

AVX006E Scarlet Witch – 100

FFCW005R Mockingbird – 25

IM3006 Tony Stark – 50

The Phoenix Force – 12 + 3

(With the Colossus Fragment Attached)

=600 (Exactly! Again! Woo-hoo!)

What I Like About This Team:

Hmmm… well, I like that I get to play a ridiculously overpowered Chase piece AND assign the Phoenix Force to him. Annnnnnd I like that I get to back him up with that Chaos War Hawkeye, who has ridiculous offensive potential when you combine him with that rookie Mockingbird and the Phoenix Force resource (if I position my team correctly, when the time comes for him to take his first shot every game, he’ll take it with a 14 Attack–that’s AWESOME!). Scarlet Witch provides a ton of Support herself, and Tony Stark gives the team an Outwit that can see through Hindering Terrain, Enhancement and the Avengers Initiative Team Ability so that Hawkeye can see through Hindering himself! Plus, I’ll get a +5 to Map Roll AND five Theme Probs. Not bad!

What I Don’t Like About This Team:

Even with the Theme Probs, I don’t have a ton of trickeration (ie support powers), so if Hawkeye and Sentry and Void start missing, I could be in trouble. Additionally, Experienced AvX Scarlet Witch is no slouch in the attack department, but as a tertiary attacker in a 600 point game, she makes me nervous (her Precision Strike should help that though). Still, though… I’d get to play Sentry and Void!!

Alrighty then! I have my team, and everything is up for grabs! To find out how this team performed, what I learned and what I earned (if anything)…

Little known Keanu Reeves movie. You can find more info on Keanu's IMDB page under the heading "Oh, God, this was actually a thing?"

Little known Keanu Reeves movie. You can find more info on Keanu’s IMDB page under the heading “Oh, God, this was actually a thing?”

 

TUNE IN TOMORROW for The Build 4: Part 2!!

(Yeah, I’m a #$%^ like that. But you won’t have to wait long, I promise!)

See ya’ll tomorrow!