There Are… No Strings… on Me!! (Or, a Set Review of the Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Set!!)

Age of Ultron Back to Us

 

Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Or a Happy Passover, or, if you’re not a person of faith, or at least not a person of a faith that celebrated this season, I hope you had, uh, a Happy Sunday!

As our belated gift to you, Ninwashui and I are teaming up to rip through the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron Gravity Feed Movie Set! We’re gonna go figure by figure using our popular and patented [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, it’s really neither of those things.] Oxygen Filtration Mask Numeric Scale!

It’s all part of our month-long ramp up celebrating the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! In addition to today’s article, we’re also going to review the Starter pack and write and play a scenario based on the movie (or, y’know, what little we know about the movie since it hasn’t released yet).

But today is about the Age of Ultron Gravity Feed, so let’s get it rolling!

SOME QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–The whole set actually gets its flavor not just from AoU but also from prior Marvel movies as well. Iron Man (Iron Man 3), Iron Legion (Iron Man 3) and Nick Fury (Avengers) all have power sets and costumes that reference previous MCU outings. Conversely, Hawkeye and Black Widow are definitely in their Age of Ultron costumes (note Hawkeye’s longer tunic, which gets him a little bit closer to his comic book look), but their power sets almost seem like they’re taken directly from the first Avengers film (going back to Hawkeye, he has Traits and Powers with names like “Rooftop Maneuvers” and “Vantage Point.” He could certainly spend a lot of time on rooftops in Age of Ultron, but these really sound like Hawkeye’s abilities taken from the Battle of Manhattan sequence in the first Avengers film).

–Meanwhile, it seems like the designers went out of their way to make the most generic Cap, Thor and Hulk pieces they could possibly imagine (I’m speaking strictly from a flavor/sculpt standpoint–see each figure’s individual entry to see how we think they stand up as Heroclix figures!). Cap gets an abilities like “Rebounding Shield” and “His Enemies Fear Him,” while Hulk has “Fueled by Anger” and “He Only Leaves Rubble.”

–For those keeping score at home, we finally have MCU Clix for: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Baron Strucker and Ultron. First time generics include Test Subject and Iron Legion (although IM3 had at least 4 Armor Shell versions from the “House Party Protocol” scene at the end of the movie).

Alright, enough notes about the set! Let’s dig into the dials!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry bro, we need one more note. As always with Movie Set Reviews, we’re saving the Starter Review for a separate article, since we’re already over 7000 words on the Main Set alone, making this our largest single article ever!]

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man

AAOU001 Iron Man250/185 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: At 250 Points, Iron Man here is certainly beefy, starting with a 12 Attack and an 18 Defense Value with Invincible. His awesomely-named second Trait (THE HOUSE PARTY PROTOCOL, SIR?: Give Iron Man a power action if there are less than 4 friendly undefeated characters named Iron Legion. If you do, place a AAOU002 Iron Legion in your starting area from outside the game.) allows him to bring in armor shells that are two clicks deep, but they come into play in your starting area. Depending on where the action’s centered, the battle may be lost before you can even get the shells into play. This is a bit of a problem, especially since there’s another figure in this set who does the same trick better. Similarly, his Avengers Assemble Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.) is a nifty lil’ bonus, but there are better versions of the same Trait on almost every other Avenger.

In a Modern Age environment that also includes Ultron Prime and Trinity War Superman at the 250 Point level, I just don’t know that you’re getting enough damage out of this Iron Man and his Iron Legion shells to really keep up with number of effective actions your opponent will be taking in a 300 Point game. Also, while any piece with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability is going to be a nuisance, his 7 Range is below average for a piece in his price range.

Now, at 185 Points… he’s still over costed. With five clicks of life and middling Attack Values (again, for the points), he still offers the same two Traits as his higher-costed version and the ability to target through Stealth. Still, this feels much more like a 150 or 160 Point dial. 185 is just a rip-off, frankly. Not the worst dial in the world, but not one that I would choose to play, especially with all of the other Iron Man options out there.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says:

Pretty short dials for both versions, actually. Both Traits are more fun than competitive. The Iron Legions he can bring into play hit hard enough, sure, but they’re easy to KO and award 50 Points to your opponent for each one that’s KO’d. And really, the Transport Symbol is pretty much wasted on figures that already fly and have top dial Running Shot.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Legion

AAOU002 Iron Legion50 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Mildly effective for his points, but you’re probably not playing him this way very often. He’s useable, but far from groundbreaking. Actually, he’s kind of a boring way to use 50 points, but at least he can Taxi, too.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks 

HypeFox Says: Yeah, he’s only got 4 Clicks, but for 50 Points I get Running Shot, 10 Attack and a Damage Value that never drops below 3 AND never loses Enhancement. A great Tertiary Attacker with a mild amount of support with Enhancement and the ability to Taxi. I think he’s damn effective for 50 Points–I’d put him right up there with some of the better Lantern Recruits we just got.

GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America

AAOU003 Captain America125/80 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: One of the most creative Caps we’ve seen in awhile. The 125 Point dial is a brutally effective mid-range piece to start. He’s actually at his most deadly when he’s at least two squares away from an opposing figure, even though Cap is normally thought of as a close combatant. His Avengers Assemble Trait is pretty one-sided (there will be very few circumstances when your opponent would rather take a -1 hit to the Attack Value of all his pieces versus letting you give one of your pieces +1 to Damage). His top dial vanilla Leadership is somewhat wasted when the majority of Avengers cost more than him (or at least the majority of Avengers who can Carry him and keep him adjacent–yes, you can sometimes end up adjacent to a friendly after a Running Shot to set up Leadership next turn, but that’s a lil’ tricky to do usually). If he ignored characters on movement (instead of or in addition to) I’d love him; as it is, I merely like this dial.

His Rookie dial, on the other hand, offers a ton of value for 80 Points–and also plays way differently than his Blue dial. Now that’s a great design! He starts with a Leadership Special Power (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM: Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.) that he keeps his whole dial. He doesn’t even need line of fire to dish out tokens–opposing characters merely need to be within 4 Squares.

His Attack Value never descends below 10, and even gets up to 11 more than once. The only problem is a lack of Indomitable, but the last half of his dial features Willpower anyway. And top dial, once he gets in close on someone, they’re gonna need a 20 to hit him with a Close Combat attack.

This is a fun piece and one of my favorites from the set.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: Really dig his 125 Point dial. He’s difficult to hit at range, which should allow him to use his Avengers Initiative Team Ability to slowly close in on his opponents. After that first hit he magically transforms into an equally hard to hit close combat headache for your opponent.

His 80 Point dial is almost as good, but his Leadership Special–as powerful as it can potentially be–will only go off 33% of the time. And with no native damage reducers, it’s possible for a heavy hitter like AAOU005 Thor to knock him out with one lucky hit.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Test Subject

AAOU004 Test Subject30 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Ugh. The first real loser of the set. Don’t let the 3 separate dials fool you–even for a generic, this is a bit uninspired. Their Trait (THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE YIELDING… INTERESTING… RESULTS: When Test Subject is first placed on the map, roll a d6 and click the character to the indicated starting line: 1 – 2 red; 3 – 4 blue; 5 – 6 yellow) ensures that you’ll never know which of their dials you’ll actually be playing, which is a problem when you are, y’know, TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLEMENTARY TEAM! These guys need help to be anything more than even just a tie-up piece for a turn. But with such limited mobility, it’ll take them forever just to get next to an opposing figure to tie them up in the first place. I can’t see 4 of these pieces ever taking out any 120 Point figure I can think of.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: Okay, taken on their own merits, they’re not the best use of 30 Points. However, what if I told you there was a way to easily get them within range of an opposing figure, to the point that they’d be all but guaranteed an Alpha Strike? Then would you be interested? If you can find a way around their awful mobility, these guys suddenly become pretty dangerous–especially since they’re only 30 Points. Having said that, no one is ever going to play them for 30 Points, for reasons we will get into as we get a bit further down the list…

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Thor

AAOU005 Thor200/150 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: Wow. We’ve gotten a ton of 4-Star Thors in the past couple years, but this version might just be a cut above. His AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Thor hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters modify their damage values by -1 until your next turn or, opposing characters can’t make ranged combat attacks until your next turn.) is absolutely brutal.

You: “So, would you prefer to do way less damage next turn, or would you prefer to do no damage next turn?

Your Opponent: “Uhhh… is that a real power? That doesn’t sound like a real power.”

You: “It’s a Trait, not a power.”

Your Opponent: “I hate you.”

I mean, what kind of choice is that? But beyond that, he starts with 5 native Damage, an 11 Attack Value that alternates between Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion (with an 8 Range and 2 Bolts) and an 18 Defense Value that’s boosted by both Invincible and his second Trait (MJOLNIR TO CARRY ME: When Thor has one or more action tokens, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection.). And remember, he sees through Stealth via his AI Team Ability. The only thing keeping him from 5 Masks at this point is his one glaring weakness:  no Willpower.

Still, in a Tactics format, this is pretty easily fixed, and in a No Tactics format, he hits so heavy that it may not even matter. If you only push him once or twice, you’ll be fine–heck, that first push basically just puts him on Pulse Wave. He only loses one Movement and one Defense.

His Rookie dial is a little more subtle, but just as effective.

GRADE(S): 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: User UncorkedMonk on HCRealms.com said “Hes an indom symbol away from being great. As is hes alright. But theres enough ways to give him willpower I spose.” Despite his clear vendetta against apostrophes, I have to completely agree. Outside of the normal Resource/Relic route, let’s remember that Thor is an Asgardian. For 5 Points, their ATA explicitly GIVES him Willpower on his first click. That’s right. The Asgardian ATA:  it’s not just for Splitlip anymore.

His Rookie dial finds him switching from a 5 Damage Primary Attacker to a 4 Damage sniper squad leader. And while he plays differently than his higher point version, he’s just as effective. Especially if you put the right team around him, which you’ll have 50 more points to do with this version.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hydra Soldier

AAOU006 Hydra Soldier — 40 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: I think this was the only character in the set I wasn’t looking forward to getting (so guess who I’ve pulled 4 of so far… ). Even in groups, I don’t see this guy ever lasting long enough to hit anyone. I can see what they were trying to do with his Minion power that bestows Leadership (MINION: HAIL HYDRA: When a friendly character with the HYDRA keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, Hydra Soldier can use Charge. When that character uses Leadership and succeeds, remove an action token from all characters named Hydra Soldier within that character’s range and line of fire unless one has already been removed this turn from that character from this effect.), but the low inherent Movement and the existence of DP006 Hand Ninja means that this guy will likely never see play from me. On the plus side, he’s got a pretty cool sculpt though.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: For the first time in this article, I think I finally agree with Ninwa. His TA only works for ranged attacks (well, unless your running him with Wolverine, Agent of Hydra) but his skill set is only viable for close combat attacks. Come to think of it, running him with Hydra Wolvie is really the only way to make him work. Even then, as Ninwashui mentioned, DP006 Hand Ninja is pretty much a better choice all the way around.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron Sentry

AAOU007 Ultron Sentry40Common:

HypeFox Says: 3 Clicks for 40 Points doesn’t instill a ton of confidence until you look a little closer at those three Clicks. Top dial they have Pen/Psy and Enhancement (although only a 4 Range) with a native 3 Damage. In other words, as they multiply, they can start dishing out 4-5 Penetrating Damage. That’s a huge amount of Damage output for a 40 Point figure. Yes, they can be destroyed quite easily with just a 15 Defense Value, but their Movement Special on Click 2 (THERE’S NO END IN SIGHT!: Once per turn, for all characters with this power, give Ultron Sentry a double power action. Place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry from outside the game in an adjacent square on click number 3.) means that they can replicate themselves over and over. In other words, for 40 Points, you can create a whole army INSIDE your army.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says:  It’s a 40 point character that can duplicate itself as soon as turn 4. And it can keep doing it until you run out of them on your sidelines with no outside help required. And when one dies, a double power action can put that guy right back out. Unlike Iron Legion, the duplicate figures are the exact same strength as the original. And they have two Traits that make it so they can work together to become far more powerful the more of them there are (COMBINED EFFORTS: Modify Ultron Sentry’s attack value by +1 for each adjacent friendly character named Ultron Sentry. Modify Ultron Sentry’s damage value by +1 for each 2 adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry AND CONSISTENT PROGRAMMING: When using the Carry ability, Ultron Sentry may carry any number of adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry regardless of their combat symbols.).

They also have additional Trait that works well  with the other versions of Ultron: HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Sentry is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: 

3 – 4, place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry on its starting line;
5, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line;
6, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its blue starting line.” 

Try to imagine this:  Starting on Turn 4, Ultron Sentry makes another Ultron Sentry. Turn 5, the first Sentry you made makes another. Turn 6, the original makes another. You can just keep doing this in your starting area until you feel like you have enough. A 40 point investment can bring 8 more of these things into play and descend on the opponent as a cloud of nine sentries. Nothing in the game anywhere near 40 points can take that on. If you own enough of these you can bring a 900 point army to a 300 point game.

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hulk

AAOU008 Hulk300/250/200 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Going in, you have to know a couple things. First, you’re paying a metric poop-ton of points for a character that has absolutely no range AND that has absolutely NO OUTWIT PROTECTION!! These are major issues. It’s true that if Hulk gets Outwitted, he gets the small bonus of an Anger Token via his Trait (ENORMOUS GREEN MONSTER: Hulk can use Battle Fury. Each time Hulk takes damage from an opponent’s attack or one of his powers or combat abilities is countered, put an Anger token on this card.), but that’s not really Outwit protection, is it?

His 300 Point dial has an awesome top dial, but the chances of you being able to get to swing with that top dial in a 300 or even 400 Point game is minimal. He’ll most likely be picked apart on his approach.

At 250, he runs into the same problems. While his dial is fun, one Outwit can just absolutely ruin his day.

Finally, his Rookie dial actually gets a half-mask more from me because it leaves room for supporting figs (just from this set, adding AAOU015 Nick Fury and AAOU010 Scarlet Witch will form a perfect 300 Point team) that can really help Hulk deal maximum damage.

Just make sure that whichever dial you play, you use Colossal Stamina whenever there is a meaningful action to take UNLESS that would put you on a Stop Click.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: For a Hulk dial, there is a lot going on here, most of which I like. Traited Battle Fury means that Shape Change will not help you–and with a figure that costs this much (no matter which dial you play), any ability that can eliminate the possibility of wasted actions is a very good thing. His Avengers Assemble Trait is good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hulk hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Deal one target 1 unavoidable damage and give it an action token or, put an Anger token on this card.), but again, it’s pretty much one-sided (no opponent is going to choose to take an additional damage AND lose an action as opposed to giving Hulk a token that lets him increase a potential Regeneration roll somewhere down the line by +1 or increase the chance Hulk won’t take Colossal Stamina damage by just over 16%.).  The first choice wreaks havoc on his team right now, while the second option might subtly benefit you at some unspecified juncture down the line. Not much of a choice there. Having said that, getting the Anger Token bonus is better than not having that Trait at all, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.

I like his Rookie dial a little more than Ninwashui, since I believe that his Defense Special Stop Click (HIS ANGER SUSTAINS HIM: When this click is revealed due to taking damage, stop turning the dial and remove all actions tokens from Hulk. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a little bit of Outwit protection (and Pulse Wave protection). And it shows up twice, in tandem with his Damage Special Power (HE ONLY LEAVES RUBBLE: Hulk can use Invincible and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration, you may remove any number of Anger tokens from this card. If you do, the d6 roll can’t be rerolled and you may increase the result by 1 for each token removed.).

So while he doesn’t have Outwit protection, he does have some built-in survivability.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 and 1/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye

AAOU009 Hawkeye94 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: Wow. Back in our set preview a few weeks ago, I said that this was the figure of the set. And I’m not backing off. I think he’s ridiculously good, and here’s why.

First of all, he’s got arguably the best AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hawkeye hits one or more characters with an attack, the opposing player chooses: Hit characters are each dealt 1 unavoidable damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye isn’t given an action token for this action.). Finally, an Avengers Assemble! where both of the choices really suck for your opponent! Remember, Hawkeye has 3 Bolts and Precision Strike, so chances are he’s already dealt 1 Penetrating Damage to two or three of your opponent’s characters (and keep in mind that Stealth won’t help them, because Clint has Avengers Initiative). Now, does your opponent want each of the hit characters to each take ANOTHER Unavoidable Damage? Or do you want to keep Hawkeye from getting an action token, which means he can do the whole thing over again next turn?

This is an actual dramatization of your next opponent trying to decide which of these options to go with after 3 of his characters have been hit by Hawkeye.

Now before you start worrying about his top dial 10 Attack Value, take a look at his second Trait (VANTAGE POINT: When making a ranged combat attack, modify Hawkeye’s attack value by +1 for each target of the attack. When he hits 3 characters, he may give one hit character an action token if he doesn’t assign that character any damage.). All of which means that it shouldn’t be hard to get Hawkeye a +2 or even +3 modifier to his Attack Value. Forget Perplex–this Hawkeye takes care of his own modifiers.

Finally, Ninwashui is probably gonna come on here and trash Hawkeye’s Movement Value. Sure, it’s a bit low at just 6 Squares, but even that, too, is deceiving. When you break it down, you’ll see that his starting Movement Special (ROOFTOP MANEUVER: Hawkeye can use Sidestep and Stealth. When he uses Sidestep, he can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain.) means that he can actually cover 8 Squares a turn AND he can change elevation, too (AND he can make an Attack afterwards, since it’s Sidestep!)! And since he already ignores Hindering Terrain on movement (again, thanks to the AI Team Ability), you actually have a figure who’s much more nimble than a lot of other figures with higher Movement Values.

Now, I can’t quite give him 5 Masks in an environment where Banshee is still Modern (he’s even more beastly for just 4 more points), but Hawkeye here is darn close. He offers a bunch of powers and abilities that you can’t get from Resources or Relics, and what he lacks CAN be fixed by Resources and Relics (The Phoenix Force or especially the new Pandora’s Box Resource should work wonders with this Hawkeye. If you use Pandora’s Box, I’d recommend it’s first setting–the Path of the Hunter. It’s got pretty easy early access to the abilities that Clint needs the most, like Energy Explosion and Running Shot, and it’s also pretty easy to get Hawkeye permanent access to both ES/D AND Combat Reflexes).

GRADE: 4 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: Low Movement Value, no dampeners or anything to help his Defense beyond Stealth and a lack of Running Shot hurt this guy. That being said, if your opponent can’t find a way to hide two or three of his pieces (and it’s admittedly tough to hide guys from a dude who has 8 Range, Sidestep, 3 Bolts and the ability to see through Stealth), then this guy could suddenly be the star of your team. All his is missing is Energy Explosion to be the best figure ever made at taking out clusters of opponents at a time. And AAOU015 Nick Fury (who will get to in a minute) has a Special Attack Power that goes great with this guy.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

AAOU010 Scarlet Witch55 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: Her Trait (UNCAGING THE BEAST: Give Scarlet Witch a free action when she has two action tokens and choose a friendly character within range and line of fire. Modify the chosen character’s combat values by +1 until the end of the turn, and, at the end of the turn, deal Scarlet Witch 1 unavoidable damage and don’t clear her action tokens. If the chosen character’s name is Hulk, you may modify the chosen character’s combat values by +2 instead.) seems to be begging for you to play her with some version of the Hulk to make her reach her full potential, but I think she’ll end up seeing a lot of play on a variety of tournament teams regardless of the presence of a Hulk. Even just a +1 boost to all stats is no joke, and she could technically do that for five turns in a row before being KO’d. That ability might be worth 55 Points by itself.

Factor in her 8 Range, 10 Attack and 3 Damage with Perplex top dial and you have a piece that’s useful even before her crazy-good Trait starts to kick in!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: She has no Avengers Assemble! Trait on her own, which is a bit of a bummer. Her Point Cost is reasonable, but if Ninwashui thought that Hawkeye was too crunchy with only Stealth to protect him, I can only imagine what he thinks about a figure with one less Click of life and an even worse Defense Value. If you can get some mileage out of her Trait, she’ll make her cost worth it; if she gets destroyed before that, well… sorry.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Vision

AAOU011 Vision100 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: First of all, this is an awesome sculpt and paint job!! Second… yeah, I have no second. At 50 Points, he’d be amazing. Unfortunately he costs double that. Somehow, a figure with no Traits or Improved Movement or Targeting of any kind and with only six Clicks of life costs 100 Points.

He does fly and he has Indomitable, but he doesn’t do enough to be a Secondary Attacker and he costs WAAAAYYY too much to be a Taxi. And he has 0 Range. I’m glad that he has the Avengers keyword, but he is a Theme play only; he’s not turning up in any sort of competitive environment. Even with Hydra Soldier’s existence, this is probably the worst piece in the set (especially since he costs so much more).

GRADE: 1 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He’s not as bad as HypeFox makes him out to be, but I have to agree with the idea that if you are actually playing him, you’re playing him because you like the character and not because you think he’s a powerful HeroClix figure. He does have 3 Clicks of Outwit followed by 3 Clicks of Perplex, so I can tell why he’s clocking in at 100 Points. But in a world where even a 43 Point Hand Ninja has Traits and Special Powers [EDITOR’S NOTE: And a Team Ability!], it’s hard to justify a dial that costs more than double and has none of those things unless the power set is just top notch. Vision’s power set, alas, is not.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron MK 1

AAOU012 Ultron MK1120/65 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: For 120 Points you get a character that hits hard, but with a low Attack Value. He also is good at absorbing damage with four clicks of Invuln, but he doesn’t match well with other figures in his point range unless you take his Trait into account (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Mk 1 is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: (4)-(5), place 012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line. (6), place either 012 Ultron Mk 1 or 018 Ultron Prime on its blue starting line.). Basically, if you’re running any other Age of Ultron versions of him, then you will likely get him back in your Starting Area on Click one. His stats by themselves are average, but his synergy with other Ultron pieces is the real reason to play him.

His Rookie dial is kind of more of the same. You’d play it to fit in another Ultron on your force, but this dial will never see play otherwise.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (120 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (65 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: Kind of a must have piece if you’re trying to create an Ultron swarm. On its own, it’s average, but when you start running it with Ultron Prime or Ultron Sentry, it can really start to wear your opponent down.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Black Widow

AAOU013 Black Widow80 Points Mass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: This is one of the stranger Black Widows we’ve gotten in recent years. On the plus side, she’s got a pretty decent AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Black Widow hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters can’t attack Black Widow until your next turn or opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage until your next turn.) and a cool Attack Special (WIDOW’S STING: When Black Widow hits with a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 4 – 6, Black Widow can use Incapacitate twice, each as a free action, but only to target a hit character.). On the negative side, she’s pretty much set up as a ranged attacker, but she’s only got a 4 Range and no move and attack. And if she can’t attack, her special powers are all wasted.

Having said that, like her former S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddy Hawkeye, much of what ails her can be fixed with a Resource or Relic (Mokk’s Hammer would solve almost all of her top dial problems).

So she has some potential in a Tactics environment, but in a game where you can’t use Resources or Relics, she’s gonna be a tough piece to use effectively. Chances are high that you won’t get out of her what you put into her.

GRADE: 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: She can really shine with an Avengers Themed Team around her, but you’re gonna have to team her up with a really effective Primary Attacker to distract the other team’s best offensive pieces and let her get a ranged attack (or two) off. Nearly full dial Stealth and intermittent Perplex make me like this version slightly more that her Starter pack counterpart (AAOU105 Black Widow, natch!). And, once again, AAOU015 Nick Fury‘s Special Power works really well with her as well.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Quicksilver

AAOU014 Quicksilver 63 PointsMass Market Rare

Ninwashui Says: He’s the cheapest character in Modern right now with top dial Hypersonic Speed. When you compare him to 65 point FL001A The Flash you’ll see that he moves much farther and has a better chance of hitting because of his ability to use Probability Control on himself. This is also one of the few instances where I think it’s really nice for this character to have Force Blast. I can just imagine him flinging opposing support figures off rooftops or into walls. And let’s be honest, 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection is pretty damn impressive for someone at his point level.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: He’s been growing on me. I still don’t like that his Attack Value never exceeds “meh,” but his Damage Special (FAST ENOUGH TO TRY AGAIN: Quicksilver can use Probability Control, but only to reroll his own rolls.) means that he gets two shots at every attack roll. And an 18 Defense with ES/D is EXTREMELY good for any figure under 80 Points. He’s never going to do much damage, but at 63 Points he’s always going to be a Secondary Attacker at most. But depending on how you construct your army, he might even just be a third attacker on a 300 Point squad. And he’s perfect for that.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Nick Fury

AAOU015 Nick Fury45 PointsMass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: So, we’ve already mentioned this guy three or four times, so you probably had an inkling that he’d be good. I think he’s possibly Meta, although he necessitates building an Avengers Themed Team around him. His Trait is great (I STILL BELIEVE IN HEROES: If Nick Fury is part of an Avengers Themed Team and has the lowest point value character on your starting force, he can use Leadership and Outwit. When he uses Leadership, he is considered 300 points.), since at 45 Points he will almost ALWAYS be the lowest point value character on an Avengers Themed Team. So you don’t even really need to alter your team any to fit him in, and in a 300 Point game his Leadership is guaranteed to work on whoever he’s next to as long as you make the roll. On top of that, since he has Avengers Initiative, his Outwit sees through Hindering Terrain!!

Oh, and speaking of rolls, Fury Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…: When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! Trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) gives him a 33% chance to just completely wreck your opponent’s day. Remember how we mentioned how one-sided some of the Avengers Assemble! Traits were on the figures in this set? Well, if YOU suddenly get to make the choice for your opponent, those AA Traits become stratospherically better!

On top of all that, he has Willpower, Shape Change, Stealth and a native 3 Damage. This is a great package for just 45 Points.

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He is really only viable on an Avengers Themed Team, but if you’re playing one, he is almost an auto-include if you have the points. Even if your not using his Attack Special because you’re running him with non-AoU Avengers, just the fact that he gives you a working Leadership and Outwit while also being a competent Tertiary Attacker is pretty amazing.  I’m not sure if Avengers Themed Teams will start showing up at major tournaments, but if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll be running this Nick Fury.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Baron Strucker

AAOU016 Baron Strucker95 PointsMass Market Rare:

Ninwashui Says: And finally we come to my top Want from this set. Sporting a creative and efficient dial, Baron Strucker is capable of changing a game just by himself. Like AAOU001 Iron Man, he can make himself a small army with just a few power actions via his Special Attack Power (WE LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM…: Give Baron Strucker a power action if there are less than 4 friendly characters with the Test Subject keyword on the map. When you do, place a friendly AAOU004 Test Subject from outside the game on the map within 6 squares of him.). Unlike Iron Man, when Baron Strucker’s army dies, his Trait (THEIR SACRIFICE ENSURES OUR FUTURE: When a friendly character with the Test Subject keyword is KO’d put an Evolution token on Baron Strucker’s card. Modify Baron Strucker’s combat values +1 for every two Evolution tokens on his card.) ensures that the Baron gets stronger! Keep in mind that for a 95 Point piece, he was already sitting on some pretty good stats to begin with. Several of his Clicks sport a 10 Attack Value with 4 Damage. Now imagine if that got pumped up to a 13 Attack and 7 Damage–those are Hulk Smash numbers!

And he has Mastermind, so, depending on how you place your Test Subjects, it’ll be damn near impossible for most of your opponents NOT to KO some Test Subjects along the way to Baron Strucker, unless their pieces are just dripping with Precision Strike. And you get all this for just 1/3 of your 300 Point Build!!

I am already dreaming of playing this guy with DP054 Arnim Zola for some friendly Mind Control shenanigans or IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0 to turn those Test Subjects into Claymore mines. Oh, the destruction I’ll wreak…

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: This is the piece I was referencing in my AAOU001 Iron Man writeup. Whereas the Iron Legion pieces have to come into play all the way back at your Starting Zone, Strucker here can place his Test Subjects wherever the hell he likes within a 6-Square radius! Think about how useful that is! Can’t get through that wall and into the room where your opponent is trying to heal his Primary Attacker back to full? Boom–now there’s a Test Subject adjacent to his healer. Who can make an attack on that same healer THIS TURN!! This ability is kind of like Deadpool’s Sheep Gun Word Balloon, only it’s about a thousand times more useful.

If Strucker’s Dial was crap except for that power, he’d still be good. But he’s got a great dial, and he gets stronger for every Test Subject that’s killed! You just need to get this man some Willpower!

I hate to say it again, but this is another near-Meta piece for me. More importantly, he’s going to be poop-tons of fun at house games…

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Hulkbuster GiF

AAOU017 Hulkbuster300/225 PointsCore Hobby Chase:

HypeFox Says: Sort of a disappointing Chase, especially since we know we’re getting a comic version of the Hulkbuster armor one piece at a time in the Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. boosters this summer. But beyond that, his dial seems much more like a 200-250 Point character; at 300, you’re really only playing him in fun, epic games where you think you’re gonna run into other big’uns.

His AA Trait is actually pretty good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: Once per turn, when Hulkbuster hits one or more characters with a close combat attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Modify Hulkbuster’s defense value by +2 until your next turn or Hulkbuster may make a close combat attack as a free action against a hit target, modifying his attack value by -2 for the attack.), but his other Trait (DESIGNED TO PUT YOU DOWN, BRUCE: At the beginning of the game for all characters with this trait, choose an opposing character with :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:. That character can’t ignore pushing damage or have its combat values increased.) and his Defense Special Power (SHE IS BUILT TO FIGHT THE BIG ONES: Hulkbuster can use Invincible. When Hulkbuster is hit by an attack from a character with the :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:, modify that’s character’s damage value by -1 for the attack.) are geared specifically towards putting down Giant-sized or Colossal figures, Team Bases or Vehicles. If you’re playing 1000 Point Brawl where those figures are allowed, he’s well worth his Points. If you’re playing almost any other format, you probably overpayed for this dial by at least 50 Points.

His Rookie version is a little bit better, if only because it’s 75 Points cheaper. You lose two really good Clicks, but you’re also closer to his Hypersonic slots.

These pieces are slight misfires for me.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: I have to agree. You should only play this guy if you know in advance that you have a good shot at facing Giants or Team Bases–and even then I’m not sure that he’ll win that fight. Against Colossals, you’d do much better playing AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man.

It’s not that this guy can’t win; it’s just that he’s a close combat piece that’s likely to get shot crossing the board and his combat values don’t hold up like they do with AAOU008 Hulk. He is also yet another figure above 200 points with no Outwit protection of any kind.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

 

Ultron No Strings On Me

AAOU018 Ultron Prime250/125 PointsMass Market Chase:

Ninwashui Says: At 250 points there won’t be much room for support (other than maybe an AAOU007 Ultron Sentry) He can use Energy Explosion with 3 Bolts, but he doesn’t have Running Shot until his third Click. Until then, he’s stuck with Charge or Hypersonic Speed with a 9 Attack. Not horrible, but not worth 250 Points, either.

He’s meant to be a close combat figure and just like AAOU008 Hulk he will have a hard time crossing the board without being weakened (this seems to be a Chase theme this set!). And he’s 250 Points with no Outwit protection (another Chase theme!), only an 18 starting Defense Value and no Stop Clicks. Again, Transport Symbol is really wasted points here, unless you’re in love with low Attack Values for some reason.

His Experienced dial is a little better just by virtue of being able to pack in a lot more compatible supporting figs. His actual power set is still mostly incompatible (and, again, no Running Shot ’til Click 3), and Transport Symbol is still wasted here.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: I think I like him a little better than you do. Yes, he does not have an efficient power mix, but he’s not a pushover, either, and his Trait (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when Ultron Prime is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 5 – 6 place this character in your starting area on its blue starting line.) gives him a 33% chance to come back and haunt your opponent all over again.

That Trait works even better on his Experienced dial, since it brings him back all the way to his Starting Line.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

 

Alrighty! There you have it–the longest article (by word count) we’ve ever published! We hope you enjoyed this look into Avengers: Age of Ultron, and make sure to come back for our Starter Review!

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

 

Blam!! Murdered You!! (Or, 5000+ Words About The Top 10 Figures in Guardians of the Galaxy!!)

"And remember, cool guys don't look at explosions."

“And remember Annihilators, cool guys don’t look at explosions. I’m mostly talking to you, Quasar.”

Okay! And we’re back to business as usual! War of Light is still going hot and heavy as we head into Month 4, but methinks we’ve got that set covered and then some! I mean, really.

Besides, we have a whole new set of cosmic goodness to talk about. Guardians of the Galaxy (not to be confused with the awesome GotG Movie Set that released in July) came out in August; it’s high time we had a Top Ten review!!

But first, as usual…

Some General Notes About the Set:

–There is a metric Poop-Ton of generic figures in this set… which, for once, is actually awesome! Taking a page from War of Light, there are a bunch of non-Prime A and B sides to most of the low-numbered sculpts. I know a lot of folks hate repaints, but doing the Common figures this way allowed WizKids to sneak a bunch of different races and characters into the set than they normally would have (like Brother Royal, Jason of Sparta, Ikon, etc.). And these aren’t just cheapies that you’ll never use–many of these are legitimate pieces to build an army around. For example, while the Spaceknight generic is cool, the B-side Ikon is a brick with two different dials that can power an Annihilators Theme Team with free action attacks and (with the Annihilators ATA) remove tokens from her brethren whenever she KO’s an opposing figure. Recorder #451 can enhance Scientist teams (especially those featuring Iron Man) to a lethal degree while being an attacker to reckon with on his own. And so on; if this is a new trend going forward, I’m on board. It really cuts down on the legions of useless Common dupes that you normally end up with each time a new set comes out.

–In terms of Overall Power Level, Guardians is NOT Deadpool (if you saw this coming last January, you’re a better man than me; I thought for sure it’d be the other way around). Of course, you might remember that when Deadpool came out in May, I said that Deadpool was not as strong as Iron Man or SLoSH. Well… I was an idiot!

Deadpool has proven to be almost annoyingly strong, although maybe not entirely in the way that the designers intended; I think Copycat is still a MAJOR problem that we have not seen the last of. While I applaud almost all of the ROC’s latest rules changes, their decision to ban Entities for half of their season is possibly short-sighted and is almost certainly going to make Copycat worse in terms of her ability to COMPLETELY disrupt a player’s strategy before the game has even started. But from a simple design standpoint, I don’t see how it makes any sense to reward the player who didn’t put any thought into their Build because they know Copycat will just completely screw with their opponent’s plan over the player who took the time to come up with an actual strategy. Of course, she was designed to be used in an environment that has Angrir’s Hammer and Nurse Constructs aplenty; it’s not WizKids’s fault (or their problem, really) that the ROC has a Tactics-less, Entity-less season. So now, instead of being dominated by a select few pieces, the ROC has created a season that could possibly be dominated by one. But, as this is really a Deadpool set issue, we’ll table it for the moment. More on all this in the next Weekly Roundup.

"How exactly is it that you've managed to almost single-handedly corrupt one of the funnest parts of Heroclix--army building?!"

“Copycat, how exactly is it that you’ve managed to almost single-handedly corrupt one of the funnest parts of Heroclix–army building?!”

Anyway, where Guardians as a set excels is in the breadth of its top to bottom roster. It’s also cool how many characters from recent storylines are finally making their Heroclix debut. This is one of the funner rosters that WizKids has put together in recent memory (so long as your a fan of Marvel’s cosmic heroes, I suppose, but since I am and this is my column, there ya go!).

–While I’ve been on record as saying that the Chases in this set SHOULD have been the Black Order, at least we got decent versions of all of those villains in other rarity slots. That a Thanos Prime exists in the game (his Prime is Thanosi, and it’s really stinking good) makes me smile–until I remember that we didn’t get a Zombie Thanos, which might have saved the Chases this go around. While half of them are solid (Magneto, Dr. Doom, Red Skull), there are no Damage Fountains like Zombie Electro this time around and there’s only one that made Top Ten (we’ll get to him in a lil’ bit!). And Zombie Skrull is really just a waste of everyone’s time (seriously? This slot couldn’t have been Zombie Thanos? Blccch).

–Speaking of the sub-themes of the set, I was pretty happy with the roster selections. The Inhumans didn’t turn out so hot, in my opinion, but we needed Modern versions of all of them, really, so I didn’t mind that they were in the set. We’ve talked about how cool the Black Order is, and I was glad to see all the different cosmic races featured, with a focus on the Kree. Again, outside of no Zombie Thanos, they did a great job of selecting who should or should not be in this set.

"There's a Chase inside! I guarantee it or your money back!" [EDITOR'S NOTE: Fictional characters have no money and thus cannot make binding money-back guarantees.

Star-Lord says: “There’s a Chase inside! I guarantee it or your money back!”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Fictional characters have no real money and thus cannot make binding money-back guarantees.]

–I think I mentioned this during the last Weekly Roundup, but for whatever reason, all the Primes (all 4), Chases (3) and most of the Super Rares (lost count at this point–I know, #FirstWorldProblems) that I’ve either pulled myself or witnessed be pulled by someone else have EXCLUSIVELY come out of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” front box art packs (as opposed to the “Thanos” bedecked boxes). If a small sample size of anecdotal evidence is enough to convince you that all Chases and Primes only come out of the GotG boxes, well, then, there ya go!!

(Somehow I suspect that your mileage will vary; still, thought it was an odd enough phenomenon to warrant mentioning).

–The Zombies Team Base is technically a character, and a very good one at that (I love Zombie Miasma!); I’ve precluded it from this list, however, for a couple of reasons. First, most of our readers will never own enough Zombies to make it work. It stinks, but it’s true–that’s what happens when you make a Team Base that can only be filled by some really pricey Chases. Second, just like the Avengers and X-Men Team Bases from the AvX set, the characters you choose to use with your Team Base and the order that you place them in can have a HUGE effect on how effective the piece is overall.

With all that said, I think it’s time we talked about:

FIVE SIX HONORABLE MENTIONS!!!!!!

 

So, last time out (for Deadpool’s Top Ten) I cheated and gave you a Top Twelve. Well, I’m not going to do that today, because I don’t need to, but there were six solid candidates at the Honorable Mention level, so you’re getting one bonus entry here. And it’s a doozy:

 

Thanos

6. GOTG047AE Thanos – 200 Points – Rare: Thanos is tough to field in a 300 Point game; let’s just get that out of the way first. He had no move-and-attack, and his Third Trait prohibits him from using Relics or Resources, so that doesn’t help. But these lists aren’t just about the effectiveness of these figures in 300 Point matches, and in Epic games (400 Points or more), Thanos is a MONSTER! His first Trait (CHOOSE – THE GAUNTLET OR THE TRIBUTE: At the beginning of your first turn, each opponent chooses one: Deal 1 damage to each character on his or her force 100 points or less; or choose a character on his or her force 101 points or more and deal that character 3 damage. Opponents can’t choose an option for which they have no characters.) is the only way in Modern that I know of to deal damage to your opponent’s force on your first turn–and you don’t even have to roll dice!!

But what this Thanos is really intended for is leading the Black Order into battle, as evidenced by his Attack Special (THE BLACK ORDER OBEYS: Thanos can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may remove the action token from any character with the Black Order keyword anywhere on the map.). Now, have you seen the rest of the Black Order? Actress Milana Vayntrub from the AT&T Mobile commercials has. I casually slipped her a copy of the entire Black Order roster and asked for her assessment:

AT&T GIRL

Yep. They ARE terrifying in large point games, and I bet we’ll be hearing from a few more of their number before the rest of this article is finished. Is your venue running a 600 Point Modern game this week? Play a Black Order team with Thanos and watch your opponent’s lip quiver when you start taking tokens off of Proxima Midnight or Corvus Glaive FROM ACROSS THE DAMN MAP!

Thanos’s lack of move-and-attack (beyond Sidestep) can be fixed with Entities (he even shares a Cosmic keyword with them), but honestly, he’s still a heavy hitter even without it. If he was better in 300 Point games, he might have cracked the Top Ten. But he’s still really good in larger point contests.

 

Dr Minerva

5. GOTG019B Dr. Minerva – 125 Points Uncommon PRIME: The worst of the Primes, Dr. Minerva is still useful in her own right–just narrowly so because of her Trait (IDEAL GENETIC MATE: When Dr. Minerva is adjacent to a friendly character named Captain Atlas or Captain Marvel, modify all of their combat values by +1.). When teamed with GOTG101 Captain Atlas, GOTG019A Captain Marvel or GOTG207R Captain Marvel, she becomes the engine of a pretty good offensive matrix. As a Prime, though, for what she brings to the table (and particularly with her relatively low Damage values), I’d have expected her to be in the 100-110 point area. Still, her second Trait (EXPERIMENT ON YOU TO IMPROVE OUR SPECIES: Once per game before an adjacent opposing character with one or two action tokens takes damage from Dr. Minerva’s attack, you may choose a standard power that character can use. Until the end of the game, friendly characters with the Kree keyword can use that power.) gives her the power to copy any standard power possessed by an opposing figure and give it to anyone on your side with the Kree keyword–that’s pretty cool. Outside of an all-Kree team that includes one of her two ideal genetic mates, she’s almost not playable at her point cost; that’s what keeps her from getting into the Top Ten.

 

"What do you mean 'Longmire' has been cancelled? Only on a backwater planet like Earth would a network like A&E cancel its second highest rated show simply because it didn't come from their own production company!"

“What do you mean ‘Longmire’ has been cancelled? Only on a backwater planet like Earth would a network like A&E cancel its second highest rated show simply because it didn’t come from their own production company. Now I’ll NEVER know if Branch is dead or alive!”

4. GOTG014B Brother Royal70 Points – Common: Look, it’s tough nowadays just finding a figure with 6 clicks of life and a couple of standard powers for 70 points. But the good Brother here gets Phasing, Psychic Blast, Toughness and a Special Damage power that grants either Outwit or Perplex. Then, if you play 2 of these guys (which puts you at 140 Points–10 less than HALF your Build in a standard point game), you get to bump up EACH of their Combat Values by +1 AND they each get Shape Change and Stealth! That’s a pretty badass 140 point figure there, but, since they’re actually two different characters, you get to attack twice a turn! Brother Royal rates a tick ahead of Dr. Minerva because the Brothers don’t need to be adjacent to each other for their +1 bonus to work (just need to be on the same map–ie, not KO’d). For just 15 more points, two Brother Royals provide so much more than Dr. Minerva, which is why the Brothers are two spots ahead on this list.

 

recorder 451

3. GOTG013B Recorder #451100 Points – Uncommon: Solid support piece who is also a very capable attacker top dial. His Trait is kind of bonkers, but really useful if you build your team around it (ENGINEERED YOU FROM BIRTH: At the beginning of the game, choose another friendly character with the Scientist keyword. Modify that character’s speed and range values by +1 for the rest of the game, even if this ability is lost. If that character is also named Iron Man or Tony Stark, modify all of that character’s combat values except damage by +1 instead.).

I just love pieces that suggest Builds right on their card that you might not normally play. If you’re using him purely as a support piece/secondary attacker, he’s fine, but not great for his points. But if you plan on taking full advantage of his Trait and his last Click Attack Special (GODKILLER: Give Recorder #451 a power action. Deal Recorder #451 1 unavoidable damage and for the rest of the game, the character chosen for his trait has “colossal damage symbol”, “Power Cosmic team ability symbol”, can use Impervious and modifies all of its combat values by +1.), you can really come up with some cool AND effective Builds!

So while the rogue Recorder is useful, and his dial is undeniably creative, his point cost is still a little high. Otherwise, he’d be in the Top Ten!

 

"She's a space pirate, Of course she drinks Captain Morgan."

“She’s a space pirate, Of course she’s got a lil’ Captain in her.”

2. GOTG016 Nebula87 Points – Common: Okay, if you’re a regular reader, you probably know that I’ve been pushing IIM040 Shaman on people for the better part of a year now, simply because his “No Flights” power makes it so hard to cross certain maps to get into attack position. Which means that if your playing a “stall” Build (Iron Pharoah, Fantomex, etc.), you’ll have a lot of time to prepare, which is exactly what those sorts of teams need to be effective.

Well, Nebula’s 5 points less and starts with a Damage Special Ability that straight out forbids your opponent from Carrying (STEAL YOUR TRANSPORT: Opposing characters can’t use the Carry ability. If there is an opposing character possessing the Carry ability, Nebula modifies her speed value by +3 and can use the Carry ability.). Moreover, if they have pieces that started with the Carry ability, she gains Carry AND gets to add 3 to her Movement Value.

SICK, SICK, SICK!! You want board control? Play Nebula and you’re almost guaranteed it. She also has the Robot keyword, which grants her access to their ATA (a special form of Perplex). She also starts with Running Shot, Pen/Psy, Sharpshooter, the ability to target through Hindering Terrain, Toughness, Willpower and 3 Damage.

Did I mention she’s only 87 Points?!

The once and future bearer of the Infinity Gauntlet was just a quick blink away from cracking the proper Top Ten!

 

"Let's see Hawkeye do THIS!"

“Let’s see Hawkeye do THIS–around Thanos, past the Badoon, nothing but target!!”

1. GOTG023 Yondu76 Points – Uncommon: His stats and power mix aren’t QUITE good enough to crack the Top Ten, but man, he has SUCH an exploitable Trait (YAKA ARROWS: Give Yondu a power action. Make a ranged combat attack targeting a single opposing character regardless of line of fire.), especially top dial when he has Precision Strike and 3 Damage showing! He only has the Mystical and Guardians of the Galaxy keywords, but GotG is obviously huge now, especially when paired with some of the folks coming up on this list (and it gives you access to a couple of different ATA’s, one of which is extremely good).

Everyone plays slightly differently, but if you’re the type of player who’s great at positioning, Yondu is a blessing. On the right map, he’s arguably the best secondary attacker in the game right now because of how much raw area he can cover with his Trait. And at the end of the day, he’s priced right and won’t cost you a Prime slot.

So Yondu gets the “Close… But No Cigar” Award!!

Okay! Enough with the also-rans!! That’s not why you clicked on this post! What you want to know is simply who are…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!!

 

Ebony Maw

10. GOTG025 Ebony Maw65 Points – Uncommon: Well, I said there’d be more Black Order on here, didn’t I? One of the creepiest characters from last year’s Infinity story arc is now one of the tricksy-ist supporting pieces in the set. Both of his Traits are fantastic; the first (WORDS, WORDS, WORDS: Whenever an opposing character uses Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control, place a Whisper token on this card. Give Ebony Maw a free action and remove a Whisper token to use either Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control until your next turn if he can’t already. He may be given this free action up to three times each turn.) helps you react to all of your opponent’s board control abilities with one piece. The second (CULL OBSIDIAN: When Ebony Maw is KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, deal damage to that character equal to the last amount of damage dealt to Ebony Maw. This damage can’t be reduced below 1.) is common to every member of the Black Order except Thanos (don’t worry–the Mad Titan has even meaner tricks of his own!) and acts like a snake in the mailbox for whoever finally KO’s the Maw.

But before they can KO Ebony Maw, they have to find a way around his Attack Special (TWIST YOU INTO BETRAYAL: Whenever Ebony Maw is targeted with an attack from an opposing character, you may choose an adjacent opposing character that isn’t the attacker to be the target of that attack even if that character couldn’t normally be targeted.). That is incredibly good, and it makes the Maw one of the best tie-up figures in Modern at the moment because he actually gets BETTER when you tie-up more than one figure at a time with him! When Ebony Maw is on the board, your opponent needs to make sure that either all of his characters have at least two squares between them (which means bye-bye to any standard Enhancement, Empower or Leadership powers they have, and makes Hydra, Police and a multitude of other TA’s useless) or he needs to make sure that he has enough Outwitters who can actually see Ebony Maw (remember, he also has top dial Stealth) to take away that Attack Special (of course, Outwitting Ebony Maw also GIVES Ebony Maw the ability to use a Whisper Token the next turn, so you better make your shots count!) long enough to off him.

This is one of the peskiest pieces they’ve designed in awhile.

 

"I will not have my opinions questioned by a penny-ante quick-change artist!" And if you remember that episode of G.I.Joe, well... you're a nut.

“Got a Ma-chine head. Better than the rest…  “

9. GOTG045 I.S.A.A.C. 88 Points – Rare: I’ll be honest–I have no idea who this guy is or why he looks like Destro from G.I.Joe. But a figure who can Outwit through just about anything AND THEN launch a 3 Bolt, 3 Damage Energy Explosion bomb from 10 freaking squares away can look like Rainbow Brite for all I care, especially when that character costs well under 100 Points.

"I will rain fire and death over any who would attack Titan. Tee-hee!"

“I will rain fire and death over any who would attack Titan. Tee-hee!”

Top dial, I.S.A.A.C. can also use Phasing/Teleport, Indomitable, Stealth and Carry, so he can get your other pieces into play before he turns his attention to blowing stuff up. But this is not a one-trick pony! I.S.A.A.C. ‘s back dial turns into an 11 Attack Value Support-sporting healer. Yep! That’s right–he’s a secondary attacker/supporting figure hybrid. And he’s even got the Robot keyword, so he can gain Perplex through their ATA. One of the more efficient pieces in the set–and, of course, like every other piece, he starts getting frightening when you equip him with Hammers. I would not be shocked if this guy makes a ROC Top 16 or two in the near future.

 

Zombie Super Skrull

8. GOTG062 Super Skrull170 Points – Chase: An 8-Click-long Primary Attacker who has the ability to become whoever–or whatever–you want him to be. Like all the other Zombie Chases, Super Skrull ignores characters for movement purposes and can gain Food Tokens while giving Virus Tokens whenever he deals damage. But his other Trait is where he really makes his money (IT’S HARD TO EMULATE FOUR POWERS WITH HALF MY LIMBS: Give Super Skrull a free action and choose up to one each of standard speed, attack, defense, and damage powers. Super Skrull can use the chosen powers until your next turn. For each power chosen this way, place a Power token on his card. At the end of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, and subtract 1 for each Power token on his card and remove all Power tokens from his card. On a result of 1 or less, deal Super Skrull 1 unavoidable damage.).

I know that’s a lot of text, but here’s what it really says: Pick up to any four standard powers in the game that you want (choosing only ONE power for each combat slot); Super Skrull can use ALL of those powers until your next turn. Then, at the end of your turn, there’s a roughly 83% chance that he’ll take 1 Unavoidable Damage. That’s a small price to pay for being able to choose, say, Hypersonic Speed, Impervious, Precision Strike and Shape Change. Or Willpower if you don’t want to take pushing damage. Or whatever you want! There’s plenty of ways to heal one damage in the game right now, too. Black Lantern Ring, Angrir’s Hammer (Super Skrull gets REALLY sick when he gets a Hammer)… the point is, Super Skrull is like a Swiss Army Knife. When he’s on your side, you just need to figure out which tools you need for each situation as it comes up, and then Super Skrull can instantly use them.

(And in Golden Age games, considering his Monster keyword, teaming Super Skrull with GG026 Mole Man, where you can get TWO uses out of the chosen abilities instead of one… yikes!)

This is the one Chase I think they really got right.

 

"I totally just found a Power Ring. High Five bro!"

“I totally just found a Power Ring at the bottom of my Cracker Jack box! High Five bro!”

7. GOTG059B Doctor Spectrum110 Points – Super Rare (Prime):  I like him better than his A-Side, Non-Prime version simply because he costs significantly less (like 27 Points less). The good Doctor here starts with the Wing Symbol, Running Shot, 3 Bolt Energy Explosion with an 11 Attack and a sick Trait (POWER PRISM: When targeting a single character with an attack, modify Doctor Spectrum’s attack value by the number of different-colored standard powers on the dial of his target(s).) to go with an even sicker Defense Special (TOUGHENED ENERGY CONSTRUCTS: Doctor Spectrum can use Barrier and Toughness. Give Doctor Spectrum a free action, choose a standard attack power, and he can use that power this turn.).

To review, this guy can pick ANY standard attack power (like, say, Penetrating/Psychic Blast), graft a 3 Bolt Energy Explosion on top of it, and–oh, by the way–against most characters, he’s going to have a 12-13 Attack Value. In a Meta environment where Defense Values can routinely climb to 19, 20 or even higher, the ability to “Bunker Bust” a character in a Defense-ball squad with Spectrum’s high Attack Value AND splash 3 Damage to all his adjacent compadres is pretty huge!

 

"Wait, which one of us is in command again? I can never tell!"

“Wait, which one of us is in charge again? I can never tell!”

 6. GOTG017A Kree Lieutenant45 Points – Uncommon: The best generic in the set is a great supporting piece with top dial Enhancement, Sidestep and a 17 Defense with ES/D (thus making him very hard to splash with Energy Explosion Damage while he’s doing his Enhancement thing), but he’s actually a great tertiary attacker on his own as well! On his second click he keeps Sidestep and ES/D, but he actually GAINS Penetrating/Psychic Blast at that point (with 5 Range). Then, at the back end of his dial, he morphs into a close combatant and picks up Charge, Empower and Combat Reflexes!

Did I mention that this guy is a stupidly cheap 45 Points? And his Trait–yes, he has a Trait on top of all the rest of the powers on his dial–gives +1 to the Attack Value of all friendly adjacent Kree. With all the great Kree figures we’ve gotten in the past couple months, that’s awesome! While I’m sure a ton of different Kree Build possibilities will present themselves moving forward, my favorite thing to do with the good Lieutenant is to team him with GOTGM106R Ronan the Accuser, which turns Ronan into a 10 Range, 12 Attack and 4 Damage-sporting monstrosity… and oh, by the way, you’d still have 155 Points to spend. Play a second Lieutenant to bump Ronan’s damage to 5, and you’d still have 110 leftover. All because someone thought the Kree Lieutenant’s 70 Point dial should only cost 45. Nice calculating, WizKids!

 

Supergiant

5. GOTG048 Supergiant120 Points – Rare: 7 Clicks of brutal, dirty nastiness. Supergiant has the standard Cull Obsidian Trait, but she also has three Special Powers that are worth mentioning, too. First, her Movement Special (MENTAL POSSESSION: Supergiant can use Mind Control. When she does, she isn’t dealt unavoidable damage from it and modifies her attack value by +1. At the beginning of your turn, she can use Mind Control as a free action to target a character she hit with Mind Control during your last turn.) gives her a free Mind Control every turn (after the first one hits, of course). That’s awesome.

Second, her Attack Special (OMNIPATH: Supergiant can use Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When she does, she may target any number of characters.) lets her Multi-target with Pen/Psy.

Finally, her Damage Special Ability (MENTAL PARASITE: Supergiant can use Outwit. When she does, the target character modifies its combat values by -1 until your next turn.) is damn near broken. Not just an Outwit, but an Outwit that really hobbles whichever piece she targets.

Playing against Supergiant is a bad day. Take it from me…

 

Star-Lord Comic

4. GOTG030 Star-Lord110 Points – Uncommon: Oh look, another Uncommon! The Uncommons in this set are just stacked!

Star-Lord’s dial is very fair for 110 Points. Running Shot 2 Bolt Energy Explosion with 6 Range and an 11 Attack Value. 17 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection. Pretty standard, right? Well, he’s got 3 more tricks up his sleeve that put him over the top.

First, his Improved Targeting ignores Hindering Terrain. That’s always handy. Second, he has a Damage Special (TACTICAL MANEUVER: Star-Lord can use Outwit. When he does, he can count range and draw lines of fire from any friendly character that shares a keyword with him.) that’s really cool, especially when used with his Improved Targeting. Oh, Rocket Raccoon wants to shoot at Batman but he can’t because Bats has Stealth? Well, Peter Quill here can Outwit through Stealth FROM ROCKET’S POSITION ON THE BOARD!! I believe the industry term for a figure that can Outwit Stealth from across the map is “F#@king Awesomesauce!!

Obviously, this Star-Lord was designed to sort of quarterback GotG-keyworded teams, and he’s great at it. But his third trick–a Trait–is probably his best ability (GUARD THE WHOLE GALAXY: Friendly characters with the Guardians of the Galaxy keyword may replace their defense values with the highest printed defense values among friendly characters with that keyword.). Obviously, this was meant to be used with GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon and his printed 19 Defense.

So in addition to being a solid secondary attacker, Star-Lord is also gonna run some major support by Outwitting stuff other people can’t see AND by pumping everyone’s base Defense up to 19 (when played with Rocket, of course)! Which means that his 110 Point dial just went from “pretty solid” to “really damn good” in just four paragraphs!!

 

Proxima Midnight

3. GOTG050 Proxima Midnight 100 Points – Super Rare: Well, well well. Another great Black Order piece. If you just looked at her starting values and standard powers, she’d be worth her 100 Points without further explanation (although her Running Shot with Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Sharpshooter and ZERO Range would still seem like a pretty weird combo). But the designers gave her THREE awesome Traits on top of what’s already there on her dial. Her first Trait (THREE TRACERS OF BLACK LIGHT: Proxima Midnight begins the game with 3 Tracer tokens on this card. Proxima Midnight has a range value equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card times 3, and has a number of bolts equal to the number of Tracer tokens on this card.) gives her 9 Range to start! How’s that Running Shot/Psychic Blast looking now?

Her next Trait basically makes her Tracer Tokens pretty damn ridiculous (THE SPEAR OF PROXIMA MIDNIGHT: When Proxima Midnight hits with a ranged combat attack, remove a Tracer token from this card and place it on a hit character’s card if it doesn’t already have one. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 for each of her Tracer tokens on other character’s cards, and on a result of 3-6 deal 1 penetrating damage to the character with that Tracer token on its card. When a character with her Tracer token on its card is KO’d, place the Tracer token on Proxima Midnight’s card.). Yep. She’s basically got a 66.66% chance to (essentially) deal penetrating Poison from ANYWHERE ON THE MAP to up to three different characters that she’s previously hit. That’s a little bit good, no?

Finally, she also has the Cull Obsidian Trait (CULL OBSIDIAN: When Proxima Midnight is KO’d by an opposing character’s attack, deal damage to that character equal to the last amount of damage dealt to Proxima Midnight. This damage can’t be reduced below 1.) that all of her peers in the Black Order possess except Thanos.

She also has the Minions of Thanos and Warrior keywords, in case you wanted to team her up with some Guardians Movie villain pieces or enlist her in Duhg’s Army. She’s another piece that would not surprise me if she showed up on a few ROC Top 16 Teams, especially since she can possibly remove more than one token a turn from current Meta-staple Bizarro.

This is a sick piece.

 

Thanosi

2. GOTG047BR Thanosi 100 Points – Rare (Prime): Lots of folks like his 200 Point dial. That’s fine. It’s awesome. Frankly, Thanosi could have made this list 3 different times. But I like his 100 Point version the best. Power Cosmic TA, Running Shot with 2 Bolt Energy Explosion, 4 Damage with Probability Control… Oh, and this Trait ([100 PTS] BUILT TO TEST MY FOES: KA-ZAR: Opposing characters within range can’t ignore terrain for movement purposes.).

Yikes! And he’s got the Robot keyword, so he can gain a special version of Perplex as well! But can you imagine playing someone on, say, Wundagore Mountain with Nebula and Thanosi and plopping Thanosi near the center of the map on Turn 1? Your opponent would have to take the long way ’round with each and every character!

So, yeah, at 100 Points, Thanosi’s kind of a one trick pony, but damn, it’s one hell of a trick!

 

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

1. GOTG007B Captain Marvel 82 Points – Common (Prime): Yep! All 4 Primes from the set made this list in some form or another. They’re that good. But Captain Marvel beats them all, hands down. Running Shot with an 11 Attack and 6 Range to go with an 18 Defense and 3 Printed Damage is pretty good for 82 Points. But then you get to his Attack Special:

UNI-BEAM: Captain Marvel can use Energy Explosion, Incapacitate, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. When Captain Marvel hits with a ranged combat attack, hit targets can’t make attacks during their next turn.

As far as Special Abilities go for the Attack slot, that’s arguably the best in the game. Certainly in Modern. The ability to prevent attacks is disgustingly good. But then you look at his Defense Special Ability:

DEFEND HUMANITY FROM MY PEOPLE: Captain Marvel can use Defend and Super Senses. Modify the defense values of adjacent friendly characters without the Kree keyword by +1. This power can’t be countered.

And that’s ALSO insane! So insane that Ninwashui used him as Superior Spidey’s sidekick in Let’s Be Lanterns, Too!

Marvel can be a Primary Attacker AND he can support your support pieces by raising their Defense to 19! That makes him a pretty damn efficient use of points, I’d say.

Kree, Soldier, Spy and Scientist keywords (and man, has the Scientist keyword made a comeback or what?!? All the best pieces from this set seem to be Scientists or Robots!) mean you can use him in a bunch of different Builds!

 

Okay! Soooo, that’s my list! You know what I think now! But who do you think is the best piece from this set? Sound off in the Comments below!

Guarding the Galaxy Part 2: The Starter Review!! (Or, Y’know, A Review of the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set Starter Pack!!)

GotG Title

Annnnnnd we’re back! I swear, I haven’t been playing Hearthstone for three days straight! Honest!

(No, for reals–I mean, I would’ve spent the whole three days pulling my hair out trying to take on the Heroic versions of the Naxx Arachnid Quarter Bosses without Alexstrazsa–y’know what? Doesn’t matter right now.)

Okay! So, awhile ago, we published our take on the first 18 figures in the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set! But we promised we’d be back later with the back end of the review–namely, the six figures that come in the starter! Well, here we are!

As a whole, I highly recommend purchasing the Starter for the reasons we’re about to get into, but man, there’s not really a dud piece in the bunch! But before we get to the last six Clix in the set, I want to mention a few things.

First of all, the fact that you get an exclusive Map is just gravy on the cake (no, I’m not mixing metaphors–I just invented the greatest thing ever by combining the two FORMER greatest things ever. You’re Welcome. And yes, that was a reference to the film’s tagline. Ahem.). Yes, I know all Starters/Fast Forces come with a map, but it definitely adds to the value of the whole endeavor.

This particular map comes with two Indoor layouts–The Kyln (a space prison, I believe) and Nova Corps. headquarters. Let’s start with the last one first.

MAP: Nova Corps. Headquarters:

Yep--in all of InternetLand, this is the best image I could find for this map. For shame, cyberspace. For Shame!!

Yep–in all of InternetLand, this is the best image I could find for this map. For shame, cyberspace. For Shame!!

This map is a stay away for me. One side is fairly isolated, which can be gold if you’re playing an Iron Pharaoh or Fantomex (read: Stall Team) force, but you’ll never get to play there. If you win Map Roll, you get to choose what map you want, but then your opponent gets to pick what side he gets. And, since he’s seen what you’re playing at this point, if he has any idea how your team works, he’d never let you choose the isolated side. Plus, even if you were playing a Iron Pharaoh team, your Falcon would be neutered a tiny bit by not being able to see through Blocking Terrain (since you’re Indoors.). There’s a few teams that could work on a map like this, (The Hand, maybe, powered by Wolverine, Agent of Hydra?), but most of the teams that could work on this map could probably work even better on a different one.

Much more interesting, then, in my eyes at least, is:

MAP: The Kyln:

Ugh--this one's even worse, and I took it myself. Man, why doesn't HCRealms just catalog every map with a clean picture and document every last bit of Orange text and put it all into a nice, free and functional Search Engine? Man, it's like they're not even trying anymore...

Ugh–this one’s even worse, and I took it myself. Man, why doesn’t HCRealms just catalog every Clix map ever made with a clean picture AND document every last bit of Orange text and put it all into a nice, free and functional search engine on their site? Man, it’s like they’re not even trying anymore…

The Kyln has a ton of room to run and hide after striking for Hypersonic characters! Superboy Prime(s), Speed Demon, Whizzer–all would do well on this map! Very exploitable (reeeeeaaaalllly easy to sneak out, nail someone, then swing back around a corner and hide behind Walls!), and if you regularly play tourneys, at the very least, you’ll want this map for your toolbox.

And having said that, let’s move on to the Main Event! We’ll go right in order:

 

Star-Lord Movie Starter

GOTGM101 Star-Lord75 Points – Starter Set: Point for point, the best Star-Lord in the set. Chris Pratt’s alter ego starts out with the Improved Movement power that you probably scoured the other versions’ cards for (CAN’T KEEP THIS UP, BUT I DON’T NEED TO: Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain) only to find after much searching that it just wasn’t there. This dial is also interesting because it switches ROLES every other click! He alternates between being a pretty damn good Secondary Attacker in a 300 Point Modern Age game on his odd clicks to being the ultimate supporting figure (he gains Enhancement, Empower AND Perplex) on his even ones. Movie Peter Quill’s first three clicks all have a native 3 Damage, and he’s rocking a 6 Range with Running Shot and Penetrating/Psychic Blast top click (actually, he keeps that Pen/Psy for his first clicks!!). And while everything else is going on, his Trait (get used to seeing this–more than a few figures have it!) gives him a one-time, backstage pass to an improved version of Pulse Wave (HADRON ENFORCER: Once per game, give Star-Lord a free action and choose an unoccupied square of clear terrain within range and line of fire. When you do, Star-Lord can use Pulse Wave this turn as if he occupied that square.)!!

I can’t tell you off of the top of my head exactly how many figures for 75 Points or less have access to both Penetrating/Psychic Blast AND Pulse Wave of ANY kind–much less one that effectively DOUBLES your Range with it–without the benefit of a Resource, but I’m betting the number is EXTREMELY small. Like possibly just Starter Chris Pratt small. Remember, these are the two best Attack Slot powers IN THE GAME! His drawbacks are few. He only has five clicks of life (helped a tiny bit by Toughness on the first three clicks and Super Senses on the last two), and his Defense tops out at 17. Not terrible, but definitely hittable. Still, considering that he brings so many top tier standard powers to the table, he more than makes up for a questionable Defense. He even has decent keywords (GotG, Ravagers, Soldier, etc.). Good gosh, he’s only 75 Points!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (he’s not a Chase Rocket Raccoon, but he ain’t far off!)

 

"It's real!!"

“It’s real!!”

GOTGM102 Rocket Raccoon75 Points – Starter Set: Again, a lot to love. This version ditches the Improved Movement for better targeting potential (INDISCRIMINATE? NO, INCOMPARABLE: Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters). He’s Tiny, so he can still be Carried, and his Attack Special (TWO BIG GUNS: Give Rocket Raccoon a power action and he may then make 2 ranged combat attacks as free actions.) is REALLY GOOD if you can Outwit your opponent’s Defense first! His other assets include a 7 Range with two Bolts, top dial Stealth and the fact that he’s one of the only actual Guardians of the Galaxy to have top dial Willpower–that’s actually a difference between a lot of these figures versus they’re starter counterparts. The Starter figs tend to have it where the main set pieces don’t. His keywords are limited–just Animal and GotG–but he can still be a solid Secondary Attacker on the right team. Having said all that, this is the rare case (with this set at least) where the Starter set version is actually worse than the main set versions (of course, that bar is pretty high!). Still, I’d give him this:

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"Eyes up, Star-Lord."

“Eyes up, Star-Lord.”

GOTGM103 Gamora100/75 Points – Starter Set: Whoa!! There we go! On her first click of life, Gamora can use Charge, Precision Strike, Super Senses and a Special version of Close Combat Mastery that hoses any piece she hits. As I stated above with Rocket Raccoon, not many actual Guardians have Willpower, but Gamora here is rocking Indomitable. Plus, her Trait (DEADLIEST WOMAN IN THE WHOLE GALAXY: Give Gamora a free action and choose an opposing character. When Gamora attacks the chosen character, modify her attack and damage values by +1. Gamora can’t choose again until the chosen character has been KO’d.) potentially bumps her Attack Value to 12 and here Damage value to 4 when she attacks the chosen character! Her 75 Point dial is almost as good; I just prefer the top dial Charge of the 100 Point version  to the Special Movement Power that grants Sidestep (among other things). She’s right up there with the rare Target exclusive Drax the Destroyer, although he was only like 94 Points. I gave that Drax 3 and 3/4 rating, which means I have to give this Gamora:

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Drax Movie Starter

GOTGM104 Drax the Destroyer 125 Points – Starter Set: Hmmm… this piece is an odd duck. For 31 more points, Starter Drax has a solid 6 Range (up from 3), that same improved-range Pulse Wave Trait that Star-Lord had (HADRON ENFORCER: Once per game, Give Drax the Destroyer a free action and choose an unoccupied square of clear terrain within range and line of fire. When you do, Drax the Destroyer can use Pulse Wave this turn as if he occupied that square.), Indomitable (there’s that again!) and Impervious followed by Invincible instead of just straight Toughness followed by weird pseudo-Stop Clicks. But this Drax also has 1 less click of life, lower Defense (starts with a 17 versus the Mass Market Rare’s 18), slightly lower attack and Super Strength where his counterpart had Precision Strike. The Target-exclusive Drax had a clear role–take out any enemy pieces with Shape Change and/or Super Senses, since he ignores both of those powers. This Drax instead has Exploit Weakness and Close Combat Expert, so his damage dealing potential (if it gets through Super Senses and Shape Change) is a little higher, but not much. I’d personally stick with the Mass Market Rare and spend that extra 31 Points elsewhere.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"I... am... West Siiiide!"

“I… am… West Siiiide!”

GOTGM105 Groot100/75 Points – Starter Set: Another support figure, but this version will only cost you up to 100 Points and comes in two great flavors! The first (100 Point version) is rocking an 18 Defense with Invulnerability and the always useful Defend. He’s got Indomitable, so you don’t have to worry about pushing, and he’s also a giant like the main set version. His Movement Special (PHOSPHORESCENT FLOWERS: Lines of fire drawn to opposing characters within 6 squares of Groot ignore hindering terrain.) alternates with Charge (which the Rookie version starts with) and is a great way to open up lines of fire for any snipers on your side who don’t come with Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain. Having Experienced Starter Groot Carry his lil’ Raccoon buddy (either the Chase or the Common from the main set) is both movie-accurate and useful, and you’d still have 100 Points left!

His keywords are very narrow (just Brute and Guardians of the Galaxy), but Brute actually opens up a lot of builds (and makes him eligible for Duhg’s Army). I wish he had access to Plasticity or Exploit Weakness at some point to go with his Close Combat Expert or Charge, respectively, but there’s still a lot to like here, and at MUCH more reasonable costs than the main set Rare. GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (100 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (75 Point Dial)

 

"I'm told this is my best side."

“I’m told this is my best side.”

GOTGM106 Ronan300/200/100 Points – Starter Set: Like the main set version, Starter Ronan is a high risk/high reward brick who is meant to take up all–or most–of your points. Each version has an Improved Targeting Trait (YOU CANNOT EVADE ME: Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters), and the Veteran also has 11 clicks of life and a Trait that makes Outwit useless (I WILL NOT BE DENIED: Ronan’s powers can’t be countered.). 10 Range with Running Shot/Pulse Wave top dial (and a 12 Attack Value) means that if you tried to field just Ronan here at, say, a ROC, you won’t be laughed off the table (I still wouldn’t recommend it, since you’ll be hideously out-actioned, but he’s by far NOT the worst figure you could try this with). I wish his damage stayed at 5 beyond top dial, but he comes with an Outwit of his own (again, with 10 Range!) and an 18 Defense with both Impervious AND Energy Shield/Deflection (which is, as mentioned, uncounterable, so the only major fear he has from range is–as always–Pulse Wave).

His Experienced version keeps the 18 Defense with Imperv and ES/D, but only top click, and he loses his move-and-attack power in favor of Flurry. Now, you’ll have an extra 100 Points to play with here, but as Ronan flies, he cannot be carried by most Taxis, which locks you into having to play a TK’er. His damage drops to 4 with Perplex (instead of Outwit), and his starting Attack Value is actually LOWER than the Rookie dial’s.

Rookie Ronan is five clicks of pain. He picks up Charge, an 11 Attack (that goes to 12 on Click 2), a 17 Defense with Invincible and 3 Damage with Close Combat Expert. His last two clicks have a Damage Special that lets him use Regeneration for free. At 100 points, he has a high damage output ceiling if you can get him in close.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (1oo Point Dial)

There ya go! I hope you enjoyed this look at the back end of the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set. I know I’m pumped for this movie, and I’ll enjoy playing these figures for the next couple years.

I’ll see you guys next time; until then, if you need me, I’ll be here, opening Hearthstone packs… LIKE A BOSS!!

 

You’re Welcome!! (Or, A Look at the Best Pieces from the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set!!)

GotG Title

Welcome back!

Today we’re taking a big look at the recent Guardians of the Galaxy Movie set that just released last week. Before we being, to get you in the right mood, let’s take a look at the poster for the movie:

This is how a movie poster is supposed to look if you want people to want to see the movie. Now, if you would rather have your stars look like they're on the cover of a Betamax Porky's rip-off from the 80's, then you could just throw them in front of your movie's logo set against a boring black background. I'm looking at you, Sex Tape.

This is how a movie poster is supposed to look if you want people to actually see the movie. Now, if you would rather have your stars look like they’re on the cover of a Betamax Porky’s rip-off from the mid-80’s, then by all means you should throw them in front of your movie’s crappy logo and set it all against a boring black background. I’m looking at you, Sex Tape.

Yup! These are our heroes! To see the just-dropped extended trailer, click right here!

Now that everyone’s caught up on where these pieces came from, let’s take a look at the figures themselves (EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re skipping the Starter Set for today–it’ll take us 4000+ words just to get through the Main Set! Look for a Starter Set review next week.)!!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: As promised, you can find the Starter Review right HERE!!)

We’ll go right in order, and at the end of each figure review we’ll grade each piece on a scale of 1-5 Oxygen Filtration Masks!!

 

"I make this look good."

“I make this look good.”

GOTGM001 Star-Lord – 95 Points – Common: A tricksy dial that has move-and-attack powers throughout, depending on how you choose to move. Confusing? Sort of, but it kind of captures the character, I think. His Trait (OXYGEN FILTRATION MASK: Star-Lord ignores damage dealt by Poison.) becomes a bit more interesting in a world where Despotellis is a thing, but his top dial Leadership is almost wasted unless your playing a couple of Guardians from the Movie Starter (more on them later) at their Rookie point level. That he possesses the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ravagers AND Soldier keywords is a definite plus.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this version of Peter Quill actually HAS a Trait called “Oxygen Filtration Mask,” his grade was bumped up by a 1/2 Filtration Mask.)

 

Movie Gamora

GOTGM002 Gamora73 Points – Common: Three Traits on a 73 Point figure! Yay! At least, “yay,” you know, until you actually read them. She starts with a great Improved Movement Trait (DEADLIEST WARRIOR IN THE GALAXY: Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, May move through squares adjacent to opposing characters, but still needs to break away normally.) that’s immediately undone by the fact that her only native move-and-attack power is Sidestep, which alternates through her dial with Flurry. If you can get her hooked up with a Hammer or the Phoenix Force to provide her with Charge, then this dial starts to become very interesting. Her second Trait (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Gamora attacks an opposing character named Nebula, modify Gamora’s attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Nebula can’t use Shape Change.) will never, ever come into play, because as colossally Meh as this Gamora is, Nebula is even worse. Her final Trait (WORKING BOTH SIDES: When a hindered line of fire is drawn to Gamora, she modifies her defense value by +2 instead of +1.) is moderately useful in keeping her alive against ranged attackers long enough to base them for an attack if you can find the right approach. Still, without any Charge, that’s gonna be a long hike. Now, if any of her Blades/Claws/Fangs slots matched up with her Flurry slots, I’d like her a lot more. Heh. Looking back on what I just wrote, I think I used the word “if” roughly 3021 times. Which probably means that as she stands, she needs A LOT of help to be effective.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Nova Corpsman

GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman45 Points – Common: A bit expensive for their base stats, but on a Nova Corps team(for Magic: The Gathering fans, Nova Corps teams basically work like Sliver decks) , what they add to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword and occupying hindering terrain modify their attack and range values by +1 unless already modified by this effect.) make these guys well worth it. Let’s do a quick Flash Build with ’em!

Team Name: Ain’t Nova But a Thing

Theme: None

Roster:

WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points

GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman – 45

GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey – 75

R100C Power Plant – 30

=300 Points

White Lantern Swamp Thing is an awesome new piece from War of Light. Alongside his great stats and specials, his Trait (RESTORE THE GREEN: Give Swamp Thing a move action, after actions resolve, you may place hindering terrain markers in any clear squares he moved through and he may make a close combat attack targeting one opposing character occupying a hindering terrain marker Swamp Thing just placed. These markers aren’t removed when Swamp Thing is KO’d.) provides just what Nova Corpsman and Rhomann Dey need to gain the Corpsman’s Worldmind benefit, and mid-dial, Swamp Thing can also use those Hindering Terrain markers to keep the others alive with his Damage Special (RESURRECT THE FALLEN: When a friendly character within range and occupying hindering terrain would be KO’d, roll a d6. On a result of 5, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 1 click, and they are now assigned 1 action token. On a result of 6, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 2 clicks, and remove all action tokens they are assigned.). And if Dey does fall, Swamp Thing gets to join the Nova Corps and gains access to the Worldmind! This team won’t win you any tournaments, but it should be pretty fun to play.

There usefulness is pretty narrow, but if you intend on playing Nova Corps teams, either Modern or Golden Age, your gonna want a few of these guys.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Officers

GOTGM004 Nova Corps Officer 55 – Common: For 10 more points, you get a Trait that’s not nearly as good as the Officer’s subordinate (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Friendly Characters) and a mid-dial Movement Special (PULL BACK!: Nova Corps Officer and adjacent friendly characters not on their first click and of a lower point value can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain.) that kind of lets you move you cheap characters around the board a little easier IF THEY’RE ALREADY HURT! Uh… thanks?

On second thought, no thanks.

GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Rocket with gun

GOTGM005 Rocket Raccoon90 Points – Common: The breakout character from the movie is also going to be the breakout character from this set. All three versions of Rocket are pretty damn good. This particular Rocket is a straight nuisance from range with his Tiny Size (even if your attacker can see through Hindering, you’re gonna have to hit a 19 at least to touch him–and that’s assuming he’s using his Tactical Genius granted Perplex on Attack values), and with a 17 Defense base stat plus his Evasive Special (EVASIVE: When Rocket Raccoon is targeted with an attack, roll a d6 and subtract 3 (minimum 1). Increase his defense value by the result.), he’s not much easier to deal with up close, either. His damage dealing is fair to above average, and he’s best engaged with a heavy hitter who can deal 5 damage in one shot (cuz chances are you’re not hitting him twice unless you have Precision Strike or can get him in range of a full damage Pulse Wave–especially if he gets to click 4, where even if you somehow hit a 17-18 from range, you still have to get through Shape Change AND Super Senses. As always, let’s check in with Jerry Seinfeld to see if he has any thoughts on trying to hit Rocket with all those defensive abilities we just talked about:

Seinfeld Good Luck

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Highest grade so far! Silly Raccoon!)

 

Sakaaran Soldiers

GOTGM006 Sakaaran Soldier49 Points – Common: Let’s see… Dolphin Movement Symbol and Stealth. Um, okay. That’s solid I guess. 10 Attack with 3 damage top dial is not terrible for 49 Points, and they have the Minions of Thanos and Soldier keywords to go with the (so far at least) completely useless Sakaaran keyword. Their attack from the grave Trait sounds fun (UPON MY DEATH: DESTRUCTION: When Sakaaran Soldier is KO’d, before removing him from the map and even if he is adjacent to an opposing character, make a ranged combat attack with a locked attack value of 9 that can’t be rerolled. The area of effect for this attack is all opposing characters within 4 squares and each hit character is dealt 1 penetrating damage.), as it’s basically a free mini-Pulse Wave, but remember that you’re making that attack with a 9 Attack Value. Not the easiest thing in the world to do, but hey, if you roll a Critical Miss, you won’t have to worry about damaging your figure, since, y’know, they’ll be dead anyway.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Wait, "Sakaaran Commander," or "Cobra Commander?" I'm confused...

Wait, “Sakaaran Commander,” or “Cobra Commander?” I’m confused…

GOTGM007 Sakaaran Commander74 Points – Common: This is a weird dial. He has Leadership (but only for adjacent characters that share a keyword with him like Minions of Thanos), his mere presence gives friendly Sakaaran Soldiers Running Shot, and he also comes with top dial Enhancement. Yes, WizKids finally designed a support figure that costs more than the attacker its meant to support! 74 Points is too much to pay for a guy you’re only using to prop up 49 point secondary attackers.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Ronan

GOTGM008 Ronan the Accuser275/200/150 Points – Common: The biggest beast in the set! That 275 Point dial is almost begging to be put together with an Entity (Parallax would probably work best, especially on Click 2), but keep in mind that Ronan inexplicably DOESN’T have the Cosmic keyword, so using an Entity with him would break Theme. I like his Veteran and Rookie dials the best; His 200 Point dial just doesn’t have enough “beef.” 3 damage? Pen/Psy or no, that’s not enough for a 200 Pointer. His Rookie dial gives you almost exactly what his 200 Point dial does, except it does it for 50 less points. His starting Defense goes down one, but to be honest, I’d rather have a 17 Invincible instead of an 18 Impervious any day of the week.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (275 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

 

Groot 1

GOTGM009 Groot198/90 Points – Core Hobby Rare: A close combat/tie-up nightmare, Groot is a fun character who unfortunately is extremely over-costed for what he does. At 198 Points, Groot is almost certainly going to be your primary attacker, and with an Attack Value that never bests 10 (save for 1 Click), that’s going to be an uphill climb. His Defense Special (I… AM…: When turning the dial, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Groot has Tiny Symbol, can’t be targeted by ranged combat attacks, and is considered smaller than all other characters. If Groot occupies water terrain or your starting area, you may give him a double power action and heal him of 3 damage. This power can’t be ignored.) is one of the best Stop Clicks in the game (can’t even be targeted by ranged attacks? Good Lord!), but his Damage Special is merely good, not great (since he just has the default Outwit Range of 6).

His Rookie dial is much more reasonably costed, and he can still blow up Blocking Terrain (Barrier buster) and tie opposing figures up very well. Plus, he starts with Invincible! He has an even lower Attack Value, but that’s much more easily overcome at 90 Points versus 198.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (198 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (90)

 

Nebula Movie

GOTGM010 Nebula73 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Ugh. No move-and-attack and a Trait that’s useless (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Nebula attacks a character named Gamora, Nebula modifies her attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Gamora can’t use Combat Reflexes.) unless your opponent is specifically playing Gamora. No reducers–just regular Mastermind, which means a character under 73 Points will have to tag along wherever she goes. Of course, chances are high that whatever fodder you choose to tag along with Nebula will be a better piece, so you probably won’t want to transfer damage off of Nebula anyway. Decent Attack Value, but when you consider how hard you’ll have to work just to get her based with someone (remember–outside of some down dial Sidesteop, no native move-and-attack!), it hardly seems worth it when she’s only doing 2-3 Damage before any reducers. No Blades/Claws/Fangs, which seems weird if you’ve seen her big moment in the trailer. Unless you are completely beholden to a Minions of Thanos movie Theme Team (and even then, you should still play GOTGM002 Gamora over Nebula, since Gamora has–SPOILER ALERT!–the Minions of Thanos keyword), stay away. Stay far, far away.

GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (This hurts, since I’m a big Karen Gillan from her time on Doctor Who. But her agent clearly forgot to demand a decent Clix version of her character…)

 

"I'm not going to be ignored, Peter Quill."

“I’m not going to be ignored, Peter Quill.”

 GOTGM011 Irani Rael 60 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Glenn Close’s Alter Ego is the Maria Hill of Nova Corps teams. She’s very fragile and will just about never deal any damage. She basically stays in your starting area and offers an alternating Perplex or Outwit that she can use counting Range and Line of Fire from any friendly Nova Corps piece. That ability plus her dial is not worth 60 Points, but when you factor in what she brings to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword ignore knock back and modify their defense values by +1.), she becomes a much better deal. I’d love her if she was 45 Points; 60 is a LOT to spend on a figure that will never deal any damage under any circumstances. Still, she is the best supporting figure option for Nova teams right now.

(On a side note, how great is this cast? John C. Reilly and Glenn Close as supporting Nova Corps characters? Lee Pace, Karen Gillan and Djimon Hounsou as the villains? Djimon Hounsou’s been nominated for an Oscar! Benecio Del Toro doing weird Benecio Del Toro things as the Collector? Michael Rooker as Blue Michael Rooker? And then you have your main cast, which includes Vin Diesel and 2-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper as supporting characters! Even Peter Serafinowicz (the “What a bunch of A-holes.” Nova Corps Officer from the first trailer) has been in a TON of stuff! I can’t wait for this movie!)

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Yondu Michael Rooker

GOTGM012 Yondu82 Points – Core Hobby Rare: The best Core Hobby Rare, Yondu is kind of like Chaos War Hawkeye-lite. His Keywords aren’t as good (although Ravagers is kind of a sneaky good one), and he’s got a 6 Range instead of 9, but top dial, he can Running Shot for 3 with a Damage Special (ONE. LITTLE. WHISTLE.: When making a ranged combat attack against a single target, modify Yondu’s attack by +2.) that can pump his Attack Value up to 12! Down dial, he has Energy Explosion to go with his 3 BOLTS! With the right support, he can become quite the death dealer.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Drax the Destroyer Dave Batista

GOTGM013 Drax the Destroyer94 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A close combat nightmare without the shortcomings that hobbled Groot. Top dial, Drax features Charge, Flurry, Precision Strike, 18 Defense with Toughness and 3 Damage with Battle Fury. He also gets to choose an opposing figure at the beginning of the game and gets +1 while attacking that figure up close (which pumps his Attack Value to 12!). He even has a small Range of 3, which isn’t much, but isn’t 0 either. In one of the weirder Defense Specials I’ve ever seen, Drax has a chance to have 3 Stop Clicks (THERE WAS NOBODY IN IT I WANTED TO SEE: When this click is revealed while taking damage from an attack, roll a d6 and on a result of 5-6, stop turning the dial. Drax the Destroyer can use Regeneration and, if he has one or more action tokens, he can use it as a free action.) that also allows him to use Regeneration for free in certain circumstances.

In a world where Brother Voodoo and other Mind Controllers still run rampant, Drax should be able to carve out a meaningful place. The only thing holding him back is the lack of Indomitable or any Improved Movement, but something like the latter can quickly be fixed with Hammers or Phoenix Force Shards. Well worth his points.

GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE!!"

“PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE!!”

GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey75 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A perfectly average Nova Corps member, there are two things that stand out on Rhomann Dey. First, his keywords. He’s rocking Nova Corps, Cosmic (which is always very interesting in an environment with Entities) and Soldier. Second is his Trait (PASSING THE TORCH: When Rhomann Dey is KO’d, choose a friendly character for the rest of the game, that character can use Toughness, has a minimum range value of 6, and has the Nova Corps keyword.). Basically, if he dies, he becomes a bridge to inducting another figure into the Nova Corps, which is really only meaningful if you’re playing enough Nova Corps pieces to make granting access to the Worldmind worth it. Since he’s a Soldier (as are most of his brethren), you can include any piece with the Soldier keyword and pump them up mid-game if that’s the mechanic you’ve constructed your team around.

Having said that, banking on a strategy that includes one of your major pieces dying is almost never reliable–or a good idea. So while Rhomann’s Trait is intriguing, he really stands or falls based on his dial, which is… perfectly average, as I mentioned above. Two Bolt Energy Explosion is almost always useful (even with just a 6 Range), he has top dial Stealth and 3 Damage. Again, no Improved Movement or Targeting (unless you’re running him with other Nova Corps members who can share those powers through the Worldmind), so Stealth may not always be useful. I just have a sinking suspicion that Rhomann is another one of those pieces who will always SEEM more useful than he really is.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"Who?!"

“Who?!”

GOTGM015 Korath the Pursuer100/50 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, another Kree–although Korath isn’t blue like his brethren. Then again, their Supreme Intelligence is a giant green, blobby face, so it’s probably fictionally racist of me to assume that all Kree would be blue. Regardless, Korath here comes with a split dial that’ll either cost you 100 or 50 Points. His 50 Point dial is fine, but with only three clicks and a 16 Defense with Toughness, he’s not going to last long once the shooting starts. Most short dials like this are support pieces; Korath is still a secondary attacker at this point, so his dial doesn’t necessarily match his role. He’s really only useful here if you need a cheap(-ish) Outwitter for your Kree or Minions of Thanos team. Otherwise, stick to his 100 Point dial, which is much more worthwhile.

At 100 Points, Korath gets a really cool Trait (PURSUER TEMPLATES: During the beginning of the game, choose an opposing character. If that character moved and made an attack since your last turn, give Korath the Pursuer a free action and place him in a square adjacent to that character.), an Attack Special Power (AUGMENTED CYBERNETICS: Give Korath the Pursuer a power action and place an adjacent standard object on his card. Modify Korath the Pursuer’s attack and defense value by +1 for each of these objects on his card. When this power is lost, any objects on his card are removed from the game. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) and a Damage Special (SUBDUE THE TARGET: Korath the Pursuer can use Energy Explosion, Force Blast and Incapacitate.). All of which is to say, you can fairly easily get his Attack Value to 11 or 12 and his Defense to 18 or 19. Then, when you’re ready, you can unleash him on the target you chose for his Trait at the beginning of the game. Depending on the map you’re playing on, you’ll then have all sorts of options via that Damage Special. Is your quarry on Elevated Terrain? Force Blast him off! Is he a big’un with a lot of reducers? Incapacitate him! Does he have a Defense-ball going? Energy Explode it with your Augmented Attack Value! Korath is a versatile piece that requires patience and planning to play effectively, but he’s also a piece that can really punch above his weight class.

 GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (100 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (50 Point Dial)

 

The Collector Del Toro

GOTGM016 The Collector150 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, a figure with Power Cosmic! And a new Victory Condition Trait (I MUST POSSESS IT: During the beginning of the game, after characters have been placed, 1 Collectible token per 100 points of the game’s build total will be placed on the map. Each Collectible must be at least 3 squares away from each other and any starting area. An opponent places half of the Collectibles and you place the remainder. When a character occupies a square with a Collectible, give it a power action, roll a d6, and on a result of 4-6, place the Collectible on its card. If that character is KO’d, return each Collectible into a distinct adjacent square. When all friendly Collectibles are on friendly characters’ cards and those characters occupy your starting area, give the Collector a double power action and all opposing characters are KO’d.)!

That Trait is bonkers, but the Collector’s dial is pretty good for 150 Points. His un-Outwittable Phasing will help if you’re actually trying to collect the tokens, but he can also hold his own in a fight. 18 Invincible (which, again, can’t be countered because of his Power Cosmic TA) is a tough top dial nut to crack! His damage hovers between 3 and 4 for 2/3 of his dial, and the Collectible Token gimmick is just strange enough to distract an opponent from your real strategy, which should still be to wipe his characters off the board. Because the Collector is Cosmic, he’s also Theme Team-able with an Entity. And if all else fails, you can play him with characters who move freely like Despotellis or–in Silver/Golden Age games–Astral Dr. Strange and actually make a run for the Tokens. The point is, at a cost of only 150, you have plenty of options to fill out the rest of your team.

This is a cool addition to the game who scores highly just based on creativity alone!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (We have a new leader, ladies and gentlemen!)

 

Star-Lord Gif

GOTGM017 Star-Lord 150 Points – Core Hobby Chase: The first Chase! Yay! I just wish… he was better. I like the sculpt (the only Star-Lord that really features Chris Pratt’s likeness), and Running Shot, 11 Attack with Sharpshooter and Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts) is all good. He’s one of the few figures in the set with Indomitable, he’s got an 18 Defense with Invulnerability top dial, and down dial, his Movement Special (ALL-OUT: Star-Lord can use Running Shot. Once per game when he does, modify his combat values by +2 until actions resolve and then deal him 1 unavoidable damage.) could help turn the tide late in the game if things aren’t going your way or provide that last killshot you need to finish off an opposing figure. And if you push him too far with that and leave him vulnerable, his Trait (SCREAM RIGHT BACK IN HIS FACE: When Star-Lord is KO’d due to an opposing character’s attack, deal that character 2 unavoidable damage.) might take his target with him. Finally, his Damage Special (BURST FIRE: When you make a ranged combat attack that deals damage, you may choose to deal Star-Lord’s printed damage value to hit targets instead of normal damage.) is GREAT… it’s just too bad he doesn’t get it ’til he’s down dial.

All in all though, this feels like a 130 Point dial; at 150, I don’t know if there’s enough room to surround him with what he needs to be effective. A decent Primary Attacker, but that’s about it. Might be more effective in higher point games.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Rocket Raccoon Gif

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon100 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Chase: 4 Clicks, all of which are awesome. Top dial, the little guy with the big gun gets: Improved Movement (Hindering and Elevated); 8 Movement with Running Shot; 11 Attack with Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts); 19 Defense (19!!) with Super Senses and Tiny Size (which means he’s a minimum 20 if you’re trying to snipe him!); and 3 native Damage with Outwit and Enhancement. His Trait (HOW ABOUT “ROCKET RACCOON AND HIS HUMAN HANGERS-ON”?: Friendly characters adjacent to Rocket Raccoon with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Ravagers keyword modify their attack values by +1.) also lets like-keyworded teammates pump up their Attack Values.

What we have here then is a support piece that makes a very effective secondary attacker. I mean, outside of Despotellis, Rocket doesn’t have a lot of natural predators. I’ve seen some chatter from peeps worrying about his short dial, but man, you still have to hit him first. Considering all that, I’d have to say that this… is the marquee piece in the set!

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Yes!! We have our dramatically timed winner for Best Figure in the Set!!)

 

There ya go! Join us next week for a discussion of the Starter Set!

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

The Merc and The Meta (Or, A Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in Deadpool!!)

"Good Morning!"

“Good Morning!”

So, Ninwashui has chimed in with his Top Ten list for the new Deadpool set, WITH NO REGARD TO MY OWN OPINION!! Obviously, I could not let this besmirchment stand!

Here then, for the DeadPool set, is your…

Second Opinion!!

That's high praise!!

“That’s high praise!!”

 Some General Notes About the Set:

–While there are obviously some powerful individual pieces, I thought that the overall “Power Level” of this set fell slightly below Invincible Iron Man and SL0SH… and that’s OKAY! The fact that we got a ton of weird characters that I never thought I’d see made (Grasshopper? Sweet! Now my GLA team can–wait, there was more than one Grasshopper?), plus some much-needed Modern Age updates to some figures who have been conspicuously absent until now.

–Having said that, I would still agree with Ninwashui’s assessment that this set was more consistent in terms of the usefulness of the characters; I just feel that the previous two sets both had higher ceilings in terms of the power level of their best pieces. Still, since most of the characters were consistently useful, coming up with a Top Ten (and 5 Honorable Mentions) was pretty tough; so tough, in fact, that I was forced to cheat and list a TOP TWELVE!! Even still, there are some good figures in this set that just aren’t gonna get mentioned here, cuz there’s a lot to like.

–After getting to play a couple games with WizKids’s brand new mechanic, I can say that the Word Balloon feature turned out better than I expected. I thought these were all going to be kitschy, trite add-ons that simply granted silly powers that would only be used once in a blue moon, especially after seeing the “I Never Miss With the Sheep Gun” balloon (Man, I’ve had so many theoretical conversations about the impossibly far flung, Rube Goldberg Machine-induced scenarios in which plopping a Sheep token next to an opposing figure will turn the tide of a game, and while it’s early days yet, I think I’ll be okay if that’s the one Balloon I never pull). Boy, was I wrong.

"I was wrong on this one."

“I was wrong–this is awesome.”

First of all, they’ve made it really flavorful and probably avoided themselves future headaches by creating such a small pool of eligible characters (Deadpool Corps. members and Ultimate DeadPool and ThorPool, etc.). Fewer affected characters means there’s a lot less chance to break the game. And then, within that framework, they created some Word Balloons that are good enough to make you WANT to play a DeadPool. “Hammer Time,” “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?,” “My Common Sense is Tingling” and “ ” are all really good, especially when used with DP019A DeadPool, DP019B Evil DeadPool or DP055 DeadPool. In my opinion, those three figs are already all worth their Points to begin with; throw “Hammer Time” on any one of them (for example) and I believe that you’re actually fielding more points than you’re being charged for (remember, Balloons are NOT Resources in and of themselves, so they can be used in tandem with Resources and Relics. And don’t get me started about the “Possessed” ability on the new War of the Light Chases coming this month (Y’know, just when I finish a 4600-word column on Modern Age Chases, WizKids goes ahead and releases these “Entity” Chase pieces that are probably all gonna be Meta in some way–particularly through the aforementioned “Possessed” Trait).

Remember, if there’s one thing that this site has tried to teach ‘Clixers everywhere, it’s Critical Missives Army Build Axiom #1:

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #1: DO NOT PAY “RETAIL” POINT PRICES FOR FIGURES WHEN THERE’S A VALUE-PRICED OPTION AVAILABLE!!

Now, the corollary to that is this: Free Points Are Awesome!!

Again, CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM COROLLARY #1A: WHEN BUILDING YOUR ARMY, FREE POINTS ARE AWESOME!!

If you accept that the 3 DeadPools from this set that I just mentioned are already worth their points, and if you accept that Resources in general are EXTREMELY under costed, then you would have to conclude that the DeadPool set–and the various Merc With a Mouth Traited characters–offer a LOT of value for opportunistic builders. I’ll get into this a little more in the individual profiles, but you can create some RIDICULOUSLY powerful characters who can get bonuses from 2 or even 3 sources that aren’t really even on the map–or at the very least, sources that your opponent can do little to nothing about.

–No ChampionPool? C’mon!! How will we ever have a complete DeadPool Corps.?!

–Probably the most useful group of Super Rares ever. Cable is probably the only Super Rare you’d be disappointed to pull in Sealed (well, maybe Kingpin, but Kingpin is really useful in Modern), and there’s a TON of awesome SR’s that people will be playing even years from now…

The Chases. Yikes! While the Z-Virus mechanic is cool, Marvel Zombies was never really my hot sauce, so I could kind of take or leave them. I think it’s cool that they’ll have their own Zombie Team Base, but… we don’t get that Team Base until August’s Guardians of the Galaxy set, and with the info that’s been released so far, it seems like that set’s gonna have ANOTHER 8 ZOMBIE CHASES!! Blleeecccch! Enough already! Guardians should have 6 Chases–all 6 of the members of the Cull Obsidian from last year’s Infinity storyline. Those are the Chases everyone wants and expects–and it’s about 99% for sure that it’s not gonna happen. It would have been so simple and so appropriate to do the Black Order figures that I have to wonder if WizKids has gone completely insane (Hunter on Dial H for Heroclix has stated that this has dimmed his enthusiasm for the set so much that he probably won’t even buy his customary Brick of GotG, much less a case–and I can’t say I blame him). Grrrr… but enough about the NEXT Marvel set! I’m here today to talk about the set that’s actually been released!

So let’s start with the…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Dude... I'm'a 'bout ready to smash the $#!t out this flag over here."

“I punch flags! Then I paint them black and wear them!”

5. DP025 Flag-Smasher119 Points Uncommon: Okay, my understanding of flags as a concept is that they are generally emblems of some significance that have been made out of some sort of flexible cloth material. So how exactly does one “smash” a flag? Flag-Tearer? Okay. Flag-Ripper? Sounds menacing, unless you mumble it out loud, in which case it comes dangerously close to sounding like “Fart-Ripper.” Regardless, either name seems like it would make more sense than the perplexing “Flag-Smasher.” Although, maybe that’s why he has top dial Perplex? All I know for sure is that Flag-Puncher here has a couple of devastating abilities that get him close to my Top Ten (but not quite in it). First, his Trait (WE SHALL BE ONE PEOPLE, AND I SHALL LEAD: Flag-Smasher can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, choose a copyable Marvel Team ability. Friendly characters with a lower point value can use that ability until your next turn.) is fantastic! You make your Leadership roll, and all of the sudden all your characters have the Mystics TA. Or Avengers Initiative, or any useful copyable TA you can think of. That’s pretty damn fantastic. And while his starting attack is a 10, he has Running Shot, Pulse Wave and Perplex to go with it, so if your opponent isn’t careful, he could be in for a world of hurt.

Even though Flag-Smasher doesn’t have Willpower, that’s okay as well since pushing him onto his second click gives him a fantastic Movement Special (THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD SHALL CRUMBLE, AND BE ONE: Opposing characters that possess or can use a team ability modify their attack and defense value by -1 unless already modified by this effect.). I mean, if he was nine points less, you could team him with Cul Borson and give most of your opponent’s figs -2 to their Attack!

But that Point total is a problem. I would have loved this character at 90-95 points, or maybe an even hundred. At 119, as great as his abilities happen to be, I think he’s a bit over-costed. If he were 20 Points less, he probably would have made my top 5. Still, his skill set is unique enough to keep him on the Honorable Mentions list.

"Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!"

“Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!”

4. DP053B Whizzer120 Points – Super Rare Prime: Obviously has one of the best Improved Movement abilities in the game (he ignores just about everything), especially when he can use Hypersonic Speed his whole dial. Hypersonic Speed + Flurry on his first three clicks is damn good. On his own, he’s a great piece who’s probably worthy of a Top Ten slot. But he’s an Honorable Mention instead for a few different reasons.

First, he’s got the Squadron Supreme keyword, but he still can’t team with Hyperion from IIM because they’re both Primes. That kinda sorta really sucks.

Second, as cool as his Hypersonic Speed + Flurry Special Movement Power is, his defense is predicated on being right next to the character taking a swing at him (since he has Combat Relfexes), which means that it’s almost NOT in your best interest to speed around the board, attack, and then hide. Not the worst thing in the world, and he does have Super Senses as well, but he definitely needs a different play style from how most people play HS characters to be effective.

And finally, Speed Demon’s just got a better Trait for 10 less points, so as far as speedsters go, I’m’a stick with Speed Demon. Which means this is one of the rare instances when the non-Prime actually offers more goodness for less points than the Prime…

"Rawr."

“Now this doesn’t seem safe at all.”

3. DP003 Dogpool 65 Points – Common: Love this lil’ pup. For 65 Points, you can totally nerf Stealth for one of your opponent’s pieces every turn (“BARK” WHAT’D YA FIND BOY? TIMMY IN THE WELL AGAIN?: Dogpool can use Perplex, but only to decrease a defense value. When he uses Perplex, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain and targeted characters can’t use Stealth this turn.). But what’s really neat is that with a 10 Attack and Precision Strke, he can even sneak some damage in on the biggest of foes! And he picks up Blades/Claws/Fangs further down dial–in Sealed, my opponent nailed one of my best figures twice with that. Unfortunately for him, he rolled 1 twice (and that opponent may or may not have been Ninwashui). Still, he more than proved his worth, and that’s even without a full compliment of Word Balloons (I mean, “Hammer Time” on a dog is just fun…).

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

2. DP019A DeadPool135 Points – Uncommon: The star of the set, Deadpool at 135 is like a nice blob of clay that you can mold into whatever sort of primary attacker you need him to be. Want to create mass causalities? Throw on “Hammer Time.” Want to make him harder to hurt? Throw on “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?!” or “Quick! Shield Me With Your Bodies!” Or turn him into a Wildcard–the possibilities are nigh endless (okay, there’s only like 12 different Word Balloons or so, so the possibilities definitely have an end), and that’s before you start adding in bonuses from Resources or Possessing Entities. The fact that there are two even crazier versions of DeadPool in this set is the only reason he’s not in the Top Ten.

I'll be honest, this could even be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

I’ll be honest, this might be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

1. DP204 Secret Empire Number 935 Points – Common: Actually, for once, the comments on HCRealms.com’s Units page explain this fig better than I ever could. A user named MrDgreen: “man, enhance and the Hydra TA, these guys are basically walking relics.” Hydra TA, Enhancement (with a respectable 2 damage), Pyschic Blast and ES/D to prolong their already pretty good 5 clicks of life… Their only drawback is that Soldier is their lone useful keyword (no one is fielding any decent Secret Empire Theme Teams, I promise you).

Alright!! We’re done with the appetizer–here’s the Main Course!

THE TOP TEN TWELVE FIGURES IN DEADPOOL!!

The next character in Sprint's "Framily" commercials.

The next character in Sprint’s “Framily” commercials.

12. DP057 Tiamat – 255 Points – Super Rare: The Beast with Two… bases. Tiamat comes on a peanut base, and he/she/it is a complete badass. 9 Clicks that are all painted, plus 1 ridiculous Trait (CHAMPION AND STEED: Once per turn, when an opposing character has taken damage from his attack, give Tiamat any action as a free action. When you do, after action resolve, remove an action token from Tiamat.). Besides the boatload of points it takes to field Tiamat, the only drawback is that Tiamat can’t account for Hindering or Elevated Terrain when he moves (that’s why we have Hammers though, right?). Close Combat figs are always gonna take a backseat to Ranged-Based figures, but man, this is a Monnnnnnnnster!!

"I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!"

“I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!”

11. DP057A/057B Typhoid Mary/Bloody Mary100 Points – Super Rare: One of the most unique figures WizKids has turned out in a while now, due to her Trait (I’M JUST MARY WALKER, SOAP OPERA ACTRESS/ BLOODY MARY, PSYCHOTIC BUTCHER: Each time a new click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponents attack, roll a d6. On a result of 6 stop turning the dial, and Typhoid Mary ignores all further damage dealt this turn. On a result of 4-5 you may replace her with DP #058b Bloody Mary on the same click number and then deal her the remaining damage minus 1.) and the fact that both bases come together! She’s slightly over-costed given that’s she’s mostly a supporting piece to start, but as she gets down dial she turns into a solid damage dealer as well.

WizKids's sculpts get more and more lifelike each set...

WizKids’s sculpts get more and more lifelike each set…

10. DP050 Wolverine and X-23168 Points – Super Rare: Another Close Combat figure that has been gifted with so many abilities that Ranged-based attackers won’t necessarily have the Alpha Strike advantage on them. Their best powers come from an awesome Trait (SNEAK AND KILL: Wolverine and X-Men can use Sidestep and Stealth. Unhindered lines of fire drawn to Wolverine and X-23 during an opponent’s turn are blocked unless Wolverine and X-23 have 2 action tokens or are adjacent to an opposing character not on its starting click.) that combines with their Special Attack Power (SLICE AND DICE: Wolverine and X-23 can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and Flurry. When using Blades/Claws/Fangs, their minimum d6 result is 3. If they hit a character twice during a turn, they may use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting that character.) to give them the coveted Charge, Flurry and Blades/Claws/Fangs combo. So, to review: Top dial, they can move up to 7 squares in one turn and still attack between their Sidestep and Charge, then they get to attack you twice with Flurry and–if they hit both times (not unreasonable to think they will with that 12 Attack)–they also plop an action token on their target. Easy ways for them to heal once they hit Click 3 means that their 7 Clicks of life will seem like it’s almost double that. I can’t quite say that they’ll be a Meta piece, since their Point cost is fairly high even for a Primary Attacker, but man, if I sat down at a ROC and saw this Duo in my opponent’s starting area, I wouldn’t exactly feel too comfortable either.

 

"Rawr!"

“Rawr!”

9. DP060 Superior Spider-Man160 Points – Super Rare: The most powerful Spidey since ASM’s Spider-Man 2099, Sup Spidey is basically Toyman from SL0SH done right. Depending on which Spider Bots you attach, you can either give him a 50-66.6% to evade all attacks not made by Banshee or someone with Precision Strike (and that’s assuming that they hit his 18 Defense to begin with), or you can double his Outwit and Perplex Range. Either choice makes him really hard to deal with (although I’d go with the Super Senses bonus myself). So hard, in fact, we’re gonna do a quick Flash Build with him!

Team NameA Superior Way to Die!!

Theme: Scientist

DP060 Superior Spider-Man160

(w/ the Secret Avengers ATA) – 5

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0135

Sideline: Like a bazillion Spider-Bots (both Mark 1 and Mark 2).

=300 (Exactly! Yeah!)

This may be one of the most self-explanatory armies we’ve ever published. Iron Monger 2.0’s Trait (REWIRE YOU FOR EXPLOSIVES: When a friendly character is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, you may deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character adjacent to that character.) makes friendly characters (like, say, little disposable Spider-Bots) go boom when your opponent deals damage to them. Superior Spider-Man spits out a Spider-Bot as a free action (depending on your d6 roll) every turn, and if your opponent doesn’t kill them, they can start surrounding his figures and causing serious problems (like jacking up each other’s Attack Value and firing off a bunch of Incaps right in a row. A classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. It will take a minute to get everything going, so you’d want a map that slows your opponents roll out a little bit (like that crazy Fires of Apokolips map or whatever it was called from the SLoSH kit).

"Wheeeee."

“Wheeeee.”

8. DP055 DeadPool215 Points – Super Rare: Insanity in a box. He comes with the “Hammer Time” Word Balloon, which pumps his attack up to a 13 and lets him mix some Energy Explosion Marshmellows in with his Pulse Wave Lucky Charms. If you play him with a TK’er, he’s devastating on most maps. You’d want to pull him anyway just for his Word Balloon; the fact that he’s one of the best figures in the set is just gravy. 215 is a lot to sink into one figure, but damn! Keep in mind, too, that he has the Asgardian keyword, so Splitlip and the Book of the Skull sits you down at 265 with a Theme Team and 35 Points left to spend in a 300 Point game. He’s even better in Epic Games.

"The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally."

“The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally.”

7. DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra90 Points – LE: This is the engine that Hand swarm teams needed. He’s less than 100 Points and enables the Hydra TA to work for Close Combat attacks as well. Since most Hand characters (even the generics) already have this TA, it basically turns your Hand swarm into a mobile meat grinder. Hook him up with the Hand ATA to make it nearly impossible to target him until its too late. One of the best Wolverines currently in Modern Age (and since there’s roughly 2000, that’s saying something!). He also has one of the best Charge Special Movement Powers in the game (especially considering his point level).

"I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off."

“I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off.”

6. DP047A Shang-Chi90 Points – Rare: Why does this entire set either cost 90, 100 or 110 Points? Weird. Anyway, Shang-Chi is a Close Combat nightmare. If sets were measured in the effectiveness of their Close Combat pieces, Deadpool would be the best set ever released! Shang-Chi is the beneficiary of another near-broken Trait (COUNTER-BLOCK: Each time an opposing character targets and misses Shag-Chi with an attack, put a Counter token on this card. Give Shang-Chi a free action and remove all Counter tokens to make that many close combat attacks with a locked damage value of 2. At the end of your turn, remove all Counter tokens.). Add in some GREAT keywords (Avengers, Martial Artist and HfH, among others), Empower, a couple of Improved Movements (including Elevated), a 12 Attack, and an 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes, and you have the Phone Book of Modern Age Close Combat abilities. His dial should be in the 120-135 Range; in reality, it’s 90. There ya go.

"Yep! I'm back!"

“Yep! Zombie Electro. Again.”

5. DP064 Electro – 90 Points – Chase: And now we start to get into the figs you can build competitive teams around. Check out my column on the most effective Chase pieces in Modern Age from last week for some suggestions on the shenanigans you can get into with Zombie Maxwell Dillon.

The cover to "Black Talon and the Ex-X-Men #1," the least selling X-book of all time.

The cover to “Ex-X-Men #1,” the least selling X-book of all time.

4. DP043 Black Talon60 Points – Rare: They should call him Black Shenanigans, except that sounds like it could be the title of a racist D.W. Griffith propaganda film from the early-1900’s. So scratch that. But the point remains–with his Damage Special Power (CONTROL OF THE MINDLESS UNDEAD: Black Talon can use Mind Control with a range value of 8, and when he does he may target friendly characters. If all of his targets are friendly, a lower point value, and have the Monster keyword, he may use it as if had 3 bolts.) & Trait (POWER OF THE LIVING LOA: When Black Talon uses Mind Control, you may place a KO’d opposing character in an adjacent square on its starting click, and that character becomes the target. After actions resolve, that character is removed from the game.) someone (as Ninwashui always likes to say) is gonna find a way to break him. One of the early episodes of the Quarry featured an interview with a ROC winner (or judge–I can’t remember) who had determined within his playgroup that the ability to Mind Control friendly characters shouldn’t appear on figures less than, like, 110 Points or something. He had all kinds of mathmatical reasoning and whatnot, I’m sure–just like I’m sure that WizKids heard that interview, chuckled, and then said “Oh yeah?” out loud and to no one in particular. Whether you agree with my half-remembered anecdote or not, giving a friendly Mind Control ability to a 60 Point figure is damn near absurd. Never mind the fact that he can also use Mind Control to target opposing characters WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN KO’D AND THUS REMOVED FROM THE GAME!! I mean, that’s almost an afterthought, and it’s also a near-gamebreaking ability. He will power some ROC Top 16 teams in the near future–count on it.

"The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice... like rainbows?"

“The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice… like rainbows?”

3. DP053A Speed Demon110 Points – Super Rare: Here’s what you need to know: his 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.) is among the most broken currently in Modern and allows him to sneak in a second attack in one turn, except that you don’t even actually make an attack; assuming you can devote six squares out of your 14-square Movement to circle an opposing figure, this will go off on anything less than a roll of 6. Again, this Trait works WHILE HE’S USING HIS HYPERSONIC SPEED and it allows you to place an opposing character where you want him to be, which can really screw up your opponent’s positioning. It’s also probably the best way to go when you need to damage someone without making an attack (to get around the Mystics TA, for example). It’s sick and wrong.

Like his Prime version, the Whizzer, Speed Demon also has an 11 starting Attack with 3 damage. But unlike his Prime version, as Speedy gets down dial he only gets better, picking up a +2 Perplex (on anything but damage) and a Movement Special that keeps HS but adds in a second attack. This means that he’s actually as good–if not BETTER–on click 4 as he is top dial. That’s pretty sick on a 110 Point character. He’s another piece you should be seeing at an ROC soon, given everything that he does and the fact that his insanely good keywords (Among others, HfH, Sinister Syndicate AND Thunderbolts–plenty of options just with those!) make him eligible for a bevy of different armies. Let’s look at a basic Sinister Syndicate Build:

Team Name: Sinister Six-ish

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP053A Speed Demon110 Points

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM019 Vulture 61

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIR100 The Book of the Skull6

(w/ 7 Hammers attached–all except Greithoth’s) – 21

=300 (Exact-a-mundo again!)

You’ll get +3 to Map Roll and 3 Theme Team Probs. So, with Gulyadkin the Lion’s token, you should have 6 characters at the start of the game, which will hopefully be at least one more than your opponent so that your Sinister Twelve ATA’s go off. Vulture can taxi Alyosha, who can give his pet a free move every turn too, and Speed Demon is, well, Speed Demon, so once you Hammer Up, mobility shouldn’t be an issue. Speed Demon in particular (with a now 12 Attack) should run amok. Not ROC-worthy, because you’re team would be too vulnerable from Range (depending on Map Choice), but this team can dish out a ton of damage!

Gotta love the backwards arm.

Gotta love the backwards arm.

2. DP019B Evil DeadPool100 Points – Uncommon Prime: Just looking at his stats and powers, you’d think his dial was made up of rejected SLoSH Bizarro clicks. But when you look closer, you’ll see an amazing damage dealer whose main flaw–low top dial defense–is easily fixable with a Resource and/or Word Balloon, and his Regeneration Special (WEIRD REGENERATION FROM LEFTOVER PARTS: Evil Deadpool can use Regeneration. Choose an opponent to roll another d6. If the opponent’s roll is higher than your d6 roll, add the two results together and subtract 2. Evil Deadpool is healed of damage equal to this amount instead. Each time Evil Deadpool would heal past his starting click in this way, modify his combat values by +1 for the rest of the game, even if this power is lost.) means that he can survive almost anything that gets thrown at him and actually come back stronger! Put him on a Book of the Skull team, give him “Hammer Time” when he attacks and suddenly you’re opponent is in for a world of hurt–and you still have 170 Points left to support him. Awesome piece!

"Get used to seeing me around, homies."

“Get used to seeing me at every ROC, homies.”

1.DP051 Banshee98 Points – Super Rare: Just stupid for his Points. His Trait (IT’S GOING TO GET A LITTLE LOUD: Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Super Senses. Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Impervious, Invincible, or Invulnerability but can use Toughness instead. When Banshee hits a character that can’t use a power due to this trait, increase damage dealt to that character by 1.) shuts down just about every good defensive power and in a lot of cases increases Banshee’s damage by one. I talked about how stupid broken he gets the more Resources etc. that you add to him in last week’s Weekly Roundup. At this point, you should either buy one yourself or be prepared to deal with him–a lot.

(One Final Note: Fast Forces: Deadpool is technically it’s own Micro Set; having said that, I should note that the Elektra and the Rookie Mercy figs from that set would have made my Honorable Mention and Top Ten, respectively had then been part of Deadpool proper. In other words, you’re gonna want that Fast Forces…)

Whew!! 4500 words on Deadpool, and there’s still so much we didn’t cover. But I hope this helps–now get out there and dominate!

The Big Six-MO… nth! Anniversary!! (Or, 10 Burning Questions About Invincible Iron Man!!)

"Well, this should be interesting."

“So… what’s new with you?”

We are time traveling today, folks! We’re journeying to the distant past, waaaaay back, back before even Lydea Mallor roamed the tables and countertops of this planet we call Earth, back when bringing Shuma-Gorath and a Mole Man to a ROC was still legal (whereas now, of course, bringing Shuma and a Mole Man to a ROC will earn you 3-5 years at County). Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the distant, distant past of six months ago! Invincible Iron Man was released just before Thanksgiving of 2013 (HCRealms.com lists it as November 20th on their Units page; that’s as good a date as any), so it was six months ago that the world was introduced to pieces like the Silver Centurion, Tony Stark, Absorbing Man (the LE) and Iron Pharaoh. What did we learn from this set, and how is it affecting both casual games and the Meta today? Well, to find that out, we’re debuting a new column gimmick today that we like to call…

10 BURNING QUESTIONS!!

Here we go!

Q1. Both HypeFox AND Ninwashui weighed in on the merits of many individual pieces–Invincible Iron Man was the subject of the first set reviews published by Critical Missives, right? How did they both do? Would their personal Top 10 (and 5 Honorable Mentions) change if they were assembling those lists today?

Mistakes Were Made

Mistakes Were Made

A1: Okay, first of all, that’s like 3 questions. You’re already ruining this gimmick and it hasn’t even started yet! To review, my Top Ten IIM figs were:

10. Grey Gargoyle (Super Rare) 

9. Iron Pharaoh (Chase)

8. Crimson Cowl (Rare)

7. Rescue (Main Set Version) (Common)

6. War Machine (Rare Prime) 5. War Machine (Rare)

4. Hyperion (Veteran Super Rare Prime)

3. Count Nefaria (Super Rare)

2. Absorbing Man (LE)

1. Silver Centurion (Common Prime)

While my Honorable Mention consisted of:

5. Bulldozer (Rookie Common)

4. Tony Stark (Uncommon)

3. King Hyperion (Super Rare)

2. Iron Paladin (Chase)

1. Maggia Goon (Common)

So, would I change anything? Surprisingly, not a ton. These lists have held up fairly well. Having said that, if I were ranking IIM figs today, it would look more like this (* denotes figure who didn’t appear on previous lists):

10. Tony Stark

9. Rescue (Main Set version)

8. Count Nefaria

7. Iron Doom*

6. Iron Man* (Experienced Common version)

5. War Machine (Rare version)

4. Absorbing Man (LE)

3. Shaman* (Super Rare)

2. Iron Pharaoh

1. Silver Centurion

With an Honorable Mention of:

5. War Machine (Prime) 

4. King Hyperion

3. Iron Man* (Rare)

2. Crimson Cowl

1. Hyperion* (Experienced version!)

So, what have I learned in the six months that the set has been out and in the four months since I wrote the lists?

Well, for one thing, Iron Pharaoh is reeeeeaaaallly good.

"I could have told you that."

“I could have told you that, mortal.”

Improved Targeting of ANY kind gives you a major leg up on your competition, and the Pharaoh basically gives you Improved Targeting: Ignores the $#%@&^! Map via his Golden Falcon, Sharting (On Your Opponent’s Entire Strategy) Trait. The Dial H guys have pointed out on more than one occasion that ranged-attack based teams have an inherent advantage (all other things being equal) over close combat teams; they’re usually going to get the Alpha Strike. How do close combat teams combat this advantage? Primarily with Map choice (by choosing a map with terrain that aids what their strategy is, whether that’s advancing and hiding behind Blocking or Elevated Terrain), or with Stealth, etc. Well, Improved Targeting is an ability that specifically hoses those few options and turns what was a minor advantage into a MAJOR advantage for the ranged-attack team. And in ranged-attack versus ranged-attack matchups, if one team has Improved Targeting and the other team does not, the team that does–if it’s positioned well–will still have that same Alpha Strike advantage AS IF IT WAS FACING A CLOSE COMBAT TEAM.

And when you add resources that provide things like Sidestep (like, say, The Phoenix Force) into the mix, even common figures that people may have once overlooked (<cough>E Iron Man 001 <cough>, which, y’know, I totally meant to put on my intial list, but, uh, forgot, and stuff, and really, what had happened was…) suddenly become “breakable.”

"Careful! I'm 'breakable!'"

“Careful! I’m ‘breakable!'”

Experienced Iron Man 001 plus Sidestep (whether it’s from the Phoenix Force, or from Agent Sitwell, with whom he shares a keyword, or…) plus the right map choice [think Fear Itself Month 1 (The Raft) or AvX Month 1 (Latveria), or any map with a ton of Blocking Terrain] turns this Iron Man into a piece that can potentially Outwit an opposing character THROUGH BLOCKING TERRAIN AND HE DOESN’T CARE IF SAID OPPOSING FIGURE HAS STEALTH! Then he can attack that figure and then, in this scenario, (this is the best part) SIDESTEP BEHIND OTHER BLOCKING TERRAIN SO THAT HE CANNOT BE RETALIATED AGAINST! He’s basically Darkseid without all the “I cost at least 200 Points” drama! Hell, Sitwell is 60 Points AND provides another Perplex (and possibly a prob, assuming your other figs are also S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword figs like these two). I don’t know about you, but when you factor in the fact that this Iron Man also has top click Running Shot, Invuln and Precision Strike, I’d rather play him and Sitwell for 210 than just Darkseid for 200. Overlooking this piece was probably a bigger mistake than under-ranking Iron Pharaoh–at least the Pharaoh made the list.

Here’s a version of a Dial H Best Build I submitted this month that features this particular Iron Man:

Team Name: Nothing to See Here

Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D.

Map ChoiceFear Itself Month 1 (The Raft) or AvX Month 1 (Latveria)

IIM001AE Iron Man – 150

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell – 60

CATWS011 Maria Hill – 60

The Phoenix Force – 12

Assigned Character x2 – 6

Cyclops, Colossus, Magik & Emma Frost Fragments – 12

= 300

Nothing to See here is designed to throw Outwits from every conceivable angle on the board while IM blasts fools through walls. May not win a ROC, but if you win the Map Choice, it’ll be tons of fun to play!

I also overlooked Shaman in a major way. He, too, didn’t make either of my lists–he was one of my last eliminations for Honorable Mention as I recall–but the build possibilities that his Trait (“NO FLIGHT” SPELL: Once per game, give Shaman a free action and until he is KO’d, other characters with “wing symbol” or “transporter wing symbol” have “boot symbol” instead.) grants cannot be overstated. What often goes overlooked on Shaman however is his capability as a secondary attacker–he’s not just a support piece. His first click gives you 10 Attack with TK, 17 Defense with both ES/D AND a souped-up Barrier, and he has 3 Damage top click WITH Perplex! For less than 100 Points!

Look how annoying you can be with him:

Team Name: No Flights, No Tights

Theme: Mystical (Generic)

Map Choice: AvX Month 1 (Wundagore Mountain)

IIM040 Shaman – 92

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot – 30

The Phoenix Force – 12

1 Assigned Character – 3

Cyclops Fragment – 3

=300

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.

"I thought I was clear before, but, to reiterate... Y'all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!"

“I thought I was clear before, but, to reiterate… Y’all mother$@#%&!$ forgot about Dre!”

So those two figs are probably the ones I missed the mark on the most. Some other figs whose ranking I would change have gotten stronger (Iron Doom) or weaker based on subsequent releases. For example, Absorbing Man LE has taken a slight hit with the release of figs like CATWS013 Agent 13, who can just void someone’s defense completely, but  overall, Iron Pharaoh and Shaman were my biggest mistakes, I believe. Next question!

Q4. Other than Shaman, what figure hasn’t been exploited in the Meta as much as you thought they would be? And why?

A4. Hmmm… that’s a surprisingly good question. And it was just two questions! Well done! You’re getting better! Still ruining the gimmick, but you’re getting better!

Let’s see… well, to be honest, I’m surprised people didn’t find more of a use for Grey Gargoyle, the Super Rare. His trick of only letting an adjacent opponent clear one token at a time (instead of two if they’d been pushed) and having some pretty good close combat stats made me think someone would find a way to make him really nasty. If you combine him with AvX Professor X, you could really slow an opponent down, but you wouldn’t have much offense in a 300 Point game–or a Theme Team. That seems like a combo worth trying in, like, a 500 Point game. For the Meta, he may just cost too much for what he does. It may be as simple as that.

A smug French dude isn't worth what it costs to deal with him? Stop the presses!

A smug French dude isn’t worth what it costs to deal with him? Stop the presses!

Q6. What about the Silver Centurion? Is he still as good now as he was 6 months ago?

A6. Okay, I feel like you’re kind of plateauing in terms of the progress you were making with the whole “asking questions” thing. You just asked two questions again! And the first one was barely even a question–what about the Silver Centurion? Oh, you’d like to know if he’s still as good now as he was 6 months ago? WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST ASK THAT INSTEAD OF WASTING YET ANOTHER QUESTION?

I suppose I should just answer both questions by answering the one THAT WAS ACTUALLY A QUESTION! Sigh…

Yes, he’s as good as he was 6 months ago. He still brings a quality secondary attacker WITH HIM, which tends to scare or, at the very least, frustrate anyone unfortunate enough to play against him. His Point cost WITHOUT the Torpedo is still very reasonable (especially since he’s immune to half of the best attack abilities in the game); and, with the Avengers keyword, he can tack on the Secret Avengers ATA to (somewhat) stymie his biggest fear–Outwit. He’s shown up at or near the top of countless ROC events, and nothing’s really come down the pike that really makes him weaker now than he was then. He’s still the best fig in the set. It’s closer now than it was before, but even without Improved Targeting of any kind, he’s still a complete badass and one of the best Primary Attackers in Modern.

I don’t even need to come up with an army to prove my point–just check out the ROC results from the past few months and you’ll see a ton of great builds featuring the Silver Centurion.

"I'm going to assume I'm in a blizzard and not surrounded by the white nothingness of entropy as it slowly consumes the universe around me.  On another note--how sweet does my armor look next to a white background?"

“I’m going to assume I’m in a blizzard and not surrounded by the white nothingness of entropy as it slowly consumes the universe around me. On another note–how sweet does my armor look next to a white background?”

Q8. Can I have more questions?

A8. No.

Q9. What is the power legacy of this set in the current Modern Age format?

A9. Finally! Two questions in a row where you actually just asked a single question! Alright! Well, in terms of power, this set had more pieces that will show up in the Meta than the Marvel set that preceded it, Wolverine and the X-Men. But that’s okay–not every set has to have pieces that are geared towards a single format (in this case, 300 Point Modern Age). WATX had plenty of pieces that are a lot of fun to play, and it introduced Team Bases to the Marvel Heroclix world. It also had some of the most popular Chase characters ever (the Phoenix Five), so loading it up with cutthroat power pieces would have given them less to do when it came time for Invincible Iron Man. Iron Pharaoh has turned up on quite a few Meta teams, but the character itself was never more than, like, an alternate cover–I don’t think there was ever even a story about him. But when he can exist in a game alongside 13 different Wolverines, I think that means that Heroclix in general is actually in good shape. There’s plenty of little things that irk me, but you can play competitive games now with a ton of different characters. That’s a huge step forward from just 14 months ago, when it was Ghost Rider and… well, and nothing else. It was just Ghost Riders as far as the eye could see, each one giving the next a Penance Stare.

This was the Meta in early 2013.

The Meta in early 2013.

Q10. Wow. What happens when Ghost Rider gives a Penance stare to Ghost Rider?

A10. That was probably your best question. I’m glad you saved it for last. Anyway, the Ghost Rider giving the Penance Stare would end up here:

Being John Malkovich

All paradoxical loops inevitably lead to John Malkovich’s head. And thank you for RUINING THE FIRST OUTING OF OUR NEW GIMMICK WITH YOUR HORRIBLE QUESTION-WASTING!!

Q11. You’re welcome?

A11. I hate you.

Back later this week with some AvX Month 3 Tourney Reports…

 

How Bizarre, How Bizarre!! (Or, What to Make of Bizarro and the Flash Figure Review #1!!)

Bizarro Ted from How I Met Your Mother.

Bizarro Ted from How I Met Your Mother. Or maybe Bizarro Grimm?

And now for something completely different! Occasionally, certain figures need to be talked about at lengths that don’t quite jibe with the brief write-ups we get when we do Set Reviews. When that happens, we’ll sometimes omit those figures from the actual Set Reviews altogether so that we can have a little more room to expound on things–in this case, almost 900 words. It’s something we like to call a:

FLASH FIGURE REVIEW!!

Or should I say, “Me am Flash Figure Review #1!!”

So after discussing the SLoSH Top 10, I mentioned that Slosh039 Bizarro really needed a column all his own, and thus I wasn’t going to include him in the set review itself. Well, his day has come!

Wow! Bizarro is at times the best use of points you’ll ever field. His Trait is his major asset: “ME AM NOT BIZARRO!: Bizarro costs 25 points for each Orrazib token you place on his card, up to 12 tokens. When Bizarro takes damage, remove one Orrazib token from his card. When Bizarro is healed, add one Orrazib token to his card (no more than the initial amount). When there are no Orrazib tokens on this card, KO Bizarro. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 and click Bizarro that many times. This ability can’t be ignored.”

Did you take all that in? 25 Points for a Orrazib token–you can pay as little as 25 Points for 1 token or 300 Points for 12. So far so good. Interesting mechanic, and the fact that you roll through his 12 clicks is both good and bad (or great if you continually land on Click #7). Looking at Bizarro’s dial, he has great defensive powers (if not a great defensive value) throughout his whole dial (8 Clicks of Super Senses, 4 Clicks of Impervious). He’s always gonna have at least 3 damage showing, and he can frequently augment that with Super Strength or RCE (or sometimes both). The point of all this is to say that yes, pretty much every one of these clicks is worth 25 Points. But his stats and standard powers aren’t what make Bizarro so unstoppable. Look at the Trait again.

“When Bizarro takes damage, remove one Orrazib token from his card.” This power is what makes Bizarro so damn near to broken. Every packet of 25 Points you spend (beyond the first) on Bizarro nets you all of his stats and standard powers… AND A STOP CLICK! That’s right, one of the best–if not THE best–defensive mechanics in the game is thrown in on every click beyond the first… FOR FREE! What?! Outwit all of his defensive powers if you want, but each attack you aim at Bizarro will–at most–do one damage. There’s not another figure in the game with access to 11 Stop Clicks. As far as I know, in Modern, there’s a couple figures–MAYBE–with access to two Stop Clicks: TAB APP Wolverine and Chase Guardian from SL0SH (yes, there may be a couple more that are escaping my brain at the moment–but you get the point). Chase Guardian is more than 200 Points. A 200 Point Bizarro would have SEVEN Stop Clicks! That is unreal!

I don’t know how WizKids values Stop Clicks in terms of Point Cost, but I can argue that a Stop Click should cost at least 10 Points all by itself (it’s forcing your opponent to invest at least one more action–and possibly more–to KO a figure that would have otherwise already been KO’d. It’s like a football game going to overtime; anything can happen, which is good for you, but terrible for your opponent). Well, we just looked at Bizarro’s dial–each of those clicks seems to be worth 25 Points as they sit. When you add in the Stop Clicks, you are exceeding 25 Points worth of value ON EACH CLICK YOU PAY FOR AFTER THE FIRST. And what am I always telling people? Don’t pay retail point costs when you can get better value if you just shop around (ie, do your research). Well, Bizarro is like the Costco of Heroclix figures–the more you spend, the more you save. In building your army, it is always to your advantage when you field a team that’s within the build rules of the game you’re playing yet contains more points than the game’s build allows. Well, Bizarro is one way to do that (Primes are another way).

Me am no have seven stop clicks? Me am think that not ridiculous!

Me am no have down to eleven start clicks? Me am think that not ridiculous!

And it’s also the reason Bizarro has been showing up so much in the Meta! The sweet spot in terms of his casting cost seems to be somewhere between 3 and 7 Orrazib tokens. In that range, he becomes SO damn hard to kill unless his opponent is playing some sort of swarm team. His only drawback is the possibility you’ll land on one of his four clicks of Sidestep (instead of the 8 clicks of Charge and Hypersonic Speed he has). But even that’s not too bad, especially when Bizarro has a Range of 6.

To make matters more broken, Bizarro has the Superman Enemy TA, which means that if you partner him with someone else who has that TA (cough-Luthor) or a Wildcard TA (Like the entire freaking SLoSH set), you can start all sorts of Outwit shenanigans.

His adaptable cost also make him really popular as a “filler” piece in a lot of armies that come up slightly short in points. I’ve played against Bizarro a couple times now, and I didn’t enjoy either game much because Bizarro was nigh impossible for my guys to take down. For all the fuss everyone has made about Slosh026 Mr. Miracle being hard to take down, Bizarro is almost as difficult to hurt in any substantial way.

So, in conclusion, he is definitely worth seeking out if you want to field a really good Legion of Doom team. Or if you just like 5 star figures. Will he end up on Watchist 2? Possibly. But for now, you can use him to your heart’s content!!

Army Build:

For some fun and basic (“basic” meaning “resource-less”) shenanigans with this character, try:

Slosh039 Bizarro @ 75 Points

Slosh011 Sensor Girl @75 Points

Slosh024 Lex Luthor@ 150 Points

 

Well, that’s all for today–see you this weekend for the Weekly Roundup!!

 

99 Figures But A Superman Ain’t One!! (Or, A Second Opinion on SLoSH!!)

That's high praise!!

That’s high praise!!

The title of this entry notwithstanding, I’ve decided NOT to open with some lame, jokey observation about how–unless you pull an exceedingly rare Chase–Superman is completely missing from a set that has his name in the title. But only because, at this point, everyone has beaten me to it.

Having said that, my initial impressions were similar to those of Ninwashui. Not a ton of filler crap, and most of the really weak figs aren’t commons for once. At the same time, I feel there are several comments I need to make about the set as a whole before I highlight certain figures.

1. Even more so than IIM, Improved Targeting is going to be a THING going forward (don’t get Hunter Smith and the guys at Dial H For Heroclix started–they’re all but convinced this mechanic will destroy the game), and figures that see through blocking or (Lord forbid) elevated terrain without some sort of MAJOR restriction are going to be extremely tough to deal with. Let’s take a quick look back at IIM–remember we told you that Iron Pharaoh’s day was going to come (Ninwashui even wrote up a few army builds that have since popped up in one way or another in some recent ROCS), since his Golden Falcon, Soaring let you see through just about ANYTHING? Well, the Pharaoh is VERY good, but he does have one major restriction–his falcon can only “soar” three spaces, and he can only draw a line of fire three spaces from the falcon, so his range with that Improved Targeting: Everything, You Bastard! is fairly short.

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

I am a thing, going forward. Ever forward…

So we fast forward to SLoSH, and the designers have decided that they suddenly don’t need to be as careful with range any more. I’m not going to give away the store here (just keep reading for my TOP TEN!), but when rating these figs, I’m starting from this premise:  If a character sees through ANY type of Terrain, that’s a huge bonus. If they have a Range greater than 8, that’s also really good. But if a character can see through at least one type of Terrain AND has a Range greater than 8? These are the characters most likely to break the game–and if/until they end up on Watchlist 2: The Reckoning, they are going to be the characters you will want to be fielding when you really want to build a cutthroat army!

Shawties.

Shawties.

2. The sculpts are very cool in this set! They’ve finally found a way to scale size so that the Giant figures actually ARE gigantic compared to normal-sized figs and yet are just a bit shorter than Colossals WHILE STILL FITTING IN A 5-FIGURE BOOSTER. Yes! Well done, WizKids!

3. Remember early Clix, when seeing a Wildcard team ability on a character not named Spider-Man or Doctor Doom was so rare you could count them on one hand? Well, this ENTIRE FREAKING SET has either the Legion of Super Heroes TA or the Calculator TA. Even characters who have other team abilities (like Mon-El or Emerald Empress) STILL HAVE ONE OF THE WILDCARD ABILITIES! That means two things:  First, in sealed, any non-wildcard TA has even more value than usual because, chances are, EVERY OTHER MEMBER OF YOUR ARMY CAN COPY IT! Second, when constructing an army for an event with SLoSH pieces, many of the tentpoles in this set get much better depending on what TA’s they can copy, so you’re going to have to be really careful in who you surround them with. This is a change from IIM, when you were much more focused on what keywords your supporting figs had.

Alright! Let’s go right in to five…. HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

5. Slosh046 Superboy (Super Rare): Yuck. I hate when I let Ninwashui do his set reviews first, cuz sometimes we end up with the same conclusions. This is a very solid figure; Mon-El is simply better in every way for the points. It’s the same argument I made back in the IIM set review we did a few months ago, and I’ll continue to harp on it here:  don’t pay retail value for figures that you can get on a moderate to steep discount! Case in point:  between Mon-el and Superboy, they both have the same TA’s, they both offer Leadership and move and attack powers, but Mon-El’s stats and power distribution are simply better (Hypersonic Speed where Superboy has Running Shot and–eventually–a limited form of HS, etc.). Superboy is a better supporting piece with his top dial Enhancement and Trait that offers Willpower to those less fortunate souls on your team who didn’t come equipped with it, but honestly, in a three hundred point game, who’s running a 175 point piece to support smaller priced figs? And yet, Superboy can still hold his own as a main attacker; he’s just not Mon-El. In higher point games, where you want to swarm your opponent with a legion of, well, Legionnaires, Superboy starts to gain ground on Mon-El for the extra few damage-free actions he’ll give his teammates. And of course, if you’re already using a Prime elsewhere in your build, Superboy would become your selection by default. But there’s just not many build situations where Superboy and another Prime are going to be better than Mon-El any whatever you want to team him with. Superboy is good, but everything he offers is just not quite enough to crack the actual Top Ten…

4. Slosh004 Science Police Officer (Common): Now this is a cool lil’ supporting piece. His Damage SP (TACTICAL DEPLOYMENT: When an opposing character within 8 squares is given a free action, if that character has been given a non-free action this turn, after actions resolve, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.) is nifty and annoying to your opponent, but I’m actually more impressed with his 6 Range and Police TA for 45 points. 

3. Slosh011 Sensor Girl (Common): The definition of a pest. She sees through Hindering Terrain (i.e. Stealth) and other characters, she has Shape Change and a Traited Perplex-lite ability that does juuuuuust enough to be annoying (ILLUSIONS SEEM REAL: Sensor Girl can use Perplex, but only to modify an opposing character’s attack or defense value.). Combine that with a Wildcard TA, 10 Attack and Probability Control, and you have a 75 point nuisance that can really grind some of your best characters down in really subtle ways, as I found out firsthand at my venue’s SLoSH sealed event (Stupid Sensor Girl. Grrrrrrrr…).

2. Slosh024 Lex Luthor (Uncommon): The usual sort of Luthor piece that we get, except someone Frankensteined all of the best Luthor powers and abilities from past figs together into a 150 point piece of aggravation. He gives the Superman Enemy TA to any adjacent lower-costing figure, he also gives them 18 Defense through his 18 Defend, he starts out with Flying and Invulnerability AND 3 damage with Probability Control. Just a bucket of yuck if you’re sitting across the table from this piece. And if you’re actually playing him… where are you in your life? How did it come to this? Harvey Dent once said that “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Well, brotha’, by playing this piece… you’ve finally lived long enough to see yourself become the villain (What? Bitter? Me? Why would I–well, yeah, I did get beat with a Luthor/Sensor Girl team at the SLoSH sealed, but that has no bearing on my impartiality as a set rater, I assure you…).

My opponent from the SLoSH sealed event.

A portrait of my opponent from the SLoSH sealed event this past week.

1. Slosh008 Phantom Girl (Common): Wow! Where did she come from? A lil’ 72-point package of usefulness, Phantom Girl sports some good keywords (Future, LoSH), good Defense values (17 w/Super Senses that eventually turns into an 18 w/Energy Shield/Deflection!), a top dial Move and Attack Special Power (PHASING ATTACK: Phantom Girl can use Incapacitate. When she is given a move action, after actions resolve, she may be given a close combat action as a free action, targeting any one opposing character occupying a square she moved through.) that lets her suppress figures that your opponent intentionally leaves behind his main attack force (medics, barrier technique guys, Iron Pharaoh or Fantomex, just to name a few) and another ridiculously awesome top dial Flying/Phasing Special Power that can nerf your opponent’s heaviest hitters (INTANGIBILITY AND DISRUPTION: Phantom Girl can use Phasing/Teleport. When she uses Phasing/Teleport and passes through any squares occupied by characters holding an object, she may remove any of those objects from the game. When she uses Phasing/Teleport and passes through characters assigned any relics or resources, those characters can’t use those relics or resources until your next turn.).

So let’s break this down. I give her a Move action with Phasing/Teleport. She moves through, say, an opposing Batman who’s been assigned the Utility Belt and that I couldn’t otherwise see because of Stealth. Suddenly, Batman can’t use the Belt next turn and–after I’ve safely hidden Phantom Girl around a corner, or on Elevated, or wherever, I get a free close combat attack that will at worst feature a 10 Attack with 2 damage. Again, for emphasis: She COMPLETELY NERFS opposing resources and relics just by Phasing through the figures using them. In yet even MORE words, Phantom Girl uses move actions to turn your opponent’s precious Infinity Gauntlet into a soft, spongy orange children’s toy. And they snuck her in as a Common. Okay WizKids. Good game. You got me with this piece. I did not see Phantom Girl coming (which, I guess, was the point, right? I mean, she IS called Phantom Girl, after all).

Whew!! Okay, we’re just getting started here, so now that we’re done with the preliminaries, I give to you… the Top Ten Figures in SLoSH!!

Darkseid saw your meme, destroyed it, and replaced it with his own.

Darkseid saw your meme, destroyed it, and replaced it with his own.

10. Slosh044r Darkseid (Rare): I keep hearing oh, he’s too many points to build around. Oh, he’s too many points for what he does. To which I say, uh, no, y’know, uh, I kinda, y’know, I’m gonna go ahead, and with all due respect, y’know, I’m just–I’m gonna disagree, kinda, and stuff, if that’s cool? Y’know, with you? Oh, wait, that’s not what I say at all. That’s actually my opponent talking after I’ve made him COWER BEFORE DARKSEID.

I’m going to go back to my premise from above:  Does he see through at least one type of Terrain (Oh yeah–3 different types, actually!)? Is his range greater than 8 (Yup again–it’s 10–with 2 bolts!)? As Ninwashui likes to say, when a figure does something that no other figure or very few other figures can do, someone, somewhere out there, is gonna figure out how to break that figure. He can Outwit figures that can’t even see him. He can shoot through blocking with no fear of a forced reroll because your Prob specialist can’t see him either until it’s too late (or unless her name is AvX Scarlet Witch, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion).

He’s got too many powers to list here, but one (BOOM TUBE TECHNOLOGY: If Darkseid has no action tokens, he can use Running Shot and Improved Movement: Ignores Characters. If he has one action token, he can use Phasing/Teleport, and when he does, he may be given a ranged combat attack as a free action after actions resolve.) bears special mentioning. When you combine Boom Tube Technology with all of his Improved Targeting powers and vast range, there’s not really anywhere to hide from Darkseid. If you’re on the map, he’s gonna come find you. He’s certainly not unbeatable, but you have to be SO damn careful with your positioning (while knowing full well that it just may not matter!) that’s it’s mentally exhausting. That’s not a part of the game we cover too much, but it is a factor. You’re going to make mistakes playing against Darkseid; you just have to hope that your opponent doesn’t capitalize on all of them.

9. Slosh201 Cosmic Boy (Common): Another duplicate from Ninwa’s list, although I have him a shade higher. I love figures that allow armies to exist where otherwise there would be nothing; he’s not quite Duhg, but he’s close. His Trait (WELCOME TO THE LEGION: When you build your force, choose one character of 50 points or less. That character gains the Legion of Super Heroes keyword and “wing symbol” this game. If your force includes other characters with this trait, you may increase the point value of your chosen character by 50 points if this character doesn’t use this trait.) is actually shared by some other Legionnaires, so it’s not exactly proprietary, but he is the best fig with which to Welcome folks to the Legion for two reasons:  firstly, he takes up the least amount of points in your build. Seems straightforward enough, but this is not the last time a figure will make it on this list simply because it’s the most cost-effective use of a broken or near-broken Trait. Second… Cosmic Boy is actually MORE than just the trait. He’s got top dial TK, Willpower and Perplex–all for 70 points. That makes Rokk Krinn one of the more efficient dials in the whole set, even before you throw in his Trait!

8. Slosh 17b Cheetah (Uncommon PRIME): Another good dial that starts getting silly when you add in some Wildcard potential with the Calculator TA. She’s got a Movement SP (POUNCE MY PREY: Cheetah can use Leap/Climb. When Cheetah resolves a move action, you may give her a close combat action as a free action.) that gets her into the fray quickly AND lets her make an attack right away, and her 19 Defense against close combat attacks means she probably isn’t going anywhere, unfortunately for your opponent. But the best part? She’s only 90 points. It’s like they took all the best aspects of the most efficient Charge/Blades pieces from the last couple years and distilled them into this Cheetah.

Good luck.

Good luck with all of that.

7. Slosh Solomon Grundy (Super Rare): Grrrr! More agreement with Ninwashui. Well, that’s only going to increase as we get closer to the top. Grundy here is as ridiculous as Ninwashui made him out to be. Solid to slightly above average Attack values, solid to above average Damage values, a fairly easy way to auto heal a click of damage every turn or two, some move and attack… and, oh yeah–he’s almost impossible to KO. Strike that–you can KO him; he just ain’t gonna stay dead for any length of time. Your best hope is to Outwit Impervious and knock him straight through those Invincible clicks. Good luck.

6. Slosh055E Validus (Super Rare): Awesome sculpt. An even better figure. His Trait is (stop me if you’ve heard this before) COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS (MONSTROUS BODY: Validus can use Super Strength and can’t be targeted by Penetrating/Psychic Blast. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6, and on a result of 4-6, Validus can immediately use Pulse Wave as a free action with a locked damage value of 2, ignoring friendly characters.). Improved Pulse Wave for free. Every turn, there’s a chance that happens. Whaaa… ? I know what you’re thinking, and yes, he’s a freaking WILDCARD as well. They really did give everyone a Wildcard TA. Here, now and for the first time, I present the minutes from one of the development meetings at WizKids from the time SLoSH was being created:

Designer 1: “Uh, hey guys, we gave him 12 Attack, Psychic Blast and you already said he’s immune to opposing Psychic Blasts…. and now you want to give him a chance to bust off an improved version of one of the best attack powers in the game every turn. Are we sure we want to release him like this? No one’s gonna want to play against a figure like that.”

Designer 2: “You’re right. No one will play him. Let’s make him a Wildcard too.”

Designer 1: “That’s not remotely what I was suggesting.”

Designer 2: “No, that’s good work. Great suggestion.”

Designer 1: “[Heavy sigh.] I’m going to lunch.”

Behind the scenes at the WizKids figure development lab...

Behind the scenes at the WizKids figure development lab during Validus playtesting…

5. Slosh048 Tellus (Super Rare): Another “army enabler,” Tellus possesses some of the best top dial skills (Probability Control, Telekinesis) and this Trait (LINK TELEPATHICALLY: Friendly characters within 4 squares can draw lines of fire and count range and squares from the square of any one friendly character within 4 squares of Tellus.). You will want to build armies around this guy. He is extremely “breakable.” It may take a month or two, it may take six months, but you will see Tellus become a top performer at ROC.

4. Slosh040 Emerald Empress (Rare): She comes packing her own relic (EMERALD EYE OF EKRON: At the beginning of the game, place an Emerald Eye of Ekron relic token in Emerald Empress’s square. This object doesn’t count towards your force and is described on the back of this card. Emerald Empress automatically succeeds when rolling for the Emerald Eye of Ekron. When Emerald Empress is assigned the Emerald Eye of Ekron and has two action tokens, she can use her speed powers as a free action.) and she knows how to use it:

(EMERALD EYE OF EKRON (SPECIAL OBJECT):
Immobile
Relic Roll: 6
This character can use Mind Control, Incapacitate, Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters, and isn’t dealt unavoidable damage from Mind Control. When this character takes damage from an attack, Emerald Eye of Ekron is placed in an adjacent square. Characters may attempt to be assigned Emerald Eye of Ekron more than once per game.).

Four damage top dial with Outwit? Sure! Free Mind Control or Running Shot after her second action token? Okay!! Even at 190 points, she’s highly efficient and will help you out-action your opponents with her relic.

3. Slosh059 Guardian (Chase): Comes equipped with the best Chase Trait I’ve ever seen (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.), 9 Range (with 2 bolts for the Energy Explosion he gets mid-dial), 11 Attack with Penetrating/Psychic blast, Running Shot top dial and an 18 Defense. And all that is assuming that your opponent isn’t playing the Utility Belt, Infinity Gauntlet, Book of the Skull or Power Plant. Cuz if he is, Guardian gets even better! Also, he’s the only Chase fig with 2 stop clicks (PACE 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.)! Definitely worth his 207 points… cuz you can still play him with our #2 fig…

2. Slosh057 Lydea Mallor (Chase): Okay, imagine that same “The Growing Darkness” game-changing Trait that Guardian had; now put it on a figure who’s less than 80 points. She’s also a close combat nuisance who can zip around Hindering Terrain, but her Trait is the reason she’s so highly sought after. That Trait shouldn’t appear on any figures less than 150 points; Lydea Mallor is 79. Where I come from, that’s a bargain!!

"I'm a bargain no matter where you come from, genius!"

“I’m a bargain no matter where you come from, genius!”

1. Slosh005b Mon-El (Common PRIME): Well, it might be anti-climactic, especially since I broke Mon-El down in Superboy’s Honorable Mention blurb, but the facts are the facts… Mon-El is a beast. If you want to compare him to IIM’s number one figure, I’d still rather build around Silver Centurion (who was also a Common PRIME), but it’s close. The Torpedo secondary attacker that SC brings with him (along with the fact that he’s immune to Psychic Blast and Pulse Wave, the two best attack powers in the game) give him the advantage. But Mon-El is still destined to power some really NASTY teams in the future.

Well, there you have it. I’d do a 5 Worst Figs section as well, but Ninwashui pretty much nailed it (Toyman is an admirable attempt to inject fun builds into the game… and a complete failure at the same time. So useless…).

WizKids top executives initial reaction to the reveal of Toyman's dial...

The initial reaction of top WizKids executives to the reveal of Toyman’s dial in a preview on Heroclix.com…

And you know how much I hate agreeing with him…

And that brings an end to our coverage of the SLoSH launch! Hope you enjoyed it! See you Sunday night for the Weekly Roundup!!

Superman and His Amazing Friends? I don’t remember that cartoon… (Or a set review for SLoSH)

I'm not even in this set, but I'm still in this article. Why? Because... I'm Batman!!!

I’m not even in this set, but I’m still in this article. Because… I’m Batman!!!

About the set:

I liked this set in terms of playability, but as far as big name characters it’s doesn’t have a lot. No Batman, no Wonder Woman, no Green Lantern, no Flash, and barely a Superman. A true title for this set would be Legions of Heroes, Villians, and Doom.

As for playability most of these figures aren’t going to completely change the meta, but they are all at least average. There aren’t many real stinkers. Even the generics (blight, daxamites, science police) are all pretty good. It should be fun for sealed play.

The chases are pretty cool and just like previous sets their all share the same trait. It’s an awesome trait designed to literally end the “Hammers raining from the sky” meta all by itself. You’ll want at least one in your collection for that cheesy guy that still plays the Book of the Skulls at your local venue.

The current meta:

In my listings below I judge the current meta based on what I’ve seen from recent tournament reports. (Mostly from the ROC) Unlike the last time I looked at the Meta, today’s Meta is wide open. There has been a movement away from resources, team bases, and colossal figures at tournament venues by player demand. That combined with the watch list changes has caused the field to be wide open. Brother Voodoo seems to be the consensus for the most powerful figure available, but beyond that there seem to be no other patterns in winning tournament teams. Almost anything has a shot now.

My 5 honorable mentions for best figures in the set:

5. SLOSH046 Superboy – This is a great figure that in another set would likely have made the top ten. What’s the problem? SLOSH005B Mon-El is in this set with the exact same point cost, almost the same keywords, and purpose on the battlefield. There just aren’t many times you’re going to reach for Superboy when you have Mon-El available. That’s also why you aren’t going to see another mention of SLOSH018 Ultra-Boy in this review.

4. SLOSH038 Black Manta – He’s probably not going to win the next ROC, but his trait is fun and it seems like a really good representation of the character. On the right map he’s literally invisible. On the wrong map he’ll look like a fish out of water.

3. SLOSH021 Wildfire – I loves me some stop clicks. Stop clicks with Regeneration are even better. Add Impervious to that same click and it’s just awesome. This is a tentpole that won’t be KOed without a fight. The only thing keeping him from making the top ten is that his combat values are low for his point cost.

2. SLOSH022 Gates – If you’re going to play the Legion of Super Heroes on your team then this answers the age old question of how to carry a bunch of flying characters. Even outside of this set he can carry any flyers you have. Green Lanterns – check. Kryptonians –check. Once his taxi usefulness is at an end he can be an effective tie up piece thanks to his high movement and defensive ability.

1. SLOSH041 Universo – He has an incredible array of defensive powers for his point cost. Unfortunately, his offense is only mind control. If you’re opponent is playing lots of small characters then this guy is great. If your opponent is playing 1 300 point character, then Universo’s usefulness will be limited.

The top ten figures from the SloSH set:

10. SLOSH201 Cosmic Boy – At 70 points Cosmic Boy can be a great support piece, but the real reason he made it to the top ten is his “welcome to the legion” trait. Suddenly all your wildcard pieces can gain almost any TA and not lose theme team. Try this: SLOSH201 Cosmic Boy + SLOSH005B Mon-El + TT001R Robin = 295 points of win. Batman, Superman, and Titans TA all together on a theme team!

9.  SLOSH037A The Riddler – You can leave this guy in your starting area if you wanted and he could irritate your opponent all game. He has stealth to keep him safe and smoke cloud to frustrate opponents. For 55 points his perplex anywhere power seems really good.

8. SLOSH049 Solomon Grundy – For 200 points you get one of the Hardest to KO figures we’ve ever seen. He’s essentially 11 click long (or more) with a stop click after click 8. He’s got super strength and outwit for his entire dial and invulnerability is his worst defensive power. If you give him a team that supports him well (aka a tker) then he can do quite well.

7. SLOSH027 Kalibak – Step 1 grab object. Step 2 clear tokens. Step 3 three teleport and hit opposing tent pole for 6 damage on the other side of the board! You’ll want to wait for good positioning so he doesn’t get piled on by the opposing team after teleporting, but this guy in the right circumstances can end a match very quickly.

6. SLOSH024 Lex Luthor – Back in 2002 CT043 Invisible Girl showed us that 18 defense with defend is a great thing to have. It’s still true today. Lex here is a capable attacker and makes a wonderful leader for just about any team of smaller characters. Probably the best Lex ever made.

5. SLOSH055E Validus – 12 Attack with 8 range, running shot, and psychic blast makes for a great ranged attacker. His defense isn’t great, but trait granted super strength and his crazy pulse-wave-every-turn trait make him just as deadly up close as he is at range.

4. SLOSH048 Tellus – This figure has good defenses, but the only reason to play him is his “LINK TELEPATHICALLYtrait. I’m not sure of the exact way to break it yet, but it seems like this is the best candidate in the set for a new watch list. Someone is going to figure out a way to make this trait unfair.

3. SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor – All of the chases are at least good. This one is the best. She’s a close combat attacker that resembles JL001 Batman, but she also flies and has that crazy trait that nerfs resources to uselessness. Oh and a fun stop click power at the end. I loves me some stop clicks (with regeneration and a built in escape mode).

2. SLOSH042E Helspont – This piece does everything well. 7 range and outwit for offense. Impervious, shape change, and self healing for defense. TK, leadership, and perplex for support. Just a really solid character.

1. SLOSH005B Mon-El – 12 attack, 10 range, hypersonic speed, super strength, 18 impervious/defend, Superman TA, Wildcard, 175 points. This is the best 175 point character I have ever seen. This is likely the best tent pole character under 200 that I have ever seen. 10 Range rarely show ups on modern figures under 200 points. The same thing with 12 attack (unless you’re batman, wolverine, or hawkeye). To have them both on the same figure is just awesome. Add in the defend that provides 19d to team mates and you’ve got a winner.

The five worst figures from the SloSH set:

5. SLOSH047A White Witch – 87 points for a character with that hardest promotion power power ever printed. I’ve rarely pulled off regular promotions, good luck with this. Her MYSTICAL ENERGY power is situational and in general your opponent can mostly ignore her and focus on your figures that actually do something.

4. SLOSH051 Takion – This character wields ultimate power… for 3 clicks. Then his dial turns into incompatible powers. Steal Energy and Energy Shield Deflection? That’s not a great combo.

3. SLOSH052 Highfather – His trait stopping the opponent’s highest cost character from attacking had better come in handy because he doesn’t offer much else. If an opponent’s best character is 100 points and you’re spending 130 points to stop it, then your opponent has the advantage. Plus you’ll have to leave him in the back, because one successful attack on him cancels his whole trait.

2. SLOSH037B Edward Nigma – A character’s normal version should not outshine its prime in usefulness. This one has that problem. His mind control is good, but he has to be within 6 to use it and with only shape change for defense he’s likely going to get shot up setting up his attack.

1. SLOSH050 Toyman – Attaching toys mostly provide defensive abilities, but that’s pointless because he has no offensive capabilities. Outwit is the limit of his support capabilities on click one. He’s 87 points for him and 1 attached toy, but his dial without a toy would be worth 40 points at best. He has mastermind, but you wouldn’t want to use it because any other figure you could put damage on is probably better. He’s completely ignorable in any real battle.

Fast Five: The Five Worst Figures In Invincible Iron Man!!

FAST FIVE

Hey there!!

So my original intentions with this blog were to write at length about Heroclix, Comics, TV & Movies (and whatever else strikes my fancy, I guess) while offering up some (somewhat) thoughtful insights and opinions. At least once a week, I’ll try to write a long piece where I can really get in-depth on a subject–like my previous post.
And then there will be entries like today. Not every post is gonna be a list of something (I don’t wanna be this guy), but sometimes that is the most efficient way to address a subject quickly.

So then:

We’ve previously discussed the best pieces in the latest full set from Wizkids, Invincible Iron Man. But what are the worst? Not just the bad figs, mind you, but the pieces that you should avoid at all costs—that’s what we’re looking for today!

5. Juggernaut (#032) 115 points—Rare: This hurts. It really does. Juggy is one of my favorite villains, but this is just sad. He starts off just as you’d expect with a perfectly named Improved Movement Trait (UNSTOPPABLE: Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Blocking Terrain and destroys blocking terrain as the character moves through it, Ignores Characters). Okay, so far so good. The sculpt is great as well. Not mind-blowing, but it captures the ‘Naut just fine. Okay, so that’s the good. Those two things that are not awful. Now for the bad (also known as the reasons he’s on this list):
There’s only 7 clicks on his dial. Only 7 clicks?! At first I thought I had a misprint and he was on someone’s else’s dial. Just 7 clicks for the Juggernaut. Shit, even Spiral (at the same rarity level) got 8 clicks for 9 less points and even then they found room to include the most  exploitable Trait in the history of the game (okay, since she was completely broken, that may be an unfair example, but still…)!
He has no Willpower or Indomitable. No Indomitable?! For one of the most Unstoppable forces in the Marvel Universe. Apparently, the only thing that can stop the Juggernaut is his need to pause every other round to catch his breath and discover his inner peace. Are you serious?! No Indomitable for the Unstoppable Juggernaut?! Um… okay. Whatever. At least he’s still got Charge…
Charge doesn’t show up until the third click!! What?! WHAT?! WHAT?! He starts with freaking Sidestep? Those are basically activation clicks for a guy who is always in his power in the comics. He doesn’t have to “activate” anything! In the name of all that’s Holy, he’s called the freaking Juggernaut, not Doctor Twinkletoes. No. NO! That makes no sense. You’re making no sense right now, WizKids!! Get it together! And lock it up! I mean, all he’s got going for him at this point is his high printed damage…
Uh, you mean the 3 that he starts with? The printed damage for his first five clicks is 3?!?! That’s all you get until click 6! Somebody up there hates me. That’s the only explanation I have.
–Wait—he has a Flurry click with a 12 Attack, 18 D with Impervious and (finally!!) a printed damage of 4! Oh! Well, okay, now we’re talking! When you add in the object he’ll most likely be carrying—Nope! Sorry to interrupt, but he loses Super Strength on that click. <Sigh> Well, still, if he can stay in that 12 AV 4 Damage range for a few clicks he’ll—Ah-uh. No, that’s his last click. The one slot that’s the hardest for him get to. … I hate you. Almost as much as I hate this piece. Of $#!+. That is clearly NOT THE #$#@IY@I Juggernaut!!

Let’s just move on before I need a barf bag. Somewhere, Kuurth is facepalming.

4. Absorbing Man (#033) 145 points (Experienced Version)—Rare:

3. Bulldozer (#014) 145 points (Experienced Version)—Common:
Okay, these two get grouped together because they all have the same problem: way too many points for little to no upgrade over their Rookie versions!!
Absorbing Man at 95 points (a savings of 50 points!) still gets you 6 clicks, starts with the same Charge, same AV (10), same damage (3) and same specials! Why pay 50 more points for a measly two clicks of stuff you’re already getting?! Unless your Reverting Greithoth, I’d stay away.
Then there’s Bulldozer. As I mentioned in the Top Ten set review, he’s an even bigger rip-off! 75 more points for the Experienced version and you only get two more clicks. Same Charge, same AV, same DV (granted his Toughness is actually a slightly better Invuln in those first two clicks, but still…), and one click of 4 damage. One. For 75 points. I could run a rookie Piledriver and Splitlip for that much! Or a Booklip and an Asgardian Troll. The possibilities are endless!

2. Crossbones (#206) 62 points—Common: Not completely useless, just not nearly as good as his main set version (which only costs 17 more points and adds, among other things, Sharpshooter). Good starting AV (11), and a great Team Ability, but that’s pretty much where the good news ends. His range is only five, which—when combined with the presence of a single click each of Charge and Super Strength (Super Strength? For Crossbones? Am I missing something?)—I guess means that he’s supposed to be a close combat beatstick? Except that there are way better options, some for even less points (Rookie Piledriver anyone?), if that’s what you’re looking for.

1. Rescue (#202) 58 points—Common: You’ve heard me sing the praises of the 65-point Rescue before as one of the Top Ten figures in this set. Well, you will not hear me praise this one. The Gravity Feed Rescue is only 7 less points, but you lose soooo, soooo much. How much could one figure lose for 7 points? Let’s take a look.
–This Rescue has Phasing/Teleport, which the main set Rescue does not have, and they both fly and thus both can carry. Okay, so that’s good. But Gravity Feed Rescue’s movement is only 7 (which means it’s just FIVE when she’s carrying someone!) versus the main set’s whopping 11! Plus that Rescue has Force Blast and the trait that lets her carry up to 3 other characters if those characters are not on their first click.
–This Rescue has NO range, NO starting Attack Power and a very average 9 Attack Value; she gains Super Strength to go with her ZERO printed damage on clicks 2-4 (Uh… thanks?), but the main set Rescue starts with an 11 Attack Value that fuels her FIRST CLICK TK AND Double Incapacitate with 6 range!!
–This Rescue does have Traited Support and Toughness (the other has Toughness as well; it’s just not Traited), which is fine, but she has NO ADDITIONAL Damage Powers. The other Rescue has Toughness in the usual spot, and eventually picks up Support, but when she starts the game she has a limited Perplex (on anything but damage)!!
–Since this Rescue has Traited Toughness, surely there must be some incredibly interesting power on her defense slot, right? WRONG. She has a 16 defense value with Defend. Wow. She can give her incredibly putrid defense value to any friendly character she’s adjacent to. Great. I’ll get right on that…
And on and on it goes. On the first click alone, the main set version adds Force Blast, TK, Double Incapacitate, +4 Movement, +2 AV, +1 Defense and PERPLEX!! For a measly 7 more points. Bleeeeeccccch. Stop paying retail point costs and stay from this sucker’s “bargain.”
As a matter of fact, just stay away from the Gravity Feed figs altogether. If you happen to pull a chase from the main set, the Gravity Feed Iron Man is not bad, and the Dreadnaught is okay; everything else is “meh” at best, unless you just have to have every average Alpha Flight fig that came out this year… Speaking of which:

Happy New Year!!

Here’s to another great year of Clixin’!