The Ghost of Clix-Mas Past Presents… Simply the Best: 2019: Part One!! (Or, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Five of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; for Night 2, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And then we had a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder of the blog Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! Then, we talked about the Five Things Wizkids Did Right This Year! And yesterday, The Ghost of Clix-Mas Future took us through a preview of just about every Heroclix release that’s been announced for 2020 so far!]

Tina Turner STB 2

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

Tonight, I thought it’d be fun to bring back one of our more popular features from a few years ago… the year end “Simply the Best” review!!

It goes like this: I come up with random (sometimes even arbitrary) categories and then tell you which piece or pieces were the best in category out of everything released this year!

We haven’t done it in awhile, because I used to try to cover everything–and I mean everything–in one column, which would then balloon to almost 4000 words.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: He’s not kidding. It’s been about 5 years since we tried this, and that feature came in at over 3300 words. We (sort of) revived the idea again at the end of 2016 for the Ninth Night of Clix-Mas that year in a two-part parody called “Simply the Rest,” wherein we talked about the worst Clix of the year.]

Well, we’re not going to get quite that in-depth tonight, and we’re actually gonna break this gimmick into a couple parts to make it more manageable.

So, without further ado, here was 2019’s…

SIMPLY THE BEST!!

 

Simply The Best… Primary Attacker of 2019:

Thanos UC

1. ABPI074 Thanos — 160 Points — Ultra Chase:

Okay, I’ve devoted enough ink to how much I love this piece. But this was a weird year for Primary Attackers.

The whole role was almost rendered moot by the ubiquity of overpowered Call-Ins. I mean, you could make an argument that Kobik was a great Primary Attacker since she’s impossible to kill and can Call-In pieces to do her damage for her. But that would be a little too cynical, even for me.

Runners Up:

2. XDPSG007R Juggernaut — 100 Points — Uncommon

The best version of Mr. Unstoppable ever.

3. XDPSG006R Onslaught — 125 Points — Uncommon

4. CMM021 Captain Marvel — 150 Points — Chase

5. RE068 Barbatos — 200 Points — Chase

 

Simply The Best… Sub-Theme of 2019:

Elders of the Universe Banner

1. Elders of the Universe — Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati

These pieces were better than they had any right to be. Collector, Astronomer, Trader… even Voyager and the freaking Gardener showed up in the Meta! Champion had a great dial and he wasn’t even one of the five best Elders in the set!

One of the most unexpected delights of the year!

Runners Up:

2. Brotherhood of MutantsXDPS

This was a close one. Wizkids has done the Brotherhood so many times, and yet with this set, they reinvented so many of the key players that I was blown away. Best Juggernaut ever. Best Blob ever. The Danger Room constructs were creatively designed and were a big part of the new Pauper Meta.

3. Batman: Metal ChasesDC Rebirth

Barbatos is borderline Meta, Red Death and The Batman Who Laughs are both really good, but they’re most notable for their cool sculpts and cohesive theme.

 

Simply The Best… Supporting Characters of 2019:

Kobik 616

Yep. Another article about Kobik…

1. ABPI069 Kobik — 115 Points — Chase:

Once again, I’ve talked her to death this Clix-Mas, but yeah, she’s that good. Mainstay of the current Meta.

Runners Up:

2. Q — 30 Points — Super Rare Prime:

There’s a reason he’s $300. The premier dice manipulator in the Meta right now.

3. Q– 50 Points — Super Rare:

Same as the Prime, except he’s 20 more Points BUT he doesn’t take up your lone Prime spot.

4. RE052E Mister Oz — 40 Points — Super Rare:

The DC version of Unseen. TK plus Prob across most of the board. At the beginning of the year, I would have thought he’d have the #1 Supporting Piece spot locked up.

Nope.

 

Simply The Best… Sets of 2019:

ABPI boxes

1. Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati:

Hands down, the best set of 2019. This set gave us Meta pieces at every rarity level:

Common: A.I.M. Red Squad, Voyager

Uncommon: A.I.M. White Squad, Medusa

Rare: Astronomer, Gardener

Super Rare: Taskmaster, Collector

Chase: Kobik

Ultra-Chase: Thanos 

And that’s just pieces that have shown up in Top 8’s. I’ve probably even missed a few. There’s also a ton more pieces that are just plain fun to play.

Add in all the great Equipment like the Infinity Gems, Gauntlets and Cosmic Cubes, and you have a set for players, collectors and everyone in-between. Worked on every level.

 

Runners Up:

2. XDPS:

Nostalgia for the old cartoon meets really innovative Colossal Design. Pieces like Onslaught and Juggernaut are Meta-relevant while being really fun to play. The Danger Room Construct pieces (read: Primes) were a creative new paradigm. And Chase Jean Grey and Chase Jason Wyngarde were extremely memorable.

The only thing holding this set back is how forgettable most of the regular-sized pieces were.

3. Star Trek Away Team: Resistance is Futile: 

Not just for the Q’s, but for the designers’ interpretation on the Bridge Crew of the Enterprise as well. Gets knocked down a few pegs for not fully fleshing out the Borg or Klingon factions.

4. Earth X: 

Loved the comic; this set was a very faithful adaptation. The Venom Chases were memorable as well!

 

Okay That’s all I have for tonight! Tune back in to this space tomorrow for Part 2!

Until then… Merry Clix-Mas!

 

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

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

simply-the-rest-gif

You pulled Bizarro Aquaman?

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

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

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

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

THE CRIT MISSES!!

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

Without further ado…

 

worst-chases

WORST SET OF CHASES

The Nominees:

Age of Apocalypse Chases (Uncanny X-Men)

Bizarro Chases (Joker’s Wild)

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

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

age-of-apocalypse-banner

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

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

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

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

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

 

worst-prime-rib

WORST PRIME

The Nominees:

SFSM053B Kraven (Superior Foes of Spider-Man)

JW037B Looker (Joker’s Wild)

UXM053B Phoenix (Uncanny X-Men)

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

phoenix-2

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

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

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

 

batman-and-robin

WORST COMIC-BOOK MOVIE

The Nominees:

Batman v Superman

Suicide Squad

X-Men: Apocalypse

AND THE CRIT MISS GOES TO…

suicide-squad-2

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

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

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

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

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

This should have been so much better…

 

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

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