You’re Simply the Best 2: Electric Boogaloo!! (Or, The Best Everything of 2014!!) (Or, Let’s Hand Out Some Critters*!!)

Tina Turner

(As always, with apologies to Tina Turner for stealing her gimmick…)

Is it 2015 already? Yes. Yes, Timmy, it is. Which means another year of Heroclix has come and gone. And since it’s January, it also means that it’s time to look back at the year that was and pick out the best, coolest and weirdest pieces!

In other words… IT’S TIME FOR A YEAR-END REVIEW!!

But first, let’s look at all the Heroclix releases from 2014:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re gonna leave AvX out of it, since it technically started in 2013, although many of the participating venues didn’t finish up until January or February.]

–Yu-Gi-Oh! HeroClix: Series One (01/08/2014)

–Fast Forces: Legion of Doom (02/26/2014)

–Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes (02/26/2014)

–Captain America: The Winter Soldier (03/12/2014)

–Batman: Arkham Origins Quick-Start Kit (05/03/2014) [EDITOR’S NOTE: While technically a release, this was given out at certain venues on Free Comic Book Day. The figures are actually kind of interesting, but they’re Purple Ringed and, therefore, not tourney legal. Still, this is a cool lil’ setup.]

–Fast Forces: Thunderbolts (05/14/2014)

–Deadpool (05/14/2014)

–X-Men: Days of Future Past (05/31/2014)

–War of Light (06/01/2014)

–Return of the King (06/04/2014)

–Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set (07/02/2014)

Star-Lord Gif

–Justice League Strategy Game (07/09/2014)

–Fast Forces: The Inhumans (08/13/2014)

–Guardians of the Galaxy (08/13/2014)

–The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (11/05/2014)

–Fast Forces: Rogues (11/12/2014)

–The Flash (11/12/2014)

Whew!! Okay! So we had 17 major releases in 2014. And that’s not including the various Convention Exclusives that also released this year. Plus, War of Light came in two Waves and therefore almost counts as two sets on it’s own. A major success, War of Light also birthed the Entity Chases, which were probably the most sought after Chases of all-time.

Speaking of Entity-fueled successes, here is the publicly released third quarter earnings statement put out by Heroclix makers WizKids/NECA, LLC:

Gold Swimming Pool

In response to the secondary market frenzy created by the Entity Chases, WizKids/NECA, LLC submitted this follow-up statement:

the_joker_smile_by_angrypig-d4k075d

So, in other words, the game did okay this year. But enough about the games finances!

Time to dole out some Critters*!! As always, these categories are chosen and (ill-)defined by yours truly!

[*EDITOR’S NOTE: “Critters” is 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.]

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… PRIMARY ATTACKER (Vaguely defined as the best attacking piece to build an army around):

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP051 Banshee

DP057 Tiamat

WOL025 The Weaponer of Qward

WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern)

GOTG062 Super Skrull

FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

FL050 The Flash

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Zombie Super Skrull

Why Super Skrull Won: Versatility. Pure and simple. No matter which Clix your opponent sets down in front of you when you start the game, if you’re running Super Skrull, you know you’ve got a chance. His Trait (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.) is simply ridiculous, and that’s before you remember he’s got the standard Z-Virus powers that let him bank healing for the future while also having the ability to resurrect your opponent’s KO’d pieces… on your side!

Notable Runners-Up:

Kyle Rayner just missed out on this for me. The fact that a guy used Super Skrull to take out a buncha Kyle teams (among others) in a recent ROC was the deciding factor for me.!

Banshee is almost as good with his strong stats and his ability to target through both Hindering and Elevated Terrain, but he’s stymied by the existence of Copycat. The fact that there’s a piece out there that simply let’s your opponent take Banshee and leave you with a walking Pu-Pu Platter is intolerable to me… and makes playing Banshee somewhat risky.

Black Lantern Zoom is extremely good for his points, but he does take up your Prime slot, which sometimes makes it harder to field great supporting figs around him.

And finally, the Kingdom Come Flash just hasn’t been around long enough to truly flex his muscles in the Meta. Once Resources rotate back in, expect to see a bunch of Sinestro Corps Batteries powering the Flash here to victory!

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… SECONDARY ATTACKER (Vaguely defined as figures who can reliably damage the enemy but cost less than the Primary Attacker in your Build):

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor

DP053A Speed Demon

WOL010 Controller [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, got my lists confused. Controller belongs in the “Most Embarrassing Piece to Pull in a War Of Light OP Event” category.]

WOL013B Tomar Tu

GOTGM012 Yondu

SLOSH039X Bizarro

DP064 Electro

It takes a special kind of crazy to run Lethal Legion at a ROC...

Actual video of me using Zombie Electro against Ninwashui in a house game. For the 43rd time.

GOTGM101 Star-Lord

GOTGM106R Ronan

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

GOTG023 Yondu (Yep! They both made this list!)

GOTG059B Doctor Spectrum

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Speed Demon

Why Speed Demon Won: My Lord, this was a packed category, and it really came down to Speed Demon and Captain Marvel at the end. Either one would have walked away with this category in 2013, but damn, how do you choose here? I give Speed Demon the nod for two reasons. One, he’s not a Prime (actually, he’s better than Whizzer, his Prime version), so you can still run a Prime character in your Build. And two, 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.) was the best Trait I read this year. It can be gamechanging on its own, but when you start to combine it with things like Entities or The Phoenix Force, Speed Demon can get out of hand in a hurry.

Notable Runners-Up:

Captain Marvel (the Prime) was a close second. His ability to completely shut down the attacks of anyone he hits is stupid good. He’s a little crunchy himself, but his Special Defend power lets him boost the Defense Value of most adjacent friendlies to 19!!

Both Yondu figures are great; much has already been said about the main set Uncommon from GOTG. But I really think folks need to take another look at the GotG Movie Set version. He’s a different kind of ridiculousness.

I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far and not mentioned Lydea Mallor. There was a time when she ruled ROC’s all across the country. Now, she’s kind of old news. Still, she may have burned through her usefulness quickly, but she also burned quite brightly for that short while, too. With the new ROC season allowing Resources again, I’d expect her business to pick back up a bit.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… SUPPORTING FIGURE (Vaguely Defined as those pieces that round out your force by providing those important non-damage dealing abilities, like Perplex, Probability Control or Outwit; Support; or TK, or Taxi Service, or something else entirely):

FFDP006R Mercy 

SLOSH001 Cosmic Boy

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent

CATWS014 Agent Sitwell

DP018 Blind Al

DP020 Weasel

DOFP008 Senator Robert Kelly

DOFP011 Destiny

WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit

WOL010 Controller [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, got my lists confused again. This Controller nomination belongs in the “Most Exciting Piece to open during War Of Light: Month 1… Until You Realize That He Isn’t a Poorly Scuplted Superboy Prime Like You Were Hoping.” category.]

WOL033 Sister Sercy

WOL029 Brother Hymn

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon

GOTG003 Mantis

GOTG017A Kree Lieutenant

FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Rocket Raccoon Gif

Why Rocket Raccoon Won: So, while the 300 Point Meta game probably exerts the greatest influence on a lot of these awards, I chose Rocket because he offers so many great supporting abilities PLUS he’s the lynchpin to so many different cool Guardian of the Galaxy Builds (if you’re playing Star-Lord from the comic set, you almost HAVE to play the Movie Chase Rocket with him!). He’s also a decent Secondary Attacker (not great, but decent) and certainly could have been nominated in that category as well.

But I view him more as a Supporting Figure. He lends adjacent snipers Enhancement, he has Outwit with a 7 Range AND he buffs the Attack Values of adjacent friendlies that share at least one of his two main keywords (Ravagers or Guardians of the Galaxy). Now, there are certainly other figures in the game who can buff both Attack and Damage (Rocket’s fellow nominee Weasel can do that trick too), but you can very easily run into positioning issues where you find it extremely difficult to keep the Enhancer next to the Attacker that your trying to buff. Not with Rocket! He’s Tiny-sized, which means he can be carried by just about any attacker, whether or not they fly! And, being tiny, Rocket doesn’t make the carrier subtract two from their movement (VEEEERRRY helpful during Running Shot/Carry maneuvers.)

Notable Runners-Up:

Blue Lantern Recruit packs about every starting ability you’d want into one tiny, 50-Point shell. He probably would have won this if not for Rocket.

Ditto for Mercy, except I like Blue Lantern Recruit just a tad better.

Agent Sitwell is an AWESOME supporting piece… as long as you’re playing a S.H.I.E.L.D. team.

Finally, S.T.A.R. Labs Technician has already started to show up in the Meta. Great package of abilities for the point cost.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… WORST FIGURE OF THE YEAR (Vaguely defined as, well, the worst figure of the year, which would technically make that piece the best at sucking):

FL018 Steve Trevor

FL019B Bizarro Flash

SLOSH050 Toyman

SLOSH047A White Witch

DOFP002 Sprite & DOFP020 Ariel (A RARE DUAL DISAPPOINTMENT!!)

WOL010 Controller (FINALLY!! A category he’s SUPPOSED to be nominated in!)

WOL039 Kryb

WOL051 Krona

GOTGM010 Nebula

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

"Yes. And don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."

Yes. And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Why Steve Trevor Won: So, at only 54 Points, you could argue that there are much worse figures out there who, by virtue of the higher Point cost, would be a bigger detriment to your team because you’d have to sink more of your Build’s Resources (i.e. Build Points) into fielding them.

And you’d be wrong. As I argued during the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, Steve Trevor is so bad that you’ve probably already lost the game just by fielding him, since you probably thought you could successfully find a way to use his Leadership Special Power. And you were wrong. Because while Steve Trevor has a bevy of keywords to chose from, he makes an awful Leader no matter which squad you choose to run.

“But HypeFox,” I can already hear you saying, “Running Shot and Psychic/Blast is an awesome combo, and he has that top click!” Sure he does. He also has a 5 (not 6) Range and only a 16 ES/D for Defense. Look, you could play two more Entities for that price; it’d be cheesy, but you could. Instead, you chose the worst dial released this year.

Are you going against Steve Trevor? Oh, I have some advice. Here’s the secret to taking down Steve Trevor: deal him one damage (I promise it will go through). At that point, on Click 2, Steve Trevor gets Willpower, a 9 Attack and he keeps his craptastic Empower/Leadership Special Power.

And don’t think that it’s that hard to get Steve here to his second Click. All you need is one character with Poison and some patience. Oh, did Steve Trevor just move? Well, go ahead and plop your Poisoner adjacent to him. Whether Steve stays and takes the Poison or he Pushes to vacate the premises, your job is done, since that Willpower only shows up on Click 2!!

Notable Runners-Up:

Krona is 245 Points with a Trait that can’t be legally activated in a 300 Point game unless your running an Entity on a figure 30 Points or less. The benefit to Krona if you do all that? Probably a +2 to his Range or Speed Value. Lame. This character was a universe-imperiling badass in the comics; in Clix, the only thing he’ll imperil is your chance to win if you field him.

White Witch is impossible to promote, even though Battlefield Promotion is one of the only reasons to play her.

Controller is, well, Controller. He has the capability of dealing 4 Penetrating Damage to any character within his Range… provided that he’s already hit with EIGHT FREAKING ATTACKS!! And if he’s already done that, well, you’ve probably already won the game.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… GRAVITY FEED SET (Marvel or DC):

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set

Days of Future Past

Deadpool

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

CATWS

Why CATWS Won: Top to bottom, it had the best pieces. It added a metric POOP-TON of S.H.I.E.L.D.-keyworded figs and gave us a very solid Chase (Cap and Bucky) and a damn near broken one (Captain America and Black Widow). We now have a very useful Nick Fury, and Agent Sitwell is one of the best S.H.I.E.L.D. supporting figs we’ve seen since… well, since the CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent THAT’S ALSO IN THIS SET!!

Notable Runners-Up:

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set gave us a fantastic Chase Rocket, probably the best Drax we’ve seen yet along with the best version of The Collector we’ve ever received. Having said that, most of the pieces I keep reaching for from this set (Star-Lord, Ronan) are actually from the STARTER, not the Gravity Feed.

Days of Future Past had some neat ideas, but top to bottom it can’t compare with CATWS. Professor X is great until you see that he’s overcosted by at least 30 Points. Sprite and Ariel pose that time-honored riddle: when you have the opportunity to eat the Chicken Salad you didn’t want OR the Egg Salad you didn’t want, which do you chose?

And finally, Deadpool was probably about the best main set Gravity Feed we got all year. It was worth seeking out the Deadpool dial that comes in the Gravity Feed just for his Word Bubble alone. Daredevil in that same Feed is a SwitchClix, which is a really cool thing to pull from a Gravity Feed pack. Also, Secret Empire Number 9 is one of the best Ranged supporting pieces in Modern right now that no one ever talks about.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… PRIME FIGURE (Vaguely defined as… well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, actually):

SLOSH005B Mon-El

DP019B Evil Deadpool

DP047B Cat

DP053B Whizzer

WOL013B Tomar Tu

WOL020B Laira

WOL046B Abin Sur

GOTG007B Captain Marvel

GOTG047B Thanosi

FL037B Dark Flash

FL053B Zoom

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

Captain Marvel Marvel 2

Why Captain Marvel Won: Wow! This was probably the deepest and most competitive category this year. Captain Marvel wins because he does so many different things to help your team win, yet at 81 Points he’s on the low-end of what most Secondary Attackers cost. Plus, his Attack Special ability that–among other things–allows him to shut down opposing figures counter-attacks when he hits them (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.) is damn near broken!

Notable Runners-Up:

Abin Sur is just ridiculously cheap, and he has the Construct ability. He finished second for me.

Whizzer is a great figure, but I can’t vote for a figure for “Best Prime” when it’s NON-PRIME (Speed Demon) is both cheaper to field AND more effective.

Zoom would have finished third; he’s fantastic, but he’s almost a Primary Attacker. Nothing wrong with that, except that many of the best Modern Age Supporting Figures happen to be Primes themselves right now, which means that you can’t use them in a Build with Zoom.

Finally, Cat still has a lot of room to grow in the Meta. Now that ROC is switching back to a format where Relics and Resources are allowed, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see him turn up a little more often.

 

SIMPLY THE BEST… 5-FIGURE SET (Vaguely defined as THE SET OF THE YEAR!!):

Guardians of the Galaxy

War of Light

Deadpool

Flash

Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes

 

AND THE CRITTER GOES TO…

 

"We're number one!"

Guardians… pull my finger.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Won: The Critical Missives version of Best Picture goes to… Guardians of the Galaxy?! Hmmm… Before I sat down to write this article, I thought for sure War of Light would capture this, but when I look back over this past year, I have to say that, top to bottom, Guardians was the best set. The fact that every generic had a “soldier” version and a “royal” version is freaking awesome. It actually cut down so much on the normal clusterglut (a term I just coined) of generic Commons that you accumulate every time you buy packs.

War of Light did this too, to an extent, but that was mostly different versions of the same character (“Kyle Rayner as a White Lantern. Kyle Rayner as a Blue Lantern. And on and on…”). War of Light was also WAAAAAY harder to initially collect. But Guardians also gave us almost as many Meta pieces as WOL without all the headaches (Entities). Even now, I still feel like there’s TONS of undiscovered GOTG pieces just waiting to be tried out. Heck, Ninwashui finally beat me for once just the other day using a Brother Royal team. It was ridiculously effective–and you never even see those guys. At least, not yet. But GOTG’s top to bottom depth is what put it over the top for me!

Notable Runners-Up:

War of Light obviously finished second. It was everything DC fans seemed to want and more. Uh, way more. It was actually like 3 or 4 separate Lantern stories rolled into one set. Still, it gave us a lot of previously Un-Clix’d figures, and two MAJOR new mechanics with the Construct Trait (found on the Primes and Participation Prizes) and the Entities (with their “Possessed” Traits). The Entities were extremely powerful; they’re recent slight-nerfing probably has them in the right place, power-wise. The Construct Trait is the next thing that may need to get looked at; I’ve seen so many players going out of their way to play, like, 4 Wall-bearing figures in larger point games (“If no one can target any of my figures ever, I’ll win!” Uh, yeah, Timmy, maybe, but it’s the antithesis of what the game is about. It’s basically the strategy of people who don’t trust their own ability to orchestrate a strategy.). So War of Light was second for me, if only because it caused so many issues in the Meta and beyond; but as we end 2014 and roll into 2015, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at Rulings-wise with the set, and I think it’ll be an important source of Builds for the next couple years.

Deadpool was awesome. It gave us Speed Demon and Banshee and a TON of great Hand figures. It also gave us Copycat, who was just as big of a problem (in her own way) for a while as the Entities were.

Flash had some of the best sculpts of the year. The Speed Force mechanic isn’t as cool as the two mechanics put forth by War of Light, but it’s still a solid addition to the game.

Finally, SLoSH will primarily just be remembered for Lydea Mallor, I think. It wasn’t a bad set; it just wasn’t as much fun as the other big sets we got this year.

 

Well, there you have it!! That’s all for this year’s Critters*!!

Join us next month as we dive into Justice League: Trinity War and start a new Page for this site that’s devoted to Comics on TV!!

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

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, no really, we are still working on it! We’ll have it sorted for next year!]

Getting Warmer (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 04/06/2014!!)

Roundup

 

Well hello there Batman!! This is the first week of the year that us Michiganders haven’t been completely f-ing snowed in!! We set all kinds of snowfall records. I usually love Winter, but I’m done. 50 degrees Fahrenheit is like Heaven right now…

But enough weather talk. That’s not what you came here for! You’re here for…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!! Here we go, ‘Clix Nation!

 

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was back again with another short-ish episode (well, short for them–it’s still over an hour). This week the guys discuss the buildup of spoilers over the last week, including some Gen Con exclusives. Additionally, their new Best Build Contest for April is live. I kinda like the army I cooked up, but you can check out everyone’s army (and, more importantly, the build parameters so you can construct your own entry) right here (mine is posted under the User Name “The Underneath”). If you want to see what entries have been inspired by the Dial H April Dial Design Contest (this thing seems to grow every month!), you can do so right here (the idea this month is for all the competitors to design their own Fast Forces team! I’m working on a Cull Obsidian Fast Forces as I write this. Proxima Midnight was Week 1, and now I’m working on Ebony Maw).

Clixcast

ClixCast was dark again this week. This is as long as they’ve gone without a show in a while now…

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is still on its two-month hiatus. Which might actually be a three-month hiatus–wait, what? They’re back?! Oh, my stars and garters! Alrighty then! Welcome back guys!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry is back with some freshly mined content. I give you… Episode 15! Wherein all the madness of Clixathon is broken down by a roundtable of experts…

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right here!

 

Preview

Previews:

–Well, with Improved Targeting now a THING, you knew it was only a matter of time before we saw another Bullseye. He’s a rare from the upcoming Deadpool set, and for 110 points, I really like him. His dial is short but sweet, with only 6 total clicks but sporting Running Shot, an 8 Range, 12 Attack and 3 Damage with Prob top dial. With the Phoenix Force or the Book of the Skull, he can be very deadly.

–The 2014 Convention Exclusive figures have been announced, and it is an ECLECTIC mix to say the least. But soon to be legal at a tournament near you are:

Doop (Gee, I wonder if he’ll be like this awesome amateur dial someone cooked up on HCRealms… I don’t know who THEUNDERNEATH is, but he must be one handsome genius! Oh, wait, they spoiled the dial… and he’s not. Frowny face. But, his sculpt is awesome! Happy Face!)

Hulk & Red She-Hulk (Okay…)

Whiplash (Huh?!)

Impossible Man (Okay, he could be cool… and I don’t think he’s been ‘Clix’d since Secret Invasion…)

ZOMBIE FREAKING GALACTUS on a 2×2 Colossal Base (AWESOME!!)

Amazo (I still remember his original version–he was a badass with Hypersonic Speed back when Hypersonic Speed was darn near broken!)

Jonah Hex (Click the link for his dial–nice lil’ secondary attacker for 100 points. The best Jonah yet, although that is saying almost nothing.)

World’s Finest (Power Girl & Huntress–the New 52 version. They also set them up like Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, where you can play individually or as a Duo)

Resurrection Man (Yeah! About time!)

Black Lantern Anti-Monitor Collossal (Lol. Another Zombie Colossal. Both are beyond cool. Both will be had by me somehow!!)

-And as if all that wasn’t enough, DoFP revealed… Senator Kelly.

 

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for "Entertainment News."

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for “Entertainment News.”

Entertainment News:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out and it is awesome! There are two scenes AFTER the credits start rolling, it moves the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a bold new direction, but most of all… it was fun! Great story, some great reveals… I’ll be going back for a second helping at some point. And it looks like I’m not alone–the movie debuted to almost $100 million, a record for April. No SPOILERS though–maybe next week, after everyone’s had a chance or two to see it!

-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is brand new tomorrow, and its “UPRISING” storyline ties right into Cap 2. Should be explosive! Look for Bill Paxton and a host of guest stars to help/hinder our heroes tomorrow night on ABC!

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article this week, expounding on the brokenness of SLoSH main set Bizarro!

 

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print here in ClixLand! See ya later this week!

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

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!!

Snow News Is Good News? (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 03/16/2014!!)

Roundup

Snowmageddon hit southeastern Michigan for what seems like the thirtieth time in the last twenty-nine days, followed by a localized internet blackout for yours truly. But we’re back up and running! SLoSH sealed was cancelled and rescheduled for this week, and the weather made it impossible to get anywhere on time from late Tuesday night to midday Thursday. I used to love Winter, but come the #$@& on already! This is ridiculous.

All of which is to say–to quote the BareNaked Ladies–it’s been one week!! (Yeah, that was a pretty long way to go for that.)

IT’S TIME FOR THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

Podcasts:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was brand new again–when isn’t it? That’s consistency, people!!–this week with Episode 36! The guys engage in a roundtable review of the new Captain America: The Winter Soldier dials that should finally be in a hobby store near you as you are reading this! [SPOILER ALERT–Agent 13 is freaking GOOD!! And so is the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent who–oh, heck, just listen to the podcast–or simply check out the last feature in this column for more info!)

Clixcast

ClixCast was dark again this week, according to their iTunes feed.

Closed for business?

–Still dead, Jim.

Push to Regen

Push to Regen is, of course, still on its two-month hiatus.

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

ROC’n the Clix.

The Quarry was back new again this week as DarkLogos and the gang continue their MARCH MASS HYSTERIA with a breakdown of the Canadian 1k Open!

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–The ROC is changing their Map! No more Wrestling Ring. Instead, say hello to the… MAYAN TEMPLE!

–Some more new Tourney announcements, which you can find right here!

Hi! I'll be your Meta for today. What can I getcha started with?

Hi! I’ll be your Meta for today. What can I getcha started with?

–A Kentucky-set ROC Super Qualifier went down, and a Brother Voodoo/GCPD Cruiser team came out on top. But there was PLENTY of Lydea Mallor–she is definitely the figure that’s most wanted from SL0SH–at least, for now…

–Speaking of results, plenty of results to peruse from the Western Canadian $1K Open Realms Open Championship Super Qualifier.

Preview

Previews:

–Another X-Men: DoFP preview, and it’s an Uncommon bomb: Nightcrawler. Really, really like this piece. Very strong, especially for his points. Outside of the Outsiders TA, you’re gonna have to deal with his 19 Defense.

Entertainment News:

–Lady Sif kicked some butt on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last week, and now the show is dark for a bit. Instead, we get a Marvel Movie Special on ABC tonight, which will preview Cap II, GotG & future eps of S.H.I.E.L.D. .

–And I have not yet decided on an Entertainment News segment logo…

Critical Missives:

–Ninwashui released his Top Ten SLoSH figures, which also contained a general overview of the whole set along with his five WORST figures, which I think will surprise a lot of people…

–Captain America: The Winter Soldier has released in both Hobby shops AND Targets nationwide, which means it’s time to revisit my DEFYING GRAVITY column!

This is how you defy gravity... LIKE A BOSS!

This is how you defy gravity… LIKE A BOSS!

To recap, my prediction for the main set (both Hobby and Mass Market) was:                                                   The actual setlist was:

CATWS#001: Captain America                                                                                                                                                  CATWS#001: Captain America (Yay! 1 for 1! I cannot be stopped!)

CATWS#002: S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Agent                                                                                                                               CATWS#002: S.H.I.E.L.D. Soldier (Bah. Close, but no cigar! This is like 1 and 1/2 for 2.)

CATWS#003: Alexander Pierce                                                                                                                                                CATWS#003: Black Widow (Right character, in that she’s definitely in the set, but wrong #. 1 and 1/2 for 3.)

CATWS#004: The Winter Soldier                                                                                                                                            CATWS#004: Batroc (For some reason, I thought he’d be a rare. Freaking Batroc. 1 and 1/2 for 4.)

CATWS#005: Black Widow                                                                                                                                                         CATWS#005: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (Bah. There were 3 freaking S.H.I.E.L.D. generics? 1 and 1/2 for 5.)

CATWS#006: Nick Fury                                                                                                                                                                CATWS#006: Falcon (1 and 1/2 for 6.)

CATWS#007: Crossbones                                                                                                                                                             CATWS#007: S.H.I.E.L.D. Commander  (Turned out Crossbones’s only version was the rare Brock Rumlow. 1 and 1/2 for 7.)

CATWS#008: Sharon Carter                                                                                                                                                        CATWS#008: Winter Soldier (1 and 1/2 for 8. Bleeecccchhh.)

CATWS#009: Howard Stark                                                                                                                                                        CATWS#009: Steve Rogers (Howard Stark? Not even in the set. 1 and 1/2 for 9.)

CATWS#010: Batroc the Leaper                                                                                                                                                 CATWS#010: Brock Rumlow (1 and 1/2 for 10.)

CATWS#011: Maria Hill                                                                                                                                                                  CATWS#011: Maria Hill (Boom!! Nailed it! 2 and 1/2 for 11.)

CATWS#012: Falcon                                                                                                                                                                         CATWS#012: Captain America (Annnnnddd… more failure. 2 and 1/2 for 12.)

CATWS#013: The Winter Soldier                                                                                                                                               CATWS#013: Agent 13 (Oh, I’m stupid. I’m really, really stupid. Of course she was #013. Btw, for her 55 points, and   with her defensive shutdown SP, she is the best fig in the set, imo. Check her out. They put a better  version of Malekith’s defensive shutdown SP on a figure that costs almost 200 points less. Crazy! 2 and 1/2 for 13.)

CATWS#014 Peggy Carter                                                                                                                                                              CATWS#014: Agent Sitwell (Talked myself out of this one. He is awesome too, btw. S.H.I.E.L.D. swarm teams got some HUGE additions with this set. 2 and 1/2 out of 14.)

CATWS#015 Machete                                                                                                                                                                        CATWS#015: Nick Fury (This is possibly the BEST Nick Fury they’ve ever made. This Target set is AWESOME! 2 and 1/2 out of 15.)

CATWS#016 Captain America                                                                                                                                                       CATWS#016: Winter Soldier (2 and 1/2 out of 16.)

CATWS#017: Captain America and Winter Soldier                                                                                                             CATWS#017: Captain America and Black Widow (This is the Hobby Chase. I thought Falcon would be on one of these. I was wrong. It’s fun, but not really Meta. Still cool. 2 and 1/2 out of 17.)

CATWS#018: Captain America and Falcon                                                                                                                               CATWS#018: Captain America and Bucky (Well, I ALMOST had it. This one has the Howling Commandos keyword, which–along with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers–got a HUGE boost with this mini-set. FINAL TALLY: 2 and 1/2 out of 18. Yeeeesssh. Back to the minors for me!)

Okay! So there’s the update! Look for a second opinion on SLoSH late Wednesday or some time on Thursday.

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

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.

Delayed Gratification!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 03/09/2014!!)

Roundup

Well hullo there!!

Another week goes out, another weather system moves in… and it’s time for another Weekly Roundup!!

Podcasts:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix was new again this week with Episode 35! The guys discuss, among other topics, how SLoSH will affect the current Meta, but first they discuss What They Played! This segment was extremely interesting to me this week as I designed a team that Drew selected to play for this month’s Best Build! You’ll have to listen to the show to see how Drew did with my team, but I had a lot of fun building that force.

Also, a new Dial H Dial Design Contest for March over on HCRealms.com should be up by the time you read this. This first week has a St. Patrick’s Day theme, I believe.

Clixcast

ClixCast was dark again this week, according to their iTunes feed.

Closed for business?

–No news is, well, NO news, I guess, on the Duo Attack front. Looks like it’s still dead, Jim. In fact, none of the Awesome PodCast Network shows have an update on the APN Facebook page more recent than February 14th.

Push to Regen

Push to Regen is, of course, still on its two-month hiatus.

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

Oh, it’s called the Quarry cuz it covers the ROC. I get it!

The Quarry was back new again this week as DarkLogos and the gang prepare themselves for MARCH MASS HYSTERIA!! There should be shows coming every week now dissecting the recent Top 16 results of major ROC tourneys. The ESPN-like roundtable segments are my favorite thing on this podcast (it’s awesome to hear top-level players talking about why teams should–or in some cases, shouldn’t–work), but often host Edward Shelton will interview winners, judges and top finishers from many of these events as well. Check it out.

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–The ROC is updating its prize structure! Basically, they’re getting rid of the $100 TCGPlayer.com gift certificates and instead awarding Convention Exclusive LE’s. Read all about it here.

–New ROC Super Qualifier announced for Hanford, California!

–Plenty of results to peruse from the Western Canadian $1K Open Realms Open Championship Super Qualifier.

Preview

Previews:

–Really just another X-Men: DoFP preview. Avalanche isn’t going to get anyone too excited, but he’s not bad for his point level.

Entertainment News:

–Movie Lady Sif is guest-starring on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week. Which means that, should we ever get a MAOS TV set, we could see another Marvel Studios Lady Sif! Jaimie Alexander is fun to watch in that role, so count me in for this week’s episode!

–After a flurry of casting announcements the last few weeks, no real movement to report on Batman Versus Superman or Gotham.

Critical Missives:

–Well, SLoSH being slightly delayed means our SLoSH Top Ten columns probably won’t drop until late this week or early next week, as we haven’t had the chance to play with too many of these figs (our venue’s SLoSH sealed event is this Wednesday). More to come on this front soon…

–WizKids released a statement saying that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was delayed a week due to inclement weather related shipping issues and NOT because–as many Heroclix enthusiasts have speculated–a brilliant blogger managed to piece together the entire setlist on the eve of its release. Sooooo… yeah.  Heh.

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print this week. See ya later this week for more articles.

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

SLoSH and Slush!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 03/02/2014!!)

Roundup

Well well well!! Another week (and a day!), the Oscars and a time when Matthew McConaughey was the guy who said “Alright alright alllllriiiiiggght!” instead of a serious dramatic actor with an Oscar to his name… have come and gone. Which can only mean but one thing.

TIME FOR YOUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

Podcasts:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix returned with Episode 34 (“SLoSH Sealed Advice”) wherein the guys discussed their first impressions of Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes and broke down the results of their recent sealed tourney with the set and gave their thoughts on what to look for when you’re playing SLoSH sealed.

As I mentioned last week, The Dial H guys also run a fun Dial Design Contest over on HCRealms.com. Basically they hand out three weekly dial design assignments each month, and then score each dial on a 1-30 scale. The highest total point getter each month receives some spiffy custom poker chip action tokens. February’s assignment just finished, and March’s should be starting next week.

Clixcast

ClixCast was dark this week.

Closed for business?

Has Duo Attack Been Outwitted?

–No new news on Duo Attack.

Push to Regen

Push to Regen is still on its two-month hiatus.

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches.

The Quarry was also dark this week.

ROC:

–No real ROC news or results to report this week.

Previews: Forget previews–we had a major set release!! Our SLoSH review will be dropping later this week on Critical Missives!

Entertainment News: Well, the Oscars happened, and the show included two Avengers and Nick Fury as presenters! Also, SHIELD is new this Tuesday!

Critical Missives: Ninwashui put together a sick article on replacement figure effects. Go check it out here!

So, we’re keeping it short and sweet today, but look for a Top Ten SLoSH article later this week, along with some coverage of Cap II’s and GotG’s Gravity Feed goodness.

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

Weekly Roundup!! 01/05/2014-01/11/2014

 

Roundup

Hello again! Another week gone, and another week of great reveals from WizKids! So let’s get to it!

Rounding up the Clix Community highlights from the past week…

Podcasts:

Dial H for Heroclix was brand new this week with an episode wherein the guys discussed both what they THOUGHT was coming from WizKids (based on what’s already been spoiled) this year and what else they’re HOPING WizKids will release.

Duo Attack, as far as I can tell, was dark again this week. I read on Awesome Pod’s Facebook page that all of their shows may be having server issues or some sort of technical difficulty. I’ll try and update this situation next week, pending more information.

–The Quarry was dark again this week as well. Not sure when the next ep will be up, but it’s usually posted in the “ROC” section of HCRealms.com.

–And finally, last week I totally forgot about the great folks at Push to Regen! They were dark last week; here’s a link to their Podbean. I believe I saw somewhere on Reddit that their 30th episode has just been recorded, so that should be up sometime this week I’d imagine.

Previews:

–Tucked into their official announcement of a X-Men: Days of Future Past Gravity Feed set that had already been spoiled (and, in what I’m sure is a total coincidence, will be on store shelves at just about the same time as the Fox movie with the same title but to which it is definitely, totally and completely unrelated–wink!), WizKids unveiled one of the set’s Chases: Nimrod!! He is a beast who can be played at 150, 250 or 350. If you play him at his maximum point level, he gets Multi-Attack!! They also showed off the sculpts for Pyro and Storm. Very cool set. I’m looking forward to this one.

–Speaking of Days of Future Past, what would a SwitchClix Sentinel look like? Probably like this!

–I was never a Legion fan, so I don’t know much about Universo, but his dial is pretty stacked for 71 points. He’s a Wildcard, he can use Mind Control with three arrows at 7 range, and he’s really tough to nail at range himself with a 17 D PLUS Super Senses, ES/D & Shape Change. He’s only a rare, so he’s a great pull in a Sealed tourney.

–WizKids announced a DC fan vote winner… and it’s _________ . Look for that fig, oh, in a year or so I’d imagine. Right? Two years? I don’t know how this all works, actually. It’s cool though.

–WizKids also announced a manufacturer sellout of SLOSH, even though it won’t release for another month.

–And finally, there was an OFFICIAL announcement this week for War of the Light, the storyline event that will take place this summer (it works kind of like Fear Itself). The way comic shops order the set is going to be different than it was for Fear Itself, but the announcement did contain scuplt previews for Blue Lantern Brother Warth, Red Lantern Dex-Star and a Duo Fig Hal Jordan and Sinestro Green Lanterns. I actually really liked Fear Itself and the idea of boosters that can only be obtained through tournaments, so I’ll be looking forward to this set.

Critical Missives:

–Fairly quiet this week, although Ninwashui did debut a tourney report column format that will probably recur as warranted in the future.

And we’ll be back with more thoughts, reviews, analysis & opinions next week!

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw your lines of fire!

 

 

 

 

Weekly Roundup!!

Roundup

Hey There!!

Rounding up the Clix Community highlights from the past week…

Podcasts:

Dial H for Heroclix ran a “best-of” pod for episode 25 featuring the funniest moments from the past year. They should be back with a new episode next week.

Duo Attack was dark again this week.

ClixCast was new with episode 137 featuring the Steve and Jeremiah’s picks for their favorite Clix of the past year.

The Quarry was new with episode 4 featuring an interview with recent ROC tourney winner Jonathan Compton and a discussion of the finalization of the new ROC format rules.

Previews:

Nimrod was unveiled from the upcoming (March? April?) Gravity Feed set taken from the classic 80’s X-Men storyline. He’s got a bad attitude and knowledge of the future, and he can be played at three different point levels!

–DC’s new SLOSH set got another spoiler, this time featuring a very cool version of Starman.

–I don’t know much about Yu-Gi-Oh!, but the previews for the first set continued with the very interesting Castle of Dark Illusions.

Other Stuff:

–Uh, some blog called Critical Missives debuted with it’s first three articles!

And we’ll be back with more thoughts, reviews, analysis & opinions next week!

Until then, stay safe, and watch where you draw your lines of fire!