Black Bolt’s Gas Is Deadlier Than His Voice. (Or, A Top Ten Set Review Earth X!!)

 Earth X

Some Notes About the Set:

Sinister Six

  • Don’t let the inclusions of Black Panther, Hulk, Cap, or Iron Man fool you – This is a Spider-man set. Most of the pieces revolve around him which is weird since I don’t remember the comic revolving exclusively around him.

Miles Morales

  • They finally gave a us a great Mile Morales figure… almost.  EAX037b Spider-man has powers and abilities that represent Miles perfectly, but the keywords seem like they are describing another character altogether (Most people think they seem like they are for Spider-man 2099). So for those of you waiting to create an awesome Champions team… better luck next time.

Hulk Earth X

  • The Sculpts are really well done this set! Daredevil and Hulk stand out in particular to me.
  • Wizkids suckered me in to spending more money than I otherwise would have. I traded for an SR Iron Man. He works best with the Map in the starter. So I bought a starter. Then I heard the Token Pack had the Iron Avengers on the back so I bought that too. In the end this SR will be costing me more than most Chases. I hope it’s worth it.
  • Below I am ranking the figures in this set, but the real winners are the equipment. In particular the Symbiote and the Goblin Glider will be Meta staples until they are retired.
  • I didn’t include him in the list below, but EAX021 Fancy Dan has gotten a lot of attention from some big HeroClix names. I haven’t figured out the best way to use this guy yet, but he may be a part of some very successful teams. Consider him an “unofficial” Honorable Mention…

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Fat Spidey

5. EAX015 Spider-Man (30 Points) – His special white power reads, “Everyone has Power, So My Only Responsibility is to My Daughter: Leap/Climb. When Spider-man moves, after resolutions you may choose a friendly standard character adjacent to a square he moved through. If you do, place that character adjacent and it can’t be given a costed action this turn.” That lets him serve as a Taxi pre-combat and then as an incredible re-positioning piece that can move any of your pieces to where they need to be in a fight, whether or not they started adjacent. Of course, the best reason to put him on this list is that he gives Spider-man Family key worded pieces their first TA to copy without breaking theme since 2014! Spidey fans, rejoice!

Medusa X.png

4. EAX060 Medusa (75 points) – Speaking of pieces that a are really good at re-positioning other pieces during a fight…

Her damage potential isn’t high and her defenses are soft, but she brings a lot to a build in other ways. She has a Special Power and a Trait that are worth mentioning here: “ Lethal Locks: Plasticity, Giant Reach: 3. Telekinesis as FREE, but replace all “6” with “3” in the text of the power,” and also “ Lockjaw’s Tuning Fork: FREE: Improved Movement: Characters, Elevated, Hindering, Blocking. Passenger: 2, but only to carry characters that share a keyword regardless of . Move up to 3 squares.

Essentially she can move herself up to 6 spaces in a turn as free actions and still make attacks with her range of three or giant reach of three and quake. She can also carry characters up to 3 spaces with her or TK them as free actions instead of using those powers on herself.

Pres Osborn

3. EAX029 President Osborn (50 points) – In truth, none of the characters with the New York Crime Boss Trait are bad, but President Osborn is the one that will see the most play. The Crime boss trait reads like this: “ New York Crime Boss: Leadership, Mastermind. When President Osborn uses Leadership and succeeds, instead of removing an action token you may generate two Hired Flunky bystanders (MAX 4).

What sets Osborn apart from his Mafia peers is that he has MUCH better keywords along with the unique ability to double Perplex his “bodyguard”. I can see that being abused to great effect.

Stegron

2. EAX038 Stegron (75 points) – So in the same set that brought us Sinister Syndicate figures that gain a huge buff when exactly 6 figures are on your team, we get this guy (with the same keywords) that can generate up to 3 bystanders. That seems really useful on a Syndicate team.

As for the figure himself, he’s slow and his lack of Willpower is something you will really lament. However, when he and his friends finally do catch up with the opposing team, they’ll bring a lot of pain for a very low 75 point cost.

Spidey A side

1. EAX037a Spider-man (90 points) – This is an unusual showing for Spider-man. Gone is the usual Charge or Hypersonic speed that we are used to seeing with him. In it’s place is running shot and incapacitate via his web shooters item. While the item is the worst in the set, the figure using it is pretty good (which makes him the complete opposite of EAX051 Venom).  Besides running shot the other thing that makes this guy stand out is a trait I don’t remember seeing before on any other piece – Collosal Retaliation on a standard size character. It reads, “ Protect My Family: FREE: If no other friendly character has activated this trait this turn, choose an opposing character that attacked a friendly character with the Spider-Man Family keyword since your last turn. Place Spider-Man such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character, then do so.” With a trait like that it’d be hard to justify not putting him on a Spider-Family theme team.

And now, on to the Top 10!

Earth X Loki

10. EAX058 Loki (150 points) – Okay, so Loki has some obvious problems for a 150 point character. No inherent move and attack. No Willpower. No obvious protection from Outwit.

So what makes him worth playing? His second Trait reads: “ In The Minds Of Mortals: Shape Change, Stealth. Once per turn, when a character of less points within line of fire makes an attack, you may reroll one die of that attack.” That means he gets a free use of a power like Probability Control (but better) every turn. That’s good, but not awesome until you combine it with the actual Probability Control he has top dial. Together it lets you reroll friendly or opposing dice twice in one turn and that can just be crushing to an opponent. Especially if you add some other fun reroll characters like Trelane, Renet Tilly, or The Unseen.

Some of his weaknesses can also be compensated for as well. That Stealth helps mitigate opposing Outwit and something like the Goblin Glider will give him all of the movement he could ever need. He can also be Carried, which will help keep his action token count low.

Beetle Pod

9. EAX035 Beetle (75 points) – According to Mugatu, the Sinister Syndicate is just So Hot Right Now.

And if you are going to play the Syndicate, it’s really hard to justify not including Beetle because of his Trait. It says: “Organizer Of The Sinister Syndicate: Leadership. When a friendly character within 6 squares replaces its attack value using the Sinister Syndicate team ability, modify its attack +1.”

Aside from that Trait, the Beetle figure is good, but not over powering. However, on a keyword team full of mostly close attackers, his ranged attacks are a nice change of pace.

Sandman

8.  EAX006 Sandman (50 points) – Don’t look now but they put a pick a power character into the common slot for this set. So his first click already has Sidestep, Super Senses, Shape Change, and Stealth as long as there are more 3 or more characters on a team. Assuming you move him around with a Taxi (like SFSM029 Overdrive) you can pick another power to add to the ones I’ve already mentioned. Most of the time that will be Invulnerable. Either way, those powers added together make the best array of defensive powers we’ve ever seen on a 50 point character.

Then, once it’s time to go on the offensive, he can drop the Invulnerability and choose either Charge or Flurry. I’ve already (during the Release Event) been on the receiving end of a Flurry attack from this character when it had 4 damage and 11 attack. That was an unexpected–and also very quick–game loss for me.

Black Bolt Earth x

7. EAX047 Black Bolt (150 points) – Officially one of the highest point characters in the set and also one of the best. His starting click with Hypersonic Speed and 5 damage is downright scary. Beyond that, he has a Trait that makes him practically immune to attack until he’s taken an action. It reads: “ONLY ONE MAN COULD MOVE THAT QUIETLY: When Black Bolt has no action tokens, lines of fire drawn to him are blocked.

You just need to find a find a good taxi like EAX060 Medusa or a vehicle (or LE Lockjaw!!) and you’ll maximize the effectiveness of the Trait. He also has a comic accurate Special Power on his last two clicks: “WOUND WITH A WHISPER, SHATTER WITH A SCREAM: Pulse Wave. When Black Bolt uses it, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Blocking Terrain and you may instead choose a number from 1 through 5 to be the range value for Pulse Wave (You don’t halve it and can’t modify it). After resolutions, destroy all blocking terrain within that use of Pulse Wave’s range.” Choosing your range combined with Running Shot makes it real easy to hit an opposing character with a 5 damage single target Pulse Wave.

Not bad for a figure that’s almost KOed.

Miles I Am

6. EAX037b Spider-man (75 points) – As I mentioned in the set notes, the keywords on this figure are disappointing, but the figure itself is not. Part Spider-man and part Batman, he’s just a well-rounded figure that delivers everything you’d want for his point cost.

For 75 points he comes with Indomitable and the ability to ignore everything while moving except for walls. He’s got consistently strong attack and damage values and the option of having Stealth to go along with his Outwit on his first few clicks. He’s also got Super Senses his whole dial (and it’s immune to Outwit). So he’ll be a stealthy support figure on your team until he’s ready to play the hero and then he’ll Charge in with that awesome 12 attack on his opening click.

Green Goblin.jpg

5. EAX050 Green Goblin (75 points) – It’s better to think of this guy as a version of The Flash rather than a typical Green Goblin piece. Gone is his traditional Running Shot.

Now, thanks to his Goblin Glider equipment, he has full dial Hypersonic Speed, which is also bolstered by the Sidestep printed on his dial. And unlike the Flash or most Green Goblins we’ve seen in the past, this piece starts with two clicks of Invulnerability on defense.

On Offense he starts with Precision Strike and moves to Energy Explosion down dial. It’s also worth noting that every click except his first and last clicks will have Perplex or Outwit. But the best part about this figure is his special Stop Click at the end. It reads: “IMPALED BY THE REMOTE CONTROL GLIDER:FREE: KO a Goblin Glider equipped to Green Goblin. If you do, modify attack +3 and make a range attack targeting a single opposing character that deals 3 penetrating damage instead of normal damage. If he misses, KO Green Goblin.

That’s one of the most comic accurate special powers I have ever seen. Even if you don’t hit, you earn tons of style points for using it.

Skull

4. EAX030 The Skull(40 points) – For 40 points you get a figure that does what no other figure ever has been able to do before. He can use Mind Control with unlimited range and he’s the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 attack!

With all that going for him on offense, he’s a defensive pushover, right? Actually no. He also happens to be the cheapest figure ever to feature 2 Stop Clicks and those Stop Clicks have Mastermind.

His only weaknesses are having just one keyword and that fact that Mind Control isn’t always useful against every opponent every game. So some games he won’t be much help, but in other games this 40 point figure will be the most feared part of your 300 point Build.

Earth X Daredevil

3. EAX054 Daredevil (60 points) – The Heir Apparent to JW060 The Joker, Daredevil trades the Jokers almost complete inability to be killed for some increased offense. Where the Joker has 10 attack and 1 damage, Daredevil has 11 attack and 3 damage. That’s a huge upgrade. He also has some nice powers to go along with that increased offense. Hypersonic Speed, Quake, Blades Claws Fangs, or Plasticity and Poison can all be chosen after each time an opponent attempts to KO Daredevil.

On defense the only thing that will hurt Daredevil is an attack roll with a 6 in it. That means he will last a lot longer against a few big enemies than a lot of small enemies. It also means that things like Poison, pushing damage, Mystics damage, or Shredder Elite damage can never KO him.

Iron Man Earth X

2. EAX056 Iron Man (125 points) – This character is the best Bystander Token creator since JW050 The Penguin. And he brings new options to Avengers teams the likes of which they have never had before.

His real cost is actually 5 points more because you’ll always want to use his special map with him. With that map he can generate a Bystander as a free action most turns. You can chose to take Iron man into battle to make use of his Barrier or leave him in your starting area. Once he takes a hit, or enough Iron Avengers are KOed, he switches to a powerful attacker. He’ll have Running Shot 11 attack and 4 damage. Once he takes a few more damage from that point he gains Pulse Wave to go along with his Running Shot.

Venom Cap

1. EAX062 Captain Venom (75 points) – Captain Venom brings new power to the already powerful Monster keyword. To that end he’s got a Trait and a Special Power that both help monsters. The Trait states, “EDDIE, YOU’RE JUST THE MAN WE NEED:During game setup when establishing themed teams, you may treat the Monster keyword as a named keyword.” His Special Power is, “READY TO SERVE MY SPECIES:Leadership. When another friendly character with the Monster keyword attacks, modify its attack +1 if Captain Venom attacked this turn.”

His dial is also very good for the points and if he can make it to Close Combat without getting hit at Range then he will do well for your team. However the real reason he’s the number one figure in this set is the strength of the Monster Keyword. That keyword won the world Championship in 2018 and if Captain Venom has anything to say about it, they’ll be a favorite to repeat in 2019. And that’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

 

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!!

 

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What If… You Inserted Your Favorite ‘What If… ?’ Joke Into This Headline? (Or, A Top Ten Set Review of What If?!?!)

Hype-Uatu

Hello once more, faithful readers! I am your host, Hype-Uatu, and today I’m here not just to reveal another Top Ten figures column, but to show you the unlimited possibilities of an infinite number of alternate universes!!

But, uh, I’m mostly here to reveal another Top Ten column. So, without further ado…

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

What If Spidey

5. WI001 Spider-Man — 55 Points — Common: You know you’re dealing with a What If… ? set when you get ALMOST as many alternate universe versions of Spidey as you got with the last Spider-Man set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For the record, Superior Foes of Spider-Man had Spideys from nine different alternate universes (if you include Spider-Girl and Spider-Gwen) while What If… ? has seven (including the wonderful Aunt May as Spider-Ma’am).]

This, if you haven’t figured it out yet, is regular, Amazing Fantasy #15-debuting, 616 Peter Parker. Putting that aside… this is a hell of good version of Peter!

He has five Clicks and starts with a sweet Speed Special Power (WEB SWING: Spider-Man can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, modify his damage value by +1 if his target is on a lower elevation than the one Spider-Man occupied when he began moving.) that allows this 55 Point piece to move up to 8 spaces and deal 4 Damage! In fact, he has Hypersonic Speed on every one of his Clicks!

He toggles between 3 and 2 Damage throughout his dial, has the Spidey Family Team Ability (so he’s a Wildcard) and starts with an 18 Defense with Super Senses.

Very solid for the points.

 

Young Avengers Runaways

4. WI011 Molly Hayes — 50 Points — Common: Yeah, I know we used that shot in the Preview column, and you’re going to see it a lot more today. But hey, if Wizkids can reuse sculpts like 3 or 4 times in the set, we can reuse clip art, right? Actually, we’re prolly going to reprint some entries from our extensive Preview article too, sooo…

But on to Molly Hayes!

For 50 Points, you get Charge, 10 Attack and a Damage Special (KNOCK KNOCK: Molly Hayes can use Close Combat Expert, but as a close combat action. When she does and hits, the target is knocked back 4 squares instead of any other knock back.) that lets her punch above her weight class! And, if she’s doing said punching while standing next to a Runaway or Young Avenger, her Team Trait (RUNAWAYS: Once per turn, when Molly Hayes attacks, if she is adjacent to a friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, she can re-roll a 1 on a die of the attack roll.) will give you some insurance against missing!

 

Jessica Jones Agent of Shield
3. 013 Jessica Jones — 65 Points — Common: From our Preview:

“Probably the best Jessica Jones we’ve ever gotten, although most of the previous Jessicas just kinda suck, so that’s not a huge compliment.

Still, this Jessica has both the Shield AND Avengers Team Abilities, 10 Speed with Flying AND Charge, Super Strength, Super Senses and Toughness and one of the coolest-named Traits out there (Keeping My Last Name, Though: When building your force, if your force also includes one character named Captain America, Jessica Jones gains all the keywords of that character this game.) that lets her team with any Cap!

All in all, this piece is a lot of fun!”

 

What If Cosmic Spidey

2. WI038 Cosmic Spider-Man — 275 Points — Super Rare: Okay, not only are we reusing clip art and entries from our Preview column, we’re reusing some of the same pieces from the column you’re already reading!

That’s because two pieces in particular have three different point levels and pretty much all of them need to be talked about (for various reasons).

The full-points version of Cosmic Spider-Man will probably get out-actioned in most 300 Point games (although he’s really worth looking at in 400+Point contests), and his Damage Value never rises above four (and indeed it hovers at three for large parts of his dial).

But–but… he has the Power Cosmic AND the Spidey TA’s, he has an 11 Attack on more than half of his Clicks and he sees through EVERYTHING except other characters.

He’s also got the Avengers, Spider-Man Family and Cosmic keywords, so he fits on a lot of teams.

He’s not quite good enough to be a one-man army outside of What If… ? Sealed, but he’s still really good.

 

What If Goblin King

1. WI040 Goblin King — 275 Points — Super Rare: Now this guy… this guy could be a one-man army! His keywords aren’t as good as Cosmic Spidey’s, and he has one less Click of life, but he starts with both better Attack AND better Damage values.

He doesn’t see through anything, which can pose a problem, but he has two great Traits.

The first (FORCE YOU TO RELIVE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE: When an opposing character misses Goblin King with an attack, after actions resolve give that character a Nightmare token. Characters with a Nightmare token modify their attack values by -1. When a character with a Nightmare token makes an attack, after actions resolve remove one Nightmare token from that character.) makes him harder to hit, but the Second (INFINITY GAUNTLET: Give Goblin King a free action and choose two standard powers. Goblin King can use the chosen powers until he chooses again.) just happens to be the best pick-a-power Trait Wizkids has ever bestowed on a character.

Note that he can choose his powers as a Free Action, which should read “whenever the hell you want” as opposed to choosing at the beginning of your turn, which is when most other pieces have to make their choice.

That also means that on many turns, you’ll actually be cycling through FOUR different powers in a turn. For example, you may choose Hypersonic Speed and Precision Strike on one turn. Then, when your next turn comes around, YOU STILL HAVE THOSE POWERS! So you can make another Hypersonic attack and then choose, say, Super Senses and Shape Change (remember, he already has either Invincible or Impervious on his first five Clicks!) and make Gobby nearly impossible to hit on down turns!

And as impressive as that sounds… that’s not even really his best dial!

 

Okay!! Enough of that! Let’s move straight in to…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WHAT IF… ? !!

 

Thor What If

10. WI005 Thor — 110 Points — Common: This is the 616 version of Thor. Here’s what we said during our Preview:

“This Thor is awesome. Six Clicks of life with a Range of 6 (with 3 Bolts), Traited Energy Explosion and a SWEET Attack Special Power (Lightning Strike: Damage dealt from attacks made by Thor cannot be reduced below his click number.) that basically works like Pen/Psy except it seems like they priced it at about half the cost of normal Pen/Psy (he has it on EVERY Click!).

Like Spidey 001, he lacks Willpower, but his other Trait (Founding Member: When Thor is given a non-free move action he isn’t given an action token for that action.) helps quite a bit with that, especially at the start of the game.

As we’ll talk about in a minute, much of the crazy-good that is coming in this set is coming in at the Super Rare level, but if you’re playing Sealed, there’s a decent chance that you won’t get one of those. But chances are that you might still find yourself with a great Primary Attacker if you open this guy in one of your Common slots.”

 

What If Goblin King

9. WI040R Goblin King — 75 Points — Super Rare: Okay, I feel like we were just talking about this guy.

Watcher 1

Hype-Uatu says…

The truth is, I really wanted to talk about Nico Minoru here. We discussed her in the Preview, so believe me, I would have loved to just slot her here and move on. But… I can’t. Why? Well, unless you are SPECIFICALLY PLAYING A RUNAWAYS OR YOUNG AVENGERS THEMED TEAM, Rookie Goblin King is just plain better. Empirically. Outside of the caveat I just mentioned, there is simply no universe where playing Nico is a better choice than playing Goblin King. And as Hype-Uatu, I should know. I’ve seen literally ALL OF THEM.”

To be honest, the differences are so stark that it’s hard to believe Rookie Goblin King and Nico Minoru were both designed with the same point system.

Nico has five Clicks; the Avengers TA; a pick-a-power Special that lets her take two powers with caveats (SISTER GRIMM: Give Nico Minoru a free action and choose up to two standard powers, each of a different combat type. You may not choose a power from a type chosen during your last turn. Nico Minoru can use the chosen powers until your next turn.); never has more than 2 printed Damage; Willpower on her first three Clicks, nothing after that; and her Runaways Team Trait.

Gobby only has four Clicks; the Power Cosmic TA (with its built-in Willpower); starts at 4 printed Damage and never goes below three; Invuln; Phasing; and his aforementioned pick-a-power Trait that lets him grab any two powers he wants with no restrictions. Oh, and he has a better range and Perplex down dial.

If Goblin King’s Rookie dial didn’t exist, Nico would be a great play and she would have this spot. Unfortunately, this is Gobby’s universe, and we’re just living in it.

 

Young Avengers Runaways

8. WI024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points — Uncommon: From our Preview:

“So, these are probably the best Runaways they’ve ever done. None are bad (Victor Mancha as Iron Lad is probably the worst for his points, but he’s still playable), and three are quite good. Karolina is one of the “quite good.”

At 75 points, she’s at the high end of the Taxi/Supporting Figure cost spectrum, but she’s also a more than capable Secondary Attacker. Here’s a list of everything she brings top dial:

7 Range; Flight; 10 Movement with Running Shot; 10 Attack with Pen/Psy; 18 Defense with a great, damage-absorbing Special Power (REACTIVE ENERGY BARRIER: Karolina Dean can use Barrier and Defend. When Karolina Dean or adjacent friendly characters are targeted by a range attack, modify the attacker’s damage value by -1.);  3 Damage with Enhancement.

She also has the Runaways Trait/Defacto Team Ability (RUNAWAYS: Once per turn, when Karolina Dean attacks, if she is adjacent to a friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, she can re-roll a 1 on a die of the attack roll.), which in itself is not bad at all.

Finally, it’s worth noting that if you want to play the “classic” lineup of Gert, Nico, Chase, Molly and Karolina… they all add up to 300 Points exactly! Yes! Great job Wizkids! Oh, and if you want to add in Victor Mancha as Iron Lad, then they’re… 400 Points exactly! Wonderful design! As much as I like complaining about some of the things Wizkids does, they deserve credit for a fantastic job here. These may not be the “real, 616”-Runaways, but if you’re a fan of the characters, you should seek these pieces out. It’s honestly one of the strongest Sub-Themes from top-to-bottom that Wizkids has given us in quite awhile.”

 

Doctor Stark Common

7. WI022 Dr. Stark — 115 Points — Uncommon: Again, from our Preview:

“Big investment for a Secondary Attacker, but Dr. Stark can completely screw with your opponent’s team.

He has the Mystics TA, Phasing/Teleport, a 10 Attack with Pen/Psy, a 7 Range, 17 Defense with Impervious and 3 Damage with Prob. That’s all decent, but probably not worth 115 Points. But he also has the aforementioned From Another World Trait along with one of the best-named Traits the game has ever seen (AUTOMATED COUNTERSPELL: Dr. Stark can use Energy Shield/Deflection. Opposing characters within 4 squares can’t use Penetrating/Psychic Blast, Precision Strike, or Pulse Wave.)!

Slap the SFSMS101 Symbiote suit on him and you essentially have a sticky bomb that is capable of hamstringing your opponent’s entire force.”

I always hesitate recommending a piece if you HAVE to use an object or Resource to get the most out of him, but Dr. Stark with the Symbiote suit is a giant pain in the neck for most opponent’s to play around.

 

What if Thor

6. WI030 Thor — 105 Points — Rare: From our Preview:

“Your usual Thor smorgasbord of Running Shot and Pulse Wave with Sidestep and Pen/Psy mixed in down dial. What makes this Thor interesting is the ability to grant him extra attacks via his Damage Special (UNDER SETH’S THRALL: Give an adjacent friendly character with the Mystical keyword and point value of 50 or more a double power action that deals no pushing damage. When you do, Thor may make a close or range attack.).

If WW009Raven was 50 Points instead of 40, he’d be sick. Still, someone is going to find a way to break this.”

 

Gert-and-Old-Lace

5. WI037 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace — 50 Points — Super Rare: There! I finally found a new image for a Runaway! Are you happy now, internet? You finally got some new content from me, okay? Geez…

Ahem. Alright, having said that… From our Preview:

“She has an 8 Attack and only does 1 Damage. Why is she on the notable list again?

Oh yeah… cuz she has an unkillable pet Raptor! Her second Trait (MY PARENTS ONLY LEFT ME ONE THING: At the beginning of the game place adjacent an Old Lace Bystander. When Old Lace would take damage, you may instead deal Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace 1 unavoidable damage.) allows Gert to hang back in her Starting Zone (preferably on Hindering to take advantage of her top dial Stealth) and simply absorb any damage done to Old Lace! Which basically gives her dino buddy 5 Stop Clicks–and that’s assuming you never find a way to heal Gert!

She also comes packing a fantastic Leadership Special–one of the best we’ve ever seen, frankly (YOUNG AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace can use Leadership. When they do and succeed, you may instead remove an action token from one friendly character with the Runaways or Young Avengers keyword, regardless of adjacency or point value.), which synergizes with leaving her in your Starting Zone.

You also have to remember that all these Runaways ALSO have the Young Avengers keyword. So while playing them as a 300 Point squad is fun, if you don’t think they’re quite Meta, you can, say, sub out Chase Stein and Molly Hayes and throw in, say, CWSOP031 Wiccan and STILL have a NAMED Themed Team!

Something like:

Team Name: Picture Me Young Avengin’!!

Theme: Young Avengers

Roster:

WI036 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace — 50 Points

WI024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points

WI031 Nico Minoru — 75 Points

CWSOP031 Wiccan — 90 Points

wkMVID-009 Spider-Man — 5 Points

NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 — 5 Points

Total: 300 Points

Sideline: 

WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man — 75 Points

NFAOS Peggy Carter — 60 Points

Now that is a Themed Team that’s full of tricks! And Prob, Perp and other enhancers. And unkillable Raptors.”

Yup. I’m an A-hole!

 

Peace Machine

4. WI043 Peace Machine — 50 Points — Super Rare: This was one of Ninwashui’s favorite pieces from the set. His stats and powers are fine for a Support piece (Sidestep, TK, 19 Defense with Toughness and Outwit, with actual Support down dial–although he has a big fat 0 for his Damage Value).

His coolest feature is his second Trait (SUPPRESSION FIELD: If a character would take 4 or more damage, it takes 3 instead.), which puts the kibosh on some of these early Alpha Strike Strategies.

He’s also not a bad figure to Mastermind damage to, especially if you need him there for your opponent’s turn to limit burst damage but gone on your turn as you plan your counter-attack!

 

What If Cosmic Spidey

3. WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man — 75 Points — Super Rare: Yup! Him again.

You are looking at the best Call-In piece in the game, in my opinion. If there’s another character 75 Points or less who can bunker-bust Barriers or other Blocking Terrain AND deal 4 Penetrating Damage, I’m at a loss as to who it could be.

And yes, you read that right. He comes in with Sidestep, 7 Range and the ability to shoot through anything except other characters (and he blows up Blocking Terrain when he shoots through it, too!), an 11 Attack Value with Pen/Psy and 4 printed Damage.

And any 75 Point figure, even if they’re on their last click, can call this piece in for the low, low cost of 5 Points.

That is money well spent!

 

What if Peter the Hunter

2. WI039 Peter the Hunter – 90 Points — Super Rare:  From our Preview:

“This is an aggressive close combat Spidey dial (Charge, 11 Attack with B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness) that gets turned up to 11 because of all of his Traits.

With his first Trait, Peter the Hunter brings his own army (ENSLAVED KRAVEN FAMILY: At the beginning of the game, place the 4 bystanders listed on this card into your starting area. These bystanders can use the Carry ability this game, but only to carry each other. The first non-free action you give one of these bystanders each turn doesn’t count towards your action total.).

These are ridiculously good pogs that you get FOR FREE!! I won’t go over all of them here, but you get a mix of Stealth, Charge, RCE, B/C/F and even Outwit. The fact that they can Carry each other is also bonkers.

His Second Trait is the standard Sideline Trait that half of these pieces have (FROM AN ALTERNATE EARTH: If this character is on your sideline, you may give a free action to a friendly character named Spider-Man or Kraven the Hunter that’s equal or more points. Replace that character with this character on the same click number.), but when combined with Peter’s third Trait, it can suddenly be devastating to your opponent.

His Third Trait (KILLED MY GREATEST ENEMIES: When Peter the Hunter KO’s an opposing character of 50 or more points, after actions resolve heal him to click #1 and place a Trophy token on this card. When Peter the Hunter would be KO’d, you may instead remove a Trophy token and turn him to his last non-KO click.) is probably stupid. In fact, I know it is.

To recap: You can be on the last Click of a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SPIDER-MAN (up to Click #6), switch to Peter the Hunter, and if you can use him to KO any opposing character of 50 Points or more (Peter can deal up to 4 Range damage on his last Click), suddenly he is not only back to his top dial, but he essentially gains a STOP CLICK too!

Someone will figure out a way to break him right quick.”

Hopefully that someone is you, and not your opponent!

What If Goblin King

1. WI040E Goblin King — 175 Points — Super Rare:

Watcher 2

Hype-Uatu says…

In the Heroclix Universe you are familiar with (commonly referred to by us Watchers as Heroclix Universe 616, natch), Wizkids recklessly created an uber-piece called “Jakeem Thunder.” This piece rules the Meta scene that you now know.

But what if there was a different Meta scene in a different universe where someone at Wizkids decided that Jakeem Thunder was actually too weak? One where he said to his boss, ‘Okay, Jakeem, sure, but what if we did him as a Marvel character with the #$)^#ng Infinity Gauntlet? You know, cuz he’s not quite powerful enough as currently constituted?’

Well, I can tell you this… in the universe I speak of, Goblin King quickly took over the Meta and was the winning piece on the 2017 World Championship team at Origins

And that designer was promptly promoted for breaking the game.

Again.

Man… some of these alternate universes are just so different from our own!

Okay, that’s all for today!

Agree? Disagree? Post your Top Ten in the Comments section!

And until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

A Superior Review of the Top Ten Figures in the Superior Foes of Spider-Man!!

Hey everyone! It’s me, Ninwashui! I’m back!

Where have I been? Well, my family life (a.k.a. my kids) occupies a large chunk of my time now, but this set was simply so hot that I just… haaaaad to neglect them all for a few hours and put together my Top Ten list!

With Great Power

That’s me, Mr. Responsibility!

And look, just to be clear, I would never ACTUALLY neglect my family… unless there was a great set that had just come out. I mean, you didn’t see me wasting any father daughter time on Uncanny X-Men, did you?

(Oh, you still want an Uncanny X-Men Second Opinion? Here is what my Top Ten would have been: Iceman, Iceman, Iceman, Proteus, Common Storm, Mystique, Pixie, Quicksilver, Prime Kitty annnnd Iceman! Bleeeeccch. There were, like, three really good pieces in the whole set. Next!)

Anyway, I was very impressed with the dial designs this time around and the Sealed event at our local shop was great–lots of really close games. So let’s get right to it with…

Some Thoughts About the Set:

  • The Super Rares and Chases in this set are awesome. With the exceptions of Ares, Morlun, and Spider-Man 2211, there could be an argument made that all of them deserve to be on this list. Ares is just alright. Morlun and Spider-Man 2211 don’t have a place on any constructed team that I can think of.
  • The Primes kinda suck. There aren’t many bad pieces in this set and even the Serpent Society has their uses (I can envision a Rattler constructed team.).
Rattler

“Hmmm… should I revolve my team around Rattler this evening?

However the Primes in this set just aren’t good. A Prime is supposed to be (theoretically) extra-powerful for the points that’s why you can only ever have one on a team at a time. Even if I ignored that restriction I don’t see myself ever playing any of these guys. If they are going to keep making Primes like this they should just stop making them.

  • The Call in Help From the Spider-Verse Trait is really powerful and fun. I used it to great effect at the Pre-Release and it allows you to chain together attacks from across the map like never before.
  • They are continuing the trend from UXM: point costs are lower (with only a few 200 pointers in the SR slot), almost no one gets Indomitable, almost no Improved Targeting, and a lot less Improved Movement then they should have had in a set full of spider people. I love this new direction the game is heading. It’s nice that Willpower, Phasing, Leap/Climb, Leadership and Stealth are much more useful now.
  • The sketch variants are super cool. I will always buy or trade for a sketch piece over a standard painted one. Not sure why some people don’t like it; doesn’t hurt the game in any way. But hey, that just means more for me.

But enough thinking! Let’s get to…

My Top Five Honorable Mentions:

Miles

5. SFSM031 Spider-Man – 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes and Shape Change makes this guy a top choice for engaging the opposing team’s best figure in close combat. His special white power PARALYZING VENOM STRIKE lets him deal damage AND gives any opposing character hit and action token. That action token doesn’t deal pushing damage, but it still keeps the opposing figure from taking actions. So it’s great in my book.

When you want to tie someone up, this guy is the one you want to call in from the Spider Verse.

Scarlet

4. SFSM017 Scarlet Spider – Another character whose attack deals damage AND gives any characters hit by a ranged attack an action token. The difference is that this character has Running Shot and two targets. He also has a lot of improved movement options. A Defense of 18 with Super Senses which is just fine for his point cost. His real weakness is getting tied up in close combat. Thankfully he has the Spider-man Family keyword so any other character that you have with the CALL IN HELP FROM THE SPIDER-VERSE trait can transport him out of adjacency and safely back to ranged combat.

Cloak 2

3. SFSM036 Cloak – Sure he’s at his best when played with Dagger, but for 35 points Cloak brings enough to the table that he is worth using without her.  He has Stealth, Improved Movement of every kind, the Spider-Man TA, and the Carry ability. What really puts him over the top is his 18 Defense with Defend. Use him to carry a character into battle and then move him around as needed to keep your teams defense consistently high.

Doc Ock

2. SFSM055 Doctor Octopus – Half Superior Scientist, half Weed Whacker.  This guy is delicate in close combat and is fairly vulnerable to Outwit, but he’s still well worth his points. He has a special power up front that allows him to make far more attacks than any 80 point character should ever be able to make in one turn. It reads, “MENTALLY CONTROLLED TENTACLES: When he makes a close combat attack Doctor Octopus can use Giant Reach: 3 and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters. Give him a power action to make 4 close combat attacks that deal 2 damage. After actions resolve modify the defense value of any character hit more than 2 times by these attacks by -2 until your next turn.” Your opponent is going to see this coming a mile away and target him first, but if you somehow get Doc Ock to make an attack in the middle of the opposing team then it will all be worth it.

SPidey 001

1. SFSM001 Spider-Man – This is a well rounded Spider-Man. 18 Defense, Charge, Super Strength, Close Combat Expert, and a better form of Super Senses are a good value for 70 points. Where he really shines is when he’s Called in from the Spider Verse. If you can call this guy in and have him appear adjacent to an opposing character, then he can combine his Close Combat Expert with a heavy object and make an attack with 12 attack value and 5 damage! It’s got to be the right circumstances, but that’s exceptional for 70 points.

Which brings us right to…

The Top Ten Figures in the set:

Speedy Demony

10. SFSM040 Speed Demon – He’s not as good as his previous version from the Deadpool set that essentially let you move opposing characters around at will, but he is still very good. He has a lower point cost, much better Defense, and Willpower. If you are playing Sinister Syndicate or Thunderbolts he is almost a lock for those teams. Try this team:

Team Name: Need for Speed

Keyword: Sinister Syndicate

  • SFSM040 Speed Demon
  • SFSM029 Overdrive
  • SFSM056 Chameleon
  • WKM16-001 Doctor Octopus
  • 35 points for ATAs, Resources, Thugs, Etc…
  • Total = 300
  • Strategy Tips: Have Chameleon disguise himself as Jester. Start an Alpha strike up to 11 squares away by having Speed Demon run in, attack, and end up one space back from the target after actions resolve. Give Doc Ock the Power Action to double Flurry. Have Overdrive carry Doc Ock and Jester next to Speed Demon. Share attack value. Give Doc Ock 4 attacks. After those resolve have Jester make Jester Bots to tie up the opposing team. Hopefully do it all again next turn.

Betty Brant

9. SFSM007 Betty Brant – It took thirteen damn years, but they have finally made a worthy replacement to the Rookie Con Artist from the X-plosion set in 2003. Anyone who played HeroClix at that time will know this piece. Betty is admittedly 4 more points than the Con Artist, but those extra points give a second useful click where she can heal your team if needed. She also gets a Trait, “I’LL PROVE MY HUSBAND WAS NOT THE HOBGOBLIN IF I HAVE TO RETRIEVE EVERY GLIDER!: UNIQUE MODIFIER. Opposing characters with “Wing Symbol” modify their speed values by -1. If that character is named Hobgoblin, instead modify all of that character’s combat values by -1.” That might not seem like much, but moving one less space can be the difference between making an attack or not.

Moon Knight.jpg

8. SFSM037 Moon Knight – This is a Secondary Attacker that continues to get more dangerous the longer he is ignored. Moon Knight has a great Special Power that helps him land hits and a Trait that essentially gives him a Stop Click at the end of his dial for every two hits that he lands. And SPOILER ALERT: the last Click on his dial is his best click with 11 attack 18 defense and 4 damage. He should have no problem finding a place with Marvel Knights, Mystical, or Soldier teams. 

 

The Battle of New York. We've seen it, and we covered it.

“The Battle of New York. We’ve seen it, and we covered it.”

7. SFSM006 J. Jonah Jameson – I wanted to come up with something witty here, but user MarcSpectre from hcrealms said it best: “He’s the Spider-man Family insurance policy. He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two.” If you are going to play with any Spider-Man Family pieces you’re going to want him on your team even if he is going to break your Theme. +2 to Defense on the already high defenses of the spider family is just too high to hit for a lot of teams.

Spider-Man_noir

6. SFSM061 Spider-Man Noir – This is actually one the better ranged attackers in the Spider-Man Family. That and his low 75 point cost makes him one of the best for setting off the CALL IN HELP FROM THE SPIDER-VERSE Trait.

His combination of 6 Range, 11 Attack and Sidestep combine with his Stealth and Outwit to make him a well-rounded figure. He alternates between Outwit and Ranged Combat Expert so you can easily switch his function depending on your need. His 18 defense with Super Senses is perfectly acceptable for his point cost. 

Chameleon

5. SFSM056 Chameleon – HypeFox and I both love this guy. I’ll be very surprised if Chameleon is not high on his list. His flexibility is hard to beat.

Some of our favorite characters so far to use as disguises: CWSOP022 Jester, WKD15-010 Miss Arrowette, SMWW003 Batman, WF034 Batman, UXM047 Mystique, AVAS013A Triathlon, and WKD16-007 Captain Cold. That could actually probably be an article on its own.

Anyway, once he’s hit, if Chameleon’s on click 3 or 4  you could choose to be SMWW026 Clark Kent and start throwing out Hypersonic Superman tokens. Or if you are on exactly click 4, going to JLTW055 Tim Hunter can be a game breaking play. It’s going to be tough limiting this guy to just three options a game…

Spider-Gwen

4. SFSM052 Spider-Gwen – She’s got 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes, just like SFSM031 Spider-Man. But unlike him, she also gets Indomitable. Add that to her Super Strength, Improved Movement, a Traited Super Senses that is impossible to bypass with Precision Strike and her last click that may well send you back to her top dial.

There’s no secret combo with her, she’s just that good.

Thug

3. SFSM005 Thug – This guy is the best ten points you can spend on a Themed Team right now. You will be seeing him abused in multiples and en masse in tournaments very soon. Sure he doesn’t get a Themed Team Prob, but he does get to use ATAs. Pick any good ATA and build a team around that. For example, the Wonders of the World ATA which states, “Give a character using this team ability a power action to heal an adjacent friendly character 1 click. Heal 2 clicks instead if the adjacent character has the Wonders of the World keyword. Deal the character given the action 1 unavoidable damage.” Suddenly any thug you play is a heal battery for your real characters. The Sinister 12 ATA is also a good choice, “When you have more characters on the map than each opponent, modify the attack value of each character using this team ability by +1.

They are also really great to fill out keywords that don’t have enough pieces, or enough good pieces, or enough low cost pieces. Want to make an Amazon army? Here are your soldiers. The same can be said for Asgardians, Atlantians, and White Lanterns. The list is endless.

They are also great in situations where a special power on a figure affects your whole army. JLTW050E Superman’s leadership, UXM005A Emma Frost‘s perplex, and SMWW064 Green Light‘s Empower a Brigade Trait are all good examples. And certainly they are some of the best Mastermind fodder out there. You could even take someone with the Green Lantern Team Ability and fly 8 of them up to tie up the opposing team for several turns.

Try this example team:

Team Name: Thunder Thugs

Keyword: Thunderbolts

  • SFSM040 Speed Demon (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • SFSM051 Baron Zemo (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • 4* SFSM005 Thug (w/thunderbolts ATA)
  • Full Pandora’s Box
  • Total = 298
  • Strategy Tips: Set The Thunderbolts ATA to Mystics. The Thugs and Speed Demon also get +1 attack and Sidestep from Zemo. Add to that the Relics from Pandora’s Box and you’ll end up with a gaggle of Thugs with some pumped-up kicks. With 6 people on the team it should be fairly easy to distribute all of the sin relics by turn 7. Use Sidestep to edge ever closer to battle when you are low on actions.

Spider-Punk

2. SFSM062 Spider-Punk – This is the best of the Spider Chases and a pretty straight forward pick. His Improved Movement, Charge and Flurry with 3 starting Damage makes him a great choice to teleport in with the Spider-Verse Trait. In addition, his Super Senses and Shape Change along with his 18 Defense makes it hard for opponents to strike back. And if an opponent DOES manage to damage him, then he gives you your choice of Pulse Wave or Close Combat Expert to go along with his Sidestep. He’s a real steal at 75 points.

Spidey 048.jpg

1. SFSM049 Spider-Man – This guy fills a completely different role, but he is Nick Fury-level good. With the Perplex on his dial and his Super Strength, he can pick up an ultra-heavy object, pump up his Attack to 12, Hypersonic 9 spaces and hit someone for 6 Damage. This isn’t Spider-Man, it’s Superman in disguise.

He has Willpower (unlike most of the rest of the set) and the same hard to bypass Super Senses that Spider-Gwen has, but even better. The web Tokens he puts out by hitting people are even more effective here than on other figures because of his Hypersonic Speed. He has Improved Movement and the best keywords of any of the Spider-Man Family (Avengers and Reporter keywords!)

He only has Hypersonic Speed on his first 3 clicks, but on his last three clicks he has a Special Power that states, “LAST DITCH EFFORT: Spider-Man can use Precision Strike. Give Spider-Man a free action to make a close attack.” So he can still move his full movement and use Outwit! And then he can free action close attack. And then call in someone from the Spider-Verse.  And give the hit character a Web Token.  And then Side step away without having to break away (because of the Web Token).  So even his three “weaker” clicks aren’t actually that weak.

 

Okay! That’s it for me today, but keep it tuned to this space. We’ve got a lot of content in the pipeline!

See ya real soon!