My WKO Diary and the Top Ten Sealed Pieces in Batman: The Animated Series—Part TWO!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Previously, on Critical Missives, HypeFox journeyed to his local WKO to try his hand at some Sealed Meta. He made Top 8, and was just about to start his Top 8 playoff run… ]

TOP EIGHT:

versus…

Roberto Ty (@tydesign)

Superman Animated.jpg

His Team:

BTAS001A Batman — 50 Points

BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points

BTAS006 Alfred — 20 Points

BTAS022 Mr. Freeze — 100 Points 

BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points

Total = 300 Points

What Goes Down: Here we go! This was my first WKO playoff game. I know Roberto very well–he plays at my LGS, so we’ve faced off many a time.

I’m usually much more aggressive than Roberto; his turns are much more planned out than mine (to his credit). Still, looking at his lineup, I’m feeling pretty confident.

We dance for the first few turns as we line up potential Alpha Strikes. Eventually he has no choice but to go for it with Supes’s once-a-game Hypersonic Speed.

He misses. Now I’ve got him!

Except I miss. Reroll with my Robin–miss again. Yuck.

He quickly moves his Batman and Mr. Freeze up. After I take out his Alfred, his Mr. Freeze starts to go off. Eventually, Wonder Woman and my Joker fall. My Duo Flurries through his Batman, and his Supes is a bit injured.

I take out his Joker finally, and he responds by chopping through my Hawkman dial. This works to my advantage though, as I get to start on Click 1 of Hawkgirl’s dial, which give me Outwit and Hypersonic Speed.

The Outwit allows me to take away Freeze’s dampeners, and Robin lands a couple hits.

Roberto moves Freeze back. On my turn, I clear Hawkman & Hawkgirl. It’s neck and neck. Still, Freeze is now within Hypersonic range, and on my next turn I should be able to take him out, although then Superman will get a free shot on Hawkgirl (he’ll need an 8 though to do three).

I’m running through these Scenarios as Roberto contemplates his next move. And then:

“TIME! LAST ACTION!”

Doh!

Roberto’s not in a position to make an attack at that point, so it’s going to come down to points.

I’ve KO’d his Joker, Batman and Alfred for 100 Points.

Roberto has KO’d my Chase Wonder Woman and Joker for… wow. 100 Points!

That’s right! We’re going to a roll-off!

We roll at the same time, and I watch carefully as my first die comes to a stop on a 6. Yes! The second bounces for a bit before it lands on a 1. No!

Still, 7 is respectable. I look over at Roberto’s dice:

CRITICAL HIT!

Yup. He rolled two 6’s!!

I’ve lost, and Roberto is moving on.

Still, it was a hard fought battle on both sides, and Roberto deserved to move on in this tournament.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Of course, I almost screwed that up when I absent-mindedly packed up my stuff and accidentally grabbed his Superman!! Luckily, he had another one with him. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR CLEANUPS, FOLKS!]

RESULT: LOSS (4-1), OUT OF TOURNAMENT

Which brings me to what I learned, and my…

TOP TEN SEALED PIECES IN BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES!!

 

Green Lantern SF.gif

10. BTAS069 Green Lantern — 70 Points — Chase: He’s a reasonably priced Taxi that morphs into your Primary Attacker just one click in.

That’s when his Flying combines with Running Shot, Pulse Wave and 3 Damage top dial–with Perplex to boot!

While his Trouble Alert Trait might entice you to keep him in your Sideline, he’s actually one of the most effective mobile attackers in the set.

He’s crunchiness against anyone sporting a yellow power and his inability to do anything against Stealth keep him from going higher on this list.

 

Joker BTAS.jpg

9. BTAS003 Joker — 30 Points — Common: Four PACKED clicks for just 30 Points, including TOP DIAL PROB!! He also offers a Special Attack Power (DOES THIS SMELL FUNNY TO YOU, BATS?: Smoke Cloud. FREE: Make a close attack targeting an opposing character occupying a square with his Smoke Cloud marker regardless of adjacency. Instead of normal damage, give a hit character an action token.) that essentially combines Smoke Cloud and Incapacitate.

This plays like a 50 Point dial that they inexplicably mislabeled. If you pull him, I strongly suggest you play him.

 

Hawkgirl SF.png

8. BTAS073 Hawkgirl — 50 Points — Chase: Charge and Exploit and SIX FREAKING Clicks for 50 Points is great (yeah, she has to attack first each turn or get a major penalty, but whatever). But her ability to generate up to TWO Autonomous Bird tokens with Flurry is why she’s on this list.

If you can move up someone with Empower after generating the tokens… oh boy! She can cause no end of issues for you opponents.

 

Zatanna JLU

7. BTAS061 Zatanna — 75 Points — Super Rare: Solid dial with a Perp & Prob Special plus the ability to pop out free Bats with Enhancement. See above for why useful tokens are good (okay, these Bats aren’t quite as good, but Zatanna has a better dial for Sealed than Hawkgirl).

 

Man-Bat BTAS.png

6. BTAS057 Man-Bat — 75 Points — Super Rare: Hypersonic AND Stealth, plus some Special Super Senses shenanigans. He’s a solid attacker that can unleash some real havoc if played on the right map.

 

The_Flash SF.png

5. BTAS068 The Flash — 60 Points — Chase: Yep. Another freaking Chase. But most of them are soooo good for their points! And that’s before you look at the Meta implications of their TroubleAlert Traits.

Still, in a Sealed environment, 3 Damage top dial is good. Hypersonic Speed is great. Probability Control is priceless.

Barry Allen here gives you all three for just 60 Points.

 

Supes

4. BTAS036 Superman — 100 Points — Rare:  Sometimes, you just want to open a brick to build your team around. Well, here you go. 4 Damage top dial plus two really good Specials, especially in Sealed.

The first (I’LL BE THERE IF YOU NEED ME: Charge. Once per game, Superman can use Hypersonic Speed.) gives you a great chance at landing an Alpha Strike. The second (TAKING THE HITS MY TEAMMATES CAN’T: Leadership. Adjacent friendly characters can use Mastermind, but only to choose Superman.) can really throw a monkey wrench into your opponent’s attack plans.

 

Wonder Woman SF.jpg

3. BTAS067 Wonder Woman — 70 Points — Chase: Hypersonic Speed top dial with 3 Damage, a great Taxi ability (GIVING THE SUPER FRIENDS A RIDE IN THE INVISIBLE JET… EVEN AQUAMAN: Hypersonic Speed, [Wing Symbol], Passengers: 2. Wonder Woman may carry one same size character with [Dolphin Symbol] in addition to any other carried characters.) and an even BETTER Attack ability (LASSO OF TRUTH TO CAPTURE THEM ALL AT ONCE:: FREE: Choose an opposing character within 5 squares and line of fire that has a character adjacent to it. Roll a d6 for that character and each character adjacent to it. [4-6]: give the character you rolled for an action token.).

Add in some Shape Change to eat up some opposing attacks and you have one of the best Sealed pieces in the set.

 

Batman BTAS.jpg

2. BTAS040 Batman — 125 — Rare: Wow! This piece will absolutely wreck opposing Primary Attackers. He’s got Outwit, TA-granted Stealth, Sidestep, Quake with a 12 (!) Attack, 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes (and remember, he’s got Stealth, so most attacks against him are going to be from Close Combat) and Indomitable, Toughness and the ability to ignore opposing Shape Change.

And that’s just his top dial.

And that’s before you add in the Batarang Equipment which gives him a FREE RANGED ATTACK EVERY TURN THAT IGNORES ALL KINDS OF STUFF ON TARGETING!!

 

Hawkman and Hawkgirl

1. BTAS060 Hawkman & Hawkgirl — 125 — Super Rare: I went on and on about this piece last time in Part One of this article. But it’s all true.

There is no more mobile attacker in the whole set. This piece also has the best survivability AND the most consistent offense of any piece in the set.

If you open this piece in a Sealed, you must build your team around it.

It’s that good.

 

Okay! Thanks for staying with us. Our next piece should be Ninwashui’s Top Ten Set Review for Batman: The Animated Series.

So we’ll see you then!!

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What Else Is New? (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Elseworlds!!)

Elseworlds War.jpg

Annnnnd… we’re back!!

Good Lord, where has August gone?

Anyway, the 15th Anniversary summer of Heroclix rolls on for Wizkids, and once again we have a new, 5-Figure Booster set… which means we need a new Top Ten!! Especially since, y’know, we’re just a few days out from The Mighty Thor!

But first…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

DKR 1

Man, what if Warner Brothers made a DCEU adaptation of “The Dark Knight Returns,” only they stripped out almost the entire plot, most of the cast, the characters’ motivation and the entire contextual legacy of 50 years of Batman and Superman stories but kept the part where Batman and Superman punch each other and threw in a jar of Lex Luthor’s pee? That could make for a sweet movie!!

–This Elseworlds set seemingly had more material to draw from than the Marvel What If… ? expansion in that What If… ? was a specific (sometimes even monthly) Marvel title, whereas pretty much anything outside of regular DC continuity seems to fall under the Elseworlds banner. So Elseworlds got to field pieces from amazing, all-time great stories like “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Kingdom Come,” while What If… ? couldn’t use elements of “Marvel Zombies,” “Earth X” or “Old Man Logan” because those stories were told outside of the pages of the actual What If… ? comic.

(That’s not really a nit, by the way; just an observation).

So even though I tend to gravitate more towards Marvel stuff, I found myself looking forward to this set a little more, simply because I was more familiar with many of the specific stories and characters being referenced (again, “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Kingdom Come” are among the best stories ever told in the medium of comics; my favorite comic story ever is still “Infinity Gauntlet,” for a variety of reasons, but catch me on the right day and I might say that “DKR” is the best story I’ve ever read).

 

Planetary Cover

Incidentally, THIS is one of the best covers I’ve ever seen…

–Putting this list together is a little more difficult than assembling the What If… ? Top Ten in that there’s no Goblin King-type figure who is heads and tails above almost everything else in terms of power level.

Elijah Snow seems like the only figure who might drive the highway to the Watchlist Danger Zone, but even then, you need to have 3 or 4 copies of him to get really stupid. Will a wide enough swath of Meta players go to that much trouble, especially when Wizkids just Watchlisted away Jakeem Thunder’s number one predator while leaving Jakeem untouched? Seems doubtful…

 

New Rules.jpg

–This is also one of the toughest evaluations we’ve ever had to do since the rules are changing in some very significant ways this week. Which means that a figure that’s really good today may be less than desirable in a couple days! Just look at Cosmic Spidey from the previous set! What If… ? came out in June, and that set’s already been decimated at the upper end by either the Watchlist or the new rules!

Superman Chase

–Finally, a quick shout-out to the DKR Chase Superman sculpt. It really captured the way Frank Miller drew him in that story. All of the Chase sculpts were really cool. Great job, Wizkids!!

–I’m not doing a formal Honorable Mention, since this is a bit of a smaller set. Informally, however, the 5 Honorable Mention figures WOULD have been:

5. EW002 Superman (Shifting Focus piece which offers Indom & Quake; his Special Quake with Precision Strike combo lost a little with the New Rules nerf of PS.)

4. EW019 Oliver Queen, Templar (Decent offense with the punch to get through reducers. Does not fear Mystics TA. Unfortunately, despite all that, he’s not even the best 80 Point Green Arrow in this set.)

3. EW047 Batman (The overlooked Chase. Doesn’t pack a huge punch, but a 12 Attack and Precision Strike will get damage through. Very map dependent, though. The more Hindering, the better, as his Trait allows him to hop from clear terrain in Hindering Terrain 4 squares away.)

2. EW044 Diana Prince (People ragged on this piece because it was a 40 Point Wonder Woman. But if you scratched the name off of this piece and just looked at the dial, you’d see a lot of support combined with the ability to defend herself up close.)

1. EW037 The Flying Batman (140 Points is too much for what he does, but man, he’s fun. He has both the Supes Ally TA and the Batman Family TA. It is always a good thing to have Stealth AND be able to see through Stealth. Hypersonic Speed top dial along with 4 Damage is deadly… just not 140 points worth of deadly.)

And now, without further ado…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN ELSEWORLDS!!

Elijah Snow

10. EW046E Elijah Snow — 70 Points — Super Rare: Planetary’s infamous leader packs in a lot of usefulness on his Experienced dial. While his dial is only four clicks long, he has an 8 Range with Running Shot, Pulse Wave, Barrier and Leadership, and Indomitable on top of all that.

His first Trait (THE BIG FREEZE: Once per game, give Elijah Snow a free action. For the rest of the game, while Elijah Snow is on the map other characters that can’t use the Flight ability can only move in a direct path.) can really make things difficult for any piece without Flight, and his second Trait (CHILL IN YOUR BONES: Give Elijah Snow a free action and choose one that hasn’t been chosen yet this game: Power, Close Combat, Range Combat, or Move. Until your next turn, when an opposing character is given an action of the chosen type, after actions resolve give that character an action token. If you can’t, deal them 1 unavoidable damage.) can slow down just about everyone else.

When you consider the new Rules taking effect, Leadership is suddenly a useful power to have. Imagine playing 3 of these guys together. Your opponent will think Felix Faust has been un-banned, and you still have 90 points left for a Primary attacker (someone like fellow Planetary alum Jakita Wagner, maybe?)!

Elijah Snow takes an expert hand to really exploit, but–especially in mulitples–he can pose some real threats to your opponent.

Drummer

Well, that clears that up!

9. EW036 The Drummer — 40 Points — Rare: Once again, we have a member of Planetary with only four Clicks of life who comes packing some major trickeration. He deals 0 Damage his whole dial, has an Attack Value of 8 with no Attack Powers and a Defense of 16 (albeit with ES/D).

But he also has Sidestep on every click, a 10 Range, a great shared Special Damage Power (PLANETARY: ARCHAEOLOGISTS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: Once per turn, The Drummer can use either Outwit or Perplex.) and an absolutely AWESOME Trait (READING THE INFORMATION FLOWS: Once per turn, when an opposing character within range and line of fire would use one of Outwit, Perplex or Probability Control during their turn, you may choose that instead the opposing character can’t use that power that turn.).

Cornering the market on three of the best powers in Heroclix–Outwit, Perplex and Prob–is probably a good way to win in this game. Just sayin’.

The Ray

8. EW033R The Ray — 25 Points — Rare: Okay, this is a one-trick pony, but it’s a heck of a trick. His Damage Special (JUSTICE SHINES BRIGHT: Give The Ray a free action and choose an opposing character within 8 squares. Until your next turn, if The Ray has line of fire to that character, that character can’t make attacks.) can absolutely shut down a tentpole for as long as he can see them, really, and heaven help them if they try to shoot The Ray down from Range. That’s a 20 or 21 Defense (if you initially place him in Hindering) PLUS a Super Senses roll. They’re basically going to have to waste an attack up close, and even then it’s not a sure thing.

On many maps, even if they do waste an attack on the Ray, chances are that’s going to leave them wide open for a counter. That’s a lot of gamechanging potential from a 25 Point piece.

Carrie Kelly

7. EW048 Robin — 40 Points — Chase: If Night Nurse and Overdrive had a Clix baby, it would look something like Carrie Kelly as Robin.

This piece has been hotly debated, but I come down on the side of she’s useful, particularly since they’ve fixed her Bystander tokens with the recent errata (they’re now officially vehicles THAT CAN CARRY! Woo-hoo!).

Those tokens come down as part of her first Trait (COMPUTER CLASSES, DUH: At the beginning of the game place adjacent either the Batcycle or Batwing bystander. When that bystander is KO’d, after actions resolve place the other bystander adjacent.), and in addition to being useful taxis, they can also fix a few pieces that have great stats but no move and attack power (The Batcycle grants Running Shot while the Batwing has Sidestep).

She also starts out with Support and Precision Strike, and her Leap/Climb lets her vacate the scene real quick if she’s not Piloting one of her vehicles. Combat Reflexes combined with the Batman Ally TA makes her really hard to even attack.

Finally, her last Trait (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: GET SEEN AND YOU’RE FIRED: When Robin occupies clear terrain, she can use Shape Change. When she occupies hindering terrain, she can use Perplex but only to target another character occupying hindering terrain.) gives her one of two useful abilities: Shape Change or Perplex, based on where she is on the Map.

If she was a great Taxi at 40 Points, she’d be good. If she was a good support piece, she’d be worth the 40 Points it takes to field her. But when you consider that she’s outstanding in both roles, 40 Points is a steal.

Nekhrun.png

6. EW024E Nekhrun, The Bat God — 100 Points — Uncommon: The Rare piece that can hold his own in close combat situations (Sidestep, Super Strength, 3 Damage) or ranged (7 Range, Ranged Combat Expert, Batman and Quintessence Team Abilities).

But the reason I really like him is because whether your opponent goes after him first or last, his Trait (AVATAR OF DARKNESS: Other friendly characters can use the Batman Ally team ability. When Nekhrun, The Bat-God is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, for the rest of the game other friendly characters can’t be targeted by opposing characters 4 or more squares away.) is insanely beneficial for your whole squad.

In an era where Resources are going away, the ability to add a competent Secondary Attacker AND give your whole team Stealth for just 100 Points seems like a good deal.

Kid Flash Justice Rider

5. EW012 Kid Flash (Justice Rider) — 60 Points — Common: Kind of the ultimate harasser masquerading as a Secondary Attacker. His Movement Special (QUICKEST SHOT IN THE WEST: Kid Flash (Justice Rider) can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, he doesn’t halve his range value.) gives him a Threat Range of 16 (10 Movement plus 6 Range), and it makes his lone Trait (HIGH NOON: If Kid Flash (Justice Rider) is the last character with this trait to hit an opposing character with a range attack, until your next turn, if the hit character makes a range attack, Kid Flash (Justice Rider) must be one of its targets.) REAAAAALLY annoying considering that opposing character’s have to track Kid Flash down for retribution before they can move on with their lives.

Your opponent’s whole turn can get derailed really quickly if you start dictating who he has to attack. And while there are several characters with this Trait, Kid Flash’s Hypersonic mobility makes him the pick of the litter.

GL The Nail.jpg

4. EW017 Green Lantern — 60 Points — Uncommon: Meet the Elseworlds version of DXF’s Fenris. Doesn’t deal quite as much damage on the front end, but has more mobility. Also, he can use TK and Pulse Wave top dial, so he’s basically a Taxi and an excellent Secondary Attacker wrapped up in one.

He may be just 60 points, but he’s more than capable of punching above his weight.

Al Jhor Dan.jpg

3. EW040 Al Jhor Dan — 90 Points — Super Rare: Pick-a-Power pieces are inherently good. This has been proven in droves in the Meta over the last 3 years. In a Resource-poor environment (like, say, the current Meta), their versatility becomes even more apparent–and important.

So while Al’s P-A-P Trait (GENIE OF THE LAMP: Give Al Jhor Dan a free action. Choose a standard power and choose one of the following: “wing symbol”, “dolphin symbol”, “giant symbol”, or “tiny symbol”. Al Jhor Dan can use the chosen power and has the chosen symbol until your next turn.) isn’t as good as, say, Jakeem’s, or Goblin King’s, it’s still a Pick-A-Power Trait, so it has to be respected!

He’s also only 90 Points and, unlike, say, What If… ?’s Nico Minoru, the rest of his dial is not blank. Al comes packing Indomitable, Sidestep, ES/D and a Perplex Special (1001 (KNIGHTS OF EMPIRES): Al Jhor Dan can use Perplex. If he uses Perplex to modify the same character and same value as during your last turn, he can modify it by +2 or -2 instead.) before you’ve even chosen which power you want to pick.

Frank Miller Superman

2. EW050 Superman — 230 Points — Chase: So here’s where I cheat a little bit. When Elseworlds came out, Superman was pretty good. Now that there are cheap 10 Point Equipment pieces (and many of those have been spoiled/revealed, something that wasn’t the case when Elseworlds first came out) that are coming out this Wednesday, he’s even better. So, yes, this article is late, but at the same time, I can’t pretend I don’t know what’s coming, right?

With that in mind, let’s first look at what that 230 Points gets you. In addition to his randomly protective Trait (A SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY… AND OBEDIENCE: At the beginning of your turn, you may roll a d6. 5-6: Superman’s powers can’t be countered and his attack rolls can’t be rerolled by opponents until your next turn. 3-4: You may remove an action token from him. 1: He can’t be moved or placed until your next turn.), Supes is blessed with 9 Clicks of life, a 9 Range and the Superman Ally Team Ability. He also has an 11 Movement with an AWESOME Special Power (WE MUST NOT REMIND THEM THAT GIANTS WALK THE EARTH: Superman can use Charge and Stealth. If Superman began the turn occupying hindering terrain, don’t halve his speed value when using Charge this turn.), a 13 (THIRTEEN!!) Attack Value with Super Strength, a 19 Defense Value with Indomitable AND Invincible and a 5 native Damage Value top dial.

So right off the bat, we have a character with Stealth that can see through Stealth. This has historically been a great combo, and it’s as useful today as it’s ever been. BUT THAT’S NOT EVEN HIS MAIN TRICK!

Being able to line up a 5 Damage (or more with an object) close attack with a Threat Range of 12 squares is insane. Now add something like, say, Thunderball’s Enchanted Ball and Chain (EFFECT: Quake, but deals this character’s printed damage value instead of 2. ), and suddenly things get very interesting. The main problem with running an overly expensive tentpole in a 300 Point game is that you’ll get out-actioned, since your tentpole can only attack 2 out of every 3 turns (assuming your tentpole doesn’t have Colossal Stamina, yada yada). But that doesn’t matter IF YOU’RE ATTACKING HALF OF YOUR OPPONENT’S TEAM FOR FIVE DAMAGE WITH KNOCKBACK EACH TURN!

Or what about Mjolnir? It comes with one of the new Thor Chases. It’s text states: “Effect: If targeting a single character within range, treat that character has adjacent for close attacks. When making a close attack against a non-adjacent character modify attack and damage + 1.”

So now Supes can only target one enemy, but if he starts in Hindering Terrain, his Threat Range is now 20 (which might be a record for any non-Colossal, non-Flash character), and he has a 14 (FOUR-FREAKING-TEEN!!?!) Attack Value and deals 6 Damage (and, oh, yeah, with his Superman Ally TA, even Stealth won’t save an opposing character from his world of hurt). Again, IT’S HARD TO GET OUT-ACTIONED IF EVERY ONE OF YOUR ATTACKS KO’S ONE OF YOUR OPPONENT’S FIGURES!!

I mean, if you can get Supes onto a friendly battlefield like the Wakanda Map, holy God, will he be effective. Your opponent better have some close combat solutions of their own, or it will be a quick game.

DKR Green Arrow

1. Green Arrow — 80 Points — Chase: Five Clicks of offensive awesomeness. Top dial, he has a 12 Attack, 8 Range and 3 Damage with RCE to go with his first Trait (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: NOT HIDING ANYMORE: When Green Arrow occupies clear terrain, he can use Sidestep and opposing characters can’t draw lines of fire to him unless they are within three squares of him or he has 2 action tokens.) which gives him just about everything else you’d want!

He also sees through every type of Terrain but Blocking!!

Defensively, he comes packing Combat Reflexes for close attacks, and that Trait makes it REAAALLY hard to even target him at range.

His second Trait is simply a negative (…IT STILL HURTS WHEN IT’S COLD: Green Arrow can’t make range attacks when he has 1 action token.).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ll say it’s a negative! Some folks out there who are parsing the new rules for exploitable quirks are interpreting Green Arrow’s Second Trait to mean that he can NEVER make a ranged attack, reasoning that characters get action tokens before actions resolve now, meaning Green Arrow would always have at least one action token on him whenever he went to make a ranged attack.

For the record, the new rulebook states: “Just before the action resolves, give the character an action token. This signifies that you have resolved the action.” 

That sounds an awful lot to me like Green Arrow would be able to make his ranged attack AND THEN get an action token. Still, given the amount of times this has come up on social media already, I thought it worth mentioning here.] 

But ol’ Ollie still has one last trick up his sleeve. It’s his Attack Special (KRYPTONITE ARROWS: When Green Arrow hits with a ranged attack, the hit target can’t use defense powers until your next turn. If the hit target has the Kryptonian keyword also give it an action token.), which is always a crowdpleaser!

Obviously, so much goodness top dial means he’s also one of the best figures to call-in right now, too. When you put it all together, he is the best piece in Elseworlds.

 

Agree? Disagree? Post your own Top Ten in the Comments below! And keep an eye out for our Might Thor coverage starting next week!

Wait, There’s Only One Daily Planet Employee in This Set?! (Or, a Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in World’s Finest!!)

WF 3

Whew! Made it.

It’s been a sick winter for yours truly, and I mean that literally (while I can’t say for sure that reading HypeFox’s Top Ten is the thing that made me throw up so violently these last two weeks, I can’t really rule it out, either.).

But I’m finally on the mend, so I think it’s high time I offered all of you true believers out there a fit and proper SECOND OPINION to the World’s Finest Top Ten drivel that HypeFox has already so eloquently vomited out into cyberspace.

And like my esteemed colleague, I shall start with…

Notes

Some Notes About the Set:

  • All of the Chases are excellent and they could have easily taken up this whole list if I let them. Easily. For the purposes of having an interesting article I limited my list to the two best Chases in “tower (lower point) mode” and the two best Chases when played at full points. I suppose that qualifies as a Preview!
  • Once again, this set takes a power leap from the set that immediately preceded it, not unlike the leap we had last year going from Avengers Assemble to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which was one of the most powerful sets ever put to plastic). The Chases have base stats that we haven’t ever seen much outside of Colossals (13 attack, 20 defense, 12 range, etc.). The Commons have redefined replacement figures and several Super Rares that I am not even including in my Top Ten list would have been near the top of the heap in other set reviews.
  • Outwit is not what it used to be; there are now a bevy of Meta-viable Primary Attackers who are either mostly or completely immune to it. In this set there are 5 SRs and 6 Chases that are worthy Primary Attackers and whose powers are also nigh impossible to counter. Add those to the Primary Attackers that are resistant to Outwit from the last set (First Born, Rare Wonder Woman, etc.) and Outwit is not nearly a sure path to victory like it used to be. Personally I am going to start using perplex as my go-to power.
  • These Commons are excellent; what trashy blogger said they weren’t? Oh, that’s right, HypeFox said that since none of the Commons were in his Top Ten, the Commons might be underpowered. I contend that they are just as strong (if not  stronger) as they were in the Nick Fury set and it’s just the Common Prime that wasn’t quite up to snuff. Poison Ivy Prime is no Peggy Carter, Captain Marvel, or 3-D Man. However, the rest of the commons are pretty playable. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Soooo… to counter my argument that the Commons in this set aren’t as strong, you’ve submitted as your first piece of evidence that the top end of the Common slot–the Prime–can’t touch the Common Primes from pretty much any previous set going back to Flash? Uh… doesn’t that help MY side of the argument?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: I’m not finished yet!] [HYPEFOX’S NOTE ABOUT NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Oh.]
  • Ahem. As I was saying… I’ll put my Booster Gold and Creeper up against your Eric Koenig and Clay Quartermain any day. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Uh… was that it? Are you finished?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE TO HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Now I’m finished. You have been debunked and rebuked. Possibly in that order.] [HYPEFOX’S RESPONSE TO THE RESPONSE: Hmmm… I think I smell a Common-Off!] [NINWASHUI: You mean that Russian kid with the BO issue who kept joining Battle Royals at Gen Con?] [HYPEFOX: Nope. Not–that kid’s name was Komanov. That’s not–that’s the wrong Common-Off. No, I mean a Common-Off, as in, you make your best 300 Point team of World’s Finest Commons, and I’ll make my best team of Nick Fury Commons, and we’ll see who wins to settle this debate once and for all!!] [NINWASHUI: Okay. Why didn’t you just suggest that in the first place? You’re just killing my word count here. Anything above, like, 3500 words and people just start tuning you out.] [HYPEFOX: I hate you.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: To be continued… look for the first annual Common-Off results in an upcoming article!]

Okay! Enough tomfoolery. Let’s bounce straight into my…

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Mercury

5. WF043 Mercury – He’s the cheapest figure with TK that the game has ever seen (yes, Clix old-timers, at 25 Points he’s even cheaper than Rookie Mandroid Armor from Clobberin’ Time–that piece cost 28 Points!). He definitely works best with another Metal Man around because gaining Sidestep and improving his Super Senses roll by 1 makes this original Merc With a Mouth (in that his name is Mercury and he, y’know, has a mouth) even more useful for his low 25 point cost (seriously, if you can bait your opponent into wasting a meaningful attack on one of your Mercury pieces and then you hit that 50% Super Sense? Those are the kinds of plays that can swing games).

The best Idea I have for including other Metal Men is… just play two of him. Even 2 of him at 50 Points are still almost the cheapest TK available in Modern. I’ve got a good team idea for him that will rate it’s own separate article. Let’s just say that this guy bringing TK to the Robot keyword is a BIG DEAL.

Shifting Focus Batman

4. WF003 Batman (And WF004 Batman, WF018 Batman, WF034 Batman) – I’ve been a huge fan of Morph pieces in the past, such that I even wrote this article about them. The new “Shifting Focus” pieces in this set do not disappoint. Unlike all of the pieces I wrote about in my previous article, these “Shifting Focus”-Traited pieces say “Give X a free action if he began your turn on the map.” That’s a step up from “Give X a close combat or move action”.

Now these Batman pieces aren’t going to take down a 200 point piece by themselves, but you’d be hard pressed to find a piece their size or less that they can’t take down. You’ll spend most of your time as the 003 Batman due to his free action movement power, “HIDING BEHIND YOU: Give Batman a free action if he occupies hindering terrain or no opposing character can draw a line of fire to him. If you do, place him into a square of hindering terrain within 6 squares and line of fire.” Once you move up as a free action you can then switch to 034 Batman and use double target Incapacitate. If your opponent bases you then you can switch to 004 Batman. And if you really need an Outwit, 018 Batman is ready and waiting.

Consider the following team:

Do you Bleed? You Will.

(KeywordJustice League)

  • WF003 Batman (with Justice League ATA)
  • WF049 Superman (with Justice League ATA)
  • AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (all fragments, 2 assigned characters)
  • ID Card of your choice
  • Total=300 points

Sorry about the title, but I am running out of unique things to call a Batman/Superman team. The Phoenix Force at this level grants Running shot, +1 damage, and defend. Also at any level it grants Flight and Poison. The Flight helps Batman in particular to use Charge and Running Shot regardless of terrain, and the Emma Fragment will let Batman TK Superman out for an Alpha Strike.

Metallo

Just gonna go ahead and recycle this art from HypeFox’s Top Ten…

3. WF055 Metallo – If you told me two or three sets ago that a figure with a constant 19 Defense Value on his entire dial and a 12 starting Attack was coming out for only 150 points I would have told you that was definitely going to be the best character in that set. Then Mary Marvel, World’s Finest, and the KC chases happened. This guy is getting ignored and he is going to surprise people some day soon when he finally gets noticed. I was just at a Wizkids open where he Pulse Waved a 200 point World’s Finest to death by himself and made it to the final match. Ignore this guy at your peril.

Zatara 2

2. WF048 Zatara – This guy is similar to Zatanna in the way his dial works, but I think he is superior in every way for 20 points less. I like his front support dial versus his back offensive dial. The offensive dial is about Average. The support dial is superior. With TK, Prob, and a double Perplex I like to refer to him as Mary Marvel’s pit crew. What really puts him over the top is the incredible power you see after he takes one damage: “SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.” If this power shows up and you are near 2 or more characters on the opposing team I would almost always use it. If the time isn’t right to use this power, then you can just choose to Regen and still come out ahead because of your Mystics TA.

Rita Farr

1. WF035E Elasti-Girl – This is likely the best 50 point non-support oriented character we’ve ever seen. There really aren’t many good reasons not to keep her as a Colossal the whole time, since the new Colossal rules make her so good.

She could already charge 6 spaces, but now she also has a Giant Reach of 3 squares. She can  also carry smaller figures without losing movement and she has a 10 Attack and 4 Damage. On defense she has Shape Change and Super Senses which together nullify about 55% of all attacks before you even consider her 18 defense.

Okay! Enough of the pieces that ALMOST made the cut. Unlike some other namby-pamby bloggers, I made the tough choices and got my Top Ten down to an actual Top Ten. Funny how that works, eh?

I give to you…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

The Chief Doom Patrol

10. WF051 The Chief – Here is that great 50 point support character that they seem to slip into every set. Even if you don’t share a keyword with him he can still grant any nearby friendly character Sidestep as well as having Outwit and Perplex himself. If your pieces do have either the scientist or Doom Patrol keywords, then he gives you an option to make another friendly character immune to Outwit and he can target his own Perplex and Outwit through any nearby friendly character. He’s definitely a Meta piece that you will start seeing at ROCs soon.

Supes v Bats

9. WF001 Superman (AND WF002 Superman, WF017A Superman, WF033 Superman) – So with this pick I am cheating a little. From what I saw at the sealed events I played at this is a good collection of pieces and I kept dreaming of ways to abuse the +1 defense granted by the 001 Superman. It’s just a really good play to attack with Superman 002 from 15 spaces away and then transform into Superman 001 before the opponent has a chance to hit you back. However I still wasn’t sure if I should include these pieces on my list. 

Then some guy played three copies of these characters on the same team and placed second at a ROC super qualifier. Only Patrick Yapjoco beat him by running the free action limiting Agent 13 with Nick Fury. Now it’s a lot easier to see how viable these pieces are in the Meta. Three copies of Superman 001 grouped together along with the Justice League ATA make for a 21 or 22 defense and that power is uncounterable. That’s just really hard to fight and even worse when you have to face it in a format like ROC Limited.

The Wiz Ard

8. WF030 The Wizard – World’s Finest does everything bigger and better than previous sets. This is the second awesome 50 point support figure in this set and the third 50 point figure on this list. So if you played in any Sealed event you probably heard about this guy and what he can do. For 50 points he’s incredible for 3 reasons. The first reason that he’s almost unhittable at range. His power states, “ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.

Secondly, he has 5 clicks each with a different support power that you can push to. You start with Prob. If you need Outwit instead just push once. If you need Perplex instead that’s just one more push away. You get the idea. Finally, his Trait is what’s getting everyone excited “POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.” Sure you might not roll Shape Change successfully in the average game, but everyone seems to have stories where their rolls went well and this guy made three tigers in a single game [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup. That happened to me.]. That’s an insane amount of value coming from a 50 point character.

7. WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy – He’s similar to AVAS051 Red Wolf in that he can put a secondary attacker into play as a free action, but where Redwolf is a close combat attacker, Klarion is a ranged support piece. Klarion is better than Red Wolf because of his ability to help your other pieces while still remaining moderately dangerous himself. He has Stealth plus Energy Shield/Deflection to keep him safe and Sidestep with Psychic Blast for offense. The fact that Teekl comes into play as a free action means that you can Phase across the board, drop Teekl and have him Charge an opposing character all in the same turn.

KC SUpes

6. WF061 Superman -In terms of raw stats you won’t find a superior character for under his cost. From his first click to his last, he is really dangerous. He’s been criticized for his lack of Hypersonic Speed, but as far as I am concerned that’s just means you will have to put a little planning into playing him. Whether that’s just some TK (FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician) or going to resources (AVXR100 The Phoenix Force), the lack of Hypersonic Speed is not that hard to compensate for. Something additional to keep in mind is that his defense is better than it first appears. The trait that all the Chases share is “WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Superman’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol. Superman’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol.” Among other things that means his defense can’t be reduced and his defensive abilities can’t be countered so the opponent will have to get through all those damage reducers the hard way. Then there is the new KC team ability. It grants an additional use of Super Senses against ranged attacks and since it’s a Team Ability it might be the one thing that Nick Fury’s Watcher Eyes can’t bypass.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Although Prime Peggy Carter’s normal eyes can, since she knows her worth, and anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.]

KC SHAZ

5. WF065 Shazam! – Now here’s a piece that isn’t lacking in Hypersonic Speed or a high speed value in general. In fact with his 15 speed value in the Modern Age the only piece under 1000 points that is faster is KC Flash. He shares the WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN trait and KC team ability with Superman and the rest of the Chases in the set. He starts with Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength on offense along with Invincible and Shape Change on defense. His Attack Value never goes below 11 and he has some surprise Running Shot/Pulse Wave clicks at the end. The thing that really puts him over the top for me however is the Calculator TA. He already has the Mystical and Metropolis keywords, so it should not be too hard to find some good TAs for him to copy.

Bat SUpes Duo

4. WF060R World’s Finest – I chose the 75 point version of this character to put on this list because with Duo Attack, this is the hardest hitting 75 point character we’ve ever seen. It unfortunately has quite possibly the short 75 point dial we’ve ever seen, but with Combat Reflexes for close combat protection and the Batman TA for ranged protection World’s Finest should stay top dial for quite a while. Even at 75 they retain their trait: “WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.” The ability to straight up stop Outwit like that has never been seen at the 75 point level. Finally the combination of the Superman TA, their native 4 Damage Value and Duo Attack means that if they can get within 7 of Nick Fury they could potentially knock him out if both attacks hit.

KC GL

3. WF064R Green Lantern – This is the second best Tower Mode KC chase in the set. He has 9 Range, Barrier, and Perplex for just 30 points. At that point level if he is able to use barrier to give your team a breather for a turn then he is an incredible value for his points. On the minus side with barrier on his 18 Defense he is the easiest of the Tower Mode Chases to KO. On the plus side his Perplex is literally the only Perplex you could use to target any of the KC Chases.

2. WF041 Mary Marvel – This set’s best attacker, Primary or otherwise, and the only character I believe to be a real threat to Nick Fury. If she can attack him with Hypersonic Speed before he can attack her, then he’s in a world of trouble. She will have a Probability Control she can use to help herself hit and his Probability Control won’t be able to touch her due to her Trait: “SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.” And if she hits with an ultra heavy object then that’s enough damage to KO him outright. Her values and powers do start to go down quickly past her first click, but she still has a viable way to get right back into the game. She has a white power on her 7th click that states, “SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.” If you roll a 6 on the Regeneration roll then you will be right back to your top dial.

Spectre 2

1.WF066R Spectre – This is the figure in the set that I predict with eventually see the most play. He has Energy Shield deflection and Probability Control that along with his 18 Defense and KC team ability make him exceptionally difficult for even a primary attacker to KO him from range. He also has the Mystics TA that he can share with wildcards (like shazam) and it will guarantee that if anyone does KO him they will take Mystics damage back. The truly overpowering thing about him is his 12 Range combined with his special power, ” I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.” Boards are 24 spaces long. This means that you can place him 10 rows out from your starting area and he can use Probability Control anywhere on the board except the opposing starting area. Your opponent won’t really be able to do anything about it either because the difficultly KOing this piece from range. For 35 points he’s like a half price Mr. Mxyzptlk with the added bonus of having good keywords.

For additional fun try possessing him with Parallax to use the special power, “GRIP OF FEAR: Opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage.” Not bad for 60 points.

Okay! There ya go! See you next time with some special Build articles to help you make use of all these new tools in your toolbox!

God Packs & Monsters!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of World’s Finest!!)

 

WF 1

Whoops! Not these two… they’re the Con Exclusive.

Hello once more, and welcome to our first Top Ten Set Review for the newest DC Heroclix expansion, World’s Finest!

I’ll be going first today, with Ninwashui trailing not far behind with his own Second Opinion.

Before we begin, a word of warning:

This piece is long. Seriously. Like Bill Simmons long. This might be the longest article we’ve ever published [EDITOR’S NOTE: Incidentally, Ninwashui has no hope of matching my word count, but his inadequacies as a Heroclix dial evaluator when compared to me are not important right now–this is about the figures.]. I really should have split it in two. Remember that “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we published a year and a half ago? In three parts?

Yeah, I think this is longer than all three of those. Combined.

So sit back, grab a cold drink (probably not in that order) and enjoy the feast that is to come.

Cuz we’re starting right now with some…

Notes

NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–I think I say something positive about the sculpts almost every set, but this time… I’m gonna do it again. The articulation on some of these sculpts is astounding! The faces in particular. As recently as three years ago, character’s faces always ended up as blurry blobs; now you can often tell who a character is on their facial features alone. Bravo, WizKids! Bravo!

–Now for some bad news. This is probably the most top heavy set Wizkids has ever produced. Almost all the firepower is in the Rare, Super Rare, Chase and LE slots. Which means you’ll often be pulling–at most–one good figure per pack. Ninwashui will come on here later with his Second Opinion and try to sell you on the “Shifting Focus”-Traited Batman or Superman figs. They’re fun for a house game where the build is, like, 200 Points; beyond that, they’re really not very good.

I mean, seriously, let’s take a brief look at the hot mess that is some of the Common slot figs (I say some cuz I don’t want to step on the Worst Figures bonus segment that ends this article):

Hot Mess Express

Thank you to whoever came up with this meme. Perfect introduction for this segment!

Robotman

Robotman (130 Points): Completely generic dial, although his stats aren’t terrible for the points (I actually think there’s a tiny bit of value in his 50 Point dial). At least you’ll need him for a Doom Patrol Theme; that’s the main reason to collect him, I suppose.

Iron

Well… get used to it, Iron.

Iron (50 Points): 50 Points buys you four Clicks of a slow close combatant with no Willpower. If you play a better member of the Metal Men with him, he’ll gain Sidestep and every once in a blue moon he’ll deal one more damage with a successful object attack. Considering the cheapest Metal Man (or Metal Woman) is 25 Points, you’d probably be better off just Possessing him with, well, any Possessor, really. But then you’ll ask yourself: “Why am I wasting a Possessor on such a loser dial?”

Let’s be honest: the only reason to own Iron is if you’ve managed to pull an Alloy (you’ll want Iron for your Sideline).

Tin

Tin (50 Points): To be clear:  you are paying 50 Points for Perplex. His 9 Attack and 2 Damage with a 4 Range are not awful for his cost, but you’re really playing him for that Perplex. These are pretty average values and powers for his point level, but “average” makes him among the best Commons in the set. Now, here’s where things get interesting.

If you play two copies of Tin together, suddenly they each get Sidestep and can use their Perplexes to modify any combat value (except Damage) by +2 instead. That Sidestep combined with their top dial Willpower means they should be able to scoot around the map as a mobile Perplex-unit that’s always there when you need them. So, in conclusion, while one Tin on his own is average, two Tins played together are actually (gasp!) kinda good!

Beware the Creeper

No, seriously, beware the Creeper. He’ll really sink your–wait, that’s not even the RIGHT Creeper! Dammit! Let’s get it together, people!)

Creeper (75 Points): I have played him like three times now in Sealed Tourneys. He’s just not good. The problem is he really seems like he SHOULD be, and he sucks you into playing him every time. He has a ton of powers. He has the always useful Outsiders TA. But even with Traited Sidestep and Stealth, he just doesn’t seem to be able to get to his target unscathed. And that’s a major problem when he has no Willpower, no dampeners, only does 2 Damage after his top Click and has only 5 Clicks of life. I think he’d be okay in Modern Age Constructed when played by someone with a specific plan of attack for him, but in a Meta where a piece like Nick Fury will see him coming from across the board, he’s almost less than useless.

And on and on… I think you get the idea. Are the Witch and Warlock playable? Absolutely. Is Booster Gold good? Sure. Blue Beetle is downright… well, he’s decent when played with Booster, which limits your options a bit, but whatever. Still not gonna be Top Ten worthy. Even Poison Ivy Prime, while solid, was nowhere near my Top Ten.

I can’t remember the last time I did a Set Review and no Common showed up in the Top Ten or even as an Honorable Mention slot. Well, that day is here.

Design Insight

–And as we noted last set, I guess Wizkids has sort of hinted that this situation was coming with their recent DesignInsight articles that stated their interest in simplifying the Common and Uncommon character mechanics and saving the more ambitious designs for Rare figures or above. But “simple” doesn’t have to mean “underpowered” or downright “useless.”

Just last set we had Common figures like Hat, who has only 5 Clicks, no Special Powers and exactly one, two-sentence long Trait. And he currently has a 5-Star rating on HCRealms.com. He’s also got the Justice League Elite and Mystical keywords, which means he’s a piece people will look for if they want to create an Elite Build or if they need an effective piece to round out a Mystical squad. In other words, it’s not a bad day if he shows up in the back you just bought.

I get that from a design standpoint not every figure is going to be a home run–you actually want to have certain pieces be stronger in certain situations than others. That’s what makes for a healthy game environment. I just think the rarity distribution for those pieces was significantly off for this set, and I’d invite anyone who disagrees with that conclusion to compare the effectiveness of the Commons from Superman/Wonder Woman to the Commons from World’s Finest. It’s really not even close.

–Has the community decided on a shorthand name for the Chases’ Rookie Levels? I prefer “Tower Click,” and that’s the term I’ll use here [EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh-ho, just wait until you’re done with this review. “Tower Click?”–you’ll be sick of it, you’re going to hear it so much! Yup, those Chases are gonna show up a BUNCH! Sorry, I didn’t design them–don’t blame me for these guys clogging up your Meta and emptying your bank account. Wizkids did it.], but I’ve also heard “Sentry Mode” and “Turret Mode/Click,” so your mileage may vary.

WF 2

–Lastly… ugh. This is an ugly set for Sealed. If I handed you two packs and guaranteed you a Super Rare and a Rare, you could pull something like World’s Finest and Mary Marvel in those slots (you’re probably going to win), or Platinum and Mercury (thanks for playing!).

I know some folks weren’t happy with Nick Fury Sealed (“Wow! I got a 65 Point Nick Fury, Jr., and a whole bunch of 50 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. And you got Super Rare Jane Foster Thor, who can kill everybody on my side with about two ranged attacks. Through Hindering Terrain. Or Elevated Terrain. Or other characters. Good Lord…“), but I’ve found this World’s Finest Sealed Environment to be much, much worse. If you are running a Sealed, make it a 300 Point Build. Anything higher just increases the imbalance towards Tentpoles. Trust me, I learned this the hard way…

Okay! Enough notes. No more paperwork. Let’s talk about…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Toymaster

5. WF036 Toymaster — Rare — 30 Points: Juston Seyfert and Ragnarok just found a new running buddy! He has an Attack Special [UPGRADE YOUR STUFF: UNIQUE MODIFIER – Modify the attack value of adjacent friendly characters by +1. If that character has the Armor or Robot keyword, also modify their defense value by +1. (UNIQUE MODIFIER – Characters can only be modified by one effect of this name.)] AND a Damage Special (I’M BETTER WITH ROBOTS: Toymaster can use Support. When he does, increase the d6 result by 1 if the target has the Robot or Armor keyword and decrease it by 1 otherwise.) that can supe up your robotic Tentpole immensely.

Toymaster isn’t much different from some Common generics like Witch, except that he adds that defense buff and an advanced healing component as well–provided that his target has the “Robot” or “Armor” keyword. Plus, with Willpower, Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering (via his Batman Ally & Superman Ally TA’s), he’s a much more nimble supporting piece than the generics. And his keywords rock. Finally, a guy who enhances Robots AND has the “Robot” keyword!

FUN BUILD FACTS: If you really feel like being sneaky but don’t care so much about Theme, equip him with Ion for another 25 Points and watch him Outwit opposing characters through Stealth with his Supes TA. With Ion, you can also choose to give him Impervious, Phasing/Teleport OR Telekinesis as needed.

What you’ve then essentially done is taken the best of the 50 Point Starter Set Toymaster and added it to the Main set version (plus a whole lot extra) for just 5 Points more. Hell, TK was the main reason to play the Starter version anyway. And the Starter version’s limited Wildcard ability frankly sucks compared to the Main set’s already included Batman Ally and Superman Ally TA’s.

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #13: Possessors are, y’know, pretty #@^$ing good. That is all. 

Mallah

4. WF052 Monsieur Mallah150 PointsSuper Rare: This is a true Switchblade Clix that can do just about anything, since between Mallah and the detachable Brain, these pieces have just about all the powers in the game.

If you’re worried about getting out-actioned, choose to take the Brain off at the beginning of your turn and have the lil guy (thing?) go to town with his 8 Range, 2 Damage, Pen/Psy and Outwit.

On the other hand, if you’re up for some tentpole on tentpole violence, keep Brain attached, have Mallah launch a nice 3 or 4 (depending on how you want to use your Perplex) damage Pen/Psy/Energy Explosion attack of his own, and then try and use his Leadership Special next turn to remove an action token from himself.

There’s too much power and game-changing support in this set for Mallah to crack my Top Ten, but he has to be mentioned.

Elasti-Girl

3. WF035E Elasti-Girl50 Points — Rare: By far the best of the Doom Patrol pieces in this set [EDITOR’S NOTE: Not that I’m a huge fan of either the New 52 or the Doom Patrol, but for the love of all that’s holy, why didn’t Element Woman from Trinity War have the “Doom Patrol” keyword? It’s not new. If you were a fan and wanted to put together a New 52 Doom Patrol from, say, their appearance in Justice League #30, all the pieces have basically been made, but now you’re actually breaking Theme to put them together. Sigh… ], Rita Farr has a great Veteran dial, but her Experienced dial is even more intriguing.

Her second Trait (PROTOPLASMIC PHYSIOLOGY: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose tiny symbol, giant symbol, or colossal symbol. If you do, Elasti-Girl has the chosen symbol until she chooses again. If she chooses tiny symbol, modify her combat values by -1. If she chooses colossal symbol, modify her combat values by +1.) means that she can either Carry or be Carried right off the bat, so it’s tough to envision mobility issues for any team that uses her as a Tertiary Attacker or Supporting piece.

She has Charge and the ability to deal up to 4 Damage on her top click, and while she has no dampeners, she does sport the ever popular Shape Change/Super Senses combo on top of her 18 Defense (when Colossal).

Down dial she turns into a really good tie-up piece with Plasticity and Perplex. This is a very versatile dial that offers a ton of value for just 50 Points.

Worlds Finest 75 Point

Honestly, though, Clark, we really could have shaken hands on the ground. You did not need to fly us up here.

2. WF060R World’s Finest75 PointsSuper Rare: Stats are pretty good for a 75-Point piece. Duo Attack. 4 Damage to start. Charge the whole dial, Super Strength the whole dial, Toughness, Combat Reflexes and CCE the whole dial. And–oh yeah–none of their powers can be countered. What’s not to love?

They have 3 Clicks. One strike from a piece that does 4 or more damage KO’s them instantly.

But–BUT–that dial isn’t as shallow as it may seem. Remember, this piece has both the Superman Ally AND Batman Ally TA, so your opponent will either need to find a solution for your Stealth or deal with your un-Outwittable Combat Reflexes, which suddenly means they have to hit a 20.

And that’s what it comes down to. You’re making a 75-Point bet that you can get this piece to your opponent’s front line for a huge, 6-Damage Charge before they can snipe it out of the air. If you make it there unscathed, you have a Secondary Attacker that’s giving you A+ Primary Attacker damage output. If you can’t, you may have dug yourself a hole to deep to get out of.

KC Batman

1. WF062R Batman 25 PointsChase: Incidentally, KC Bat’s 150 Point main dial could easily have gone here too (13 Attack with Precision Strike!). But his “Tower Click” is probably where his Meta bread will be buttered.

Like all of his KC brethren (and sistren?), Batman’s Tower Click comes with a mobility hindering Trait (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Batman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 6 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) that requires you to be very precise about where you Place him to start the game (incidentally, more than with any other Tower Chase, Map Choice is important to you if you’re playing this Batman. A nice Elevated ledge of some sort near the center of the battlefield turns him into a nightmare for your opponent).

Then you get to the reason you’re playing him:  his Damage Special (I MONITOR GOTHAM FROM THE BATCAVE: Batman can use Outwit with a range value of 10. Opposing characters 4 or more squares from him can’t draw lines of fire to him.).

Yup. You get a nigh-untargetable 10-Range Outwitter for just 25 Points who’s Defense bumps up to a 20 against close combat attacks. And who can also turn into a Secondary Attacker if he ends up as the last piece on your force (or if your opponent hits a Crit).

And because he’s a KC piece, ol’ Bruce here has no problem Outwitting the sin out of any of the other KC Chase main dials.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I actually love this from a flavor standpoint too, as it makes Bats the one piece every other KC figure is vulnerable too. Lots of parallels to the actual Kingdom Come story. Well done, Wizkids!]

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, ON TO…

THE TOP TEN FOURTEEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST!!

Yikes. After 5 Honorable Mentions, there’s still 14 more freaking figures worth talking about? Damn, this is a powerful set!

The Wizard

14. WF030 The Wizard — 50 Points — Uncommon: Finally! A non-Rare, non-Super Rare, non-Chase, non-LE piece makes the list! Maybe only because I had to expand it by four whole slots, but still!

The Wizard is a piddly 50 Point support piece who sports no standard powers top dial except Prob (with a 6 Range) but has one of the best survivability Special Powers I’ve ever seen (ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.).

And while he sports a crappy 16 Defense with no kickers for his entire dial, his special Traited Shape Change (POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.) actually makes attacking him a dangerous gamble–especially since he can usually only be attacked up close. Believe me–that Tiger token is no joke (and heaven help you if he hits his Shape Change more than once and you have multiple Tigers floating around the battlefield).

In Sealed, The Wizard’s a monster, taking up waaaaaay too much of your opponent’s time and attention, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up in the Meta. It’s bad enough that your opponent has to jump through so many positioning hoops just to get to The Wizard, and if you can make even one Shape Change role (Blue Battery candidate, perhaps?), you might just change the outcome of the game.

Streaky 2

13. WF100 Streaky — 50 Points — LE: The Prize Kit piece from World’s Finest actually offers the cheapest source of top dial Hypersonic Speed that I’m aware of (excluding Possessor shenanigans such as Possessing a character who has a secondary dial that starts on Click 3 with Ophidian). And with a native top dial damage value of 3, a Defense Value of 18 (with Super Senses and Toughness) plus a Despotellis-like Trait (THIS CAT HAS CLAWS!: When an adjacent opposing character is moved or placed, after actions resolve you may place Streaky adjacent to that character. Streaky does not require opponents to break away.), Streaky is actually one of the best Tertiary Attackers in the Modern Age right now.

Plus, pets with capes are always cool. Just ask Krypto.

Metallo

12. WF055 Metallo — 150 Points — Super Rare: Metallo is another Primary Attacker plucked from Superman’s rogues gallery who offers a ton of versatility. His Trait (RAPIDLY MORPHING FRAME: Give Metallo a free action and choose one: choose a standard attack power, and he can use that power until your next turn -or- modify his combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is borderline bonkers, especially if you choose the second option on his top dial; suddenly he becomes a 9, 12, 19, 5 with Charge, Invincible and Shape Change. Those are big time stats for a 150 Point character.

Down dial he picks up an extremely useful Special Poison Attack Power (YOU’VE EXPOSED MY KRYPTONITE HEART: Metallo can use Poison. When he does, he removes an action token from himself for each opposing character that took damage from his Poison and he deals penetrating damage to characters with the Kryptonian keyword.) that will let him constantly take tokens off if he’s positioned properly.

Beatsticks who can potentially take actions every turn are exceptionally rare, which is why Metallo made this list.

Element Man

11. WF040 Element Man — 100 Points — Rare: For 100 Points, you get Traited Plasticity, Shape Change and Giant Reach to go with his top dial Super Senses, Sidestep and Pick-a-Power Attack Special (A PERIODIC ARSENAL: Give Element Man a free action and choose a standard attack and/or defense power. Element Man can use the chosen powers until your next turn, even if this power is lost. If Element Man chose both attack and a defense power, deal him 1 unavoidable damage at the end of your turn.).

So you get half of the versatility of noted Meta piece Zombie Super Skrull at almost half the price. However, Rex Mason here comes standard with some options that Skrully doesn’t, including the ever-useful SC/SS combo. And Giant Reach isn’t something that Super Skrull can pick anyway.

The cherry on the cake is his Outsiders Team Ability, which will solve a lot of problems before you even go to pick an Attack and/or Defense power.

Zatara

10. WF048 Zatara — 100 Points — Rare: Wow! Like his daughter before him in the Justice League: Trinity War set, Zatara’s dial can be played backwards or forward, which essentially means he can be a support-y piece or a secondary attacker.

But unlike some other pieces that straddle the lines of two Build roles, here’s the kicker: Zatara’s damn good at both roles.

Do you want a…

Secondary Attacker? Great. Play his dial backwards and you get a piece with Running Shot (only a 6 Range, but his Movement is 9, so he ends up with a okay-ish Threat Range of 11), 11 Attack with Pen/Psy, 17 Defense with ES/D to discourage return fire and 3 native Damage with Enhancement, to make follow-up shots with your Primary Attacker that much more deadly.

An early-game Support Piece? Play his dial normally and you’ll have top dial access to Telekinesis AND a Damage Special (THE ORIGINAL MAGICIAN: Zatara can use Perplex and Probability Control. When he uses Perplex, he may modify the chosen value (except damage) by +2 if he targets another friendly character he shares a keyword with.) with improved Perplex!

Either way, in the middle of his dial he gains a game-changing Special that can potentially swing an entire game (SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.). 4 Damage via a Pulse Wave that DOESN’T target any friendlies? Yes please!

I’ve heard some chatter about whether it’s worth 100 Points to potentially do 4 Damage to one or two opposing characters. Here’s what I would counter with:

A. You don’t have to actually use that ability until you deem it most advantageous to you.

B. If that Click is showing, but you still think you can do more work with Zatara, he also has Regeneration at the same time he has that Special, so you can simply Regenerate him back to his Supporting/Secondary Attacker clicks.

C. Also… you’re technically not sacrificing 100 Points at that point. You’re in the middle of his dial, so your opponent has already whittled away some theoretical points. If anything, this is a way to get EXTRA points out of a damaged character.

D. As we all know, 4 Damage via Pulse Wave is different than 4 Damage from another type of Attack. Remember, Pulse Wave ignores virtually every game effect! Invincible? Nice. You’re still taking four. Super Senses? Pulse Wave don’t care. Oh, you have Shape Change? How nice for you. Take 4. And on and on…

(Incidentally, the one situation you really need to be wary of is your opponent Mind Controlling Zatara when he’s on Clicks 3-5. That is a real danger, and something you have to be extra-mindful of if you see your opponent has access to Mind Control. This is why it’s so important to know your pick-a-power pieces! If your opponent has Zombie Super Skrull, Vartox or Engineer, they have access to Mind Control. If they’re playing Metallo or Element Man, they don’t. Mind Control is a Speed Power, so if the piece can’t pick a Speed Power, you’re good.)

So after all that, the real question is, which character is more versatile: Element Man or Zatara? Let the debate begin!

Harlequin

9. WF053B Harlequin — 90 Points — Super Rare PRIME: I’m convinced she immediately becomes one of the best Secondary Attackers in the 300 Point Meta. She’s also hard as hell to pin down.

Her KC Team Ability basically grants her a second bite of the Super Senses apple, since she already comes equipped with Super Senses. In a Resource environment, giving her the Blue or Red Decoy would not be a bad idea at all (the Blue Lantern and Decoy would basically give her FOUR freaking avoidance rolls if she’s attacked with anything other than Pulse Wave, Precision Strike and Battle Fury; the Red Lantern and Decoy would give her three shots to avoid a normal attack plus Penetrating Poison, which combos awesomely with her top and bottom dial Sidestep).

Her magnificent Trait (MURDEROUS JACK-IN-THE-BOX ON MY BACK: Give Harlequin a free action and place adjacent a Jack-in-the-Box bystander token printed on this card, then immediately give it an action as a free action. After actions resolve, remove that token from the game.) actually gives you a Tertiary Attacker THAT CAN ACT EVERY TURN free of charge. A possible 3-6 extra damage every turn? Yes please.

Finally, her Attack Special that shows up on her last two Clicks (POP! GOES THE WEASEL: Harlequin can use Pulse Wave. When she does, once per game you may choose that her damage value becomes 3 and is locked and she can’t place Jack-in-the-Box tokens for the remainder of this game.) isn’t quite as good as Zatara’s Special Pulse Wave… BUT IT’S STILL A BETTER VERSION OF THE BEST POWER IN THE GAME!

To find all this in a package that costs less than 100 Points is well worth the use of your only Prime slot.

Lex Luthor & Joker

8. WF059 Lex Luthor & Joker — 200 Points — Super Rare: Man, I was torn between this dial and the 75 Point dial. Ultimately, the 75 Point dial didn’t make even my Honorable Mentions, but it was close, and I’m not mad at you if you think that dial is better.

200 Points is a lot to spend on just 7 Clicks of life, but their survivability is increased exponentially by their second Trait (IT’S USUALLY ONE OF US THAT’S BEHIND EVERYTHING: Lex Luthor and Joker can use Mastermind. Lex Luthor and Joker and other friendly characters of 20 points or more can use the Underworld team ability.). Their first Trait (WORLD’S VILEST TEAM: Lex Luthor and Joker’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.) means that none of their powers can be Outwitted, either.

Their top dial Specials (Movement and Damage) grant them two separate uses of Sidestep, Perplex and at least one use of Outwit to go with their Duo Attack, Pen/Psy and ES/D.

After their first two ranged-based Clicks, they morph into some pretty lethal close combatants with Charge, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness and their Attack Value balloons up to 12.

Pair these two with the right goons and cannon fodder and they can be the most dangerous piece on the battlefield.

Mxy vs Bat-Mite

Okay, at this point I’ve run so many World’s Finest art pieces that I’m just gonna start running related images that amuse me.

7. WF060 World’s Finest — 300 Points — Super Rare: Uh… wait, didn’t we already cover this? Oh, this is the Veteran dial! Right… okay.

I can’t remember the last time the same figure made a Top Ten Set Review with more than one dial. But World’s Finest deserves it. Why? Because this is probably the best 300 Point One-Man-Army dials that Wizkids has published since Sentroid back in Chaos War.

When evaluating a OMA dial, I like to ask a series of questions:

  1. Does the piece have readily available move-and-attack abilities? If I’m only using one piece, I can’t be wasting turns positioning. This becomes less of an issue as the game goes on and your opponent starts losing pieces, but especially up top there HAS to be really good move-and-attack. World’s Finest has Hypersonic Speed, which is about as good as you can get.
  2. Does the figure have Outwit/Counter protection? All the move-and-attack abilities in the world won’t help you if your opponent can just shut you down with a small supporting piece that sports some Outwit. World’s Finest covers this (and then some) with its first Trait (WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.).
  3. Does the figure have a way to reroll out of missed attacks and/or bad situations? Hey, Heroclix is dice game, which means there is just about always going to be an element of random chance. With a One-Man-Army, missed attack rolls are just killer. You might as well have just skipped your turn. Actually that would have been better, because at least then you wouldn’t have had to put an action token on your only figure. World’s Finest has two answers for this. First, they have Duo Attack, so if you choose to activate Duo Attack, you’ll at least have a second attack to fall back on if you miss with your first. But what I really like about this piece is that its second Trait (GOOD DISTRACTION, BRUCE: Once per turn, when World’s Finest misses all targets with an attack and haven’t used the Duo Attack ability this turn, after actions resolve they may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially allows you a do-over if you miss while performing non-Duo Attack actions (like, y’know, Hypersonic Speed).
  4. Does the figure have a high Damage output? Basically, are they capable of one-shotting opposing support figures and seriously hurting opposing Primary Attackers? The longer you are out-actioned, the worse your chances of winning become. But if you can eliminate a support figure or even a secondary attacker before Turn 3? Well, you’ve just drastically evened the odds. To do that, though, you need to be able to dish out some serious damage. For a OMA piece, that usually means sporting a native 5 Damage with the ability to enhance that with a penetrating kicker of some sort or a value enhancer (like Super Strength). World’s Finest passes this test with 5 Damage top dial AND Super Strength.
  5. Does the figure have a way to avoid opposing damage reducers and/or counteract opposing attack avoidance abilities? Look, no piece is perfect, but again, if I only have one figure to use each turn, I can’t have successful attack rolls turned into nothing via successful Impervious or Super Senses rolls, just as I can’t get stopped before I get started if my opponent hits a Shape Change or Skrull TA roll (or whatever). World’s Finest… actually doesn’t have a way around this, at least not until some Outwit turns up mid-dial (when it may be too late). No Pen/Psy or Exploit Weakness, no Precision Strike and no Battle Fury.

Okay! So World’s Finest passed 4 out of 5 OMA tests with flying colors, which leads me to the conclusion that it IS in fact a viable One-Man-Army figure. You just have to start the game with the mindset that it might be better to start with a high-probability KO on that supporting piece that only has Toughness versus going head-on against that opposing tentpole that sports Impervious. Remember, World’s Finest has Invincible top dial, not Invuln or Impervious, so even that smaller figure with the 10 Attack and 2 Damage may pose a threat. Whittling down your opponent’s pool of actions will often times be priority number one.

Because if you can narrow the game down to your best piece against his, well… you’re gonna win.

Shazam!

6. WF065 Shazam! — 170 Points — Chase: Man, it would have been so easy to just list nothing but Chases and Primes for this. But Shazam! has a lot going on with his dial that I just love.

First of all, he has the normal KC Chase Trait (WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Shazam’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”. Shazam’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”.) that makes all of his powers uncounterable to all but, like, two pieces (KC Flash and KC Batman) unless shenanigans are involved.

Secondly, with the change to the KC TA, he basically has the crowdpleasing Shape Change/Super Senses combo IN ADDITION to his nigh-uncounterable top dial Invincible.

On the offensive side of things, he sports a 15 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Precision Strike (so he can get through even other Chases’ KC TA), an 18 Defense and 4 native damage. I wish both his Attack and Damage were one tick higher, but with 130 Points still left over for support, those are easy complaints to remedy.

Finally, he also has the Calculator TA, so depending on how you round out the rest of your Build, you can give him the Batman Ally, Superman Ally or Mystics TA (or perhaps all three!).

Very efficient killing machine.

Superman Farming in Peace

5. WF061R Superman — 35 Points — Chase: This is the Chase Supes on his “Tower Click.” It’s pretty simple. He has an 18 Defense with Impervious (thus making him impossible to KO with normal Poison, something the other Towers can’t claim), the Superman Ally TA AND the KC TA.

But what makes him so great is, obviously, his Tower Power (I WANT TO FARM IN PEACE: Superman can use Incapacitate with two targets and an attack value of 12. Hit characters can’t make ranged attacks during their turn.).

That makes him another potential Time Walk piece, where he can basically force your opponent to skip a turn with some well-timed Incapacitates. Even the KC Trait that’s supposed to limit him (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Superman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 7 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) actually ends up being a boon, since you can throw him right into the action in the middle of the Map or on a strategically important piece of high ground.

Hope your opponent has fun taking actions with his best pieces once every three turns.

Mary_Marvel

4. WF041 Mary Marvel — 150 Points — Rare: Hypersonic, Super Strength (with the ability to deal up to 7 Damage with an Ultra-Heavy), Invincible and Prob–there’s not a lot to not like here. The only fly in the ointment is that her Defense Value of 17 is fairly weak for a Primary Attacker. Having said that, her wonderfully flavorful Trait (SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.) offers some very real Outwit protection while her Defense Special (SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.) may mean that you have to get through her entire dial again AFTER YOU KO HER THE FIRST TIME!

This is a great piece to Build a Meta team around (and I suspect Ninwashui will agree, since he’s been giddily sending me Mary Marvel teams all weak!).

Darkseid Supergirl

3. WF056 Supergirl200 Points — Super Rare: Choosing between Supergirl and Mary Marvel really came down to splitting hairs, but Kara’s Trait (DARKSEID’S ASSASSIN: When Supergirl hits with an attack, after actions resolve, give each hit character an action token. If one or more hit characters were unable to be given an action token, remove an action token from Supergirl. If one or more hit characters can use the Batman Ally, Justice League, or Superman Ally team ability, heal her 1 click.) is honestly so ridiculous that I gave her the nod.

You know what the best way to avoid a counter-attack is? Pile up action tokens on opposing pieces. Can you imagine her with her cousin’s KC Chase Tower version? If your opponent isn’t careful, they’ll never take a meaningful action!

Beyond her Trait, she has great stats and a long, healthy dial that’s just full of move-and-attack powers!

(Not for nothing, but her 100 Point dial almost made the Top Ten as well–it’s that sick!)

KC Green Lantern

I don’t know much about the artist Sweet-Bread, to whom this image is attributed, but I do know that the guy (or girl) can freaking draw KC Green Lantern–this is awesome!

2. WF064R Green Lantern — 30 Points — Chase: Another Tower Chase. Green Lantern has a couple things going for him that set him apart from all but one of his KC counterparts.

Firstly, his dial sports an 18 Defense with Barrier. Yup. You can plop him down in the middle of the battlefield and watch him throw up Barriers two out of every three turns. Very useful.

Next comes his Damage Special (I PROTECT FROM AFAR: Green Lantern can use Perplex to target friendly character regardless of line of fire.). Homeboy Alan Scott here has a 9 Range, and you’re telling me he doesn’t need to worry about line of fire?! So basically, I can have Perplex and Barrier for the entire game for just 30 freaking points?

And just get a load of his keywords: GREEN LANTERN CORPS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE SOCIETY, Future, Mystical and Politician. Mystical? When’s the last time a Green Lantern sported the Mystical keyword?

And hell, with Politician, you could actually theme him with Nighthawk Prime! I suppose the only better thing than playing one broken piece is playing two together, right?

Sheesh. 9 Range with no line of fire. I could make an argument that Wizkids shouldn’t be giving any character the ability to use a support power on a friendly piece from 9 Squares away without worrying about line of fire. It’s just too damn good of a power! What’s next? A piece that can use Prob across the entire Map? I mean, I know that’s ridiculous, and they would never do that, but you get my point. How much closer to the edge can these designers go?

KC Spectre

“No, Norman McCay, THIS is how you make an entrance. The key today is the same as it has been for a hundred millennia past:  no pants.”

1. WF066R SpectreChase35 Points: Oh good Lord, they made a piece that can Prob the entire freaking map. Are you serious? Sigh…

Okay, okay, let’s start over. Let’s pretend you didn’t just read Green Lantern’s entry and try and put into perspective just how great Spectre is.

So… you’d pay 25 Points to plop, say, Ophidian or Chase Brainiac onto a character to boost one stat by +1 a turn and pick from a range of 3 or 4 powers every turn, right? I mean, we all know that Entities and their ilk are great values, right? Well, how much would you pay for a free Prob every turn for the entire game? Probably even more than 35 Points, right? Let’s break it down.

Ol’ Jim Corrigan here is the last of the “Tower Chases” that we’re gonna talk about today. He also happens to be the very best. First of all, remember how we talked about that “Isolated From Your Violent World” Trait being sort of a pain for KC Batman and most of the other Chases except Green Lantern? Well, meet the other exception. That Trait is actually EXTREMELY beneficial to Spectre–it’s not a hindrance in the least.

It allows you to put him at or near the center of any map, which becomes bonkers when you look at his Tower ability (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.). Did you read that last part? REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE?! Uh, yes please! Now look at his native Range. No, go look. I’ll sit here and wait.

Yup. It’s a 12. So, REGARDLESS OF WHICH MODERN AGE MAP IS CHOSEN, you can find a nice, comfy spot near the center of the map to plop Spectre down in and relax, secure in the knowledge that he can now see ANY Square on the map. He just needs to be somewhere in your twelfth Row and at least four Columns from each side.

Okay. So we’ve established now that with the right initial placement (and remember, his Trait means he’s completely immobile once you Place him, so choose carefully), Spectre can Prob across the entire Map. That is easily worth 35 Points. But what makes him more valuable is the razor-thin list of options your opponent has to deal with it.

Poison? Sure, if your opponent moves a Poison-enabled character up 12 Squares and waits a turn without you doing a thing to stop it, then yeah, Spectre can be Poisoned to death (Incidentally, this is a risk you take with all the Tower Chases save Superman. Well, mostly save Superman.).

Pulse Wave? Yup. There’s not much that Pulse Wave doesn’t do.

Outwit? Yeah, maybe, if you can get close enough.

Attacking? Up Close? Sure. If you can advance up 12 Squares and hit an 18 Defense twice, congratulations. You just used (and probably left exposed) what was almost certainly your best attacker to take out a 35 Point piece. Now take an Unavoidable Click of Mystics damage.

From Range? Uh… yeah. Go ahead and try that. First, hit a 20 Defense, since Spectre’s rocking an 18 Defense Value with ES/D. Then do it again (Spectre’s Prob).

Now, if that 20 is a problem and you have access to the Outsiders TA, go ahead and use that, although if you’re playing a Modern Age game, that means you’re locked in to playing either Element Man (Good choice! He’s great. You have a fighting chance!), Jade (not a bad piece, but since she’s half your army at a cost of at least 151 Points and undoubtedly your Primary Attacker AND you really have to move her into position first before you can use her TA since you can’t use her TA in the middle of a Running Shot AND thatkindofdefeatsthewholepurpose and why, oh God, why have you forsaken me?!?!) or Creeper (Seriously though, don’t play Creeper. Beware the $#%@ing Creeper. You know why. And if not, go back up and read for content this time).

But whatever–you hit a 20 Defense from Range twice! Bravo! Now, did you do it with Precision Strike? No? Well, Spectre still might not be dead yet and there’s a 33% chance that you wasted all your opening moves to take out a 35-Point character and still failed.

But that’s pessimistic. Let’s say Spectre fails his KC roll. Yay! You did it! You KO’d a 35 Point support piece.

Now take a g-dd–n Click of Unavoidable Mystics damage. Sunova-!!

Soooo… I think I made my point. You’re almost better off just leaving him for last, except then he actually turns into an even harder to kill Secondary Attacker who stills has a 12 freaking Range Value.

And also… dammit, you’re just never better off leaving an opposing Prob’r up and, uh, Probb’ing.

Carlos

No Probb’ing at the table. Not at the table, Carlos.

At least they didn’t give this dial to a Chase-level figure who represents the never-before Clix’d alternate version of a popular character from an iconic storyline.

Sigh… Just take my money, Wizkids. I hate you.

 

BUT WAIT!!

Nightlantern

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hmmm… all these entries, and not one mention of Nightlantern, the Rare Prime? Surely he’s SOMEWHERE among the top pieces in the set, right? 

Well… yes and no. His dial is actually pretty average for its cost. Decent stats, but he definitely has a glass jaw in terms of how long his dial keeps his best powers. Obviously, his main value is his Trait (EVERY PERSON I KNOW IS AN AMALGAM OF TWO FROM YOUR UNIVERSE?: When building your force, you may pay 25 points and put a standard character on your sideline, called an Amalgam. At the beginning of the game, equip the Amalgam to a standard friendly character (other than Nightlantern) that is higher points than the Amalgam’s highest point value and link it to that character’s dial. For the rest of the game, the Amalgam provides the below effect when equipped: EFFECT: At the beginning of your turn or when when this character is clicked, you may choose a standard power on the equipped dial. This character can use that power until your next turn or clicked.). Just let that sink in for a few, because we’re gonna examine this piece in greater detail… in a future article.

(Hey, no complaining–we’re already wellllll past 7000 words here AND you’ve still got a special bonus after this!)

But because of his unique Trait AND the fact that his usefulness changes DRASTICALLY based on the point value of the game, I’ve decided to make Nightlantern ineligible for the Top Ten and will instead give him his own spotlight in an upcoming piece. 

And yes, this is basically what we did with Rare Bizarro back when SLoSH came out. Sometimes a single piece just needs a whole article.]

 

THE STINGER AFTER THE CREDITS–AKA, BONUS TIME!

Okay. Now that we’ve talked about the best this set has to offer, for a little bonus content, let’s dive headfirst into the worst of the World’s Finest offerings! I give to you, at no extra charge…

THE TWO WORST FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

Mr. Nobody

Wait, the evil organization I lead is called the ‘Brotherhood of Dada?’ Uh… maybe this isn’t Grant Morrison’s best idea...”

1. Mr. Nobody (55 Points): He’s a mobile (minimum-range) Outwitter top dial; after that first Click, he loses Outwit and gains Prob. He has a weird Special Attack Power that lets you mildly mess with an opposing figure’s dial, but it costs a Power Action AND he has to be up close and personal (remember, he loses Phasing/Teleport after that top Click, so he’s far less mobile at that point). Of course, that’s probably still your best option with him, since you’re really not going to do much damage with his 8 Attack Value and a native Damage Value that quickly goes from 2 to 1. Mid-dial he picks up Steal Energy, but I would argue that the use of that Steal Energy moves him up to a worse Click! His keywords are pretty awful (just “Brotherhood of Evil” and “Politician”), and almost everything he does can be done by other pieces in Modern, and usually for a cheaper cost. If you’re running a Brotherhood of Evil Themed Team with Monsieur Mallah, okay, I get it; two Mr. Nobody’s is your only option (although you’re probably still giving away a ton of points, even with a Resource). But if you want to Theme Monsieur Mallah so bad, why not just run a Secret Society Team? Waaaaay more options.

Occultist

Nope. This–that’s the wrong Occultist. Ooooo, I wish I paid you so I could fire you.

2. Occultist (20 Points): Eh… it’s hard to be too mad about a generic figure that costs only 20 Points. But his (her? it’s?) Movement Special Power (BLOOD MAGIC: When an adjacent friendly character takes damage from an opponent’s attack, put a number of Blood Magic tokens on that friendly character’s card equal to the damage taken. Even if this power is lost, that friendly character may be given a free action to remove one Blood token and use Perplex targeting itself.) is a hell of a long way to go for the chance to maybe, possibly, if the stars all align, use Perplex, like, twice, in a whole game. For the EXACT same cost, you can play either the Witch or the Warlock who offer much more enhancement certainty with their Special Powers and who are both much harder to hit and who both HAVE THE EXACT SAME KEYWORD. Hell, Witch even adds “Monster” to her keyword line.

Blood Magic Meme

Occultist is a classic Sex Panther Piece, which, for those who aren’t familiar, is a term derived from “Anchorman” and refers to any piece with an overly complicated power that, in the end, isn’t as good or consistent as other basic, readily available options.

Okay! There you have it! The Ten Fifteen Nineteen (Hmmm… do I subtract the two worst entries, or… Can I get a ruling on this? Anyone? Aw, crap, my Editor’s fallen asleep. That probably explains why half the images were wrong. Y’know, I should probably wrap this up soon.) Best Figures in World’s Finest.

Whew!

And don’t forget to bring it right back here in a few days when Ninwashui issues his… SECOND OPINION!

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

Upcoming Games: World’s Finest Release and Civic Pride!!

Worlds Finest Animated

Just a couple of quick local game announcements for SE Michigan Clix’ers before we go back to our regular programming!!

Hello again! Here is the upcoming schedule for Heroclix games at Comics & More in Madison Heights!!

02/10/2016:  NOTE: DUE TO ILLNESS AND WEATHER CONDITIONS, THIS GAME WILL NOW BE PLAYED ON 03/02/2016!!

Comics & More will be hosting a World’s Finest release event. The buy-in is $25.00 (plus tax) for two boosters, from which each competitor will construct a 300 Point team. The overall winner and Fellowship winner will each get a Streaky (Supergirl’s cat) LE figure, and there will almost certainly be some other LE’s awarded as well!

During the event, additional boosters will be for sale for those who want them at the rock-bottom rate of $10!! After tomorrow night, they go back to $12.99.

Superman Civic Pride

02/24/2016: 

Which DC community has the strongest characters in Heroclix? We’re gonna find that out when we play “Civic Pride,” a 300 Point, Golden Age game wherein each competitor fields a DC-only Themed Team using one of the following keywords:

“Amazon”

“Apokolips”

“Atlantis”

“Bludhaven”

“Central City”

“Coast City”

“Fawcett City”

“Gorilla City”

“Gotham City”

“Gotham City Underworld”

“Keystone City”

“Metropolis”

“New Gods” (New Genesis)

“Opal City”

“Star City”

No Resources or Team Bases are permitted. DC Relics and Special Objects are allowed, as are Colossals and ATA’s. Justice League ID Cards may also be used, but the figure being called in must share the same “Civic” keyword as the figure who’s doing the calling.

Players can sort of pick their own difficulty level with this Build. Think you’re really good with a deep collection at your fingertips? Pick “Fawcett City,” “Gorilla City,” “Keystone City” or “Bludhaven,” which offer precious little in terms of roster variety. A bit newer to the game without many options in who you can play? “Metropolis” and “Gotham City” have choices for days.

Which city will you represent?

The Entry fee for this Event is just $5.00, and the winner will walk away with a “Gotham by Gaslight Batman” LE!!

Super Smash Bros

03/16/2016:

The final details of this game are still being worked out, but here’s a hint: It’s called “Super Smash Bros.,” and we’ll have more details on this in the coming weeks!

 

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for next week as Ninwashui and I start dropping our World’s Finest Top Ten Set Reviews!!

The Finest Set Preview in the World!! (Or, a Brief Look at What We Know About World’s Finest!)

Bats Supes

Okay! We’re just one day away from the next set (pre-)release, so it’s about time we round up all the rumor mills and discuss what we actually know about the next Clix release: World’s Finest!

Thanks to the intrepid sleuths at HCRealms.com’s Upcoming Sets and Rumors Forum along with the always-welcome Scott Porter unboxing videos (the chain for World’s Finest starts here) and the follow-up ComicBook.com unboxing video, we now know quite a bit, actually.

The entire set list has pretty much been spoiled at this point, and it seems like a pretty good roster. As more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of these figures I really want. When one considers that the set immediately preceding this one (Superman/Wonder Woman) had a very similar primary theme (but sets are heavy on Supes), and that the DC set immediately before that, Trinity War, had a similar primary theme (Justice League characters) AND pretty much the exact same sub-theme (DC’s mystical characters), I wasn’t able to muster up much enthusiasm when this set was announced.

Now, the Doom Patrol and Metal Men characters only mildly interest me, but there’s some deep-cut characters that the game has never attempted to adapt before (Zantanna’s dad Zatara–a Rare in this new set–comes instantly to mind) that I can’t wait to get my hands on. And we’ve needed a new Desaad for a looooong time; I just never thought this would be the set where he’d make an appearance.

From a production standpoint, the designers brought back the oversized Giant type of figures (Elasti-Girl is one such piece) that we saw so many of in Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes. And they made a great choice for the Chase figure theme–Kingdom Come, which is one of my favorite DC stories of all time.

(So if you got caught up in that FaceBook hoax from a few weeks ago, never fear–you’re about to get the real thing!)

Yup–we’re getting Kingdom Come Batman, KC Superman, KC Green Lantern, KC Wonder Woman, KC Shazam and KC Spectre! If KC Spectre is also a Giant-sized figure (like his 2 War of Light versions), I’ll be a happy camper indeed. And it seems like all the Chases have a 25-Point dial that has the potential to give you access to half that character’s dial… for just 25 Points!

And we’re also getting a Super Rare Prime KC Harlequin, it looks like. If you’re trying to collect all of the KC figures that WizKids has made, like I am, that SR Harlequin is going to be a tough piece to find.

Well, that’s all we have today! Come back next time for our full Top Ten Set Reviews!!

Wonder Woman and the Daily Planet Newsroom!! (Or, a Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Superman/Wonder Woman!!)

"Oh, so you don't think there were enough Superman figures in SLoSH, eh?"

On dates Superman and Wonder Woman can often be seen making large craters in front of some of Metropolis’s finest restaurants.

Some General Notes About the Set:

Morpheus 2

NO ONE IS QUITE SURE EXACTLY HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME AT THE MOMENT?! On this point Hypefox is absolutely correct. When the equip rules came out I told the HeroClix face book group I’m in that this seems like a rule change that would affect  all possession characters. People told me I was nuts. Then a second article came out that same day and confirmed everything I said. We still don’t know if equip applies to all resources. I think it does. Other people argue the other way and the Wizkids rules forum have ignored all questions on the subject. Maybe they will put out a rule book this year so we know how the @#$% to play this game. According to the magic 8 ball on my desk signs point to no, and that’s the most official answer anyone has on the subject.

— Wizkids apparently would rather fill this set with the entire staff of the Daily Planet then give you more than just a little Wonder Woman Content. There have been four different versions of Odin (Father of Thor) in HeroClix. There are still none of Zeus (Father of Wonder Woman). But, hey we got the generic investigative journalist I’m sure everyone has been waiting on. If you want an Ares you’ll still be using the one they published in the 2010 75th Anniversary Set, but if you were waiting on generic newsboys – you are in luck!

–Most of the Wonder Woman side of this set is in the form of Gods and they were all pretty cool. Their Divine Aura trait is both effective and thematic. My only complaint about the Greek Gods is that there aren’t more of them in this set. I would have like to see some legendary Greek heroes and even some Olympus guard generics that have a minion power with Deities.

–Wizkids has been making a big deal about saying they put tons of never before clixed characters into their newest sets, but sometimes remakes would be a good thing. For example, the Apokolips keyword did get a few new entries in Parademon, Brutaal, Steppenwolf, and Brimstone. However, Everyone else you’d normally associate with Apokolips (except Darkseid and Kalibak) has rotated out of Modern. We haven’t had a new version of Desaad since he was first made in 2002!

–Wizkids Collation issues are far worse in this set than we have ever seen before. A guy online posted a picture of two cases he bought were every single pack was duplicated in each case. Other reports have some bricks opening with no Chases and some opening with as many as seven chases. I would have thought it was a hoax but every time we played with this set at the store, we saw duplicate packs amongst  what we opened. I’m a believer.

–There are four versions each of Superman and Wonder Woman in this set and all of them are at least good. The two chases especially are great. The real standout here is the excellent THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME trait that shows up on 2 versions each of Superman and Wonder Woman. If you have less figures on your team then your opponent, it will give a huge advantage.

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

Titano 2

5. SMWWG005R TitanoOf all of the new Colossal pieces Titano is the one that I am most likely to play as more than just a retaliation piece. The major reason for that is his low price of 75 points for 9 clicks that includes a stop click with Colossal Retaliation. It also doesn’t hurt that he also has a great trait, “MONKEY SEE LOIS, MONKEY DO: When a friendly character named Lois Lane moves, after actions resolve Titano can be given a move action as a free action to move up to the same number of squares. When a friendly character named Lois Lane makes an attack targeting an opposing character, after actions resolve Titano can make a close combat attack as a free action.” Metropolis teams will be making a monkey out of opposing teams.

The 90's are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

4. SMWW041AE Superman Blue He is that 50 point value where you would look for him to be a support figure. For his price you get a great taxi with a trait that protects your team from pulse wave. His 18 defense and energy shield/deflection will mean that your opponent will need to get pretty lucky to hit him from range. His 7 range, running shot, and energy explosion will punish opposing figures that group together.

Krypto

3. SMWW050 Krypto He’s a watch dog for your Kryptonians with his trait , “LOYAL COMPANION: When a friendly character named Superman, Superboy, or Supergirl within 8 squares takes damage from an attack, after actions resolve you may place Krypto in a square adjacent to the attacking character.” Beyond that he’s tiny, has 11 attack, he ignores shape change, and he ignores super senses.

Lois-Erica

Still the best Lois Lane.

2. SMWW047 Lois Lane For 45 points she has outwit, willpower, and the Superman TA. But what make really good is how hard she is to KO. Her special power states, “HUNTING DOWN A LEAD: Opposing characters can’t draw lines of fire to Lois Lane unless they are within 2 squares or she’s adjacent to a friendly character.” On top of that she has a second special power that states, “HE’S HERE WHEN I NEED HIM: Adjacent friendly characters named Superman can use Defend. If this power is revealed when taking damage from an opposing character’s attack, stop turning the dial. If you do, you may place a friendly character named Superman adjacent to Lois Lane.” Taken together those two powers mean you have to get next to Lois to hurt her and if you do hurt her then you’ll find yourself nose-to-nose with Superman. He’ll probably drop a car on you next turn.

lorilemaris_1200_835_81_s

1. SMWW042 Lori LemarisI love characters with Interesting traits that make you want to build a fun team around them. In this case Lori’s Trait, “THE SEA SINGS OF THEM: When Lori Lemaris or a friendly character named Mermaid is KO’d by an opposing character, opposing characters within 5 squares of the KO’d character that are occupying water terrain are each dealt 2 penetrating damage.” She begs to be used on a fully water map and/or with JLTW029 Ocean Master. And nothing says you can’t use multiples of her. Imagine your opponent KOing one of her and then taking 6 penetrating damage back in return.

On top of her great trait that she brings really good stats to the table. 11 starting attack doesn’t happen very often on a piece that is 45 points. In fact the only cheaper character in modern with 11 starting attack is… the mermaid from this set. Add to that triple target mind control (with no feedback damage), willpower, and a 19 defense when she is in water and you’ll really start to wonder why she is only 45 points.

Top Ten Figures in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN:

Superman

10. SMWW049 SupermanSome figures get a lot more millage out of the special powers granted by resources and/or entities. This is one of those figures. With nine clicks of life and 12 starting attack those stats are great for his point value. However the starting sidestep is a bit disappointing. Resources and/or entities can correct that problem. You should also factor in his awesome trait, “THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME: At the end of your turn, if Superman was given a non-free action this turn and an opposing force has more characters on the map than your force, place an Outnumbered token on this card. Give Superman a free action and remove 2 Outnumbered tokens from this card to make a close or ranged combat attack.” Given the right support this figure can be one of the top figures in the game.

batmanvsuperman-xlarge

Example Team: World’s Finest Dawn of Justice (keyword: Justice League)

  • SMWW049 Superman
  • JLTW051R Batman
  • AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (2 Assigned Characters)
  • Justice League ATA
  • ID Card of your choice
  • Total=300 points

The phoenix force with two assigned characters gives out starting running shot and +1 damage! Add that to Superman’s Sidestep, his range, and Batman’s TK – you’ll be able to make a ranged attack into the opposing starting area starting from your starting area. If your THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME trait is active, you’ll be able to do absurd things like have Superman move 12 spaces and make a free action close combat attack (with an ultra heavy) while carrying Batman (who can use outwit perplex and Prob to help you)!

General Lane

9. SMWW028 General Lane Most sets have a 50 point uber-support figure and in this set General Lane is it… except that he only costs 40 points. What he brings to the table is a trait that grants the friendly figures Superman Enemy TA, he has the Police TA, enhancement, and leadership that can remove a action token from ANY soldier regardless of point cost. I’d strongly consider putting the general in charge of any team army of soldiers.

This seems excessive...

4th of July Apokolips style.

8.  SMWW019B Brutaal I’m a fan of characters that are immune to outwit and have high attack values. Brutaal is nearly immune to outwit and has highest consistent attack values I have ever seen… assuming you can get to your opponents side of the board. His starting click is super impressive, but with hypersonic and a possible 13 attack on click 2 you shouldn’t be afraid to push him.

Gal-Gadot-Wonder-Woman-Costume

7. SMWW033 Wonder Woman It took a while for me to decide, but I believe Wonder Woman is the best 200 point deity in this set. (sorry SMWW023 Apollo and SMWW037 First Born) All 3 of them have the impressive trait, “DIVINE AURA: Wonder Woman can’t be targeted by opposing Outwit or Probability Control unless the targeting character is more points or has the Deity keyword.” But, there are three reasons why I believe Wonder Woman is the best. She has the Mystics TA, she has the THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME trait, and she has better keywords.

"No, seriously, any second now, I'm totally gonna fly!"

6. SMWW065E SupermanWith SMWW049 Superman, SMWW019B Brutaal, and now SMWW065E Superman 175 points is the place to be when fielding a Superman (or faux Superman). This Superman shares the same trait as the other two figures, “WAIT, THAT’S NOT SUPERMAN…: If Superman is on your sideline when your opponent’s force is revealed and your force includes a character named Superman or Superboy of an equal or higher point value, you may replace that character with Superman. If you do, Superman begins the game with an action token.” What makes him better than the other 175 point Supermen on this list is his starting hypersonic and his incredible two stop clicks on the end of his dial. It reads, “WINTER PALACE: Superman can use Barrier, Regeneration, and Super Senses. When this click is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial, and after actions resolve give the attacker an action token. If you can’t, deal that character 1 penetrating damage.” It will be very hard for any solo character to knock this guy out.

Brainiac_Red_Son_001

5. SMWW063P BrainiacOf the two possessors in the set, this one offers better powers (outwit, psychic blast, regeneration), but not as long of a dial. So depending on how long of a dial the character has that you want to possess, SMWW055P Eclipso may be better. However if you do chose to go with Brainiac, his mid dial special white power can be game breaking. It reads, “WORLD IS RUNNING LIKE CLOCKWORK: Once per turn when an opposing character is given a power action, you may immediately remove an action token from Brainiac.” If you chose to possess a character that starts at multiple point levels you may be able to start with this power.

Brimstone DCAU

4. SMWWG003P BrimstoneThis the best of the retaliation attackers because you will ALSO get to retaliate with his penetrating poison after making your attack.  It’s true his retaliation attack area of affect isn’t as large as someone like the Atom, but that just means it will be very easy to not damage your own team in the process. I suggest leaving this guy in your starting area and letting your opponent trigger him.  At 20 points each you can even play multiples of him. You can only use one a turn, but you’ll have multiple “Brimstone Bombs” to throw at an opponent over the course of a game.

Example Team: Apokolips Now! (keyword: Apokolips)

  • SMWW019B Brutaal
  • JLTW206 Parademon
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • SMWWG003P Brimstone
  • Total=300 points

So using this team you can just send in Brutaal in as a distraction and let your opponent hit him. Hopefully you can mastermind all of the damage over to your Parademon. That first attack will start an unfortunate chain of events (for your opponent). On your turn your first Brimstone launches out of your starting area. It lands and immediately does an attack and then gets to do penetrating poison against any of opponents pieces that it’s touching. Your opponent might not realize that this will keep happening every time his attacks hit (including attacking a brimstone) until you run out of Brimstones or your opponent runs out of friendly figures. Probably that second one.

Red Son Wonder Woman

3. SMWW066 Wonder WomanAt 165 points this version of Wonder Woman is just really efficient for her points. Her 19 starting defense is really unusual for primary  attackers under 200 points and her opening powers of hypersonic speed, super strength, and invincible are perfect. She never dips below a 10 attack value, her dial is 9 clicks long and, and she has a stop click with regeneration. Even when damaged, she very dangerous on every click. On top of all that she has the trait that protects her team, “COMMUNISM IS SOCIAL JUSTICE: When a friendly character with a lower point value than Wonder Woman is targeted with an attack, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.

artemisa

2. SMWW025 ArtemisJust like 175 points seems to be the sweet spot for Supermen, 125 points is the sweet spot for amazons. Artemis is my favorite because ever since the days of SI008B Ms. Marvel, I’ve had a real appreciation for flying, stealthy, close combat pieces.  Artemis starts with Stealth, Flight, charge, indomitable, invulnerability and willpower. She has great attack values that remind me a lot of Brutaal, a dial that’s effective for all 8 clicks, and the and the Divine Aura Trait shared by all the deity. But what really puts her over the top is her special power, “I LOVE A CHALLENGE: When Artemis attacks only the highest point opposing character, modify her attack and damage values by +1 for the attack, and the damage dealt is penetrating damage.” She is definitely the best character in this set unless Wizkids choses to create a figure that disrupts the basic rules of the game. But they’d never do that…

MrMxyzptlk

1. SMWW060 Mr. MxyzptlkSo Wizkids created a figure that messes with one of the most basic rules of the game. Now instead of you rolling your dice, your opponent essentially chooses if he likes what you rolled and if not he changes it. It’s not like Probability Control, you don’t get to try again and range is not a factor. He changes it and now that is what you’ve rolled. His trait reads, “MESSING AROUND WITH THE ODDS: At the beginning of the game, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Give Mr. Mxyzptlk a power action if there is no d6 on this card, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Whenever any dice that can be rerolled are rolled (including as part of a 2d6 roll), you may remove the d6 from this card and replace one of those die results with the rolled result from the d6 removed from this card.” There are so many times that anything Mr. Mxyzptlk rolls can be used, you don’t really realize it until you play against him. If he has a 1 showing then your opponent should expect to be the victim of a critical miss soon. 6 means that a critical hit for your team is coming. With a 5 he could guarantee you make a super senses roll. With a 4 he can guarantee that your opponent misses his super senses roll. A 3 can guarantee your opponent can’t break away. A 2 almost guarantees your opponent’s best attacker will miss next turn. And there are tons of other uses for his messing with the odds trait . If your opponent is using blades/claws/fangs or regeneration then they are at his mercy. So far I have not played a game against him without him turning one of my rolls that would have hit into a critical miss. That’s a huge swing in any game. And that’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

Wait… That’s Not Superman!! Actually, It’s More Like 16 of Them… (Or, a Top Ten Set Review for Superman/Wonder Woman!!)

Oh, so you didn’t think there were enough versions of Superman in SLoSH, eh?

Oooooh, it’s good to be back. Today, we’re going to dive into the just released Superman/Wonder Woman DC Heroclix set! We haven’t seen much from the DC side of things in a little while (even for a huge Avengers fan like myself, this summer featured perhaps a bit too much face time for the ever-assembling heroes), but that’s about to change as the first of two straight DC-focused sets has just dropped!

Before we get into the individual pieces, though, let’s discuss…

Some Notes About the Set

Some General Notes About the Set:

–While there are some individual standout pieces (who we’ll obviously get to in a moment), Superman/Wonder Woman is definitely a step backwards in terms of overall power level. Not that this really comes as a big surprise–I think WizKids has been deliberately doing this for a while now, starting all the way back in May with Avengers Assemble. It seems like WizKids has been making a concentrated effort to dial back the game’s Power Creep, and with that in mind, Avengers Assemble featured a ton of 9 and 10 Attack Values, as did the Limited Edition Age of Ultron Organized Play set that proceeded it this summer.

(Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the outlier–that set was absolutely LOADED with Meta power pieces. Holy $#!t was that a dynamic set.)

Superman/Wonder Woman goes about containing Power Creep in a different way, I think. You see Attack Values of 10 or 11 quite often, and many pieces start with 4 or even 5 Damage top dial (I mean, it’s called Superman/Wonder Woman, so you’d expect some decent Damage Values). But if you look closely, many of the best pieces have simple Standard Power sets on their first click, and don’t get any elaborate, gamechanging Special Powers until Click 2 or Click 3.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Less Special Powers on Common & Uncommon pieces is another conscious design decision by WizKids, and it’s something we should see more of going forward–but they’re doing that to sort of clean the game up a little bit and make it less complicated, not so much as a counter to Power Creep.]

Let’s do a quick case study with NFAOS056 Nick Fury (a Super Rare from the last set) and SMWW064 Green Light (a brand new Red Son Chase from Superman/Wonder Woman).

Nick Fury SR

Nick Fury’s got great stats for his cost (120 Points), every sort of Improved Targeting you could realistically expect and an absolutely killer Trait. Beyond that, his Special Damage Power (WATCHER’S EYES TO SEE SECRETS: Nick Fury can use Probability Control. Give Nick Fury a free action and choose a power that an opposing character within range and line of fire can use. That character can’t use that power until your next turn.) appears right there on his top Click. Fury is already a Meta staple and will stay that way until he rotates out in two years (assuming WizKids doesn’t find a way to nerf him between now and then).

Green Light

Green Light has decent stats for his cost (90 Points) and a somewhat useless Trait unless you are planning on putting together the swarm team to end all swarm teams, but he’s also been blessed with an unbelievably powerful Special Attack Power (Box Within A Box Within An Infinite Number Of Boxes: Green Light can use Barrier. When he does, instead of placing markers normally, you may choose a single base opposing character within range and line of fire and place a blocking terrain marker in each unoccupied square adjacent to the character. That character gains earthbound/neutralized until your next turn. At the beginning of your next turn before removing the markers, give the chosen character an action token if it’s adjacent to at least three of these markers.).

That’s a power that could quickly eat someone’s lunch; it’s a power that’s so useful that apparently WizKids had to make sure that you can’t access it until Green Light’s 3rd Click. Keep in mind, Green Light has a 17 Defense with just Toughness top dial, so it’s not impossible for someone to hit him so hard that never really gets a chance to use it.

This is a common theme throughout this expansion. If you look at a character’s card from this set and see an awesome Special Power, I’ll guarantee that that character doesn’t get to use said power until they’re at least halfway to being KO’d.

–In that same vein, there’s a lot of great Common dials in Superman/Wonder Woman that look great when examined as a whole, but when you look at that starting Click, they give you kind of a sick feeling in your stomach. What?! Common Superman has an 11 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Invincible and the JSA Team Ability and 4 native Damage top dial?! AND he has 8 clicks for just 100 Points?! Sign me up!!

Well… he also just has Leap/Climb for Movement (doesn’t even have the Wing Symbol) and no Willpower of any kind. He also doesn’t have the Justice League keyword, either, so he’s not the easiest guy to throw in a Build.

It seems like some of the recent rules overhauls are trending towards making it very difficult to play both an Entity and a Resource Attachment on one character (although your guess is as good as ours at this point as to what WizKids really intends to do there), so fixing things like “no move-and-attack top dial” are going to be a little more difficult going forward.

–Or not. Did I mention that NO ONE IS QUITE SURE EXACTLY HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME AT THE MOMENT?! I actually tried explicitly asking whether Entities and Resource Attachments could be used by the same character at the same time on the WizKids Event System Rules Forum, and instead of posting an answer, their rules folks just e-mailed this:

Morpheus 2

Seriously, someone might want to get on that.

–From an aesthetic point of view, the sculpts are more subtle in this set. It doesn’t have the abundance of translucent flash that, say, Flash had, but the articulation is phenomenal. It seems like WizKids gets better every set at depicting motion–just look at Krypto’s lil’ cape if you don’t believe me!

Alright! Enough notations. Let’s get into the…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

This seems excessive...

The fire seems excessive…

5. SMWW019B BrutaalUncommon Prime175 Points: Very much a “does what it says on the box” sort of figure. His top Click is absolutely murderous (Running Shot, Pen/Psy, Invincible AND Shape Change), but he only has conditional Willpower via a Trait (basically, you have to be on your opponent’s side of the map–not always easy, but hardly impossible). His Attack Value also stays consistently high throughout his entire dial (once the game gets going, it’s not hard to keep him at a 12 Attack unless your playing against Nighthawk Prime), and his third Trait makes him really tough to Outwit (SPAWN OF APOKOLIPS: Brutaal can use Super Strength. Opposing characters can’t target him with Outwit unless it is granted by the Superman Enemy team ability.).

The only thing I really don’t like here is that even at 175 Points, Brutaal is REALLY top-heavy; pushing him to Click 2 is fine, and Click 3 is still misery for your opponent, but if Brutaal ends up on anything after that, his effectiveness goes way down unless you are very close to your quarry–there is a HARD transition from heavy ranged hitter to close combat beatstick when you get to Click 4. There’s things you can do to compensate for this when building your team of course, but it’s something you will have to be mindful of as you’re playing him. Having said that, his nigh-unOutwittable top dial Invincible should help keep him in that first-3-Clicks-sweet spot long enough to put a serious hurt on whoever you’re playing.

Yes, occasionally Green Lanterns sneeze, and no, it's not pretty...

Yes, occasionally Green Lanterns sneeze in space, and no, it’s not pretty…

4. SMWW035 Green LanternRare180 Points: His dial is actually somewhat similar to Brutaal’s, except Green Lantern turns into more of a gunner down dial. His main advantage over pieces like Brutaal is that he can resurrect himself via his awesomely-named Trait (THE GREEN WILL NOT LET ME DIE: The first time each game that Green Lantern would be KO’d, instead turn him to click #5, then for the rest of the game when Green Lantern clears action tokens, you may heal him 1 click. This ability can’t be ignored.).

Lana Lang

3. SMWW029 Lana LangUncommon50 Points: Lana makes this list just for her sheer value. You get three Clicks of support-y powers like Empower and her Special Attack (THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW: ALL THE SHOCKING DETAILS… FULL COVERAGE AT 8: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an opposing character within 4 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character’s combat values can’t be increased or replaced with a value higher than its printed values.) THAT IS EVEN BETTER THAN NIGHTHAWK PRIME’S TRAIT*, since it also stops replacement values!!

(*This statement assumes that Lana Lang starts her turn within four squares of the opposing character you wish to shut down. Oh, and it also assumes the targeted character doesn’t have Stealth, and isn’t hiding behind another character, or a wall, or is sitting on a different elevation, since Lana needs line of sight, and–oh, wait a minute. Lana can only do this to one opposing character, whereas Nighthawk stops your opponent’s entire force from increasing stats… SIGH. Okay, I guess it’s not nearly as good as Nighthawk Prime’s Trait. But it’s still pretty damn useful.)

So that’s a decent amount of supporting abilities–maybe not entirely enough to justify her 50 Points, but not bad. But then, if she takes just three damage (whether through pushing damage or just absorbing enemy attacks, which would be even better), she morphs into a pretty good tertiary attacker with Wing Symbol, Charge, B/C/F, Super Senses and Toughness, which she keeps FOR FOUR MORE CLICKS!! That’s right, you get 7 quality Clicks for the low, low cost of 50 Points! It’s like they pulled a dial from Hypertime into the future, made it more useful but kept the point cost the same.

"Yep. Just out here in deep space... posing."

Yep. Just out here in deep space… posing.

2. SMWW013B Captain AtomCommon Prime130 Points: The good Captain here offers a top Click that is almost identical to Brutaal’s (the Movement Value and Damage Value for Captain Atom is 1 less) first Click, except that Captain Atom adds in Indomitable and he costs 45 Points less!! Brutaal does have some built-in Outwit protection, but not 45 Points worth. I mean, before you get too wrapped up in the fact that Brutaal does 1 more Damage than Captain Atom, remember that you could actually play, say, Captain Atom and Fast Forces Fitz (who brings lil’ H.E.N.R.Y. with him) for just about the same amount of points!

Clark Kent

1. SMWW026 Clark KentUncommon55 Points: One of my favorite pieces from the set. Clark has a pretty good Reporter Trait (THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW: YOUR PLANS: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an opposing character within 4 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given power actions.)–and remember, he has the Superman Team Ability so he can see through Stealth–he starts with Stealth and Prob and, on his back half, has the ability to summon a Superman Token with Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength.

WizKids has done an awesome job designing these “Token Creator” pieces, and I hope this is a sub-theme they continue in the future!!

Okay! That’s a solid group of honorable mentions, which can only mean that it’s time to start counting down the…

Top Ten Twelve Figures in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN:

So, while there isn’t necessarily as many Meta pieces in this set as there were in Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., there are twelve more figures worth spotlighting. And hell, it seems like I can never just narrow it down to ten anyway. So like Tony Stark likes to say… here goes nuthin’!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wrong universe, moron.]

Concept art from Peter Jackson’s studio-thwarted ‘King Kong 2: Electric Bugaloo.'”

12. SMWWG005R TitanoSuper Booster75 Points: On a different character, Leap/Climb and Close Combat Expert would be a pretty sub-standard power mix. But with the new Giant Reach rules established just a few days ago by WizKids in their DesignInsight column, Titano here now has the ability to make a close combat attack from 3 squares away. Which means he can activate Close Combat Expert from three squares away. Suddenly your 75-Point investment essentially has the equivalent of the ability to Charge 4 Squares with a 10 Attack and 3 Damage AND activate CCE on top of it.

But we’re not done. Throw Lois Lane on your team (she’s only 45 Points, shares the Metropolis keyword with Titano, brings a Stealth-busting Outwit, a 6 native Movement Value, is REALLY tough to target at range AND has a Stop Click if you’re also playing a Superman) and suddenly, because of Titano’s first Trait (MONKEY SEE LOIS, MONKEY DO: When a friendly character named Lois Lane moves, after actions resolve Titano can be given a move action as a free action to move up to the same number of squares. When a friendly character named Lois Lane makes an attack targeting an opposing character, after actions resolve Titano can make a close combat attack as a free action.), you have a Colossal Robot Gorilla who can cover up to 9 Squares in a turn and STILL activate Close Combat Expert!!

Let’s see what this looks like as a Build:

Titano 2

Team Name: Metropo-lease Put Me Down!!

Theme: Metropolis

Map Choice Preference: Nothing specific, although the easier it is for Lois to actually move around on her own–remember, she can’t have lines of fire drawn to her by opposing characters unless they’re within 2 Squares or she’s adjacent to a friendly character, so you don’t have to worry about ranged attacks picking her off–the easier it will be for Titano to move and attack.

Roster:

SMWWG005R Titano – 75 Points

SMWW047 Lois Lane 45

SMWW049 Superman 175

=295 Points

What This Build Does: In a no-Resource environment, this should be a pretty competitive Build. You can actually split Lois and Superman up and be fairly confidant nothing will happen to Lois. Just make sure that when Lois grants Titano a free movement, DO NOT finish Titano’s move action with him adjacent to Lois if you can help it. Other than that, feel free to move Lois up, Outwit any bothersome dampeners on opposing figures and then bring the boom with Titano, all in the same turn.

The SR Superman from the same set is a close combat beast with one problem (well, one main problem, at least. There are several others that combined to keep him off of this list.)–he only has Sidestep for move and attack on his top Click. After you split him off just a bit from Titano and Lois, if your opponent choses to come after Supes, no problem–he possesses  a long dial, great stats and the “Odds Are Against Me” running Trait that lets him build up tokens he can cash in for free attacks. Plus, as we stated, Lois and Titano can cross a map in a hurry.

If they come after Lois first, assuming they can even get close enough to hit her, her dial ends on a Stop Click that lets you physically place Superman in any adjacent Square AND lets that Superman use Defend.

As far as Lois goes, she just barely missed the cut on my list, particularly since this was the only Build I really liked her for. I know, the same could be said about Titano–they kind of need each other–but Titano’s really doing the heavy lifting here between the two of them, and his Stop Click (COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: Titano can use Toughness. If Titano began the game on the 20-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation. When this power is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing character’s attack, stop turning the dial. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) can’t be countered or Ignored AND his Attack Special grants you at least one last smackdown (COLOSSAL RETALIATION: TWO-FIST PUNCH: Give Titano a free action if no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked Titano or damaged a friendly character since your last turn. Place Titano such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then make two separate close combat attacks targeting the chosen character each with an area of effect that includes all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.).

(Btw, if you actually have Chase Red Son Superman, go ahead and disregard everything I said about the SR Superman and just use him.)

I can NOT believe our Tommy Guns are not taking down this gigantic tank!

11. SMWWG006P War WheelSuper Booster15 Points: War Wheel is here because it has my favorite Colossal Retaliation power, which just happens to be it’s only Trait: (COLOSSAL RETALIATION: CRUSH WITH GIANT SPIKES: Give War Wheel a power action if no other Colossal Retaliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked War Wheel or damaged a friendly character since your last turn and occupies the same row or column as War Wheel. Place War Wheel in any 4 squares in the same rows or columns that contain both all of War Wheel and the chosen character. Make a close combat attack whose area of effect is all characters in those rows or columns between where War Wheel began this action and the squares it currently occupies. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.) It’s also here because it costs just 15 Points. 15 freaking Points!! But beyond the Trait, hell, just try finding a Bystander Pog with Indomitable and a 10 Attack Value for 15 Points. Now find one with Sidestep, Toughness, 3 Damage and a 7 Range!! Go ahead, find one. I’ll wait.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, I will not wait. We’re like 2500 words in and still have a lot of ground to cover. On to Blazing Atomic Skull!]

Atomic Skull

10. SMWW054 Atomic SkullSuper Rare150 Points: For 150 Points, you kind of get exactly the sort of stats and power mix you might expect. Running Shot with a mediocre Range (6). 11 Attack, which is fine, but nothing you haven’t seen before. 18 Defense with a dampener. Pretty standard. 4 Damage top dial is nice, but certainly not unheard of. Then you read his one Special Power, which sits in his Attack slot for his first four Clicks (IONIZING RADIATION: Atomic Skull can use Energy Explosion, Poison, and deals penetrating damage.). Wow! He’s the first character I can think of that deals Penetrating Damage with no ifs, ands or buts.

You want to give him a Bulldozer Construct and have him blow someone with Impervious off a rooftop? All of his Knockback damage is penetrating. That vanilla Poison his Special grants him? He might as well be a Red Lantern, cuz that’s all Penetrating damage. Any attack or effect you can think of with him deals Penetrating damage, which basically means he doesn’t have to be afraid of anyone.

Krypto

9. SMWW050 KryptoSuper Rare50 Points: Possibly the most efficient character in the set for his cost (#2 on this list might have an argument, but we’ll see). Need to bust some opposing Stealth? Krypto has the Superman Ally. Super Senses? He comes packing Precision Strike. Shape Change? His Special Damage power sniffs that out (KRYPTONIAN NOSE: Krypto ignores opposing character’s Shape Change.).

His Trait (LOYAL COMPANION: When a friendly character named Superman, Superboy, or Supergirl within 8 squares takes damage from an attack, after actions resolve you may place Krypto in a square adjacent to the attacking character.) is mildly helpful depending on whether or not you’re building a literal Super-team around him, but his Movement Special (SIC ‘EM, BOY!: Krypto can use Charge and Plasticity.) not only allows him to go on the attack when you need him to, but it also adds Hypersonic Speed to the list of opposing abilities that Krypto takes a bite out of.

No, I’m not ‘Apokolips Bane!’ I’m Brimstone, dammit!

8. SMWWG003R Brimstone Super Booster75 Points: 7 Clicks, Sidestep, 6 Range with an incredible top dial Pulse Wave Special Attack Power (THROWING FIREBALLS: Brimstone can use Pulse Wave. When he does you may choose an unoccupied square within 6 squares and line of fire and he can use Pulse Wave as if he occupied that square.), Penetrating Poison and the obligatory Colossal Retaliation and Indifference powers.

The Pulse Wave is what earns him this spot though; we’ve seen similar versions of this sort of Pulse Wave before (the GOTG Movie Starter comes to mind), but it’s always been limited in some way (usually it’s only usable once per game). The fact that he can do it every turn puts him at #8.

The least

The least “creeper-ish” image of Vartox. Yes, I said the least.

8.  SMWW052E Vartox Super Rare150 Points: This is where the Meta-relevant pieces really start. At 150 Points, Varty gives you Hypersonic Speed, Probability Control and the chance to do a boatload of damage (7) with his Super Strength. His Trait (THE REST OF THE HYPER-POWERS: Give Vartox a free action and choose a standard speed, attack, or defense power that you didn’t choose during your last turn. Until your next turn Vartox can use that power instead of the power in that slot on his dial.) also gives him a wide amount of sneaky versatility. Oh, your opponent just got three damage through on him and thinks he doesn’t have to worry about Hypersonic Speed anymore? Sorry, Vartox can get it back whenever he wants. And so on.

He’s not Zombie Super Skrull, but he’s not far off either, and he saves you 20 Points in your Build, which could be the difference in a Meta-Build between playing a Resource and not playing a Resource. If you can manage to keep him top dial, he will be a nightmare for your opponent.

No, seriously, any second now, I’m totally gonna fly!

6. SMWW065E SupermanChase175 Points: Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Impervious and 4 Damage top dial. His Trait (CRIMINALS BECOME “SUPERMAN ROBOTS”: When Superman hits an opposing character with a close combat attack, put a Lobotomy token on its card. Give Superman a power action and remove any number of his Lobotomy tokens to have Superman use Mind Control as a free action targeting those characters that had at least 1 token removed, regardless of range or line of fire.) lets him Mind Control characters he’s hit FOR FREE and, if none of that works, he has TWO Stop Click Specials (WINTER PALACE: Superman can use Barrier, Regeneration, and Super Senses. When this click is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial, and after actions resolve give the attacker an action token. If you can’t, deal that character 1 penetrating damage.) that actually token the attacker that hit you, which should give you time to actually USE your Regeneration.

Unless your opponent is able to finish Supes off with Pulse Wave, the Red Son is almost impossible to kill.

First Born

5. SMWW037 First BornRare200 Points: So all article we’ve been talking about all the great changes WizKids made to Giant and Colossal characters, and the fact that First Born is Giant-Sized helps him out immensely. He doesn’t fly, but he’ll still have no problem with elevation.

He Charges up to 6 Squares on his first Click, and his Giant Reach gives him the ability to cover two more. He starts with 4 Damage and both Super Strength AND Exploit Weakness, so now he has a Threat Range of 8 Squares and up to 7 Penetrating Damage (assuming he picks up an Ultra-Heavy on the way).

First Born is also the beneficiary of the Divine Aura running Trait (DIVINE AURA: First Born can’t be targeted by Outwit or Probability Control from opposing characters unless the targeting character has a higher point value or has the Deity keyword.) that many of the Deity-keyworded figures in this have, which means that unless your opponent built their team around NFAOS050 Thor (the only Meta-worthy Deity piece I can think of at the moment, although I’m sure I’m forgetting a few) AND found a way to give her Outwit, First Born’s powers aren’t going anywhere (trust me, your opponent isn’t crazy enough to play a piece that costs more than 200 Points, unless he’s going with a Team Base or something, so the first clause of First Born’s Trait isn’t really gonna matter most of the time). And with two Clicks of Invincible right at the top, First Born can soak up Damage like nobody’s business.

His second Trait (SCION OF HATE: All characters within 3 squares can use Battle Fury. Friendly characters adjacent to First Born modify their attack values by +1.) is interesting as well. He becomes even MORE intriguing when you play him with a Resource like, oh, I dunno, the Indigo Power Battery. If you give First Born the Indigo Wall Construct, depending on what Map your using, you can make it almost impossible for First Born to be shot at from range. Which makes it that much more likely that the 8-Square, 7 Penetrating Damage Charge I mentioned earlier might just be an Alpha Strike. It’ll be like playing Ghost Rider  in the Meta of mid-2013 all over again, only First Born might even be BETTER.

Eclipso

4. SMWW055P EclipsoSuper Rare25 Points: Even with the new Equip rules and all the chaos that has caused, Possession is still a Meta-worthy enhancement. And of the two Possessors in the set (Red Son Brainiac also Possesses), Eclipso is the best.

Right off the bat you have access to Stealth, Precision Strike, Impervious or Shape Change. Those are all great powers. Eclipso’s stats are also pretty good, as you might expect, since you’re gaining access to a 250 Point dial. Down dial, turning onto some Pen/Psy or Probability Control could be the difference in a game that’s running long.

Red Son Wonder Woman

3. SMWW066 Wonder Woman Chase165 Points: Quite simply, Chase Red Son Wonder Woman is Point-for-Point the best Primary Attacker in the set. For only 165 Points you get Hypersonic Speed, Super Strength, a 19 freaking Defense Value with Invincible and she deals at least 4 Damage when she hits.

She also has a Stop Click and a Trait (COMMUNISM IS SOCIAL JUSTICE: When a friendly character with a lower point value than Wonder Woman is targeted with an attack, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.) that’ll do wonders in terms of keeping supporting characters alive.

A brutally efficient package.

The 90's are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

The 90’s are back, and they brought their Superman with them. (Artwork by Sassophilaco sassophiliaco.deviantart.com)

2. SMWW041AE Superman BlueRare 50 Points: Oh boy, do I love me some 50 Point Taxi/Supporting Characters. Supes Blue is definitely that, but he has Secondary Attacker power sets and stats, too. He also can protect anyone he Carries from Pulse Wave, which is not nothing in the Meta.

While your opponent will need a 20 to hit him from range top dial, Supes Blue can always be pushed onto his second Click, where he has Hypersonic Speed, 3 Damage and Perplex!

He very much reminds me of a slightly more expensive Fear Itself Loki. Sometimes, big things come in small (mostly white and blue) packages, and this 50-Pointer is a gem.

Oh look–you missed another roll! Guess I’m only giving out Tricks this year, which is a Treat. For me.

1. SMWW060 Mr. MxyzptlkSuper Rare70 Points: I know. You thought WizKids learned their lesson about making pieces that offer ridiculous levels of board control for under 100 Points. Well… they didn’t.

Mxy here is not as broken as Felix Faust was this summer, but that doesn’t exactly mean he’s fair, either. His ridiculously useful Trait (MESSING AROUND WITH THE ODDS: At the beginning of the game, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Give Mr. Mxyzptlk a power action if there is no d6 on this card, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and place the rolled result on this card. Whenever any dice that can be rerolled are rolled (including as part of a 2d6 roll), you may remove the d6 from this card and replace one of those die results with the rolled result from the d6 removed from this card.) essentially means that every d6 or 2d6 roll goes through you. I cannot emphasize how much paralyzing stress this puts on your opponent’s decision making, particularly if you’re sitting on a 1, 5 or 6.

With a 5 or 6 showing, anyone on your team with either Shape Change or Super Senses has a backup d6 roll that will automatically allow that ability to succeed. Need to really hit that Leadership this turn? You’re golden. Roll a six and a one and just miss? Sub in that 6 sitting on Mxy’s card and all of the sudden you have a Critical Hit.

Conversely, your opponent will be DEATHLY afraid of attacking anyone if you have a 1 showing. Normally, you would have about a 1 in 36 chance (roughly 2.78%) of rolling a Critical Miss. But if you are able to change either of the d6 rolls to a 1 with Mxy, suddenly those odds shoot up dramatically (each d6 your opponent rolls has roughly a 16.6% chance of ending up on 1),

And these are just the most basic and obvious uses. Even a 3 or a 4 can be gamechanging if it guarantees your opponent misses that Super Senses roll or subs in for a 1 to make sure you hit with an attack. There’s really a bunch of sneaky plays you can make with this guy–and we haven’t even talked about his 18 Defense with Super Senses, his Quintessence Team Ability or any of his 3 Specials, including his Pulse Wave Special Attack Power on Click 2 that allows you to completely incapacitate any opposing characters you hit while avoiding giving any damage or tokens to your own folks.

This is the best figure in the set, and it’s not close.

 

Agree? Disagree? Post your opinion by leaving a comment, and let us know which pieces are in your Top Ten!

Team Ideas–Special Gen Con Edition!!

Idea

Okay! Annnnnd, we’re back with a very special Team Ideas column!

Gen Con is coming up, and we’re going to be publishing a series of team-building teams for several of the Gen Con-exclusive WizKids events that were recently announced! While it wasn’t clear for a while if WizKids would even BE at Gen Con, their recent announcements not only confirmed their appearance but also delineated several new game types that players could prepare for.

Many of these games are great because their Build possibilities are nearly endless. Regardless, Ninwashui and I are going to posit several Builds and then choose the one we like best to take to Gen Con!

Today, I’m gonna focus on the Rumbles! We’ll start with the…

MARVEL HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

WizKids Says: “All players bring 5 Marvel Comics HeroClix Modern Age figures with them; one for each of the following point values: 0-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and 201-250. Players begin the game with only the lowest point value figure on their force. Every 5 minutes after the beginning of the game, players place the next highest point value figure on the map next to one of their figures or in their starting area. Players must play in the complete event in order to get their participation prizes.

What We Assume That Means: So, we’re going to take these Build rules at face value. We’re going to assume this means that you’re not building a FORCE per se, but rather taking 5 individual figures that will be played together with the 5-minute timing caveat. Which means no Themed Team rules (so no Themed Team probs, etc.), no Relics and no Resources. Also, only your 0-50 Point character will actually BEGIN THE GAME on the map, so characters with effects that go off at the beginning of the game (Chase Rick Jones and his supporting POG’s, for example) are going to be neutered some.

Also, while I see nothing in here disallowing Colossals (provided you play them at an eligible point level), I’m also going to assume that Team Bases are disallowed, since it seems that you add team members to the base during Force Construction and, again, you’re not constructing a Force here. And if you can’t add team members to your team base, then you have ZERO team members, and it’s pretty much automatically removed from the map (unless an effect specifies otherwise, team bases MUST have a minimum of three team members attached to it at all times). Further–and this is where the wording gets a little murky–team bases are (at least originally–I know there’s been some wording updates) defined thusly: “Characters with the new Team combat icon symbol are Teams.  A Team has locations on it where figures from corresponding SwitchClix bases can be placed.  Each such character is called a team member.” So, if we parse through WizKids’s wording there, even they seem to define Team Bases as “Teams” and individual team members as “figures.” And, going back to the original game posting, only “figures” are allowed, which means Team Bases should be ineligible. Right?

(Honestly, there are so many interpretations of Team Base rules out there, it’s hard to figure out what’s legit and what’s not–so we’re going to operate on the premise that they are not allowed for this game)

Okay! With all that legalese disseminated, let’s look at some Builds!!

Legalese

First up:

Lilandra

Team Name: So Long As My Lilandra Survives

Roster:
1-50: WXM005 Oracle49 Points

51-100: WXM052 Lilandra93 Points

101-150: WKM-013R Gladiator150 Points

151-200: WXM048 Warstar177 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator250 Points

Total Points Used: 719 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This is a pretty fun Build. You’re basically playing a “Best-of” Shi’ar team. But wait, you say, you just wrote a billion words on why Themed Teams don’t matter for this game. Yup. They don’t. You won’t get any Themed Team probs for fielding an all-Shi’ar squad. But what you will get is +1 to both Attack and Damage to every character on this team that stays within 8 squares of Lilandra, thanks to her Trait (DEFEND ME, SHI’AR WARRIORS!: Other friendly characters with the Shi’ar keyword and within 8 squares modify their attack values +1. Other friendly characters with the Imperial Guard keyword and within 8 squares modify their damage values +1.). That’s like 8 free Perplexes a turn.

Oracle, you’re starting character, offers Probability Control and Barrier, which you may need early on to keep Lilandra unharmed when she shows up after five minutes. You’re basically playing a keepaway game for the first ten minutes of the match, until Rookie Gladiator shows up. For those who haven’t seen this particular Gladiator, he heats up in a hurry. Provided that he hits the board within 8 squares of Lilandra (probable, since you can bring him in adjacent to her), you’re looking at a character who has Hypersonic Speed, a 13 Attack, 18 Defense with Invincible and 6 freaking Damage. He can start one-shotting your opponent’s characters IMMEDIATELY upon arrival.

Warstar and B’Nee are also capable of ruining your opponent’s day very quickly. Warstar can essentially Charge about 8 squares with his B’Nee shenanigans, and if he ends up attacking from within  8 squares of Lilandra, he’ll be rocking a 12 Attack and 5 Damage (and that’s if you DON’T use his Super Strength). He features an 18 Defense with Invincible, and if he still has B’Nee attached, his powers can’t be countered. All of which means he’ll be extremely tough to retaliate against. And, if your opponent does try to focus fire on Warstar, he gets Pulse Wave down dial, so he really only gets MORE dangerous.

Finally, Zombie Chase Gladiator from Guardians of the Galaxy is a great 250 Point option. Again, if you can keep Lilandra alive, you’re looking at a character that can come in with a Running Shot Pulse Wave that features a 12 Attack and 6 Damage!

Despite the fact that Themed Teams don’t matter in this sort of Build, it’s so synergistic that you’ll have a significant advantage over many of your opponents when it comes to buffs. Just remember to keep Lilandra as far back as possible while still allowing for her influence to reach the rest of your team. She is the key to your success.

 

When are we getting a Miguel Herrera Clix?

Actually, Miguel Herrera will not be appearing in this Build. But I think we’ve proved that we love this meme so much that we’ll run it for no reason whatsoever.

Team Name: Enormous Green Free Movement Monster!!

Roster:

1-50: FFOA006R Captain America50 Points

51-100: AVAS013B 3-D Man90 Points

101-150: FFOA003 Iron Man150 Points

151-200: AVX003 Thor200 Points

201-250: AAOU104 Hulk250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This one is pretty straight-forward. You’re using your first character, Cap, to give free movement to your other characters via his top dial Damage Special (AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE: Give Captain America a power action and choose another friendly character that shares a keyword with him and doesn’t have 2 action tokens. That character is immediately given a move action as a free action with their speed value halved for this action.). This should give you a leg up on board control, and given the firepower of your next four figures, you should be able to Alpha Strike your opponent’s pieces into oblivion.

 

Avengers Assemble Top Image

Team Name: Avengers Assemble!!

Roster:

1-50: AAOU015 Nick Fury45 Points

51-100: AAOU009 Hawkeye95 Points

101-150: AAOU005R Thor150 Points

151-200: AAOU008R Hulk200 Points

201-250: AAOU001 Iron Man250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Another Build where we’re using our starting piece–in this case, Nick Fury–to make all the pieces that come into play after him more efficient. The Avengers Assemble! Traits are all very good, but they have the possibility of completely ruining your opponent’s day if you’re allowed to pick the effect. That’s just what Fury’s Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…: When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) does 33% of the time.

Movie Hawkeye (from Age of Ultron) is an absolute beast for his points, and all the other members of the team, like Hawkeye, sport an easily exploitable Avengers Assemble! Trait. Oh, and if your opponent was counting on using any form of Stealth, he’s gonna be pretty pissed when he realizes that your entire team ignores it…

 

Zombie Villains

Team Name: Z-Virus Will See You Now

Roster:

1-50: FFDP006R Mercy50 Points

51-100: DP064 Electro90 Points

101-150: GOTG066 Red Skull120 Points

151-200: GOTG062 Super Skrull170 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator 250 Points

Total Points Used: 680 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Zombies, zombies everywhere! We’re running four Zombies with a rookie Mercy for support. She brings Flying, Phasing/Teleport, Telekinesis AND Probability Control, which are all things the Zombie pieces usually need.

Electro is, well, lightning in a bottle. He is straight offense and great at dishing out damage to multiple parties at once.

Red Skull is actually a slightly overcosted support-y type piece who also offers a decent amount of Penetrating close combat damage. But his Special Leadership Power (THE UBER-SCHEUSAL RACE: Red Skull can use Leadership as if he were 300 points. If he removes a token from a friendly character with the Hydra or Z-Virus keyword, modify that character’s combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is really useful for your final two hitters, and his third Trait (COLONEL AMERICA’S BRAINS WERE SO DELICIOUS…: When Red Skull uses Zombie Infection to add an opposing character to your force, Red Skull can use any standard powers that character possesses while it is on the map.) actually has the potential to make the Skull a very dangerous piece indeed.

Super Skrull is one of the most dominant tournament pieces in Modern right now, so he needs little explanation. And we just discussed Gladiator in the first entry.

Zombies as a group have decent values, but their true power lies in their ability to corrupt your opponent’s forces onto your side. Even if the early rolls don’t go your way, keep an open mind, because all it takes is one quick KO of any of your opponent’s pieces to turn the tide of the game to your favor in a hurry. Plus, their Zombie healing Trait means you don’t have to pack a dedicated healer. Having said that, Mercy might be able to help with that in a pinch, even though that’s not really her role on this team.

Incidentally, if you wanted to change the feel of this Build a little bit, you could substitute Zombie Magneto (13o Points) for Zombie Red Skull and/or Zombie Galactus for Super Skrull. Just keep in mind that Zombie Galactus doesn’t actually HAVE the Z-Virus keyword, so he doesn’t work with the other three Zombie characters in terms of building up Infection tokens and such.

So, personally, I would stick with Zombie Super Skrull since he’s, y’know, pretty good.

"Oh, so you're telling me Super Skrull is a good piece?"

Oh, so you’re telling me Super Skrull is a good piece?

So those are four possibilities for the Marvel Rumble (again, there are almost LIMITLESS combinations); now let’s take a look at the…

DC HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

WizKids Says: “All players bring 5 DC Comics HeroClix Modern Age figures with them; one for each of the following point values: 0-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and 201-250. Players begin the game with only the lowest point value figure on their force. Every 5 minutes after the beginning of the game, players place the next highest point value figure on the map next to one of their figures or in their starting area. Players must play in the complete event in order to get their participation prizes.

What We Assume That Means: Pretty much the same as we noted above, with the Marvel version. This game works exactly the same, only with DC characters.

Look, the easy way to go with the DC Rumble is to just field, like, three or four Bizarros and a Felix Faust. We’re not doing that here. We’re gonna try and be a little more creative. Having said that, don’t be surprised if you run into more than a few copies of those two characters.

With that said, here we go…

Secret Society of SUpervillains

Team Name: Mind Your Manners

Roster:

1-50: JLTW016 Signalman50 Points

51-100: JLTW032 Dr. Sivana83 Points

101-150: FL047 Zoom150 Points

151-200: FL056 Gorilla Grodd175 Points

201-250: JLTW059 Despero235 Points

Total Points Used: 693 out of a possible 750

How It Works: This team checks in closer to the “fun” side of the fun/competitive Heroclix Build Venn Diagram, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win with it. Signalman (yes, that Signalman) takes to the map first, and he’s there solely to help enable Mind Control shenanigans. His sole Trait (SYMBOLS AND SIGNS CONTROL OUR LIVES: At the beginning of the game, choose a combat symbol other than “boot symbol”, “fist symbol”, “shield symbol”, or “starburst symbol”. When an opposing character with the chosen symbol is targeted by Mind Control, modify that character’s defense value by -1 or, if Signalman is the attacker, by -2.) basically acts as a walking Perplex for any Mind Control attack you choose to launch at an opposing figure.

Your second piece to drop will be Dr. Sivana (yes, that Dr. Sivana), who offers an awesome Outwit Damage Special (EYE SEE YOUR MAGIC: Dr. Sivana can use Outwit. Dr. Sivana may activate Outwit with a power action and when he does, the countered power or ability is also countered on all opposing characters within 8 squares of Dr. Sivana that share a keyword with the target.) and protects everyone on the team from any possibility of Mystics damage with his only Trait (MAGIC AVOIDANCE: Friendly characters with the Secret Society of Super Villains keyword ignore the Mystics team ability.). He also offers down dial Mind Control, so he can eventually take advantage of Signalman’s Trait if Signalman is still around by that point.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, everyone and their mother will probably play Felix Faust in this slot; he is unquestionably a better choice, given that he’s the most broken character in the game–even more so when teamed with his Secret Society of Super Villains teammate Zoom and his multiple Probs. Well, we’re not going to be those people. Screw Felix Faust!!]

Zoom is, simply put, a pain in the backside to deal with. He gives you a great Hypersonic attacker who also offers some solid support.

Grodd is your first heavy hitter. Signalman’s Trait actually means that Grodd effectively has a 12 Attack for Mind Control, and if he hits with that, after actions resolve, he can use Penetrating/Psychic Blast as a Free Action AND takes no damage from Mind Control! He also has a 50% chance to be untargetable when he’s targeted with Mind Control, Outwit, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, or Perplex.

Finally, Despero’s Trait (PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Despero can’t be the target of Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast by characters of a lower point value.) also makes him hard to pin down with a plethora of attacks, and he packs a huge wallop on his own.

 

Sinestro Corps

Team Name: The Pieces You Have Come to Fear the Most

Roster:

1-50: WOL099 Despotellis30 Points

51-100: WOL021 Lyssa Drak91 Points

101-150: FLo53B Zoom (Black Lantern) — 120 Points

151-200: JLTW049 Sinestro200 Points

201-250: WOL041 Parallax (Hal Jordan) — 250 Points 

Total Points Used: 691 out of a possible 750

How It Works: When you choose Despotellis, you’re basically punting on first down with your first character, but in a way, so is your opponent. Look, it’s not impossible that your opponent will field someone at 50 Points who can hit Despotellis and his 20 Defense top dial (Bizarro at 50 Points with some dice luck would have a fighting chance), but it’s unlikely. Then Lyssa Drak comes in, and you suddenly have not just a Sidestepping Taxi for Despotellis but also a Barrier-laying supporting piece that can Prob opposing attacks from anywhere on the map (since she shares a keyword with everyone on this team!) thanks to her Trait (BOOK OF PARALLAX/BOOK OF THE BLACK: Lyssa Drak can use Probability Control regardless of range and line of fire, but can only target opposing characters with it, and only when they attack a character with a keyword she possesses.).

Black Lantern Zoom comes in with instant mobility, and given that your opponent will almost certainly have two lower costed figures still on the board, he’ll have plenty of fodder to pick off. Even if Zoom takes 3-4 Damage right from jumpstreet, he’s still amazing. His Damage Special (DEATH: WILL MAKE YOU BETTER: Zoom can use Steal Energy. When an opposing character is KO’d, heal Zoom of 1 damage and place a Speed token on this card.) makes it super easy to not only heal but to also build Speed Force tokens in a hurry. Heck, on click 3, it’s quite possible for him to nail your opponent’s 1-50 slot character for 3 damage and heal all the way to top dial (if the 3 damage KO’s that figure). Even though he’s under the points threshold for his slot, he works beautifully with the rest of this team (and Lyssa can Prob any attack aimed at him from anywhere on the board!!).

Trinity War Sinestro is a Quintessence-blessed behemoth with a wicked Attack Special (DEATH TO THE GUARDIANS: Sinestro can use Pulse Wave. Opposing characters that can use the Quintessence team ability instead can’t use it and modify their combat values by -1.) that can wreck pieces by itself if your opponents were also feeling frisky enough to field some Quintessence-wielders of their own. His Damage Special (FEAR THE SINESTRO CORP: Sinestro can use Perplex, but only to decrease combat values. Until your next turn, a character targeted by this Perplex can’t target Sinestro unless the targeted character or Sinestro are the only characters on their force on the map.) also means that you can essentially make Sinestro immune to an opposing figure of your choice.

Imagine that Black Lantern Zoom has done his job and eliminated one or even two of your opponents lower-point characters. Well, if Sinestro Perplexes down ANY combat value on their 151-200 slot big’gun, your opponent will be left with only one character who can even target Sinestro. And this scenario becomes even more dire for them if Despotellis is still around Poisoning his best guys.

Finally, Hal Jordan Parallax is just sick and wrong. Running Shot, Pulse Wave and Probability Control with a 12 Attack Value and 5 top dial damage? Again, he could start one-shotting folks as soon as he hits the board!

 

Justice League

Team Name: Justice… Like Lightning!! (Wait a minute, that’s a Marvel tagline!! Oh Hell No!)

Roster:

1-50: FL046E Harley Quinn50 Points

51-100: JLTW034 Element Woman88 Points

101-150: JLTW051 Batman150 Points

151-200: JLTW052 Wonder Woman200 Points

201-250: JLTW050 Superman250 Points

Total Points Used: 738 out of a possible 750

How It Works: Harley is really just there to start the game and see if she can stick around to really make dealing with the Trinity even that much harder. Element Woman is a little undercosted for her slot, but man, pick a supporting power, and she’s got it. No really, that’s her Trait–pick a supporting power: ELEMENTAL ARTISTE: At the beginning of your turn, choose one: Earth, Fire, or Ice. Element Woman can use the associated powers until your next turn.

Earth Barrier and Impervious
Fire Energy Explosion and Penetrating/Psychic Blast
Ice Incapacitate and Perplex

Batman is an absolute stud who will be public enemy number one as soon as he hits the board. Not only are his stats fantastic for his points, but his Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use the Batman Ally team ability. Friendly characters named Superman or Wonder Woman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) also makes dealing with what’s coming an absolute nightmare.

Wonder Woman’s Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use Support. Friendly characters named Batman or Superman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) gives Bats and Supes Support, and she can shut down opposing supporting pieces with one hit with her second Trait (LASSO OF TRUTH: Adjacent opposing characters that have been hit by Wonder Woman since the beginning of your last turn can’t use Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.). And that’s assuming that her 4 top dial damage didn’t straight up KO said figure.

Finally, Superman is everything you want in your 250 point-slot selection. 12 Attack, 19 Defense and 5 Damage top dial to go along with his starting Hypersonic Speed and Invincible. His Trait (A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use the Superman Ally team ability. Friendly characters named Batman or Wonder Woman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.) gives Bats the ability to see through Stealth and move through Hindering (really the only thing that Batman is missing!). If your opponent hasn’t taken out at least one of your other two Trinity pieces by the time Supes hits the board, it’s probably goodnight Gracie.

 

Well, what do you think? Which Marvel and DC Builds are your favorites? Which ones should I take to Gen Con? Sound off in the comments below!

Check back soon for more Gen Con Builds, and until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire!

 

This Ain’t your Father’s SuperFriends! (Or a Top Ten Set Review for Justice League Trinity War!!)

I’ve heard that this is pretty much what the Burning Man Festival looks like.

Some General Notes About the Set:

  • The Trinity for whom the set was named (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) each fielded their most powerful Clix versions ever. For as many times as those three characters have been made, that’s pretty impressive. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I dunno... the Justice League Strategy Game versions of the Trinity are pretty damn good too. That’s a close race. For example, JL:TW Batman can pick any standard Attack or Damage power with his Special Attack Power. JLSG Batman already can just USE almost every dang Standard Power in the game with his Special Attack Power. That’s Energy Explosion, Sidestep, Smoke Cloud, Regeneration and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain. Oh, and he Ignores character when he Sidesteps. And he can go on the JL Team Base. And so on. The point is, both versions of the Trinity are fantastic.]
  • For as impressive as the Trinity were, their counter parts in the CSA were unimpressive. Ultraman is good, Superwoman is ok, and Owlman is just plain “not great”. That all changes in the Fast Forces however, where each of these characters was Clix’d much, much better.
  • This set featured several characters who come with ways of avoiding Outwit without needing the Quintessence TA. These pieces are: Ultraman, The Outsider (Prime), Lex Luthor, Black Adam, and Despero. [EDITOR’S NOTE: What’s The Grid, chopped liver? Granted, his power is situational depending on your opponent, but still!] I love this trend and they need to keep it going. With the amount of Outwit floating around in Modern right now I was starting to think characters with Impervious weren’t really worth playing. If a Defense Power is just going to get Outwitted anyway then you might as well have a cheaper one. These characters and future characters will hopefully start letting us play big point Impervious characters competitively again.
  • Keywords are starting to really matter. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Especially with the Entity keyword nerf!] There are a number of figures in this set that grant benefits to characters with the same keyword, more than I remember in any recent sets. John Constantine grants Stealth to Justice league Dark, Green Lantern gives the Justice League of America Sharpshooter, and Killer Frost protects Secret Society of Super Villain members from Steal Energy. There are many more. This is a nice bonus for a guy like me that usually plays keyword teams.
  • During our local sealed event for this set release a bunch of us had to look up what the CSA team ability did because we all remembered playing it, but it had been so long no one remembered what it actually did. Congrats to Wizkids for making something old fun and new again.
  • The CSA will be a lot better in a Tactics environment than a No Tactics format. Having a bunch of 3 point bystanders to put tokens on for their TA really helps ramp up their power level.
  • For the first time ever there is an Ultra Chase (Prime Chase?!) and you don’t need to own it to play competitively. JLTW069 White Rabbit is an interesting and effective piece, but I doubt she will be on any of the top teams at Nationals this year. Before it was revealed I was worried that the piece would be so uber that people wouldn’t be able to field a tournament competitive team without one. It would make amateurs like myself feel like we are no longer able to compete. When I get a feeling like that I tend to move on to other games. Bravo to Wizkids for making a cool figure, but not a Meta defining figure.
  • The Prime selections in this set weren’t great compared to the last three or four sets. Dr. Light is decent, but not overpowered. The Outsider was just okay (although, like I said, I like the Outwit protection). Freddy Freeman is actually pretty good. Nick Necro I am just not sold on – time will tell. However, the main /fail with the Primes in this set is that none of them were John Constantine with the power of Shazam. That happened in the comics (briefly) and had that figure been made it would likely have been my favorite in this whole set.
What wasn't this a prime?

Why wasn’t this a Prime? Or an Ultra-Chase? Actually, if this was an Ultra-Chase, folks would riot.

 

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For the first time, we are including pieces from the relevant Fast Forces pack as being officially “part” of the set, and thus eligible for inclusion on this Top Ten list. Too many good pieces were falling through the cracks of our coverage because of their distinction as “Fast Forces” figures. Starting today and going forward, we believe this change will remedy that.]

 

ocean_master 

5. JLTW029 Ocean MasterAtlantis Themed Teams are likely still not going to be vying for the top spots at Nationals this year, but because of this figure they are now much closer to being truly relevant. This is the best “Water Terrain-creating” figure ever produced. It will take him a 12 on his role at the start of the game to cover most maps entirely with water (only a 3% chance). However, on some maps the starting areas are in the corners and you can flood those starting at the side. Because maps are longer than they are wide if you can entirely flood a map from the side with an 8 or better on the tidal wave role. (42% chance).

The most likely scenario is that you role a 7 on the tidal wave role. In that case the first 14 rows of the board become water and the remaining 10 rows remain normal. For a lot of characters that’s all you’re going to need. Most characters gaining a bonus from water either just need to start there and can move out (TT015 Aquaman, ASM025 Manphibian, JLTW008 The Trench) or they can shoot from Water Terrain and hit enemies on dry land (JLTW028 Mera, FFLOD004 Black Manta, FI022 Nerkkod). That gives you a lot of options building a team.

For added fun pair him with GOTG047BR Thanosi and both traits together will practically drown the opposing team. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Hmmm… this is dangerously close to being clever.]

Element Woman

4. JLTW034 Element WomanDefensively this may be the strongest character ever printed especially considering her point cost. Shape Change, Super Senses, and Impervious on her first clicks and then Impervious throughout. Because lets face it, you will be choosing Earth 95% of the time. Her lack of offense and Willpower is her downside. You could just use her as a really tough Barrier figure, but if your opponent is just ignoring her then I could see choosing Fire for a turn as a nice surprise. When she really comes into her own is with a Resource. A Hammer or a Green\Black construct could make her really ridiculous.

hawkman

3. JLTW038 Hawkman12 starting Attack is always a good way to get me to notice a figure right away. With dice like mine, high Attack figures are a necessity if I want to be competitive. His full movement Charge that also allows for a post attack Sidestep (although you still need to hit your break-away roll) to activate his Energy Shield/Deflection are really great together. His weakness is that he’s meant to be played more like a speedster than Superman. He doesn’t hit very hard unless he’s standing still, but you are going to want to keep him moving to use his Energy Shield/Deflection.

The Grid

2. JLTW042 The GridThe Grid is just really effective for his point cost. His Outwit\Improved Shape Change combo along with his TA should protect him well against anyone who is can be targeted by Outwit. You could run him up and let an opponent focus on him (and miss) before using his Running Shot/Pulse Wave to retaliate on the following turn. With Probability Control and Outwit he’s competent support as well as a great secondary attacker. Two great tastes in one!

Tim Hunter

1. JLTW055 Tim Hunter – When I pulled this guy at our Sealed tournament I realized two things. The first was that he is completely useless in Sealed. Completely. The second is that this may be my favorite character in the set to try and build a combo team around. Ever since then I’ve been working on ideas. WOL050AE Spectre (Red Lantern) lets him be Untargetable at range. FL045 Etrigan the Demon grants Invincible, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Charge, and Exploit Weakness. JLTW053A John Constantine grants Stealth, Outwit (OR Perplex), and double Probability Control! Again, for emphasis, teaming him with John Constantine gives your side FOUR PROBS a turn!!

I’ve also been pondering how to get him to his 4th click. I’ve thought about having him follow an IM3105 Extremis Mercenary into battle. I’ve also considered using FL063 Phantom Stranger to Mastermind exactly 3 Damage (Phantom Stranger can Mastermind any amount of damage). I think I’ve settled on the easiest method being a White Lantern Battery and letting your opponent do the Damage for you.

My next Team Build article will likely feature him soon.

 

My Top 10 Figures of the Set:

John Constantine

10. JLTW053A John Constantine – If you are running a Justice League Dark team, he is practically a must play. While playing JL Dark he grants Stealth to any adjacent JL Dark friendlies. We’ve only seen that a few times before with FFDP004 Red Hulk, JLTW051 Batman, and BM001 Batman. Beyond that He’s got mystics TA, his choice of Outwit or Perplex, and that neat Special Damage Power that grants Probability Control twice per turn. We’ve only seen someone able to use Probability Control more than once per turn with FL047 Zoom. That’s pretty good company to be in.

An older more mature version of Freddy Freeman.

9. JLTW037B Freddy Freeman – Extremely effective for his points. He’s maybe enough just by himself to make a certain keyword that has largely been unseen at competitive events for ages start showing up again. That keyword is Teen Titans. (Most people forget there was a DC 5 figure pack set between Batman and SLoSH). But the best part about this figure is his ability to effectively heal when hurt. That and yelling Shazam when using Pulse Wave is totally worth it.

Despero

8. JLTW059 DesperoDespero’s stats for his point cost don’t quite measure up to other figures in his point range. However it’s his Trait that makes him great. “PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Despero can’t be the target of Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, or Penetrating/Psychic Blast by characters of a lower point value.”  A giant 200 point character that is likely immune to Outwit and Psychic Blast can be really scary. Invincible and Impervious are really formidable if you can’t find a way to bypass them. At 235 points he also leaves enough room in a 300 point build for a good support piece.

Superman Invincible

7. Superman – For 250 points you get one of the toughest characters ever printed. One click of Invincible, seven clicks of Impervious, and two of Super Senses. 12 Attack, 19 Defense, and 5 Damage to start, plus Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength. He’s also a pseudo support figure with his Leadership Special and the ability to grant his TA to anyone in the Justice League. This is the Superman we’ve always wanted. His weakness is that he’s a 250 point character with absolutely no Outwit protection. Or should I say no protection other than breaking an Ultra Heavy object over an Outwitter’s head for 8 damage using Hypersonic speed. That happened to me in sealed and it turned out that it was all the Outwit protection Superman needed.

power ring

6. JLTW044 Power RingThis is my sneaky pick for the most overlooked character in the set that will be showing up in the Meta later. When you look at him you might think that he’s not a very good attacker for 70 points… and you’d be right. However this guy is really a support piece. Don’t think of him like a 70 point attacker, think of him as a better version of FFDP006R Mercy or WOL007 Blue Lantern Recruit (with a little bit of DP048 Blink and FFFL003 Mirror Master thrown in for good measure) and you’ll start to get the picture of how you can use him most effectively…

martian manhunter

5. Martian Manhunter – At 300 points he can’t stop you from Outwitting his powers – if you can see him at all. Better hope your character with Outwit can see through Stealth. Otherwise it’s going to be a really long game. I faced this guy in sealed with Superwoman and Sea King. After a few turns of him beating on me he decided to just go toe to toe with me to save time. I did get lucky and hit him once, but the game was never in doubt.

Think of it this way – when you target him you need to get past Stealth and he has Hypersonic Speed so close combat attacks are hard to line up. Then 1/3 of the time Shape Change stops your attack. Then you have to try to hit a 19. Even with a 12 attack that’s a 42% miss chance. Then he uses Probability Control and you have to hit that 19 again. Finally, if you get past all of those obstacles then he STILL has a 1 in 3 chance of making you miss with Super Senses. It’s been too long since I took any kind of college math for me to add that all up, but I’d say the chances of the average figure doing damage to him is extremely low.

Owlman

4. FFJLTW002 Owlman (Fast Forces) – Fast Forces FFJLTW001 Ultraman, FFJLTW003 Superwoman, and FFJLTW006 Deathstorm are all very good figures, but this easily the best of the Fast Forces CSA bunch. His dial is top notch. INTO THE SHADOWS is pretty effective on the right map and ALL CRIME PROFITS ME IN THE END grants him Mastermind. I love Mastermind on figures that I actually want to keep healthy, and I don’t like it on figures like FL034 Amanda Waller or SLOSH050 Toyman. I’m not sure which dial (Point level) I like best, but his 100 Point version makes a very effective support character with Probability Control, Empower, Enhancement, and Outwit.

Just like JLTW055 Tim Hunter, this guy brings a lot of good ideas to mind for fun team building. I’ve finally found a good way to play a lot of my favorite characters from the Batman Arkham Orgins set. Or, he can be the head of a Gotham City Police team like DKR100 Batman used to do. He can even combine everything into one team like TDW015 Duhg. Do WXM023B Cerise and BMAO021 Bane make good team mates on a Gotham City Underworld team? You can find out. My Recommendation is to try FFJLTW002E Owlman, FL046E Harley Quinn, and JLTW051 Batman. That Gotham Underworld Themed Team can pump Batman up to 6 Damage with a 12 Attack and have one or two uses of Probability Control in case Batman does miss.

Sinestro

3. JLTW049 SinestroIf you field a team with JLTW049 Sinestro on it then any character you face with the Quintessence team ability is at an incredible disadvantage. Even without that coming into play, Sinestro is well worth his points. He starts with Running Shot and Pulse Wave which is great on offense. But his best power may be his Special Damage Power which reads “FEAR THE SINESTRO CORP: Sinestro can use Perplex, but only to decrease combat values. Until your next turn, a character targeted by this Perplex can’t target Sinestro unless the targeted character or Sinestro are the only characters on their force on the map.” That means you can keep your opponent’s best figure from targeting Sinestro until you’ve wiped out the rest of his team. As an added bonus he has Injustice League, Legion of Doom, Ruler, and Sinestro Corps keywords so there are tons of good characters that share a keyword with him. And the Parallax Entity can make any character over 25 points share a keyword with Sinestro.

For added fun play him with JLTW033E Lex Luthor. Whomever you target with Perplex will literally just have to sit there while Sinestro tears their team apart.

Gold Swimming Pool

Technically this is Wiz Kids profits from selling HeroClix as opposed to Greed the character, but you get the idea.

2. JLTW065 GreedHypeFox has been talking up this guy ever since the set came out. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, I’ve been talking him up since he showed up on the Units page a couple of days before JL: TW was even released. So there!] He has the two best TAs in the game and one of the coolest Mind Control powers I’ve ever seen  (Try to Mind Control someone with Running Shot so they can take a shot and end their movement next to you!) But the real reason that he is the best of the 7 deadly sins is that similar to SLOSH047B Black Witch he can provide Relics for your team in a No Resource environment and he’s half the cost of SLOSH047B Black Witch. I’d recommend AVXS103 Fragment – Colossus (for Poison, Flight, and Invulnerability), JLTWR101A Envy (for Sidestep, Energy Shield/Deflection, and Attack Value replacement), or FIS102 Mokk’s Hammer (for Running Shot, Plasticity, and +2 attack), or FIS107 Angrir’s Hammer (for Steal Energy, Toughness, Regeneration, and +2 attack). Additionally, he provides the JLTWS104 Greed relic to someone else on your team and you can still play a Resource! That brings him up to a total of 83 points and even considering his short dial, you’re still getting an incredible deal.

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

I’m the best figure ever. Why? Because… I’m Batman!!!

1. JLTW051 BatmanThis is the best version of Batman ever created. Considering how many good version of Batman there are, that’s really saying something. He is the only character I am aware of that can have all the best support powers at once without outside help (Outwit, Perplex, Probability Control, and Telekenesis). At 150 points he’s a competent primary attacker with support capabilities and at 85 points he’s the best support character ever printed. During close combat situations he can choose Pulse Wave and Shape Change or Blades and Exploit weakness if other characters are around. He can even throw in Steal Energy if necessary. In ranged combat he has Running Shot and he can choose Pulse Wave, Ranged Combat Expert, or Close Combat expert. Add to all that the fact that he can use support with a 12 printed attack and Probability Control which likely makes him the best healer ever in addition to everything else. He doesn’t give you quite an many options as FL060 Engineer or GOTG062 Super Skrull, but his already existing abilities and great stat values make him equal or exceed those characters. All of this together makes him the best character in the set.

 

Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments section below!