Team Ideas – As Good As Gold

Idea

The_Flash_(2014_TV_series)_logo

Peyton List

Peyton List (not the girl from Jessie) plays Golden Glider on the CW’s Flash. I’ll understand if you don’t read the rest of this article and just start searching for more about her on the internet. I can sympathize because I’ve been writing this caption for four hours.

Despite my excellent recommendation in my Flash Top 10, neither I nor Hypefox (my mostly evil almost-twin) have had a chance to try FL025 Golden Glider. Well, this past Wednesday at a constructed tournament at our local venue, Hypefox faced one and all he could talk about afterwards was how she made much of the board impassable to his team. That got me thinking about fun ways to use this piece. (Note: Singing songs from the movie Frozen is completely acceptable while playing Golden Glider. It’s a rule buried deep in the Official Rulebook Appendix under the “Acceptable Singing” section.)

space invaders

Team Name: Space Invaders

Keyword Theme: None

Roster: FL025 Golden Glider, IIM038 Iron Man, IIM038 Iron Man, WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring, WOLR102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps), WOLR202.03 Mallet (Red), WOLR202.12 Spotlight (Red)

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: IIM038 Iron Man is completely untouchable at range as long as he’s in Hindering Terrain (or next to Blocking). And two of  IIM038 Iron Man is even better than one. Why? In all of Modern Age, he only has to worry about: DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M., GOTG044 Shriek, and 023 Yondu.  Each of the Iron Men will be packing a Red Construct that they like to keep handy for close encounters. FL025 Golden Glider is the best Hindering Terrain producer this side of WOL053 Swamp Thing, but at roughly 1/3 of the price.  Her power is “FROZEN TRAIL: After Golden Glider moves and actions resolve, place up to 6 hindering terrain markers in squares she moved through. When a character occupying or adjacent to one of these markers attempts to move, it must attempt to break away as if the marker was a character that can use Plasticity and is friendly to Golden Glider.” That means her Hindering Terrain markers are really only passable by her own team. Because if the other team comes to you, you can break away and it will likely be the last time the opponent can move that character this game. Of course you could also stay right where you are and let Penetrating Poison do the work for you.

Because of the complete lack of Willpower on this team and the fact that Golden Glider can only create 6 Hindering Terrain tokens a turn this team will be making a slow, ominous advance up the board not unlike the video game Space Invaders. Advance 3 squares, rest, advance 3 squares, rest and repeat. Unlike Space Invaders, your opponent will not be firing at your approaching army. More than likely no attack will be possible. Just make sure to keep Golden Glider behind the Iron Men so that she is protected as well.  If your opponent keeps running from you, don’t worry you will catch up eventually. As you continue to move Golden Glider the opponent’s available space to run will just keep getting smaller and smaller as the game goes on.

 

We're back!

It’s Sequel Time!

Team Name: Revenge of the Nerfed 2.0

Keyword Theme: None

Roster: FL025 Golden Glider, GOTG047BR Thanosi, IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC), WOLR104 Power Battery (Indigo Tribe), WOLR304 Indigo Tribe Ring, WOLR204.05 Crossbow (Indigo), WOLR204.01 Net (Indigo), WOLR204.06 Decoy (Indigo)

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: Wait, IIM051 Iron Pharaoh is on this team? Wasn’t he nerfed? Yes he was, but just like with WXM010 Shatterstar, that only makes me more determined. It’s true that after the nerf Iron Pharoah’s Falcon now has trouble catching up to a figure on its own. The new Trait reads, “GOLDEN FALCON, SOARING:When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. The Falcon marker moves as if it is a character with the Flight ability. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to either move this marker up to 3 squares or until the end of the turn, Iron Pharaoh can draw lines of fire and count range (up to 3 squares) from the Falcon marker using Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.” That’s a pretty big nerf (and you can certainly question whether Iron Pharaoh even needed to be nerfed to begin with), but–after copious amounts of testing in my lab–I’ve discovered that Iron Pharaoh’s Falcon will have no problem catching up to the opposing team if they aren’t moving around too much, which would render WizKids’s nerf… moot.

That’s where FL025 Golden Glider and GOTG047BR Thanosi help out. Golden Glider makes Hindering Terrain tokens and Thanosi turns any Hindering Terrain into a veritable wall, but only for the opposing team. His trait reads “BUILT TO TEST MY FOES: KA-ZAR: Opposing characters within range can’t ignore terrain for movement purposes.” That means that if they try to cross Golden Glider’s Hindering Terrain they stop dead and because her Hindering Terrain also acts like “a character that can use Plasticity and is friendly to Golden Glider“, that’s about the worst thing an opponent can do to themselves. All Thanosi has to do is be within his Range of 8 and any Hindering Terrain will stop any move action dead. Telekinesis and a placement power like Shatterstar has are the only ways to get through.

This Build features team members that are generally fairly hardy, so if your opponent wants to TK one character at a time close to you, then that should work out to your advantage. Especially considering that at least part of the opponent’s team will be stuck outside of the fight and because of the Indigo Constructs, everyone on your team has Support. Your opponent can’t even try to shoot you through the Hindering Terrain because of the Indigo Power Battery. It’s Emotional Spectrum Power doesn’t let an opponent hit you from range unless they are within four squares. If you’ve done everything right, they should be stuck in hindering much farther away then that.

The Decoy should be assigned to Golden Glider to keep her safe. The Net is even more effective then normal when assigned to Thanosi, and Iron Pharaoh should get the Crossbow to make sure that the Falcon is super effective.

This team is probably the more evil of the two; either way, have fun trying them out. I know I will!

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

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

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

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

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

But first, as usual…

Some General Notes About the Set:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIVE SIX HONORABLE MENTIONS!!!!!!

 

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

 

Thanos

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

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

AT&T GIRL

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

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

 

Dr Minerva

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

 

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

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

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

 

recorder 451

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Did I mention she’s only 87 Points?!

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

 

"Let's see Hawkeye do THIS!"

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

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

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

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

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

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!!

 

Ebony Maw

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Zombie Super Skrull

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Supergiant

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

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

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

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

 

Star-Lord Comic

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

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

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

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

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

 

Proxima Midnight

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

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

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

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

This is a sick piece.

 

Thanosi

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

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

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

 

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Let’s Be Lanterns Again! For One Shall Surely Fall!! (Or Let’s Build an Army For Each Lantern Corps–Part 3 of 3!!)

War of Light Part 3!

And now we’ve reached the final four Corps!

For the uninitiated, Ninwashui and I are creating competitive Builds for each Lantern Corps–let’s recap the rules:

1. Each Build has to be a Theme Team (although that Theme doesn’t necessarily have to be for the corresponding Corps keyword) that features a character who isn’t known for being a member of the featured color (Red Lantern Superboy Prime, or Hal Jordan Parallax, for example; or someone who’s never been a Lantern of any color in the comics–like a Marvel character!);

2. For each color, each member of a team has to either start with the corresponding Corps keyword, or they must be able to get it during the game.

There are several ways to do this: use a character from War of Light who’s been made in a color different from the norm (Parallax Hal or Kyle Rayner, Orange Lantern Hal or Blue Lantern Hal, White Lantern Kyle Rayner, Red Lantern Guy Gardner, and so on and so forth); use an Entity to bring any other character in the game into that Entity’s color; or just make a general Theme Team and use the Lantern Power Battery to distribute rings during the game and give each member of a team that color’s keyword (along with some kickass powers!).

If you missed it, we featured the Sinestro Corps, Indigo Tribe and Orange Lantern Corps in Part 1!

The Blue Lantern Corps and Red Lantern Corps were covered in Part 2!

Also, in a shocking twist at the end of Part 2, Ninwashui revealed that he’s actually been a scheming, possibly drunk raccoon the whole time he’s been writing for this site!! (Y’know… it’s been a weird month.)

And now that everyone’s caught up, HypeFox and Ninwashui will be facing off one more time–AND ONE SHALL SURELY FALL!

HypeFox and Ninwashui each have a pair of Builds they think is better than the other’s–and you can be a judge simply by posting who you think came up with the better Builds in the Comments section below!

Up first is HypeFox with… The Green Lantern Corps!!

 

"I have the power to overcome great fear. And I have a flying, invulnerable Falcon automaton that sharts on any who would oppose me!"

“I may or may not have the power to overcome great fear, but I definitely have a flying, invulnerable Falcon automaton that sharts on any who would oppose me.”

GREEN LANTERN CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name:Threat Level Green

ThemeMystical

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Green Lantern Corps: Iron Pharaoh (who, when you think about it, isn’t really even associated with the Marvel Universe–he was just on ONE alternate cover at some point); Shaman; Lockheed; and Thule Society Priest (in other words, the whole team!)

Roster:

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh – 110 Points

IIM040 Shaman – 92

w/ ATA005 Alpha Flight4

FI001 Thule Society Priest21

WXM080 Lockheed16

WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps)2

WOLR300 Green Lantern Ring8

WOLR200 Shield (Green)8

WOLR200.01 Net (Green)8

WOLR200.04 Wall (Green)10

WOLR200.05 Crossbow (Green)10

WOLR200.09 Nurse (Green)10

=299 (It took all my Willpower not to make this an even 300 Point team… )

 

How It Plays: This is a version of the Iron Pharaoh/Shaman stall, seek & destroy team that I’m always pitching in one form or another–this time with a Green twist!! Firstly, while extremely effective in their own right, none of these characters have Willpower–that’s where the Green Ring comes in! Every time a Green Construct is given to a member of this team, in addition to the Construct’s effects, that member gains access to Willpower! ANNNNNNDD they then have 50% chance to ignore opposing Outwit and Perplex!

50% Of the Time

Iron Pharaoh plus the RCE-granting Crossbow equals a ton of damage dealing that can see through just about anything. Shaman grounds all characters with the Wing Symbol and offers Perplex and Barrier top dial–all of which should help in delaying the opposition from getting to you! Lockheed can be a pest, but his main purpose is providing another tie-up piece who can Energy Explode if your opponent bunches up his figures, as well as being another Mystical body on your side at the beginning of the game for Map Roll (Hint: If you win Map Roll, choose Wundagore Mountain or the weird SLoSH Apokolips map that has like 50 Elevated areas so that it’ll be nigh impossible for your opponent to get to the Pharaoh without getting rocked). Thule Society Priest is kind of there for the same reason as Lockheed, but pushing him to get to a Prob Control is not a terrible idea. Still, most of your damage is going to come from Iron Pharaoh and Shaman–but that should be more than enough!

 

Condescending Ninwashui

CONDESCENDING NINWASHUI Chirps: “Oh, wow, you shouldn’t have gone to all that trouble to innovate such a bold Build. I mean, it must have taken just a metric poop-ton of brainpower for you to come up with a team that you’ve pitched about 7 times before. Oh, well done, sir. Bravo! Ooooo, but you know who would really like this team?

 

Quizzical HypeFox

QUIZZICAL HYPEFOX Ponders: “Uhhhh... ”

 

Ninwashui Dwight Schrute

POMPOUS NINWASHUI Retorts: “No one. But for a team that absolutely EVERYONE will just LOVE, look no further than the next entry!”

 

Hellfire Club

STAR SAPPHIRES (Ninwashui Build)

Team Name: As Long As Our Love (And My Head) Survives

Theme:

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Star Sapphires: The Hellfire Club’s Black King and White King

Roster:

WXM035 Black King – 165 Points

WXM020 White King – 107

WOLR106 Power Battery (Star Sapphires)2

WOLR306 Star Sapphire Ring8

WOLR206.08 Scissors (Violet) – 8

WOLR206.09 Nurse (Violet)10

=300 (Oh, look, HypeFox, no wasted points! It’s almost like one of us knows what they’re doing!)

 

How It Plays: This one is pretty basic. Take two guys who are basically unkillable, give them the Mystics TA and Shape Change (so that your opponent is only hurting himself when he tries to hurt you) and a way to heal the Black King (the Nurse Construct), and watch as your fiendish society takes over the world. Black King is a beast who only gets more powerful the more damage he takes (and remember, while he takes damage, your opponent is taking that Mystics unavoidable damage!), and–at 11 Clicks long–he can take a LOT of punishment. Meanwhile, White King will Charge around the map with his Scissors-granted Exploit Weakness and native Super Strength. Also, his Leadership works on Black King! Oh, and as long as Black King is on the map, White King can’t truly die. Which means that he’ll keep coming back over and over–and your opponent will have to grind through those Mystic clicks over and over. A perfect recipe for pain!

 

Ambivalent Giraffe

AMBIVALENT GIRAFFE HYPEFOX Responds: “It’s also a perfect recipe for boredom! Really?! Two characters, one of whom is meant to die over and over and the other who has to be hit A TON before you get to his super clicks? This might be an effective team, but I don’t think it’d be a fun one. Not as fun as, say, bringing the Sinister Syndicate into the Black Lantern Corps…

 

"Maxwell Dillon of Earth, you have the power to kill a ton of $#!t. Welcome to the Black Lantern Corps!"

“Maxwell Dillon of Earth, you have the power to kill a ton of $#!t. Welcome to the Black Lantern Corps!”

BLACK LANTERN CORPS (HypeFox Build)

Team Name: What’s Black and White and Dead All Over?

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Black Lantern Corps:

Roster:

DP064 Electro – 90 Points

w/ ATA091 Sinister Twelve – 4

ASM019 Vulture – 61

w/ ATA091 Sinister Twelve – 4

ASM030 Lizard – 88

w/ ATA091 Sinister Twelve – 4

DOFPH003 Human Protester – 10

FIB008 Photographer – 3

WOLR108 Power Battery (Black Lantern Corps)2

WOLR308 Black Lantern Ring – 6

WOLR208.01 Net (Black)8

WOLR208.03 Mallet (Black) – 4

WOLR208.07 Catapult (Black)10

WOLR208.14 Sniper Rifle (Black)6

=300 (See Ninwashui? I can make 300 point teams too. I just don’t need to crow about it at the top of my lungs. No, like my team, I prefer to wait quietly in the shadows, silent but deadly…)

 

Smiling Raccoon Ninwashui

GIGGLING RACCOON NINWASHUI Points Out: “Yup! I’ve often described things you’ve created as silent but deadly.”

 

How It Plays: I hate you. Anyway, the Black Lantern Ring gives Steal Energy (and heals any bearers 1 Click when an opposing fig is KO’d) and the Black Battery will sometimes increase that Steal Energy Healing by 1. All of which means that Zombie Electro, if he gets even one hit in, will probably be around forever. Vulture can transport both Electro and Lizard at the same time, and if you give the Catapult to the Human Protester or (better yet) the Photographer, they can TK any of your characters to where they need to be.

Lizard will get the Mallet, which gives him BOTH Quake and Steal Energy–a combo we know from the good ol’ days of Lizard plus Angrir’s Hammer that works extremely efficiently. Zombie Electro gets the Sniper Rifle, and Vulture gets the Net to use as he sees fit–hopefully, he’ll deploy it after a Charge in which he did B/C/F or Exploit Weakness damage to keep any other targets in place while Electro readies a Pen/Psy/EE blast, which we’ve talked about at length before (it’s still pretty sick).

And don’t overlook Human Protester. While he and Photographer were mostly included on this force to goose the activation of the Sinister Twelve ATA, he can do decent damage in his own right against adjacent opposing figures. And if your opponent is playing mutants, he actually kind of hoses those teams a lil’.

But this team really digs into the Black Lantern theme aspect with Electro. KO’ing dudes and then adding them to your force is soooooo Black Lantern Corps, right? Right?

 

Ninwashui Raccoon Five Fingers

FIVE-FINGER-DEATHPUNCHING NINWASHUI Says: “I like that you’ve given me five figures to kill with any of the epic Builds that I’ve come up with. Giving TK to a POG isn’t a bad idea, and Electro is a hot mess of damage dealing. This isn’t a terrible Build. But just as Death must always give way to Life, your crappy Black Lantern Corps Build must give way to my Awesomesauce White Lantern Corps Build. Coming up NEXT!”

 

White Lantern Iron Man

WHITE LANTERN CORPS (Ninwashui Build)

Team Name: If You Ain’t White, You Ain’t Right (Please Note that this is a Modern Family reference and not a bold new racist direction for Critical Missives) !!

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

Characters Not Normally Associated With the Black Lantern Corps: Iron Man and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!!

Roster:

IIM001AE Iron Man – 150 Points

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent – 36

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent – 36

CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent – 36

WOLR101 Power Battery (White Lantern Corps)2

WOLR301 White Lantern Ring6

WOLR201.01 Net (White)8

WOLR201.04 Wall (White) – 10

WOLR201.05 Crossbow (White)10

WOLR201.14 Sniper Rifle (White)6

=300 (Nailed it again!!)

 

How It Plays: Basically, this is the team that won’t die. Once per game, each character gets a stop click. You can also give any White Construct holder a Power Action and heal everyone in a six-square radius for 1 Click. In the meantime, Iron Man can Mastermind damage to any adjacent S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (who again, can’t be killed from one shot). Meanwhile, Iron Man can shoot, Perplex AND Outwit  through both Blocking and Hindering Terrain (which means Map Choice can be a HUGE advantage for this squad). Oh, and did I mention they all have the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA? So like Spinal Tap’s amps, Iron Man’s Range goes to 11. And if they manage to base IM, all those Agents also have Empower. Basically, Iron Man is either punching or shooting for a ton of damage every turn while the Agents make pests of themselves by either healing, creating Blocking Terrain, Hindering Terrain that must be broken away from, or even sniping for 2 Damage from 10 Squares away.

In short, this team will outlast any of the pathetic Builds HypeFox has inflicted upon us these last few weeks.

 

12th Doctor HypeFox

UNAMUSED HYPEFOX Notes: “Oh, you really think so? Then how about a little wager? We let the people decide. Because they’re never small to me. And the loser gives a Guardians of the Galaxy pack to the winner’s favorite charity. Or even to the winner. Actually, that makes more sense.

 

Ninwashui Mean Face

MEAN FACE NINWASHUI Growls: “You, sir, are on! Heh.”

 

12th Doctor 2 HypeFox

CONFIDENT HYPEFOX Wonders: “What’s so funny? You’re about to lose!

 

RAccoon Ninwashui smiles

GRINNING NINWASHUI Shouts: “You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you? But you fell victim to one of the classic blunders–the most famous of which is “never get involved in a flame war online about comic-book movies“–but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against a Raccoon when Clix are on the line“! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…

… Um… I mean, are we just sticking around for the poll to go up, or–whoops! There we go.