The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents: The One Sub-Theme I Want… (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

X-Men 2099

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2018, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2018 can be found in our first post of the season, and Night 2 speculated on the next Star Trek set. And Night 3 looked at some of HypeFox’s favorite Golden Age pieces! Night 4 dropped yesterday and examined the lack of Fantastic Four in Clix for the last 6 years! Then Night 5 brought us a look at HypeFox’s favorite Sealed sets, and Night 6 saw the release of a brand new set announcement! Night 7 was a brief celebration of our 5th Anniversary!]

Welcome to the Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!

Tonight’s post is really more of a question:

With news dropping a few days ago that we’re getting the Elders of the Universe and the Infinity Gems back in Modern with next year’s Avengers: Black Panther and the Illuminati set, which past sub-theme (figures, mechanics or equipment) do you want to see return to Heroclix?

For me, it’s pretty easy (especially now that we’re getting a new Infinity Gauntlet, so that’s off the list):

X-Men 2099 spread.png

I want new X-Men 2099 pieces!

Yes, the 2099 corner of the Marvel Universe isn’t always remembered as fondly as other stories 0f the 90’s, but having grown up during that era I recall actually really liking this series as much or more than any other X-tales.

(For the record, Spider-Man 2099 and Doom 2099 were actually better than folks remember as well.)

Anyway, John Francis Moore and Ron Lim still stand in my mind as one of my favorite creative teams of all-time.

How big of a fan was I?

Well, when I got a little bit older, I started buying X-Men 2099 covers straight from the artists! I spent money I probably didn’t really have back then to have them custom-framed, and they still hang on my walls to this day!

So yeah, I like these characters a lot!

And Wizkids hasn’t completely ignored them. There was a special limited edition release in December of 2006 when they made seven characters from the 2099 universe–including two from X-Men 2099 (Junkpile and Mean Streak).

Since then, we’ve gotten a really good version of Miguel O’Hara (in ASM), but nothing 2099-related since then. That’s five X-focused sets (counting the two Deadpool sets but not counting wider sets like AvX) since GSX in 2011 with not even ONE X-Men 2099 sub-Theme!

I doubt that we’ll see them show up in X-Men Adventures either, but please Wizkids! Xi’an Chi Xan, Skullfire, Bloodhawk, Metalhead, Shakti… these characters and stories are too much fun too just leave unclix’d!!

So which sub-theme or equipment from the past would you like to see updated for Modern Clix? Sound of in the Comments below, and then come back here for Night Nine of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

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Why IndyClix Matter!! (Or, The Ghost of Christmas Future Is Back With an Editorial!!) (Or OR The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas 2017!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Clix-Mas 2017, wherein we here at Critical Missives rather foolishly try to provide you with twelve different articles in twelve days, all brought to you by either the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, or the Ghost of Christmas Future! If you need to catch up with our intro to all of this, the first Night of Clix-Mas 2017 can be found right here! And we announced a new Holiday Scenario for our local venue on Night Two! And the Ghost of Christmas Past named a few of his favorite things from the past Clix year right here! On Night Four, the Ghost of Christmas Present left us his Top Ten Figures from Star Trek: Away Team!! Then, the Ghost of Christmas Future gifted us some Irresponsible Speculation about IndyClix!! Later, the Ghost of Christmas Future came back and talked about licensed properties that would make great Clix sets! And finally, the Ghost of Christmas Present gave us a presentation of the Top Eleven most valuable Heroclix released this year!]

Indy Clix

And so we’ve made it to Night Eight, which means we’re two-thirds of the way through The Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas, 2017!!

So tonight at my local venue we were playing the Holiday Havoc Scenario (from Night Two) and in between rounds I was talking to one of our regular players about Marvel comics. It turns out that neither of us had read much from Marvel in the last two years (for me, nothing really since Secret Wars, which was, what, like 2015?). And the more people I asked, the more I got the same(ish) answer.

Now, I don’t want to get into any of the corporate politics at Marvel or why their books have pretty much gone off the rails in terms of sales–there are plenty of other outlets that have been covering Marvel’s ongoing publishing death spiral (and whether the recent ascendance of new Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski will turn things around) for the better part of a year.

Marvel Sales

Actual internal sales document from Marvel…

What I’m more interested in is the effect this fallow period might have on Heroclix. It’s tough to make a game based on a comic book license if the comics themselves have no following. And when you consider that Marvel sets make up the bulk of the Heroclix product line, this has the potential to become a huge issue.

Hell, Wizkids almost went out of their way this past year to create Marvel sets that had nothing to do with current or even rectent storylines in the comics. Let’s look at the Marvel set releases (minus the MCU sets which, obviously, were based on movies and not comics):

DXF

Deadpool and X-Force: Okay, this took from both old and somewhat recent Deadpool comics. Fair enough.

AVD War Banner.jpg

Avengers/Defenders War: Uhhhh… what? This story was decades old. And the main Sub-Theme, Marvel Knights, primarily–yet unofficially–revolved around all of the Marvel Netflix heroes.

What IF.jpg

What If… ?: Again, an older series about alternate versions of superheroes that I don’t think has been published by Marvel in years. There were a few newer figs (like the Young Avenger versions of the Runaways), but not many.

TMT

The Mighty Thor: Among all the classic Thor stuff, I think there were maybe five or six pieces pulled from the last three years worth of stories, like Jane Foster Thor, Angela Prime and Colossal Ms. Marvel, among others. Out of more than seventy pieces!

So what does all this have to do with Indy Clix? Well… I think this is part of the reason why Wizkids has been pursuing other licenses like TMNT and Star Trek. Furthermore, I think it’s at least part of the reason why those sets are all Modern Legal, where previous Indy sets like Kick-Ass 2 or Pacific Rim or Iron Maiden were not.

Could we ever get to a point where Wizkids is releasing mostly MCU, DC and Indy sets in a calendar year?

Heck, the fact that Star Trek: Away Team was a 5-figure booster set instead of a Gravity Feed was almost shocking! Could this have been a stealthy “proof of concept” for Wizkids to show that the game could survive without the need for strong Marvel-publishing-based sets?

Well… no. I think that’s all just conjecture that I made up literally while I was typing the last couple paragraphs.

But! I think Marvel’s sales numbers HAVE to be concerning to Wizkids. I think they welcome the fact that Infinity War is coming out next year and that they have a chance to again revisit some old cosmic Marvel stories from the 90’s as a result!

So that’s all I have for today. But I don’t want to be all doom and gloom–tomorrow we’ll look at a few Marvel and DC stories from the last 5 years that could be adapted into great Heroclix sets!

 

The Joke Is On Us!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Joker’s Wild!!)(Or OR The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

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

im-not-going-to-kill-you-joker

Actually, I’m not going to do much of anything in this movie! A-ha. A-ha-ha-haaa. Yeah.

Hello again! I feel like it’s been too long since I published an article, so I think tonight is as good a night as any to pop by.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Wow. You only waited ’til Night 8 this year to actually contribute something? Welcome to the party, pal. I’ll just be over here, GENERATING THE FIRST SEVEN ARTICLES MYSELF!!]

Really? Oh, hey, great. Thank you. You really didn’t have to do that.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh no, I REALLY DID!!]

Ahem. Well… thank you?

Anyway, so as not to waste any more time, I am jumping in feet first with… a full Top Ten Set Review!! And speaking of jumping in feet first, let’s get right to it with some…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • Overall Power Level of the set ? More than any other set I can remember, the power level of this set seems to vary widely.  For 50 points you can get Rare JW047 Killer Croc or Rare JW033 The Joker, who just flat aren’t very good. However, for that same 50 points you can get Chase JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow who can essentially nullify ranged attacks against your entire team.
  • To reiterate: for 45 Points, you can field Chase and noted turd-ka-bob JW065 Aquaman and just let your opponent know right away that you really aren’t into competing this game. Or for 5 more points, you can play an essentially unkillable JW060 Joker. Hmmm… Should I play the figure who can “make water” for one whole turn, or should I play the piece that changes how my opponent wants to come after my team? So hard to choose…
  •  I feel like 5 or 6 pieces in this set weren’t made with the same point system as the rest of the set just to sell it. In fact, I don’t think JW060V The Joker was made with any regard to the point system at all.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You ain’t kidding!]

  • Comic Accuracy – Overall not great. This set gave us JW034 Harley Quinn, whose top dial 10 Movement Value with Hypersonic Speed matches FL001A The Flash. JW060V The Joker  can take more punishment than any Superman ever made. And JW041 The Specter only has a 4 click dial for 40 points.
  • Sub Themes:
    1. JSA – They may not reflect the power levels in of the characters in the comics well, but if you ignore that fact you have great filler pieces for a variety of teams. The “Past” keyword gets a huge bump this set to go along with a an already good list of characters like SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur (who was possibly my biggest Top Ten article miss ever.)
    2. Court of Owls – It seems on the surface that this might be a good team to run, but problems that aren’t obvious right away (like JW038 Talon not having the Underworld TA) make me wonder if this keyword will ever see tournament play. Their saving grace is that they all also share the Gotham City Keyword.
    3. Outsiders – The Outsiders TA has always been good, but in the past it’s seemed like most of the characters with it have had point values far too high for the value the character brought to the team. This set I could see most of the outsiders being worthy of tournament play. Any outsider not named JW054 Geo-Force or JW037B Looker (Prime) in this set is worth a look (See what I did there?).
    4. League of Assassins – The league had 4 pieces in this set. 3 of them are okay, but they probably won’t amount to much as a team because the new JW021 Ra’s Al-Ghul is pretty useless outside of sealed play.
    5. Suicide Squad – The Squad got 9 pieces in this set and they are the complete opposite of the Outsiders. Most of the pieces they got are terrible except for where those pieces also have keywords for other teams like JW044 Katana, and JW034 Harley Quinn.
    6. Gotham Underworld, Arkham Asylum, and Gotham City – The Batman villians have a similar keyword problem to the Justice League. There is the Justice League keyword and the Justice League of America Keyword. Usually figures don’t have both. They seem to give Batman villians Gotham City or Gotham City Underworld keywords at random. For example, Rare JW034 Harley Quinn has the Gotham City keyword and not Gotham City Underworld. The Common and Uncommon versions of JW002 Harley Quinn and JW018 Harley Quinn both have the Gotham City Underworld Keyword and not the Gotham City Keyword. Other characters have both. I’m also not sure why the Arkham Asylum Keyword exists. Those should all just be Gotham City Underworld. Taking all of that into account the Gotham City Underworld keyword did the best in this set, but with few fliers and a lack of the Underworld TA these villains still lack a reliable way to get battle other than walking there individually.

My Honorable Mentions:

talon

5. JW038 Talon 120 PointsRare: Talon would be much higher on this list except for three problems. At 120 points he lacks Willpower. 3 damage is low for a primary attacker (yes I am aware of his precision strike). And, finally, it’s hard to keep a good amount of JW005A Court of Owls Initiates with him unless you choose to ignore Theme.

He does have a lot of good points with this character (like Improved Movement, Traited Stealth, and conditional Mastermind) and with a lot of planning he may just work for you.

flash-jsa

4. JW036 The Flash35 pointsRare: He’s the cheapest Hypersonic Speed character in Modern and almost the cheapest of all time. He’s completely a one trick pony, but at 35 points he really doesn’t need anything else to be worth playing. Beyond his Hypersonic Speed, his 12 Move, 11 Attack, and 18 Defense are great for the points.

Al Pratt Atom.jpg

3. JW022 The Atom25 pointsUncommon: This guy is the cheapest character ever printed with Close Combat Expert and 3 or more top dial Damage. He’s tied with JLTW204R The Trench for being the cheapest character to ever start with 17 Defense and Combat Reflexes. He makes a super effective team with JW025 Hawkman. He’s even somewhat pushable because he doesn’t lose any powers or Attack Value from Click 1 to 2. It’s possible this guy could start showing up as filler on tons of tournament teams the same way that FFJLTW007 Atomica does.

Lady Shiva.png

2. JW043 Lady Shiva 50 points Rare: One of the first ever figures with the Batman Enemy TA and a starting 12 Attack. She’s also the cheapest figure ever to start with a 12 Attack. Her Attack Value along with precision strike and flurry mean that she can hurt pieces well above her point cost. On defense she is eligible for the League of Assassins ATA and her special defensive power could keep her in the fight against pieces that need a help to hit her 19 defense in close combat. It reads, “I AM THE ULTIMATE TEST: Lady Shiva can use Combat Reflexes. Adjacent opposing characters can’t have their combat values increased when making close attacks.”

mr-freeze

1. JW049 Mr. Freeze 90 pointsSuper Rare: He’s somewhat similar to UXM051 Iceman. The differences are that he’s less offense and more defense. Iceman had Running Shot, two targets, and a 7 Range.

Mr. Freeze has sidestep, 1 target, and 5 range. They both give an action token and a marker to people hit from range. Both have a consistently high damage value of 3 their entire dial and Mr. Freeze’s version of the ice wall token does an additional penetrating damage. The real difference is on defense.

His last two clicks have the power, BACK TO REFRIGERATION: Mr. Freeze can use Toughness. At the beginning of your turn, heal Mr. Freeze a number of clicks equal to 3 minus the number of adjacent opposing characters.” That means that at the beginning of your turn (assuming he isn’t next to someone) he will heal three clicks without even using an action. It’s like he has a Regeneration power that guarantees you roll a 5 and doesn’t cost you an action! Keep in mind that he has damage reducers every click, so the chance of you seeing those clicks is reasonably high and then the opponent will have to go through those damage reducers for a second time. (or a third, or a forth, or…)


The Top Ten:

Batman Outsiders.jpg

10. FFJW001 Batman 75 points – Fast Forces: His Trait “STUDENT OF ALL MARTIAL ARTS” means that lowest Attack Value will be a 10 and his first two starting clicks will be at least a 12. (he gets +1 per adjacent character and he has zero range so if you are attacking you are adjacent to at least one enemy) His Traited Toughness, 18 starting Defense, full dial Combat Reflexes, and 7 click dial make him very hardy for a 75 point figure. On offense his “HIT YOU WITH MY HANDS AND FEET” is just ripe for abuse. It lets him attack all adjacent characters at once and unlike other similar powers, each hit is dealt normal damage not just printed damage. That means Perplex and Empower can help deal additional damage. Imagine you have 2 uses of Perplex for his Damage Value and b\Batman is next to 3 people. If he hits with his boosted 14 attack value, each target would be dealt 5 damage.

killing-joke-joker

9. JW059 The Joker140 points Super Rare: For some reason they decided that any Super Rare or Chase version of the Joker would be really hard to KO. This version is hard to even damage. He has Mastermind that you can’t bypass with Precision Strike thanks to his MAD AS A HATTER trait. You could Outwit it if he’s not in Stealth, but you can’t Outwit his best power because it’s a Trait and it’s not even on his card. The 10 point JW003A The Joker Thug printed in the same set has a trait that states, “THE JOKER IS THE KING OF GOTHAM: When building your force, The Joker Thug does not count against a themed team if your force has a character named The Joker on it. If an adjacent friendly character named The Joker is hit with an attack, The Joker Thug may become the hit target of that attack instead, even if it would be illegal.” Because of the keyword exception there is no good reason not to run a least few Joker Thugs with this Joker on every team. When they stand next to him, pulse wave is the only power in the game that will do damage to him. And even Pulse Wave will still stop at the Joker’s last click – which is a stop click with even more Mastermind.

On offense the Joker has Traited Poison that deals Penetrating Damage to lower point characters. Then on odd clicks he has Blades/Claws/Fangs and his Special THE KILLING JOKE!: The Joker can use Ranged Combat Expert and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters. When The Joker hits with an attack, hit characters are each given up to 2 action tokens.” On his even numbered clicks he has the less exciting Precision Strike and Outwit, but that’s still a deadly powerset.

What keeps Joker from being higher on this list? Two things. The first is that he’s only able to KO people he can reach. By that I mean he has no move and attack ability, and as no improved movement. That means on offense you will often need to walk the Joker up to an opposing figure and  wait until the following turn to attack. In the meantime you have to hope that figure hasn’t moved out of your range or you might not be able to attack anyone the next turn either. A taxi or a figure with Telekenesis helps greatly with this. The second thing is that in order to remain untouchable, you will need to have several Joker Thugs at your side. The Joker has a 10 Movement, but the thugs only have a 6. The ideal situation would be to have the Joker carry two thugs by himself via the underworld TA. The problem is that he doesn’t have the underworld TA. The best ideas I could think of without breaking up your theme team are to either play WF059R Lex Luthor & Joker or play JLTW002 Catwoman. Neither seem like ideal options.

penguin-jw

8. JW050 The Penguin — 40 points — Super Rare: For 40 points you are getting a slowly building robot army that provides the opponent no points when killed, have no limitations on how many can be in play at once, and don’t even count against your actions unless they are attacking. Depending on what you are playing against, I would likely suggest leaving penguin in your starting area and making a JW050BTC Robo-Penguin (the ranged attacker) every other turn. He’s the new version of one of my favorite pieces AAOU007 Ultron Sentry, and he’s even easier to use. Penguin only has 4 clicks and really only Stealth to protect him, but you’ll have 260 points worth of your team left to do that job!

katana-jw

7. JW044 Katana75 pointsRare: Katana in this set is just an all around strong figure. She has Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering Terrain,. she gets stronger the first three times she KOs a character each game (which great against opposing figures that make tokens), and she has the Outsiders TA while still having a reasonable point cost. On offense her Charge and Exploit Weakness with 3 damage means that she can heavily damage almost any character. Adding the slash token to whomever she hits will make an opponent think twice about hitting her back the following turn. A real steal for the points.

Alan Scott.jpg

6. JW052 Green Lantern35 pointsSuper Rare: At only 35 points Green Lantern is a great taxi with 10 Movement, Flight, and Willpower. But unlike a lot of low cost Taxis, when he is not using his actions to move other characters, he can help turn the tide of battle.

His Trait GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT gives him 1 Barrier token he can place each turn as a free action. He can also use Barrier normally and then again that turn a free action to place a total of 5 blocking terrain tokens. Especially on an indoor map, that could keep the opposing team from making any attacks against you on the following turn.

What I’ve just mentioned is plenty of value for 35 points.

However, he’s got two other tricks up his sleeve. First, he can make a wall instead of one of his Barrier tokens. What good does that do? Well if you place a wall between two characters, they are no longer adjacent. You can use that wall that to prevent Poison damage, block line of fire to help friendly pulse wave be move effective, prevent an opposing character from using Mastermind, prevent an opposing character from being carried, or allow a friendly character to automatically break away. His second trick is that opposing characters adjacent to any of his Light Wall or Barrier markers can’t use Stealth and modify their defense values by -1. So he can place a free action barrier token next to a stealthy character and now not only can your entire force target that character with Ranged attacks, but that (formerly stealthy) character will be at minus 1 defense the entire time!

Bizarro Joker.jpg

5. JW063 Bizarro Joker — 45 points — Chase: Bizarro Joker only has one purpose. He’s arguably the best tie up figure – ever. He has Traited Plasticity, a full dial of damage reducers, and two Stop Clicks. The trick is getting him next to at least two opposing figures before he takes too much damage from ranged attacks. If you can get him next to at least two opposing figures, then his Special Power “BIZARRO POISONwill heal him for at least two a turn. That healing, combined with his STOP clicks means that even if he is on his last click he will heal past his STOP clicks and as long as he isn’t damaged three times in a row, he can’t be KOed. Then your opponent will just be stuck. They can’t break away (Plasticity), kill Bizarro Joker (Stop Clicks and healing), or attack anyone else (because they are adjacent to Bizarro Joker). This 45 point figure may completely neutralize half of the opposing team. His only real vulnerabilities are that his healing can be Outwitted, or that he can taken out by ranged attacks (probably at least 4) before getting adjacent to enough characters. But that is totally understandable. I mean it’s not like they could make a Joker that is completely unkillable and still be in the in the 50 point range. Right? RIGHT?

Anarky JW.png

4. JW003B Anarky75 points — Common Prime: Anarky’s dial is pretty unremarkable, but if you are looking for a way to keep opposing figures from coming to your side of the board you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to do it then with this figure. If you need time to build Robo Penguins, turn a Supreme Intelligence dial or deploy Pandora’s Box Sins – this is your guy. Bomb markers give you the option of blowing up if an opposing character is within 3 of the marker and they have a 50% chance of doing 3 Penetrating damage to everything within 3 of the marker. At the start of the game you get 6 bomb markers to place anywhere except within 4 of a starting area or another bomb marker.

That’s pretty strong by itself, but you can maximize their efficiency in two ways. First there no limit to how many bombs can be set off at the start off your turn. If an opposing figure is in range of two or more bombs you can set off all of them at once for maximum damage. The second way to maximize efficiency is to recognize that while the bombs you start with can’t be placed near other bombs, there is no such restriction on bombs brought into play via Anarky’s special attack power “LEAVING THEM A LITTLE SURPRISE: Give Anarky a power action. Place adjacent a Bomb special marker as described on this card.” You can use that power to place bombs adjacent to other bombs which should prevent an opponent from going anywhere near that area for the rest of the game.

Jakeem Thunder JW.png

3. JW053B Jakeem Thunder 140 points SR Prime: The newest figure made that allows you to pick your powers every turn. Jakeem Thunder is no Zombie GOTG062 Super Skrull, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be highly effective. With only a few restrictions, Jakeem can pick any two powers each turn to add them to his own. He can still pick a lot powerful combinations. For example, Running Shot/Pulsewave, Ranged Combat Expert/Sidestep, Plasticity/Poison, Combat Reflexes/Stealth, Hypersonic Speed/Super Strength, Perplex/Telekinesis, or Flurry/Blades/Claws/Fangs. On turns where you aren’t taking any action with him, you can choose Shape Change or Stealth and any defense power. You can even have Regeneration at any point on your dial, or choose support to heal others.

Where he really gets nuts is where he’s helped by Possession or Resources. The Wrath Sin from Pandora’s Box will make it so he doesn’t need to worry about his lack of Willpower and he’ll have Combat Reflexes to go along with the Energy Shield/Deflection already on his dial. Or you could add an entity like Eclipso so you can choose a defensive ability from Eclipso and let Jakeem choose 2 offensive abilities with his trait. Even better, you can do both!

bizarro_green_arrow_01

Me am mascot for Target!!”

2. JW066 Bizarro Green Arrow50 PointsChase: Me am making entire team vulnerable to range attacks. Me no offer unprecedented protection like has been seen many times before in HeroClix. Me am not most expensive figure in set and not for good reason. Me will not let team essentially ignore the first four (or more) range attacks made against them. Me will not define the meta and will not be a piece that you need to plan around when making a tournament team. Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Green Arrow love seeing me on opposite team. They know that they will have an easy time dealing with me.

the-killing-joke-joker

Why is he dripping wet in this picture?

1. JW060V The Joker50 PointsSuper Rare: So they went ahead and made a Joker that is completely unkillable in the 50 point range. I mean yeah he does take damage if you attack him, but he has 30 clicks of life.  Oh and he doesn’t take pushing damage. Oh and he has traited Super Senses. Oh and he may randomly heal up to three clicks at the start of your turn without using an action. So an opponent may KO the Joker if he devotes all his actions to it over 8-10 turns, but what is the other 250 points of your team doing during that time? There is two reasons why I’m saying that the joker is unkillable during a standard time length game. The first is that with everything I just mentioned, your opponent will likely run out of time. Especially if you are weakening his team with attacks during that time. The second reason that Joker is unkillable is that by now everyone knows about him. And If your opponent knows about this figure, they won’t even bother trying to attack him.

But what about offense? This 50 point character would a take a long time to KO anyone. Well that’s actually true, but you have 250 points left to play some offense. This isn’t the best offensive figure ever, it’s arguably the best tie up figure ever. Place him next to your opponents best attacker and just sit him there. If your opponent attacks him, you win. If your opponent tries to break away and fails, you win. If your opponent breaks away for a turn, then just move right back next to him the following turn, and eventually you’ll win.

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, there you have it! Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the Comments below! And don’t go too far–Night 9 drops tomorrow!]

Who Watches the Watchlist: Part Deux!! (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, we are shamelessly unleashing the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas! Tonight is Night 6! If you missed The First Night of Clix-mas, you can catch up right here! Night 2 is here. Night 3 is here, you can find the 4th Night of Clix-Mas by clicking here, and Night 5 went down right here! Night 6 is now up, and can be found here. Night 7 showed up right about… here.]

Hot Shots Part Deux

Hello again!

Two nights ago, we reviewed the Watchlist changes from the beginning of the year. Now we’re gonna take a look at the most recent Watchlist from July 27th of this year. Did these changes make the game better? Or did they go too far in some cases? Let’s take a look!

2015 Q2 WATCHLIST:

AKA “The Felix Faust” Watchlist! Who, it so happens, is our first corrected piece to review! Let’s take a look:

Felix Faust

  • Felix Faust: There were two main changes wrought by Faust’s World Championship dominance. First, all of Faust’s nastiest d20 abilities now have a maximum effectiveness range of 7 squares. What’s that, you say? 7 squares is still pretty damn good? Well, normally I’d agree, but considering that before the Watchlist these shutdown abilities had an effective range of THE ENTIRE MAP, so I supposed I’d have to say that this was a step in the right direction. Pieces that are meant to shutdown the opponent’s pieces are always going to be hard to balance. In this case Faust was just ungodly for his measly 70 Point asking price. The second change that came in the wake of Faust running roughshod over THE WORLD is that d20 rolls can no longer be rerolled. Yup. Rerolling d20’s was a thing in the summer of 2015, since it enabled you to lock your opponent down completely. No more! Verdict: Having played against Mr. Faust since these changes came down, I can say that they probably didn’t do enough. He’s still able to dominate a game if his controller has ANY kind of dice luck!

Doc Strange

  • Doctor Strange: No changes to the good Doctor, which isn’t that surprising given that Doctor Strange here costs about 80 more points. Verdict: This was the right call. Why Faust was so much cheaper is beyond just about everyone.

Avengers Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

  • Scarlet Witch: This one’s a little harder to discuss, since her problematic ability is written like a phone book. For the record, this is how her power now reads: HEX MAGIC: Once per turn, after an attack roll has been determined, Scarlet Witch may give the attacker up to 3 Hex Magic tokens if the attacker is within range. A character may not be given Hex Magic tokens if they would have more than 3 Hex Magic tokens on their card. For each token she gives the attacker, reduce the attack total by 1. Opposing characters may be given a free action to remove a Hex Magic token and modify any friendly character’s attack value by +1 this turn. Basically, they added the “A character may not be given Hex Magic Tokens if they would have more than 3 Hex Magic tokens on their card” bit. Verdict: Her ability was worded veeerry loosely originally, so I’m not surprised it got changed. Pretty moderate change, too. And definitely necessary.

Yellow Power Battery

  • Yellow Power Battery: No change. Verdict: Nor should there have been. This Battery works just fine.
  • Orange Power Battery: Ditto. Verdict: Ditto.

And there ya go! This Watchlist wasn’t as packed as the last one. Does that mean WizKids has learned their lessons and taken the appropriate measures to make sure we’ll never have to deal with another Watchlist ever again?

Uhh… no. But that’s okay. At least WizKids is quicker to own up to a huge failure now and do whatever it takes to fix it. It seems like they’re making a concerted effort to achieve a modicum of transparency.

Having said all that, I’ll see ya tomorrow night for the 9th Night of Clix-Mas!!

A Weekly Roundup?! It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 12/21/2014!!) (Or, The Eighth Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas, an ongoing Critical Missives Clix celebration wherein we’re trying to publish new content for 12 straight days. If you’ve missed anything, you can check out Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4Night 5Night 6 or Night 7 just by clicking the preceding links!]

Roundup

And a Merry Clix-Mas to all, and to all, a good (Blackest) Night!! Welcome back, welcome back!!

It’s been almost a month since we Rounded Clix, so I think it’s high time we did it again! I hope this Winter Solstice finds you all well and in good spirits!

We’ve got a lot to get to today, so we should probably just dive right into…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

 

Microphone

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix is new every week; this past week brought us another milestone: Episode 75, wherein the guys discuss potential Meta pieces from Flash and the name of Austin’s new game!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–As far as I can tell, Episode 29 is still the most recent ep of The Quarry! The Roundtable discusses results from the Indianapolis ROC!

"We're a Thing again!"

–Well, just as quickly as they came back, ClixCast seems to have gone away! They have yet to release an October or November ep, but you can catch their August and September offerings right here!

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

–You can find the latest ROC tourney announcements right here!

–Except for the just-dropped Majestix announcement, which you can catch right here!

 

Preview

–In case you missed it last week: there is going to be a “Spider-Man Symbiotes” Monthly Op Kit in May of next year! Looks like there’ll be 3 different versions of Venom!

–No other current Previews, but that’s to be expected as they JUST released Flash. I’d expect no real previews until WizKids’s annual 12 Days of Clix-Mas promotion, where we’ll get a look at next year’s offerings like Justice League: Trinity War, Avengers Assemble and both Avengers: Age of Ultron offerings!

 

 

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

Jenny_Sparks_The_Secret_History_of_the_Authority_5

Alright, for this week, we’re just gonna build an army from some of the new Flash pieces that just released!!

Team NameRespect My Authori-tah!!

ThemeNone

Map Choice Preference: Nothing specific–just something that’s a bit out in the open so you can take ranged shots.

Roster:

FL061 Jenny Sparks 125 Points

FL060R Engineer 90

GOTG007B Captain Marvel 81

=297 Points

What This Build Does:

This is a Themed Team for a No Resources, No Entities environment (since it obviously features neither of those things) that features 3 of the most versatile Scientist-keyworded figs in Modern right now. It’s specifically designed to give you three figures who can each fill multiple roles.

Jenny Sparks is an awesome Primary Attacker because of her Trait (ELECTRICAL CORTEX SHORT CIRCUIT: When Jenny Sparks hits an opposing character, that character can’t use special powers from now until your next turn.). However, she also offers a Special Leadership (IF YOU DIE, I’LL JUST DIG YOU UP AND PUT YOU TO WORK AGAIN: Jenny Sparks can use Leadership. When she does and the result is 6, remove all action tokens from all adjacent friendly characters with the Authority keyword.) that pairs especially well with Engineer, who can taxi Jenny and then have a chance for Jenny to take any and all tokens off of her next turn!

Engineer, even at the 90 Point level, is also a decent Primary Attacker OR Supporting Piece because she can pick up to three different Standard Powers a turn (not unlike Zombie Super-Skrull). She can be whatever you need her to be every turn.

Finally, Captain Marvel can ALSO be a Primary Attacker! He also offers a supporting Defend power (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.) that’ll boost the Defense of Jenny Sparks and Engineer to 19 if they’re both adjacent! And 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.) is among the best in the game, and will ensure that every turn either Jenny is countering ALL of an opposing figs Special Powers, or Captain Marvel is stopping them from attacking at all!

 

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

We’re doing an all-Hollywood column for Night 10!!

 

Wizkids

WizKids is giving away a ton of Yu-Gi-Oh! Clix, DVD’s and Blu-Rays!! Entering is pretty simple, and you can do it right here!

 

Wait--it's already listing this post!! Huh?! Whaa?! Must be magic!!

Critical Missives:

–My local venue is dark until January, so that’s when the Local News section listing Local games will return.

–See above links if you’ve missed any 12 Nights of Clix-Mas columns!

–We’ll be right back tomorrow night with a post about the Heroclix Community!!

Until then, Stay Safe, and Watch where you draw you Lines of Fire!!