When You Absolutely, Positively HAVE To KO Every $&*#(@! In The Room… Accept No Substitutes!! (Or, A Second Opinion On The Top Ten Figures in Captain America and the Avengers!!) (Or OR, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2020! For Night One’s announcement trailer, click here. We built an Excalibur Themed Team with some new pieces on Night 2; Ninwashui finally released his SVC Top Ten on Night 3; he came back to talk Watchlist results on Night 4; and he came back once more to build an Apocalypse Prime army on Night 5! And we postulated that Bystander Generators are the new Duos on Night 6!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE 2: Why are you getting a Top Ten for a set that released in February?! Well, this article has been stuck in WordPress hell for the better part of a year. I normally write in the Classic Editor, but somehow, some way, WordPress decided to convert the entire article into their new Block format with, well, disastrous results. Still, we thought it would be neat to finally finish an article that was started before Covid was even a thing. Hope you guys and gals enjoy a look back at a time capsule from… well, still from 2020, but it feels like a lifetime ago!]

Cap and the Avengers 3

Let the new Clix year begin!!

Oh. Wait. It’s already begun.

Well then. Ninwashui already led off with his Top Ten figures from CAATV, so it’s time I got back on the saddle… to explain how wrong he was with his Captain America selections (well… a few of them, anyway)!

Sorry this has taken so long, but I’ve had a lot of personal things going on these past two three nine <ahem> ten months. But now I’m back!

But before we get to the CORRECT rankings, let’s look at…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

War Machine dual Target

Rhodey was best known for once bringing three guns to a knife fight.–Wow!! That was quite the lil’ power creepage, eh? How many pieces did we get in this set that get two attacks a turn? Yes, there are conditions for most of these pieces to make the second attack (Thor, War Machine), but those conditions (usually just, y’know, hit with the first attack) are fairly easy to meet and the benefits are ridiculous! Punisher War Machine just literally needs to have two tokens to unleash hell.

Captain Marvel Busting Through

–Beyond that, there’s a higher than usual amount of figures that get two-for-one special abilities or Traits. Sharon Carter has a Perplex that grants Outwit to any friendly character she uses it on (provided they have the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword). SR Captain Marvel deals automatic penetrating damage AFTER she makes a Hypersonic Attack. Okay, she probably belongs in the list above. But still. The pieces in this set aren’t just strong; many are among the most versatile figures Wizkids has ever printed!

Ultron Chase

–Once again, we have a set of Marvel Chases that don’t have a strong thematic connection. In this case, they’re connection was actually material–as in, they are each the only pieces in the set that come with Clix FX, a previous mechanic making a welcome return here.

(Anytime I can see a visual representation of a mechanic on the map, I’m a happy camper. Makes it harder to forget elements during a match!)

So with that, let’s get on to five…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Namor 2

5. CAAV069 Namor — 75 Points — Chase:

This dial would probably crack the Top 10 of most other sets. Unfortunately, the King of Atlantis here is trapped in an absolutely stacked lineup, so he will have to settle for Honorable Mention.

Still, a 12 Attack top dial with a native 4 Damage for 75 points is always going to get some notice. But what I really love about this version of Namor is how his two Traits really open up Water Builds, a sub-genre of team building that’s never really been Meta but is always a ton of fun.

Namor comes with a Flood Marker Clix FX that counts a Water Terrain and works with his first Trait (AVENGING SON OF ATLANTIS: Namor starts the game with the Flood marker in his square. // The Flood marker is water terrain. // Smoke Cloud as FREE, but to generate water terrain markers instead of hindering terrain markers. // FREE: Place the Flood marker in Namor’s square.). So on any Map, he can literally flood seven squares every turn, which can activate Traits and Special Powers on a ton of other Dolphin-symbol characters (check out the aptly-named Dolphin from DC Rebirth, for example. If you can guarantee she starts her Charge in Water Terrain every time she attacks, she doesn’t halve her movement and suddenly she’s probably worth double her Point Cost).

His second Trait complements the first and helps other Dolphin characters hit their marks (MASTER OF THE SEVEN SEAS: (Dolphin symbol). // Friendly characters with (Dolphin symbol) or who share a keyword (with Namor) modify attack +1 if making a close attack while occupying water terrain.).

Losing Map Roll is always a big risk with Water Builds, but Namor mitigates that risk quite a bit!

Songbird

4. CAAV065 Songbird — 60 Points — Super Rare:

As we’ll soon see, the Super Rare slot in this set is PACKED with heavy hitters!

So there’s nothing really tricky here. Songbird is just REALLY efficient for her points.

Top dial, she’s rocking a 10 Movement with Running Shot, an 11 Attack with Pulse Wave, 18 Defense with Super Senses and 3 Damage with Probability Control. That right there is about as packed as you can get for 60 Points!

She also has one of the set’s Theme-based token Traits (ASSEMBLED BOLTS AND MASTERS: Once per turn when Songbird hits, after resolutions you may roll a d6. 5-6: If your force has 3+ friendly characters with the Masters Of Evil or Thunderbolts keywords, remove an action token from Songbird -or- give an action token to a hit target. If your force has 6+, do both.), which is fine, but her second Trait (SOLID SOUND CONSTRUCTS: Barrier as FREE, but only to generate 1 marker then remove all other blocking terrain markers adjacent to the generated marker.) is borderline amazing!

Basically, she can put up one Barrier marker to make it difficult to target her, or you can use that Trait offensively to destroy opposing Barrier markers and open up strategic lines of fire!

This is the best version of Songbird they’ve ever made (and get used to that, because it’s going to be true for a bunch of different characters that we’re going to be covering!).

Sharon Carter

3. CAAV006 Sharon Carter — 35 Points — Common:

So, just in case you were thinking the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword would be gone from the Meta for awhile, here’s the first of MANY pieces with that keyword that we’ll be discussing today.

Sharon only has three clicks, but she’s ridiculously affordable, has great survival instincts with the recurring Espionage Trait (ESPIONAGE: Stealth, Improved Movement: Hindering, Improved Targeting: Hindering.), gives your squad some cheap Leadership AND comes packing with a Special Damage Power (STAND BY FOR UPDATES: Perplex. When Sharon Carter uses it to target another friendly character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword, that character can use Outwit until your next turn.) that can be gamechanging.

Her Leadership special works better when she’s teamed with any almost any version of Steve Rogers, but that Damage Special absolutely breaks a different soldier that we’ll be talking about when we get to the top of this list…

Taskmaster2

2. CAAV049 Taskmaster — 60 Points — Rare:

Yet another switchblade version of one of my favorite villains, this Taskmaster comes STACKED with powers and abilities!

He moves through Hindering Terrain, he has the Wildcard TA, starts with a 12 (TWELVE!!) Attack with B/C/F AND Perplex, and his pick-a-power Trait (YOU FORGET THAT I TOOK ON THE AVENGERS: FREE: Choose a standard speed or defense power printed on this card. Taskmaster can use that power until your next turn.) makes him extremely hard to KO. Heck, with Stealth up top, he’s hard to even touch!

The Black Widow Movie set gave us a bunch more Taskmasters, but I don’t know that it gave us anything (for the points) that’s better than this.

1. CAAV060 Blade — 50 Points — Super Rare:

A potentially neverending Charge (provided he offs an enemy with the Monster or Mystical keyword each time); Stealth; Improved Movement: Hindering; Improved Targeting: Hindering; Steal Energy (with the ability to heal past his starting line); Blades (of course) and a 17 Defense with Combat Reflexes.
Yes, he’s a bit chewy, but he recovers well and his offense could potentially swing the match. His subpar 10 Attack at this level is the only thing keeping him from the Top Ten.
And NOW…..

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE AVENGERS!!

War Machine CAAV

10. CAAV053A War Machine — 100 Points — Super Rare:

Two Team Abilities. A Trait (MINI-GUN TARGET LOCK: When War Machine hits, after resolutions you may give a hit character a Target Lock token, then remove all other Target Lock tokens. // FREE: Make a range attack using War Machine’s printed attack and damage values, but only to target the character with his Target Lock token.) that allows up to a second ranged attack in one turn.

Plus Indomitable, Improved Targeting: Hindering, the ability to make ranged attacks while based and some pretty good stats. Also, this Preview set off a firestorm of anticipation among Heroclix fans for this set.

Hell, War Machine would be higher on this list if his B-Side wasn’t EVEN BETTER

Old Steve Rogers

9. CAAV038 Steve Rogers — 50 Points — Rare:

Stats are aight. He has the recurring Living Legend Trait (LIVING LEGEND: The first time each game Steve Rogers would be KO’d, instead turn him to his last non-KO click, then roll a d6 and heal him equal to half the result. Protected: Pulse Wave.), so he’s a bit harder to put away than his point cost might suggest.

But his Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. Building Trait (WE’LL TAKE ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET, IF YOU’RE WORTHY: Leadership. During force construction, you may choose a standard character of 50 points or less. That character loses its printed keywords (for the entire game) and then gains either the Avengers –or– S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword (choose one).) is the main reason to play him.

This can even lead to some comic-ly ridiculous scenarios, like:

-Chase Ultron on his rookie dial can now suit up for S.H.I.E.L.D.!
-Valeria Von Doom can now be a child Avenger!
-Heck, if you want, you can take SR Q’s 50 point dial… and do nothing with it (as he’s not a standard character. Not all of these ideas were going to be winners.).

Peggy Cap

I don’t know who photoshopped this, but it’s pretty good!

8. CAAV075E Peggy CarterSideline Active (Aka “Free”) — Ultra Chase
So you’re telling me that if I field the ridiculously good Steve Rogers I just ranked at #9, I can also back him up with a 50-Point Peggy that Charges, has Precision Strike, has Indomitable, sports Leadership AND generates a really good Bystander Token… and that I can do all that FOR FREE?
That Rogers is good enough on his own. He doesn’t need any more value packed in.
This Peggy is just kind of alright for her points on her normal dial, but her Sideline Active free dial is bananas!
Maria Hill
7. CAAV008 Maria Hill — 45 Points — Common:
Why is a 45-Point Common all the way up at #7 in my Top Ten? Because she has an Omega-Level Movement Special Power (WELCOME TO PLEASANT HILL: Mind Control. Once per turn when a friendly character uses Mind Control to target a character that hasn’t been damaged this turn, after resolutions that targeted character can’t make attacks or be attacked until your next turn unless it’s the only character on its force.) that opens up all kinds of new Build possibilities!
I remember when Ninwashui and I thought Mind Control was one of the weaker powers in the game a few years ago; well… not anymore. Suddenly Mind Control is essentially a Maze of Ith (for non-MTG lifers, read “neutralizing force”) for your opponent’s best piece.
She also has Leadership coupled with the Espionage Trait and Shape Change for survivability. Even when she finally loses her special power, she gains Perplex and the ability to do Penetrating damage.
Truly a groundbreaking piece!
Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider
6. CAAV071 Ghost Rider — 70 Points — Chase:
His dial is great for his points (except for an average to low Attack across the dial), but he adds some wrinkles that really make him worthwhile.
First, his Special Ram ability (THE AVENGERS HAVE A SWEET NEW RIDE: Passenger: 3, but only to carry character who share a keyword regardless of [Wing symbol]. // Ram. When Ghost Rider uses it, he modifies speed +3 and does not take unavoidable damage from it.) is basically the best of its kind in the game.
Secondly, he has the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Mystical keywords… I mean, what team DOESN’T he fit on?
Ultron Age of Ultron
5. CAAV074(?) Ultron — (???) — Chase:
Yup! Another Chase from just a killer run of Chases (and we’re not done yet). I just threw question marks up there for his exact set number and Point cost because, honestly, each of his three point levels is just stupidly ridiculous.
For God’s sake, they even brought back his classic 14 Attack Value, which is honestly just stupid. If his dial was naked and you just had to make due with his native stats, he’d be a great value. Instead, you can pretty much just name a random great power, and he probably has it.
The second click on his 150-Point dial has a 13 Attack with Pen/Psy, 18 Defense with Impervious and 3 Damage with Perplex. Yeah. A 13 Attack Value. On his second click. #$%# off, Wizkids!
If your opponent places this guy in his Starting Area when forces are revealed, good luck.
Immortal Hulk
4. CAAV058 Immortal Hulk — 100 Points — Super Rare:
At some point when designing this set, someone in charge at Wizkids looked at all the broken pieces they were already stuffing into this set and thought, “Hey… why don’t we make a Hulk piece where we combine the survivability of that “Ha-Ha Joker” from Joker’s Wild with, y’know, the offense of an enraged, uh, Hulk. That seems like it’d be a pretty fair figure to play against.”
That was a real thought that a real adult had.
This piece is just stupid. He’s already starting to put his stamp on the Meta.
I actually got to play against this guy in Sealed, and the only reason I beat him is because I miraculously pulled the #1 piece on this list.
Thor Chase 2
3. CAAV070 Thor– 125 Points — Chase:
Another piece that–like Ultron–is darn near broken at any of its point levels.
It must have come from the same design space as that Immortal Hulk we just talked about.
Designer One: “Uh… what if we designed the Quintessential Thor dial”
Designer Two: “Hmmm… okay, we could–
Designer One: “And then added Probability Control!”
Designer Two: “But… why though?”
Again: this was a real thought that a real adult had.
Thor’s Lightning Marker Trait (BRING THE LIGHTNING: Thor has PROTECTED: Energy Explosion. // Thor starts the game with the Lightning marker attached. // When Thor hits with an attack not using Energy Explosion, you may place the Lightning marker in the square of a hit character. If you do, after resolutions make a range attack using Energy Explosion at no cost targeting that character regardless of range or line of fire. At the beginning of your next turn, attach the Lightning marker to Thor.) alone will make sure you get your investment out of fielding this absolute Monster.
Captain Marvel Anime
2. CAAV054 Captain Marvel — 95 Points — Super Rare:
Wizkids has been on a mission lately to make the perfect Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel, and if there’s a better Captain Marvel to been had, I’ve not seen it.
Her top dial Movement Special Power (HIGHER!: Hypersonic Speed. When Captain Marvel uses it, after resolutions deal 1 penetrating damage to an opposing character she moved through. If that character is a vehicle, deal it 3 penetrating damage instead.) is among the best versions of Hypersonic Speed we’ve ever had.
And the Chewie Bystander Token she generates is also top notch.
Altogether, she is going to be a force until she rotates.
Punisher War Machine 2
1. CAAV053B Punisher War Machine — 95 Points — Super Rare PRIME:
And now we circle back to the title of the article!
When you absolutely, positively have to KO everything in the room…
Here’s the best Colossal Stamina Trait you’ll ever see (THE WAR NEVER ENDS: Colossal Stamina. // If Punisher War Machine has two action tokens, he has “FREE: Make an attack.”).
He also has a great Attack Special Power (JUST NEED TO LIGHT THE FUSE: Energy Explosion, KNOCKBACK.).
By the way, he sees through Hindering and has a starting 12 Attack and 4 Damage.
He is a one-man army except he only costs 95 Points at most.
And he is the number one figure in this set!!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the Comments below.
And we’ll see you here tomorrow night!!

The Ghost of Clix-Mas Present Presents: Team Ideas: From Pauper to Meta!! (Or, the Fourth Day of Clix-Mas 2019!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTEWelcome to Night Four of the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas 2019!! First, we reviewed the ground rules; yesterday, we hit the ground running with an in-depth review of Call-In Cards from friend of the blog, Roberto Ty! Night Three brought us HypeFox’s look at the 10 best Chases of the year. And now, here’s a rare holiday appearance from writer/co-founder Ninwashui. It’s a Clix-Mas Miracle!!]

Brotherhood TWO

If you don’t remember the Brotherhood team that Roberto and HypeFox ran at the ROC Pauper events in October, they looked like this:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Vought
300 points (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

That team was run twice at that event and ended up taking 4th and 6th place that day. While it was not the only Juggernaut build, I am relatively certain it was the only Brotherhood build. In a world with colossal retaliation figures, location bonuses, and ID cards, The Brotherhood of Mutants just can’t compete in the Meta. I mean, none of them are Cosmic, so that should disqualify them right there.

Kobik 616

I am the living embodiment of the meta…

But, what if the Brotherhood did try to compete? What would that team look like? My answer would be “largely the same as pauper”.

First lets keep what worked from the Pauper Team. That would be:

  • XDPSG007R Juggernaut (100 points)
  • XDPS011B Magneto (50 points)
  • XDPS019 Amelia Vought (45 points)
  • XDPS023B Sabretooth (45 points)

That gives us a total of 240 points. So what do we do with the other 60? Lets start off by adding some additional offense since that what’s it seemed to be lacking in the pauper tournament. Sabretooth and Magneto are hard to kill, but they are also are hard to get kills with. Since this is a Meta team we’ll add offense the same way every other meta team does it… with ID cards.

Now, I don’t see Juggernaut ever not attacking since he’s the Juggernaut and that’s what he does. And it’s all he does. Using a card never seems like the right move for him.

By the same token, though, Amelia Vought should be doing absolutely nothing and using cards hurts her effectiveness. That leaves 50 point Magneto and 45 point Sabretooth. I can add up to 4 cards with the team I have so far so I’ll choose:

  • WKMVID-017 Beast Student ID – 3 points (WCR005E Beast – 40 points) – He can come into play with 11 att and 4 dam and use his charge to attack, or come into play with one less att and dam and be the teams only source of Outwit.
  • Stunner

    Stone Cold Stunner

  • WKMVID-019 Iceman Student ID – 3 points (XDPSG025P Iceman – 15 points) – What’s this, A colossal retaliation piece as a call in? Iceman has 3 dam and 11 att for his Colossal Retaliation attack and regardless of whether he hits he can use incapacitate as a free action on any opposing figure within reach. From there Iceman can simply walk off into the sunset (more than 5 squares away from the piece that called him in) to deny the other team points. Alternatively, Iceman can OPEN A SIX PACK OF STUNNERS on opposing Colossal figures with his trait that states “CHILL, IT’S JUST A GIANT ICE SWORD: Blades/Claws/Fangs. When Iceman KO’s a [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol] character, after resolutions he can use Charge at no cost, but may only attack a character with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol]. (He may repeat this.)” That’s huge upside for a 3 point investment.
  • WKMVID-020 Jean Grey Student ID – 3 points (XDPSG010P Phoenix – 25 points) – This is who you should summon if you are near 1 or more opposing figures that are vulnerable to poison. After using Poison, Phoenix can use her colossal retaliation to hopefully deal some penetrating damage and lower some combat values. Following that she can attack an opposing colossal figure, use her Telekinesis, or just walk off into the sunset.
  • WKMDOFP-005 Storm Wanted Poster – 5 points (XDPSG023BP Storm – 25 points) – Arguably the best sub 50 point call in and one of the best retaliation figures. Her colossal retaliation starts with an 11 att close combat attack. If you hit, then the fun begins and you get a free action triple target mind control at +3 att! Regardless of whether she hits she can then use her trait stating, “SUMMON A VORTEX OF WIND:  FREE: Choose up to 3 opposing characters within 6 squares and line of fire, then roll a d6. Knock back each of the chosen characters a number of squares equal to the result.” And everything I just mentioned so far is just the free actions. From there she can she can still use a standard action to attack ANY opposing character, or walk off into the sunset.

Then Lets Get This Started

Those 4 cards total 14 points which brings us to a total of 254. Let’s look at equipment next. Juggernaut can’t use equipment, and Amelia Vought doesn’t need it since she spends all her time doing nothing. That leaves Sabretooth and Magneto. I’ll put in the ABPIS002 Time Gem for Sabretooth and the ABPIS001 Reality Gem for Magneto. This will give the team some additional support powers it was lacking and help it deal with the inevitable dice altering powers it will face.

Those 2 gems total 20 points which brings us up to a total of 274. It looks like the only thing left to do is add another figure. Let’s add support figure XDPSG015P Magneto (25 points). The first thing you’ll notice about this Magneto is colossal retaliation and if you judge him like one of those pieces you will be sorely disappointed. What he really is, is a support figure with Telekenisis and Sidestep – which is a great combo. Compare him to TREKOS006 Lt. Kyle which is one of my favorite characters from the first trek set. This Magneto is there to position your figures, use theme team Prob Control and provide Leadership so that when you start calling in figures you aren’t short on actions. He can also take the occasional shot at the enemy via Colossal Retaliation (followed usually by running away).

Conclusion:

main-qimg-c0d6268cef42c2c00d3dbaee760a561c

Can this team compete with the primarily Cosmic Meta? Maybe. With some testing, tweaking, and practice – this team could potentially place high at a future event. One thing’s for sure, though… your opponent definitely won’t see this coming.

Unless, you know, your opponent read this article. In that case then you are probably out of luck.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you thought about this team in the comments below!

 

 

 

META Diary: Michigan ROC State Championship!!

Danger Room Dice Masters

Right concept, wrong game. Hmmm…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We have a guest columnist today! This is a firsthand account of Southeastern Michigan Meta player Roberto Ty and his run last week at the Michigan ROC State Championship! We’re hoping to feature Roberto semi-regularly on this site, so if you like what you see, let him know in the Comments below!]

Michigan ROC State Championship

November 9, 2019

By Roberto Ty

Warren, MI – Twenty-six players brought a wide range of teams for the ROC Michigan State Championship at Eternal Games. There was a lot of mystery in the days leading up to this event in part due to the new Pauper format where players are restricted to using game elements of a common or uncommon rarity level. Convention exclusives and OP figures are excluded and a Highlander rule is in effect. The most impactful rule, however, was not a restriction, but rather the inclusion of the WWE Universe figures. Released only two weeks earlier, the WWE characters brought their own multiverse abilities (such as Grand Entrance) and an even greater X-Factor–the WWE Ring–to the event that rivaled the latest Pauper meta contenders from the X-Men The Animated Series: Dark Phoenix Saga set like Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs, Nimrod, and Onslaught.

 

Brotherhood Pauper

It’s A Team Decision

A month before the event, I practiced several teams to gain insight both for my final build and to become familiar with character dials. The latter became moot as WizKids made a controversial decision: players were allowed to look at the back of an opponent’s card. This would go into effect on November 6, just three days before the event.

Juggernaut Pauper

Juggernaut, The… Quite Stoppable One-Man Army

What looks good on paper (for Pauper)… maybe should just stay on paper. Nothing exemplified this more than XDPS-G007 Juggernaut. He dominated many pre-release and release events and was the one-man army that seemed likely to dominate the Pauper format…until you practiced with him. At 300-points, he may be unstoppable, but he certainly wasn’t unbeatable. And just like the comics, he is easily overwhelmed by a team… and that team didn’t even have to be the X-Men. I lost to a Star Trek team that won map roll and placed us on a map without blocking terrain. Juggernaut needs blocking terrain to win because of his two synchronous Traits:

CITY-WIDE RAMPAGE: If Juggernaut destroyed 3 or more pieces of blocking terrain during one of his actions, after resolutions remove an action token from him.

MY MUTANT BROTHERS AND SISTERS: Once per turn when an effect other than clearing removes an action token from Juggernaut, after resolutions heal him 1 click.

Juggernaut can’t win map–certainly not consistently. So I shelved him and formed a new plan.

Nimrod Animated

Nimrod and My Dice

While map matters, so does a plan. The Juggernaut practice emphasized the importance of winning map and to win map I needed a Themed Team. I gravitated toward 175-point XDPS-G003 Nimrod and supported him with XDPS011b Magneto and XDPS-G002 Sentinel Squad One or XDPS011b Magneto,  XDPS023b Sabretooth, and XDPS-G001 Sentinel. While Magneto and Sabretooth were hard to kill due to their Danger Room Construct Traits, they also didn’t have the offensive output I typically like on my builds. 

DANGER ROOM CONSTRUCT TRAIT: When Magneto makes an attack, after resolutions give him an Error token for each [1] in the attack roll (maximum 3). // If Magneto has 2 or less Error tokens, characters take a maximum of 1 damage from Magneto’s attacks, Magneto takes a maximum of 1 damage from opponent’s attacks, and he can’t be healed or chosen for Mastermind. Protected: Pulse Wave.

Using Magneto as the pilot circumvented the damage restriction and allowed Sentinel Squad One to use the pilot’s offensive values (8 range, 12 attack, and 4 damage). Despite this, I didn’t feel the team was very strong: Nimrod didn’t have a move and attack, the team was only a +3 or a +4 (depending on the build) map roll, and there was no Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control. Without these support powers, a lot was left to my dice rolls. Nimrod’s Running Comparative Evaluation Of Reference Data trait offered him additional protection when being attacked…but only if I could roll higher than my opponent. The trait reads:

RUNNING COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF REFERENCE DATA: When Nimrod is attacked and would be hit, you may roll 2d6. If your roll is equal or higher than the attacker’s attack roll, Nimrod evades that attack and after resolutions deal the attacker damage equal to their printed damage value.

I didn’t roll higher than my opponent’s attack roll in my practice games. I couldn’t even roll a 1 to get Error Tokens on my Constructs either. Leaving it to chance was risky and I needed to come up with another plan.

Phoenix Rise and Fall

Rachel Summers Phoenix

More lessons on paper. On paper, I didn’t like XDPS-G010 Phoenix because she had a short dial for 175 points, only had a move and attack on her top click, and a very hittable 17 defense up close (she has Energy Shield Deflection). Even with a STOP click, I wasn’t that impressed…until I played against my friend, who used her to great effect on a non-theme team. His team had a lot of options that centered on supporting her effectiveness and her incredible 10 range. Another practice friend use the XDPS Fast Forces X-Men, which also opened my eyes on their usefulness as main force characters and not just as Call-In options. I decided to go with Phoenix, XDPS03 Beast, FFXDPS005 Gambit, and XXS007 Moira McTaggert. This build offered the ability to Perplex by +4 (+2 from Beast, +1 Moira McTaggert, +1 Phoenix), +4 Named Theme Team Probability Control, X-Men Team Ability for healing, Leadership, and decent secondary attackers. Additionally, Gambit’s trait gave the entire team Probability Control against attacks from Great Size characters. His trait:

HUNTED AND ON THE RUN: Friendly characters that are adjacent or have the X-Men keyword can use Probability Control when attacked by characters with [Giant symbol] or [Colossal symbol].

The team proved quite effective and won a lot of the practice matches, but despite this I was hesitant after playing a 300-point modern game that was restricted to non-Marvel and non-DC characters. My build was: TREKRF028r Q, TREKOS044 Trelane, TREKBG016 Miles O’Brien, WWE012 Asuka, and WWE017 Eddie Guerrero. This team exposed me to the effectiveness of the WWE characters and it gnawed on me up to the week of the event.

Brotherhood TWO

The Return of Juggernaut in The Brotherhood of Mutants

I had a competitive Pauper event prior to the ROC that was essentially a practice run. My friend, who couldn’t attend the ROC, offered me his team, which was 100-point Juggernaut, Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, Blob, and Amelia Vought for a Brotherhood of Mutants named theme team.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This friend was indeed our own Ninwashui.]

This team build was a hard-to -kill and point-denial team. I went 1-1, losing the first game 0-0 in a roll off and winning the second game 13-0. These results didn’t offer me the certainty I needed. In fact, going into Saturday, I found myself returning back to the Phoenix team.

Juggernaut Bitch

“I’m the Juggernaut, B****”

Game Time Decision

Be prepared. I brought my Phoenix and Brotherhood teams and it wasn’t until I filled out my build sheet that I decided to go with Juggernaut. I was seeing enough WWE characters that I was concerned that Phoenix wouldn’t be able to target them because of the WWE rules:

WWE Rules: This character can’t be the target of range attacks or Outwit if: they’re on click #1, they’re on a click with a blue click #, -or- they’ve already been targeted by a ranged attack this turn. Protected: Pulse Wave.

So, then this was my…

FINAL TEAM:

100 XDPSG007R Juggernaut
50 XDPS011B Magneto
45 XDPS023B Sabretooth
60 XDPS021 Blob
45 XDPS019 Amelia Voght
300 (Brotherhood of Mutants, +5 map initiative roll, +5 Theme Team Probability Control)

Maps: Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns, Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map, The Mighty Thor Jotunheim Lake

Having a plan. Based on the two games I played on Thursday, I would engage my opponent primarily with Magneto and Sabretooth, forcing the action. Blob would be a tie-up piece and a tertiary attacker. Juggernaut would break grouped formations with Quake and Amelia Vought would provide him support through her Mutant Messiah trait and her special defense power, Transmute Out of Danger.

MUTANT MESSIAH: At the beginning of the game, for all characters with this trait, choose a friendly character with the Acolytes or Brotherhood of Mutants or X-Men keyword. That character can use Mastermind, but only to choose characters with this trait.

TRANSMUTE OUT OF DANGER: Super Senses. Once per turn, when Amelia Voghtor an adjacent friendly character would take 3 or more damage, you may give that character two action tokens to take 1 unavoidable damage instead. If you do, after resolutions you may place that character in a square adjacent to her current square.

Swiss Rounds

Giant-Girl images.jpg

GAME 1—The matchup was with a friend and judge at a local venue I play at. I actually played him at the Thursday Pauper event and beat him 13-0. This was a nice first-round pairing since it would be a fun, low-stress, and friendly match that would allow me to ease into a potentially intense, strategic-thinking kind of day. He won map roll with his Avengers team—Voyager, Hulk, Medusa, Crystal, AIM White and Red, 2 Giant-Girls, several IDs, WWE Ring, and Iron Avenger Assemble (Stark Tower Location Bonus). We did a lot of positioning for the first few turns. I initially was going to engage him with one of my Constructs, but he left his Giant-Girl partly exposed and I took advantage with Magneto’s incredible range. Knocking her out. He then called in Kitty to generate Lockheed for an Energy Explosion, which missed. The game ended 13-0. Record:1-0.

Deathstroke images.png

GAME 2—Because of my low points, I was placed at one of the lower tables and was matched up against my brother-in-law, who ran a non-theme team that consisted of ABPI010 S.H.I.E.L.D. Diplomat, RE001 Deathstroke, EAX030 The Skull, AI004 Hawkeye, AIG001-20 Giant-Girl, and HQ029 Batman. It was an atypical build and I wasn’t sure initially what the main threat was, outside of Deathstroke. I didn’t worry about The Skull’s across the map Mind Control because I knew I would win map and put us on Underground Caverns. I positioned conservatively and managed to siphon his team in the middle of the map. The blocking terrain really hindered his team and I took advantage by targeting his Giant-Girl with Magneto. I then set to work on Deathstroke and took him out in a couple turns. His team really got locked down and he wasn’t able to really make a dent in my hard-to-damage team. Record: 2-0

Onslaught images.jpg

GAME 3—My next opponent was someone I played before at the major events. He ran one of the teams that I didn’t want to see, an Onslaught team that included Danger Room Constructs Magneto and Sabretooth, TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, HQ004 Big Tony, BTAS007 Leslie Thompkins, and XDPSG004p Proteus. What I feared about Onslaught was his trait:

PSYCHIC JUGGERNAUT: Onslaught has PROTECTED: Mind Control, Outwit, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast. // Once per turn, Onslaught can use Incapacitate as FREE -or- Mind Control as FREE -or- Telekinesis as FREE.

While Juggernaut could potentially charge right in on Onslaught, it was risky if he hit his Shape Change roll. If Onslaught failed his Shape Change roll, then Ensign Crusher’s special attack power allowed Onslaught the ability to reroll it once per turn. Crusher’s power:

I GOT IT, CAPTAIN!: Once per turn, when a friendly character that’s adjacent or has the Starfleet keyword rolls for Leadership, Shape Change, Super Senses, or Impervious they may re-roll that roll.

Onslaught could then attack and get Juggernaut off his top click and his special defense power:

SHIELDED BY MY HELMET: Colossal Stamina, Invincible. Juggernaut has PROTECTED: Incapacitate, Mind Control, Outwit, Pulse Wave.

This would have made Juggernaut susceptible to Onslaught’s Mind Control. With all this in mind, we both used the first few turns to position, until I made what could have been a fatal error. He blew out a piece of blocking terrain with Magneto that allowed him to hit Juggernaut with Onslaught. I forgot to Mastermind the damage to Amelia Voght. This forced me to retreat so I could heal by destroying blocking terrain and removing an action token from Juggernaut.

My Magneto then struck back on Onslaught, getting him off his top click, which was important so that he no longer had Shape Change. He was still formidable since he now had Super Senses, which Ensign Crusher allowed him to also reroll once per turn. I knew I had to take out his support out and I largely used Juggernaut to do this with:

MASS DESTRUCTION:  Super Strength. When Juggernaut is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.

I won, killing Ensign Crusher, Big Tony, Leslie Thompkins, and Proteus. Record: 3-0.

Mirror Match

GAME 4—The Mirror Match. I faced the brother of my friend who had built our Brotherhood teams.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup! This was our own HypeFox!]

He initially was playing a very good Onslaught team during the week and like me, decided to go Brotherhood. I won map roll and decided to change the map to Stark Tower because I wanted to limit the amount of healing either of us could do. I took out his Amelia Voght early and thought I had gained the advantage, but he quickly turned the game around thanks to me missing the first attack with Juggernaut. This was par for the course all day unfortunately. In each of my matches, Juggernaut missed his very first attack when it would have done the most damage. I battled, but he was able to make several Impervious rolls in a row and that cost me the win. Record: 3-1.

Top 16

Wakanda images.jpg

GAME 5—This was the 8-9 matchup. I was 8th due to my low point total and my opponent was 2-2 with a lot of points. He rocked a very cool Wakanda team: FFABPI003 Shuri, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, ABPI007 Wakandan Scientist, ABPI029A Black Panther, 75 FFABPI006 Okoye, and 30 ABPI021 Ayo. He won map and chose Rebirth Metal Arena with no blocking terrain! Juggernaut would be severely handicapped and I would need to use him judiciously.

This type of team is built to take you by surprise and I was really surprised. First, Shuri’s trait:

SCIENTIST OF WAKANDA: UNIQUE MODIFIER-Friendly characters with the Wakanda keyword modify defense +1 if they are closer to your starting area than any other starting area.

We of course battled closer to his starting area. I positioned midway on the map while he placed Okoye next to the Dune Buggy for added protection. I had to be wary not to get within her full charge special power:

THE DORA MILAJE ARE FIRST TO FIGHT: Charge, but do not halve speed.

Magneto would use Ranged Combat Expert to modify his attack to a 14 so he could hit Okoye’s high defense, dealing his 1 maximum damage. He knew this would be a problem because I wasn’t going to move my team in to be swarmed. His team had a ton of Perplex on his team that could do serious damage to Juggernaut. With the ability to look at the back of the cards, I knew that Black Panther and Okoye had middle-dial Outwit, which would be dangerous if Juggernaut was knocked off his special defense power that gave him PROTECTED: Outwit.

I knew I would have to move my team around to force him to come chase me. He approached my team with Black Panther and Okoye—his main attackers—but they didn’t have the reach to get there in one turn. Next turn I moved my team away and tried to hit his support and KO them with Juggernaut, but I missed badly. Again.

He then came back with Black Panther, but made a positioning error that allowed me to pummel him with Juggernaut rolling a critical hit with a heavy object. I followed up with a range attack from Magneto. I was up 95-0 and won. Record: 4-1.

Top 8

Wesley-Crusher-3.jpg

GAME 6—My opponent was another player I knew from a local venue. I was impressed by his performance. He was a new player and it was his first major event. Despite being new, he had gone undefeated for the day. His practice and diligence was paying off. 

I knew this was going to be a difficult matchup. It was another Onslaught build, but this time it consisted of TREKRF014 Ensign Crusher, XDPS023A Sabretooth, RE024 Veronica Cale, ABPI027 Everett K. Ross, AIG005 Dune Buggy Special Terrain, and EAXLB-SC I Keep The Trains Running (Location Bonus).

I won map and chose Star Trek Original Series Away Team Underground Caverns Indoor Map. A good portion of this game was positioning, with neither of us willing to overextend our teams to get swarmed.

I had left my Blob exposed to Onslaught’s Mind Control, which he made. He used Blob to attack Sabretooth, but missed. Since Blob wasn’t friendly to my force, he was not Immobile from his trait and rolled for a breakaway that he was successful on.

NOTHING MOVES THE BLOB: Immobile, but only if it’s not your turn. // At the end of your turn, if the Blob was not moved or placed this turn, give him a Stability token. Blob modifies defense +1 for each Stability token. When he moves or is placed, remove his Stability tokens.

He was able to kill my Amelia Voght, which put me down on points. I had to get more aggressive and kill his support with Juggernaut’s move and quake. I moved and last action was called. I made my free Quake and was able to kill off a couple of support pieces for the win. It was a low-scoring affair that I won. Record: 5-1.

Top 4

Crystal

GAME 7—This matchup was against a well-known player and former World Champion. His team was Avengers: AIG001-10 Giant-Girl, FFAIG001P Giant-Girl, ABPI012 Crystal, ABPI017 Voyager, TMT106E Hulk, ABPI030 Medusa, TMT023 Eric Masterson, FFAI001E Iron Man, TMTS001 Bloodaxe, and 5 EAXLB-ST Iron Avengers, Assemble  (Location Bonus).

My opponent won map and placed us on Earth X Stark Tower Indoor Map. As I mentioned earlier, I was worried about this match up because the build has so many options for dealing with different teams. It also has multiple ways to hurt you with free attacks either from Crystal’s free Quakes or through multiple attacks from Medusa’s Living Hair. If that weren’t enough then Hulk comes in with a 12 attack and 4 damage.

I tried to position strategically again, but in hindsight should have been more aggressive from the opening bell. I took out his Giant-Girls early, but failed to make critical attacks with Juggernaut when I needed to in order to change the outcome of the game. Once he was able to get Juggernaut off his top defense power, he quickly pressed his advantage and Outwitted his defense. Once he took out Juggernaut, it was pretty much an uphill battle for my Danger Room Constructs and Blob. I got 1 Error Token the entire game and was never ever able to deal enough damage to his team while in contrast he was whittling me down with all his free attacks. Final Record: 5-2, 4th Place Finish.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ninwashui’s design finished the day at 10-3. Not a bad record for a Meta-rich environment!]

Final Thoughts

My 4th Place was not my highest finish in a major event, but it was my highest in constructed. While the Pauper format, did introduce a variety of interesting builds, there were still clear archetypes that were followed (Avengers, Nimrod, and Onslaught). It will be interesting to see what other winning builds will show up in other states. I wouldn’t be surprised if a WWE team winds up winning. They are that good, especially in this format.

Will Pauper catch on? I hope so, it can offer a more affordable game to newer players. I still think it could use more tweaking so that we see more creative and unique builds, but overall the format reinvigorated the game from my perspective. It really was fun to sit down across a team that wasn’t Cosmic with Colossal Retaliators and equipment.

I’m The Best There Is at What I Do… And What I Do Is Lose to the Best!! (Or, Local Tourney Report: ROC Super Qualifier – Eternal Games in Warren, Michigan 10/01/2016)

ROC

While I still play every week or so, in general my family duties don’t allow me to attend some of the bigger HeroClix events. However, on the night before the ROC SQ in Warren, Michigan, I was able to rearrange my schedule to where I had a mostly free day on Saturday.  My only real problem was that I needed to make an ultra-competitive team for a big field of Meta players and I had only a few hours to dream something up.

Still, I had a few ideas floating around in my head:

  • A Pro-Registration team with CWSOP102 Iron Man, CWSOP008 Wasp, and CWSOP020 Jack O’Lantern. I figured if I threw Jocasta and Eclipso on the first two they would be nearly unkillable and Jester was just there to gum up the works. Add in a full Pandora’s Box and that’s 300. [EDITOR’S NOTE: How is “Nearly Unkillable” NOT the title of a straight-to-video Steven Seagal and/or Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? It’s not. I checked. But it definitely SHOULD be!]
  • A Wild Card Team with SFSM049 Spider-Man, AOU007 Yellowjacket, SMWW055P Eclipso, FFJLTW007 Atomica, WF062R Batman and a full Pandora’s Box to make 300. Yellowjacket at full size is a surprisingly capable Taxi. Each attacker had Perplex and Batman could suck up a CSA Team Ability action token each turn with no ill effects.
  • A Soldier team with SMWW065R Superman, CWSOP101 Captain America, UXM057P Proteus, NFAOS062 Captain America’s Motorcycle, SMWWG006P War Wheel (or the Atom), and a full Pandora’s box to make 300.  Sadly I didn’t have a War Wheel or Atom that I could get my hands on in time…
  • The Sinister Syndicate Team I detailed in my Top 10 Article for The Superior Foes of Spider-man. Nearly that exact team took second in an ROC Qualifier down south a few weeks ago.

While I felt those were all at least viable builds (“viable” meaning I’d at least have a chance against most matchups I’d see), I ended up going a different way. So who did I play?

In a way I was forced into the final roster I chose because the only Colossal Retaliation Figure I owned was Titano and I felt Colossal Retaliation would be big on the competitive scene (as it turned out, I was right–Colossals literally LITTERED the field). Since I wanted to play Theme, I was slightly limited by Titano’s keywords. Probably a backwards way into army building, but that’s where I was.

I wanted something that would be really fun for me to play, too. Well, my favorite two HeroClix mechanics are token generation and Stop Clicks. I also wanted multiple attackers and in my opinion Klarion is far and away the best figure in the 60-90 point range I was looking at for the Animal theme. I’d argue he might be the best 70 point figure ever. Still, I needed a Primary figure with the Animal keyword to anchor the Klarions and Titano around.

Arriving at the SQ:

I saw a lot of interesting teams when I showed up. A guy from my venue had a combo team with Black Swan (which seemed like a good idea, but I heard did not go that well). Another guy used some borrowed pieces to play a team centered around CWSOP101 Captain America and CWSOP102 Iron Man (he mentioned later that he didn’t suffer many KOs in his games, but the games were slow and low scoring.) Looking around the room I saw a team made almost entirely of Ultron Drones along with 3 SMWWG003P Brimstone, and a SMWWG004P Solaris. The Colossals were lined up like missiles (just like I talked about doing way back in my Superman Wonder Woman Top 10 article). In general Colossals were on most teams, there weren’t as many KC figures as I would have thought, and one particular figure showed up on a lot of teams… including mine!

devildinosaur

It turns out SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur was on a lot of the top teams. Part of that could have been the fact that the entire world championship team that designed him showed up and was playing him, but in general he was on a lot of different teams. As the day went on I could also see that he was on a lot of teams that WON, including the eventual overall winner. I barely remember seeing Devil Dinosaur in the standings of the last ROC.

So, my final roster was:

Team Name: Pokémon Trainers (Animal Theme)

WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy

WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy

SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur

SMWWG005P Titano

JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Full)

Total = 300 Points

And off I went!

rules-lawyering

Round 1 VS. A new player from Flint, MI (name unknown):

I remember talking to this guy after we finished our match and he was a real nice guy. He’d only started playing about 6 months previous to our match. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way. His team was good and his tactics weren’t bad, but this was a bad matchup for him. That combined with good dice for me and bad dice for him meant that I took the win. I score 300 points for the round.

This was actually my first big HeroClix tournament in forever. Before this I had only done local shop play and Battle Royals. In the back of my mind I was worried that all I would face would be “rules lawyers” all day. So this was good friendly opening match to get rid of any nervousness.

aquaman

Or just unite two of me!

Round 2 VS. A Younger Player from Toronto, CA (name unknown)

This round I faced a team with BVS006 Aquaman, FFBVS004R Aquaman, three 30 point Ultron Drones, and a Round Table. In my wildest imagination I never believed I would face an Aquaman today, much less 2. The Drones and Round Table were more of what I expected.

If I had won Map Roll (I had +4 to my roll versus his nothing), this would have been a much easier game. Of course I lost. So now I am fighting 2 Aquamen on a map of entirely water terrain that gives swimmers improved movement and +2 speed.

His force came at me in two waves. The Aquamen came at me first while the Drones slowly advanced. To start off he did a couple of hit and runs with Hypersonic Speed versus the Klarions and Devil  Dinosuar. He made it hard to strike back by using free action Barrier with the other Aquaman to block himself into a corner. He couldn’t attack Titano because of Titano’s Plasticity. It took me a few turns to remember that Devil could see right over the barrier since he was a giant and we were on an outdoor map. So I popped out both Teekl’s and used their Perplex to pump up Devil’s Damage Value to 5 and had him attack the Hypersonic Aquaman directly.

It was near that time that the Ultron Drones got in range and popped out a Nick Fury. Nick took away Devil’s defensive ability and hit him for 4 damage. I forgot about Devil’s second type of stop click on click 4 and clicked him to click 5 instead. Then both Aquamen followed up and KOed him.

I responded by dropping an angry Titano on the Ultron Drones the next turn. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped. After his first attack dealt 1 damage to each drone, Titano was KOed by future Ultron’s power, “SPIKES AND CRACKLING ENERGY: Ultron can use Poison and deals penetrating damage while using it. If Ultron possesses this power after taking damage from an attack, deal the attacker 1 unavoidable damage.

Thankfully even after Devil Dinosaur was KOed, the Klarions (and one Teekl) empowered by the Box were able to mop up the entire opposing team. In fact, I don’t believe they took any damage after that point. I score 300 points for the round.

Zatara 2

Round 3 VS. Tom Kerr from the Meta Lab

Tom was the eventual first place finisher and he played like it. He was very methodical, but also still very friendly. I lost, but didn’t feel bad about it.

His team was SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, FFUXM002 Jean Grey, WF048 Zatara (played forward), War Wheel, and a Full round table. Of course I lose map roll. So he takes us to a map with the smallest amount of hindering terrain I have ever seen on a map. Almost none for my Klarions to hide in.

Turn one he has Devil call in Nightwing who brings out Tony Zucco and this advances the Round Table. Then he uses the Wheel to carry his Devil up. I respond by equipping a Klarion with Wrath and then passing. I was thinking that he was going to have to come to me. I was wrong.

On turn two he uses Jean to TK out Zatara. Zatara calls in Green Arrow and uses his Perplex to up green arrows attack to 14. Tony Zucco ups his Damage by one. Green Arrow uses running shot and easily KOs Titano, hurts Devil, and a Klarion. Then Jean Grey simply teleports Zatara back to the starting area. It’s then that I realize the situation I am in. He doesn’t have to come to me. He can hurt me while most of his characters are in his starting area; I have to take my team and go to him or I will lose the game without making an attack.

I move my Klarions up at full speed and my Devil Dinosaur moves up slowly. His Devil Dinosaur is now in the middle of the map and it makes tokens that together with the figure make an incredibly effective roadblock. As I kill his tokens that just advances his table a click or two each KO. He doesn’t really need need them to do damage. They just need to get in the way.

Two turns after the Green Arrow attack Hawkeye shows up and takes out my healthiest Klarion with the exact same starting area TK trick. Somehow I get all the way to his starting area and can attack, but he is already well into power 2 on the Round Table. It states, “I CAN’T GET THERE, BUT I CAN ADVISE: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose an ID Card attached to this resource that you didn’t choose last time. Until your next turn, friendly characters can use the Inspiration of that ID Card.” That combined with the inspirations on the Superman and Wonder Man cards means all of his characters can use Invincible their entire dial every single turn. So even if I had hit Jean Grey I couldn’t have done much. Not that it mattered because my dice revolted on me at that point. My opponent suggested that I throw them out after the game. I should have listened.

My Klarions and Teekls die before Devil Dinosaur can effectively threaten the other team. So it’s just him versus the entire other team. I have some fun taking on his Devil Dinosaur token army versus my token army, but after a couple of turns of that his round table clicks to the end and he spits out a full point Martian Manhunter. I end up only KOing the War Wheel, some Devil tokens, and Tony Zucco (after missing him once). I score 45 points for the round.

arcade

Round 4 VS. Local Player Adam

Adam is well known in the SE Michigan area and I have seen him at every major event I ever attended. He even helped judge the Battle Royals at the Gen Con I attended. He’s very friendly. The winner of our match would make the top 16. The loser might not.

He was playing SFSM054 Devil Dinosaur, a 30 point Ultron drone, UXM018 Vanisher, SMWWG004P Solaris, AVAS044 Arcade, and the Round Table (featuring Nick Fury, Green Arrow, and Spider-Man).

He had an interesting trick built into his team that quite frankly I would like to copy in the future. We did the map roll and he lost. Arcade is pretty bad when he is not on his own map so Adam used a Round table power I have never seen used before, “I’M BETTER SUITED FOR THESE FOES: After revealing your force but before placing characters in your starting area, you may replace a friendly character on your force with an ID Character of equal or less points from your sideline. That character is no longer an ID Character and its ID Card is removed from this resource.” Suddenly that nearly useless arcade was a CWSOP108 Spider-Man.

The Map I picked had lots of walls and made moving up difficult. I stayed near my starting area and kept putting on Sin Relics. I was able to equip 4 before the battle started in earnest. He used Vanisher to take Spider-Man and 3 Devil tokens and they all based my Titano. My devil was close enough to spawn Homocide Crabs, but I was not careful with how close I placed one to Titano and my attack KOed him while it did 1 damage to to the 5 opposing characters. That was my first placement mistake this game.

I had taken out the tokens and a teekl took out vanisher without an issue. When his Solaris retaliated a low roll meant I only lost one crab Token. Unfortunately at that point my rolls turned on me again and they would stay awful for the rest of the game. I spent two turns with my whole force just missing Spider-man. By then his devil was close enough to Call in Green Arrow and that was the turning point. Green Arrow did 1 to my devil and 3 to each of the Klarion hiding in stealth right next to him. That was my second placement error this game.

A turn later his Devil summoned some Rockabilly Modoks and hit my Devil past his bystander summoning clicks. Fearing a Nick Fury Call in next turn I charged in with my Devil and took out his Ultron Drone. That’s where I made my third placement mistake. I could have based all three Modoks and denied him Psychic Blast, but I missed it. On his turn his Devil attacked me and knocked my Devil past Invulnerability and his unbased Modok put my Devil on his last click. I had Regeneration and a use of Probability Control from Teekl. I rolled two 1s in a row and the next turn my Devil was KOed.

After that his Table reached power three and Nick Fury came out and KOed a Klarion. We battled back and forth and as time was called I just had a Teekl left and he had a heavily injured Devil Dinosaur. I scored 190 points just missing out on Devil and two cards.

Conclusion:

At the end of 4 rounds I had scored 835. They posted everyone’s scores and cut the tournament down to just the top 16 at this point. I was ranked as #17. The 16th ranked player had 845 points. I lost by 10 points.

After that I dropped and played Jay Solomon (Meta Lab, Married with Clix, 2 Clicks from KO) and George Massau in the first battle royal of the day. The bad rolls continued and I finished fourth. The good news? HypeFox showed up right after my Battle Royal, won the Battle Royal he joined (by pulling, of all things, a Devil Dinosaur)… and actually ended up with worse prizes winning his heat than I did by losing mine.

superheroes-laughing

Takeaways:

  1. My biggest mistake was made in building my team. As the 3rd and 4th rounds proved the Round Table is far superior with Devil Dinosaur and I think just superior in general.
  2. At any major tournament anyone plays in the near future I will need to have a plan for Devil Dinosaur. Calling in Green Arrow and Nick Fury worked the best today.
  3. I am totally going to use that Arcade trick soon (Thanks Adam!).

ROC’ing the Meta 2: Electric Boogaloo!! (Or, a Look at the Top Meta Figures for the 2014-2015 ROC Season!)

ROC

Okay! So it’s been awhile since I wrote anything that wasn’t a Weekly Roundup (or that had the “Electric Boogaloo” subtitle!), and I noticed that we really haven’t addressed the new ROC season format in any real detail yet. Well, that changes today!!

In this article, we’re going to look at which figures are doing well–basically, what you can expect to see at the next few ROC’s. In part 2, we’ll discuss which figures are not working like they use to in the Meta, and which figures might yet have their day in sun!

This should explain everything.

This should explain everything.

 

First, let’s take a look at the format the ROC is using this year. I mean, you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is, right?

From HCRealms, here is the current format:

1.2.1: The first half of this season the format will be “300 Points, Modern Age, and “No Tactics” “No Entity Possession”.

No figure with a base larger than a double base (peanut). Runs Sep 2014-Mar 2015.

What is “No Tactics?” Again, from the rules:

“Part 4: TACTICS
Tactics are optional elements of HeroClix that you can choose to play in your HeroClix games. Each brings new strategic depth and exciting opportunities to the game, but also additional rules and complexity.
Tactics should be added to your game only when you feel you’ve mastered all other aspects of the HeroClix rules. Even then, you and those you play with might want to add only one Tactic at a time, learning each in turn. Tactics covered in this section include:

• Special Objects
• Resources
• Feats
• Battlefield Conditions
• Event Dials
• Bystanders Tokens
• Themed Teams

That’s right. No Resources, Relics, Colossals or Entities. No Bystander Tokens! No ATA’s, even! Yikes! Annnnd, you have to declare three maps on your Build sheet to choose from if you win Map Roll, so it’s a lot harder to hose teams simply via Map Choice. So what does that leave you? Well, quite a bit, actually, with one mechanic rising above the rest–at least so far. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Looking at the results of the few ROC’s that have been run so far under these rules (you can see the results of the FAT OGRE ROC right here, and the Dial H guys have talked at length about the ROC they ran in their last couple episodes), here is what you can expect to see.

SUPPORTING CAST:

Ranged figures are at such an advantage in this format. Probably because of that, everyone is looking for supporting figures that aid in targeting and pump up Range, Attack and/or Damage. Also, TK and Support are two KEY abilities that almost every team needs to have or needs to deal with. Healing, especially, is hard to come by in today’s Meta without a Power Battery. As such, these are the solutions some high level players have turned to in order to solve for X so far in this early part of the ROC season:

The Dead Set:

Deadpool Supporting Cast

DP018 Blind Al: She’s cheap (just 13 Points) and she enables shenanigans. She’s only got 2 clicks, but that doesn’t matter. Do you need to get a figure to its second click in a hurry? Do you want the cheapest Perplex in the game for your turtle (read: Iron Pharaoh) team? One of her main drawbacks–her keywords–doesn’t matter a lick in this format, since Theme Teams are disallowed.

DP020 Weasel: Now we’re up to 27 Points and 3 clicks of life! Again, his dial is so useful it doesn’t matter. He’s got 2 specials that just make him the best supporting piece for ranged attackers in the game (Well, a case could be made for the next fig on this list, but I’m getting ahead of myself). Weasel’s Tech-Guru to the Underworld Damage Special essentially allows him to give an adjacent friendly attacker +1 to their Range, Attack AND Damage. His top dial Attack Special is slightly less useful, but it will let you reroll a nearby friendly character’s missed range attack roll if you miss by 1 (unless it’s a critical miss). As a nice little bonus, Weasel has Pulse Wave on the last two clicks of his dial. He only has an 8 Attack to go with his 5 Range (3 on the Pulse Wave), but when you remember that Pulse Wave ignores opposing Shape Change, Super Senses, Energy Shield/Deflection and Probability Control (if the Prob’er is in the area of effect), it’s not inconceivable that  Weasel could actually hit someone with it.

Bill Agent of Aim

DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M.: 3 clicks of life for 30 Points! Bill does just about everything Blind Al does, only better! His Defense Special (I’M NOT ACTUALLY A QUALIFIED BLIMP PILOT, IT TURNS OUT: Bill, Agent of A.I.M. can use the Carry ability to carry any number of characters. After he carries a character and actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 3-6, deal him and the carried characters 1 damage.) will actually let you move most of your figures into place, and it also gets Bill to his two back clicks, which are absurdly useful for the points. He has the Hydra TA, Sidestep, Willpower and Outwit, but it’s his Attack Special that makes him a must play for a lot of folks (MY HIGH-ENERGY FINDER THING: Give Bill, Agent of A.I.M. a power action and choose the highest-point opposing character. Until your next turn, that character can be targeted with a ranged combat attack by one friendly character without line of fire to that opposing character.). Bascially, as long as your Primary Attacker is in range, he can attack your opponent’s best figure regardless of Terrain or Stealth or whatever, which is never not useful.

Again, Bill’s keywords aren’t the greatest (his best is probably Scientist), but that doesn’t matter a lick in this format.

The War Veterans:

War of Light is one of the largest sets they’ve ever made (actually, it’s gotta be the largest, right?), so just on shear numbers, it would have to offer a ton of great pieces for every role in a Build. As far as supporting pieces go, there’s definitely a few that you will run into again and again:

Soranik Natu

–WOL016 Soranik Natu: This is neither here nor there, but man, as I was looking for Soranik Natu images to put at the top of this entry, I noticed that half of what I found were Cosplay photos. I guess Soranik and her rather boobilicious uniform hit the Cosplay target right in the Bullseye. She’s alien, yet she basically looks like a sunburnt human; her costume wouldn’t be too hard to throw together, and dressing up as Ms. Natu offers the chance to display a lot o’ cleavage. There ya go–I think we just worked out a Cosplay algorithm that solves for the basic elements that need to be satisfied when choosing a character to Cosplay! Well done, us!

Anyway, Soranik Natu is a 70-Point Lantern from Wave 2 offers decent stats for her cost; what makes her Meta-worthy is the back half of her Trait (TANGLED LIVES: Opposing characters named Sinestro modify their combat values by -1 if not already modified by this effect. When Soranik Natu is adjacent to a character named Kyle Rayner, they both modify their attack values by +1 if not already modified by this effect.) and her top dial Attack Special (BATTLEFIELD MEDIC: Soranik Natu can use Telekinesis and Support. When she uses Telekinesis and places a friendly character next to her, she can use Support as a free action, but only to heal that character.). Please believe me when I say that there are very few good characters with Support in this format. Many teams in the normal Meta rely on the Power Battery for Support, or use Agrir’s Hammer for some Steal Energy/Quake shenanigans. Well, you can’t use either of those in the ROC right now. But Soranik here can fit right in with what a lot of Meta teams are already doing, and a 10 Attack Support as a FREE ACTION is a Godsend. Her TK also opens up a lot of doors in terms of your plan of attack.

As far as her Trait goes, we’ll see why that matters (if only a little) a little further on in this article.

Brother Hymn

–WOL029 Brother Hymn: He’s a bit pricey at 85 Points, but he will have just about every supporting power in the game (except maybe Empower, which doesn’t do much for you in the current environment anyway) somewhere on his dial. Top dial, he can use Perplex (only to increase values, but still), Enhancement (that also gives +1 to Range, not unlike Weasel), Barrier and Probability Control. Down dial he also morphs into a warrior monk with Running Shot and 3 damage along with Support (that he can occasionally use as–you guessed it–a Free Action!). He also flies, which means he’s a decent taxi, too.

Sister Sercy

–WOL033 Sister Sercy: She costs less than Brother Hymn (66 Points to his 85), but you get less, too. 1 less click of life, 2 less range, and less damage output throughout her whole dial. What you do get, however, is a phenomenal top click. Flight with 9 Movement and the Blue Lantern Perplex (can only Perplex values UP), 10 Attack with TK (so useful in this format), 17 Defense with Willpower and Prob with 2 Damage. She does pick up the same Support Special at the end of her dial that Brother Hymn has, but with an essentially naked 17 Defense and only 5 clicks, it is very possible someone can one shot her. Still, she is someone that you may see at a ROC.

The Old School:

Void

–SOG035 Void: At 70 Points with Flight and Phasing on all five of her clicks, along with the ability to Carry up to four friendly characters (with no keyword requirement, which, again, works brilliantly in a no Themed Teams environment), she’s one of the best Taxis in the game. She also gives you a (all together now!) Free Action Support after she resolves a move action. If her attack wasn’t stuck at 8 for her whole dial, she’d be nearly broken. She also possesses a wonderful Damage Special (PRECOGNITION: Void can use Outwit, Probability Control, and Super Senses; when an action resolves after she uses any of these powers, roll a d6 that cannot be rerolled and on a result of ‘one’ deal Void 1 unavoidable damage.) that might eat away at her over time, but chances are the game will already be decided before that damage really hurts her enough to matter.

SECONDARY ATTACKERS:

Modern Age currently has a good number of figures (thanks primarily to War of Light) that can act as very efficient Secondary Attackers who cost a pittance compared to what you used to have to pay. Most are Primes, but not all. If you’re going to a ROC soon, expect to see one of these pieces backing up the Primary Attacker:

The Lanterns:

Abin Sur

–WOL046B Abin Sur (Prime): Okay! Now we get to that mechanic I was talking about earlier–the one that’s been rising above the rest. It’s the Construct mechanic (CONSTRUCT: When building your force, you may attach a construct to this character by paying its point cost. Give this character a power action and replace the construct with any other construct, up to 2 points higher than the original construct. If this character has no action tokens and the new construct is a lower point value than the original construct, this is a free action instead.)! And Abin Sur here has it! He also has Running Shot, Energy Explosion, an 8 Range, 3 native Damage and some down dial Support (so useful!) and Perplex. Now, all that might seem pedestrian enough, but there are two MAJOR things to think about with Abin Sur here.

First, consider the WIDE range of abilities Abin’s Construct ability grants him (RCE, ES/D, Free Action Barrier, Free Action Smoke Cloud, Regen, CCE, Exploit Weakness, Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, etc., etc. … ). He can evolve with the game for the low, low price of 10 extra points when building your force (that’s the cost of the most expensive Construct, and he can switch them out at will by using a Power Action or a Free Action depending on which Construct you’re attaching.

Second, you’ll have that extra 10 Points (and more) to spend since Abin Sur ONLY COSTS 50 FREAKING POINTS!! Whaaa… ?!?!? Yep. He’s INSANELY good for his points. The other Construct pieces from War of Light are really good for their points, but 50 Points for everything Abin Sur brings you is just stupid.

Tomar Tu

–WOL013B Tomar Tu (Prime): 99 Points of awesome. He has the Construct ability, a mid-dial mini-Highfather-esque shenanigans-baiting Movement Special (FINAL STAND AGAINST HAL JORDAN: Give Tomar Tu a power action and choose an opposing character within 6 squares and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t target any friendly character with an attack.), an absurd 9 Range, 18 Defense with Super Senses and Running Shot/Pulse Wave top dial. He can also use Willpower and has a conditional Outwit! You will be seeing this piece QUITE a lot in future ROC’s.

The Lil’ Guys:

Despotellis

–WOL099 Despotellis: Despotellis is sometimes referred to as a supporting piece, but make no mistake–his only purpose is dealing damage. Now, a 30-Point Hockey Puck with a 20 Defense is hard to deal with in the normal Meta; take away Resources and Relics, and his 20-Defense becomes ridiculously difficult to deal with. His Penetrating Poison is a great way to bust through particularly tough to deal with defensive abilities like Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and so on. Additionally, some of the Construct-sporting Lanterns can get up to a 20+ Defense from Range with the Shield, so having a way to knock them through their clicks without having to roll attack dice is key.

Headpool

–DP002 Headpool: Okay, he’s more of a tertiary attacker/tie-up piece, but he makes this list because you’re going to see him a lot. While he doesn’t have the Construct ability, he does have the Merc With a Mouth ability, which lets him attach Word Balloons (not as good as Constructs, but useful in and of themselves). He’s easy to get into the fray, and his Exploit Weakness should allow him to get through most defenses. Plus, his Defense Special (IMMORTAL ZOMBIE HEAD THAT EVERYONE WANTS: Headpool ignores other characters’ Poison and all but 1 damage that would be dealt to him. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) will keep him around far longer than his 3 clicks of life might suggest he would stay. The fact that he has the ability to dish out Virus tokens as well is something that might also be exploited, but we’ll touch on that a little more next time in Part 2…

PRIMARY PIECES:

These are the main pieces to watch out for. Not every army will feature one of these, but most will. They’re also not all Primary Attackers–there’s a couple Meta Builds that revolve around pieces that change the game without attacking. Either way, whatever Build you come up with, you are gonna need a way to deal with these guys (and gal) if and when you encounter them.

Yup. More Lanterns:

Kyle Raynor ION 2

–WOL107 Kyle Raynor (Green Lantern): They finally made a good Kyle Raynor?! Yup. His 180 Point cost is worth it, especially since Kyle can use the Construct ability. He can deal a ton of damage his first two clicks, but then a Stop Click (ION: When this click is revealed due to an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Kyle Rayner can use Impervious and the Quintessence team ability. This power can’t be ignored.) on Click 3 kicks things into overdrive. It bumps Kyle up to a 19 native Defense along with 5 Damage and Outwit. But it’s his Movement Special that’s really bonkers (I CAN BE EVERYWHERE I NEED TO BE: Kyle Rayner can use the Duo Attack Ability. When he does, before making each attack, you may place him in a legal square up to half his speed value away.). Read that ability again. It’s stupid, it’s so good. And you still have 110-ish Points (depending on what Construct you buy Kyle) left for supporting pieces. He is fully capable of doing 9 Damage or more while using that crazy Duo Attack of his, and there’s next to nothing that your opponent can do to tie him down!

John Stewart

–WOL105 John Stewart: A more traditional from-range beatstick who becomes more interesting in this format since he has the Construct ability. His top dial includes Running Shot, Precision Strike, RCE and the ability to use RCE as a ranged combat action instead of a power action. He also naturally sees through Hindering Terrain and other characters. For those reasons, he’s better than the 160 Point Hal Jordan that came with the Scenario Pack. He doesn’t have the crazy movement powers that Kyle Raynor does, but he’s damn good in his own right and he still packs a serious punch.

The Kool-Aid Kult Member:

Proxima Midnight

–GOTG050 Proxima Midnight: First of all, how awesome is her sculpt? It’s the exact image above, including the fallen victim at her feet. But I digress. Proxima is 100 points of aggression; her dial has 7 Clicks that start out range-based, then turn to close combat before finishing with some clicks that are somewhere in between. Top dial she has 10 Movement with Running Shot, 11 Attack with Pen/Psy (and Sharpshooter), 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes and 3 native damage. Her Range is dependent on 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.), but it’s her second Trait that makes her so useful against foes with strong defensive abilities (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.). Yup. Depending on that Spear roll, you could potentially do two separate packets of penetrating damage to a character. For pieces with Stop Clicks or other shenanigans (Bizarro, the Kyle Raynor from above that we just talked about), this is a huge headache.

With her combination of Sharpshooter, Pen/Psy and Combat Reflexes, sometimes your best move is to simply Running Shot right next to your target and stay there–if they don’t have an available Outwit, it’s going to be very tough for most pieces to hit a 20 Defense–especially if Proxima hits them first and they’re mid-dial.

Lots of folks have been teaming her with Bill, Agent of A.I.M. to get that first shot in from a safe place where it’s hard or even impossible for the enemy to return fire. This is certainly a valid strategy; just be ever mindful of your positioning with her, because she can get chewed up from range real quick. Her native 18 Defense isn’t bad by any stretch, but she has no reducers of any kind. Of course, even if she does go down hard, she still has her final 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.) to leave as a parting gift. Oh, and Ninwashui is kind of a fan.

The Shapeshifter:

Zombie Super Skrull

GOTG062 Super Skrull: This was the winning Primary Piece at the Dial H ROC event, I believe. He’s 170 Points and possesses all the same Zombie Traits that every other Zombie Chase has. Those alone make him pretty good, but what he’s really good at is mimicking that Green Lantern Construct ability! Super Skrull’s Trait (IT’S HARD TO EMULATE FOUR POWERS WITH HALF MY LIMBS: Give Super Skrull a free action and choose up to one each of standard speed, attack, defense, and damage powers. Super Skrull can use the chosen powers until your next turn. For each power chosen this way, place a Power token on his card. At the end of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, and subtract 1 for each Power token on his card and remove all Power tokens from his card. On a result of 1 or less, deal Super Skrull 1 unavoidable damage.) lets him actually choose up to FOUR standard abilities to pick up on the fly, and he does it all AS A FREE ACTION (not every Construct flip with the Lanterns is gonna be a Free Action). He’s a multi-tool for every occasion! And with his Zombie Traits, you frankly don’t care about taking one measly damage, since you have multiple ways to get it back!

And he teams very well with Headpool and some of the other Z-Virus figs like–well, we’ll get into that in Part 2 when we talk about some possibly overlooked figures!

The Ol’ Standards:

"I;m back?! My dear, I never left!"

“I’m back?! My dear, I never left!”

–IIM051 Iron Pharaoh: He is still a thing, going forward. I don’t know if there’s a piece I’ve discussed more on this site. He’s one of my favorites to use, and he’s not going anywhere until he’s rotated out. There’s not really a format that he’s not at least above average in. Krampus/Helspont teams (and, to a lesser extent, Shatterstar teams) are probably his main weakness at the moment, but even then, he probably still has a 40%-50% of coming out on top. I’ll take those odds if I’m matched up against a team designed to exploit my fatal flaw. And while he keywords are actually pretty good, the fact that you can play whoever you want with him in this environment only makes him better–he doesn’t have any NAMED keywords, so he was never gonna get those Theme Team probs anyway!

Shatterstar

–WXM010 Shatterstar: At 73 Points, he seems like he should be considered a Secondary Attacker. And on many builds, he probably will be. However, there’s a good chance that his team is going to revolve around him anyway thanks to his easily exploitable Trait (X PORTAL: Once per game, give Shatterstar a power action. Place Shatterstar and an adjacent friendly character of a lower point value in any adjacent squares on the map.) and the fact that, top dial, he can Charge 5 squares, has an 11 Attack with both Flurry AND B/C/F (Yup. If the rolls go your way, a 73 Point character can dish out 12 Clicks of raw damage on the second freaking turn no matter where your opponent is on the map. And once he’s up close and personal with an opposing figure, they’ll have to hit a 19 to Damage him (17 native Defense plus Combat Reflexes). Hell, you can run two of him and still have almost 150 Points leftover for the rest of your army. He’s that good. And just like the comics, he pairs really well with Rictor, especially since they both have top dial Charge (and Rictor pumps up their Attack values).

Highfather

–SLOSH052 Highfather: Yes, he’s still hanging around. He’s a supporting piece masquerading as a primary figure. His top dial TK , Prob and Support are somewhat useful, but the only reason he’s really played is his Trait (THE PACT: At the beginning of the game, you may announce a pact. If you do, the highest point character on your force and the highest point character on your opponent’s force (300 points or less) can’t target opposing characters with an attack until one of them has taken damage from an attack or they are the only 2 characters on the map. This ability can’t be ignored.). He can shut down Tentpole pieces, but it’s very rare in this environment that you’re going to find yourself facing a really heavy-costed piece outside of Kyle or Zombie Super Skrull. And even then, it’s not inconceivable that they won’t have a supporting piece who can get a shot in on Highfather.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I think Highfather is a losing strategy at this point. If you go this route, you will run into a few games where he guides you to an easy win. You may even make Top 8, but usually by then you’re gonna face some really well-put-together teams that will have not one but MULTIPLE answers for Highfather, and your day will be done right quick. But I have to include him on this list because he is still out there and you may run into him.

Helspont Krampus 2

WK002 Krampus/SLOSH042 Helspont: These guys come as a pair. An unlikely one, I grant you, but they’re pretty effective. The basic idea here is to use these two along with Blind Al. You Perplex Krampus twice with Blind Al and Helspont (who also has Perplex) to get Krampus to a 12 Attack, then you give Blind Al a power action to activate her Booby Trap power and expel Helspont from the starting area and deal him one unavoidable damage. The tricky part here is to find a spot to place Helspont that’s outside of your starting area yet adjacent to Krampus (not all maps will have a good spot, so winning Map Roll will definitely help you here). Then you activate Helspont’s Movement Special (I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO: Give Helspont a double power action and select an opposing character of a lower point value. Place Helspont and the chosen character in each other’s squares, and after actions resolve, Helspont may be given a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) to trade places with a key member of your opponent’s force who’s 199 Points or less. If at all possible, you want to choose someone who doesn’t have Shape Change, Super Senses or Probability Control (again, with no Themed Teams, Probability Control will be a lil’ easier to avoid) to take as many variables out of the equation as you can.

Then you activate Krampus’s special Capture Trait (NAUGHTY CHILDREN ARE MY HOLIDAY FEAST: Krampus can use the Capture ability. He can use it normally or, if the target is a higher point value, he must be given a double power action instead of a power action. When Krampus releases a captured character in his starting area, in addition to the normal effects, heal Krampus to his starting line.) and hope to all that is holy (or maybe unholy) that you hit. Krampus’s Attack Special gives him +1 to hit as well for each token on the target, so that will help you as well. With a 12-13 Attack, you should have a fighting chance against most figures.

You’ll probably have to wait through one round of clearing before you can release your Captive, but if you can succeed at all those steps, there’s a high probability that the game will be effectively over, especially if you were also able to take a Free Action shot with Helspont at another figure on your opponent’s team (and since there’s no chance of a Colossal-Sized Power Battery being in the way in their starting area in this environment, you should be good to go). Because Krampus never left his starting area, he’s still there, and he can release his Captive as soon as he has the ability to take a Power Action.

Now, if you miss with Krampus, you’re not doomed, since his Plasticity will keep most figures right where they’re at and he other Special Powers that grant him Super Senses and the ability to Perplex Attack Values down by -2, but you’ll also be giving your opponent a LOT more time to react, which is never good with this sort of combo team. There was also a ruling recently in the WizKids rules forum where they basically expanded the first turn Immunity rule to prevent you from doing this on your first turn; waiting until turn two isn’t exactly a dealbreaker, though–if you hit your rolls, crippling your opponent on turn two is just as effective as crippling him on turn one.

Hypersonic Speed is also a horrible matchup for this team (Speed Demon in particular, who people seem to have forgotten about so soon after his domination last season. But with his ability to cross the map in two turns, attack Krampus for 3 Damage AND also catch the creature in a Speed Cyclone Uplift, it’s possible he can KO Krampus in that token-clearing turn after he Captures someone but before he can release them.), but so far, we haven’t seen a ton of those figs show up in this specific Meta (outside of Super Skrull, who can gain it if he wants it). Having said all that, this is still a wickedly viable Build. I’d suspect you’d have much better results playing this than Highfather, at the very least.

The Best of the Rest:

Briefly, IIM001B Silver Centurion, ASM017B Brother Voodoo and WOL104 & WOL104R Guy Gardner are a few other figures you may run into in your ROC travels that are definitely still viable in the Meta.

Okay! So there you have it. Almost 5000 words on what you can expect to run into if you attend a ROC this season. Next time, we’ll discuss which former Meta figures you should avoid, and which figures and Builds you can try that haven’t really shown up yet this season.

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

Days of Past Sets Future!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 06/08/2014!!)

Roundup

Hello Again!!

(Or perhaps–as our site’s metrics indicate we’ve picked up quite a few new readers this week–hello for the first time!)

Welcome to the Critical Missives Weekly Roundup, where we recap the week in Clix, offer some news and community updates, a few random opinions on stuff, and get you caught up on life–or at least your gaming life. Or at least some of the stuff that happened. With Heroclix. It’s a low bar, but we usually manage to reach it!

So then, without further ado, here is…

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix just released Episode 48! I jumped the gun a little bit in reporting host Hunter’s nuptials and honeymoon, but he sits in with the guys and discusses both a new format for their show and which important Modern Age figures will be rotating out come July when, well, a whole bunch of sets will rotate out of Modern (more on this in a little bit in the WizKids section).

Also, June’s Dial Design just finished Week 2; incidentally, I was, unfortunately, too busy to submit this month, but there have been some really cool entries.

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen is done cooking up Episode 2.4!! You can also check their Podbean for updates and the first three episodes of Season 2!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

–The Quarry’s latest episode is … Episode 20, which sees the return of the Round Table!! Having said that, Hunter Smith announced on this week’s Dial H For Heroclix Podcast that he will be leaving as a regular on the Quarry Round Table episodes; while he didn’t rule out an occasional pop-in, Hunter is done after this month as a continual presence.


Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

-A couple new ROC’s have been announced for Kentucky and Indiana!

-Not that I’ll be able to attend, unfortunately, but local venue Gamer’s Gauntlet has a ROC event scheduled for the end of this month. I’ve heard nothing else about this from any other source; check out their website for more details (via the link above).

–If you missed it a couple weeks ago, a brief announcement was made that the recent “Watchlist 2: Electric Bugaloo” changes will go into effect, well, immediately.

–If you want to know what the most frequently used ROC figures are, check out Ninwashui’s latest article that dropped yesterday!

As far as what will be used frequently going forward, I think we’ll see:

-From War of the Light, all of the Entity Chases (but especially Parallax and Entity) will be huge (when played at their 25-point level as “Possessors”); Despotellis should also see a lot of usage;

-From Deadpool, Speed Demon (in particular) and Thunderbolts Teams (in general) should become popular as Speed Demon’s Cyclone Trait offers one of the only ways in the game right now to deal damage without making so much as an attack roll. He’s relatively cheap on eBay at the moment (plenty available around $14.00, which is basically the price of one pack), but once he starts dominating the Meta, look for that price to go up in a hurry. Especially because there’s slightly less of him than other Super Rare, since he’s a Prime;

"'Top o' the morning to ye."

“‘Top o’ the morning to ye.”

-And also from Deadpool… yeah, Banshee. Of course. And possibly Zombie Electro;

-Someone will take a shot at building an army around Phoenixbuster Iron Man, and that person will be awesome in all aspects of life (but they’ll still lose, probably, unless their match-ups fall perfectly).

-Someone will try building a Mystical team around Shaman, as I’ve previously predicted! (Hint: He teams best with Iron Pharaoh!! Also, Map Choice is really important with that type of team!)

-Mercy from the DeadPool Fast Forces is basically the next Scarlet Witch from Chaos War! Of course, at 100 points, AvX Scarlet Witch is pretty good too; but run out and get FF:DP before they’re all sold out and your paying $40 for a $17 quick set! The 75-Point Fast Forces Elektra is also really efficient for her points!

Wizkids

WIZKIDS NEWS:

–WizKids is rotating sets finally, which should juice the Meta starting July 1st!! Pretty much everything Marvel and DC BEFORE M:10 and DC:10

–A general FYI: a few weeks ago, WizKids announced a monthly New OP kit system!


Preview

Previews:

–Final War of the Light color (Black) went live on Newsarama. Black Lantern Spectre looks sweeeeeet.

Army of the Week

Army of the Week:

This week, we’re gonna keep it new and simple for you guys out there:

Team Name: You’lllllll Neveeeerrrr Seeeee Me Commmmmiiiiinng

ThemeThunderbolts

DP053A Speed Demon – 110 Points

FFDP006R Mercy50 

DP036 Bullseye- 110

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force12

(with the Colossus Fragment still Attached) – 3

Cyclops, Emma Frost and Magik Fragments 9

2x Assigned Characters6

=300

Bullseye is taxi’d by Mercy, and then he simply runs amok with his 12 Attack value and triple target 8 Range Precision Strike (remember, Fragments give characters the Flight ability but NOT the Wing symbol, so Mercy can still carry them!). Speed Demon agitates everyone and uses his Trait to fling opposing figures into position for Bullseye to mutilate. Also, with 2 Assigned Characters and 2 Fragments left on the base, Bullseye and Speed Demon get the Defense pumped up +1 to 18 (or 20 against Close Combat attacks as they both have Combat Reflexes) until you KO an opposing figure or roll doubles on an attack roll and hit (the 2 ways the Phoenix Force Resource moves). Bullseye and Speed Demon also get Empower, Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs, which opens up some interesting possibilities, especially for Speed Demon. Since he ignores characters, he can still make his Cyclone Trait go off by Charging 6 or 7 squares around a character and then he can B/C/F them for the possibility of six damage BEFORE he spins them away in his Cyclone. Then you simply rinse and repeat!!

This is a team that would be a lot of fun to play, and it uses all new characters!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

Hooray for Hollllllywooood!!

–Dr. Strange: The Movie may in fact have a director!

Otherwise, not a ton of Hollywood news at the moment. Well, Ben Affleck went to a Tigers game (he’s in town shooting Batman and Superman, or whatever they’re calling it right now). That was kinda cool.

Critical Missives:

–Two big articles last week: A second opinion on the DeadPool set by yours truly; and the frequency of pieces used in the ROC tournaments!

And we’ll be back this week with a special look at Six Pack possibilities in Flash Figure #2 by Ninwashui and some other goodness from me! And in two weeks… a WOL !! Wheeee!

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

 

Straight, With CHASEr!! (Or, 4600 Words About the Top Ten Most Effective CHASE Pieces in Heroclix Modern Age!!)

"Even consumed by my darkest demons, I have all the power of a million exploding suns. Oh, and I'm like $55 on eBay."

“Even consumed by my darkest demons, I still have all the power of a million exploding suns! Oh, and I’m like $55 on eBay.”

Hello again! We’re gonna go off the beaten path for a just a moment this week (don’t worry–the Deadpool Top Ten set review is coming soon!) with a JOINT column that takes a look at those figures that are the hardest to find, yet create the most excitement when you stumble into a store and find them buried deep inside a tall pack. We’re talking, of course, about Lone Ranger Heroclix Chases.

These weren't hard to find and they created no excitement. Wait, a whole Gravity Feed set that had just four #$@&!ng pieces? Why did they bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that's probably a wide target market. Okay, you win WizKids!

Wait, did they really make a Gravity Feed set that had just FOUR f$@&!ng pieces? Why did they even bother? Who was this set aimed at? People who saw the movie and hated it? Actually, that was probably a wide target market. Okay WizKids, you win!

Chases, by their very nature, are usually pretty expensive. Often that’s just because of their scarcity. But occasionally, WizKids will publish a Chase figure that dominates most of the pieces it encounters and becomes significant in the Meta (or dominant in higher point games). This is our list of those pieces. We’ll tell you why we like them, we’ll create a quick and fun build featuring that piece, and we’ll let you know how much you’re going to have to invest to get each piece if you haven’t had the luck to pull one!

We give you… THE TOP TEN CHASE PIECES IN MODERN AGE!!

 

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face...

In the DC Universe, Mount Rushmore only has one face…

10. SLOSH059 Guardian – 207 Points: Most of the recent full sets in the current Modern Age all feature Chases that share at least one (and in a lot of cases, more) Trait or ability. The SLoSH Chase pieces were all granted one of the most Meta-baiting Traits yet (THE GROWING DARKNESS: At the beginning of the game for all friendly characters with this trait, you may remove one attached game element from an opponent’s resource and, if it is a relic, assign it to a character with this trait. At the beginning of your turn, roll 2d6 for all friendly characters with this trait. If the result is lower than the sum total of all of these characters’ click numbers, then modify all opposing characters’ combat values by -1 until your next turn.), which is ridiculous enough (in the Meta, unless the whole tourney is No Resources or Relics, at least 75% of all teams will feature something these Chases can steal), but all the SLoSH Chasers also get a special Stop Click (SPACE WARP: When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial. Guardian can use Phasing/Teleport. When he does, after actions resolve, he may immediately use Regeneration as a free action.). But Guardian here has a couple things going for him that his SLoSH Chase brethren do not have.

Firstly, he has a 9 Range with 2 Bolts, which goes great with his top dial Psychic Blast and 4 damage! Running Shot (with an 11 Movement) and Enhancement mean that he can act as a Primary Attacker, Support Piece and Taxi, all at once. Secondly, that Stop Click I mentioned? Guardian gets 2 of them! He’s the only one from the set who does–every other SLoSH piece has only one. His 207 Point cost doesn’t leave a lot of room for the rest of your force, but his Enhancement definitely helps that. And in Epic Games (400 Points or more) his versatility makes him even more valuable. Let’s see what Ninwashui’s cooked

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Not my favorite of the SLoSH Chases, but if I were forced to use him in a 300 Point army (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: You’re forced to. That’s kind of the gimmick here, genius!), I’d do this:

Team Name: Guarding Skadi

Theme: Monster

SLOSH059 Guardian 207

GG026 Mole Man47

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot 30

IIMR100 The Power Plant10

IIMR003 White Light Ring2

IIMRoo7 Matter Rearranger Ring2

IIMR009 Electro Blast Ring 2

=300

As of this writing, Mole Man is still Modern Age, so giving Guardian two actions a turn seems like a good idea to me. If you keep Skadi’s Warbot adjacent to Guardian, it can do 4 damage with Psychic Blast. 18 Defense with Super Senses makes him difficult to bring down. Even before you start messing around with rings, you have the possibility of doing 8 penetrating damage a turn between Guardian and Skadi’s Warbot (and with the Matter Rearranger ring, even Stealth shouldn’t bother your pieces too much). Throw in some abbreviated Power Plant goodness, and you’ll have an army that can compete with just about anything it might run into.  You won’t win every game, but you should at least take out a significant figure of your opponent’s army just about every time.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Actually, not much. About $15-$20.

 

"Hmmm... I think this mirror is broken!"

“Hmmm… I think this mirror is broken!”

9. IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200 Points: There’s a lot to like here. Running Shot with an 11 Attack, Energy Explosion and a standard 4 damage. This is the type of figure that’s just begging to get its hands on some Resource goodness. Hammers make the most sense, since you can team ’em with Splitlip and still have a Stark Industries Theme Team.

Also, Duo Attack is one of the best attack abilities in the game, and the fact that they have an enhanced Duo Attack Trait (TRYING TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER: When Iron Man and War Machine use the Duo attack ability, you may give them a ranged combat action instead of the second attack.) makes it even better. Even better, uh, ER, these guys are on a single base (and can therefore be TK’d)! Their other Trait (WATCH EACH OTHER’S BACKS: When Iron Man and War Machine do not have two tokens, Iron Man and War Machine can use Energy Shield/Deflection.) combines with their top dial 18 Defense with Impervious to give them at least 20 D at range (for most turns). HypeFox in particular loves these guys, and uses them every chance he gets.

 

HypeFox Says:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

As noted, I love these guys. Probably the Duo piece I’ve played the most. Heck, they’re probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Tell that to Iron Pharaoh, you jackwagon!). Our venue usually doesn’t allow resources, so I haven’t played this army exactly as written, but I definitely would like to. If you’re in an event that doesn’t allow relics or resources, sub out Bethany Cabe and the BotS for IIM002 Rescue, and you’ll be almost as deadly!”

Team NameDwarven But Deadly

Theme: Stark Industries

IM3018 Iron Man and War Machine – 200

FI301 Splitlip – 20

IIM102 Bethany Cabe – 39

DOFPH002 Sentinel Sentry – 14

FIR100 The Book of the Skull – 6

Plus 7 Hammers (every Hammer except Greithoth’s)21

=300

Iron Man and War Machine carry Splitlip around, which pumps their ranged damage up to 5, and if they get to Duo Attack, they can do up to 9 freaking damage a turn. If you can get Hammers on both Iron Man and War Machine AND Splitlip (keep in mind, that gives IM & WM a 13 FREAKING ATTACK), you may find yourself choosing Splitlip as the ‘dial’ character most turns. Even on Click 1, the BotS dial gives Splitlip Smoke Cloud, Barrier AND Perplex to go along with his native Enhancement. Usually you’ll be dumping Splitlip 1 square behind Iron Man and War Machine so that you can slip Bethany Cabe in front of the lil’ guy and adjacent to IM & WM. This gives everyone +1 to their Defense (and with her Police Team Ability, she can make it so that Iron Man and War Machine basically only miss on a roll of 2 against characters with 17 Defense or less!). The Sentinel Sentry is really just there to round out your points and help you get out the maximum amount of Hammers quickly and to provide cover mid-game (if he’s still around) with Smoke Cloud (especially if you’ve gone beyond the Smoke Cloud clicks on the resource).

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These dudes are still popular. You don’t see more than 2 or 3 being auctioned at a time, and they still command $25-35.

 

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course...

When you get to Zombie Electro, maybe the Z-Virus story has run its course…

8. DP064 Electro 90 Points: The most recent entry on this list and the best of the DeadPool Chases that just released this month. He is offense in a bottle. If left unchecked, he can take over a game real quick. What’s special about Mr. Dillion in his Zombie form here is that his Zombie Traits (ZOMBIE HUNGER: When Electro damages an opposing character, place a Food token on this card if there are less than 5 Food tokens. When Electro would be KO’d by an opponent’s attack, turn to its first KO click, remove all Food tokens from this card, and heal it that many clicks. & ZOMBIE INFECTION: When Electro damages an opposing character, give that character a Virus token if it has less than 5 Virus tokens. When an opposing character is KO’d by this character, you may add it to your force, turn to its first KO click, remove all of its Virus tokens and heal it that many clicks.) actually work perfectly with his dial. He starts out with Psychic Blast top dial and a special damage power (LIGHTNING ROD OF THE DAMNED: Electro can use Energy Explosion. When he does, he does not need a line of fire to one target within range if that character has a Virus token.) that is nearly broken when combined with everything else. Why? BECAUSE ALL OF HIS FREAKING POWERS COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER! He has top dial Running Shot with a 10 Attack Psychic Blast, 7 Range and THREE FREAKING BOLTS!! Combined with his Damage Special that we just mentioned, this means that Electro can split 3 PENTRATING Damage in up to 3 different directions, and any hit characters will splash 3 more damage onto adjacent figures! This is insane! In one attack, he could potentially fill up his “Zombie Hunger” meter! And then, he can keep pounding them with shots REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE! Just freaking insane. Lots of “Iron Pharaoh” type of potential here, and I would not be surprised to see him show up in the Meta. His ES/D gives him a 19 Defense against ranged retaliation, but even if he’s damaged to the point of being KO’d, that Zombie Hunger Trait means he’ll come right back at nearly full strength!! And we haven’t even touched on the fact that every figure he KO’s JOINS YOUR TEAM!! Or that you can’t really base him to shut him down BECAUSE HE IGNORES CHARACTERS FOR MOVEMENT!! This is a piece that could get real stupid real fast.

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Like this guy. I still have my Zombie Power Cosmic Wolverine that I think would be fun to play with this guy. For a quick, fun team, try this:

Team Name: Meat-ster Sinister

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP064 Electro – 90

DP053A Speed Demon – 110

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven – 70

IIMR100C Power Plant (with any 4 Rings plus the Electro Blast Ring) – 20

ATA090 Sinister Six x3 – 9

=299

If this doesn’t end up being the most expensive team on this list, I’ll be surprised (HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Geeee, the best of the brand new crop of Chases, a brand new Super Rare that’s even rarer cuz it’s the front half of a Prime slot and a Meta-level Rare Prime. Expensive? Y’think?!). Still, lots of versatility here, Electro’s damage output starts out very strong and should only get better as the game goes on. If you want to set up a shot for him, you can use Speed Demon’s Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) to Cyclone opposing figs next to each other for maximum lightning madness. Alyosha and his pet lion are insane on their own, but with the ATA, if Alyosha can use his superior Attack value to score a couple of hits, things will be that much easier for Electro. The Power Plant is just there to fill out points effectively; you’ll probably find yourself draining rings for an emergency Outwit or +1 to all stats as much as you will find yourself using them for their native abilities. Having said that, giving Electro the “Electro Blast” ring is basically broken–which is the polite way of saying that you should do it as often as you can.

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: The word is out on Zombie Maxwell Dillon. When you can even find him, he usually starts at $55 and ends up in the $70-$80 range.

 

"We're only #7? Then how broken are the pieces ahead of us?"

“We’re only #7? Jesus, how broken are the pieces ahead of us?”

7. CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130 Points: Another HypeFox favorite, this Duo fig came out only a few months ago in the ridiculously good Captain America and the Winter Soldier Gravity Feed set. If nothing else, what have we learned so far in this article? Duo Attack is gooooood. Duo Attack that ignores damage modifiers (WORKING TOGETHER: When Captain America and Black Widow use the Duo Attack Ability, they may target more then one character with a ranged combat attack and ignore damage modifiers from the Duo Attack ability.)? Hooooo, boy! They also possess two of the best TA’s in the game (Avengers Initiative and S.H.I.E.L.D.), they occupy a single base so they can be TK’d, they have Sidestep, Precision Strike, Traited Stealth–actually, just read this before we spend another 1000 words repeating ourselves!

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Man, I know what I said last time, but I think this may be the Chase figure that I play most often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Seriously?). They’re great as is, but they get even better with the Phoenix Force!

Team Name: The Soldiers and the S.H.I.E.L.D.

Theme: Avengers.

CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow130

(w/ the Magik Fragment) – 3

CW039 Hawkeye 98

(w/ the Cyclops Fragment) – 3

FFCW005R Mockingbird25

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support 10

The Phoenix Force12

3 Fragments Left On 9

2 Assigned Characters6

=296

With the TA’s granted by Cap and Black Widow, Hawkeye becomes a Stealth busting machine, and even if you go up against a team that messes with resources, he can still move through Hindering Terrain without an issue. Cap and Black Widow now have access to Invuln and, more importantly, un-Outwittable Running Shot! Mockingbird pairs with Hawkeye to pump up his attack and pop off the occasional Theme Team Prob.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: These two are consistently available in the $17-$22 range.

 

"Does that dude know he's in the shot?"

“Does that dude know he’s in the shot?”

 6. IM3017R Iron Man and Iron Patriot200 Points: Okay, everything we said about Iron Man and War Machine? That goes double for these guys. Another single based Duo fig, these two have even better defensive Traits than their counterparts (I’VE GOT YOUR BACK. NO, I’VE GOT YOUR BACK: Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Defend. Iron Man and Iron Patriot can use the Sharpshooter ability and may target non-adjacent characters with a ranged combat attack even when they are adjacent to an opposing character.), and their Duo Attack Trait is even better as well (THIS LONE GUNSLINGER ACT IS UNNECESSARY…YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE!: When Iron Man and Iron Patriot use Duo attack ability, each attack may use 2 targets instead of 1 target and one of their attacks may be a ranged combat action instead.). They are, in a word, sick and wrong. Which is two words, actually. But there ya go!

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

“I like this Duo better than Iron Man and War Machine. This Build is simple and fun. Enough of these Theme Teams and Resources and ATA’s–we’re keeping this as simple as possible. Here goes nuthin’!

Team Name: Leftover Parts

Theme: None

IM3017 Iron Man and Iron Patriot200

DP019B Evil DeadPool – 100

=300

Simple, right? Evil DeadPool’s only real weakness is his erratic Defense, which we’ve fixed to some degree with Iron Man and Iron Patriot’s top dial Defend. Point and shoot, basically. Then repeat. And, y’know, repeat, uh, again.”

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: This Duo, while more powerful than their IM3 counterparts, were not as popular. You can find them for $18-$20.

 

"Wait, I thought we were just posing!"

“Wait, I thought we were just posing!”

5. CW060R Avengers Prime300 Points: This is the biggest kitchen sink piece in the game. It’s not quite good enough to stand on its own in a 300 Point game, but in larger builds, man, these guys are TOUGH. But the main reason they’re this high on this list is their ability to take a three actions in one turn (TRIO ATTACK: Give Avengers Prime a double power action. They can be given 3 close or ranged combat actions as free actions, each targeting a single character. These free actions may be used to activate the same effect.). Yes, it’s as nuts as it sounds. But the ability to do that while holding a couple of Hammers is even crazier, as HypeFox is about to discuss:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

Avengers Prime needs very little help to be competitive in Epic Games. That said, for a 400 Point game, I’d surround ’em with some Asgardian love.

Team Name: As-Whoop-ians

Theme: Asgardian

CW060R Avengers Prime300

FI301 Splitlip20

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot 10

The Book of the Skull (Complete)30

=400

You know the drill. Avengers Prime is basically carrying Splitlip after picking up a couple Hammers. You can hook the Warbots up with Hammers too if you like, but honestly they’re really just there as distractions until you can pull off a Trio Attack that will cripple your opponent’s best figures. Yes, you only get two Theme Team Probs, but with two Hammers, Avengers Prime has a 15 attack. If you’re constantly missing with a 15 Attack, I really can’t help you.

What They’ll Cost You on eBay: I’ve seen them go occasionally in the $50 range, but it’s rare. Usually you’re spending at least $65 to get them to your door.

 

"Well hello again, you mewling quim."

“Well hello again, you mewling quims.”

4. AVM211 Loki – 220 Points: Another figure we’ve talked about at length before! His ridiculous number of TA’s (Power Cosmic, Mystics and ANY COPYABLE TA’S POSSESSED BY YOUR OPPONENT’S FIGURES), Traited Toughness, 18 Defense with Super Senses AND Shape Change (dampeners are great, but Super Senses AND Shape Change is a great way to avoid having to dampen any damage), Pulse Wave with a Range of 9… and that’s before you hook him up with a Resource. He’s great in Epic games, but even in 300 Point contests, he’s not a bad fig to hang your hat on. Plus, I mean, it’s Movie Loki, and he’s holding the Tesserect! Pretty much the definition of awesome, as Ninwashui is about to discuss:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

Normally I wouldn’t play a piece this expensive in a 300 Point game, but if Resources are allowed, it’s viable. Still wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket though.

Team Name: All Your Eggs in Loki’s Basket

Theme: Asgardian

AVM211 Loki220

FI301 Splitlip20

Skadi’s Warbot30

Store Clerk3

The Book of the Skull (with 7 Hammers)27

=300

Loki gets Charge and Running Shot after picking up his dual Hammers (I’d start with Mokk’s Hammer, and then have him grab Angrir’s once you start your second wave of Hammer distribution), and he can still be carried by Splitlip if you turn your lil’ dwarf into a Greithoth-powered monster (Greithoth’s Hammer grants, among other things, Giant Reach). We’ve talked about how good Skadi’s Warbot is; the Store Clerk is just there to dish out Hammers. But basically, you’re banking on a hopped-up Loki going nuts with his Running Shot, 13 Attack, 5 Damage (with Splitlip’s Enhancement) Pulse Wave (and don’t forget that you gain a Perplex from the Resource dial at the start as well).

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Loki can be found for $21 and up.

 

"Tonight on FOX--When X-Rays Go Wrong!"

“Tonight on FOX–When X-Rays Go Wrong!”

3. CW057 Sentry and Void300 Points: And now we come to someone–or someTHING–who COULD hold his own in a 300 Point game with no backup. Sentry and Void’s list of abusive powers starts with their Multiattack Trait–yes, not just Multiattack, but a Multiattack TRAIT (EMERGENT EVIL: Sentry and Void can use Multiattack ability. Give Sentry and Void a power action if it has no tokens and replace it with CW #035 Sentry or CW #045 Void on the same click number. When the replacement character would be KO’d, you may instead return this character to the map on click #10.), because Multiattack clearly isn’t good enough on its own. Then you add in top dial Hypersonic Speed, Psychic Blast, 18 Defense with Impervious and 5 native damage and, frankly, you start to feel guilty just for playing him/them/it. Sentry and Void has finished in the Top 16 of several ROC tourneys in the last year–and again, since they’re 300 Points, that means there is NO BACKUP in those games. And it was still a pretty successful piece. Pretty amazing. In larger point games, where you have extra points for a resource or relic, this piece gets downright stupid.

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This one’s an easy inclusion for me. This is one of my favorite pieces ever made, and Sentry and Void is probably the Chase figure I’ve played the most (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: I’m not talking to you any more.). This piece is ridiculously good in Epic Games. But we’ll keep it simple:

Team Name: What About Bob?

Theme: None

CW057 Sentry and Void300

=300

You run around with Sentry and Void. You kill stuff. Then you rinse off the blood and repeat.”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Sentry and Void can be yours, too! Y’know, for the low, low price of $55 to $80.00.

 

"Is it cold in here?"

“We’re sure I’m Lydea Mallor and not Lyssa Drak?”

2. SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79 Points: She’s got the same broken Trait that Guardian has, except she’s only 79 FREAKING points–the cheapest of the SLoSH Chases. Her dial without the Trait would easily be worth that investment–when you add in her ability to steal Relics right off of their Resource base, she starts to get silly. On top of that, good luck finding her with her top dial Movement Special (WRAPPED IN SHADOW: Lydea Mallor can use Smoke Cloud and Stealth. Once per turn, when Lydea Mallor occupies hindering terrain and is given a non-free action, before the action begins or after actions resolve, you may place Lydea Mallor in any square of hindering terrain within 5 squares and line of fire.). Basically, she’s the best way to spend 79 Points this side of Brother Voodoo.

At any ROC that allows Resources and Relics, you can expect her to turn up somewhere in the Top 16–probably multiple times, actually. There’s a lot of different ways you can go with her; let’s check in with Ninwashui for his way:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

NINWASHUI SAYS:

She’s the most used Chase from SLoSH, that’s for sure. But I wouldn’t necessarily say she’s the best; people are just playing her as the cheapest way to acquire that Trait for their Build. Having said that, it’s hard to argue with the results she’s consistently showed at ROC tourneys across the globe.

Team Name: Smoke and Mallor

Theme: Monster

SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor79

ASM101 Frankencastle102

SLOSH039X Bizarro – 100

FIR100 The Book of the Skull (with 4 Hammers)18

=299 Points

Hopefully you’re able to steal a key piece from your opponent’s Resource. Either way, you’ve got a pretty balanced yet unpredictable team to go against whatever your opponent has in store for you. Bizarro, with his 3 Stop Clicks and the possibilities that his ever-spinning dial represents, can get really crazy when you start tossing him Hammers. Lydea will be hard to find until your ready for her to attack, and Frankencastle’s Leadership could work on any of these pieces. Happy hunting.

What She’ll Cost You on eBay: Lydea Mallor will run you about $60 right now.

 

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward...

I am STILL a thing, going forward. Ever forward…

1. IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110 Points: He’s stupid good. He’s been the winning figure on a winning ROC team not too long ago. He’s great with Resources, but in matches and at venues that don’t support the use of Resources… he gets even better. For those who don’t know, his Trait (GOLDEN FALCON, SHARTING: When Iron Pharaoh is first placed on the map, place a Falcon special terrain marker in an adjacent square. Give Iron Pharaoh a free action to move this marker up to 3 squares. 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.) is what makes him so exploitable. Barrier Tech teams in the Meta generally feature either Fantomex or Iron Pharoah. Iron Pharaoh’s inherent stat-boosting Trait (FIGHT THE FUTURE: Iron Pharaoh modifies his attack and damage values by +1 when attacking a character that shares a keyword with him.) works on a LOT of the best figures in the Meta, and there’s a bunch of figures <cough>Shaman<cough> that make him even stupider to deal with. Versatility combined with overall usefulness for the points make Iron Pharaoh our #1 Chase figure in Modern Age (at least as of this writing).

HYPEFOX SAYS:

HYPEFOX SAYS:

This is another of my favorite pieces in the game (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: A-HA! Finally!); I just wish I got to play him more often (NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Oh c’mon!!). Having said that, winning Map Choice can sometimes straight win you the game with Iron Pharaoh–the longer you make your opponent take to get to you, the easier it will be to pick him off with IP’s Golden Falcon. With that in mind, for the final Build of the article, I’m actually going to steal from myself! This army originally appeared in my look back at the Invincible Iron Man set article that ran a few weeks ago:

Team NameNo Flights, No Tights

Theme: Mystical

Map ChoiceAvX Month 1 (Wundagore Mountain)

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh110

(w/Cyclops Fragment) – 3

IIM040 Shaman92

FFCW006R Scarlet Witch – 50

FIB002 Skadi’s Warbot30

The Phoenix Force12

1 Assigned Character3

=300

What I wrote before: ‘This team can double Barrier to protect Iron Pharaoh while his Golden Falcon goes out and treats the map like a Seagull treats a parking lot after a big lunch. If you win Map Roll, yikes. Your opponent better have a non-flying piece equipped with Phasing/Teleport and the Carry ability–essentially, Cloak from ASM (there’s a couple others, but he’s the best). If not, he or she will have to take the long way around a freaking mountain only to be met by a double Barrier tandem who each have the Mystics TA when AND IF you can actually hit them. All the while, Iron Pharaoh will be chilling like the Boss that he is and taking pot shots of at least 5 damage (and it’s quite easy to make that even more) at your best figs after he’s Outwitted their defense. This is the definition of “a bucket of yuck” for your opponent.’

Yup! Pretty much that!”

What He’ll Cost You on eBay: Iron Pharaoh could have been had for about $25 awhile back. Now that he’s a Meta hero, he’ll run you about $40-$60.

 

Well then! Hope you enjoyed this look at a bunch of different armies that were all strangely built around Skadi’s Warbot some of the harder-to-acquire pieces in the game. Agree? Disagree? Hit us up in the Comment section below!