The Ghost of Christmas Present Presents… The Top Eleven Most Valuable Figures of 2017!! (Or, The Seventh Night of Clix-Mas!!)

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

Money Money Money MONNNNEY.jpeg

It’s Night Seven of the Twelve Nights of Clix-Mas!!

Today, just for poops and giggles, we’re gonna look at the Heroclix secondary market and determine which figures were the most valuable pieces released this year!

Now Heroclix usually follows the secondary market pattern of most other collectible games: high prices upon release; a big price dip two to four weeks after release; and then usually a tiny rebound that flattens into a plateau thereafter.

But every now and then, some pieces buck this trend, and it’s not always related to how competitive a piece is.

This is the story of the twelve most valuable pieces released by Wizkids in 2017.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A quick caveat: there’s hundreds, if not thousands of places to buy Heroclix out there. For today’s purposes, we’re going to narrow it down and just compare prices from two of the larger outlets: eBay and Troll & Toad. Beyond that, your mileage may vary. 

Finally, obviously this pricing research is current. If you’re actually living in the future and looking back at this article, just think of it as a snapshot of where the Heroclix secondary market at the end of 2017!]

 

Pirate Deadpool 2

11. DXF065 Pirate Deadpool — $63 – $89.95 on eBay; $54.99 on Troll & Toad;

Deadpool and X-Force was a big hit when it came out in March. The Chases all have synergy with each other, and after the release dust settled, Pirate Deadpool turned out to be the most valuable of the Chases (well, sort of–keep reading for the exception).

Having said that, Pirate Deadpool is a good piece that doesn’t specifically have any Meta implications. This valuation seems to be mostly fueled by the piece’s scarcity combined with the fact that it’s Deadpool in a pirate outfit (which, granted, is pretty cool).

 

Frank Miller Superman

10. EW050 Superman — $64.99 – $109.95 on eBay; $59.99 on Troll & Toad (1 left);

The Dark Knight Returns Chases from Elseworlds were all great pieces; this particular Superman is an absolute beast. His value is also helped by the existence of the Thor equipment, which gives him viability as an essentially one-man army (Thunderball’s Wrecking Ball or Thor’s Mjolnir make this Supes ridiculously deadly).

 

Giant Carnage.jpg

9. TMTG004 Carnage — $55 – $100 on eBay; $64.99 on Troll & Toad;

Almost all of the Colossals from The Mighty Thor are great; this one combines an absolutely murderous dial and power set with the fact that it features one of Spidey’s most popular villains in a way that we’ve never seen him before in the game.

 

DKR Green Arrow

8. EW049 Green Arrow — $73 – $109.95 on eBay; $79.99 on Troll & Toad;

Another Dark Knight Returns Chase from Elseworlds. This piece was going to be popular regardless; the fact that he’s among the best Call-In characters in the game meant that his value shot up into the $80’s and pretty much sat there. I don’t think it’ll come down until he rotates in 2019–and even then, he may not come down a ton.

 

Shark Shredder.jpg

7. TMNT3035 Shark Shredder — $??? on eBay (none for sale); $89.99 on Troll & Toad (also Out of Stock);

This beastly Chase was immediately popular with Turtles fans. It’s a great piece in its own right; it’s also needed for the Ocean Resurrection Trait on the Rare Shredder Clone (which is another great piece).

This valuation seems to be a combination of both character popularity and competitive usefulness.

 

Mini Shredder.png

6. TMNT3033 Mini Shredder — $88.00 – $99.99 on eBay; $99.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;

See above. Mini Shredder has shown up on a lot of ROC teams on his own.

 

Batman god of knowledge.jpg

5. HQ062 Batman, God of Knowledge$103.36 – $117.53 on eBay; $99.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;

Haven’t seen him make a huge difference in the Meta right now. His possible application as a Uni-Mind “silver bullet” seems fine in theory until you look at the rest of his dial and compare it to his point cost.

Still, it’s a Batman Chase, so demand should continue to be high.

 

Hawkeye Chase.jpg

4. ADW067 Hawkeye — $94.99 – $124.99 on eBay; $124.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;

His Movement Special (RAPID-FIRE TRICK SHOOTING: Hawkeye can use Running Shot. Each time Hawkeye hits an opposing character with a range attack, after actions resolve, he can use Running Shot again as a free action, but only to target a character that wasn’t attacked this turn.) makes him very useful for his points. It’s also a cool sculpt.

 

The Mighty Thor Greg Horn

3. TMT061 Thor — $119.99 – $153.95 on eBay; $106.99 -$124.99 on Troll & Toad;

While I’ve decided that this particular Thor is better than I initially gave him credit for, this value is being completely driven by the broken Mjolnir equipment that comes with him.

 

Flash God of Death.jpg

2. HQ063 The Flash, God of Death — $110 – $147.98 on eBay; $139.99 on Troll & Toad;

Probably the most useful of the recent Darkseid War Chases. Still, when Harly Quinn’s prices finally drop a bit, I expect his value to sag enough for Thor to take back the #2 slot.

 

Unicorn Deadpool.jpg

1. DXF069 Deadpool — $??? (none available) on eBay; $229.99 (Out of Stock) on Troll & Toad;

Deadpool on a unicorn. What more needs to be said? This Ultra-Chase is among the most valuable pieces Wizkids has ever made!

 

And don’t forget to park it right back here tomorrow for more of the Twelve Night of Clix-Mas!!

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

Hype-Uatu

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

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

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

What If Spidey

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

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

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

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

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

Very solid for the points.

 

Young Avengers Runaways

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

But on to Molly Hayes!

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

What If Cosmic Spidey

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What If Goblin King

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WHAT IF… ? !!

 

Thor What If

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

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

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

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

 

What If Goblin King

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

Watcher 1

Hype-Uatu says…

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

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

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

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

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

 

Young Avengers Runaways

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Doctor Stark Common

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

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

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

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

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

 

What if Thor

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

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

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

 

Gert-and-Old-Lace

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something like:

Team Name: Picture Me Young Avengin’!!

Theme: Young Avengers

Roster:

WI036 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace — 50 Points

WI024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points

WI031 Nico Minoru — 75 Points

CWSOP031 Wiccan — 90 Points

wkMVID-009 Spider-Man — 5 Points

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

Total: 300 Points

Sideline: 

WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man — 75 Points

NFAOS Peggy Carter — 60 Points

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

Yup. I’m an A-hole!

 

Peace Machine

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

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

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

 

What If Cosmic Spidey

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

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

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

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

That is money well spent!

 

What if Peter the Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hopefully that someone is you, and not your opponent!

What If Goblin King

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

Watcher 2

Hype-Uatu says…

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

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

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

And that designer was promptly promoted for breaking the game.

Again.

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

Okay, that’s all for today!

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

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

Coming Up Next-i-er!! (Or, A Look at the Rest of Your Year!! Part 3: Marvel’s What If… !!)

What If One

I loved this issue when I read it back when I was ten. Now I look at the cover and think, “Wait a minute, Peter’s being punched by Hulk and Thor AT THE SAME TIME and he doesn’t even feel it?! When has the Symbiote suit EVER WORKED LIKE THAT?” Also, what was the heroes’ plan here? Mister Fantastic’s like, “Thor, you and the Hulk are two of the strongest beings on this planet! See if you can overpower Peter physically. If not, I’ve cooked up a special device that should destabilize the Symbiote at a molecular level. But if all that fails, Black Cat, we’ll need you to walk over and scratch him!”

Welcome back!

Today we’re continuing with our year-long Set Preview series by taking a look at Marvel’s What If… ? Heroclix 15th Anniversary expansion set (which actually just came out yesterday!).

Almost the entire setlist has been revealed, so we’ll list the every piece here and talk specifically about selected entries.

COMMONS:

SPidey

001 Spider-Man — 55 Points: Incidentally, the first five figures of the set all seem to be normal versions of popular 616 heroes. This particular version of Spidey is notable for only costing 55 Points while possessing a great Movement Special (Web Swing: Spider-Man can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, modify his damage value by +1 if his target is on a lower elevation than the one Spider-Man occupied when he began moving.) and Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain.

His lone drawback is really having no Willpower, but he is really solid and a sneaky good play in Sealed.

002 Iron Man

003 Punisher

004 Daredevil

Thor What If

005 Thor — 110 Points: This Thor is awesome. Six Clicks of life with a Range of 6 (with 3 Bolts), Traited Energy Explosion and a SWEET Attack Special Power (Lightning Strike: Damage dealt from attacks made by Thor cannot be reduced below his click number.) that basically works like Pen/Psy except it seems like they priced it at about half the cost of normal Pen/Psy (he has it on EVERY Click!).

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

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

006 Iron Lad

007 Oni Hulk

008 Punisher Squad

Doctor Stark Common

009 Doctor Stark — 45 Points: This is not really the Doctor Stark you’re looking for, but this is as good a time as any to talk about a Trait he possesses that recurs throughout the set (From an Alternate Earth: If this character is on your sideline you may give a free action to a friendly character named Doctor Strange or Iron Man that’s equal or more points. Replace that character with this character on the same click number.) that allows you to swap him into the action in the middle of the game. So, in essence, virtually any Doc Strange or Iron Man now has a one-time use Shifting Focus ability.

010 Iron Rick

011 Molly Hayes

012 Chase Stein

Jessica Jones Agent of Shield

013 Jessica Jones — 65 Points: Probably the best Jessica Jones we’ve ever gotten, although most of the previous Jessicas just kinda suck, so that’s not a huge compliment.

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

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

UNCOMMONS:

014 Spider-Man 

015 Iron Man

016 Punisher

017 Daredevil

018 Thor

019 Captain Britain Iron Man

020 Oni Leader

PunisherSHIELD

021 Punisher of S.H.I.E.L.D. — 90 Points: He’s only five Clicks long for 90 Points, but those clicks are packed! He’s got some form of Running Shot or Sidestep AND Precision Strike for most of his dial, he’s got a Balls of Fury-like Damage Special (A SHOT AT THE REAL BAD GUYS: When attacking only characters with a point value of 100 or more, modify Punisher Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attack and damage values by +1. When attacking only characters with a point value of 200 or more, modify both values by an additional +1.) and he can draw lines of fire and count range from friendly Punisher Squad figures (#008 in this set).

He also has a situational Trait (I’LL BRING THE BUILDINGS DOWN: When Punisher Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is KO’d, deal 3 damage to each character occupying an elevation other than 1.) that you may be able to exploit on certain Maps.

Dr. Stark Meme

022 Dr. Stark — 115 Points: Big investment for a Secondary Attacker, but Dr. Stark can completely screw with your opponent’s team.

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

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

Iron Punisher.jpg

023 Iron Punisher — 100 Points: There’s no trickeration here. This is Frank Castle in an Iron Man suit. You get Running Shot, Pen/Psy with a freaking 12 Attack Value and 3 Damage. Yes, he has the From An Alternate Earth Trait, but really, he’s so good for his points that you might just want to start him.

He’s also got a frontrunning Damage Special (DID WE FREE AMERICA?: When Iron Punisher KO’s an opposing character, modify a friendly character’s damage value by +1 until your next turn.) that will help keep the game’s momentum rolling in your favor.

Young Avengers Runaways

024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points: So, these are probably the best Runaways they’ve ever done. None are bad (Victor Mancha as Iron Lad is probably the worst for his points, but he’s still playable), and three are quite good. Karolina is one of the “quite good.”

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

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

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

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

025 T.V.’s Spider-Man

RARES: 

026 Spider-Man

027 Iron Man

What if Punisher

028 Punisher — 60 Points: Another Punisher piece with a 12 Attack! He doesn’t have a move-and-attack ability up top (he does have Stealth though), but he does have Willpower, Precision Strike and a sweet, sweet Trait (SET THE TRAP: Give Punisher a power action to place a Decoy bystander adjacent to an opposing character within range and line of fire, removing any existing Decoys from the game. When a Decoy is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, deal 3 penetrating damage to each character adjacent to the square it occupied unless the attack total was 2 or greater than Decoy’s defense value.) that makes him kind of Anarky-lite.

The Decoys themselves have Plasticity, a Special Pulse Wave (RIGGED TO BLOW: If Decoy was not placed on the map this turn, it can use Pulse Wave. When Decoy uses Pulse Wave and actions resolve, KO it.) with a 5 Range and 9 Attack along with Shape Change.

So even though they only have a 15 Defense, they have the potential to be quite annoying to your opponent.

029 Daredevil

What if Thor.jpg

030 Thor — 105 Points: Your usual Thor smorgasbord of Running Shot and Pulse Wave with Sidestep and Pen/Psy mixed in down dial. What makes this Thor interesting is the ability to grant him extra attacks via his Damage Special (UNDER SETH’S THRALL: Give an adjacent friendly character with the Mystical keyword and point value of 50 or more a double power action that deals no pushing damage. When you do, Thor may make a close or range attack.).

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

Young Avengers Runaways

031 Nico Minoru — 75 Points: Okay, yeah, I just used this art for Karolina. I’m probably gonna use it again for Gert, just because it’s a great shot of the whole team.

Nico here is notable for the fact that she’s another pick-a-power piece. Her Trait (SISTER GRIMM: Give Nico Minoru a free action and choose up to two standard powers, each of a different combat type. You may not choose a power from a type chosen during your last turn. Nico Minoru can use the chosen powers until your next turn.) lets you grab two powers, actually. On a 75-Point piece!

She also has Willpower naturally on her first three clicks as well as the Runaways Trait I mentioned with Karolina.

032 Victorious

033 Spider Ma’am

034 TV’s Daredevil

035 Daredevil, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

036 Captain America

SUPER RARES: 

Young Avengers Runaways

037 Gertrude Yorkes and Old Lace — 50 Points: She has an 8 Attack and only does 1 Damage. Why is she on the notable list again?

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

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

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

Something like:

Team Name: Picture Me Young Avengin’!!

Theme: Young Avengers

Roster:

WI036 Gertrude Yorkes & Old Lace — 50 Points

WI024 Karolina Dean — 75 Points

WI031 Nico Minoru — 75 Points

CWSOP031 Wiccan — 90 Points

wkMVID-009 Spider-Man — 5 Points

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

Total: 300 Points

Sideline: 

WI038R Cosmic Spider-Man — 75 Points

NFAOS Peggy Carter — 60 Points

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

What If Cosmic Spidey.jpg

038 Cosmic Spider-Man — 275, 175 or 75 Points: This is the usual Cosmic mix of powers (Hypersonic Speed, Invincible, etc.), but what makes this a standout piece is his Uni-Vision-powered Improved Targeting that sees through Hindering, Elevated and Blocking Terrain (and destroys Blocking when he attacks through it).

The 275 Point dial is fun, but not necessarily competitive.

The 175 Point dial is closer to Meta, but his damage is frankly a little light. Still, with both the Power Cosmic TA and the Spidey TA, he’s worth a look.

His 75 Point dial is probably the best Call-In piece in the game right now. He’s got Sidestep and an 11 Attack with Pen/Psy that can do 4 Penetrating Damage. When you add that to his Uni-Vision, that becomes gamechanging.

What if Peter the Hunter.jpg

039 Peter the Hunter — 90 Points: This is an aggressive close combat Spidey dial (Charge, 11 Attack with B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness) that gets turned up to 11 because of all of his Traits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What If Goblin King

040 Goblin King — 275, 175 or 75 Points: Forget the Chases; this is the piece everyone is after. It’s possible he’s even better than Jakeem Thunder, and that’s before you realize he doesn’t take your Prime slot.

We will go into his dial in more detail in our Top Ten Set Review, but he is bonkers good (and already will cost you more than most of the Chases on eBay!).

And if you’re planning on going to Origins for the World Championship this year, you’re going to want to come up with a strategy to beat him.

Because you will see him.

041 The Advocate

042 Punisher of the Strange

043 Peace Machine

044 Thordis

045 In-Betweener

046 Scarlet Centurion

CHASES:

047 Poison

048 Venom Hulk

049 Venom Thor

050 Venom Punisher

Have fun during Release Week! We will be back soon with our Top Ten Set Review!!

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

Heat Check: Caller ID!! (Or, The Top Three ID Card Call-Ins at Every Point Level Right Now!!) (Or Or, The 5th Night of Clix-Mas!!)

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

Spidey ID

So in my Mirror Master Team Build article, I lamented the fact that nowhere online does there exist a list showing  all 329 possible character Call-Ins available in Modern Age play from the 56 currently available ID cards (we’ll cross the Justice League ID Card bridge when we come to it).

What? How did I know that there are 329 possible Call-Ins? Because I just finished building that list!

So before I get to actually publishing said list, as a special 12 Nights of Clix-Mas treat, I’d like share with you now the Top 3 Call-Ins in Modern Age at each 50 point interval (from 50 to 300)!

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 1 to 50 Point Range:

Looks like something else just called-in Jemma...

Looks like something else just called-in Jemma…

  1. FFNFAOS005 Simmons 50 PointsCalled-In via NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7: If you call Jemma in with her ID card, she has Outwit and can give the person who called her in another yet another use of Outwit. She also has the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and the FIELD TEAM BACKUP ability if you are using her with other Field Team members. Since she is called in via the Level 7 card, she also gives anyone next to her the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA and modifies their Attack Value by +1 when making a ranged combat attack.

  2. NFAOS014B Hydra Agent H 30 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-008 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 1: She has 7 Range, 10 Attack and Ranged Combat Expert. She has both the Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. TA’s and the combination of the ID card and her Trait means that she shares those two TA’s with whomever is next to her. Plus, at 30 points, she can be called in by almost anyone (including WOL099 Despotellis).

  3. AOU204E Yellowjacket — 50 Points — Called-In via FFOAAUID-100 Hank Pym: Yellowjacket is capable of dealing Penetrating Damage in both close and ranged combat situations with automatic Knockback from Force Blast. In addition, when he comes into play you get a free AOUB001 Ant Swarm Bystander Token that stays in play even after Yellowjacket is removed from the game. The Hank Pym ID Card also gives the following Inspiration: “Modify range value by +3 when using Outwit or Perplex. Modify defense value by +3 when attacked by an opposing character with the Robot keyword.” The Robot clause is obviously situational, but the stipulation-less Range boost to Outwit and Perplex can really catch your opponent by surprise.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 51 to 100 Point Range:

3D Man AVAS

  1. AVAS013B 3-D Man — 90 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-015 Triathlon I could continue to beat this drum and describe to you again why this is possibly the best ID Card character out there, but I already did that once in my Avengers Assemble top 10 article.

  2.  GOTG031 Nova — 60 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-007 Nova: His dial is 60 points so you will likely have 2 or 3 characters on a 300 point team that can call him in. And when they do, you’ll have one of the best Pulse Wave pieces in the game. He’s only got a 10 attack, but unlike everyone else in the game when he uses Pulse Wave he does 2 damage (not just 1) to everyone he hits when he targets more than one character. We all know Pulse Wave is the game’s strongest basic power, so access to an improved version of it at a crucial point in the game for just 5 points seems like a great deal to me.

  3. AOU020 Captain America — 65 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-103 Captain America: He’s a great character to play as well as Call-In. His Special Mmovement Power states, “CAP’S MOTORCYCLE: Captain America can use Defend and has “transporter boot speed symbol”. He doesn’t modify his attack value by -2 from the Move and Attack ability.” On the defensive side, his Trait says “TAKE COVER!: Adjacent friendly characters modify their defense values by +1 against ranged combat attacks, if not already modified by this effect.” Just to review, he has 17 Defense with Defend, his ID card grants ESD to all adjacent figures, and his trait grants +1 versus ranged attacks. Taken together that means that any character standing next to him that turn will have a minimum 20 Defense against ranged attacks.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 101 to 150 Point Range:

Nick Fury Original Sin

  1. NFAOS056 Nick Fury — 120 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-007 S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7: As recent ROC results are starting to show, NFAOS056 Nick Fury is the probably the most powerful figure in the game right now (just like I predicted he would be in my Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Top Ten article). Calling him in as a 5 point ID character practically guarantees that he will put a 4-damage-sized hole into your opponent’s most costly figure, and he can do that while shooting through Elevated Terrain, Hindering Terrain and/or characters from 9 spaces away. If you aren’t playing Nick Fury on your team, then there is almost no excuse to not run him as an ID character.

  2. AOU047E Quasar — 125 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-004 Quasar: If an opposing figure is closing in then you can use Quasar’s Pulse Wave, but the real selling point with him is when you target a single opponent. Assuming you hit, you can completely block off your opponent with “CONTAIN STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE: When Quasar targets and damages a single opposing character, after action resolve, he can use Barrier as a free action, but may only place blocking terrain markers adjacent to the hit character.” As an added bonus Quasar’s inspiration also gives adjacent characters telekinesis.

  3. NFAOS051 Steve Rogers — 150 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-103 Captain America: He’s not the most damaging attacker with only three base Damage and double target Energy Explosion, but what he is good for is all of the support he can give to other ranged attackers around him. If he hits with his attack (he has a 12 Attack Value), then all other friendly attackers can use Probability Control on their own rolls. He also has Enhancement and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA. Best of all, on defense he gives everyone Energy Shield/Deflection.

The Top 3 Call Ins in the 151 to 200 Point Range:

War Machine

  1. AOU26 War Machine200 Points — Called-In via NFAOSNFID-010 War Machine: War Machine’s major weakness when played in an army is his lack of Willpower. Thankfully that’s not a problem with ID Card characters. His VARIABLE THREAT RESPONSE power allows you to choose Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, Precision Strike, or Triple target Energy Explosion! In addition,he ignores Hindering Terrain and if he is attacking more than one character at range, he can use Probability Control.

  2. AOU018 Thor  — 200 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-104 Thor: Thor has double ranged targets and the following power: “GOD OF THUNDER: Thor can use Energy Explosion, when he does, damage dealt is penetrating damage.” He also ignores Hindering Terrain for targeting. But, the real reason to use him is “FOR MY HEART BELONGS TO THEE: Once per game, give Thor a free action and place a Jane Foster bystander token as described on this card into an adjacent square.

  3. AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man –175 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: This guy has a great power, “HERE GOES NUTHIN’: Phoenixbuster Iron Man’s attacks deal penetrating damage if the target character is assigned a relic or a resource or possesses any of the following: “Giant damage symbol”, “Colossal damage symbol”, the Power Cosmic team ability, the Cosmic or Phoenix Force keyword, or the word Phoenix in its name as a separate word.” As a backup plan he has Running Shot and Pulse Wave, which, historically speaking, is a damn good backup plan.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 201 to 250 Point Range:

Hercules

  1. AOU033 Hercules — 220 Points — Called-In via AVASAVID-004 Hercules: There are two great reasons to choose Hercules. The first is his offense, “IF IT IS BATTLE YOU CRAVE, HERCULES SHALL OBLIGE!: Hercules can use Charge, Flurry, and Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores blocking terrain and destroys blocking terrain as the character moves through it.” “Oh, you thought you were safe from my team because you were hiding behind two-square-thick Blocking Terrain? I think not, scoundrel!” The second is his ability to tie up and weaken the opposing team with “GRAPPLING THE LERNAEAN HYDRA: Hercules can use Plasticity. Each opposing character adjacent to Hercules modifies its attack and damage values by -1 if it has any action tokens.” If you put Hercules next to the opposing army, they will likely just have to pass that next turn. And dead turns for your opponent = victory for you.
  2.  AVAS053A Thor — 228 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-104 Thor: I picked this character in this point range because of his great ability to deal damage with Pulse Wave. In addition, he also has some great support with Enhancement and the ability to grant adjacent Avengers Energy Explosion.
  3. AAOU001 Iron Man — 250 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: Iron Man has Avengers Initiative TA, Outwit, 12 Attack and Precision Strike. If you end up hitting an opposing figure, you also get to use his Trait: “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.

The Top 3 Call-Ins in the 251 to 300 Point Range:

MCU Hulk

  1. AAOU008 Hulk — 300 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-102 Hulk: With 6 Damage, 13 Attack, Charge and Super Strength, Hulk can deal up to 9 damage in a single hit! With raw stats like that he doesn’t need any other reasons to be on this list. Sadly you won’t be able to call him in during a 300 point game.

  2. WXM058 Namor — 295 Points — Called-In via WKMVID-006 Namor: Namor is the highest point level character possible to call in for a 300 point game. He has 12 Attack, 5 Damage, and a Trait “PHOENIX FIVE: Opposing characters targeted by friendly characters with the Phoenix Force keyword subtract 1 from their d6 roll when using Impervious, Shape Change, or Super Senses.

  3. IIM043 Iron Man and War Machine — 265 Points — Called-In via AOUAUID-101 Iron Man: This figure has 11 Attack, 4 Damage, triple target Energy Explosion, and–most importantly–Duo Attack!

That’s it for this article. I am going to see about getting my ID Card Call-In list published online and I’ll let everyone know about THAT… a little later.

 

 

Comics & More Local Tournament Report for 08/05/2015: Age of Ultron SLOP: Month Three: With a Vengeance!!

Local Tournament Report

Age of Ultron Month Three was played earlier this month at Comics & More in Madison Heights, Michigan, and we’ve got the results!

This was the first month to use the Wave 2 boosters, so the set felt fresh and new again. I have to say, as hard as it makes collecting the entire set, releasing two waves of boosters for an OP event is definitely a good way to keep things fresh and exciting. It was fun last year with WoL, and it’s fun again this year with the (much) smaller Age of Ultron set.

What are the Wave 2 (Non-Chase) highlights? Let’s take a look (with the help of random cosplay images from around the net–hey, if Marvel can do a whole cosplay variant month, why can’t we?)!

Mockingbird cosplay

AOU010 Mockingbird52 PointsCommon: And here is your Modern Age Mockingbird! You may now dust off your Avengers Assemble Mockingbird Avengers ID Card that you’ve kept in that old sock drawer since May. As long as you can keep her next to a higher point friendly, she’s well worth her 52-Point investment. Alternatively, if you choose to use that ol’ ID Card, she’ll bring Empower, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Ability and +1 to Defense for adjacent characters with her Inspire ability, along with her native 10 Attack and 3 Damage.

Captain America Cosplay

AOU020 Captain America65 PointsUncommon: A Cap that basically starts with Carry, Hypersonic Speed AND costs less than Rick Jones?!?! Sign me up! Down dial, he turns into a sniper, then gets real support-y. Unlike other figures that do that, though, Cap is only 65 Points, so he’s probably already filling that supporting character slot anyway!

(Not gonna lie, there's not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

(Not gonna lie, there’s not a ton of Scott Lang specific Ant-Man cosplayers out there at the moment. But this one is pretty damn good.)

AOU024 Ant-Man65 Points Uncommon: Apparently 65 Points is the new 50 Points, in that if a character from this set comes in at 65 Points he’s probably an auto-play in Sealed and even worth a look in Constructed. Scott Lang comes packing Outwit, Super Senses, an 18 Defense (19 against ranged attacks with his “Tiny” size) and Stealth. Also, he’s easy to move around via his AWESOME Trait (RIDING ON HAWKEYE’S ARROW: When an adjacent friendly character that shares a keyword with Ant-Man makes a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, you may place Ant-Man adjacent to the target.).  Literally, you can have Hawkeye (or any Avenger, really) shoot at a character, place Ant-Man right next to that character, Outwit that character’s defensive power and then attack them for 2 more damage. All at the cost of just 2 actions.

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here's his traditional visage.)

(No green suit Wonder Man cosplayers out there, so here’s his traditional visage.)

AOU032 Wonder Man120 PointsRare: I always loved these characters with two dials who get better AFTER they would normally be KO’d (Spider-Man 2099 and Sodam Yat are other examples). The crazy thing is, Wonder Man might be the cheapest one they’ve ever made! He’s actually 5 Points CHEAPER than Sodam Yat’s NON-Ion dial!

Once he gets past his first dial, he hits a Stop Click and gains Charge, 11 Attack, Invincible, Poison and–oh yeah–when attacking, ALL OF HIS DAMAGE IS PENETRATING!!

But here’s the other big difference–unlike some of those other figs, your opponent really can’t afford to ignore Wonder Man at the beginning of the game–not when he can Charge for up to 7 Damage! A great piece for his points.

And, of course, the Chases are sick… but we’ll deal with them in a future article.

Alright, let’s get to the Month 3 results!

There were a TON of Thors being played (more on that in a bit), the Six-Armed Chase was pulled like three times (including twice by the same player!), and Captain America was fielded quite a bit as well (in fact, I used both Thor AND Cap!).

IMG_2829

In the end, Tim guided his Iron Fist/Luke Cage/Captain America trio to victory over Matt’s Thor (100-Point dial)/ War Machine squad.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: For whatever reason, anyone who played Thor ended up losing hard at one point because their dice quit on them, myself included. For everyone who thinks the AoU Thor is great for his points, just remember, WizKids has apparently included an ancient dice curse attached to the base of every AoU Thor. You’ve been warned.)

Okay! Let’s take a look at the standings. Once again, we’ve broken the standings down into tiers.

But first, a scoring system refresher:

For the first three events, you score:

1 Point for Attending;

1 Point for a Loss;

2 Points for a Win;

3 Points for Winning the Event!!

If there is a need to break ties, I will use total Victory Points accumulated during matches. If that somehow ends in a tie, I will use Fellowship votes. If things are still tied, we’ll have a roll-off after I write 4000 words for this site about the improbability of ties in Storyline OP Events.

Quinjet

Quest for the Quinjet Standings:

(Through Month 3)

In the Pilot’s Seat:

(We have a tie! But with his 900 Victory Points accumulated, Tim actually has the lead with tiebreakers… )

Tim: 21 Points (1670)

Darren: 21 Points!!! (1487 Victory Points Accumulated)

 

Sitting in 1st Class:

Andrew: 18 Points (1795)

Carl: 16 Points (1060)

Nicholas: 16 Points (1692)

 

Comfortably Seated in Business Class:

Tyler: 15 Points (950)

Roberto: 15 Points (840)

Matt: 12 Points (1462)

 

Now Boarding… :

Shant: 11 Points (1060)

George: 9 Points (695)

Brian: 5 Points (525)

 

Okay! So that’s where things stand after three months! Tim and Darren tied for the lead, with Andrew close behind and Carl and Nicholas within shouting distance! It will all be settled on September 16th at Comics & More in Madison Heights!

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

Mr. Furious Gets Angry!! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!!)

mr furious

Don’t mess with the volcano my man, ’cause I will go Pompeii on your… butt.

[WRITER’S NOTE: So the set is about Nick Fury and not Mr. Furious, but a guy can dream.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You have strange dreams.]

Some General Notes About the Set:

  • There are a lot of good figures in this set. I know it sounds like I say that every time, but seriously, there just aren’t many losers when you factor in their point value.  I listened to the Dial H for HeroClix Podcast today and one of the hosts joked that there are so many good figures in this set that when you do Sealed you don’t really need to think too hard. Just make sure the total point value is near 300 and the actual characters you select don’t matter that much. It will be a good team.
  • The Dial H guys also warned that this set is awful for Battle Royales. I would definitely agree with that. Your whole 5 member team might not add up to 300 points and someone else might start off by pulling the 300 point SR NFAOS006A Hulk. Or you might get a Hulkbuster torso in the rare slot of the pack you just opened.

Secret Warriors

  • I would have liked to have seen more Secret Warriors then just Quake and Druid. Most of this set seems to come from the pages of their series and all of the rest of Team White has rotated out of Modern.
  • [EDITOR’S NOTE: Last I checked, Eden Fesi, aka Manifold, was a very important character in that run and arguably–at least before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. blew up Daisy Johnson’s profile–the most recognizable member of Nick’s Caterpillar team, since he graduated to the Avengers when Hickman took that book over. And he was just Clix’d in Avengers Assemble!!]
  • Okay, yeah, I meant besides him.
  • [EDITOR’S NOTE: Sure you did.]
  • Anyway… some of the Invaders are individually powerful, but I don’t see myself ever playing that team. Maybe because they were before my time? It would have been cool to give Spitfire a Trait that shows she is now Blade’s girlfriend. Like +1 to defense when adjacent or something. Missed opportunity.
  • How can Wizkids not have made a “Watcher Eyeball” Special Object for the OP kit? Why would they include a Winter Soldier in that prize kit and not have him be the new “Man on the Wall” version of that character from the final panels of Original Sin? Where are all the villians from the Original Sin series? I want an intelligent “Mindless One” figure! More missed thematic opportunities–and this is coming from someone who really digs this set!
Uhhh... maybe not.

Uhhh… on second thought, maybe not.

  • Continuing that line of thought, everyone knows about the Fantastic Four/X-Men pseudo-ban that Marvel has imposed, so it would have been nice to see Wizkids really properly exploit some of the best Nick Fury stories of the last 6 years. Nick Fury “The Unseen” needs a whole dial–not just a final click. While the Invaders–old and new–are all fine and dandy, this set needed to pull more pieces from “Secret Warriors” and “Original Sin.” I realize we were probably never going to see a new Gorgon (part of his convoluted history involves him being a mutant), but instead of all those Invaders, I would have rather seen: JT James, Alexander, Ares (at this point, he almost HAS to be a Con Exclusive next year, right?), Norman Osborn, Jerry Sledge and, hmmm… oh yeah: Leviathan!! Two or three figures plus some Generics. And I haven’t even gotten to the members of The Great Wheel!! MISSED. OPPORTUNITY!

Alright. Enough moping. Time to get into some…

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Just because we all look the same in these uniforms doesn't mean you can refer to us as 'Generics.'"

Just because we all look the same in these uniforms doesn’t mean you can refer to us as ‘Generics.’

5. NFAOS006A S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard – Here’s a quote from my appraisal of Iron Man’s blue-dial from my Avengers Assemble Top Ten article: “18 Defense with Defend is nothing to sneeze at. It was awesome when they released CT043 Invisible Girl and it’s almost as good now.” That applies double to S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard who, instead of costing 125 points like Iron Man, costs 35 points. That happens to also be two points less than CT043 Invisible Girl and with a much better dial. You’re going to want to push the S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard to Click 2 where he sports his 18 Defend along with Sidestep and Close Combat Expert (a skill he undoubtedly likes to keep handy for close encounters). If you then push him again onto Clicks 3 and 4 he becomes your team’s medic. So he’s at first protecting your team from damage and then he switches gears to heal your team if they get damaged. That’s a lot of usefulness for just 35 points.

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

Will the real Nick Fury please stand up?

4. NFAOS001 Nick Fury – Nick Fury for 65 points is just average. 10 Attack, 3 Damage, Stealth, Precision Strike, Toughness and Shape Change, and Indomitable. There are lots of guys like him in this set. However, his 65 point dial is hiding the best S.H.I.E.L.D generic in the set. The 25 point generic dial starts with the same exact first two clicks as the 65 point version, but for 40 points less! Once you pay for the 65 point leader, you can add as many of the 25 point version as you want. With all of those little guys you’ve added it’s a good thing they all have the rally trait which states, “Rally: Whenever Nick Fury hits one or more opposing characters, add one action to your action total this turn.” That means that even if you have ten of this guy on your team you won’t run out of actions as long as your attacks keep hitting. If you decide that you want to be “that guy” for one event and just run a metric poop-ton of generics, you could do worse than fielding one Fury and a bunch of his L.M.D.’s…

Imperial Hydra

3. NFAOS046 Imperial Hydra – I like him because he enhances a lot of other pieces rather than just being a powerful piece himself. The main reason to play this guy is his Trait that states, “TWO HEADS SHALL TAKE THEIR PLACE!: When another friendly character with the Hydra keyword is KO’d and actions resolve, you may give Imperial Hydra an action token. If you do, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. 4 – 5: Place a character from outside the game with the Hydra keyword of 40 points or less adjacent to Imperial Hydra. 6: Place up to two characters from outside the game with the Hydra keyword of 40 points or less adjacent to Imperial Hydra.

So keep him in your Starting Area and let him constantly re-spawn  more Hydra units for you all game. If you get even one 40 point Hydra unit out of him then you’ve broken even. He works way better on teams with a lot of Hydra units rather than teams with just a few figures.

"No I will NOT look behind me! You fools think you can outwit Demonicus with the oldest trick in the book?!"

No I will NOT look behind me! You fools think you can outwit Demonicus with the oldest trick in the book?!

2. NFAOS047 Dr. Demonicus – What a cool idea for a figure. He’s a Kaiju summoning mad scientist. “GIANT MONSTER SUMMON!: Give Dr. Demonicus a power action if no friendly bystander token named on this card is on the map. You may choose one you haven’t chosen this game and place it on the map adjacent to him.”

While each of his Bystander Tokens probably isn’t worth 80 points by itself, if you get most of them out over the course of a game then I’d say you definitely got value for his 80 points. Remember to keep the good doctor close to his creations. He has Perplex and the Special Power  “LIFESTONE DEFENSE: Adjacent friendly characters with “colossal damage symbol” modify their defense values by +1.” Those two powers together can raise any of his monster token’s Defense Value to 20 or more!

Shine bright like a diamond.

Shine bright like a diamond.

1. NFAOS041 Radiance – For 65 points you get a character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword that has the Wing Symbol and gives all adjacent S.H.I.E.L.D. pieces Shape Change. There are a lot of good S.H.I.E.L.D. pieces in this set and many that I would argue were great who came out even before this set. Radiance is the best low point Taxi for S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword that is not named AVAS037 Manifold. But, unlike Manifold, her duel target Incapacitate lets her also assist her teammates in battle. She reminds me a lot of one of Hypefox’s favorite pieces, IIM002 Rescue.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Probably one of my most-played Common pieces.]

Top Ten Figures of the Set:

"Need... more... arms... with guns!!"

Need… more… arms… with guns!!”

10. NFAOS022 Winter Soldier – This Winter Soldier shares a keyword with Steve Rogers and actually lets them make a Themed Team again. That warms my heart. On the other hand, seeing this guy across the table should chill your opponent’s heart.

Now, he doesn’t have opening Running Shot or any sort of native move and attack. Instead, he just sits in Stealth and bides his time. He sports Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering AND Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters AND he’s rocking a crazy-good Special Damage Power that reads like this: “Deadly Sniper: Winter Soldier can use Outwit and Ranged Combat Expert, both with a locked range value of 10. If he uses both in a turn, he must target the same character.

When you put it all together, he can Outwit right through Stealth from 10 squares away and then attack that same character for up to five damage. To paraphrase my earlier thoughts on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Bodyguard, having Steath and Outwit together on one dial was good all the way back in Infinity Challenge (Why, it’s Infinity Challenge Experienced Black Panther! Hello again, old friend!), and it’s still good now. And when you add Winter Soldier’s Improved Targeting twist, it gets even better.

Ooooookay, that does not look safe...

Ooooookay, this does not look safe…

9. NFAOS061 Avengers Sky-Cycle – Hawkeye has been getting a lot of love lately in HeroClix. He’s got three good-to-great options in Modern (AAOU009 Hawkeye, AVAS002 Hawkeye, and AAOU106 Hawkeye.). He’s got two specialized Revert figures (AVAS066 Goliath, and AVAS052 Ronin). And now he has the best vehicle in this set printed for him.

Of all of the Chases in this set, this is the only vehicle that can actually carry more than just the pilot.  That’s a big thing. It will also let Hawkeye take a huge hit that might otherwise have KO’d him (seriously, this thing has six Clicks of life–with Toughness on the first three!).

But the best part about this vehicle is it’s printed power, “Unbelievable Upside-Down Shot: When Avengers Sky-Cycle makes an attack, you may modify its attack value by +2. If you do and actions resolve, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled and on a result of 1, place the pilot in an adjacent square, dealing it and all passengers 2 unavoidable damage.” Keep in mind that with the new vehicle rules, the Sky-Cycle will be making attacks with its Pilot’s printed stats. So this power allows almost any Pilot to raise the Sky-Cycle’s Attack Value to a very “Hawkeye-like” 12 or 13 with only a very small chance of catastrophe.

Note to other comic artists: this is how you design and introduce a new look for an established character.

This piece is called “Killing It” by Stuart Immonen. And if it’s not, it should be. 

8NFAOS049 Captain America – The new Falcon as Captain America has a better then expected range of 7 along with Precision Strike, 11 Attack, and 3 Damage. But his defense is where he really shines. He has a Defense Special Power that contain the most standard powers I’ve ever seen combined into one white box. It reads, “How Did I Ever Survive Without a Shield?: Captain America can use Energy Shield/Deflection, Invulnerability, Super Senses, and Willpower.” That’s four standard powers in one! Apparently, Sam is able to use that shield better than Cap ever did (at least in HeroClix).

Being that he’s the artist formerly known as Falcon, this Captain America also gets help from his birds via 3 pigeon tokens and a Redwing token. Redwing’s use is obvious, but the pigeons will need a bit more strategic planning to get the most out of them. Being that they are tiny size I believe that their best use is to be Carried and then dropped into adjacency with opposing figures while your figures stay at least one square back. You opponent will hopefully have to waste an attack on each pigeon token.

I’m just picturing it in my head now:

"Hulk hate puny pigeons!"

Hulk hate puny pigeons!”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: By the way, has there been a better “new look” for an established character in the last ten years than Falcon’s Captain America costume? It’s like they took the best bits of Falcon’s original costume, Cap’s normal suit, and Cap’s “Winter Soldier” movie costume, blended it all together, and somehow the result is even greater than the sum of its substantial parts.

Also, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but of all the diversity initiatives Marvel has undertaken with their topline, A-list  characters lately (Thor is a woman! Spider-Man is black! Ms. Marvel is a Muslim!), Sam Wilson becoming Cap has always made the most sense to me, story-wise. If anything, Falcon should have been promoted to replace Steve a few years ago when the Winter Soldier ended up taking over as Captain America. Cap and Falcon had been friends and fellow Avengers for years; at the time, Bucky Barnes had only recently gotten his mind right after being brainwashed into becoming a Communist killing machine for decades! Which of those two would YOU choose to inspire millions of Americans and carry on your legacy if you were Cap?

Now don’t get me wrong; while I thought most of these storylines were bad ideas at the time (mostly because they seemed forced and contrived, as if they existed solely to round out some sort of character diversity quota instead of coming about naturally as each character’s story progressed), Marvel’s implementation of these stories has been nearly flawless, especially when you consider how easy it would be to screw these twists up and alienate your core readers.

Jane Foster Thor 1

As much as I didn’t understand replacing Thor with a woman called “Thor” (isn’t Thor Odinson Thor’s actual name, and not a title like “Captain America?” That’s like if everyone started calling the Falcon “Steve” after he took over the mantle of Captain America, which wouldn’t make any sense at all, right? Or am I just completely overthinking this?), the way that story has evolved (especially with the reveal of who this new Thor actually is) has kind of grown on me.

Miles Morales

And while I’m not a huge Ultimate Spider-Man fan, Miles Morales actually seems to work better when he exists in stories WITH Peter Parker interacting with/sort of guiding him. Peter’s traditionally portrayed as just barely having his own life together, so the idea of someone like that mentoring a kid with similar powers like Miles is actually pretty interesting to me, and I look forward to the upcoming post-Secret Wars merging where they will both exist in the same universe.

Kamala Khan

Finally, Ms. Marvel has become a wonderful book about a young girl trying to balance the power and responsibility of being a latent Inhuman with her Muslim faith while still trying to survive life as a normal American high-schooler (and not just in her own book–check out her delightful guest appearance in the second issue of Mark Waid’s wonderful new “S.H.I.E.L.D.” series from a few months ago). Also, her hero worship of Carol Danvers offers a unique window into what Kamala Khan values and plants a very compelling reason as to why she would consciously choose to fight for justice under the name “Ms. Marvel.” In other words, Ms. Marvel might be the most Spider-Man-like character Marvel’s published in a decade.

This is why I always loved that Marvel as a whole is called “The House of Ideas.” I love plenty of DC characters, and there are many wonderful stories in that universe. But I just can’t see DC pulling off something this crazy on paper and actually having it all work.

Alright, with all that said, let’s get back to Ninwashui’s Top Ten already!!]

Peggy Carter

7. NFAOS007B Peggy Carter – Ho-hum. Another set, another VERY good Common Prime. For 60 points, this bargain Batman piece Peggy Carter figure brings a lot to the table. First, her Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain helps her get to enemy territory and her Trait protects her when she gets there: “Behind Enemy Lines If Peggy Carter is closer to an opponent’s starting area than she is to her own, she can use Stealth and Shape Change.

If your opponent can’t see through Stealth, then she can keeping running between Hindering Terrain patches while she puts her Energy Explosion to work. If the opponent tries to engage her in close combat he faces the wrath of her exceptionally good Damage Special, “Saboteur At the beginning of your turn, choose a standard power or team ability. Opposing characters within 3 squares of Peggy Carter can’t use it until your next turn. ” If your opponent brings his whole team after her… well, she is only 60 points. Your other 240 points of team should be able to flank your opponent and easily take advantage of that.

Fitz and Henry

6. FFNFAOS004 Fitz (and FFNFAOS099 H.E.N.R.Y.)  If you’ve read any of our Top Tens before, you know that whenever I see a character cost exactly 50 points in a Fast Forces set, I tend to pay attention. 50 points is the magical point value for good support characters in HeroClix Fast Forces releases. It’s a trend that started way back with FFCW006R Scarlet Witch and continued on with pieces like FFDP006R Mercy and most recently FFOA006R Captain America. In the long tradition of 50 Point Fast Forces support pieces, Fitz does not disappoint.

Starting on click two, Fitz has Perplex, the Shield TA, Field Team Backup Trait and an extremely mobile Empower/Enhancement effect via Henry. Then he also has the choice to use a power action for Telekenisis or to grant another character an additional Perplex. That’s a ton of support for just 50 points, and that’s why he’s on this list at #6!

So... I'm thinking this is the image they referenced for her sculpt.

So… I’m thinking this is the image they referenced for her sculpt.

5NFAOS050 Thor – For 145 points this may be the best version of Thor ever printed. She has the damage reducers normally associated with Thor, but she also has the Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters, Elevation, and Hindering that seems more like it would be at home on DP036 Bullseye. She starts defensively with Impervious and Shape Change. Offensively, she has Running Shot and Energy Explosion. Once she takes some damage she switches to Super Strength and full move Charge! He dial finishes strong with Pulse Wave and then finally regeneration. She doesn’t have a bad click amongst her eight clicks of life and she gets a bonus against resource users: “If She Be Worthy: Modify Thor’s attack and damage values by +1 when targeting a single character that is assigned a relic or resource with an attack.”  A real steal for the points. 

This is a Primary Attacker that we’ll be seeing in ROC’s and other tournies for the next two years!

"Of course I use a gun! Who am I, Batman?"

Of course I use a gun! Who am I, Batman?

4NFAOS051 Steve Rogers – In HeroClix this is the best director that S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever had. You’ll notice the high Attack Values right away with the opening 12, but the surprising part is how consistent those values are. Only on his final Click does he get as low as a 10 Attack. While his Running Shot, Improved Targeting and dual target Energy Explosion make him look like a solo Primary Attacker, he is just as good at supporting his team. He has Leadership, Enhancement, the ability to grant other pieces Energy Shield/Deflection, and every time he hits with an attack anyone with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword can use Probability Control while attacking that turn. 

So you may not have a ton of room left after fielding Steve for 150 Points, but you won’t need it, since he gets the most out of his 40-60 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddies!

"No, I'm not a vampire. I know, I get that a lot. I think it's the cape. And the constant brooding."

I am called Nighthawk. Mostly because it is scarier than ‘Kyle.”

3NFAOS059b Nighthawk (Prime) – Think of how much you enjoy powers like Ranged Combat Expert, Traits that grant stat bonuses, or Resources that give +1 to all stats. For 65 points this guy shuts all of that down and much, much more. His Trait reads, “The People Must Think For Themselves: Friendly characters can’t be targeted by Mind Control. Opposing characters’ combat values can’t be increased unless they are adjacent to Nighthawk.” Offensively this guy is nothing too special, but he shines defensively. He defensive power reads, “President of the United States (of Earth-712): Nighthawk can use Energy Shield/Deflection and Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change, increase the result by +1 for each adjacent friendly character.” It’s kind funny that he gets energy Shield/Deflection himself  because that power is useless on opposing characters. But hey, what good is an unfair advantage if you can’t take advantage of it?

"What do you mean you think I look like a rejected monster from Resident Evil 4?!"

What do you mean you think I look like a rejected monster from Resident Evil 4?!

2NFAOS048 Iron Nail – Hypefox and I played a Sealed game with 2 packs each of this set. He pulled Iron Nail and SR Nighthawk. The truth is that he could have beaten my whole team with just this guy. His powers and stats are about average for a character of his point cost, but his Trait is borderline broken. It reads “Rapid Power Drain At the end of your turn, place a Drain token on the cards of all adjacent opposing characters. Opposing characters modify their combat values by -1 for each Drain token placed by him. An opposing character may be given a power action to remove all Drain tokens from that character’s card.

In our sealed game he just walked Iron Nail next to my Baron Blood prime and that was pretty much all he needed to do to win that match. Baron Blood had a 10 attack that became a 9 and of course he missed that attack roll the following turn. Even if he hit, he would have needed a good Blades/Claws/Fangs roll to even do damage. Iron Nail’s dial is 8 clicks long with damage reducers all the way and it has this Trait the whole dial, obviously. He could easily KO any of the 14 figures I have named so far. Even 300 point SR Hulk in this set would have a good chance of losing to this guy in a 1 on 1 fight. In Sealed he’s an auto play and I bet he’ll see a lot of constructed play as well. Especially when you consider he has the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword. Which leads me to my next thought: He has the freaking S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword! So you’re not even that limited in what teams you can build around him! Sheeesh.

Nick Fury Original Sin

1NFAOS056 Nick Fury – In the Original Sin storyline it was revealed that Nick Fury was secretly a cosmic assassin (called “The Man on the Wall”) that spent all his free time killing entities that were going to threaten the earth before anyone else even knew about it. If you were a mystical demon overlord, cosmic alien warlord, or a monster from the center of the earth, chances are that Nick and his frankly awesome-beyond-words-Gamma- bullet- sniper- rifle had you in his crosshairs.

They’ve translated this character into HeroClix extremely well. He doesn’t have Running Shot; like the Winter Soldier, Nick will just sit and wait for you to come into his (extremely long) range. When you do, you’re toast He accomplishes this with a Trait and Special Power. His Trait reads “Cosmic Assassin, Guardian of Earth: Nick Fury can use Shape Change. When Nick Fury targets only the highest point opposing character with an attack, modify his attack and damage values by +1 and he deals penetrating damage.

His special power reads, “Watcher’s Eyes to See Secrets: Nick Fury can use Probability Control. Give Nick Fury a free action and choose a power that an opposing character within range and line of fire can use. That character can’t use that power until your next turn.

Because of his Trait, the highest point opposing character is always dealt Penetrating damage on any attack (even close combat). If you are someone like IIM103 Absorbing Man who doesn’t fear Penetrating damage, then Nick Fury will just use his Special Power on you and take away your defense anyway. Think about that for a moment. He would deal Penetrating damage to 1000 point Shuma-Gorath and if Invincible showed up, Nick would just take that power away too. With an 11 Attack likely changing to 12 and Probability Control built in, he is not missing often and with his various Improved Targeting Traits, literally only Blocking Terrain is safe to hide behind. Defensively he has Stealth, Toughness, 18 Defense, Probability Control, and Shape Change! If an opponent wants to try and take Nick out, that’s far from a sure thing.

He reminds me a lot of DP036 Bullseye back when Bullseye and DP102 Bill, Agent of A.I.M. were the Meta team to beat. Nick is far superior to Bullseye for just 10 more points and he should see a bunch of Constructed play. Heck, the Meta might soon be  playing either him or playing a team designed to beat him (whatever that might be). That’s why he’s the best figure in this set.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We also have a special announcement!! We’re teaming with Heroclix Underground to help provide content for their new venture! Look for versions of this article, a Top Ten Second Opinion and more to show up soon on their site. As for Critical Missives, we’re not going anywhere, and we’ll soon return with “Straight, With CHASEr 4” (where we take a special look at the new vehicles) and the aforementioned Second Opinion on Nick Fury!!]

Team Ideas–Special Gen Con Edition!!

Idea

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

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

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

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

MARVEL HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

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

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

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

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

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

Legalese

First up:

Lilandra

Team Name: So Long As My Lilandra Survives

Roster:
1-50: WXM005 Oracle49 Points

51-100: WXM052 Lilandra93 Points

101-150: WKM-013R Gladiator150 Points

151-200: WXM048 Warstar177 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator250 Points

Total Points Used: 719 out of a possible 750

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

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

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

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

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

 

When are we getting a Miguel Herrera Clix?

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

Team Name: Enormous Green Free Movement Monster!!

Roster:

1-50: FFOA006R Captain America50 Points

51-100: AVAS013B 3-D Man90 Points

101-150: FFOA003 Iron Man150 Points

151-200: AVX003 Thor200 Points

201-250: AAOU104 Hulk250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

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

 

Avengers Assemble Top Image

Team Name: Avengers Assemble!!

Roster:

1-50: AAOU015 Nick Fury45 Points

51-100: AAOU009 Hawkeye95 Points

101-150: AAOU005R Thor150 Points

151-200: AAOU008R Hulk200 Points

201-250: AAOU001 Iron Man250 Points

Total Points Used: 740 out of a possible 750

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

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

 

Zombie Villains

Team Name: Z-Virus Will See You Now

Roster:

1-50: FFDP006R Mercy50 Points

51-100: DP064 Electro90 Points

101-150: GOTG066 Red Skull120 Points

151-200: GOTG062 Super Skrull170 Points

201-250: GOTG065 Gladiator 250 Points

Total Points Used: 680 out of a possible 750

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC HEROCLIX CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE RUMBLE:

Wizkids

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

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

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

With that said, here we go…

Secret Society of SUpervillains

Team Name: Mind Your Manners

Roster:

1-50: JLTW016 Signalman50 Points

51-100: JLTW032 Dr. Sivana83 Points

101-150: FL047 Zoom150 Points

151-200: FL056 Gorilla Grodd175 Points

201-250: JLTW059 Despero235 Points

Total Points Used: 693 out of a possible 750

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sinestro Corps

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

Roster:

1-50: WOL099 Despotellis30 Points

51-100: WOL021 Lyssa Drak91 Points

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

151-200: JLTW049 Sinestro200 Points

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

Total Points Used: 691 out of a possible 750

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

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

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

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

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

 

Justice League

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

Roster:

1-50: FL046E Harley Quinn50 Points

51-100: JLTW034 Element Woman88 Points

101-150: JLTW051 Batman150 Points

151-200: JLTW052 Wonder Woman200 Points

201-250: JLTW050 Superman250 Points

Total Points Used: 738 out of a possible 750

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Straight, With CHASEr 3!! [Or, 7 Builds for 7 Brothers! (Okay, 6 Brothers and a Sister!)]

Avengers Assemble

Welcome Back!

Today we’re gonna take a special look at the brand-spanking new Avengers Assemble set! Amongst a host of previously Un-Clix’d figures, WizKids gave us seven new Chases featuring future/past/alternate timeline versions of the six most popular Avengers (and one Chase that featured their OG sidekick–but we’ll get to him in a moment) on kickass translucent red bases.

Now, while the Chases are vaguely connected from a thematic standpoint, this is the first group of Chases from a main set that I can remember that do NOT all have a shared mechanic (think Zombies in Deadpool and Guardians, Bringers of the Great Darkness in SLoSH, Entities in WoL, etc.). Which is cool. While I don’t mind Chases that share mechanics, it’s kind of a nice palette cleanser every once in a while to see a set of Chase figures that all play completely differently.

Which leads me right into today’s main topic. Because they all play somewhat differently, we’re going to construct seven 300-Point Builds all based around one of the new Avengers Assemble Chases!

Let’s dive right in with a living legend… who kinda lives up to the legend!

Steve Rogers Nova Corps 2

AVAS061 Steve Rogers250/200 PointsChase:

So, whether he’s played at 250 Points or 200, Steve Rogers hopped up on the Worldmind is gonna be a Primary Attacker. His Trait ( Nova Helmet Targeting Assist: Each turn, one friendly character with the Avengers keyword and another friendly character with the Nova Corps keyword can use Precision Strike, but only when targeting a single character.) is useful, but not exactly the type of thing you usually build an army around. Still, let’s give it a try.

I’m going to play Steve at 200 points so that I can surround him with a little bit of support–specifically, the new Avengers: Age of Ultron Starter Set Hawkeye! Hawkeye is a terrific secondary attacker that Steve can Carry into battle. Clint also offers some top dial Enhancement, so Steve will be shooting for 5 Penetrating Damage on his first click. Together, Steve and Clint come to 275 Points, which leaves 25 Points for a Resource. So our roster will look like this:

Steve Rogers Nova Corps

Team Name: You and I Remember Xandar Very Differently

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 Points

AAOU106 Hawkeye 75

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force12

AVXR101 Cyclops Fragment3

(Assigned to Steve Rogers) — 3

AVXR103 Colossus Fragment3

(Assigned to Hawkeye) — 3

=299

 

Not bad. Playable. Hawkeye can bust any Stealth that you need him to (and unfortunately, Steve will need him to), and his Attack Value is actually higher than Steve’s; you’d probably do well to hit with Clint first, and follow up with Steve for the killshot. With the Precision Strike Steve grants him, Clint’s really only going to be shut down by Shape Change; he’s got an ability to deal with almost every other defensive power in the game. If you can just get the Phoenix Force to its second Click, you suddenly gain two Perplexes (and Hawkeye suddenly has a 19 Defense against ranged attacks), so you’re damage output should be fine from then on.

Still, getting there won’t be easy, and with only two figures, you’ll have little to no margin for error. It will be hard to get in the first attack–especially in such a way that won’t leave you open to a crippling counter-attack.

So, again, this is a decent Build, but I think we can do slightly better defensively than just ES/D. Austin on Dial H for Heroclix noted the potential this particular Chase has for beefing up Police-keyworded rosters, and I completely agree with his assessment! So let’s see what happens when we basically ignore Steve’s Trait (although Steve himself can still use it) and partner him up with a special agent from another universe.

I’m talking, of course, about the Chase Chun-Li D.E.O. Agent!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, but please note Critical Missives Build Rule #4: It’s never the Chase Chun-Li.]

"I'm the only Clix in the game that starts with top dial Hypersonic Speed AND an Attack Special that grants Leap/Climb! AND a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with just a Power Action! Guess which two of those powers I won't be using?"

I’m the only Clix in the game that starts with top dial Hypersonic Speed AND an Attack Special that grants Leap/Climb! AND I have a Team Ability that lets me move 3 spaces and attack with the mere cost of a Power Action. Guess which two of those powers I won’t be using!

So let’s try this again:

Nova Steve 3

Team Name: You and I Remember Central City Very Differently

Theme: Police

Roster:

AVAS061E Steve Rogers200 Points

(w/Secret Avengers ATA) — 5

JLTW009 D.E.O. Agent 56

JLTWR102 Rock of Eternity (Complete)28

(Assigned to Steve Rogers)

Rick Jones Avengers ID Card5

= 294

See?! We’ve suddenly given our 200 Point lynchpin Stealth (via D.E.O. Agent’s Trait: SAFETY IN NUMBERS: When D.E.O. Agent is adjacent to a friendly character with the Police keyword or team ability, both characters can use Stealth.)! Plus access to an Attack Value buff via the D.E.O. Agent’s Police TA. Not to mention we made Steve the Champion of the Rock of Eternity!

No matter what Build we came up with, it was always going to live or die with Steve–that’s true of any piece that costs 2/3 of your force allotment (which is also why so many high level players won’t play anything in the Meta right now that’s more expensive than WoL107 Kyle Rayner). So by giving him the Rock and Stealth, you made him that much tougher to kill.

This won’t win a ROC anytime soon, but if your opponent isn’t packing a solid targeting solution for Stealth, he’s in some deep trouble.

"'But Chun-Li,' you say, 'you only have Flurry mid-dial. So isn't it great that your Team Ability grants you some move-and-attack goodness?' You bet it is. It grants me the ability to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which is not Charge, which is what I'd need to use Flurry as well. But hey, I can still Carry folks. Did I mention I'm 140 Points and I only do 2 damage?"

“‘But Chun-Li,’ you say, ‘don’t sell yourself short. You also have Flurry mid-dial. That’s good, right?‘ You bet it is. Especially since my Team Ability grants me the power to move 3 squares and attack for 2 damage! Which isn’t Charge! Which is what I’d need to enable the use of Flurry with it. But congratulations on pulling me! I’m a Chase! You definitely didn’t waste money irresponsibly in acquiring me.

Uhhh… thanks, Chun-Li. I, uh, I think you’ve made your point. This isn’t really about you–we were just doing a quick bit–

"Oh, hey, speaking of my special power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?"

Oh, hey, speaking of my Special Attack Power, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures?

I don’t–I really don’t think you’re still supposed to be here–

"Oh, hey, you know who else ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and can Carry friendly figures? Any flyer."

Any %$&#!^* flyer.”

Sigh… Chun-Li, what did we say about the swearing?

"$#@& you!"

$#@& you! I’m 140 points and I do 2 damage. $#@& you.

Moving on!

It’s time for some Heavy Metal…

 

Iron Man Extremis Buster

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 PointsChase:

Now here is your classic Brick Sandwich. 270 Points! Yikes. Okay, well, believe it or not, we still have some options here. Iron Man has a great defensive Trait (ULTRA-DENSE ALLOYS: When Iron an would be dealt damage, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1, he can use Invulnerability; on a result of 2, he can use Invincible; on a result of 3 – 4, damage dealt is reduced by 3; on a result of 5 – 6, damage dealt is ignored.) and starts with 8 Movement with Sidestep, 11 Attack with a Special (MAGNETIC CONCUSSION: Iron Man can use Force Blast and Pulse Wave.), 18 Defense with Willpower and 4 native Damage with a pretty awesomely named Special Power (GIVE ME ALL THE CAMERAS: Iron Man can use Outwit and has Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.).

So, what are his main deficiencies? Well, he doesn’t fly, so even with Sidestep, he’s gonna have a tough time with mobility. At 270 Points, he leaves almost no room for supporting characters. And while his Defense is a solid 18 with a bunch of dampeners, 18 is still pretty hit-able in today’s game. So, having said all that, I would probably look to play him in a non-Resource environment that still allowed 1 Relic per force.

 

Chase Iron Man AA

Team Name: Stark’s Industrial Forgers

Theme: Stark Industries

Roster:

AVAS062 Iron Man — 270 Points

FIS104 Greithoth’s Hammer — 8

FI301 Splitlip — 20

= 298

Splitlip gives you a bunch of great little support bonuses. First, Iron Man has a 50% chance to pick up Greithoth’s Hammer, which will give him +2 to his Attack Value, Running Shot and Great Size, so Iron Man can ignore most Terrain types. Second, once Iron Man has that Hammer, he can tote Splitlip around and benefit from Splitlip’s top dial Enhancement. And third, they both form a Stark Industries Themed Team, so Splitlip will be able to use a Themed Probability Control on certain occasions.

In an environment without Resources, you should have a decent chance at setting up an Alpha Strike, especially since Iron Man can shoot through walls on his first two clicks.  All in all, I think I like this team sliiiiightly better than the Steve Rogers teams I came up with, but only because there’s a slightly higher damage ceiling with this Build.

 

King Thor Avengers Assemble

AVAS063 King Thor 369/300/200 Points — Chase:

Another Brick, but one with a slightly different skill set and THREE(!) different dial options. The King here doesn’t pack quite enough of a punch to try him as a one-man army, so again, we’re gonna settle on his 200 Point dial (which is still 6 clicks long. That’s a decent amount of life for a THIRD point option). We’ll go full Asgardian here for a lil’ Map help, plus a few Horde tokens to help dish out Hammers.

 

King Thor Chase

Team Name: As-hats

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS063R King Thor — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIR100C Book of the Skull (Complete) — 30

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

CATWSH001 S.H.I.E.L.D. Support10

= 300

Once again, we can have our best ranged attacker sling Splitlip over his shoulder and wreck some face. Or, we can have Loki Carry Splitlip first, drop him off in position, and have King Thor finish his Running Shot right next to the lil’ guy. What? King Thor doesn’t have Running Shot? Well, you have four Hammers to choose from. And once he’s equipped, if positioned next to Splitlip correctly, he’ll have two chances (via his own Prob Control) to fling a Hammer 8 squares for 5 Damage. That’s not half bad. The S.H.I.E.L.D. Support is there to help equip Hammers as quickly as possible AND to heal the King should the need arise.

With just a little bit of guile and cunning, you’ll be able to deal some serious dam–

"I'm sorry, did someone say my name?"

I’m sorry, did someone say my name?”

No!! Nope! I’m not going through this again with any more Street Fighters, you hear me? You’re not even a Chase!

"I don't need a Chase. My Uncommon version will dominate any Clix contest! I have a Special Power that lets me move 3 squares and attack for 2 Penetrating Damage--and I get to put an action token on my opponent!"

I don’t need a Chase. My Uncommon version will dominate any Clix contest! I have a Special Power that lets me move 3 squares and attack for 2 Penetrating Damage–and I get to put an action token on my opponent!

That… actually, that’s not bad. Not really worth interrupting this article for, but, you know, uh… noted. Good for you.

"Or, for 10 points less, my Common version has a Special that lets me Incapacitate fools!"

Or, for 10 points less, my Common version has a Special Power that lets me straight Incapacitate fools!

Wait, what? Your other ability already does that. Why would I ever want to save 10 points so badly that I’d cut into you damage output so severely? That 2 Penetrating damage is definitely worth the extra 10 Points!

"Ha! See, I knew you'd be interested."

Ha! See? I knew you’d be interested.

I… can’t believe I fell for that. Moving. ON!

 

Hulk Last Titan

 

AVAS064 Hulk 325/300/150 Points — Chase:

Okay, remember when I said that King Thor at 300 wasn’t good enough to be a one-man army? Well, meet the guy who is. This is the easiest Build of the article:

Hulk Chase Avengers Assemble

Team NameThe Last Last Titan

Theme: Hulk needs no Theme. Hulk strongest Theme there is!!

Roster:

AVAS064E Hulk — 300 Points

=300

His Trait (THE LAST TITAN: Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) is awesome; all those times that Ninwashui complained about the fact that the other great Hulks we’ve received this year have no Outwit protection? Yeah, you can forget about that; this guy has total Outwit protection from everyone except, like, Greed with Ophidian and the Omega Drive.

And even if you find yourself sitting across the table from the decked-out orange Sin, you can feel pretty confident in your ability to one-shot the lil’ bastard. On his first click, Hulk can Charge 10 squares (and that DOESN’T include his Giant Reach)–no halving or modifying of his Movement value is required–with a 12 Attack and 5 Damage (or up to 8 with an Ultra-Heavy). He also doesn’t care about Blocking Terrain, other characters, Hindering or Elevated Terrain, either. If you’re on the map, Hulk will find you. And he will obliterate you.

His Defense starts at 18, never falls below 17, and ends with a stupefyingly awesome Special Power (ONLY ONE THERE IS: Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.).

Now, will there be times when you’re devastating Alpha Strike is ruined when you roll a stinkin’ 3? Sure there will. You have no backup plan with a one-man army. That’s the deal.

But man, you will have some fun with this guy.

"Pssst... you know who else would make a good one-man army?"

Pssst… you know who else would make a good one-man army?

Dammit! We know it’s you, baby Akuma. Go away!

"Ha-Ha!! It's me, Akuma!!"

Ha-Ha!! It’s was me, Akuma, the whole time!!

Yeah, somehow, we guessed that already. And you’re not a one-man army!

"Of course not. I'm just a Rare. But I do have a special power that lets me make 4 close combat attacks in one turn. With no Damage Depletion Modifier."

Of course not. And I’m not a Chase, either. Just a Rare. But I do have a special power that lets me make 4 close combat attacks in one turn. With no Damage Depletion Modifier.

Whaa… ? That can’t be a real power.

"GOSHORYUKEN: Give Akuma a double power action. He can use Flurry as a free action. If he hits at least one character, after actions resolve he can choose a square within 6 squares and be placed in it and then use Flurry again as a free action."

GOSHORYUKEN: Give Akuma a double power action. He can use Flurry as a free action. If he hits at least one character, after actions resolve he can choose a square within 6 squares and be placed in it and then use Flurry again as a free action.

Waitwaitwait! You get to Flurry, zip around the map Kyle Rayner-style, and then Flurry again? And you’re in the same set as that crappy Chun-Li Chase? What’s your point cost? If she’s 140, you have to be, like 220.

"170!"

170!!!”

Who created your set?! Good Lord! It’s like, you would only lose in a Sealed if you actually DID pull a Chase.

"$#@& you."

“To reiterate: $#@& you.”

Hey!! I did not design you, Chun-Li! Don’t yell at me!

That’s it! NO MORE STREET FIGHTERS!! THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT AVENGERS, DAMMIT!!

[Deeeeeeep breath… ]

 

Okay. Annnnnnd, we’re back.

Black Widow as Thor

AVAS065 Black Widow200 Points — Chase:

So, Natasha, the spy, assassin, and all around master of dirty fighting tricks… has been found worthy to wield Mjolnir? Well, it happened! In an alternate universe, sure, but that’s never stopped a character from earning a Clix before! Let’s break down her dial.

Right off the bat, she has a fantastic Trait. Remember all the hoops we jumped through to give 200 Point Steve Rogers Stealth? And how it’s contingent on Steve lugging around a D.E.O. Agent and, y’know, FINDING COVER? Look what comes with Black Widow: “DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS: Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.

So, for no additional cost, not only does Natasha have Traited Stealth, BUT SHE MAKES HER OWN HINDERING TERRAIN!! For FREE!!

Looking at her dial, it’s apparent she’s learned a lot from her Asgardian teammate. This is a Thor dial with just a few Black Widow trimmings (like the aforementioned Stealth Trait), most of which don’t show up until the end of her dial. Her Defense Special (WE’RE THE SACRIFICE – WE WILL SAVE THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE: Black Widow can use Combat Reflexes and Toughness. Whenever another friendly character is KO’d by an opposing character, you may heal Black Widow of 2 clicks.) is great, and it coincides with her move from Running Shot to Charge.

I really love Pandora’s Box with Black Widow; any of the Sins you choose to giver her will offer Sidestep (which allows her to better utilize her top dial RCE), and many will even give her ES/D (which gives you a ranged attacker who herself has Invincible and a 19 Defense Value from ranged attacks). Plus, if you can get the Resource Dial to Click #9, she’ll suddenly be able to bust Stealth (and more, depending on which power you get each turn).

We’re also going to stick with an Asgardian Theme for this squad, which will help with Map Choice and offer 3 Themed Team Probs. Since most Asgardians cost quite a bit, we’re gonna have to return to some of the usual suspects to ensure we can get out all the Sins we need to distribute.

Black Widow Chase

Team Name: Strange Clouds

Theme: Asgardian

Roster:

AVAS065 Black Widow — 200 Points

FI101R Loki30

FI301 Splitlip — 20

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

JLTWR101 Pandora’s Box (Complete) — 40

= 300

Widow Carries Splitlip (once again, for Enhancement), Loki Carries the Damaged Warbot, and all of them can benefit from Pandora’s Box. Patience is your friend here (and Widow’s Stealth will help with that). Pick your spots to attack carefully, and don’t be afraid to move for board control or for future positioning; your pieces are only going to get better as the game goes on, so stretching things out to give yourself more time to distribute Sins is in your best interest.

"Did someone mention strange clouds?"

Did someone say they want to ‘stretch things out?'”

Nope! I’m not encouraging this. Moving. On.

 

Goliath

AVAS066 Goliath98 PointsChase:

Probably my favorite Chase in the set, Goliath may also be the most versatile CHASEr as well. His Trait seems harmless enough (BACK TO THE BLOND-HAIRED BOWSLINGER NAMED HAWKEYE!: Give Goliath a free action and replace him with any character of equal or less points named Hawkeye on the same click number minus 3, minimum 1.), but it really opens up endless possibilities for how you can use Goliath.

You can start you game by having Goliath Carry out one of your key pieces; then, if your facing, say, some Hypersonic Speedsters, or characters whose offense is based on mobility (especially pieces who have Running Shot or Ranged Combat Expert but DON’T have Sharpshooter), you can stay with Goliath and use Charge with either his native 4 Damage or Quake, if you want to reach out and touch a few opponents at once. Goliath’s Damage Special (GROUND SQUASH: Characters hit by Goliath’s attacks can’t automatically break away and modify their break away rolls by -1 until your next turn.) will all but ensure that anyone he hits (note that he DOESN’T have to actually damage them–just hit them) will be stuck exactly where they are for at least a turn.

Now it’s turn two or turn three… and this is when things REALLY get exciting!! Because Goliath’s Trait can help you customize your team… AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED!

So, imagine this scenario: Goliath has Carried out your big hitter to some prime real estate where your hitter can attack from next turn. Your opponent, however, decides to TK out his or her ranged beast of a Primary Attacker (say, someone who deals 4 or 5 Damage top dial and has Stealth to prevent retaliatory strikes–oh hey, maybe someone JUST LIKE the Black Widow Chase we just talked about) for an Alpha Strike on Goliath, and all of the sudden Clint is drilled all the way to Click 4. Half his dial is wiped away. Crap. Goliath no longer has Charge, and your Primary Attacker never had a way to see through Stealth. What do you do?

Well, since you thought to include Goliath to begin with, all your really need to do is give him a Free Action, sub in, say, AAOU009 Hawkeye, (who can now suddenly Sidestep–while ignoring Elevated AND Hindering Terrain) and start blasting away. Through Stealth. Oh, and by the way, Hawkeye himself now has Stealth, so your opponent’s big hitter? Yeah, if that piece can’t see through Stealth, your opponent is suddenly in for a world of hurt.

Of course, when you bring Hawkeye in, make sure you bring him in top dial, since his Goliath’s Trait specifies that the replacement character comes in on the same click as Goliath MINUS-3 (in this scenario, 4-3=1). So that big hit your opponent just spent all their resources last turn building up to? Completely wiped away.

With one Free Action, you’ve COMPLETELY changed the makeup of your team–and, in this scenario, you’ve also completely changed the complexion of the game. When used correctly, Goliath can actually devastate your opponent’s strategy WITHOUT EVEN ROLLING AN ATTACK! That’s pretty amazing.

Having said all that, we’re going to keep this Build pretty simple. This is a 300 Point, Modern Age, No Resources team.

Goliath Chase

Team Name: Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed & Furious

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS066 Goliath — 98 Points

AAOU015 Nick Fury — 45

AAOU005R Thor — 150

AVID015 Manifold5

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

= 298

As I stated above, you can get really complicated with a Goliath Build if you want. Here, however, we’re just gonna stick with Goliath (who can change into a ridiculously useful Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye) and Thor, with Nick Fury for support. Keep in mind, if you have Thor Carry Nick Fury, your Tertiary Attacker can suddenly do 4 freaking damage! That’ll make your opponent’s head spin!

"Did someone say 'Electrify?'"

Did someone say ‘Electrify?'”

No! Dammit, no one said anything close to that!

Blanka 2

Great. You know your own name. Congratulations.

"At least I'm a Chase."

At least I’m a Chase.”

Yes. You ARE a Chase. You have a perfectly average dial that’s costed just about as one would expect it to be. Which means your perfectly average. Which also means that you’re probably one of the five best clicks in your set, since “perfectly average” is the new “completely broken” when it comes to Street Fighter Clix. There. Are you happy?

Are all of you rude, obnoxious, interrupting jerks from the Street Fighter set happy? Can I finally MOVE THE $#@& ON with my day?

???

Good. At last.

 

"Uh... something something, MIRROR SPIN?"

Uh… something something, MIRROR SPIN?”

I hate my life.

 

Rick Jones

 

AVAS067 Rick Jones75 Points — Chase:

So Rick Jones is kind of support mixed with some Secondary Attacker skills. He continually spawns some pretty decent Bystander Tokens via his Trait (SUMMON THE HEROES I GREW UP READING ABOUT: At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America bystander token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a bystander token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a bystander token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following. This ability can’t be ignored. Bystander Token KO’d: Bystander Token Placed; Captain America: Namor; Namor: Blazing Skull; Blazing Skull: Captain America.), and once per game, his other Trait allows him to immobilize your opponent’s entire team for a whole turn (GALACTIC BURST OF IMMOBILIZING LIGHT: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 unavoidable damage.). Keep in mind too that your opponent gets no points for KO’ing any of the Bystander Tokens.

As Hunter Smith from Dial H for Heroclix likes to say, “Sounds fair.”

He’s somewhat hard to hit at range with ES/D down his whole dial, and he has Pen/Psy with a massive 10 Range for his first 3 Clicks. On his second click, he even picks up Perplex.

So again, as with Goliath, you have a single character who can fill multiple roles. Team him with, say, AVAS066 Goliath and AVAS034 Jarvis, add in like 3 ID cards of your choosing, and suddenly you have an extremely versatile team, especially in a Modern Age, No Resources format. Oh, and you still have 87 MORE POINTS!!

Team NameSwiss Army Avengers

Theme: Avengers

Roster:

AVAS067 Rick Jones — 75 Points

AVAS066 Goliath — 98

AVAS034 Jarvis 40

WXM078 Quicksilver — 87

AVID015 ManifoldFIVE 0 (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

AVID0XX Your ChoiceFIVE (via Jarvis)

SIDELINE:

AAOU009 Hawkeye

AVAS037 Manifold

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

Avengers ID Figure of Your Choice

= 300

Truly, this is a team designed to combat a multitude of threats. Not a hugely favorable damage output, but it should be able to run with most Builds. There’s nothing out there that you shouldn’t be able to bring a piece in to handle.

So, there you go. A whole bunch of Builds and analysis featuring the seven new Avengers Assemble Chases. Plus, random analysis for Golden Age Street Fighter figures that, frankly, no one asked for or wanted. Myself included.

"Speaking of Chases no one wants--"

Speaking of Chases no one wants–

What?! Don’t be so hard on yourself, Cammy! You’ve actually got a pretty good dial. Granted, it’s all close combat, but still, you can easily get your Attack Value to 11 or 12–

"I was talking about Chun-Li's Chase again."

I was talking about Chun-Li’s Chase again.

Oh. Wow. Uh, this is awkward. So, you were just popping in to agree with me?

"Jerk."

Jerk.”

Well, until next time, Stay Safe, and Watch Where You Draw Your Lines of Fire.

"$#@& you and goodbye."

“$#@& you and goodbye.”

 

It Might Get Loud!! (Or, Critical Missives Scenario #1: MCU Heroes Versus Villains!!)

Avengers poster

Hello again!

Today we’re here to share our first scenario with you. In celebration of the May 2nd premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ninwashui and I have prepared a couple special scenarios that we’re going to play out on our own time. Our first scenario is detailed here today!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For those who are unaware, a scenario is any game of Heroclix with special rules that are specific to that particular game. Often times they are meant to be played with either a specific set of figures, or else they give you a much smaller range of figures with which to create your Build. Usually there is also a small bit of story context accompanying the scenario (that justifies its existence and/or explains the comic or movie-based storyline you’re about to play out). WizKids sometimes creates scenarios for added depth of play during their OP events and distributes instructions on how to play them with the OP Scenario Pack (for example, Fear Itself had 2 Scenario Pack, War of Light had 1).]

Ninwashui and I have been chomping at the bit to try out some of these new Age of Ultron Gravity Feed pieces, but this Scenario will also give us a chance to break out some of our favorite older Movie Set pieces as well.

So, without further ado, here is our first Critical Missives Scenario. Taking a page from Survivor, it’s simply titled…

 

AvU

HEROES VS. VILLAINS!!

The Scenario: It’s all out war in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!!

While inside Avengers Tower celebrating their ability to finally subdue the Hulk’s latest rampage, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers are finally able to relax. During a fun game of “Whosoever Is Worthy to Pick Up Thor’s Hammer,”all of the Tower’s computers suddenly light up. The Tesseract Thor had brought back with him from Asgard begins to spew energy, and a temporal anomaly forms in the Tower’s Quinjet hangar! For a moment, everything seems normal–until the hangar is ripped open, and the Avengers find themselves under attack from the menacing AI of Ultron and his Sentries! But things immediately go from bad to worse as almost EVERY major villain from the MCU–even some they thought they had dealt with permanently–begin flooding in from the anomaly! The fate of the world is in the hands of the Avengers, and to save it, they’ll have to fight their worst enemies or die trying. 

But the Villains aren’t the only ones back from the beyond. An ally once thought lost has returned to aid the Avengers, and he’s brought a really big gun…

The Game: Designed for 2 Players. 1600 Points. Oreo Age. One player assumes control of the “Heroes” side. The other will guide the “Villains.”

The Map: Avengers Tower (from the Age of Ultron Movie Set Starter Pack). The “Heroes” should begin in the Starting Zone located on the side with the lab, while the “Villains” should start on the side with the open hangar.

The Special Scenario Rules:

–When forces are being built, the “Heroes” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.

–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player selects a Named keyword possessed by a character on his team; each character on his force has the selected keyword.

–At the beginning of each player’s first turn, that player may select a single Additional Team Ability (ATA) and assign that Team Ability to all eligible members of their team. At least one member of a player’s force must have the printed keyword required for the chosen ATA.

–There is a restriction of 5 actions per team per turn (NOT COUNTING FREE ACTIONS). This total can be increased by Leadership as per normal.

–While we’re not going to bother with declaring Sidelines or anything, the “Heroes” player should have at least 4 Iron Legions stashed off the map (as well as a Captain America and Black Widow & Iron Man and War Machine Duo Figures if available) and the “Villains” should have at least 4 Test Subjects ready to go.

Special Character Rules:

–In addition to his normal stats and powers, Agent Coulson gets the following Special Damage Power on Click number 4: “So That’s What it Does: Once per game, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing attack, stop turning the dial and select an opposing character. Agent Coulson can use Pulse Wave. When he does, the area of effect for this attack is his range value, he has a locked damage value of 3, and this attack ignores all characters except the opposing character selected for this power. After actions resolve, deal Agent Coulson 1 unavoidable damage. This power cannot be countered or ignored.”

–When forces are being built, the “Villains” player may assign either Loki or Red Skull GGS102 Cosmic Cube without paying its cost. During the game, figures named “Loki,” “Red Skull” or “Captain America” automatically succeed when rolling for the Cosmic Cube.

 

THE ROSTERS:

 

Avengers 1 MCU

Heroes:

 AAOU003 Captain AmericaCommon125 Points

AAOU101 Iron Man Mk. 43Starter Pack150 

AAOU005 ThorCommon200

AAOU008E HulkCommon250

AAOU013 Black WidowMass Market Rare 80

AAOU009 HawkeyeCore Hobby Rare94

AAOU010 Scarlet WitchCore Hobby Rare55

AAOU014 Quicksilver Mass Market Rare63

AAOU011 VisionCore Hobby Rare100

IM3016 War MachineMass Market Rare220

CATWS006 FalconCommon105

AAOU015 Nick FuryMass Market Rare45

AVM206 Agent CoulsonCommon50

CATWS011 Maria HillCore Hobby Rare60

= 1597 (Hmmm… Heroes are apparently so confident that they’re leaving 3 Points on the board!)

 

Marvel Villains

Villains:

AVM211 LokiChase220 Points

AVM041 Red SkullChase170

IM3008 Aldrich KillianCommon35

TDW004 MalekithCommon350

CATWS008 Winter SoldierCommon100 

GOTGM106 RonanStarter Pack300

AAOU016 Baron StruckerMass Market Rare95

AAOU018 Ultron PrimeMass Market Chase250

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

= 1600 Points!! (Villains got their $#!t together!)

 

Why These Teams?: Because, as I mentioned before, this gives us a chance to really dig into the new Age of Ultron Movie Set while also providing an opportunity to dust off some old favorites. As for these specific rosters, we chose them because–between the two of us–we happen to have all these pieces and the points match pretty damn close (in a 1600 Point game, I’m prepared to deal with a variance of 3 points).

Handicapping the Squads: While we haven’t decided who will play which side, just looking at the rosters, I’d expect the “Heroes” side to have a distinct advantage. While there is certainly a ton of raw power on the “Villains” side (and Ooooo, Malekith at 350 looks like soooo much fun…), the “Heroes” side is much more synergistic with their “Avengers Assemble!” Traits and such. Still, we shall see…

The Result: Check back in this space next week. Once we play out the Scenario, we’ll post the highlights and tell you who won right here!! (And/or in the next Weekly Roundup–we’re waaaay overdue for one of those!)

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

There Are… No Strings… on Me!! (Or, a Set Review of the Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Set!!)

Age of Ultron Back to Us

 

Hope you all had a Happy Easter! Or a Happy Passover, or, if you’re not a person of faith, or at least not a person of a faith that celebrated this season, I hope you had, uh, a Happy Sunday!

As our belated gift to you, Ninwashui and I are teaming up to rip through the just-released Avengers: Age of Ultron Gravity Feed Movie Set! We’re gonna go figure by figure using our popular and patented [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, it’s really neither of those things.] Oxygen Filtration Mask Numeric Scale!

It’s all part of our month-long ramp up celebrating the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! In addition to today’s article, we’re also going to review the Starter pack and write and play a scenario based on the movie (or, y’know, what little we know about the movie since it hasn’t released yet).

But today is about the Age of Ultron Gravity Feed, so let’s get it rolling!

SOME QUICK NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–The whole set actually gets its flavor not just from AoU but also from prior Marvel movies as well. Iron Man (Iron Man 3), Iron Legion (Iron Man 3) and Nick Fury (Avengers) all have power sets and costumes that reference previous MCU outings. Conversely, Hawkeye and Black Widow are definitely in their Age of Ultron costumes (note Hawkeye’s longer tunic, which gets him a little bit closer to his comic book look), but their power sets almost seem like they’re taken directly from the first Avengers film (going back to Hawkeye, he has Traits and Powers with names like “Rooftop Maneuvers” and “Vantage Point.” He could certainly spend a lot of time on rooftops in Age of Ultron, but these really sound like Hawkeye’s abilities taken from the Battle of Manhattan sequence in the first Avengers film).

–Meanwhile, it seems like the designers went out of their way to make the most generic Cap, Thor and Hulk pieces they could possibly imagine (I’m speaking strictly from a flavor/sculpt standpoint–see each figure’s individual entry to see how we think they stand up as Heroclix figures!). Cap gets an abilities like “Rebounding Shield” and “His Enemies Fear Him,” while Hulk has “Fueled by Anger” and “He Only Leaves Rubble.”

–For those keeping score at home, we finally have MCU Clix for: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, Baron Strucker and Ultron. First time generics include Test Subject and Iron Legion (although IM3 had at least 4 Armor Shell versions from the “House Party Protocol” scene at the end of the movie).

Alright, enough notes about the set! Let’s dig into the dials!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry bro, we need one more note. As always with Movie Set Reviews, we’re saving the Starter Review for a separate article, since we’re already over 7000 words on the Main Set alone, making this our largest single article ever!]

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Man

AAOU001 Iron Man250/185 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: At 250 Points, Iron Man here is certainly beefy, starting with a 12 Attack and an 18 Defense Value with Invincible. His awesomely-named second Trait (THE HOUSE PARTY PROTOCOL, SIR?: Give Iron Man a power action if there are less than 4 friendly undefeated characters named Iron Legion. If you do, place a AAOU002 Iron Legion in your starting area from outside the game.) allows him to bring in armor shells that are two clicks deep, but they come into play in your starting area. Depending on where the action’s centered, the battle may be lost before you can even get the shells into play. This is a bit of a problem, especially since there’s another figure in this set who does the same trick better. Similarly, his Avengers Assemble Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Iron Man hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: You place a friendly AAOU #002 Iron Legion from outside the game into your starting area or, modify the defense value of your friendly characters by +1 until your next turn.) is a nifty lil’ bonus, but there are better versions of the same Trait on almost every other Avenger.

In a Modern Age environment that also includes Ultron Prime and Trinity War Superman at the 250 Point level, I just don’t know that you’re getting enough damage out of this Iron Man and his Iron Legion shells to really keep up with number of effective actions your opponent will be taking in a 300 Point game. Also, while any piece with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability is going to be a nuisance, his 7 Range is below average for a piece in his price range.

Now, at 185 Points… he’s still over costed. With five clicks of life and middling Attack Values (again, for the points), he still offers the same two Traits as his higher-costed version and the ability to target through Stealth. Still, this feels much more like a 150 or 160 Point dial. 185 is just a rip-off, frankly. Not the worst dial in the world, but not one that I would choose to play, especially with all of the other Iron Man options out there.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says:

Pretty short dials for both versions, actually. Both Traits are more fun than competitive. The Iron Legions he can bring into play hit hard enough, sure, but they’re easy to KO and award 50 Points to your opponent for each one that’s KO’d. And really, the Transport Symbol is pretty much wasted on figures that already fly and have top dial Running Shot.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Iron Legion

AAOU002 Iron Legion50 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Mildly effective for his points, but you’re probably not playing him this way very often. He’s useable, but far from groundbreaking. Actually, he’s kind of a boring way to use 50 points, but at least he can Taxi, too.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks 

HypeFox Says: Yeah, he’s only got 4 Clicks, but for 50 Points I get Running Shot, 10 Attack and a Damage Value that never drops below 3 AND never loses Enhancement. A great Tertiary Attacker with a mild amount of support with Enhancement and the ability to Taxi. I think he’s damn effective for 50 Points–I’d put him right up there with some of the better Lantern Recruits we just got.

GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Captain America

AAOU003 Captain America125/80 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: One of the most creative Caps we’ve seen in awhile. The 125 Point dial is a brutally effective mid-range piece to start. He’s actually at his most deadly when he’s at least two squares away from an opposing figure, even though Cap is normally thought of as a close combatant. His Avengers Assemble Trait is pretty one-sided (there will be very few circumstances when your opponent would rather take a -1 hit to the Attack Value of all his pieces versus letting you give one of your pieces +1 to Damage). His top dial vanilla Leadership is somewhat wasted when the majority of Avengers cost more than him (or at least the majority of Avengers who can Carry him and keep him adjacent–yes, you can sometimes end up adjacent to a friendly after a Running Shot to set up Leadership next turn, but that’s a lil’ tricky to do usually). If he ignored characters on movement (instead of or in addition to) I’d love him; as it is, I merely like this dial.

His Rookie dial, on the other hand, offers a ton of value for 80 Points–and also plays way differently than his Blue dial. Now that’s a great design! He starts with a Leadership Special Power (HIS ENEMIES FEAR HIM: Captain America can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, he may also either place an action token on a higher point opposing character within range or he may place an action token on each lower point opposing character within range. Placing this action token doesn’t deal pushing damage.) that he keeps his whole dial. He doesn’t even need line of fire to dish out tokens–opposing characters merely need to be within 4 Squares.

His Attack Value never descends below 10, and even gets up to 11 more than once. The only problem is a lack of Indomitable, but the last half of his dial features Willpower anyway. And top dial, once he gets in close on someone, they’re gonna need a 20 to hit him with a Close Combat attack.

This is a fun piece and one of my favorites from the set.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: Really dig his 125 Point dial. He’s difficult to hit at range, which should allow him to use his Avengers Initiative Team Ability to slowly close in on his opponents. After that first hit he magically transforms into an equally hard to hit close combat headache for your opponent.

His 80 Point dial is almost as good, but his Leadership Special–as powerful as it can potentially be–will only go off 33% of the time. And with no native damage reducers, it’s possible for a heavy hitter like AAOU005 Thor to knock him out with one lucky hit.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (80 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Test Subject

AAOU004 Test Subject30 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Ugh. The first real loser of the set. Don’t let the 3 separate dials fool you–even for a generic, this is a bit uninspired. Their Trait (THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE YIELDING… INTERESTING… RESULTS: When Test Subject is first placed on the map, roll a d6 and click the character to the indicated starting line: 1 – 2 red; 3 – 4 blue; 5 – 6 yellow) ensures that you’ll never know which of their dials you’ll actually be playing, which is a problem when you are, y’know, TRYING TO BUILD A COMPLEMENTARY TEAM! These guys need help to be anything more than even just a tie-up piece for a turn. But with such limited mobility, it’ll take them forever just to get next to an opposing figure to tie them up in the first place. I can’t see 4 of these pieces ever taking out any 120 Point figure I can think of.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: Okay, taken on their own merits, they’re not the best use of 30 Points. However, what if I told you there was a way to easily get them within range of an opposing figure, to the point that they’d be all but guaranteed an Alpha Strike? Then would you be interested? If you can find a way around their awful mobility, these guys suddenly become pretty dangerous–especially since they’re only 30 Points. Having said that, no one is ever going to play them for 30 Points, for reasons we will get into as we get a bit further down the list…

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Thor

AAOU005 Thor200/150 PointsCommon:

HypeFox Says: Wow. We’ve gotten a ton of 4-Star Thors in the past couple years, but this version might just be a cut above. His AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Thor hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters modify their damage values by -1 until your next turn or, opposing characters can’t make ranged combat attacks until your next turn.) is absolutely brutal.

You: “So, would you prefer to do way less damage next turn, or would you prefer to do no damage next turn?

Your Opponent: “Uhhh… is that a real power? That doesn’t sound like a real power.”

You: “It’s a Trait, not a power.”

Your Opponent: “I hate you.”

I mean, what kind of choice is that? But beyond that, he starts with 5 native Damage, an 11 Attack Value that alternates between Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion (with an 8 Range and 2 Bolts) and an 18 Defense Value that’s boosted by both Invincible and his second Trait (MJOLNIR TO CARRY ME: When Thor has one or more action tokens, he can use Energy Shield/Deflection.). And remember, he sees through Stealth via his AI Team Ability. The only thing keeping him from 5 Masks at this point is his one glaring weakness:  no Willpower.

Still, in a Tactics format, this is pretty easily fixed, and in a No Tactics format, he hits so heavy that it may not even matter. If you only push him once or twice, you’ll be fine–heck, that first push basically just puts him on Pulse Wave. He only loses one Movement and one Defense.

His Rookie dial is a little more subtle, but just as effective.

GRADE(S): 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: User UncorkedMonk on HCRealms.com said “Hes an indom symbol away from being great. As is hes alright. But theres enough ways to give him willpower I spose.” Despite his clear vendetta against apostrophes, I have to completely agree. Outside of the normal Resource/Relic route, let’s remember that Thor is an Asgardian. For 5 Points, their ATA explicitly GIVES him Willpower on his first click. That’s right. The Asgardian ATA:  it’s not just for Splitlip anymore.

His Rookie dial finds him switching from a 5 Damage Primary Attacker to a 4 Damage sniper squad leader. And while he plays differently than his higher point version, he’s just as effective. Especially if you put the right team around him, which you’ll have 50 more points to do with this version.

GRADE(S): 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hydra Soldier

AAOU006 Hydra Soldier — 40 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: I think this was the only character in the set I wasn’t looking forward to getting (so guess who I’ve pulled 4 of so far… ). Even in groups, I don’t see this guy ever lasting long enough to hit anyone. I can see what they were trying to do with his Minion power that bestows Leadership (MINION: HAIL HYDRA: When a friendly character with the HYDRA keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, Hydra Soldier can use Charge. When that character uses Leadership and succeeds, remove an action token from all characters named Hydra Soldier within that character’s range and line of fire unless one has already been removed this turn from that character from this effect.), but the low inherent Movement and the existence of DP006 Hand Ninja means that this guy will likely never see play from me. On the plus side, he’s got a pretty cool sculpt though.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: For the first time in this article, I think I finally agree with Ninwa. His TA only works for ranged attacks (well, unless your running him with Wolverine, Agent of Hydra) but his skill set is only viable for close combat attacks. Come to think of it, running him with Hydra Wolvie is really the only way to make him work. Even then, as Ninwashui mentioned, DP006 Hand Ninja is pretty much a better choice all the way around.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron Sentry

AAOU007 Ultron Sentry40Common:

HypeFox Says: 3 Clicks for 40 Points doesn’t instill a ton of confidence until you look a little closer at those three Clicks. Top dial they have Pen/Psy and Enhancement (although only a 4 Range) with a native 3 Damage. In other words, as they multiply, they can start dishing out 4-5 Penetrating Damage. That’s a huge amount of Damage output for a 40 Point figure. Yes, they can be destroyed quite easily with just a 15 Defense Value, but their Movement Special on Click 2 (THERE’S NO END IN SIGHT!: Once per turn, for all characters with this power, give Ultron Sentry a double power action. Place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry from outside the game in an adjacent square on click number 3.) means that they can replicate themselves over and over. In other words, for 40 Points, you can create a whole army INSIDE your army.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says:  It’s a 40 point character that can duplicate itself as soon as turn 4. And it can keep doing it until you run out of them on your sidelines with no outside help required. And when one dies, a double power action can put that guy right back out. Unlike Iron Legion, the duplicate figures are the exact same strength as the original. And they have two Traits that make it so they can work together to become far more powerful the more of them there are (COMBINED EFFORTS: Modify Ultron Sentry’s attack value by +1 for each adjacent friendly character named Ultron Sentry. Modify Ultron Sentry’s damage value by +1 for each 2 adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry AND CONSISTENT PROGRAMMING: When using the Carry ability, Ultron Sentry may carry any number of adjacent friendly characters named Ultron Sentry regardless of their combat symbols.).

They also have additional Trait that works well  with the other versions of Ultron: HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Sentry is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: 

3 – 4, place AAOU #007 Ultron Sentry on its starting line;
5, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line;
6, place AAOU #012 Ultron Mk 1 on its blue starting line.” 

Try to imagine this:  Starting on Turn 4, Ultron Sentry makes another Ultron Sentry. Turn 5, the first Sentry you made makes another. Turn 6, the original makes another. You can just keep doing this in your starting area until you feel like you have enough. A 40 point investment can bring 8 more of these things into play and descend on the opponent as a cloud of nine sentries. Nothing in the game anywhere near 40 points can take that on. If you own enough of these you can bring a 900 point army to a 300 point game.

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hulk

AAOU008 Hulk300/250/200 PointsCommon:

Ninwashui Says: Going in, you have to know a couple things. First, you’re paying a metric poop-ton of points for a character that has absolutely no range AND that has absolutely NO OUTWIT PROTECTION!! These are major issues. It’s true that if Hulk gets Outwitted, he gets the small bonus of an Anger Token via his Trait (ENORMOUS GREEN MONSTER: Hulk can use Battle Fury. Each time Hulk takes damage from an opponent’s attack or one of his powers or combat abilities is countered, put an Anger token on this card.), but that’s not really Outwit protection, is it?

His 300 Point dial has an awesome top dial, but the chances of you being able to get to swing with that top dial in a 300 or even 400 Point game is minimal. He’ll most likely be picked apart on his approach.

At 250, he runs into the same problems. While his dial is fun, one Outwit can just absolutely ruin his day.

Finally, his Rookie dial actually gets a half-mask more from me because it leaves room for supporting figs (just from this set, adding AAOU015 Nick Fury and AAOU010 Scarlet Witch will form a perfect 300 Point team) that can really help Hulk deal maximum damage.

Just make sure that whichever dial you play, you use Colossal Stamina whenever there is a meaningful action to take UNLESS that would put you on a Stop Click.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: For a Hulk dial, there is a lot going on here, most of which I like. Traited Battle Fury means that Shape Change will not help you–and with a figure that costs this much (no matter which dial you play), any ability that can eliminate the possibility of wasted actions is a very good thing. His Avengers Assemble Trait is good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hulk hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Deal one target 1 unavoidable damage and give it an action token or, put an Anger token on this card.), but again, it’s pretty much one-sided (no opponent is going to choose to take an additional damage AND lose an action as opposed to giving Hulk a token that lets him increase a potential Regeneration roll somewhere down the line by +1 or increase the chance Hulk won’t take Colossal Stamina damage by just over 16%.).  The first choice wreaks havoc on his team right now, while the second option might subtly benefit you at some unspecified juncture down the line. Not much of a choice there. Having said that, getting the Anger Token bonus is better than not having that Trait at all, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.

I like his Rookie dial a little more than Ninwashui, since I believe that his Defense Special Stop Click (HIS ANGER SUSTAINS HIM: When this click is revealed due to taking damage, stop turning the dial and remove all actions tokens from Hulk. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a little bit of Outwit protection (and Pulse Wave protection). And it shows up twice, in tandem with his Damage Special Power (HE ONLY LEAVES RUBBLE: Hulk can use Invincible and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration, you may remove any number of Anger tokens from this card. If you do, the d6 roll can’t be rerolled and you may increase the result by 1 for each token removed.).

So while he doesn’t have Outwit protection, he does have some built-in survivability.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 3 and 1/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Hawkeye

AAOU009 Hawkeye94 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: Wow. Back in our set preview a few weeks ago, I said that this was the figure of the set. And I’m not backing off. I think he’s ridiculously good, and here’s why.

First of all, he’s got arguably the best AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Hawkeye hits one or more characters with an attack, the opposing player chooses: Hit characters are each dealt 1 unavoidable damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye isn’t given an action token for this action.). Finally, an Avengers Assemble! where both of the choices really suck for your opponent! Remember, Hawkeye has 3 Bolts and Precision Strike, so chances are he’s already dealt 1 Penetrating Damage to two or three of your opponent’s characters (and keep in mind that Stealth won’t help them, because Clint has Avengers Initiative). Now, does your opponent want each of the hit characters to each take ANOTHER Unavoidable Damage? Or do you want to keep Hawkeye from getting an action token, which means he can do the whole thing over again next turn?

This is an actual dramatization of your next opponent trying to decide which of these options to go with after 3 of his characters have been hit by Hawkeye.

Now before you start worrying about his top dial 10 Attack Value, take a look at his second Trait (VANTAGE POINT: When making a ranged combat attack, modify Hawkeye’s attack value by +1 for each target of the attack. When he hits 3 characters, he may give one hit character an action token if he doesn’t assign that character any damage.). All of which means that it shouldn’t be hard to get Hawkeye a +2 or even +3 modifier to his Attack Value. Forget Perplex–this Hawkeye takes care of his own modifiers.

Finally, Ninwashui is probably gonna come on here and trash Hawkeye’s Movement Value. Sure, it’s a bit low at just 6 Squares, but even that, too, is deceiving. When you break it down, you’ll see that his starting Movement Special (ROOFTOP MANEUVER: Hawkeye can use Sidestep and Stealth. When he uses Sidestep, he can use Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated Terrain.) means that he can actually cover 8 Squares a turn AND he can change elevation, too (AND he can make an Attack afterwards, since it’s Sidestep!)! And since he already ignores Hindering Terrain on movement (again, thanks to the AI Team Ability), you actually have a figure who’s much more nimble than a lot of other figures with higher Movement Values.

Now, I can’t quite give him 5 Masks in an environment where Banshee is still Modern (he’s even more beastly for just 4 more points), but Hawkeye here is darn close. He offers a bunch of powers and abilities that you can’t get from Resources or Relics, and what he lacks CAN be fixed by Resources and Relics (The Phoenix Force or especially the new Pandora’s Box Resource should work wonders with this Hawkeye. If you use Pandora’s Box, I’d recommend it’s first setting–the Path of the Hunter. It’s got pretty easy early access to the abilities that Clint needs the most, like Energy Explosion and Running Shot, and it’s also pretty easy to get Hawkeye permanent access to both ES/D AND Combat Reflexes).

GRADE: 4 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: Low Movement Value, no dampeners or anything to help his Defense beyond Stealth and a lack of Running Shot hurt this guy. That being said, if your opponent can’t find a way to hide two or three of his pieces (and it’s admittedly tough to hide guys from a dude who has 8 Range, Sidestep, 3 Bolts and the ability to see through Stealth), then this guy could suddenly be the star of your team. All his is missing is Energy Explosion to be the best figure ever made at taking out clusters of opponents at a time. And AAOU015 Nick Fury (who will get to in a minute) has a Special Attack Power that goes great with this guy.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

AAOU010 Scarlet Witch55 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: Her Trait (UNCAGING THE BEAST: Give Scarlet Witch a free action when she has two action tokens and choose a friendly character within range and line of fire. Modify the chosen character’s combat values by +1 until the end of the turn, and, at the end of the turn, deal Scarlet Witch 1 unavoidable damage and don’t clear her action tokens. If the chosen character’s name is Hulk, you may modify the chosen character’s combat values by +2 instead.) seems to be begging for you to play her with some version of the Hulk to make her reach her full potential, but I think she’ll end up seeing a lot of play on a variety of tournament teams regardless of the presence of a Hulk. Even just a +1 boost to all stats is no joke, and she could technically do that for five turns in a row before being KO’d. That ability might be worth 55 Points by itself.

Factor in her 8 Range, 10 Attack and 3 Damage with Perplex top dial and you have a piece that’s useful even before her crazy-good Trait starts to kick in!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: She has no Avengers Assemble! Trait on her own, which is a bit of a bummer. Her Point Cost is reasonable, but if Ninwashui thought that Hawkeye was too crunchy with only Stealth to protect him, I can only imagine what he thinks about a figure with one less Click of life and an even worse Defense Value. If you can get some mileage out of her Trait, she’ll make her cost worth it; if she gets destroyed before that, well… sorry.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Vision

AAOU011 Vision100 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

HypeFox Says: First of all, this is an awesome sculpt and paint job!! Second… yeah, I have no second. At 50 Points, he’d be amazing. Unfortunately he costs double that. Somehow, a figure with no Traits or Improved Movement or Targeting of any kind and with only six Clicks of life costs 100 Points.

He does fly and he has Indomitable, but he doesn’t do enough to be a Secondary Attacker and he costs WAAAAYYY too much to be a Taxi. And he has 0 Range. I’m glad that he has the Avengers keyword, but he is a Theme play only; he’s not turning up in any sort of competitive environment. Even with Hydra Soldier’s existence, this is probably the worst piece in the set (especially since he costs so much more).

GRADE: 1 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He’s not as bad as HypeFox makes him out to be, but I have to agree with the idea that if you are actually playing him, you’re playing him because you like the character and not because you think he’s a powerful HeroClix figure. He does have 3 Clicks of Outwit followed by 3 Clicks of Perplex, so I can tell why he’s clocking in at 100 Points. But in a world where even a 43 Point Hand Ninja has Traits and Special Powers [EDITOR’S NOTE: And a Team Ability!], it’s hard to justify a dial that costs more than double and has none of those things unless the power set is just top notch. Vision’s power set, alas, is not.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Ultron MK 1

AAOU012 Ultron MK1120/65 PointsCore Hobby Rare:

Ninwashui Says: For 120 Points you get a character that hits hard, but with a low Attack Value. He also is good at absorbing damage with four clicks of Invuln, but he doesn’t match well with other figures in his point range unless you take his Trait into account (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when a friendly character named Ultron Mk 1 is KO’d by an opposing character, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Increase the result by 1 for each character named Ultron Mk 1 or Ultron Prime that began the game on your force. Based on the result, place in your starting area: (4)-(5), place 012 Ultron Mk 1 on its yellow starting line. (6), place either 012 Ultron Mk 1 or 018 Ultron Prime on its blue starting line.). Basically, if you’re running any other Age of Ultron versions of him, then you will likely get him back in your Starting Area on Click one. His stats by themselves are average, but his synergy with other Ultron pieces is the real reason to play him.

His Rookie dial is kind of more of the same. You’d play it to fit in another Ultron on your force, but this dial will never see play otherwise.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (120 Point Dial); 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (65 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: Kind of a must have piece if you’re trying to create an Ultron swarm. On its own, it’s average, but when you start running it with Ultron Prime or Ultron Sentry, it can really start to wear your opponent down.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial)

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Black Widow

AAOU013 Black Widow80 Points Mass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: This is one of the stranger Black Widows we’ve gotten in recent years. On the plus side, she’s got a pretty decent AA Trait (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: When Black Widow hits one or more characters with an attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Opposing characters can’t attack Black Widow until your next turn or opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage until your next turn.) and a cool Attack Special (WIDOW’S STING: When Black Widow hits with a ranged combat attack, after actions resolve, roll a d6. On a result of 4 – 6, Black Widow can use Incapacitate twice, each as a free action, but only to target a hit character.). On the negative side, she’s pretty much set up as a ranged attacker, but she’s only got a 4 Range and no move and attack. And if she can’t attack, her special powers are all wasted.

Having said that, like her former S.H.I.E.L.D. running buddy Hawkeye, much of what ails her can be fixed with a Resource or Relic (Mokk’s Hammer would solve almost all of her top dial problems).

So she has some potential in a Tactics environment, but in a game where you can’t use Resources or Relics, she’s gonna be a tough piece to use effectively. Chances are high that you won’t get out of her what you put into her.

GRADE: 2 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: She can really shine with an Avengers Themed Team around her, but you’re gonna have to team her up with a really effective Primary Attacker to distract the other team’s best offensive pieces and let her get a ranged attack (or two) off. Nearly full dial Stealth and intermittent Perplex make me like this version slightly more that her Starter pack counterpart (AAOU105 Black Widow, natch!). And, once again, AAOU015 Nick Fury‘s Special Power works really well with her as well.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Quicksilver

AAOU014 Quicksilver 63 PointsMass Market Rare

Ninwashui Says: He’s the cheapest character in Modern right now with top dial Hypersonic Speed. When you compare him to 65 point FL001A The Flash you’ll see that he moves much farther and has a better chance of hitting because of his ability to use Probability Control on himself. This is also one of the few instances where I think it’s really nice for this character to have Force Blast. I can just imagine him flinging opposing support figures off rooftops or into walls. And let’s be honest, 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection is pretty damn impressive for someone at his point level.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: He’s been growing on me. I still don’t like that his Attack Value never exceeds “meh,” but his Damage Special (FAST ENOUGH TO TRY AGAIN: Quicksilver can use Probability Control, but only to reroll his own rolls.) means that he gets two shots at every attack roll. And an 18 Defense with ES/D is EXTREMELY good for any figure under 80 Points. He’s never going to do much damage, but at 63 Points he’s always going to be a Secondary Attacker at most. But depending on how you construct your army, he might even just be a third attacker on a 300 Point squad. And he’s perfect for that.

GRADE: 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Nick Fury

AAOU015 Nick Fury45 PointsMass Market Rare:

HypeFox Says: So, we’ve already mentioned this guy three or four times, so you probably had an inkling that he’d be good. I think he’s possibly Meta, although he necessitates building an Avengers Themed Team around him. His Trait is great (I STILL BELIEVE IN HEROES: If Nick Fury is part of an Avengers Themed Team and has the lowest point value character on your starting force, he can use Leadership and Outwit. When he uses Leadership, he is considered 300 points.), since at 45 Points he will almost ALWAYS be the lowest point value character on an Avengers Themed Team. So you don’t even really need to alter your team any to fit him in, and in a 300 Point game his Leadership is guaranteed to work on whoever he’s next to as long as you make the roll. On top of that, since he has Avengers Initiative, his Outwit sees through Hindering Terrain!!

Oh, and speaking of rolls, Fury Attack Special (I RECOGNIZE THE COUNCIL HAS MADE A DECISION…: When an opponent makes a choice from an Avengers Assemble! Trait, you may roll a d6. On a result of 5 or 6, change the effect to the other option.) gives him a 33% chance to just completely wreck your opponent’s day. Remember how we mentioned how one-sided some of the Avengers Assemble! Traits were on the figures in this set? Well, if YOU suddenly get to make the choice for your opponent, those AA Traits become stratospherically better!

On top of all that, he has Willpower, Shape Change, Stealth and a native 3 Damage. This is a great package for just 45 Points.

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

Ninwashui Says: He is really only viable on an Avengers Themed Team, but if you’re playing one, he is almost an auto-include if you have the points. Even if your not using his Attack Special because you’re running him with non-AoU Avengers, just the fact that he gives you a working Leadership and Outwit while also being a competent Tertiary Attacker is pretty amazing.  I’m not sure if Avengers Themed Teams will start showing up at major tournaments, but if they do, I’m pretty sure they’ll be running this Nick Fury.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Avengers Age of Ultron Baron Strucker

AAOU016 Baron Strucker95 PointsMass Market Rare:

Ninwashui Says: And finally we come to my top Want from this set. Sporting a creative and efficient dial, Baron Strucker is capable of changing a game just by himself. Like AAOU001 Iron Man, he can make himself a small army with just a few power actions via his Special Attack Power (WE LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM…: Give Baron Strucker a power action if there are less than 4 friendly characters with the Test Subject keyword on the map. When you do, place a friendly AAOU004 Test Subject from outside the game on the map within 6 squares of him.). Unlike Iron Man, when Baron Strucker’s army dies, his Trait (THEIR SACRIFICE ENSURES OUR FUTURE: When a friendly character with the Test Subject keyword is KO’d put an Evolution token on Baron Strucker’s card. Modify Baron Strucker’s combat values +1 for every two Evolution tokens on his card.) ensures that the Baron gets stronger! Keep in mind that for a 95 Point piece, he was already sitting on some pretty good stats to begin with. Several of his Clicks sport a 10 Attack Value with 4 Damage. Now imagine if that got pumped up to a 13 Attack and 7 Damage–those are Hulk Smash numbers!

And he has Mastermind, so, depending on how you place your Test Subjects, it’ll be damn near impossible for most of your opponents NOT to KO some Test Subjects along the way to Baron Strucker, unless their pieces are just dripping with Precision Strike. And you get all this for just 1/3 of your 300 Point Build!!

I am already dreaming of playing this guy with DP054 Arnim Zola for some friendly Mind Control shenanigans or IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0 to turn those Test Subjects into Claymore mines. Oh, the destruction I’ll wreak…

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks

HypeFox Says: This is the piece I was referencing in my AAOU001 Iron Man writeup. Whereas the Iron Legion pieces have to come into play all the way back at your Starting Zone, Strucker here can place his Test Subjects wherever the hell he likes within a 6-Square radius! Think about how useful that is! Can’t get through that wall and into the room where your opponent is trying to heal his Primary Attacker back to full? Boom–now there’s a Test Subject adjacent to his healer. Who can make an attack on that same healer THIS TURN!! This ability is kind of like Deadpool’s Sheep Gun Word Balloon, only it’s about a thousand times more useful.

If Strucker’s Dial was crap except for that power, he’d still be good. But he’s got a great dial, and he gets stronger for every Test Subject that’s killed! You just need to get this man some Willpower!

I hate to say it again, but this is another near-Meta piece for me. More importantly, he’s going to be poop-tons of fun at house games…

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Hulkbuster GiF

AAOU017 Hulkbuster300/225 PointsCore Hobby Chase:

HypeFox Says: Sort of a disappointing Chase, especially since we know we’re getting a comic version of the Hulkbuster armor one piece at a time in the Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. boosters this summer. But beyond that, his dial seems much more like a 200-250 Point character; at 300, you’re really only playing him in fun, epic games where you think you’re gonna run into other big’uns.

His AA Trait is actually pretty good (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: Once per turn, when Hulkbuster hits one or more characters with a close combat attack and actions resolve, the opposing player chooses: Modify Hulkbuster’s defense value by +2 until your next turn or Hulkbuster may make a close combat attack as a free action against a hit target, modifying his attack value by -2 for the attack.), but his other Trait (DESIGNED TO PUT YOU DOWN, BRUCE: At the beginning of the game for all characters with this trait, choose an opposing character with :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:. That character can’t ignore pushing damage or have its combat values increased.) and his Defense Special Power (SHE IS BUILT TO FIGHT THE BIG ONES: Hulkbuster can use Invincible. When Hulkbuster is hit by an attack from a character with the :g-giant:, :g-colossal:, :a-team:, or :d-wheel:, modify that’s character’s damage value by -1 for the attack.) are geared specifically towards putting down Giant-sized or Colossal figures, Team Bases or Vehicles. If you’re playing 1000 Point Brawl where those figures are allowed, he’s well worth his Points. If you’re playing almost any other format, you probably overpayed for this dial by at least 50 Points.

His Rookie version is a little bit better, if only because it’s 75 Points cheaper. You lose two really good Clicks, but you’re also closer to his Hypersonic slots.

These pieces are slight misfires for me.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

Ninwashui Says: I have to agree. You should only play this guy if you know in advance that you have a good shot at facing Giants or Team Bases–and even then I’m not sure that he’ll win that fight. Against Colossals, you’d do much better playing AVX104 Phoenixbuster Iron Man.

It’s not that this guy can’t win; it’s just that he’s a close combat piece that’s likely to get shot crossing the board and his combat values don’t hold up like they do with AAOU008 Hulk. He is also yet another figure above 200 points with no Outwit protection of any kind.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (300 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (225 Point Dial)

 

Ultron No Strings On Me

AAOU018 Ultron Prime250/125 PointsMass Market Chase:

Ninwashui Says: At 250 points there won’t be much room for support (other than maybe an AAOU007 Ultron Sentry) He can use Energy Explosion with 3 Bolts, but he doesn’t have Running Shot until his third Click. Until then, he’s stuck with Charge or Hypersonic Speed with a 9 Attack. Not horrible, but not worth 250 Points, either.

He’s meant to be a close combat figure and just like AAOU008 Hulk he will have a hard time crossing the board without being weakened (this seems to be a Chase theme this set!). And he’s 250 Points with no Outwit protection (another Chase theme!), only an 18 starting Defense Value and no Stop Clicks. Again, Transport Symbol is really wasted points here, unless you’re in love with low Attack Values for some reason.

His Experienced dial is a little better just by virtue of being able to pack in a lot more compatible supporting figs. His actual power set is still mostly incompatible (and, again, no Running Shot ’til Click 3), and Transport Symbol is still wasted here.

GRADE(S): 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

HypeFox Says: I think I like him a little better than you do. Yes, he does not have an efficient power mix, but he’s not a pushover, either, and his Trait (HIDDEN PROGRAMMING: Once per game, when Ultron Prime is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 5 – 6 place this character in your starting area on its blue starting line.) gives him a 33% chance to come back and haunt your opponent all over again.

That Trait works even better on his Experienced dial, since it brings him back all the way to his Starting Line.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (250 Point Dial); 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (125 Point Dial)

 

Alrighty! There you have it–the longest article (by word count) we’ve ever published! We hope you enjoyed this look into Avengers: Age of Ultron, and make sure to come back for our Starter Review!

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