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

Elseworlds War.jpg

Annnnnd… we’re back!!

Good Lord, where has August gone?

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

But first…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

DKR 1

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

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

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

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

 

Planetary Cover

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

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

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

 

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

Superman Chase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now, without further ado…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN ELSEWORLDS!!

Elijah Snow

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

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

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

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

Drummer

Well, that clears that up!

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

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

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

The Ray

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

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

Carrie Kelly

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nekhrun.png

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

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

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

Kid Flash Justice Rider

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

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

GL The Nail.jpg

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

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

Al Jhor Dan.jpg

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

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

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

Frank Miller Superman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DKR Green Arrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Tippy-Toe-ing Through The Rainbows On Unicorns!! (Or, The Top Ten Figures in Deadpool & X-Force!!)

Squirrel Girl

Welcome Back, Welcome Back!!

Well, Avengers/Defenders War is almost upon us, so I figured it was time to crank out at DXF Top Ten. Unfortunately, my brother Ninwashui has been immobilized for the better part of the last month with a serious illness that he’s only now getting over, so we’re a bit behind on things (what else is new?).

But enough jibber-jabber! Okay! You folks know how this works: Five Honorable Mentions, followed by Ten Top… uh, Ten figures!!

Also, normally I’d start with some Notes About the Set, but, well, I kinda already covered that during the Wind Apocalypse of 2017!

The only thing I’ll add is that I think this is one of the strongest top-to-bottom sets that we’ve gotten since World’s Finest (and probably the most powerful Marvel set we’ve gotten since Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.), so no Top Ten list (even with our customary five Honorable Mentions) could cover every great figure in this set. So if we left something off, hopefully that piece will come up in a future article (so sorry, Chipmunk Hunk!). It’s not that we don’t like, say, Fast Forces Stingray, or Solo in his Deadpool uniform–it’s just that there’s only so much we can spotlight in one article!! But this is a deep, deep set that will spawn a ton of Meta play!

So, with that said… LET’S GET ON WITH IT!!

 

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

Terror

5. DXF101 Terror100 PointsLE:

This is one of the better release date LE’s we’ve gotten in quite some time (at least as far as figures go–that Symbiote object from SFoSM is getting used a TON in the Meta right now). Terror is an interesting character who has been tooling around the Marvel Universe for 25 years and who has now, finally, been Clix’d (with THREE versions no less!).

What makes his dial so interesting is his Morro-like Trait (HE WON’T BE NEEDING IT: When an adjacent standard character is KO’d, choose a standard power that character could use on any click. Terror can use that power this game.) that theoretically allows him to access almost any power in the game! And remember, his Trait doesn’t care if that figure is opposing or friendly–only that it’s adjacent.

Beyond that, Terror gives you seven Clicks of life, Sidestep, 3 native damage, three Regen Clicks on the back end and a weird Outwit that only letss him counter Pink powers (Sidestep, Precision Strike, Invincible & Empower), which, I guess, is better than NOT being able to counter anything.

I can’t quite say that he’ll be a Meta staple (he takes a lot of in-game planning to get going), but he is worth a look and he’s a lot of fun to field.

 

Fantomex

4. FFDXF003 Fantomex75 Points –Fast Forces:

Wow! Now this is what a 75 Point Secondary Attacker piece should look like! Great evasion with his Rooftop Movement Special (ROOF-RUNNING GUNFIGHTER: Fantomex can use Running Shot. On opponent’s turns, lines of fire drawn to Fantomex are blocked if he occupies the rim of elevated terrain.) and E.V.A.-provided Super Senses combined with a solid 3 Damage top dial with Energy Explosion and two bolts.

Alternatively, you can pop E.V.A. off and take advantage of her (his? its?) Outwit. For the points, this is an extremely solid complement to almost any Primary Attacker. If you Theme him and get to choose Map, he can really become a gamebreaker.

 

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3. DXF010 Tippy-Toe — 25 Points — Common:

Tippy-Toe is 25 points of tie-up annoyance that can also help break up teams that depend on hunkering down in covered, adjacent positions (Bizarro Green Arrows and the like)… but only on certain Maps (specifically those with a bevy of Hindering Terrain).

Her Attack Special (SQUIRREL TALK: Give Tippy-Toe a free action to deal 1 damage to an opposing character within 8 squares and line of fire that occupies printed hindering terrain.) lets her nibble at enemies from across the board. If they have Stealth or she loses that top dial power, though, she can still walk right up to characters to tie them up with her 18 Defense (plus Super Senses) and scratch them for 1 Exploit Damage.

 

Slapstick

2. FFDXF010 Slapstick — 50 Points — Fast Forces:

50 Points for Hypersonic Speed (or whatever Speed power you want), Willpower and 2 Damage with Precision Strike? Okay! Once again you are paying Support/Tertiary Attacker prices for a solid Secondary Attacker. Slapstick is awesome for taking out opposing Support pieces before they can impact the game.

 

Hulkpool.jpg

1. DXF064 Hulkpool — 125 Points — Chase:

Most of the (EIGHT!!) regular Chases in this set are pretty damn good. Even if you don’t like the dials by themselves, you have to remember that each of them can gain one of EIGHT different abilities as a free action from a Comic Panel marker if they have no action tokens at the beginning of your turn.

You can choose from Smoke Cloud (meh); Enhancement (eh… situationally useful); an extra Bolt (somewhat useless now–really useless in about two months when Energy Explosion gets nerfed); Quake (comes with this figure and is more on the “meh” side than not); Precision Strike (almost always useful); Stealth (wait, I can give what is essentially a Hulk dial Stealth? This is very useful!! Now I might make it across the board unscathed!!); Combat Reflexes (very useful!!); or Energy Shield/Deflection (even usefull-er!!).

This makes these pieces EXTREMELY adaptable, and adaptability is one of the key strategies in the current Meta (look no further than the domination of Jakeem Thunder right now).

So add to all that a dial that features 10 Movement with Charge; 12 Attack with Super Strength; 18 Defense with Impervious and 4 top dial damage WITH Probability Control! He also has Indomitable and 8 Clicks of life. His last 3 Clicks feature a Revert Special Power that basically lets you heal him one Click and then replace him with ANY figure that has Deadpool in its name (except for the new title character Deadpool).

Again, to reiterate:  you get insane Primary Attacker stats mixed with what basically amounts to a Resource (the eight Comic Panel powers) in an increasingly Resource-less Meta environment and HE BRINGS ALONG ONE OF THE THREE BEST SUPPORT POWERS IN THE GAME!!

This is the best Hulk dial they’ve made in a long time, AND THEY’VE MADE INSANELY GOOD HULK DIALS NONSTOP FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS!! I mean, can you name another Hulk with the ability to pop on ES/D or Stealth top dial to actually get across the board in one piece? Or another Hulk piece who can change into a competent Ranged Attacker at the end of his dial?

Do not sleep on Hulkpool!

 

And now, for your…

TOP TEN DEADPOOL AND X-FORCE FIGURES!!

 

Mistress Death

10. DXF052 Mistress Death — 100 Points — Super Rare: 

Yes, there is a lot that she doesn’t do. But her Touch of Death Trait (TOUCH OF DEATH: When Mistress Death hits with a close attack, immediately place a Touch of Death token on the target’s card if it doesn’t already have one. For the rest of the game, when a character with a Touch of Death token is dealt damage by an attack, double the damage dealt.) is almost bonkers-good–if you can get it off.

She also has another Trait (YOU CAN’T KILL DEATH… OR MARRY HER, I TRIED: When Mistress Death would be KO’d and there is another friendly character on the map, you may instead place her in your starting area on click #3 with 2 action tokens and the opponent scores her. This can’t be ignored.) that causes her to revive throughout the entire game as well as a third (THIRD!!!) Trait (THE REALM OF DEATH EXPANDS: When another standard character is KO’d, remove an action token from Mistress Death.) that means she’ll potentially be taking an action almost every turn as long as you are dishing out lethal punishment. And a 12 Attack with Pulse Wave is nothing to sneeze at, either.

If you can find a way to boost her with Plasticity (Symbiote maybe?) or TK her next to someone for consistent same turn strikes (hello Stryfe! or Jean Grey! or… you get the idea), you can turbo-charge the Damage Output of your entire squad in a hurry.

But I wish there was just some piece out there that could open some sort of Space Portal and let Death pop out adjacent to an opposing figure and attack it in the same turn. Alas, we live in a world governed by the laws of physics, but man, sometimes I just want to tell the laws of physics that they can kiss my… nevermind, this is a family website.

Well, family-ish.

 

Swarm

9. DXF054 Swarm — 120 Points — Super Rare:

Another piece that is just really hard to KO. Swarm has a Trait (ONLY THE QUEEN MATTERS: Unless the attack roll is doubles, Swarm takes no more than 1 damage from attacks.) and an Attack Special (ORPHAN SWARMS: Each time swarm hits an opposing character, after actions resolve put a Bee Swarm bystander adjacent to that character unless there already is one.) that can take over the game in certain matchups, especially if your opponent hasn’t packed the right abilities to counter him.

And yes, Poison is getting slightly nerfed in that it will no longer combo with Sidestep, but the Bee Swarm tokens that Swarm generates with each hit don’t count against your action total when they move, either, so navigating the map starts to become really tricky for your opponent (not Prime Anarky tricky, but still).

 

Stryfe.jpg

8. DXF058 Stryfe– 135 Points — Super Rare: 

Looking strictly at his dial and Standard Power mix, 135 might seem a tad high. However, his Attack Special (MIND OVER MATTER: Stryfe can use Telekinesis. He can use it as a free action if he has been given a non-free action this turn.) will allow him to send most of his minions exactly where they need to be on the map or bring an opponent to him.

But where he gets really evil is when your opponent actually KO’s him (THE LEGACY VIRUS: When Stryfe is KO’d, choose a named keyword. Opposing Characters with that keyword are dealt penetrating damage equal half their current click number. This can’t be ignored.). Which means there’s a timer on the game for your opponent. Either they come to Stryfe early, or they don’t come at Stryfe at all. Remember, you can even PUSH Stryfe into a KO and he goes off. Or you can just push him to his late-dial Running Shot/Pulse Wave, which is also a crowd-pleaser.

There’s a lot of options with this guy.

 

Dreadpool.jpg

7. DXF001B Dreadpool — 130 Points — Common PRIME:

So, his opening 8 Movement with Running Shot, 12 Attack with Pen/Psy, 18 Defense with Super Senses and 3 Damage with Perplex (!) is almost worth the 130 Points right there. Then you factor in his Willpower through Indomitable and his AWESOME Trait (DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED: Dreadpool can use Steal Energy. At the beginning of your first turn, choose a named keyword an opposing character possesses. At the end of your turn, give Dreadpool a free action to make a close or range attack targeting a single opposing character with the chosen keyword if he has not attacked any character with the chosen keyword this turn.), and you realize that your favorite new Primary Attacker is quite capable of Alpha Striking half of the pieces in the Meta!

 

Cable

6. DXF014 Cable — 120 Points — Common: 

Where to start? Indomitable, 4 Damage with Prob, 11 Attack with Pen/Psy, Traited Stealth, Invuln AND ES/D (provided he has less than 2 Action Tokens), and a Movement Special (BODYSLIDE: Cable can use Phasing/Teleport. When he does and moves 5 squares or less, after actions resolve he may make a close or ranged attack.) that practically re-imagines Running Shot for the modern Meta.

Also, he has damn near every keyword you could ever want a mutant hero to have (Armor, Future, X-Men, X-Force, New Mutants, Soldier and Six-Pack!!), so he Themes quite nicely. And as a Primary Attacker who only costs 120, you’ll have plenty of room for supporting pieces.

 

Domino

5. FFDXF006R Domino — 25 Points — Fast Forces: 

Her 75 Point dial is also really good, but 25 points for 3 Clicks of Stealth, a 7 Range, 9 Attack with Precision Strike and 2 Clicks of Prob is a ton of bang for your buck. Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain is being given out less and less lately, so that dial-long Stealth is going to be hard to deal with for many teams.

Top dial Prob almost never comes this cheap, and almost never with a Range greater than 6. She’s already seen Meta play in several ROC’s, and I expect that to only continue.

 

DP MWAM.jpg

4. DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With a Mouth — 70 Points — Super Rare:

The first ever “Title Charcter” Clix, this version of Wade is simply under-costed by about 40 points. He comes packed with a way to heal himself and can eventually work up to Slo-Mo Bullet Time, wherein he can deal 2 Penetrating damage to every opposing piece within 6 range as a free action. Yowza!

Otherwise, you’re just stuck with a Deadpool that has 8 Clicks of life, 11 Attack, Indomitable and 17 Defense WITH ES/D!!

His keywords aren’t great (Initiative, X-Factor), but that seems a small price to pay for so much goodness.

————————-INTERMISSION: FLASH FIGURE REVIEW #3: WIZ Kid!————————

Wiz Kid

Okay!! So, this is kind of a first for us, but we’re about to do a mini-article INSIDE of another article!! This is Flash Figure Review #3, and we’re gonna spotlight… Wiz Kid, the Super Rare Prime!

For a little 25 Point nugget of a piece, he’s already created a small bit of controversy.

First, let’s talk about his dial. 25 Points. You get about the numbers you’d expect: 3 Clicks of life, Toughness (with an above average 18 Defense value top dial, although it quickly falls), 5 Range, 7 Speed (with Flying, although his lone Trait states that he can’t Carry anyone) and 2 Damage with a Special Power (TECHNOFORM YOUR WEAPONS: Adjacent friendly characters modify their attack, range and damage values by +1.) that is pretty much the whole reason for playing him.

WHY WIZ KID BELONGS IN THE TOP TEN:

For those in the community who love him, they point out that for 25 Points you get a pretty mobile battery for your ENTIRE squad–he is, in effect, a Resource unto himself. With the right positioning, he can add two to three more damage dealt a turn. He doesn’t need line of fire to activate his ability, so you can keep him behind your heavy hitters. And with his Range extension, it’s possible (again, depending on a whole host of factors) that Wiz Kid will allow you to position your characters just out of reach of your opponent while still being able to attack, Outwit, Perplex and Prob opposing pieces, which is kind of the Holy Grail of board control strategies.

While his keywords kind of suck (Initiative and X-Factor, exactly the same as Title Character Deadpool), they’re not without options.

To wit:

Not this Nighthawk

Not this Nighthawk, although his costume is way cooler…

Team Name: Mercs and Mouths

Theme: Initiative

Roster:

DXF059B Wiz Kid25 Points

DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With a Mouth70 Points

equipped with  UXM057P Proteus — 35 Points

FFDXF010 Slapstick50 Points

NFAOS059A Nighthawk120 Points

= 300 Points

HOW IT PLAYS: 

(Incidentally, there’s also a pretty competitive and fun option for this Build that subs in X-Factor pieces for the Initiative pieces including Boom-Boom and the Super Rare Iceman broken-ness from UXM.)

Regardless, Wiz Kid’s presence here should have your characters regularly attacking with a 12 or 13 Attack Value and 3 or 4 Damage minimum.

Nighthawk himself has not just one Trait (NIGHT AND DAY: At the beginning of the game, an opponent chooses Night -or- Day. If they choose Night, modify Nighthawk’s combat values by +1. If they choose Day, modify the defense values of all characters by -1 unless they occupy hindering terrain or are friendly to Nighthawk.) but two (PUSHING THE DEFENDERS TO BE MORE PROACTIVE: Nighthawk and friendly characters that share a keyword with him may replace their attack value with the unmodified attack value of an adjacent friendly character sharing that same keyword.) that pair pretty nicely with Wiz Kid’s power.

(I actually think Nighthawk’s A-side is an overlooked gem, but this article is about Wiz Kid, so we’ll talk about Nighthawk in a different column.)

This team is EXTREMELY vulnerable to Energy Explosion, but should synergize well. And Slapstick is great for taking out annoying opposing support pieces (see his Honorable Mention entry above for more details).

WHY WIZ KID DOESN’T BELONG IN THE TOP TEN: 

For those taking the opposite view, just the mere fact that Wiz Kid is a Prime is a major bummer. This is a list of top Meta performers from the past year or so that you are unable to field (either in your army or as a Sideline piece) if you choose to use Wiz Kid:

FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)

JLTW003B Doctor Light

JLTW037B Freddy Freeman

 AVAS013B 3-D Man

AVAS053B Ragnarok

NFAOS007B Peggy Carter

NFAOS059B Nighthawk

WF037B Nightlantern

WF053B Harlequin

UXM023B Kitty Pryde

UXM043B Sunfire

JW003B Anarky

JW053B Jakeem Thunder

That list is like a Meta All-Stars team. And that doesn’t even include Dreadpool or the Regen’ing Rare Prime Shifting Focus Deadpool. So yeah, using Wiz Kid as your Prime slot is a significant cost in and of itself.

Also, while Wiz Kid is almost like having a mobile Resource on the map with your team, he is also a highly KO-able Resource. And he requires you to play your team in an adjacency ball for his ability to work, which makes your build highly susceptible to Energy Explosion pieces.

Weasel in the last Deadpool set arguably did Wiz Kid’s tricks better (and added a limited Prob) for just two more measly points. He saw SOME Meta play, but not necessarily a ton. Is his past usage a good predictor of what Wiz Kid will do in the Meta? Hard to say…

Still, with a piece as divisive as this, I thought it best to remove him from the Top Ten list entirely and consider him separately from everyone else. I guess what you have to decide in the end is whether Wiz Kid a Top Ten piece, or a sucker’s bet? I happen to think he’s very useful on a very narrow set of teams, but only time will tell.

——————END OF INTERMISSION: FLASH FIGURE REVIEW #3: WIZ Kid!——————-

 

Fenris Comics

3. DXF049 Fenris — 60 Points — Super Rare:

Looking at their pedestrian stats (Running Shot with only 8 Speed; 9 Attack; wheee!!), you would not be faulted for being unimpressed with yet another low-costed, low-upside piece that yet again features two characters on one dial BUT NO FREAKING DUO ATTACK ABILITY [EDITOR’S NOTE: Seriously, why did that go away? I loved Duo Attack, you loved Duo Attack, everyone loves Duo Attack!!]!!

But then you look at their sole Special Ability (SHE IS THE POWER, I AM THE FOCUS: When Fenris make a range attack, modify their attack and damage values by +2 and choose one: damage dealt is penetrating or the attack causes knock back.) in their Attack slot, and you wonder if it’s too late to snag one for under $10 on eBay.

These folks are among the best Secondary Attackers in the game, and they only cost 60 Points. They even come with a 7 Range and Enhancement!!

They’ve already impacted the Meta at several ROC’s, and I expect that to only continue. And with their Hydra keyword, and all the Hydra figures from NFAOS, and the Hydra Cap Chase rumors in Avengers/Defenders War, I mean, there’s gotta be a really decent Hydra Build out there somewhere, right?

 

Deadpool on a Unicorn

By johnny bijos. Check his stuff out right here!

2. DXF069 Deadpool — 140 Points — Ultra Chase: 

Good Lord. Yeah, no one’s gonna want to track down an Ultra Chase if all it does is kick ass, ignore damage and chew bubble gum while making free close attacks, right?

Let’s dive in.

First, the sculpt is ridiculously awesome.

Second, this guy has Charge, Pen/Psy, Impervious and Exploit Weakness top dial. He has a Speed of 11, an Attack Value of 12, an 18 Defense and 4 native Damage. That Defense Special that grants Impervious (YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING SO AWESOME: Deadpool can use Impervious. Once per game, when Deadpool would take damage, you may choose that he takes no damage instead.) also lets you just decide once per game to ignore any attack of your choosing that actually lands.

Normally you’d be bummed about a piece with Charge and Pen/Psy since those two powers don’t work together, but here it feels more like Deadpool can just wreck face from anywhere on the map.

He also has Indomitable and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, just in case you thought your 11 Speed Value sucked. Which it totally does not, by the way.

I mean, what other piece in the game allows this to happen:

Timmy, Power Gamer: “And… 11. I hit your Deadpool. For… 4 Damage.”

You: “Eh… nah. I’m not really feeling it.”

Timmy, Power Gamer: “What? You can’t just choose to not take damage when I hit you!”

You [holding up card]: “It turns out I can.”

Also, he makes free Close Attacks (THAT HORN JUST AIN’T FOR SHOW: At the beginning of your turn, if Deadpool has no action tokens, he can make a close attack using Blades/Claws/Fangs.), cuz that’s a thing he needed to be worth his points.

Well, at least you still need a lot of skill to play a piece like this. It’s not like you can just walk this Deadpool up to your opponent end, hit their best piece ONCE with your 12 Attack Value and then not have to worry about that piece for the rest of the game.

Oh, wait, that is EXACTLY what you can do (I’M HERE TO SPREAD JOY AND RAINBOWS: I’m Here To Spread Joy And Rainbows: When Deadpool hits an opposing character, after actions resolve, you can place the Rainbow Joy Marker on that character, removing it from anywhere else. A character with a Rainbow Joy Marker cannot attack Deadpool unless it is the only character on its force. At the beginning of its player’s turn, a character with a Rainbow Joy Marker can roll a d6: on a result of 5 or 6, they may remove the Rainbow Joy Marker.).

Unbelievable.

 

Venompool

1. DXF068 Venompool — 80 Points — Chase: 

Again, really, almost all of the Chases could’ve filled these slots, but Venompool here is the class of the bunch.

It’s not just that his sweet dial that features Sidestep, Poison, an 11 Attack with 4 Damage (and Exploit Weakness) and an 18 Defense with Super Senses.

It’s that you can take all that and add in an obnoxiously good Trait (RETCON EXPONGIFIER GUN: When an opposing character uses Probability Control, after actions resolve, that character cannot use Probability Control for the rest of the game.) to go along with any of the EIGHT Comic Panels on your sideline.

Does your opponent see through Stealth? No? Then boom, Venompool’s got Stealth. Oh, those long-range bombers can see through Stealth? Great. Now my Venompool has ES/D. And on and on.

Venompool is coming, folks. Venompool is coming.

 

Alright, that is the end of another Top Ten! Try as I might, I just couldn’t fit Shatterstar, Boom-Boom, Chase Pirate Deadpool and a host of others (still looking at you, Chipmunk Hunk. But not you, Koi Boy.).

But we will be taking a look at all the Shifting Focus Deadpools. Since they really need to be looked at as a whole, they will probably be at the center of our next Flash Figure Review!!

How’d we do? Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts in the Comments below!

Until next time,

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

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

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

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

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

Some Notes About the Set

Some General Notes About the Set:

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Fury SR

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

Green Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morpheus 2

Seriously, someone might want to get on that.

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

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

Top Five HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

This seems excessive...

The fire seems excessive…

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

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

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

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

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

Lana Lang

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

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

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

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

Yep. Just out here in deep space… posing.

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

Clark Kent

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

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

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

Top Ten Twelve Figures in SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Titano 2

Team Name: Metropo-lease Put Me Down!!

Theme: Metropolis

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

Roster:

SMWWG005R Titano – 75 Points

SMWW047 Lois Lane 45

SMWW049 Superman 175

=295 Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atomic Skull

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

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

Krypto

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

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

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

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

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

The least

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Born

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

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

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

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

Eclipso

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

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

Red Son Wonder Woman

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

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

A brutally efficient package.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Saving People – In a Flash! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Flash!!) (Or, The Third Night of Clix-Mas!!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Night Three of the 12 NIGHTS of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives, where we’re providing 12 straight nights of ‘Clix content! If you missed Night One, click here! The Second Night of Clix-Mas can be found here.]

"So we've had sets for  Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who's ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously... "

So we’ve had sets for Superman, Batman and the Flash. Do I need to start a KickStarter for an all Aqua-set? Who’s ready for a Piranha-man Chase?! Anyone? Hello? Is this an audience or a watercolor painting? But seriously…

Some General Notes About the Set:

Uh, did everyone else catch the irony of the HeroClix set centered around the fastest man alive arriving like three weeks late? Or that my Set Review is equally as late?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Eh, this is about the elapsement of time from release to review as our GotG Top Ten Set Reviews, so I’m going to say its more of an editorial choice than pure laziness on our part.]

Some Flash Facts about the set:

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Uh… are all the italics supposed to make the words seem faster?]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yes. And it’s totally working!!]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually… that’s not a bad gimmick for this.]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thank you. Now shush!!]

  • This set brings a new “Speed Force” shared Trait, but the effectiveness of the Trait varies greatly by character. For example, FL001B Rival gains Impervious, the ability to deal Penetrating Damage, Energy Shield/Deflection and Hypersonic Speed after gaining just 3 Speed Force tokens. FL202 The Flash can literally run off the edge of the map to the other side AND BACK AGAIN by removing just a single token. Meanwhile, FL003 Jesse Quick needs three Speed Force tokens just to get Toughness and Super Strength. You can see a real difference there. Something else to consider is that by the time you’ve built up enough Speed Force tokens to use some of the bigger powers, the game might well be over. Professor Zoom has a power that requires ten freaking tokens. In a 300 point game you will probably have either lost or won before you have more than 3 tokens. Most opposing teams won’t last long enough for you to get 5 hits in with a single character.
  • Flash has some real stinkers (FL002 Max Mercury) and some real winners (FL046 Harley Quinn). Overall, most of the set is pretty playable. With only 2 characters in the 200 point range it seems like it should be great for Sealed, in particular.
  • The set delivered a bunch of Hypersonic pieces, but it also delivered a lot of anti-speedster figures as well. FL028 Tarpit and FL049R Midnighter will stop a speedster or keep him in place, respectively. FL042 Fallout and FL015 Rag Doll punish Hypersonic attackers in particular. FL044 Savitar will cripple anyone who relies on the Speed Force as a way of life and FL031 Turtle will cripple any strategy that doesn’t involve going really, really freaking slow (or using a lot of TK to move around the board).
  • On the negative side, wouldn’t it have been fun if they had more of a Black Lantern sub-theme in this set to go with FL206 Captain Boomerang and FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)? FL051 Elongated Man was already in this set. There was space at the end of his dial for a Black Lantern resurrection the similar to what Captain Boomerang has on his dial. It’s a real missed opportunity. It also would have been a great way to include several characters in the set that needed Modern versions. They could have had 2 point costs with a normal dial and then a Black Lantern dial at the end. Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Firestorm come to mind right away. These could even have filled in the “missing” chase slots. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I LOVE this idea!! A Black Lantern Chase sub-theme definitely would have had me buying more packs. I hadn’t thought of this, but now that you bring it up, it’s probably all I’ll be able to think about during my next Flash Sealed Event. Damn! I mean, did we really need more Trinity of Sin versions ONE SET BEFORE THE TRINITY WAR SET?! Man. I also like this idea because Flash was such a huge part of Blackest night. Ninwashui, this might be your best idea ever.]
"Hello! We should have been your Chases!"

Hello! We should have been your Chases!

 

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

 

Elongated Man: One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days! Booster Gold: No you didn't. Elongated Man: Okay, maybe not. Who'd want to anyway? Booster Gold: Doesn't Plastic-Man do that all the time?

Elongated Man: “One time I disguised myself as a vase. For 3 days!
Booster Gold: “No, you didn’t.”
Elongated Man: “Okay, maybe not. Who’d want to anyway?”
Booster Gold: “Plastic-Man. Usually in a women’s bathroom.”

5. FL051 Elongated Man – This guy is surprisingly good for his points. Admittedly he won’t be on next year’s Worlds team and you may never see him KO anyone, but he can be a fun support piece. He doesn’t have Willpower, so push through his first click to get him into position. His second click is where the magic happens. That’s the click you’ll use to tie up the opposing team. He shares a power with Groot from the Guardians movie set that lets him tie up characters that aren’t adjacent to him. Combine that with his super Outwit that let’s him draw lines of fire almost anywhere and there are some close combat characters that will be completely powerless against him. For example, if you are facing FL019A The Flash, you simply have to move within one space of him and then you can continuously Outwit Hypersonic Speed. Without outside help, it’s likely Flash won’t move again for the rest of that game.

Captain Thunder

4. FL052 Captain Thunder – This guy has a long dial, lots of damage reducers, and a Stop Click, and each of those attributes go well with his Mystics TA. Unfortunately, in HeroClix it’s very difficult to field a piece that costs 200 points or more that doesn’t also have Outwit protection built-in. Zero range also makes him even more of a risky play. However, in an environment where you aren’t likely to see much Outwit (like Flash sealed), he can really shine.

"Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?"

Uh, how can we miss you if you never leave?

3. FL025 Golden Glider – For only 60 points she makes 6 squares of hindering terrain every time she moves. These hindering markers last until this character is KOed. You can use this for your team to hide in and your opponent can never make use of these squares at all. Beyond just being normal hindering terrain, they require an opponent to break away when they are adjacent to one of these squares. In a long game your opponent’s movement options could be very limited. If you can find a way to let her ignore characters for movement she could be really nasty. Also, she gets bonus points for being Captain Cold’s brother. I’d forgotten about that.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

Yup. This is what Google gave me when I asked for a picture of a S.T.A.R. Labs Technician.

2. FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician – Pop quiz. Who is the cheapest TK figure in Modern HeroClix? It’s this guy. Okay, now, who is the best cheap medic in modern HeroClix? That’s actually DOFP016 Moira MacTaggert, but I would say this guy on click 2 is in second place. Add to that his ability to give someone Precision Strike and we have a real winner in the support category.

Hmmm... why wasn't this the sculpt?

Hmmm… why wasn’t this the sculpt?

1. FL030 Thorn – With a first click that has Charge, Flurry, BCF, Combat Reflexes, Shape Change, and Stealth for only 65 points she was an easy inclusion on this list. The fact that her Shape Change gets better and starts healing her once she takes a hit is just gravy. The only thing keeping her out of the top 10 is that FL046 Harley Quinn is also 65 points and fills a similar role.

 

Sadly there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed...  [EDITOR'S NOTE: Sadly?!]

Sadly, there are still some Flash characters that have yet to be clixed…
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sadly?]

My Top 10 Figures of the Set:

 

Apollo

10. FL048 Apollo – Any time you see a printed 19 Defense for under 300 points, you should pay attention. Apollo also brings Outwit protection that is sorely needed given his high cost. What sets him apart is that he has Hypersonic, Improved Targeting, Precision Strike, Invincible and Super Senses on his first click. The lack of Willpower on a 200 point character is frustrating, but you could do a lot worse than a team up with FL049R Midnighter.

"Boys, my ocular units are up here."

Boys, my ocular units are up here.

9. FL060R Engineer – With her ability to choose her own powers, she makes a wonderful support character. Running shot and Pulse wave or Hypersonic and Super Strength are great on offense. On defense you can still use Stealth and Shape Change to go along with her Toughness. I recommend the 90 point version over the 175 point version due solely to the existence of GOTG062 Super Skrull. At that 170+ point level Super Skrull is just better.

Kingdom COme Flash

8. FL050 The Flash – This guy can have up to a 20 Movement and he’s dangerous all the way through his dial. With Willpower and his incredibly high Movement there are characters who literally won’t be able to catch this guy. His double attack up front also helps justify his point cost. He’s good on his own, but with some Perplex to his Damage value he should end games very quickly. He’d make a real good Puddin’ for Ms. Harley Quinn.

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

Pssshh. Rainbow Raider was Geoff Johns’s REAL inspiration for the War of Light!!

7. FL026 Rainbow Raider – For a character with 7 range, a full dial of Stealth, and 7 clicks of life, he’s very cheap by today’s standards. I think he plays best by Pushing to click 2 off the bat and being a ranged sniper. An 11 Attack and 3 Damage Value is great for sub 75 points. And then there is his Trait. If I told you that he gave your best figure a mostly permanent +1 to all stats, you’d be wondering why he isn’t on the watch list. Consider that what he really does is give your opponents best figure -1 to all its stats and you’ll see that his Trait is just about as good as the crazy broken Trait I just made up. Then he really gets nuts when you realize he might affect your opponent’s whole team.

Jenny SParks

6. FL061 Jenny Sparks – She is a capable attacker for her point cost, but it’s her Trait that really gets my attention. She is the one way in this game to get past powers that “can’t be countered or ignored“. Think about how often you see that phrase on really good powers that are on really good figures. The IIM103 Absorbing Man that is made of Uru metal folds like tin foil against this piece. WOL107 Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern) and WOL026 Sodam Yat might not ever see their Ion clicks when they are facing Jenny Sparks. That’s right, she disables all Stop Clicks! Think about that. I mean, really, THINK ABOUT THAT!!

"Man... why does every portal end on top of Batman?"

“Man… why does every portal I go through always end on top of Batman?”

5. FL045 Etrigan the Demon –  If you are paying 135 points for just the six Demon Clicks, he’s not that impressive. At least not until you realize the Demon’s self healing potential. Your opponent might see those 6 clicks several times over and take Mystics damage for every hit. No matter how hurt the Demon gets, if he is alive, he can be back to full health in 2 turns. When you consider that he has Invincible to start, your opponent will need to focus fire or risk not being able to KO the Demon at all. Best of all, the sculpt kicks butt.

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

4. FL046 Harley Quinn – With Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and Stealth, she has great defensive options at her disposal. She is also the second cheapest figure in the game to start with Penetrating Poison (behind only Red Lantern Recruit). She also has Outwit with 5 Range, so you could try to stay hidden and make them come to you. Best of all she falls in love easily. Her ability to make anyone her Puddin’ turns a very good figure into an outstanding figure.

Captain Cold

3. FL038 Captain Cold – When you look at his dial without his Trait you see 10 Attack and 3 Damage and you’d think that was a pretty good 85 point dial. Then you do look at his Trait. Then you realize the Ice Block Markers don’t go away. What? I’ve played against him once where I was fielding a Hydra Team lead by DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra. Captain Cold moved into Range and ice blocked Wolverine without needing to make an Attack Roll. Wolverine never moved for the rest of the game. There are a lot of characters out there who can literally be Ice Blocked and just plain ignored thereafter. Captain Cold is well worth his 100 points.

zoom-blacklantern Rival Flash

2. Prime Speedsters (FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern), FL037B Dark Flash, FL001B Rival) – Listed in order from best to worst. I cheated a little with this entry but it’s not like you can ever play them all on the same team. And if I had listed them separately they would have all made my top 10 and pushed other figures out. Here they are in a Flash:

  • FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern)– The best all around Prime. He has three ways to heal himself and Willpower for only 120 points. He also has great offense when you can remove a token. He also has the great monster and Black Lantern Keywords. His major weakness is that you’ll want to remove a Speed Token for the extra damage every attack and that will make it impossible to save them up for better Speed and Regeneration.
  •  FL037B Dark Flash- For 110 points you lose Willpower but you gain 4 top dial Damage. He has the best starting dial without Speed Tokens and only 2 tokens makes all his Damage Penetrating. He also has the best keywords with Teen Titans and Justice League. He doesn’t need to remove tokens for attacking, but he will for Regeneration. His major weakness is that if he has to Regenerate more than once he will likely lose his Penetrating Damage.
  • FL001B Rival – For 105 points he is the hardest of the Primes to get started. He has the best defensive powers, but with starting Charge he practically requires a support figure with TK to put up a good fight. Once he gets that first token things change for him quickly. Hypersonic Speed and Energy Shield/Deflection really bring up his power level. If he can make it to 3 Speed tokens then he additionally gains full Penetrating Damage and Impervious! If he’s still on his first click at that point he has Super Senses, Shape Change, Impervious, and Energy Shield/Deflection. Just to hit that guy you’ll need to plow through an 18 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection, and Rival’s controller still gets 3 shots at rolling a 5 or a 6 to nullify your attack! Rival is the hardest of the three Primes to start with but is also the most powerful when he has Speed Tokens.

Question_Prime_Earth_0001

1. FL064 The Question – Let me compare this version of the question to the last version (WKD-008 Question), because that is still one of the best pieces in the Modern age.

One of the reasons the last version of the Question was so good was because you could sub in a power that appeared anywhere on his dial in place of one currently there. He could only use 4 powers at a time, but one of the 4 could be tailored to the situation. The new Question can’t pick powers to add, but his first click has 8 Standard Powers on it! Toughness, Charge, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison, Precision Strike, Super Senses and Outwit. Do you really need to pick more powers if you already have that many?

The Stats and cost are similar between both the old and new version of the Question. I love the older versions double Perplex that prevented the other teams from using Perplex, but the new version has the power to subtract an action token from itself every time it uses Outwit. The other team might not be playing anyone with Perplex, but most teams run at least 1 figure vulnerable to Outwit and that could let this figure act every turn! In addition, the new version has Traited Toughness, and if he is played with the Phantom Stranger he gains Quintessence as well! All this makes the new figure superior to the old figure, which should easily make it the best figure in this set.

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: And that will do it for Night 3 of Clix-Mas here at Critical Missives! We’ll see you right here tomorrow for a look at some potential issues with the game and what we’d do to fix them!!]