Dial “M” for Mutant Massacre!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Uncanny X-Men!!)

Morlock Massacre

Hello Again!! Been awhile, hasn’t it? I blame Ninwashui. Doesn’t matter though. Because today I’m back with an overdue look at the best pieces from the recent Uncanny X-Men set!

In fact, let’s just jump right in with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET!!

–This expansion continues the smaller-point, simplified wording and mechanics trend that started with TMNT (and continues unabated with the Civil War OP set). While you’ll find an occasional beater (UXM053B Phoenix is 250 Points… of something), the majority of this set sits between 60 and 110 Points.

–Also like TMNT, you really have to look hard to find any sort of Improved Targeting. Stealth means a lot more in UXM Sealed than it has in previous sets like World’s Finest or NFAoS. Which is fine. But it also puts a lot of these figures at a possible disadvantage in the Meta…

–Speaking of (well, not the Meta necessarily, but venue play), I wonder if shops will start running what would typically be standard Modern Age events as “TMNT-on” events. By which I mean, there was a definite shift in design and a scaling back of power creep when Turtles was released. TMNT, UXM and Civil War (both the Movie Set and the OP) all seem like birds of a feather in terms of power level, so they’re almost begging to be played without the added complication of, say, KC Chases from World’s Finest or Balls of Fury.

Alright then! Without further ado, let’s get into the…

TOP TEN FIGURES IN UNCANNY X-MEN!!

Sugar Man

9. UXM064 Sugar Man — 120 Points — Chase: Sugar Man is a hard piece to evaluate, because so much of what he does is ethereal text outlined in his monstrously-long-winded Trait (WHAT KIND OF SLAUGHTER DO I FEEL LIKE TODAY?: At the beginning of the game, if Sugar Man was not equipped with any other item during force construction, you may choose two of these three objects as described on this card: Axe, Hammer, Sword. Sugar Man may be equipped with both chosen objects. Sugar Man’s Weapons: When on the map, Sugar Man’s Weapons are considered heavy objects. A character in a square with our holding this object may be given a power action to equip it. If not equipped, this object can only be KO’d in an object attack. A character equipped with one of these objects may use the following effects: Axe Effect: Attack rolls of 10-12 count as critical hits. Hammer Effect: When character hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token if your attack was 10-12 Sword Effect: Can use Blades/Claws/Fangs).

But his other powers start to get a lot more interesting if he has, say, B/C/F and all of his rolls of 10 or more are Crits. His Stop Click (SHRUNK MYSELF INTO YOUR BOOT: STOP. Sugar Man has Tiny Symbol and can’t be healed. When this click is revealed, place any equipped objects onto the map adjacent to Sugar Man. When an adjacent opposing character moves or is placed, after actions resolve you may place Sugar Man adjacent to that character.) and 8-Click long dial also give him lots of longevity for someone under 150 Points.

As Secondary Attackers go, he’s not elite, but he does offer just enough to make him really interesting if you get lucky with some rolls. If you can get him next to a potential victim and roll two 10’s with Flurry and B/C/F and hit two 6’s, you could deal 14 damage from one attack.

On the other hand, unless you’re packing TK, it’ll be tough to get him where you need him (he’s only got Sidestep top dial), and while his 11 Attack Value is a tick above average, it’s hardly a guarantee that either Flurry attack will hit, and he has no built-in way to counteract Impervious, Super Senses or Shape Change. Which means that even after doing all the work to position him for a big strike, there’s a half-decent chance that you may still end up dealing no damage or missing entirely, even IF you make your Attack Roll.

Nightcrawler

9. UXM002 Nightcrawler50 Points — Common: Kurt Wagner gives you five solid clicks for 50 Points, and if you can get him next to a key opposing piece, he can tie them up with his 18 Defense (with Combat Reflexes) and give them fits with his Precision Strike on offense.

But the reason he’s in the Top Ten is because he can do what almost no other figure in the history of the game can do thanks to his Damage Special (*BAMF*: Give Nightcrawler a power action and place him in any square within line of fire. If that square is within 4 squares of the square he began this action in, he may make a close attack.).

Yup. He can zip across an entire map (if it’s the right map) if he wants to. There’s not another piece I’m aware of yet that can do the same thing.

Sunfire Prime

Yup. Even I’m an Avenger.”

8. UXM043B Sunfire — 120 Points — Rare PRIME: Honestly, all THREE versions of Sunfire from this set (are there that many Shiro Yoshida fans out there? Did we really need three versions of him? Especially since NONE of them have the Big Hero 6 keyword?!) are extremely good.

I decided to spotlight the Prime, who is almost impossible to hit from range (20-21 Defense), essentially has Mystics if you hit him with a close attack and sports Running Shot, Pulse Wave, Poison, Energy Explosion AND a natural 4 Damage top dial. That’s a hell of a lot going on with a figure who is still cheap enough to just be a Secondary Attacker.

And the best part? This iteration has the Avengers keyword, so he fits on a metric poop-ton of different teams.

Scarlet Witch

7. UXM055 Scarlet Witch 75 Points — Super Rare: And now we start a run of Super Rare pieces that are 75 Points and awesome!

Ol’ Wanda here has five clicks of support-y goodness including her Damage Special (WINDS OF MAGICK: Scarlet Witch can use Enhancement and Probability Control.) and a Trait (HEX MAGICK: Give Scarlet Witch a power action to attach the Hex Magic marker to a character within range and line of fire, removing it from anywhere else. If that character is friendly, when that character attacks, a Critical Hit is an attack roll of 10-12. If that character is opposing, when that character attacks, a Critical Miss is an attack roll of 2-4. When Scarlet Witch is KO’d, remove the Hex Magic marker.) that can drive grown men to cry.

Quicksilver!

“Nope, Not what we meant by ‘gun control,’ Pietro.”

6. UXM054 Quicksilver75 Points — Super Rare: We can’t spotlight Wanda and not showcase her brother, right?

His Movement Special (FASTER THAN YOU’LL EVER BE: Quicksilver can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does he can automatically break away and he can use Flurry as a free action instead of the close attack.) makes his somewhat fearsome except that his top damage is only three. However, if you can Perplex that up (or equip him with, like, Proteus), pretty soon you’ll have a guy who can cover most of the board–actually, with his Trait (IT’S LIKE I’M EVERYWHERE AT ONCE: When Quicksilver moves through a square, you may immediately place the Speed Shadow marker in it, removing it from anywhere else. Whenever Quicksilver makes a close attack, he may target characters adjacent to the Speed Shadow marker.), he pretty much CAN cover most of the board–and gets to attack twice with a 12 Attack and 4 Damage.

Another case of a Secondary Attacker who can put up Primary Attacker damage.

Malice Polaris

5. UXM059 Malice — 75 Points — Super Rare: This set seems to be chock full of entities who can possess people [EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s, like, two. That’s hardly a “chock.” Whatever that is.].

This is Malice right after she took control of Polaris, as represented by her Attack Special (STILL FIGURING OUT YOUR POWERS: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6. Until your next turn, on a result of 3-4: Malice can use Force Blast. 5-6: Malice can use Telekinesis.) and Damage Special (WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT WHAT YOU GET: Malice can use Perplex and Shape Change.).

Those two Specials combined with the rest of her dial make Malice a solid Secondary Attacker for a very reasonable point cost, but she has one last trick up her sleeve. Her Trait (I’M DONE WITH YOU, PRETTY: When Malice would be KO’d, you may equip her to another friendly character. EFFECT: Character can use Perplex and Shape Change.) means that even if your opponent takes Malice out early, well, that’ll only make your Primary Attacker that much better.

Pixie

For what basically amounts to a group of ‘gifted’ high school students, you guys sure seem to encounter and then murder a lot of aliens. I mean, like, a LOT.”

4. UXM056 Pixie — 75 Points — Super Rare: Yeah, she’s only got five clicks of life, but those are five pretty darn efficient clicks! She’s probably one of the best hybrid figures of the last few years, in that she fills three roles for your team for the price of one.

First, she starts with a 12 Movement Value top dial along with a Special Power (TELEPORTATION SPELL: Pixie can use Phasing/Teleport. When she does she may carry characters with “wing movement symbol” and may carry 2 characters. She may carry 4 characters instead if they all have the X-Men keyword.) that makes her a damn fine taxi if you’re not playing an X-Men Themed Team and a RIDICULOUSLY GOOD taxi if you are.

She also is a half-decent supporting piece since she offers Perplex on her first 3 Clicks and her Trait (PIXIE DUST: Pixie can use Smoke Cloud as a free action but places only 1 hindering marker. Characters occupying this hindering marker modify their defense values by -1 in addition to attack values.) can either help shield friendly Stealth-ers OR essentially Perplex down two more values on an opposing piece.

Finally, with a starting 3 Damage and a second Click that offers B/C/F AND Precision Strike, she’s got the Damage Output potential (hell, she might one-shot a piece that has top dial Super Senses!) AND the defensive moxie (Super Senses to evade attacks and the Mystics TA to make it hurt if your opponent does connect) to be an effective Secondary Attacker as well!

 

Kitty Pryde Phased

Winner of the “2016 Han Solo in Carbonite” modeling award…

3. UXM023B Kitty Pryde65 PointsUncommon (PRIME): Okay, so a couple years ago, Ninwashui wrote a piece wherein he made the case that Incapacitate was one of the worst powers in Heroclix. At that time, there were two types of figures with Incapacitate. Either it was a high-cost piece that you’d rather try and deal damage with anyway (so Incap was useless), or it was a low-cost piece that either had a bad Attack Value or a really thin dial so that they died before they were useful.

Well, Prime Kitty Pryde here doesn’t have Incapacitate–but she does have a Special Movement Power (PHASING ATTACK:  Kitty Pryde can use Phasing/Teleport and Stealth. When she uses Phasing/Teleport, after actions resolve she may make a close attack targeting all characters whose square she moved through. Hit characters are given an action token instead of normal damage.) that’s even better than Incap. All for just 65 points.

There’s no better way to get me excited about putting action tokens on my opponent’s pieces than giving me a weapon that potentially puts tokens on ALL my opponent’s figures at once instead!

And if you can find a way to give her Willpower…

Mags Proteus

Pink is the new purple, not the other way around!”

2. UXM057P Proteus35 PointsSuper Rare: It seems like a steep price to pay for an off-the-board +1 bump to all stats, all while risking a click of damage to the bumpee every turn, but in a world where all of the War of Light Entities have gone to pasture, Proteus is poised to become the new hotness.

There’s already a lot of theorycrafting on the best figures to break with his special Possession Trait (BURNING OUT HOST BODIES: EFFECT: Modify the combat values of the equipped character by +1. At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled 1-2: Deal the equipped character 1 unavoidable damage.); Taskmaster from Civil War OP works like gangbusters, and I tested the Sentry LE from the same set with Proteus just the other day and had positive results. Even Rage from Avengers Assemble seems like fun.

And when you get right down to it, his 35 Point off-the-board cost actually isn’t that steep, for a few reasons. First, of course, that stat-bump is huge. But secondly, consider the fact that his other Trait (HE’S USING ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE PUPPETS!: When building your force, you may pay 35 points to equip Proteus to a character of 100 points or less. When the equipped character is KO’d, equip this to another friendly character of 100 points or less. If you can’t, place him on click #10 into the square of the last character he was equipped and he can’t be healed.) means he’s the first Possessor in the game who can hop from piece to piece as your army is KO’d AND the fact that he can actually pop onto the battlefield as a 11 Attack, 4 Damage Pulse Wave-r with Prob once he runs out of hosts. Yup! He’s the first Possessor who starts off-the-board but has a way to actually come into the game, so those aren’t just 35 dead points if your Possessed character gets KO’d!!

Even if you hate the X-Men or planned on skipping this set, this is a piece you’re gonna want for your collection going forward.

Iceman 1

So thaaaat’s where that sculpt came from…

 

1. UXM051 Iceman110 PointsSuper Rare: A deceptively deep dial that keeps turning up new ways to terrorize your opponent.

First, since he flies and Ignores Characters on movement, there’s not much on the map that’s gonna impede his mobility.

Second, his first Trait (FROZEN SOLID: When Iceman moves, after actions resolve you may make a close attack targeting a single opposing character whose square he moved through and didn’t target with an attack that action. If you hit, attach the Ice Wall marker to that character, removing it from any other character. As long as the Ice Wall marker is attached, that character can’t be moved, placed, given actions, or targeted with an attack. At the end of the next turn, remove the Ice Wall marker.) basically gives him a shot at two legit attacks each turn. No, he does not come with Willpower or Indomitable, but you’re really not losing out on actions since he can do so much in one turn.

Third, even though ICEMAN doesn’t lose out on actions, that doesn’t mean your opponent won’t. Iceman’s Special Damage Power (ICY FATE: When Iceman hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token.) means that on top of tagging his targets with damage, he’ll also keep them locked down with tokens–and that’s not counting the other piece he’ll be locking down with “Frozen Solid!”

In a set of smaller, efficient dials, Bobby Drake stands taller than the rest.

 

Well, that’s it for today. Lots of Builds to discuss, but I think we might wrap up our Uncanny X-Men coverage (finally–and less than a month before the next set drops!) with a spotlight on the WORST figures in the set. Keep it tuned right here, as that should drop later this week!

 

Heroclix in a Half-Shell!! (Or, Let’s Review the Ten Best Figures in TMNT!!)

Black and White Turtles

Oh man, Black & White OG Turtles? They should do these as Chases! … What’s that now?!

Goongala Goongala! And Hello Again!!

Sorry we’ve been radio silent for awhile–both Ninwashui and I have been sick puppies for most of the last 30-odd days. Ninwashui had strep throat, pinkeye, and God knows what else. I think he might’ve even turned into a werewolf at some point… I dunno. I lost track.

As for myself, I’ve had at least one sinus infection (possibly two), a terrible cough (possibly bronchitis) and I’ve produced enough mucus to sculpt a scale replica of Doop. And neither of us has fully recovered yet! Ahhhh, Spring… you can go #@$% yourself.

Annnnnyyyway, life–and Heroclix news–marches on. Wizkids released a bunch of news about some upcoming set themes, then they lost their minds for just a bit and decided to retire almost every set that didn’t come out, like, last week, and then they started previewing a bunch of cool new figures from both Uncanny X-Men (many of you probably have some of these in your hot little hands via the Pre-release tournament program or the release events going on this weekend!) AND TMNT.

The set rotation announcement really deserves its own article, so we’ll table that discussion for a moment. But since we’ve just celebrated the release of TMNT, the first non-Marvel, non-DC Modern Age set in ages (I think Street Fighter was the last such offering), we’re gonna talk about that today.

In fact, let’s talk about…

THE TEN ELEVEN BEST FIGURES IN TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES!!

Yup! Think of this as a stealthy, “mini” Top Ten article (yes, it’s still 2500+ words, but I mean, really, anything under 5000 for me still qualifies as “mini.”). The set only really has like 40 figures or so, so we’re going to skip the Honorable Mentions, and we’re only extending the Top Ten out to a Top Eleven (for me, that’s progress!). That’s right–if you want to make it into this review, you have to be Top Ten-worthy! But first, as usual…

SOME BRIEF NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–Do you like dials under 100 Points? Do you hate Improved Targeting of any kind, especially when it’s passed out like candy at Halloween? Then this is the set for you. It plays remarkably well in Sealed formats. Outside of Krang (and oh, will we get to Krang–don’t you worry), there’s really not anything in the set that towers above everything else the way that the World’s Finest duo ran roughshod over everything in those World’s Finest release tournies. So it’s actually a pretty balanced set for Sealed.

Did you get a few Common Turtles and, like, a Foot Soldier? Don’t worry–you’re not out of it before you’ve even begun. Everything is relatively close to everything else in the set in terms of power level, with very few exceptions (again: KRANG!).

–Which leads us to our customary Power Level check. This set is nowhere near the Power Level of the stuff we just got in World’s Finest (forget the SR’s and Chases; even someone like Zatara or Mary Marvel would have their way with just about any one or even two pieces in this set at the same point level).

However… that doesn’t mean that there’s not Meta potential here. Especially since WizKids seems to be in the midst of scaling back Power Creep to, like, 2008 levels. You won’t notice it as much now, but it’ll become a little bit clearer after Guardians rotates out in, what, July? Then fast forward a year to 2017 when even more good stuff rotates out (like NFAOS, which will only be 2 years old at that point, but after the way WizKids just dumped Deadpool and GotG after the same amount of time–or even less, really–I would not be surprised to see Balls of Fury and all the rest of his rowdy, powerful friends given the heave ho), and suddenly you’ll be left with a lot of little pieces that are very efficient (and probably need to attack from up close).

Uncanny X-Men seems to be following suit with a lot of little 50-80 cost figures that are, point-for-point, the best pieces in the set. So if this is the new normal going forward, if small and efficient is the new, uh, big and efficient, well, you’re gonna want a lot of these TMNT pieces.

(And yes, I realize that World’s Finest and the big, powerful KC Chases are probably always gonna be in Modern at the same time as this Turtles set, so really, as always, forget everything I just said.)

–I really like the consistency of all the new ninja weapon Special Powers. Basically, whether it’s a Chase Turtle or a lowly Foot Clan robot, any character that uses a certain type of weapon has the same Special Power. It really adds a lot of ninja flavor to the figures.

And for the record, those five weapon Specials are:

KATANA: __X__ can use Blades/Claws/Fangs. If __X__ missed a close attack this turn, __X__ can use Sidestep.

SAI: __X__ can use Flurry. __X__ deals penetrating damage when making a close attack.

NUNCHAKUS: __X__ can use Flurry. Each time __X__ hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may give that character an action token.

BO STAFF: All damage dealt by __X__ causes knockback. Giant Reach: 2.

CHAIN KAMA: When __X__ hits an opposing character with a range attack, after actions resolve you may place the hit character adjacent to __X__ and it can’t be moved or placed during its next turn.

I would love to see these show up even in a Marvel or DC set. Give me an Elektra with the Sai Special or a Katana from Suicide Squad with a, uh, Katana Special! I think these powers represent the effects of the weapons very well. Kudos to the Wizkids design team.

Anyway, without further ado…

April O'neil

11. TMNT019 April O’Neil30 PointsRare: Okay, this is “scientist” April as opposed to the cartoon “reporter” April, which explains the tricksy, support-y dial. Yes, her base defense stinks, even with her Special Defense Power (THEY PROTECT ME, I GIVE THEM A HOME: UNIQUE MODIFIERAs long as one or more friendly characters with the TMNT keyword or named Casey Jones are adjacent, April O’Neil and those adjacent friendly characters modify their defense values by +1.).

But the reason to spend 30 Points on April is because she’s a mobile Outwit unit who can do her job from the BACK of the pack. Her Damage Special (SKILLED PROGRAMMER: April O’Neil can use Outwit and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters when she does.) combined with her top dial Sidestep means it will be easy to both keep her out of harm’s way AND keep her in the right position to Outwit opposing pieces, which is a very rare combination.

Splinter

10. TMNT011 Splinter40 PointsUncommon: Think of Splinter as the Toymaster of this set, only with slightly less trickery but slightly more offense. His Precision Strike is nice, but his Sidestep is actually the key to his dial.

His Trait (I HAVE TAUGHT YOU ALL I LEARNED: Splinter can use Empower. UNIQUE MODIFIER-Adjacent Friendly characters with the TMNT Keyword modify their attack values by +1.) means he needs to be adjacent to his sons to help them out, but that top dial Sidestep could allow you to boost two different Turtles in one turn even if they themselves are two to three squares away from each other (although many of the Turtles benefit from being adjacent to each other, so why are you separating them in my theoretical example?).

If you play him with some of the Turtle Chases, all of the sudden their Attack Values zoom up into the 12-13 area and they start doing 4 Damage top dial even though they’re all just 75 Points!

At that point, the trick becomes finding a way to move everyone efficiently…

Nobody Hobody

9. TMNT014 Nobody45 Points — Uncommon: Not to be confused with DC’s Mr. Nobody, clearly. He (or she, as there have been several “Nobody”‘s throughout Turtles history, although I believe this is the OG Nobody) sports a 5-Click Tertiary Attacker dial that’s just loaded with mobility and survivability–if you can get him on the right map (the “Jean Grey School for Higher Learning” Map that we just got in the Uncanny X-Men OP Kit has a plethora of walls and would be a perfect battlefield for, well, Nobody).

He ignores Elevated Terrain on movement and his Trait is just bonkers for a piece with such a low cost (SHADOWY AVENGER: Nobody can use Stealth. Nobody can’t be targeted by opposing characters if he’s adjacent to a wall.).

But that Trait just makes him hard to kill. Can your opponent just ignore him? Surprisingly, no. He has top dial Close Combat Expert, so he can pump his damage all the way to 4 if he so wishes. But even worse than that (well, worse for your opponents), Nobody has a top dial Attack Special (CAPE IN YOUR EYES: Give Nobody a power action and choose an adjacent opposing character. That character can’t make an attack during its next turn.) that can all but shutdown ANY opposing character to whom Nobody is adjacent! And since he starts with Sidestep, all you have to do is TK him to within two squares of your opponent’s Primary Attacker and all of the sudden you can attack with no fear of retaliation!

CATWS013 Agent 13 is the last piece I can think of who’s sole mission was to get adjacent to your opponent’s most important piece and stay there, but Nobody does that trick even better–and for 10 less points!!

Baxter Stockman Fly

8. TMNT030 Baxter Stockman60 PointsSuper Rare: Potentially one of the best taxis ever created–but only if you’ve constructed an army of insect-sized figures.

His Trait (FOUR ARMZZZZ: Baxter Stockman may carry up to 4 “tiny damage symbol” characters.) makes him extremely useful in a Modern Age filled with Ant-Men and Elast-Girls. Honestly, I can’t think of a time when we had more useful, viable “Tiny Size” pieces then right now.

This Baxter’s only five clicks long, and his dial alternates between Tertiary Attacker and Support piece, but his mobility and his ability to potentially transport an entire Tiny-Sized army up to 12 Squares at a time is the best reason to play him.

Baxter Stockman No Fly

7. Baxter Stockman — 30 Points — Uncommon: Potentially one of the best taxis ever cre–wait a minute, I just did a Baxter Stockman write-up! Oooooohhh, this is the “evil robotics genius” Baxter, as opposed to the freaky half-man, half-fly version.

So why is this version even better? Well, in addition to Stealth and Outwit, his Trait (I DON’T NEED ANYONE EXCEPT MY MOUSERS!: When a friendly character named Mouser is KO’ed by an opponent’s attack, roll a d6. 4-6: You may place adjacent a TMNT #005 Mouser from outside the game if no other friendly character did.) will let you flood the board with ever-reincarnating Mousers, but the real reason you’ll want to play him is his Special Attack Power (ROBOTICS GENIUS: Give Baxter Stockman a free action to heal an adjacent friendly character with the Robot keyword 1 click. If it can’t be healed, modify its speed and attack values by +1 this turn instead.).

In a world where Juston Seyfert exists [EDITOR’S NOTE: Uh, like ours? Ohhh, I see what you did there. Nice.)], Baxter here is the perfect complementary role player!

Casey Jones

6. TMNT012 Casey Jones30 PointsUncommon: Yes, he tops out with a Damage Value of 2. His Defense Value isn’t great either (it’s a 17). But his with a little help from someone’s Outwit, or if you just send him after support figures with little or no damage absorption, Casey Jones can actually get by as a Secondary Attacker… for just 30 Points!! How? His top dial Attack Special (GOONGALA GOONGALA: Give Casey Jones a close action and make a close attack. If he hits, after actions resolve move him up to two squares automatically breaking away, then make another close attack with his attack and damage values modified by +1.), that’s how.

This is probably the most dangerous 30 Point melee piece we’ve seen since Fear Itself Loki!

(Oh, and if you want to go the Outwit route to cancel opposing defenses, might we suggest Ms. O’Neil from slot number 10? She combos nicely with Casey.)

TMNT Jason Flowers

Click here for more info on this awesome Jason Flowers TMNT print.

5. TMNT034 Donatello — 75 Points — Chase:

4. TMNT035 Leonardo — 75 Points — Chase:

3. TMNT033 Michaelangelo — 75 Points — Chase:

2. TMNT032 Raphael — 75 Points — Chase:

Okay, we’re gonna talk about these four Chase pieces all together since they’re all really similar pieces. Each Turtle again has their signature Weapon Special, and they all share the same two Traits (we’ll use Mikey’s card as an example, since he was always my favorite Turtle): (SHELL TO SHELL DEFENSE: Michelangelo can use Stealth. If Michelangelo is adjacent to a character named Raphael, Donatello, or Leonardo, he can use Impervious.) and (ADVANCED TURTLE TECHNIQUE: When Michelangelo hits one or more opposing characters, after actions resolve Michelangelo can move up to 2 squares automatically breaking away, and then may make a close attack targeting a character he has not attacked this turn.).

So each Chase Turtle gives you six highly efficient Clicks for 75 Points that get even BETTER when played with each other.

Getting melee pieces to their targets in one piece has always and will always be a problem in Heroclix, but giving Stealth and Impervious to these Turtles when they advance in pairs is a huge advantage!

Krang

Shredder, my eyes are down here!

1. TMNT031 Krang — 170 Points — Super Rare: Wow. For everyone who looked at Super Rare Prime Ragnarok from Avengers Assemble and said, “Sure he can unleash unholy destruction when paired with Juston Seyfert, but I wish he was, like, 30 Points cheaper… ,” well, now you have your wish.

Yup, Krang has the “Robot” keyword. He has other keywords as well, I’m sure, but who cares? “Robot” is all Juston needs to go crazy with him.

Krang’s Trait (MOLECULAR AMPLIFICATION CHIP: Give Krang a free action and he has (Giant Damage Symbol) and modifies his combat values by +1 until your next turn. At the end of your turn, deal him 1 unavoidable damage. Give Krang a free action and he has Colossal and modifies his combat values by +2 until your next turn. At the end of your turn, deal him 2 unavoidable damage. You may only activate one of these powers each turn.) is really what all the fuss is about. By making him Colossal, you end up with even better stats than what Ragnarok starts with, and Krang also has top dial Charge, Impervious and Prob Control.

Not a bad little package… but it gets much better! His Attack Special (SHAPESHIFTING HANDS: Give Krang a free action to choose a standard attack power or (Wing Movement Symbol). Krang can use the chosen power or symbol until you choose again.) also gives him a TON of flexibility over how he’s going to kill you.

And if you do manage to knock him off of his first Click, he simply gains a Damage Special Power (IQ OF 968 – UNTIL HE GETS MAD: Krang can use Outwit and Probability Control. His powers can’t be countered by a character on an equal or higher click number.) that makes it REALLY hard to damage him again!

Oh, and speaking of damage, how about we just pair him with “Scientist” Baxter Stockman (number 7 on our list) and let him heal damage every freaking turn… for free!

I will be shocked if Krang doesn’t make a significant impact on the Meta!

 

Okay, that’s all for today. In the coming days and weeks we will be gearing up for our dual Top Ten Set Reviews for Uncanny X-Men, and Ninwashui has a special Meta Build article he’s working on wherein he brainstorms a way to counter everyone’s favorite gun-toting uncle, Nick Fury!!

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

Wait, There’s Only One Daily Planet Employee in This Set?! (Or, a Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in World’s Finest!!)

WF 3

Whew! Made it.

It’s been a sick winter for yours truly, and I mean that literally (while I can’t say for sure that reading HypeFox’s Top Ten is the thing that made me throw up so violently these last two weeks, I can’t really rule it out, either.).

But I’m finally on the mend, so I think it’s high time I offered all of you true believers out there a fit and proper SECOND OPINION to the World’s Finest Top Ten drivel that HypeFox has already so eloquently vomited out into cyberspace.

And like my esteemed colleague, I shall start with…

Notes

Some Notes About the Set:

  • All of the Chases are excellent and they could have easily taken up this whole list if I let them. Easily. For the purposes of having an interesting article I limited my list to the two best Chases in “tower (lower point) mode” and the two best Chases when played at full points. I suppose that qualifies as a Preview!
  • Once again, this set takes a power leap from the set that immediately preceded it, not unlike the leap we had last year going from Avengers Assemble to Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which was one of the most powerful sets ever put to plastic). The Chases have base stats that we haven’t ever seen much outside of Colossals (13 attack, 20 defense, 12 range, etc.). The Commons have redefined replacement figures and several Super Rares that I am not even including in my Top Ten list would have been near the top of the heap in other set reviews.
  • Outwit is not what it used to be; there are now a bevy of Meta-viable Primary Attackers who are either mostly or completely immune to it. In this set there are 5 SRs and 6 Chases that are worthy Primary Attackers and whose powers are also nigh impossible to counter. Add those to the Primary Attackers that are resistant to Outwit from the last set (First Born, Rare Wonder Woman, etc.) and Outwit is not nearly a sure path to victory like it used to be. Personally I am going to start using perplex as my go-to power.
  • These Commons are excellent; what trashy blogger said they weren’t? Oh, that’s right, HypeFox said that since none of the Commons were in his Top Ten, the Commons might be underpowered. I contend that they are just as strong (if not  stronger) as they were in the Nick Fury set and it’s just the Common Prime that wasn’t quite up to snuff. Poison Ivy Prime is no Peggy Carter, Captain Marvel, or 3-D Man. However, the rest of the commons are pretty playable. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Soooo… to counter my argument that the Commons in this set aren’t as strong, you’ve submitted as your first piece of evidence that the top end of the Common slot–the Prime–can’t touch the Common Primes from pretty much any previous set going back to Flash? Uh… doesn’t that help MY side of the argument?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: I’m not finished yet!] [HYPEFOX’S NOTE ABOUT NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Oh.]
  • Ahem. As I was saying… I’ll put my Booster Gold and Creeper up against your Eric Koenig and Clay Quartermain any day. [HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Uh… was that it? Are you finished?] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE TO HYPEFOX’S NOTE: Now I’m finished. You have been debunked and rebuked. Possibly in that order.] [HYPEFOX’S RESPONSE TO THE RESPONSE: Hmmm… I think I smell a Common-Off!] [NINWASHUI: You mean that Russian kid with the BO issue who kept joining Battle Royals at Gen Con?] [HYPEFOX: Nope. Not–that kid’s name was Komanov. That’s not–that’s the wrong Common-Off. No, I mean a Common-Off, as in, you make your best 300 Point team of World’s Finest Commons, and I’ll make my best team of Nick Fury Commons, and we’ll see who wins to settle this debate once and for all!!] [NINWASHUI: Okay. Why didn’t you just suggest that in the first place? You’re just killing my word count here. Anything above, like, 3500 words and people just start tuning you out.] [HYPEFOX: I hate you.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: To be continued… look for the first annual Common-Off results in an upcoming article!]

Okay! Enough tomfoolery. Let’s bounce straight into my…

FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Mercury

5. WF043 Mercury – He’s the cheapest figure with TK that the game has ever seen (yes, Clix old-timers, at 25 Points he’s even cheaper than Rookie Mandroid Armor from Clobberin’ Time–that piece cost 28 Points!). He definitely works best with another Metal Man around because gaining Sidestep and improving his Super Senses roll by 1 makes this original Merc With a Mouth (in that his name is Mercury and he, y’know, has a mouth) even more useful for his low 25 point cost (seriously, if you can bait your opponent into wasting a meaningful attack on one of your Mercury pieces and then you hit that 50% Super Sense? Those are the kinds of plays that can swing games).

The best Idea I have for including other Metal Men is… just play two of him. Even 2 of him at 50 Points are still almost the cheapest TK available in Modern. I’ve got a good team idea for him that will rate it’s own separate article. Let’s just say that this guy bringing TK to the Robot keyword is a BIG DEAL.

Shifting Focus Batman

4. WF003 Batman (And WF004 Batman, WF018 Batman, WF034 Batman) – I’ve been a huge fan of Morph pieces in the past, such that I even wrote this article about them. The new “Shifting Focus” pieces in this set do not disappoint. Unlike all of the pieces I wrote about in my previous article, these “Shifting Focus”-Traited pieces say “Give X a free action if he began your turn on the map.” That’s a step up from “Give X a close combat or move action”.

Now these Batman pieces aren’t going to take down a 200 point piece by themselves, but you’d be hard pressed to find a piece their size or less that they can’t take down. You’ll spend most of your time as the 003 Batman due to his free action movement power, “HIDING BEHIND YOU: Give Batman a free action if he occupies hindering terrain or no opposing character can draw a line of fire to him. If you do, place him into a square of hindering terrain within 6 squares and line of fire.” Once you move up as a free action you can then switch to 034 Batman and use double target Incapacitate. If your opponent bases you then you can switch to 004 Batman. And if you really need an Outwit, 018 Batman is ready and waiting.

Consider the following team:

Do you Bleed? You Will.

(KeywordJustice League)

  • WF003 Batman (with Justice League ATA)
  • WF049 Superman (with Justice League ATA)
  • AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (all fragments, 2 assigned characters)
  • ID Card of your choice
  • Total=300 points

Sorry about the title, but I am running out of unique things to call a Batman/Superman team. The Phoenix Force at this level grants Running shot, +1 damage, and defend. Also at any level it grants Flight and Poison. The Flight helps Batman in particular to use Charge and Running Shot regardless of terrain, and the Emma Fragment will let Batman TK Superman out for an Alpha Strike.

Metallo

Just gonna go ahead and recycle this art from HypeFox’s Top Ten…

3. WF055 Metallo – If you told me two or three sets ago that a figure with a constant 19 Defense Value on his entire dial and a 12 starting Attack was coming out for only 150 points I would have told you that was definitely going to be the best character in that set. Then Mary Marvel, World’s Finest, and the KC chases happened. This guy is getting ignored and he is going to surprise people some day soon when he finally gets noticed. I was just at a Wizkids open where he Pulse Waved a 200 point World’s Finest to death by himself and made it to the final match. Ignore this guy at your peril.

Zatara 2

2. WF048 Zatara – This guy is similar to Zatanna in the way his dial works, but I think he is superior in every way for 20 points less. I like his front support dial versus his back offensive dial. The offensive dial is about Average. The support dial is superior. With TK, Prob, and a double Perplex I like to refer to him as Mary Marvel’s pit crew. What really puts him over the top is the incredible power you see after he takes one damage: “SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.” If this power shows up and you are near 2 or more characters on the opposing team I would almost always use it. If the time isn’t right to use this power, then you can just choose to Regen and still come out ahead because of your Mystics TA.

Rita Farr

1. WF035E Elasti-Girl – This is likely the best 50 point non-support oriented character we’ve ever seen. There really aren’t many good reasons not to keep her as a Colossal the whole time, since the new Colossal rules make her so good.

She could already charge 6 spaces, but now she also has a Giant Reach of 3 squares. She can  also carry smaller figures without losing movement and she has a 10 Attack and 4 Damage. On defense she has Shape Change and Super Senses which together nullify about 55% of all attacks before you even consider her 18 defense.

Okay! Enough of the pieces that ALMOST made the cut. Unlike some other namby-pamby bloggers, I made the tough choices and got my Top Ten down to an actual Top Ten. Funny how that works, eh?

I give to you…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

The Chief Doom Patrol

10. WF051 The Chief – Here is that great 50 point support character that they seem to slip into every set. Even if you don’t share a keyword with him he can still grant any nearby friendly character Sidestep as well as having Outwit and Perplex himself. If your pieces do have either the scientist or Doom Patrol keywords, then he gives you an option to make another friendly character immune to Outwit and he can target his own Perplex and Outwit through any nearby friendly character. He’s definitely a Meta piece that you will start seeing at ROCs soon.

Supes v Bats

9. WF001 Superman (AND WF002 Superman, WF017A Superman, WF033 Superman) – So with this pick I am cheating a little. From what I saw at the sealed events I played at this is a good collection of pieces and I kept dreaming of ways to abuse the +1 defense granted by the 001 Superman. It’s just a really good play to attack with Superman 002 from 15 spaces away and then transform into Superman 001 before the opponent has a chance to hit you back. However I still wasn’t sure if I should include these pieces on my list. 

Then some guy played three copies of these characters on the same team and placed second at a ROC super qualifier. Only Patrick Yapjoco beat him by running the free action limiting Agent 13 with Nick Fury. Now it’s a lot easier to see how viable these pieces are in the Meta. Three copies of Superman 001 grouped together along with the Justice League ATA make for a 21 or 22 defense and that power is uncounterable. That’s just really hard to fight and even worse when you have to face it in a format like ROC Limited.

The Wiz Ard

8. WF030 The Wizard – World’s Finest does everything bigger and better than previous sets. This is the second awesome 50 point support figure in this set and the third 50 point figure on this list. So if you played in any Sealed event you probably heard about this guy and what he can do. For 50 points he’s incredible for 3 reasons. The first reason that he’s almost unhittable at range. His power states, “ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.

Secondly, he has 5 clicks each with a different support power that you can push to. You start with Prob. If you need Outwit instead just push once. If you need Perplex instead that’s just one more push away. You get the idea. Finally, his Trait is what’s getting everyone excited “POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.” Sure you might not roll Shape Change successfully in the average game, but everyone seems to have stories where their rolls went well and this guy made three tigers in a single game [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yup. That happened to me.]. That’s an insane amount of value coming from a 50 point character.

7. WF046 Klarion the Witch-Boy – He’s similar to AVAS051 Red Wolf in that he can put a secondary attacker into play as a free action, but where Redwolf is a close combat attacker, Klarion is a ranged support piece. Klarion is better than Red Wolf because of his ability to help your other pieces while still remaining moderately dangerous himself. He has Stealth plus Energy Shield/Deflection to keep him safe and Sidestep with Psychic Blast for offense. The fact that Teekl comes into play as a free action means that you can Phase across the board, drop Teekl and have him Charge an opposing character all in the same turn.

KC SUpes

6. WF061 Superman -In terms of raw stats you won’t find a superior character for under his cost. From his first click to his last, he is really dangerous. He’s been criticized for his lack of Hypersonic Speed, but as far as I am concerned that’s just means you will have to put a little planning into playing him. Whether that’s just some TK (FL007 S.T.A.R. Labs Technician) or going to resources (AVXR100 The Phoenix Force), the lack of Hypersonic Speed is not that hard to compensate for. Something additional to keep in mind is that his defense is better than it first appears. The trait that all the Chases share is “WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Superman’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol. Superman’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with Kingdom Come team ability symbol.” Among other things that means his defense can’t be reduced and his defensive abilities can’t be countered so the opponent will have to get through all those damage reducers the hard way. Then there is the new KC team ability. It grants an additional use of Super Senses against ranged attacks and since it’s a Team Ability it might be the one thing that Nick Fury’s Watcher Eyes can’t bypass.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Although Prime Peggy Carter’s normal eyes can, since she knows her worth, and anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter.]

KC SHAZ

5. WF065 Shazam! – Now here’s a piece that isn’t lacking in Hypersonic Speed or a high speed value in general. In fact with his 15 speed value in the Modern Age the only piece under 1000 points that is faster is KC Flash. He shares the WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN trait and KC team ability with Superman and the rest of the Chases in the set. He starts with Hypersonic Speed and Super Strength on offense along with Invincible and Shape Change on defense. His Attack Value never goes below 11 and he has some surprise Running Shot/Pulse Wave clicks at the end. The thing that really puts him over the top for me however is the Calculator TA. He already has the Mystical and Metropolis keywords, so it should not be too hard to find some good TAs for him to copy.

Bat SUpes Duo

4. WF060R World’s Finest – I chose the 75 point version of this character to put on this list because with Duo Attack, this is the hardest hitting 75 point character we’ve ever seen. It unfortunately has quite possibly the short 75 point dial we’ve ever seen, but with Combat Reflexes for close combat protection and the Batman TA for ranged protection World’s Finest should stay top dial for quite a while. Even at 75 they retain their trait: “WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.” The ability to straight up stop Outwit like that has never been seen at the 75 point level. Finally the combination of the Superman TA, their native 4 Damage Value and Duo Attack means that if they can get within 7 of Nick Fury they could potentially knock him out if both attacks hit.

KC GL

3. WF064R Green Lantern – This is the second best Tower Mode KC chase in the set. He has 9 Range, Barrier, and Perplex for just 30 points. At that point level if he is able to use barrier to give your team a breather for a turn then he is an incredible value for his points. On the minus side with barrier on his 18 Defense he is the easiest of the Tower Mode Chases to KO. On the plus side his Perplex is literally the only Perplex you could use to target any of the KC Chases.

2. WF041 Mary Marvel – This set’s best attacker, Primary or otherwise, and the only character I believe to be a real threat to Nick Fury. If she can attack him with Hypersonic Speed before he can attack her, then he’s in a world of trouble. She will have a Probability Control she can use to help herself hit and his Probability Control won’t be able to touch her due to her Trait: “SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.” And if she hits with an ultra heavy object then that’s enough damage to KO him outright. Her values and powers do start to go down quickly past her first click, but she still has a viable way to get right back into the game. She has a white power on her 7th click that states, “SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.” If you roll a 6 on the Regeneration roll then you will be right back to your top dial.

Spectre 2

1.WF066R Spectre – This is the figure in the set that I predict with eventually see the most play. He has Energy Shield deflection and Probability Control that along with his 18 Defense and KC team ability make him exceptionally difficult for even a primary attacker to KO him from range. He also has the Mystics TA that he can share with wildcards (like shazam) and it will guarantee that if anyone does KO him they will take Mystics damage back. The truly overpowering thing about him is his 12 Range combined with his special power, ” I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.” Boards are 24 spaces long. This means that you can place him 10 rows out from your starting area and he can use Probability Control anywhere on the board except the opposing starting area. Your opponent won’t really be able to do anything about it either because the difficultly KOing this piece from range. For 35 points he’s like a half price Mr. Mxyzptlk with the added bonus of having good keywords.

For additional fun try possessing him with Parallax to use the special power, “GRIP OF FEAR: Opposing characters can’t ignore pushing damage.” Not bad for 60 points.

Okay! There ya go! See you next time with some special Build articles to help you make use of all these new tools in your toolbox!

God Packs & Monsters!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of World’s Finest!!)

 

WF 1

Whoops! Not these two… they’re the Con Exclusive.

Hello once more, and welcome to our first Top Ten Set Review for the newest DC Heroclix expansion, World’s Finest!

I’ll be going first today, with Ninwashui trailing not far behind with his own Second Opinion.

Before we begin, a word of warning:

This piece is long. Seriously. Like Bill Simmons long. This might be the longest article we’ve ever published [EDITOR’S NOTE: Incidentally, Ninwashui has no hope of matching my word count, but his inadequacies as a Heroclix dial evaluator when compared to me are not important right now–this is about the figures.]. I really should have split it in two. Remember that “Let’s Be Lanterns” series that we published a year and a half ago? In three parts?

Yeah, I think this is longer than all three of those. Combined.

So sit back, grab a cold drink (probably not in that order) and enjoy the feast that is to come.

Cuz we’re starting right now with some…

Notes

NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–I think I say something positive about the sculpts almost every set, but this time… I’m gonna do it again. The articulation on some of these sculpts is astounding! The faces in particular. As recently as three years ago, character’s faces always ended up as blurry blobs; now you can often tell who a character is on their facial features alone. Bravo, WizKids! Bravo!

–Now for some bad news. This is probably the most top heavy set Wizkids has ever produced. Almost all the firepower is in the Rare, Super Rare, Chase and LE slots. Which means you’ll often be pulling–at most–one good figure per pack. Ninwashui will come on here later with his Second Opinion and try to sell you on the “Shifting Focus”-Traited Batman or Superman figs. They’re fun for a house game where the build is, like, 200 Points; beyond that, they’re really not very good.

I mean, seriously, let’s take a brief look at the hot mess that is some of the Common slot figs (I say some cuz I don’t want to step on the Worst Figures bonus segment that ends this article):

Hot Mess Express

Thank you to whoever came up with this meme. Perfect introduction for this segment!

Robotman

Robotman (130 Points): Completely generic dial, although his stats aren’t terrible for the points (I actually think there’s a tiny bit of value in his 50 Point dial). At least you’ll need him for a Doom Patrol Theme; that’s the main reason to collect him, I suppose.

Iron

Well… get used to it, Iron.

Iron (50 Points): 50 Points buys you four Clicks of a slow close combatant with no Willpower. If you play a better member of the Metal Men with him, he’ll gain Sidestep and every once in a blue moon he’ll deal one more damage with a successful object attack. Considering the cheapest Metal Man (or Metal Woman) is 25 Points, you’d probably be better off just Possessing him with, well, any Possessor, really. But then you’ll ask yourself: “Why am I wasting a Possessor on such a loser dial?”

Let’s be honest: the only reason to own Iron is if you’ve managed to pull an Alloy (you’ll want Iron for your Sideline).

Tin

Tin (50 Points): To be clear:  you are paying 50 Points for Perplex. His 9 Attack and 2 Damage with a 4 Range are not awful for his cost, but you’re really playing him for that Perplex. These are pretty average values and powers for his point level, but “average” makes him among the best Commons in the set. Now, here’s where things get interesting.

If you play two copies of Tin together, suddenly they each get Sidestep and can use their Perplexes to modify any combat value (except Damage) by +2 instead. That Sidestep combined with their top dial Willpower means they should be able to scoot around the map as a mobile Perplex-unit that’s always there when you need them. So, in conclusion, while one Tin on his own is average, two Tins played together are actually (gasp!) kinda good!

Beware the Creeper

No, seriously, beware the Creeper. He’ll really sink your–wait, that’s not even the RIGHT Creeper! Dammit! Let’s get it together, people!)

Creeper (75 Points): I have played him like three times now in Sealed Tourneys. He’s just not good. The problem is he really seems like he SHOULD be, and he sucks you into playing him every time. He has a ton of powers. He has the always useful Outsiders TA. But even with Traited Sidestep and Stealth, he just doesn’t seem to be able to get to his target unscathed. And that’s a major problem when he has no Willpower, no dampeners, only does 2 Damage after his top Click and has only 5 Clicks of life. I think he’d be okay in Modern Age Constructed when played by someone with a specific plan of attack for him, but in a Meta where a piece like Nick Fury will see him coming from across the board, he’s almost less than useless.

And on and on… I think you get the idea. Are the Witch and Warlock playable? Absolutely. Is Booster Gold good? Sure. Blue Beetle is downright… well, he’s decent when played with Booster, which limits your options a bit, but whatever. Still not gonna be Top Ten worthy. Even Poison Ivy Prime, while solid, was nowhere near my Top Ten.

I can’t remember the last time I did a Set Review and no Common showed up in the Top Ten or even as an Honorable Mention slot. Well, that day is here.

Design Insight

–And as we noted last set, I guess Wizkids has sort of hinted that this situation was coming with their recent DesignInsight articles that stated their interest in simplifying the Common and Uncommon character mechanics and saving the more ambitious designs for Rare figures or above. But “simple” doesn’t have to mean “underpowered” or downright “useless.”

Just last set we had Common figures like Hat, who has only 5 Clicks, no Special Powers and exactly one, two-sentence long Trait. And he currently has a 5-Star rating on HCRealms.com. He’s also got the Justice League Elite and Mystical keywords, which means he’s a piece people will look for if they want to create an Elite Build or if they need an effective piece to round out a Mystical squad. In other words, it’s not a bad day if he shows up in the back you just bought.

I get that from a design standpoint not every figure is going to be a home run–you actually want to have certain pieces be stronger in certain situations than others. That’s what makes for a healthy game environment. I just think the rarity distribution for those pieces was significantly off for this set, and I’d invite anyone who disagrees with that conclusion to compare the effectiveness of the Commons from Superman/Wonder Woman to the Commons from World’s Finest. It’s really not even close.

–Has the community decided on a shorthand name for the Chases’ Rookie Levels? I prefer “Tower Click,” and that’s the term I’ll use here [EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh-ho, just wait until you’re done with this review. “Tower Click?”–you’ll be sick of it, you’re going to hear it so much! Yup, those Chases are gonna show up a BUNCH! Sorry, I didn’t design them–don’t blame me for these guys clogging up your Meta and emptying your bank account. Wizkids did it.], but I’ve also heard “Sentry Mode” and “Turret Mode/Click,” so your mileage may vary.

WF 2

–Lastly… ugh. This is an ugly set for Sealed. If I handed you two packs and guaranteed you a Super Rare and a Rare, you could pull something like World’s Finest and Mary Marvel in those slots (you’re probably going to win), or Platinum and Mercury (thanks for playing!).

I know some folks weren’t happy with Nick Fury Sealed (“Wow! I got a 65 Point Nick Fury, Jr., and a whole bunch of 50 Point S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. And you got Super Rare Jane Foster Thor, who can kill everybody on my side with about two ranged attacks. Through Hindering Terrain. Or Elevated Terrain. Or other characters. Good Lord…“), but I’ve found this World’s Finest Sealed Environment to be much, much worse. If you are running a Sealed, make it a 300 Point Build. Anything higher just increases the imbalance towards Tentpoles. Trust me, I learned this the hard way…

Okay! Enough notes. No more paperwork. Let’s talk about…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Toymaster

5. WF036 Toymaster — Rare — 30 Points: Juston Seyfert and Ragnarok just found a new running buddy! He has an Attack Special [UPGRADE YOUR STUFF: UNIQUE MODIFIER – Modify the attack value of adjacent friendly characters by +1. If that character has the Armor or Robot keyword, also modify their defense value by +1. (UNIQUE MODIFIER – Characters can only be modified by one effect of this name.)] AND a Damage Special (I’M BETTER WITH ROBOTS: Toymaster can use Support. When he does, increase the d6 result by 1 if the target has the Robot or Armor keyword and decrease it by 1 otherwise.) that can supe up your robotic Tentpole immensely.

Toymaster isn’t much different from some Common generics like Witch, except that he adds that defense buff and an advanced healing component as well–provided that his target has the “Robot” or “Armor” keyword. Plus, with Willpower, Stealth and the ability to move through Hindering (via his Batman Ally & Superman Ally TA’s), he’s a much more nimble supporting piece than the generics. And his keywords rock. Finally, a guy who enhances Robots AND has the “Robot” keyword!

FUN BUILD FACTS: If you really feel like being sneaky but don’t care so much about Theme, equip him with Ion for another 25 Points and watch him Outwit opposing characters through Stealth with his Supes TA. With Ion, you can also choose to give him Impervious, Phasing/Teleport OR Telekinesis as needed.

What you’ve then essentially done is taken the best of the 50 Point Starter Set Toymaster and added it to the Main set version (plus a whole lot extra) for just 5 Points more. Hell, TK was the main reason to play the Starter version anyway. And the Starter version’s limited Wildcard ability frankly sucks compared to the Main set’s already included Batman Ally and Superman Ally TA’s.

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #13: Possessors are, y’know, pretty #@^$ing good. That is all. 

Mallah

4. WF052 Monsieur Mallah150 PointsSuper Rare: This is a true Switchblade Clix that can do just about anything, since between Mallah and the detachable Brain, these pieces have just about all the powers in the game.

If you’re worried about getting out-actioned, choose to take the Brain off at the beginning of your turn and have the lil guy (thing?) go to town with his 8 Range, 2 Damage, Pen/Psy and Outwit.

On the other hand, if you’re up for some tentpole on tentpole violence, keep Brain attached, have Mallah launch a nice 3 or 4 (depending on how you want to use your Perplex) damage Pen/Psy/Energy Explosion attack of his own, and then try and use his Leadership Special next turn to remove an action token from himself.

There’s too much power and game-changing support in this set for Mallah to crack my Top Ten, but he has to be mentioned.

Elasti-Girl

3. WF035E Elasti-Girl50 Points — Rare: By far the best of the Doom Patrol pieces in this set [EDITOR’S NOTE: Not that I’m a huge fan of either the New 52 or the Doom Patrol, but for the love of all that’s holy, why didn’t Element Woman from Trinity War have the “Doom Patrol” keyword? It’s not new. If you were a fan and wanted to put together a New 52 Doom Patrol from, say, their appearance in Justice League #30, all the pieces have basically been made, but now you’re actually breaking Theme to put them together. Sigh… ], Rita Farr has a great Veteran dial, but her Experienced dial is even more intriguing.

Her second Trait (PROTOPLASMIC PHYSIOLOGY: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose tiny symbol, giant symbol, or colossal symbol. If you do, Elasti-Girl has the chosen symbol until she chooses again. If she chooses tiny symbol, modify her combat values by -1. If she chooses colossal symbol, modify her combat values by +1.) means that she can either Carry or be Carried right off the bat, so it’s tough to envision mobility issues for any team that uses her as a Tertiary Attacker or Supporting piece.

She has Charge and the ability to deal up to 4 Damage on her top click, and while she has no dampeners, she does sport the ever popular Shape Change/Super Senses combo on top of her 18 Defense (when Colossal).

Down dial she turns into a really good tie-up piece with Plasticity and Perplex. This is a very versatile dial that offers a ton of value for just 50 Points.

Worlds Finest 75 Point

Honestly, though, Clark, we really could have shaken hands on the ground. You did not need to fly us up here.

2. WF060R World’s Finest75 PointsSuper Rare: Stats are pretty good for a 75-Point piece. Duo Attack. 4 Damage to start. Charge the whole dial, Super Strength the whole dial, Toughness, Combat Reflexes and CCE the whole dial. And–oh yeah–none of their powers can be countered. What’s not to love?

They have 3 Clicks. One strike from a piece that does 4 or more damage KO’s them instantly.

But–BUT–that dial isn’t as shallow as it may seem. Remember, this piece has both the Superman Ally AND Batman Ally TA, so your opponent will either need to find a solution for your Stealth or deal with your un-Outwittable Combat Reflexes, which suddenly means they have to hit a 20.

And that’s what it comes down to. You’re making a 75-Point bet that you can get this piece to your opponent’s front line for a huge, 6-Damage Charge before they can snipe it out of the air. If you make it there unscathed, you have a Secondary Attacker that’s giving you A+ Primary Attacker damage output. If you can’t, you may have dug yourself a hole to deep to get out of.

KC Batman

1. WF062R Batman 25 PointsChase: Incidentally, KC Bat’s 150 Point main dial could easily have gone here too (13 Attack with Precision Strike!). But his “Tower Click” is probably where his Meta bread will be buttered.

Like all of his KC brethren (and sistren?), Batman’s Tower Click comes with a mobility hindering Trait (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Batman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 6 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) that requires you to be very precise about where you Place him to start the game (incidentally, more than with any other Tower Chase, Map Choice is important to you if you’re playing this Batman. A nice Elevated ledge of some sort near the center of the battlefield turns him into a nightmare for your opponent).

Then you get to the reason you’re playing him:  his Damage Special (I MONITOR GOTHAM FROM THE BATCAVE: Batman can use Outwit with a range value of 10. Opposing characters 4 or more squares from him can’t draw lines of fire to him.).

Yup. You get a nigh-untargetable 10-Range Outwitter for just 25 Points who’s Defense bumps up to a 20 against close combat attacks. And who can also turn into a Secondary Attacker if he ends up as the last piece on your force (or if your opponent hits a Crit).

And because he’s a KC piece, ol’ Bruce here has no problem Outwitting the sin out of any of the other KC Chase main dials.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I actually love this from a flavor standpoint too, as it makes Bats the one piece every other KC figure is vulnerable too. Lots of parallels to the actual Kingdom Come story. Well done, Wizkids!]

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, ON TO…

THE TOP TEN FOURTEEN FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST!!

Yikes. After 5 Honorable Mentions, there’s still 14 more freaking figures worth talking about? Damn, this is a powerful set!

The Wizard

14. WF030 The Wizard — 50 Points — Uncommon: Finally! A non-Rare, non-Super Rare, non-Chase, non-LE piece makes the list! Maybe only because I had to expand it by four whole slots, but still!

The Wizard is a piddly 50 Point support piece who sports no standard powers top dial except Prob (with a 6 Range) but has one of the best survivability Special Powers I’ve ever seen (ILLUSIONS HIDE YOUR TRUE SURROUNDINGS: When The Wizard is occupying hindering terrain or adjacent to blocking terrain, The Wizard can’t be targeted by non-adjacent opposing characters.).

And while he sports a crappy 16 Defense with no kickers for his entire dial, his special Traited Shape Change (POOF!: The Wizard can use Shape Change. When he uses Shape Change and succeeds, you may place him within 4 squares and in the square he previously occupied immediately place a Tiger bystander.) actually makes attacking him a dangerous gamble–especially since he can usually only be attacked up close. Believe me–that Tiger token is no joke (and heaven help you if he hits his Shape Change more than once and you have multiple Tigers floating around the battlefield).

In Sealed, The Wizard’s a monster, taking up waaaaaay too much of your opponent’s time and attention, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up in the Meta. It’s bad enough that your opponent has to jump through so many positioning hoops just to get to The Wizard, and if you can make even one Shape Change role (Blue Battery candidate, perhaps?), you might just change the outcome of the game.

Streaky 2

13. WF100 Streaky — 50 Points — LE: The Prize Kit piece from World’s Finest actually offers the cheapest source of top dial Hypersonic Speed that I’m aware of (excluding Possessor shenanigans such as Possessing a character who has a secondary dial that starts on Click 3 with Ophidian). And with a native top dial damage value of 3, a Defense Value of 18 (with Super Senses and Toughness) plus a Despotellis-like Trait (THIS CAT HAS CLAWS!: When an adjacent opposing character is moved or placed, after actions resolve you may place Streaky adjacent to that character. Streaky does not require opponents to break away.), Streaky is actually one of the best Tertiary Attackers in the Modern Age right now.

Plus, pets with capes are always cool. Just ask Krypto.

Metallo

12. WF055 Metallo — 150 Points — Super Rare: Metallo is another Primary Attacker plucked from Superman’s rogues gallery who offers a ton of versatility. His Trait (RAPIDLY MORPHING FRAME: Give Metallo a free action and choose one: choose a standard attack power, and he can use that power until your next turn -or- modify his combat values by +1 until your next turn.) is borderline bonkers, especially if you choose the second option on his top dial; suddenly he becomes a 9, 12, 19, 5 with Charge, Invincible and Shape Change. Those are big time stats for a 150 Point character.

Down dial he picks up an extremely useful Special Poison Attack Power (YOU’VE EXPOSED MY KRYPTONITE HEART: Metallo can use Poison. When he does, he removes an action token from himself for each opposing character that took damage from his Poison and he deals penetrating damage to characters with the Kryptonian keyword.) that will let him constantly take tokens off if he’s positioned properly.

Beatsticks who can potentially take actions every turn are exceptionally rare, which is why Metallo made this list.

Element Man

11. WF040 Element Man — 100 Points — Rare: For 100 Points, you get Traited Plasticity, Shape Change and Giant Reach to go with his top dial Super Senses, Sidestep and Pick-a-Power Attack Special (A PERIODIC ARSENAL: Give Element Man a free action and choose a standard attack and/or defense power. Element Man can use the chosen powers until your next turn, even if this power is lost. If Element Man chose both attack and a defense power, deal him 1 unavoidable damage at the end of your turn.).

So you get half of the versatility of noted Meta piece Zombie Super Skrull at almost half the price. However, Rex Mason here comes standard with some options that Skrully doesn’t, including the ever-useful SC/SS combo. And Giant Reach isn’t something that Super Skrull can pick anyway.

The cherry on the cake is his Outsiders Team Ability, which will solve a lot of problems before you even go to pick an Attack and/or Defense power.

Zatara

10. WF048 Zatara — 100 Points — Rare: Wow! Like his daughter before him in the Justice League: Trinity War set, Zatara’s dial can be played backwards or forward, which essentially means he can be a support-y piece or a secondary attacker.

But unlike some other pieces that straddle the lines of two Build roles, here’s the kicker: Zatara’s damn good at both roles.

Do you want a…

Secondary Attacker? Great. Play his dial backwards and you get a piece with Running Shot (only a 6 Range, but his Movement is 9, so he ends up with a okay-ish Threat Range of 11), 11 Attack with Pen/Psy, 17 Defense with ES/D to discourage return fire and 3 native Damage with Enhancement, to make follow-up shots with your Primary Attacker that much more deadly.

An early-game Support Piece? Play his dial normally and you’ll have top dial access to Telekinesis AND a Damage Special (THE ORIGINAL MAGICIAN: Zatara can use Perplex and Probability Control. When he uses Perplex, he may modify the chosen value (except damage) by +2 if he targets another friendly character he shares a keyword with.) with improved Perplex!

Either way, in the middle of his dial he gains a game-changing Special that can potentially swing an entire game (SACRIFICE MYSELF TO SAVE THE UNIVERSE… AND ZATANNA: Zatara can use Pulse Wave. When he does, he doesn’t target friendly characters he shares a keyword with and he may choose that his damage value becomes 4 and is locked. If he chose to do so, after actions resolve, KO Zatara.). 4 Damage via a Pulse Wave that DOESN’T target any friendlies? Yes please!

I’ve heard some chatter about whether it’s worth 100 Points to potentially do 4 Damage to one or two opposing characters. Here’s what I would counter with:

A. You don’t have to actually use that ability until you deem it most advantageous to you.

B. If that Click is showing, but you still think you can do more work with Zatara, he also has Regeneration at the same time he has that Special, so you can simply Regenerate him back to his Supporting/Secondary Attacker clicks.

C. Also… you’re technically not sacrificing 100 Points at that point. You’re in the middle of his dial, so your opponent has already whittled away some theoretical points. If anything, this is a way to get EXTRA points out of a damaged character.

D. As we all know, 4 Damage via Pulse Wave is different than 4 Damage from another type of Attack. Remember, Pulse Wave ignores virtually every game effect! Invincible? Nice. You’re still taking four. Super Senses? Pulse Wave don’t care. Oh, you have Shape Change? How nice for you. Take 4. And on and on…

(Incidentally, the one situation you really need to be wary of is your opponent Mind Controlling Zatara when he’s on Clicks 3-5. That is a real danger, and something you have to be extra-mindful of if you see your opponent has access to Mind Control. This is why it’s so important to know your pick-a-power pieces! If your opponent has Zombie Super Skrull, Vartox or Engineer, they have access to Mind Control. If they’re playing Metallo or Element Man, they don’t. Mind Control is a Speed Power, so if the piece can’t pick a Speed Power, you’re good.)

So after all that, the real question is, which character is more versatile: Element Man or Zatara? Let the debate begin!

Harlequin

9. WF053B Harlequin — 90 Points — Super Rare PRIME: I’m convinced she immediately becomes one of the best Secondary Attackers in the 300 Point Meta. She’s also hard as hell to pin down.

Her KC Team Ability basically grants her a second bite of the Super Senses apple, since she already comes equipped with Super Senses. In a Resource environment, giving her the Blue or Red Decoy would not be a bad idea at all (the Blue Lantern and Decoy would basically give her FOUR freaking avoidance rolls if she’s attacked with anything other than Pulse Wave, Precision Strike and Battle Fury; the Red Lantern and Decoy would give her three shots to avoid a normal attack plus Penetrating Poison, which combos awesomely with her top and bottom dial Sidestep).

Her magnificent Trait (MURDEROUS JACK-IN-THE-BOX ON MY BACK: Give Harlequin a free action and place adjacent a Jack-in-the-Box bystander token printed on this card, then immediately give it an action as a free action. After actions resolve, remove that token from the game.) actually gives you a Tertiary Attacker THAT CAN ACT EVERY TURN free of charge. A possible 3-6 extra damage every turn? Yes please.

Finally, her Attack Special that shows up on her last two Clicks (POP! GOES THE WEASEL: Harlequin can use Pulse Wave. When she does, once per game you may choose that her damage value becomes 3 and is locked and she can’t place Jack-in-the-Box tokens for the remainder of this game.) isn’t quite as good as Zatara’s Special Pulse Wave… BUT IT’S STILL A BETTER VERSION OF THE BEST POWER IN THE GAME!

To find all this in a package that costs less than 100 Points is well worth the use of your only Prime slot.

Lex Luthor & Joker

8. WF059 Lex Luthor & Joker — 200 Points — Super Rare: Man, I was torn between this dial and the 75 Point dial. Ultimately, the 75 Point dial didn’t make even my Honorable Mentions, but it was close, and I’m not mad at you if you think that dial is better.

200 Points is a lot to spend on just 7 Clicks of life, but their survivability is increased exponentially by their second Trait (IT’S USUALLY ONE OF US THAT’S BEHIND EVERYTHING: Lex Luthor and Joker can use Mastermind. Lex Luthor and Joker and other friendly characters of 20 points or more can use the Underworld team ability.). Their first Trait (WORLD’S VILEST TEAM: Lex Luthor and Joker’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.) means that none of their powers can be Outwitted, either.

Their top dial Specials (Movement and Damage) grant them two separate uses of Sidestep, Perplex and at least one use of Outwit to go with their Duo Attack, Pen/Psy and ES/D.

After their first two ranged-based Clicks, they morph into some pretty lethal close combatants with Charge, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Exploit Weakness and their Attack Value balloons up to 12.

Pair these two with the right goons and cannon fodder and they can be the most dangerous piece on the battlefield.

Mxy vs Bat-Mite

Okay, at this point I’ve run so many World’s Finest art pieces that I’m just gonna start running related images that amuse me.

7. WF060 World’s Finest — 300 Points — Super Rare: Uh… wait, didn’t we already cover this? Oh, this is the Veteran dial! Right… okay.

I can’t remember the last time the same figure made a Top Ten Set Review with more than one dial. But World’s Finest deserves it. Why? Because this is probably the best 300 Point One-Man-Army dials that Wizkids has published since Sentroid back in Chaos War.

When evaluating a OMA dial, I like to ask a series of questions:

  1. Does the piece have readily available move-and-attack abilities? If I’m only using one piece, I can’t be wasting turns positioning. This becomes less of an issue as the game goes on and your opponent starts losing pieces, but especially up top there HAS to be really good move-and-attack. World’s Finest has Hypersonic Speed, which is about as good as you can get.
  2. Does the figure have Outwit/Counter protection? All the move-and-attack abilities in the world won’t help you if your opponent can just shut you down with a small supporting piece that sports some Outwit. World’s Finest covers this (and then some) with its first Trait (WORLD’S FINEST TEAM: World’s Finest’s power and abilities can’t be countered and their combat values can’t be decreased.).
  3. Does the figure have a way to reroll out of missed attacks and/or bad situations? Hey, Heroclix is dice game, which means there is just about always going to be an element of random chance. With a One-Man-Army, missed attack rolls are just killer. You might as well have just skipped your turn. Actually that would have been better, because at least then you wouldn’t have had to put an action token on your only figure. World’s Finest has two answers for this. First, they have Duo Attack, so if you choose to activate Duo Attack, you’ll at least have a second attack to fall back on if you miss with your first. But what I really like about this piece is that its second Trait (GOOD DISTRACTION, BRUCE: Once per turn, when World’s Finest misses all targets with an attack and haven’t used the Duo Attack ability this turn, after actions resolve they may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially allows you a do-over if you miss while performing non-Duo Attack actions (like, y’know, Hypersonic Speed).
  4. Does the figure have a high Damage output? Basically, are they capable of one-shotting opposing support figures and seriously hurting opposing Primary Attackers? The longer you are out-actioned, the worse your chances of winning become. But if you can eliminate a support figure or even a secondary attacker before Turn 3? Well, you’ve just drastically evened the odds. To do that, though, you need to be able to dish out some serious damage. For a OMA piece, that usually means sporting a native 5 Damage with the ability to enhance that with a penetrating kicker of some sort or a value enhancer (like Super Strength). World’s Finest passes this test with 5 Damage top dial AND Super Strength.
  5. Does the figure have a way to avoid opposing damage reducers and/or counteract opposing attack avoidance abilities? Look, no piece is perfect, but again, if I only have one figure to use each turn, I can’t have successful attack rolls turned into nothing via successful Impervious or Super Senses rolls, just as I can’t get stopped before I get started if my opponent hits a Shape Change or Skrull TA roll (or whatever). World’s Finest… actually doesn’t have a way around this, at least not until some Outwit turns up mid-dial (when it may be too late). No Pen/Psy or Exploit Weakness, no Precision Strike and no Battle Fury.

Okay! So World’s Finest passed 4 out of 5 OMA tests with flying colors, which leads me to the conclusion that it IS in fact a viable One-Man-Army figure. You just have to start the game with the mindset that it might be better to start with a high-probability KO on that supporting piece that only has Toughness versus going head-on against that opposing tentpole that sports Impervious. Remember, World’s Finest has Invincible top dial, not Invuln or Impervious, so even that smaller figure with the 10 Attack and 2 Damage may pose a threat. Whittling down your opponent’s pool of actions will often times be priority number one.

Because if you can narrow the game down to your best piece against his, well… you’re gonna win.

Shazam!

6. WF065 Shazam! — 170 Points — Chase: Man, it would have been so easy to just list nothing but Chases and Primes for this. But Shazam! has a lot going on with his dial that I just love.

First of all, he has the normal KC Chase Trait (WE WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT AGAIN: Shazam’s combat values can only be modified by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”. Shazam’s powers and abilities can only be countered by powers or abilities from characters with “Kingdom Come team ability symbol”.) that makes all of his powers uncounterable to all but, like, two pieces (KC Flash and KC Batman) unless shenanigans are involved.

Secondly, with the change to the KC TA, he basically has the crowdpleasing Shape Change/Super Senses combo IN ADDITION to his nigh-uncounterable top dial Invincible.

On the offensive side of things, he sports a 15 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Precision Strike (so he can get through even other Chases’ KC TA), an 18 Defense and 4 native damage. I wish both his Attack and Damage were one tick higher, but with 130 Points still left over for support, those are easy complaints to remedy.

Finally, he also has the Calculator TA, so depending on how you round out the rest of your Build, you can give him the Batman Ally, Superman Ally or Mystics TA (or perhaps all three!).

Very efficient killing machine.

Superman Farming in Peace

5. WF061R Superman — 35 Points — Chase: This is the Chase Supes on his “Tower Click.” It’s pretty simple. He has an 18 Defense with Impervious (thus making him impossible to KO with normal Poison, something the other Towers can’t claim), the Superman Ally TA AND the KC TA.

But what makes him so great is, obviously, his Tower Power (I WANT TO FARM IN PEACE: Superman can use Incapacitate with two targets and an attack value of 12. Hit characters can’t make ranged attacks during their turn.).

That makes him another potential Time Walk piece, where he can basically force your opponent to skip a turn with some well-timed Incapacitates. Even the KC Trait that’s supposed to limit him (ISOLATED FROM THIS VIOLENT WORLD: Superman begins the game placed at least 6 squares from any starting area and not adjacent to another character. While on click 11, he can’t be moved or placed. When he is the only character on your force or an opposing character critical hits another friendly character, you may turn him to click 7 and he can’t be healed for the remainder of the game.) actually ends up being a boon, since you can throw him right into the action in the middle of the Map or on a strategically important piece of high ground.

Hope your opponent has fun taking actions with his best pieces once every three turns.

Mary_Marvel

4. WF041 Mary Marvel — 150 Points — Rare: Hypersonic, Super Strength (with the ability to deal up to 7 Damage with an Ultra-Heavy), Invincible and Prob–there’s not a lot to not like here. The only fly in the ointment is that her Defense Value of 17 is fairly weak for a Primary Attacker. Having said that, her wonderfully flavorful Trait (SUPREMELY UNCORRUPTABLE: Opposing characters of an equal or lower point value can’t target Mary Marvel with Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.) offers some very real Outwit protection while her Defense Special (SHAZAM!: The first time this power is revealed due to damage from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Mary Marvel can use Regeneration. When she does, don’t decrease the result by 2. This power can’t be ignored.) may mean that you have to get through her entire dial again AFTER YOU KO HER THE FIRST TIME!

This is a great piece to Build a Meta team around (and I suspect Ninwashui will agree, since he’s been giddily sending me Mary Marvel teams all weak!).

Darkseid Supergirl

3. WF056 Supergirl200 Points — Super Rare: Choosing between Supergirl and Mary Marvel really came down to splitting hairs, but Kara’s Trait (DARKSEID’S ASSASSIN: When Supergirl hits with an attack, after actions resolve, give each hit character an action token. If one or more hit characters were unable to be given an action token, remove an action token from Supergirl. If one or more hit characters can use the Batman Ally, Justice League, or Superman Ally team ability, heal her 1 click.) is honestly so ridiculous that I gave her the nod.

You know what the best way to avoid a counter-attack is? Pile up action tokens on opposing pieces. Can you imagine her with her cousin’s KC Chase Tower version? If your opponent isn’t careful, they’ll never take a meaningful action!

Beyond her Trait, she has great stats and a long, healthy dial that’s just full of move-and-attack powers!

(Not for nothing, but her 100 Point dial almost made the Top Ten as well–it’s that sick!)

KC Green Lantern

I don’t know much about the artist Sweet-Bread, to whom this image is attributed, but I do know that the guy (or girl) can freaking draw KC Green Lantern–this is awesome!

2. WF064R Green Lantern — 30 Points — Chase: Another Tower Chase. Green Lantern has a couple things going for him that set him apart from all but one of his KC counterparts.

Firstly, his dial sports an 18 Defense with Barrier. Yup. You can plop him down in the middle of the battlefield and watch him throw up Barriers two out of every three turns. Very useful.

Next comes his Damage Special (I PROTECT FROM AFAR: Green Lantern can use Perplex to target friendly character regardless of line of fire.). Homeboy Alan Scott here has a 9 Range, and you’re telling me he doesn’t need to worry about line of fire?! So basically, I can have Perplex and Barrier for the entire game for just 30 freaking points?

And just get a load of his keywords: GREEN LANTERN CORPS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, JUSTICE SOCIETY, Future, Mystical and Politician. Mystical? When’s the last time a Green Lantern sported the Mystical keyword?

And hell, with Politician, you could actually theme him with Nighthawk Prime! I suppose the only better thing than playing one broken piece is playing two together, right?

Sheesh. 9 Range with no line of fire. I could make an argument that Wizkids shouldn’t be giving any character the ability to use a support power on a friendly piece from 9 Squares away without worrying about line of fire. It’s just too damn good of a power! What’s next? A piece that can use Prob across the entire Map? I mean, I know that’s ridiculous, and they would never do that, but you get my point. How much closer to the edge can these designers go?

KC Spectre

“No, Norman McCay, THIS is how you make an entrance. The key today is the same as it has been for a hundred millennia past:  no pants.”

1. WF066R SpectreChase35 Points: Oh good Lord, they made a piece that can Prob the entire freaking map. Are you serious? Sigh…

Okay, okay, let’s start over. Let’s pretend you didn’t just read Green Lantern’s entry and try and put into perspective just how great Spectre is.

So… you’d pay 25 Points to plop, say, Ophidian or Chase Brainiac onto a character to boost one stat by +1 a turn and pick from a range of 3 or 4 powers every turn, right? I mean, we all know that Entities and their ilk are great values, right? Well, how much would you pay for a free Prob every turn for the entire game? Probably even more than 35 Points, right? Let’s break it down.

Ol’ Jim Corrigan here is the last of the “Tower Chases” that we’re gonna talk about today. He also happens to be the very best. First of all, remember how we talked about that “Isolated From Your Violent World” Trait being sort of a pain for KC Batman and most of the other Chases except Green Lantern? Well, meet the other exception. That Trait is actually EXTREMELY beneficial to Spectre–it’s not a hindrance in the least.

It allows you to put him at or near the center of any map, which becomes bonkers when you look at his Tower ability (I SET THIS WORLD ON A DIFFERENT PATH: Spectre can use Probability Control to target a character regardless of line of fire.). Did you read that last part? REGARDLESS OF LINE OF FIRE?! Uh, yes please! Now look at his native Range. No, go look. I’ll sit here and wait.

Yup. It’s a 12. So, REGARDLESS OF WHICH MODERN AGE MAP IS CHOSEN, you can find a nice, comfy spot near the center of the map to plop Spectre down in and relax, secure in the knowledge that he can now see ANY Square on the map. He just needs to be somewhere in your twelfth Row and at least four Columns from each side.

Okay. So we’ve established now that with the right initial placement (and remember, his Trait means he’s completely immobile once you Place him, so choose carefully), Spectre can Prob across the entire Map. That is easily worth 35 Points. But what makes him more valuable is the razor-thin list of options your opponent has to deal with it.

Poison? Sure, if your opponent moves a Poison-enabled character up 12 Squares and waits a turn without you doing a thing to stop it, then yeah, Spectre can be Poisoned to death (Incidentally, this is a risk you take with all the Tower Chases save Superman. Well, mostly save Superman.).

Pulse Wave? Yup. There’s not much that Pulse Wave doesn’t do.

Outwit? Yeah, maybe, if you can get close enough.

Attacking? Up Close? Sure. If you can advance up 12 Squares and hit an 18 Defense twice, congratulations. You just used (and probably left exposed) what was almost certainly your best attacker to take out a 35 Point piece. Now take an Unavoidable Click of Mystics damage.

From Range? Uh… yeah. Go ahead and try that. First, hit a 20 Defense, since Spectre’s rocking an 18 Defense Value with ES/D. Then do it again (Spectre’s Prob).

Now, if that 20 is a problem and you have access to the Outsiders TA, go ahead and use that, although if you’re playing a Modern Age game, that means you’re locked in to playing either Element Man (Good choice! He’s great. You have a fighting chance!), Jade (not a bad piece, but since she’s half your army at a cost of at least 151 Points and undoubtedly your Primary Attacker AND you really have to move her into position first before you can use her TA since you can’t use her TA in the middle of a Running Shot AND thatkindofdefeatsthewholepurpose and why, oh God, why have you forsaken me?!?!) or Creeper (Seriously though, don’t play Creeper. Beware the $#%@ing Creeper. You know why. And if not, go back up and read for content this time).

But whatever–you hit a 20 Defense from Range twice! Bravo! Now, did you do it with Precision Strike? No? Well, Spectre still might not be dead yet and there’s a 33% chance that you wasted all your opening moves to take out a 35-Point character and still failed.

But that’s pessimistic. Let’s say Spectre fails his KC roll. Yay! You did it! You KO’d a 35 Point support piece.

Now take a g-dd–n Click of Unavoidable Mystics damage. Sunova-!!

Soooo… I think I made my point. You’re almost better off just leaving him for last, except then he actually turns into an even harder to kill Secondary Attacker who stills has a 12 freaking Range Value.

And also… dammit, you’re just never better off leaving an opposing Prob’r up and, uh, Probb’ing.

Carlos

No Probb’ing at the table. Not at the table, Carlos.

At least they didn’t give this dial to a Chase-level figure who represents the never-before Clix’d alternate version of a popular character from an iconic storyline.

Sigh… Just take my money, Wizkids. I hate you.

 

BUT WAIT!!

Nightlantern

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hmmm… all these entries, and not one mention of Nightlantern, the Rare Prime? Surely he’s SOMEWHERE among the top pieces in the set, right? 

Well… yes and no. His dial is actually pretty average for its cost. Decent stats, but he definitely has a glass jaw in terms of how long his dial keeps his best powers. Obviously, his main value is his Trait (EVERY PERSON I KNOW IS AN AMALGAM OF TWO FROM YOUR UNIVERSE?: When building your force, you may pay 25 points and put a standard character on your sideline, called an Amalgam. At the beginning of the game, equip the Amalgam to a standard friendly character (other than Nightlantern) that is higher points than the Amalgam’s highest point value and link it to that character’s dial. For the rest of the game, the Amalgam provides the below effect when equipped: EFFECT: At the beginning of your turn or when when this character is clicked, you may choose a standard power on the equipped dial. This character can use that power until your next turn or clicked.). Just let that sink in for a few, because we’re gonna examine this piece in greater detail… in a future article.

(Hey, no complaining–we’re already wellllll past 7000 words here AND you’ve still got a special bonus after this!)

But because of his unique Trait AND the fact that his usefulness changes DRASTICALLY based on the point value of the game, I’ve decided to make Nightlantern ineligible for the Top Ten and will instead give him his own spotlight in an upcoming piece. 

And yes, this is basically what we did with Rare Bizarro back when SLoSH came out. Sometimes a single piece just needs a whole article.]

 

THE STINGER AFTER THE CREDITS–AKA, BONUS TIME!

Okay. Now that we’ve talked about the best this set has to offer, for a little bonus content, let’s dive headfirst into the worst of the World’s Finest offerings! I give to you, at no extra charge…

THE TWO WORST FIGURES IN WORLD’S FINEST:

Mr. Nobody

Wait, the evil organization I lead is called the ‘Brotherhood of Dada?’ Uh… maybe this isn’t Grant Morrison’s best idea...”

1. Mr. Nobody (55 Points): He’s a mobile (minimum-range) Outwitter top dial; after that first Click, he loses Outwit and gains Prob. He has a weird Special Attack Power that lets you mildly mess with an opposing figure’s dial, but it costs a Power Action AND he has to be up close and personal (remember, he loses Phasing/Teleport after that top Click, so he’s far less mobile at that point). Of course, that’s probably still your best option with him, since you’re really not going to do much damage with his 8 Attack Value and a native Damage Value that quickly goes from 2 to 1. Mid-dial he picks up Steal Energy, but I would argue that the use of that Steal Energy moves him up to a worse Click! His keywords are pretty awful (just “Brotherhood of Evil” and “Politician”), and almost everything he does can be done by other pieces in Modern, and usually for a cheaper cost. If you’re running a Brotherhood of Evil Themed Team with Monsieur Mallah, okay, I get it; two Mr. Nobody’s is your only option (although you’re probably still giving away a ton of points, even with a Resource). But if you want to Theme Monsieur Mallah so bad, why not just run a Secret Society Team? Waaaaay more options.

Occultist

Nope. This–that’s the wrong Occultist. Ooooo, I wish I paid you so I could fire you.

2. Occultist (20 Points): Eh… it’s hard to be too mad about a generic figure that costs only 20 Points. But his (her? it’s?) Movement Special Power (BLOOD MAGIC: When an adjacent friendly character takes damage from an opponent’s attack, put a number of Blood Magic tokens on that friendly character’s card equal to the damage taken. Even if this power is lost, that friendly character may be given a free action to remove one Blood token and use Perplex targeting itself.) is a hell of a long way to go for the chance to maybe, possibly, if the stars all align, use Perplex, like, twice, in a whole game. For the EXACT same cost, you can play either the Witch or the Warlock who offer much more enhancement certainty with their Special Powers and who are both much harder to hit and who both HAVE THE EXACT SAME KEYWORD. Hell, Witch even adds “Monster” to her keyword line.

Blood Magic Meme

Occultist is a classic Sex Panther Piece, which, for those who aren’t familiar, is a term derived from “Anchorman” and refers to any piece with an overly complicated power that, in the end, isn’t as good or consistent as other basic, readily available options.

Okay! There you have it! The Ten Fifteen Nineteen (Hmmm… do I subtract the two worst entries, or… Can I get a ruling on this? Anyone? Aw, crap, my Editor’s fallen asleep. That probably explains why half the images were wrong. Y’know, I should probably wrap this up soon.) Best Figures in World’s Finest.

Whew!

And don’t forget to bring it right back here in a few days when Ninwashui issues his… SECOND OPINION!

Until then, 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!

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!!]

How to Summon the Heroes You Grew Up Reading About!! (Or, A Top Ten Set Review for Avengers Assemble!!)

"Whaddaya mean I'm the only one who didn't make the Chase cut? Who beat me out? Falcon? War Machine? Captain Marvel? I mean, as long as it's not, like, Rick $#!@&%( Jones."

Whaddaya mean I’m the only one who didn’t make the Chase cut?  I’m Nick Fury, dammit! Who the hell beat me out? Falcon? War Machine? Captain Marvel? I mean, as long as it’s not some Z-lister like 3-D Man or, God forbid, Rick $#!@&%( Jones… 

Welcome back!

We’ve been living in what Jonathan Hickman might call an “Avengers World” for almost a month now, so you know what that means…

IT’S TIME FOR AN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE TOP TEN SET REVIEW!!

You know the rules. I’m going to give you 5 Honorable Mentions, then we’ll roll right into counting down the 10 best figures in the set!

But first, as always, I have…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

–I was pretty pleased with the roster of figures in this set. Nice mix of the old and new. Are you a fan of classic Avengers villains Michael Korvac or Immortus? They’re both here. Did you like the more recent Avengers Academy series? There’s a ton of them in this set; everyone from Hazmat and Mettle to Turbo and Thunderstrike. And there’s also a ton of great, almost forgotten characters in this set that all debuted or had their heyday in the early-to-mid 2000’s and that I, frankly, never thought we’d see (I’m looking at you, Cammi and Juston Seyfert! I mean, yeah, Juston had a cameo or two in AA, but still, he kinda came out of nowhere!).

–The sculpts in this set are pretty solid–reminded me of a more toned down Flash set for some reason–although I thought that the Trinity War sculpts were a little more risky and dynamic than anything we got here (with the exception of the Chase Rick Jones, which is complete Bonkerssauce–in a good way!).

–This may be the best set of C/U/R dials ever, ahem, assembled. Especially the Commons. You don’t actually have to break the bank to grab some reeeeeallly cool figures this time around. While the Chases were once again very strong (4 out of 7 made the cut), I believe you will find only two Super Rares in this article. That might be a record low for them. And this might be the strongest set of Rares we’ve had in a loooooong, long time.

Okay. That’s it for all of my notes and musings–let’s get to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Black Widow AVAS

5. AVAS001 Black Widow110 PointsCommon: Yep. Another Modern Age Black Widow. But you know what? She’s kind of my favorite of the recent Widow iterations. She’s a lil’ more costly, but she offers a great power set. First of all, her Stealth is part of a Trait (DOUBLE AGENT: Black Widow can use Shape Change and Stealth. When she uses Shape Change and succeeds, Black Widow can’t be targeted by opposing characters this turn.), so it ain’t gonna be Outwitted. Moreover, she also has Traited Shape Change to go with her top dial Super Senses, which, when combined with her Stealth, means she’s going to be reeeeallly tough to pick off at range (especially since she isn’t slowed down by green squares since she has Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain).

She’s only got 6 clicks of life, but 4 of those clicks are extremely productive, especially when she picks up her “anytime” Special Poison power (WIDOW’S BITE: Black Widow can use Poison, but may be given the free action to activate it at any time during your turn.) in the back half of her dial. And I haven’t even gotten to her top dial Perplex or Precision Strike! Moreover, just from a “storytelling” perspective, this just FEELS like a Widow dial. While her teammates are usually hammers, Widow should always be a scalpel (well, except for the OTHER version of her from this set…).

I’d love it if Natasha was 90 or 100 Points; but even at 110, she’s still an elusive, solid secondary attacker who offers a variety of offensive options.

AVAS Hawkeye

4. AVAS002 Hawkeye85 PointsCommon: Apparently this will be the easiest Top Ten Review ever. I just have to go right in order from the beginning! Now I know what you’re saying. “We just got 2 Hawkeyes from the AOU Movie set that were both better!” And you know what? I agree with you. But just because those RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME Hawkeyes were better, that doesn’t mean that THIS Hawkeye isn’t very good in his own right.

He sees through Stealth with his Improved Targeting, and his two Traits separate him from the average Secondary Attacker. His first Trait (LIKE FISH IN A BARREL: If Hawkeye targets a single character when making a ranged combat attack, modify his attack value by +1.) means that just about whenever he attacks, he’ll have at least an 11 Attack Value. But it’s his second Trait that everyone is talking about (TRICK SHOOTING: Give Hawkeye a power action to place an Aim token on this card. At the beginning of your turn, if he has 1 or more Aim tokens on this card you may remove them and choose one effect that Hawkeye can use this turn: Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Improved Targeting: Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, or a locked range value of 14.).

Remember all that drama last set about whether or not the Prime Doctor Light could Running Shot for, like, 16 Squares? Well, as long as you spend one turn setting things up, Hawkeye can run 5 Squares, shoot 14 #$&^#$% Squares, shoot through an opposing figure’s Stealth if need be AND Energy Explode!! Whaaa… ?

Now, he only has 5 clicks of life. No top dial Willpower (he’s got one of those annoying dials where Willpower shows up in the Defense slot at all the wrong times). His Movement slot alternates between Running Shot and Stealth (as opposed to having at least one of those powers Traited, like some of his other versions), which isn’t as big a deal as it might be for other characters who don’t have his Trick Shooting Trait, but still. Finally, his native 3 Damage is fine, but it’s nothing to jump over the moon about when you consider that he doesn’t have a built-in way to break through reducers.

Still, it’s an innovative and creative take on a figure that’s already been Clix’d quite a bit in the last 3 years.

Aleph

3. AVAS003 Aleph140 PointsCommon: I swear I’m not doing this on purpose. It’s just working out extraordinarily well.

But I’ve played against this guy, and he is an absolute brick. He’s got 9 simple clicks; no Traits, Improvements or Special Powers. But he’s almost like the perfect blank canvas on which to throw an Entity and/or a Resource. He comes standard with the Wing Symbol, Sidestep, a 10 Attack with Pulse Wave, 17 Defense with Invincible and the Indomitable Combat Symbol. If you hook him up with a Battery and an Entity, he gets real imposing real fast.

For example:

Team Name: Al-eph You Up!!

Theme: None

Roster:

 AVAS003 Aleph 140 Points

AAOU039 Jocasta — 25 (Possessing Aleph)

AVAS020 Juston Seyfert40

AVAS044 Arcade70

WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR300 Green Lantern Corps Ring8

WOLR200.04 Wall (Green) — 10

WOLR200.03 Mallet (Green) — 4

=297

How It Plays: Jocasta’s Possession ability works just fine on Aleph, since he has the Robot keyword. With Jocasta, Aleph has the option of pumping up his Movement or Attack Value, and he can grab Running Shot, Precision Strike or Jocasta’s Special Damage Power (Sensors Coming Online: Jocasta can use Outwit and Perplex, but only to target characters within 3 squares.). All of which are great options.

Juston Seyfert hypercharges any Robot-keyworded character he assigns as his Sentinel. And since Juston Seyfert prevents us from fielding a Themed Team, we might as well level the playing field with Arcade. He’s a good supporting piece for his points if you lose the opening role; if you win it, you suddenly have a deadly and effective Secondary Attacker who is very hard to kill because of his Defensive Special Power (THIS IS MY WORLD, YOU’RE JUST LIVING IN IT. FOR NOW.: Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square within any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.).

The biggest weaknesses for this Build are the average to below average Defense values of all three characters and the lack of Probability Control. If your dice go cold, there’s not a lot you can do about it. But with Aleph’s rotating Pulse Wave and Penetrating/Psychic Blast, you should be able to cut right through most of your opponent’s defenses in short order.

Now this is just one of a myriad of ways you can take an Aleph Build. There are plenty of other options; as I said before, he’s kind of a blank canvas.

And that’s why he’s number 3 on the Honorable Mention list!

Now if Number Two is Son of the Serpent, then you’ll really know something’s up…

Turbo

2. AVAS009 Turbo — 50 PointsCommon: Long-time readers know that whenever I see a character whose cost is exactly 50 Points, my interest gets piqued. Turbo here is the latest in a long line of great 50 Points supporting characters. In her case, she’s a very effective Taxi who can also fill the role of Tertiary Attacker. Because of her Trait (THIS ARMOR IS AWSOME: Turbo can use Energy Shield/Deflection. When Turbo makes a close combat attack and hits, after actions resolve she can use Force Blast as a free action targeting a single hit character.) and her starting Defense Value of 17 (with Toughness), she’s really hard to hit at range (your opponent needs to hit a 19 Defense just to hit your Taxi!). She starts with a native 3 Damage and a 10 Attack (although that drops down to a measly 8 if you wish to use her Transporter-granted Move-and-Attack). Top dial Sidestep is also arguably the best standard Movement power for a taxi, as well, and she’s got it.

What holds her back slightly for me are her complete lack of Range and–more importantly–her keywords. The generic Armor keyword is probably her best; her named keywords (Initiative, Loners and New Warriors) all have very narrow Build options. Initiative is probably the best of those, and that’s really only because there were so many in this set (although previous sets had some very random entries as well, like Sleepwalker from GotG and Bloody Mary–but not Typhoid Mary–from Deadpool). Down dial she picks up CCE, so if your opponent moves up to attack her (to get around her ES/D), they could be in for a rude awakening. And I haven’t even brought up her Trait-granted Free Action Force Blast (which is, really, the only way to use Force Blast, since it kinda sucks.).

She is sort of a new flavor for Taxi’s, and really efficient for her points.

DMan AVAS

1. AVAS024 D-Man84 PointsUncommon: Finally, a non-Common! D-Man makes his, uh, long-awaited Clix debut, and you know what? He’s pretty damn good. He has a solid, uncomplicated dial with no Improvements or Special Powers. His Attack Value is average to low, but he’s got some great Damage Output Potential for his Point Cost… and one very special Trait (HEADLOCK TAKEDOWN: D-Man can use Plasticity. When he hits an opposing character with a close combat attack, put a Headlock token on their card. Remove all Headlock tokens from characters not adjacent to D-Man. Characters with any Headlock tokens on their card must roll a d6 when given an action. If the result is: 1 – 3, the action ends immediately.; 4 – 6, remove all Headlock tokens from that character’s card an the action resolves normally.). Yeah, that’s basically the Handcuffs from the Utility Belt, which was among the most useful items you could equip. D-Man adds Plasticity on top of all that, which means he kind of hoses Hypersonic speedsters, too.

Is D-Man Meta? No, no he is not. Is D-Man fun as hell to play? Yes, yes he is. You have not lived until you’ve held down the 300 Point, Chase “Last Titan” Hulk with a little headlock from an 84 Point D-Man. This is a great concept for a Clix, and he’s a great addition to the game.

Okay! Enough foreplay. It’s time for…

THE TOP TEN FIFTEEN!! FIGURES IN AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!

Yup! Once again, we have a set that was just too packed with goodness for a straight Top Ten list, so we’ve expanded it to a Top FIFTEEN countdown… AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU!!

You’re welcome.

And even with five extra slots, I still have to leave Hybrid (juuuuuust missed the cut) and Cammi (arguably deserves to be here over a couple of the other dials, and I love the character; but I’m bumping her up to her own future Build article, since she opens up a lot of Guardians Builds with her Drax Trait) off the list–there’s just a ton going on in this set.

Since we have so much to talk about, let’s keep countin’ ’em down!

Hulk Last Titan

15. AVAS064E Hulk300 PointsChase: As I mentioned in “Straight, With CHASEr 3,” I think this dial is the closest we’ve gotten since AVXG001R Dark Phoenix Cyclops to a viable 1-Man Army for 300 Point Modern Age games. Now, that doesn’t mean he’ll win every game, or even most games; it just means that you’ll have a chance, even though you’ll likely be hideously out-actioned. He’s that powerful in the right hands.

As a 1-Man Army, you have three things in your favor with this Hulk. First, 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.) finally gives you a Hulk that can’t be Outwitted. Second, his top click (and his last click) feature one of the best Movement Specials ever (HULK HATES WORLD: Hulk can use Charge. When he does, he doesn’t halve his speed value and can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.). If you can manage to pick up an Ultra-Heavy object, you should have a fighting chance to one-shot a significant piece on your opponent’s side before he can really get going. And finally, his Defense Special (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.) gives him a ton of survivability at the end of his dial–no Pulse Wave for the win here.

That last click grows in effectiveness every time Hulk smashes something, so try to make sure your first target doesn’t have too many avoidance powers (Super Senses, Shape Change, etc.).

He’s a lot of fun to play, which is another reason he’s on this list.

Black Widow as Thor

14. AVAS065 Black Widow200 PointsChase: A second entry for Natasha? Yup. Look, no one ever looks at a Thor dial and goes, “Hmmm… not much offense there.” Thor is all about offense. It’s usually his Defense that’s a problem–even if it’s average, often you have to leave Thor out there to make a ranged attack, and if you miss, your opponent can kind of gang up on the Norse God to take him down quickly.

Well, what if Thor had Traited Stealth? And the means to continually place down Hindering Terrain tokens to hide in? All of a sudden, Thor would get a lot more interesting. Which is exactly what happens here when Natasha picks up Thor’s Hammer. Her Trait (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.) does exactly what we just talked about for, really, no additional cost (most Thor dials–most GOOD Thor dials–are already 200 Points anyway).

She’s got great Damage Output Potential, and she’s left plenty of room for decent support and even a Resource. One of the more underrated pieces in the whole set.

Abyss AVAS

13. AVAS043 Abyss139 PointsRare: As a fan of Hickman’s Avengers run, this was one of the characters I really wanted to see in this set (along with her brother, Ex Nihilo). For 139 Points, you get a tricky Secondary Attacker (which means you’ll have to find a Primary Attacker who’s 100 Points or less–someone in the mold of, say, Banshee, but maybe with the Avengers keyword. Maybe the next guy on this list?) who has one of the best Poison Specials in the game (CREEPING DARKNESS: Abyss can use Poison. When she does, deal each adjacent opposing character damage equal to its printed damage value, instead of 1.) on her second click.

She starts with Power Cosmic, Traited Invuln and an Outsiders TA-like Damage Special (MOLECULAR LOCKDOWN: Give Abyss a free action and target a character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, the chosen character can’t use Shape Change or have its combat values modified.). Now, unfortunately her Range is only 4, but she Flies AND Phases, so getting her in position should be simple enough. Down dial, her Damage spikes at 4, so she’s capable of dishing out some hurt as well. In addition to the Avengers keyword, she also sports the Cosmic keyword, so depending on how you assemble your team, you could conceivably put together at Themed Team with her that also featured Entities (which would help her in particular A LOT).

Red Wolf AVAS

12. AVAS051 Red Wolf80 PointsSuper Rare: Arguably more effective than the underrated WOL037 Karu-Sil, but for 15 less Points! He’s got the Avengers, Soldier, Warrior and Animal keywords, which opens up a lot of possibilities for him. Like Karu-Sil, Red Wolf comes packed with an attachable Wolf token which Red Wolf can deploy to devastating effect with his Trait (LOBO, FAITHFUL WOLF COMPANION: Red Wolf begins the game with Lobo attached. While Lobo is attached, Red Wolf can use Flurry. Give Red Wolf a free action to remove and place Lobo in an adjacent square.). If Lobo gets KO’d, a simple Power Action brings him right back to Red Wolf’s base (where he can then be re-deployed as a Free Action).

Red Wolf himself also Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and anytime he finishes an action in Hindering he has Willpower thanks to his Defense Special (OWAYODATA CAME TO ME: Red Wolf can use Combat Reflexes and Super Senses. If he’s occupying hindering terrain, he can use Willpower.). He’s a wonderful Secondary Attacker who brings a great Tertiary Attacker with him FOR FREE! I really like this design!

To me, the most fun would be to play him with his cosmic DC Universe rival and see how many pet tokens you can get on the board! Which means it’s time for another Quick Build!!

Team Name: The Wolfpack

ThemeAnimal

Roster:

AVAS051 Red Wolf80 Points

(with ATA057 Avengers Response Unit) — 3

WOL037 Karu-Sil95

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

WOL102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring8

WOLR202.06 Decoy (Red) — 6

WOLR202.09 Nurse (Red) — 10

WOLR202.13 Stop Sign (Red) — 8

WOLR202.04 Wall (Red) — 10

WOLR202.01 Net (Red) — 8

=300

How It Plays: Each of these figures has the Animal keyword AND the ability to put out a bystander token of some sort. Alyosha is the engine that drives this Free Action car; each turn he’s given a non-free action, one of the other two figures can be given a move action for free!! Karu-Sil Flies, so she can also Carry if she needs to.

You have 5 Constructs to cover a potential 6 characters, so make sure you’re loading up every character (including tokens) you can with Constructs. Each Construct grants a specific power (obviously) PLUS Giant Reach and Penetrating Poison, two wonderful powers for this Build!

We’re also giving Red Wolf the Avengers Response Unit ATA (When one or more characters using this team ability is adjacent to a friendly character making a close combat attack, modify the characters attack value by +1.), which you don’t see very often but will, again, work perfectly with a close combat Build like this one.

You’ll have +3 to Map Roll, so if you win the roll, hopefully you can choose something that’s easy to traverse while still providing a modicum of Hindering Terrain cover. Elevation changes aren’t a complete dealbreaker, but they aren’t necessarily your friend, either.

This is a bit of a swarm team, but I love that your opponent will need to waste attacks on figures like The Pack and Lobo that can come right back the next turn. And your opponent will score 0 Points for their effort!

Starbrand Prime AVAS

11. AVAS041B Starbrand150 Points Rare PRIME: So, this isn’t the recent version that joined the Avengers during Hickman’s run and took a Beyonder with him when he died; this is the original “New Universe” Starbrand from the 80’s. But that origin does explain his major weakness: no Avengers keyword. He also has a pretty miserable Range Value (just 5 Squares, although with top dial Charge, this Starbrand is clearly meant to be a close combat bruiser) and his attack never goes above a 10–and remember, with Hammers most likely rotating in just over a month, Attack Value is once again gonna be really tough to fix. So that’s a problem.

So why is he this high on the list? Well, he’s got the Wing Symbol, the Power Cosmic Team Ability and 4 Damage top dial with Perplex (so you can fix his Attack if you need to). And starting with click 3, he gets a ridiculously good Damage Special (MAJOR EXPLOSION: Give Starbrand a double power action. Deal 2 penetrating damage to each other character within 2 squares and destroy all blocking terrain within 2 squares.).

That’s right. 2 Penetrating Damage WITHOUT HAVING TO ROLL ANY ATTACK DICE! I cannot overstate how awesome that is. Even the highest Attack Value in the game doesn’t guarantee you’ll hit, so there’s always a risk when you roll the dice. This power completely dissolves that risk–you can’t miss with it.

Then there’s his Trait (THE PITT: When Starbrand is KO’d, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled, minimum result 2. Deal 3 penetrating damage to all characters within that many squares and then choose another friendly character. That character modifies its combat values by +1 this game.). If your opponent does manage to kill Starbrand, he sets off a chain reaction that has the possibility of dealing a metric poop-ton of virtually unstoppable damage. So for half the game, he’s trying to keep you from exploding 2 Penetrating damage all over his team, and when he finally succeeds at KO’ing Starbrand, your opponent’s reward is EVEN MORE PENETRATING DAMAGE!

"That is a LOT of penetrating... damage."

That is a LOT of penetrating… damage. See what I did there? You did? Pervert.

Finally, while his New Universe keyword is pretty much worthless (at least right now), he also has the Cosmic keyword, which is still pretty strong (and lets him be on a Themed Team with Entities!).

Overall, a solid, if unorthodox, package of powers and abilities.

3D Man AVAS

10. AVAS013B 3-D Man90 PointsCommon PRIME: And now we arrive at the Top Ten!! Triathlon is good; 3-D man is better. He starts with Hypersonic Speed (always good), 11 Attack, an 18 Defense (with Toughness) and 3 native damage. But his Damage Special [THREE TIMES PEAK HUMAN : 3-D Man can use Perplex, but only to target himself. He can use it up to 3 times per turn, but can’t modify his damage value more than once. When he uses Perplex (no matter how many times), at the end of your turn, roll a d6 and on a result of 1, deal him 1 unavoidable damage.] is what really puts him over the top. Three freaking Perplexes a turn?!?! That’s borderline insane. You want a 13 Attack and 4 Damage from your 90 Point Hypersonic Speed character? You got it!

He obviously has the Avengers keyword, and if you can play him on a team with, like, Pandora’s Box–which would allow you to give 3-D Man the Wrath Token and Willpower–he becomes a very dangerous man. Especially a that 90 Point price! He’s not as good as Speed Demon, but he is poised to become one of the best Secondary Attackers in Modern Age.

Living Lightning

9. AVAS015 Living Lightning80 PointsCommon: So everything I just said about 3-D Man possibly becoming the preeminent Secondary Attacker in Modern? Well, meet his competition. For 10 less points, you get an Avenger-keyworded livewire who is a nightmare from range. He’s basically Zombie Electro with an ever-so-slightly better stat and power mix but without any of the awesome Zombie Traits.

He Flies, moves from Running Shot to Hypersonic as he goes down dial and he’s packing both Penetrating/Psychic Blast AND a Traited, Improved triple bolt Energy Explosion top dial (FLASH-FRY YOUR CIRCUITS: Living Lightning can use Energy Explosion. When Living Lightning hits an opposing character with the Armor or Robot keyword, increase the damage dealt to that character by 2.). And before you dismiss the second part of that power, let me assure you, because of the #1 figure on this list, Robots are going to be a thing for at least the next six months and they are NOT going away.

Living Lightning was one of the most popular UnClix’d Avengers, and the developers did a fantastic job interpreting him for Avengers Assemble.

Jarvis AVAS

8. AVAS034 Jarvis40 PointsRare: Most of what Jarvis brings to the table happens before the game even begins. One of his Traits (I TIDIED UP: Friendly characters can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain, but only if they occupy indoor terrain.) will help immensely if you win the Map Roll (and he has the Avengers keyword himself, so he’ll fit right on your Themed Team). The other (THERE’S STILL A FEW AVENGERS IN THE MANSION LEFT TO HELP: Jarvis counts as 3 characters for determining how many ID Cards can be added to your force. You don’t pay the cost for up to 3 ID Cards added to your force. Your opponent scores these ID Cards normally.) allows you to pack slightly more than 300 Points into your 300 Point Build!! I cannot tell you the exact number of pieces that allow you to pack more points than your supposed to into your Build, but it’s small. I mean, if you think about it, it’s almost like Jarvis’s actual dial is only costing you 25 Points. What do you get for that investment?

Four clicks of life, which is about par for the course, top dial Perplex and Stealth and a Defense Special (THE HEART OF THE AVENGERS: When Jarvis is adjacent to a friendly character with the Avengers keyword, reduce all damage dealt to him to 1. If Jarvis has taken damage from an opposing character since the beginning of your last turn, he ignores all damage dealt by opposing characters. This power can’t be countered.) that is fantastic, especially if you can find a way to funnel opposing damage towards him. Now, Masterminding damage to Jarvis won’t activate the second clause of his Defense Special, but it WILL reduce all the damage to 1, provided the keyword threshold is met. For the record, Mastermind is an exceedingly rare power to find on “good guys” like the Avengers, but AVX008 Professor X, CATWS015 Nick Fury and the new AOU201E Hank Pym all sport Mastermind top dial. Of those, I think Professor X and Nick Fury are the most interesting to pair with Jarvis–particularly the Professor, since survivability is one of the biggest question marks about that piece.

Hmmm… that might be worth exploring in another article…

Finally, Jarvis also has the Avengers Team Ability in case you need to move him into place but your running out of actions. It’s a terrible Team Ability for normal Avengers staples like Cap, Iron Man or Thor, but it’s occasionally useful on a pure support piece like Jarvis in 300 Point games.

Loki AVAS

7. AVAS046R Loki120 PointsRare: Wow! While his 225 Point version is good, this Rookie dial takes the cake. Top dial Super Senses combined with an Improved Traited Shape Change (Master of Illusions and Trickery: Loki can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When an opposing character targets Loki with Outwit or Perplex, he can use Shape Change as if he were targeted with an attack. When Loki makes a successful Shape Change roll, he can’t be targeted for the remainder of the turn.means that Loki is going to be reeeeeaaaal tough to pin down. Think about that. Every turn, Loki basically has a 50% chance to be untargetable by your opponent! 

He also sees through Hindering Terrain and Characters with his Improved Targeting, and his Special Movement Power (To Trick My Brother… And His Friends: Loki can use Mind Control. When he does, he isn’t dealt damage from it and, if he targets only a single character, modify Loki’s Attack Value by +2 and he may target a character that can use Battle Fury.) grants him an awesome form of Mind Control.  Now, Ninwashui has mentioned before that Mind Control can be a dangerous strategy, but with Loki’s improvements on the power via his Special and the fact that he has top dial Perplex, it’s a much less risky proposition (at the top of his dial, Loki has a 13! Attack Value when Mind Controlling a single character). Loki also has the Mystics Team Ability, so taking him out is going to require some blood, sweat and tears on the part of your opponent.

Lack of Willpower and low Damage Output are his only real negatives. The first you can fix that with the Asgardian ATA. The second actually improves as he gets down dial, but he does have that Perplex on his first two clicks. Besides, you’re probably trying to wreak havoc with his Mind Control Special at the beginning of the game anyway.

Arcade AVAS

6. AVAS044 Arcade70 PointsRare: I love this design!! Arcade will either be one heck of a supporting character, with Mind Control, Poison and Perplex, or he’ll be an insanely devilish Secondary Attacker. You won’t know exactly which dial you’re getting until the game is about to start, as his Trait is activated by the Map Roll (Welcome to Murderworld: When rolling to determine first player, no player receives a modifier to their roll. When on a map whose name includes “Arcade’s Arena,” at the beginning of the game you may start Arcade on click 7.  If you do, Arcade has the Power Cosmic Team Ability, can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering, and other friendly characters have the Robot keyword for the rest of the game.).  

If you do get to chose his map, Arcade suddenly jumps from a 9 to an 11 Attack Value and picks up a Special Attack Power (I Control Murderworld. Sucks to Be You: Arcade can use Energy Explosion and Precision Strike. If Arcade occupies a player’s Starting Area, he can draw lines of fire and count range for his attack and damage powers from the square of any friendly character.). So he suddenly doesn’t need a move-and-attack power–he just needs to get back to his lair! After two clicks, he picks up Penetrating/Psychic Blast… WITH A 12 ATTACK!! His Damage alternates between 2 and 3, but he always has a way to get at least some of his damage through reducers, which is the main thing. 

His Defense slot also picks up a Special Power (This Is My World, You’re Just Living in It. For Now.: Arcade ignores Poison and all but 1 damage dealt to him from an attack. After Arcade is dealt damage from an opposing character, you may place him in any square withing any player’s starting area. This power can’t be ignored.that works beautifully in conjunction with his Attack Special. 

I believe we’ll see some Arcade teams start to show up at some R.O.C.’s across the country. He just allows you to do so much, and if you win the Map Roll, it’s almost like having another Prime on your squad.

Ragnarok AVAS

5. AVAS053B Ragnarok200 PointsSuper Rare PRIME: So, it’s a little hard to talk about Ragnarok without spoiling the number one figure on this list, but we can report that he’s already seen play at the World Championships at Origins. Why?

Well, he starts with a 12 Attack Value with Energy Explosion to go along with his 8 Range (with 2 Bolts). As we continue to see more “unkillable” Builds (basically any Build that’s built around characters who only take 1 Damage at a time, no matter how much damage is dealt. Think Doop and Gluttony–pieces like that), I believe Energy Explosion will take on added significance, since it essentially allows you to double your Damage Output against these sorts of teams.

Rags also has Indomitable, an 18 Defense with Impervious and Shape Change, and a 5 native Damage top dial. And hey, you can abbreviate his name as “Rags.” How cool is that? World of Warcraft players will suddenly think that Ragnaros has made his way into Clix! Ragnarok also has a Trait that bumps his Attack Value and Damage Value by +1 when targeting an Asgardian or Avenger, which is probably a good thing, given that we’re gonna see a lot more of both of those keywords in the Meta.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is the fact that he has the Robot keyword. As we hinted at before, this will be a MAJOR keyword going forward…

Rick Jones

4. AVAS067 Rick Jones75 PointsChase: His dial is 5 Clicks long for 75 Points, which might seem a tad expensive for a Secondary Attacker (don’t be fooled by the Mind Control and Perplex that show up on Click 2–this is a Secondary Attacker’s dial, not a supporting dial). But when you consider that his first 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: Bystander Token KO’d; Bystander Token Placed; Captain America; Namor. Namor; Blazing Skull. Blazing Skull; Captain America. This ability can’t be ignored.is basically a perpetual motion machine that continuously generates Tertiary Attackers. 

Rick’s second Trait is almost as good (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.). Did you get all that? In case you didn’t, let me summarize. It said “Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, take another turn after this one.”

I mean, that’s almost how good that power is. Rick Jones doesn’t even care where the opposing characters are on the map. Give them all an action token. When you time it correctly, you basically shut them down for an entire turn. And keep in mind that Rick Jones is only 75 Points! That Points cost is looking a lot better now, isn’t it? Well, there’s more!

He also has a 10 Range with three Bolts and he has access to both Telekinesis AND Penetrating/Psychic Blast on his first 3 clicks! Yup–he can get your big hitter into position and then follow that up with a Penetrating Attack of his own. And since that pushes him to his second Click, he actually gets BETTER!

Expect to see him R.O.C.’ing the Meta soon.

Portrait of an Avenger.

Portrait of an Avenger.

3. AVAS037 Manifold58 PointsRare: Yup. He’s reeeeeeaal good. The perfect Taxi/Tertiary Attacker for your Avengers Build. Or, you can bring him in with his ID Card and pump someone’s Movement up by +3 (incidentally, I’m finding that ID Cards are a great way to take your opponent by surprise, especially when used late game by a piece that’s all but defeated.).

For a more in-depth look at Manifold, plus a couple of Ninwashui-created Builds featuring him, click here!

Goliath

2. AVAS066 Goliath98 PointsChase: Another piece we’ve previously discussed, I just think he offers so much versatility in addition to being a solid piece in his own right. But any piece that lets you COMPLETELY change the complexion of your Build AFTER THE GAME HAS STARTED deserves a special place on this list!

Juston Seyfert AVAS

1. AVAS020 Juston Seyfert40 PointsUncommon: How does a little dude from a nearly-forgotten early-00’s title and who deals NO Damage for his entire dial end up with the #1 spot over an entire set’s worth of Avengers and their classic villains?

By opening up a whole new subset of Builds. His Trait (Rebuilt From the Ground Up: When building your force, choose a friendly character with the Robot keyword. The chosen character is Juston Seyfert’s Sentinel.) combined with his Attack Special (Program In a New Prime Directive: Give Juston Seyfert a power action if he’s adjacent to his Sentinel. When he does, his Sentinel may be given a move action as a Free Action and then it may make a close or ranged combat attack.) essentially gives any Robot-keyworded a BETTER version of Multi-Attack. Yes, you read that correctly. A BETTER version of Multi-Attack, one of the best abilities the game has ever seen! 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The wording is slightly wonky in terms of where the phrase “as a Free Action… ” is used. The designers stuck it between the clause that says you can give Juston’s Sentinel a Move Action and the clause that says the Sentinel may then make a close or ranged combat attack. Just trust us, it works exactly how you think it does: you get to move and then attack for free, and then either move or attack again (with the Damage Depletion Modifier). For a slightly more detailed explanation on how this all works, check out the Wizkids Event System ruling regarding Juston Seyfert.]

On top of making your best piece twice as good as it normally is, Juston also rocks a top dial Stealth/Outwit combo on his first two clicks, followed by a Sidestep/Robot Support Special on his bottom two.

So far, the best candidate to become his Sentinel in 300 Point Modern Age is Ragnarok, but the Age of Ultron SLOP is adding a ton of Robots to the game (as well as an Entity that can Possess Robots and make them even better), so we’ll see where this goes. But if you’re someone who enjoys coming up with shenanigans, then Juston Seyfert is the piece for you!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: FUN FACT: Yes, there are characters out there who could potentially attack more than twice in a turn in certain scenarios. For example, if you can get AVAS059 Korvac to his fourth click (it’s a Stop Click, so it shouldn’t be hard) while keeping Juston in good shape, then you get to move half of Korvac’s Movement Value and unleash THREE separate attacks (with the DDM, mind you) in one turn. At that point, Korvac has a 10 Movement with Phasing/Teleport (which would be halved in this example), a 12 Attack with Pulse Wave, 5 Damage and Probability Control. He’d have a 7 Range for the first attack and a 9 Range thereafter. Oh look! Once again, Jerry Seinfeld has something to say to your theoretical opponent:

Seinfeld Good Luck

And if you manage to pull this scenario off and still lose the game… I’ve got nothing for ya. Especially since you can just push everyone next turn and do it all again.]

We told you before in this article, and we’re going to say it again. “Robot” is now a keyword to be feared.

 

Whew! We’re at 6500 words and counting, so I think this is as good a time as any to quit while we’re ahead. So there you have it. Those are the best figures in the Avengers Assemble set. Now, Ninwashui is going to be along here in a couple days with a second opinion on who the best pieces in this set are. Just remember while reading his poorly researched ramblings whose opinions you REALLY trust the most…

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

 

 

 

Flash Fact: This Top Ten Is Better Than Ninwashui’s!! (Or, A Second Opinion on the Top Ten Figures in Flash!!)

Flash Family

 

What’s that? You thought you were only getting ONE Flash Top Ten Review just because it’s been, like, seven weeks since the set released?! Think again! Better yet, THINK FAST, cuz a second opinion is coming right at ya’… RIGHT NOW!!

Let’s start with…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies...

The piece that inspired a thousand J-horror movies…

–These sculpts are beautiful! In particular, Black Lantern Prime Zoom, Abra Kadabra, Kingdom Come Flash, Reverse-Flash, Mirror Master, Dark Flash and Captain Cold are some of the best looking sculpts and paint jobs they’ve put together in some time!

–Overall, the Power Level of this set is a slight notch below Guardians, but it’s pretty close. There’s a lot of great Supporting Pieces and Secondary Attackers in here; Meta-worthy Primary Attackers are few and far between here (see the end of this list for details on exactly who does make the cut!).

No joke--this time the Primes and Chases were all in the "Zoom" packs...

No joke–this time the Primes and Chases were all in the “Zoom” packs…

–This set was a lot of fun to play in Sealed formats. It almost seems like Sealed balance was a priority with this set more so than with the last 3 three main sets (SL0SH, Deadpool and GotG; not counting WoL as that set was theoretically designed primarily FOR Sealed) combined. Not really a criticism of those other sets; just an observation. That said, while Sealed play doesn’t necessarily matter in these evaluations, I will occasionally touch on that aspect if I think a figure happens to be extremely good in that format.

–The designers did a great job with figure selection on this set. The Sub-Themes (particularly the Rogues and Authority) are EXTREMELY well developed–much more so than in previous sets. You want to put together an Authority team? You have 11 different dials spread among 9 different characters for you to choose from. And if you’re a Rogues fan? Make that 27 different dials among 22 different characters–and that’s not counting the other six versions of the Rogues you get in the Fast Forces Pack (not technically part of the set if you go strictly by numbering, but still!)!! Only the Suicide Squad really didn’t get much to play with here (outside of Amanda Waller, who can induct folks into the Suicide Squad, which, as Ninwashui explained previously, is fairly useless, since there’s only, like, two or three playable Moderan Age Suicide Squad-ers).

Now, compare that with a set like Deadpool, which had a decent representation of Thunderbolts and Heroes for Hire, but really fell down with Sub-Themes like the Secret Empire (um, 3 characters doesn’t really make what I’d call an “Empire.”) or U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. (again, most hate groups have more than three dudes in their membership…). Not every keyword needs to be able to produce a Meta-worthy team, but there should be enough members to at least make a single 300 Point Build!!

 

–Alright! Enough with the Notes! Now for MY list! This is what Ninwashui SHOULD have told you. We’ll start with…

 

5 Honorable Mentions!!

 

Pied Piper

5. FL021 Pied PiperUncommon76 Points: This guy really took me by surprise. I pulled him in Sealed and he absolutely wrecked house. His top dial Pulse Wave Special is just awesome (HYPNOTIC TONES: Pied Piper can use Pulse Wave. When he does, hit characters modify their damage values by -1 [minimum 1] until your next turn and he can immediately use Mind Control as a free action to make a close combat attack with an area of effect that includes any hit opposing characters.), and the fact that he has Improved Movement (Ignores Hindering AND Elevated) is the cherry on top. Even if you NEVER get to use the Mind Control part, just the fact that you have a 76 Point Secondary Attacker running off rooftops and Pulse Waving is something that’ll bring a smile to your face every time.

He also offers a bit of support with top dial Enhancement before he totally switches gears to Mind Control, Willpower and Poison late dial. He just has the Rogues keyword, but if you’re only going to have one keyword in this set, that’s a good one to have. Finally, he has the Calculator team ability, which I was using to copy Mystics (from Abra Kadabra) during my Sealed games. PP very nearly cracked my Top 10, but if you’re playing Rogues, he’s practically a must play for me. Having a Secondary Attacker that costs under 100 Points who can also ignore all game effects (via Pulse Wave) is almost unheard of.

 

Elongated Man All this Trouble

4. FL051 Elongated ManSuper Rare81 Points: If you can get him safely to his second click, he is a tie-up monster. A crazily effective improved Plasticity Trait (GINGOLD SODA: Elongated Man can use Plasticity. Opposing characters within 2 squares and line of fire treat Elongated Man as adjacent for movement purposes.), Stealth and one of the best Outwits in the Modern Age game (MY NOSE IS TWITCHING: Elongated Man can use Outwit as if he had a range value of 8 and Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Characters.) means that Ralph Dibny is going to be a nightmare to deal with if he ends up next to your best attacker.

His second click brings a Defense Special that grants him Willpower, Barrier and Combat Reflexes to go with his native 18 Defense value. Good luck hitting that, especially when he’s countering your best power every turn. Now, a 9 Attack value with 2 Damage means he isn’t doing a ton of damage back, but with his power set he could easily tie-up some really good figs who are almost double his points! Besides, improving Attack and Damage values–even in a No Tactics environment–is waaaaay easier than finding someone with his tie-up skills and Special Outwit.

It’s a little early yet to know exactly how this massive influx of Speedsters (read: Hypersonic Speed pieces) is going to affect the Meta, but if Speed Demon continues his dominance (or if people start adopting Prime Zoom and others of his ilk en masse) expect to see more and more folks playing Mr. Dibny here as a legit countermeasure.

 

The Doctor Authority

3. FL016R The DoctorCommon50 Points: Whenever a Modern Age figure costs 50 Points even, I perk my ears up a little bit and pay attention. Going all the way back to FFCW006R Scarlet Witch, WizKids has a history of producing some EXTREMELY useful and EXTREMELY under costed pieces at that exact point level.

Now, the good Doctor here isn’t Fast Forces Chaos War Scarlet Witch. He isn’t even Fast Forces Deadpool Rookie Mercy. What he is, however, is a great Tertiary Attacker/Supporting Piece.

His Attack Value is subpar at just 9, but he comes packing Running Shot (with a 5 Range) and Pen/Psy top dial. He also offers Barrier and Probability Control to complete the package. Four clicks of life at his point value is pretty good, even if the last two are completely useless (Force Blast? Really?).  Lastly, his Mystical keyword ensures he’ll fit on a large array of Builds.

He’s not overpowered, and Prime Abin Sur from WoL won’t be losing any sleep over his place in the Meta, but The Doctor IS really efficient for his Point level, and is definitely worth a look.

 

Rainbow Raider

2. FL026 Rainbow RaiderUncommon68 Points: So, you’re probably not gonna go to the Finals at Worlds with this guy, but honestly, if I told you I had a fig that had seven clicks of life, Stealth down his WHOLE DIAL, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, 7 Range and a minimum of 2 Damage his whole dial AND he cost less than 70 Points, you might be interested in playing him just based on that information. But then if I told you that that same character has access to no less than FOURTEEN MORE STANDARD POWERS, your brain would probably explode.

Then imagine what would happen when I told you that his Trait (MY FAVORITE COLOR (TO DRAIN) THIS WEEK: Give Rainbow Raider a power action and choose Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Light Blue, Blue, or Purple. Opposing characters possessing a power of that color on their dial modify their combat values by -1 until he chooses again, if not already modifed by this effect.) allowed you to nerf the combat values of any opposing character you wanted by -1 (and in some cases, more than one opposing character)!

For his Point cost, he’s probably got as much going on throughout his dial as any character ever. He’s at his best on clicks 2 and 3, where he can access Energy Explosion and Toughness with an 11 Attack (Click 2) and Pulse Wave with a 10 Attack and Defend with a 17 Defense Value (Click 3).

The Raider is kind of a jokey character, but if you think about throwing an Entity like, say, Ophidian on him, he starts to creep into Meta territory, especially with that Trait.

 

Rival 2

1. FL001B RivalCommon PRIME105 Points: He has the Speed Force Trait, and he can ramp up in a hurry, but he’s only an Honorable Mention for me because of what he lacks versus the other top end Speedsters. He just has Charge top dial (he only gets Hypersonic Speed AFTER he gets a Speed Force Token, and that only works on his first four clicks); no Willpower or Indomitable; and he still costs 105 Points AND takes up the Prime slot in your Build. Still, he weakness (Charge) actually becomes an asset on those first few clicks because it means he can still move and attack once he gets a Speed Force Token even if his Attack Special that gives him Hypersonic is Outwitted (he’s the only character in the game that I’m aware of that has the potential for move and attack powers on two different slots simultaneously).

 

And now, for the MAIN EVENT!! These are…

 

THE TOP TEN ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN FIGURES IN FLASH!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Ninwa actually gave you a Top 12 Review, I had to do one better!! After all, this review is better than Ninwashui’s–that’s a FLASH FACT!!]

[NINWASHUI’S WEIRDLY OBTUSE PETER JACKSON’S HOBBIT-REFERENCING RESPONSE: Do better than MY list? Those are Rhosgobel Rankings–I’d like to see you try!]

 

Apollo Midnighter

10. FL048R ApolloRare125 Points AND FL049R MidnighterRare100 Points: Same #10 character as Ninwashui, but a different dial. AND THEN I ADDED ANOTHER AWESOME FIGURE ON TOP! Boom! Already I’m winning!!

APOLLO

As far as Apollo goes, I like his Rookie version just a little bit better than his Experienced dial for the points. For 75 points less, he still starts with Invincible (just with an 18 value instead of a 19), Running Shot, Precision Strike and Ranged Combat Mastery (with a native Damage Value of 4!), and he tops it all off with his Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain.

Basically, Rookie Apollo approaches Primary Attacker combat values but for a price that’s not unheard of for a great Secondary Attacker. But he also brings a lot more to the table.

Firstly, his Trait (I SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING: Telekinesis can’t be used to place opposing characters in squares within Apollo’s range and line of fire.) will do wonders for slowing down Alpha Strikes; doesn’t make them impossible, but such a maneuver will often require even more planning on your opponent’s part–which means his Alpha Strike suddenly becomes a much riskier play. Secondly, yeah, he only has five clicks, but the Defense Special on his last two clicks has the potential to grant him FREE Regen (JUST NEED TO RECHARGE: Apollo can use Toughness. During the beginning of your turn, if Apollo occupies a square of outdoor terrain that is the highest elevation on the map, he can use Regeneration as a free action.). If he’s on click 4, you have 33% chance to get him top dial at the beginning of your turn–for FREE! Did I mention that it’s FREE?

The one caveat is that he really needs to be played on an Authority Themed Team that features Midnighter, as that’s the only way he can gain Willpower. This isn’t much of a handicap, though, since Midnighter himself is just as good–and he also made this list!

MIDNIGHTER

For 25 less points than his Experienced dial (which merely substitutes Super Senses for the Rookie’s Combat Reflexes–which is a trade you wouldn’t make anyway, given how you’re probably gonna play him), Midnighter’s Rookie dial is clean and efficient–he is a close combat tie-up nightmare, and he’s hard to hit on approach because he’ll usually be equipped with Stealth if he’s on one of his top three clicks thanks to his Movement Special (CYBERNETIC IMPLANTS: Midnighter can use Charge, Flurry and Toughness. When Midnighter doesn’t have 2 action tokens, he can use Stealth.) which also grants him both of the best close combat Movement-slot abilities.

He Ignores Hindering Terrain on movement, and he has not one but TWO Traits [(I KNOW WHAT YOU’LL DO: When an opposing character uses Close Combat Expert, they can only use it to modify one value by +1.) AND (WE’VE FOUGHT THIS FIGHT IN MY HEAD ALREADY: When Midnighter targets an opposing character with a close combat attack, until your next turn modify that character’s defense value by -1 and ignore any other modifiers to that character’s value.)] that ensure his triumph even when based with much higher-costed figures. Finally, his Damage Special (GO FOR THE SOFT SPOTS: Midnighter can use Exploit Weakness and Outwit. If he uses Outwit to target an adjacent character, Midnighter can use Plasticity and can’t be ignored for movement purposes.) ensures that his quarry won’t get away, either.

The ability to lock down almost any Primary Attacker in the game is well worth 100 Points, methinks.

 

Thorn 2

9. FL030 ThornUncommon65 Points: One of the better Secondary Attackers in Modern right now only costs 65 Points! On just her first click, Thorn brings Charge, Flurry, Stealth, B/C/F, Combat Reflexes and Shape Change. You want a better tie-up piece? You just got one! She doesn’t have Willpower, but who cares? Her second click is even better than the first, since her Defense Value actually goes up a notch and her Shape Change goes Special (MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES: Thorn can use Shape Change and succeeds on a result of 4-6. When she does and succeeds, heal her of 1 damage and she can’t be targeted with an attack this turn.). So, 50% of the time, not only will her Shape Change succeed, but NO ONE else can attack her either.

The amount of annoyance you can cause by using her to tie-up your opponent’s best ranged attackers is almost endless.

 

Harley Quinn Baseball Bat

8. FL046 Harley QuinnRare65 Points: And speaking of 65 Point-ers… Harley has to be the best of the bunch (EDITOR’S NOTE: What is with all the good figures in this set that cost exactly 65 Points? Even Murmur is really good for 65 Points–and he didn’t even make this list! Weird.) from this set at that Point level. She was designed by a World Champion to be a solid supporting piece that could also come through with some damage when needed, and that’s exactly what she turned out to be.

Mobility won’t be an issue in most games since she Ignores Hindering Terrain and Characters during movement, and if she has no action tokens she can use Sidestep. Her support is primarily provided by her Trait (MY PUDDIN’: Once per game, choose a friendly character with a higher point value. The chosen character is Harley Quinn’s Puddin’. Harely Quinn can use Perplex and Probability Control, but only to target her Puddin’. When her Puddin’ is KO’d, modify all of Harley Quinn’s combat values by +1.), which is both flavorful AND incredibly useful! She also starts with Stealth in her Movement slot and Outwit in her Damage slot, so she should be quite the enabler for whoever you pair her with.

Top dial, she has an Attack Special (NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY: Harley Quinn can use Poison. When she does, if she is adjacent to only one opposing character, the damage dealt is penetrating damage.) that can dish out some Penetrating Poison if you position her correctly, and she rounds out her resume with Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and the Calculator team ability.

She’s also very playable at 50 Points, but her top dial at 65 is so good that I had to go that route for my list.

 

Flash Running Laps

7. FL202 The FlashCommon (Gravity Feed) — 149 Points: The best of the Gravity Feed figs, he’s got the Police team ability, the normal Speed Force Trait, an 11 Attack, 18 Defense Value with Super Senses and Outwit. But once he starts building Speed Force Tokens, his Movement Special causes him to become something else entirely (RUNNING LAPS AROUND THE WORLD: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. Remove a Speed token from this card and once this turn, The Flash may consider squares on edges of the map to be adjacent to each other for movement purposes, as long as they are in the same row or column.). If you think it’s hard to hit speedsters now, with their ability to hit you and run away, just wait ’til you’re try to hit a guy who can Close Combat you from across the map!

He’s pricey, but I like him for 149 Points waaaaaay more than Wally West’s dial, which has the exact same cost.

 

Turtle

6. FL031 TurtleUncommon50 Points: I gotta be honest–for awhile, I thought this guy might finish at #2 or #3 on this list. In a No Tactics, No Entities Format (like the one that’s winding down in the ROC right now) he can be downright DEADLY when combined with Iron Pharaoh (there are a couple other ways to go, but that’s the main Build that strikes fear into people’s hearts!).

Zombie Chase Super Skrull and a few other pieces who have/can gain Invincible don’t care as much, because Turtle’s Trait (SLOWNESS AS A WAY OF LIFE: Turtle can use Plasticity. When another character moves at least 5 squares and actions resolve, give them an action token. If you can’t, deal them 1 penetrating damage.) only deals PENETRATING damage if they already have an action token, not UNAVOIDABLE damage. Still, as we talked about before, if you team him with someone like Shaman, you can force all your opponent’s flyers to the ground AND make them move 4 spaces or less a turn (unless they have Sidestep, which is a huge boon against a figure like this). Then, if you win Map Roll and choose Apokolips, Wundagore Mountain or R’yut, forget about it. You’ll be bombing your opponent before his best character can even see you!

This piece does what it says on the box:  he slows cats dooooooowwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn. With a Trait that good, his Outwit and Quake are just gravy. Definitely useful, but not why you play him.

 

"Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!"

“Good luck trying to sort through all the rules complications caused by my Trait, Judges!”

Weather Wizard

5. FL038 Captain ColdRare100 Points AND FL040 Weather WizardRare100 Points: I’m grouping of couple of the Rogues together in the five slot because, frankly, I can’t decide which one I like better. But the best part is, you usually won’t HAVE to decide–they share a named keyword and they’re each just 100 Points, so you can play ’em both and still have room for more!

CAPTAIN COLD

The Rogues Leader [EDITOR’S NOTE: Ha! Quasi-Star Wars reference/joke! See what I did there, Ninwashui? That’s how you make an obtuse sci-fi/fantasy movie reference in a Heroclix blog!!] [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Uh… noted?] comes packing with one of the most annoying Traits for an opponent to have to deal with since Iron Pharaoh’s Golden Falcon, Sharting (FROZEN FIELD: At the beginning of your turn, you may place an Ice Block special terrain marker within range and line of fire. When a character occupying or adjacent to one of these markers attempts to move, it must attempt to break away as if the marker was a character that can use Plasticity and is friendly to Captain Cold.). That’s right, baby, every turn until he’s KO’d, Captain Cold will fill up the map with those things. This is an insanely good power, and the fact that you get to do for free every turn is just stupid and wrong. You want board control? He is the CAPTAIN of board control.

He also brings some Running Shot, Toughness, Rogues-keyword-based Special Leadership and the Calculator team ability to the table, along with an Attack special (ABSOLUTE ZERO: Captain Cold can use Precision Strike. When he hits with an attack, you may place an Ice Block terrain marker in that square.) that grants Precision Strike and the ability to drop more Ice bombs when he hits!

WEATHER WIZARD

Weather Wizard is almost like “A Tale of Two Dials.” On his first three clicks, he offers a 7 Range with two Bolts, Running Shot, a 17 Defense Value with Energy Shield/Deflection and a native 3 Damage with Perplex! Plus, one of the coolest Special Attack Powers in the game (POWERS LIKE THE SEASONS: At the beginning of you turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. Weather Wizard can use the power indicated by the result on the back of this card.
1 – Spring Storms: When Weather Wizard makes a ranged combat attack, it generates knock back and if the target occupies outdoor terrain, damage dealt is increased by the target’s elevation level.
2 – Summer Lightning: Weather Wizard can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain, Ignores Hindering Terrain, Ignores Outdoor Blocking Terrain, Ignores Characters.
3 – Autumn Winds: Weather Wizard can use Quake as if he occupied a single square of outdoor terrain within range. Characters with “standard damage symbol” or “tiny damage symbol” can’t ignore knock back during this attack.
4 – Winter Chill: Weather Wizard can use Smoke Cloud. When he does, after actions resolve, he can use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting all opposing characters occupying one or more of these markers with a close combat attack.
5-6 – Weather Wizard may choose any single result.).

Sooooo… y’know how people have been playing Bill, Agent of A.I.M. or using Zombie Chase Electro JUST to set up situations where they can attack opposing figures within Range no matter what Terrain lies between them? Yeah, Weather Wizard has a 50% each turn of being able to do that on his own. For free. On a d6 roll of 2, 5 or 6, you get his Summer Lightning power. Plus it combos with Running Shot, which means you can actually run Weather Wizard out of harm’s way and STILL make a ranged attack. This is beyond awesome.

The back half of Weather Wizard’s dial is a bucket of poo-poo with no top on it. He becomes almost worthless (until you get to his last click, where there’s no almost about it–he is worthless).

But those first three clicks? Man…

Taken together, this duo will really present board control issues for your opponent.

 

Jenny SParks

4. FL061 Jenny SparksSuper Rare125 Points: Running Shot/Pulse Wave PLUS her Trait (ELECTRICAL CORTEX SHORT CIRCUIT: When Jenny Sparks hits an opposing character, that character can’t use special powers from now until your next turn.) = A LONG DAY for your opponent.

She basically the Honey Badger Meme given clicks form:

Oh, you have special power that gives you Charge AND Flurry. Jenny Sparks don’t care. Now you can’t move and attack at all. Aww, you have some cute lil’ Stop Clicks? Well Jenny Sparks DON’T GIVE A $#!T!

She has above-average t0 great native combat values plus a dial that’s a robust 8 clicks long. The only things that keep her from being even higher on this list are a lack of Indomitable (she eventually gets a couple of clicks of Willpower down dial though) and no Improved Movement or Flight (hmmm… I wonder if there’s a Resource that grants the flight of the Phoenix… ).

I don’t think she’ll dominate the Meta, but I would not be surprised to see her show up quite often on some Top 8 ROC rosters (particularly since she’s an absolute Kyle Rayner assassin). And for some special fun (and a great taxi), try teaming her up on a Scientist Theme with Prime Captain Marvel from GoTG. You’ll thank me later.

 

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other

3. FL064 The QuestionChase100 Points AND FL062 PandoraChase125 Points: Two great flavors that taste great together!

THE QUESTION

Ninwashui had The Question as his number one piece in the whole set, which was clearly wrongheaded and stupid [NINWASHUI’S RESPONSE: Hey! I’m right here!]. Still, The Question is a damn good piece. Top dial he features Charge, Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, Shape Change, Stealth, Poison AND Precision Strike (and after using them, he can use Smoke Cloud for free), Indomitable, Super Senses (with a native 18 Defense), a special version of the Wild Card team ability and Outwit. And if he successfully Outwits an opposing character, he gets to take off an action token, which means you’ll essentially be using this guy every turn. And did I mention he only costs 100 Points?

The last Question we got was a con-exclusive that still features on a lot of Meta squads to this day. This Question is better.

PANDORA

Sort of the Ranged version of the Question. Pandora buffs her Range and Bolt number by the number of teammates she has with the Warrior or Trinity of Sin keyword. She has Sidestep, 6 Range, the Sharpshooter ability, Precision Strike, Indomitable, Super Senses, the Mystics team ability and Perplex. If she uses her Perplex to target an opposing figure, she too can remove an action token, so she, too, will probably be acting every turn. Especially since her Improved Targeting allows her to see through both Hindering AND other characters.

Great on their own, these two only get better when played together!

 

zoom-blacklantern

2. FL053B Zoom (Black Lantern) — Super Rare Prime —120 Points: In a set of speedsters, you’re looking at the one piece that’s arguably as good as DP053A Speed Demon. Zoom offers the Speed Force Trait, Indomitable (rare on speedsters), Hypersonic Speed, an 11 Attack (also rare on speedsters), Super Senses and a native 3 Damage. Additionally, his Attack Special (A NEW BLACK FLASH: Remove a Speed token from this card and choose either Exploit Weakness or Flurry. If you do, Zoom can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and the chosen power as a free action instead of making a close combat attack while using Hypersonic Speed this turn.) has the capability of just RUINING opposing strategies.

Need to take out a key support piece? Remove a Speed Token, choose Flurry and go to town for a possible six Damage–and then put another Speed Token on his card for hitting a character. And on and on. Unlike almost all speedsters not named Speed Demon, Zoom here actually gets better as he takes damage, picking up Steal Energy, Special Regeneration and Toughness.

Yes, he costs you your Prime Slot, but you weren’t gonna use that anyway if you’re playing a Black Lantern Themed Team. Zoom is a monster in a sub-150 Point body. Be very wary if you’re ever lined up against him.

 

Kingdom COme Flash

1. FL050 The Flash (Kingdom Come) — Super Rare195 Points: Criminally underrated by Ninwashui [NINWASHUI’S NOTE: Hey! I had him at # 8!!], this version of the Flash is the best Primary Attacker in the set. He has the normal Speed Force Trait (which, when fully active, punches his top dial Movement Value up to 20), the Kingdom Come team ability, ANOTHER TRAIT (HE NEVER GETS TIRED, HE NEVER STOPS MOVING: The Flash’s speed powers can’t be countered.) that ensures he’ll always be able to move and attack no matter how much Outwit your opponent is packing, Indomitable, a Hypersonic Speed Special that almost breaks Hypersonic Speed (PATROLLING BOTH CITIES AT ONCE: The Flash can use Hypersonic Speed. When he does, you may remove a Speed token from this card and he may then make a second close combat attack or use Outwit as a free action during this move and then continue his movement.), Super Senses (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value) and Probability Control (in case someone somehow hits his native 19 Defense Value and you screw up your Super Senses roll).

Down dial (assuming your opponent ever gets The Flash down dial), he picks up normal Hypersonic Speed, Exploit Weakness, an Attack Special (WHO WOULD DARE BE A CRIMINAL IN THIS CITY?: Up to three times per turn, give The Flash a free action and remove a Speed token from this card. When you do, lock his damage value at its current value until the end of the turn and give him a close combat action as a free action.) that can absolutely pulverize even the heartiest of figures in one turn, and a Defense Special (HE’S JUST A BLUR: The Flash can use Super Senses, but succeeds on a roll of 3-6. This roll can’t be rerolled.) that makes him even tougher to damage.

Now add the Yellow Power Battery to your force (including the Yellow Decoy) and Possess The Flash with Parallax. Suddenly, after you give him the Decoy to start the game, The Flash has 18 Movement, Indomitable, 12 Attack, 20 Defense with Super Senses and (assuming you choose to up his Damage with Parallax) 4 Damage with Probability Control. Then you can either choose Stealth or the ability to gain the Quintessence team ability plus a Special Perplex (that only Perplexes values down). Then, assuming your opponents figures all cost 194 or less, they’ll have a -2 to each of their attack rolls against the Flash.

This is what you will look like every time your opponent makes an attack roll against the Flash:

"Oh, you're attacking me? Good luck."

“Oh, you’re attacking me?”

I mean, is your opponent REALLY gonna beat your Shape Change, Super Senses, 20 Defense AND Probability Control? As always, Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t think so:

Seinfeld Good Luck

And Jerry Seinfeld is always right!!

That’s why he’s a stupidly good Meta choice once Tactics rotate back in during the upcoming ROC season. And that’s also why, after 5000 words and 2 glasses of Oberweis chocolate milk, I can confidently say…

HE’S THE BEST FIGURE IN THE FLASH SET!!

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

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!!]

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

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

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

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

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

But first, as usual…

Some General Notes About the Set:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIVE SIX HONORABLE MENTIONS!!!!!!

 

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

 

Thanos

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

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

AT&T GIRL

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

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

 

Dr Minerva

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

 

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

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

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

 

recorder 451

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Did I mention she’s only 87 Points?!

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

 

"Let's see Hawkeye do THIS!"

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

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

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

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

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

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!!

 

Ebony Maw

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Zombie Super Skrull

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Supergiant

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

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

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

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

 

Star-Lord Comic

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

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

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

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

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

 

Proxima Midnight

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

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

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

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

This is a sick piece.

 

Thanosi

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

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

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

 

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

Another Prime Common hits the #1 spot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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