They Made Who?!? (Or, The 10 Strangest Clix I Never Thought I’d See That Came Anyway in 2014!!)

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

GLXMAS

Welcome back to the 12 Nights of Clix-Mas!!

So, whenever WizKids announces a new set, everyone races to figure out exactly which characters will be making an appearance. They do this for a variety of reasons, but there’s a certain crowd that just wants to know how many characters are “getting Clix’d” for the first time. Well, there are only so many characters who have yet to be “Clix’d,” so eventually WizKids makes some characters that might have you scratching your head. Alternatively, sometimes they’ll prominently feature a character whose profile in the comics is marginal at best.

Well, tonight, we’re gonna take a look at the 10 Clix that actually got made this year that I, well, REALLY was not expecting.

In order of appearance…

Tellus_005

10. SLOSH048 Tellus: I’ll be honest–I didn’t even remember this guy at first. Even for the Legion, he’s kind of weird. But what really gets me is not only did he get a figure this set, his figure was so good that he showed up on the first Watchlist and had to be slightly nerfed (even though the figure that really made him go, Astral Dr. Strange, rotated out… ). When folks talk about the Legion of Superheroes, they’re usually talking about characters like Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl or even (God help us) Matter-eater Lad. They usually don’t mean the weird yellow member with the toadstools on his back that can talk with his mind.

Toyman

9. SLOSH050 Toyman: I’m not surprised that he was on the roster for SLOSH; that much seems perfectly reasonable. But the way they made him sort of the premier Super Rare of the set, what with his supporting Toy figures and all–that’s what really surprised me. And the fact that all his toys can attach to him is kind of cool. But then, after getting everyone all excited about his mechanics via their preview section WizKids went and made sure that he kind of really sucks for his points, which really goes the extra mile in making this piece a perplexing headscratcher.

Jasper Sitwell

8. CATWS014 Agent Sitwell: Full disclosure: I love Movie Clix, particularly Marvel Cinematic Universe Clix. I get the same sense of anticipation watching characters debut in the MCU that I did back when the Ultimate universe wasn’t such a huge mess and they “Ultimate-tized” a different Marvel staple character every other month. So if there’s a Marvel Movie set on the release schedule, you can bet I’ll be at Target waiting for them to unbox the cases.

There was some talk leading into Cap 2 that Sitwell would sort of become the new Coulson, which is to say that he’d be the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent who would act as the connective tissue between all the MCU movies. Even then, at the most, I thought we might see ol’ Jasper here show up as a crappy Common in some far-off Avengers: Age of Ultron set (MILD SPOILER ALERT FOR AN 8-MONTH OLD MOVIE: Don’t think Sitwell will be making any more MCU appearances, so he won’t be showing up in A: AoU!).

Instead, he was an important Target (read: Mass Market) Exclusive Rare piece that is actually really useful on S.H.I.E.L.D. teams (surprise surprise) as a Perplexin’, Sidestepin’ support piece–arguably the best S.H.I.E.L.D. support piece in Modern not named Brother Voodoo (who’s really more of a Secondary Attacker anyway). Was not expecting that!

But what I really found bizarre is that his sculpt is pretty close to the picture above–just Sitwell standing there, holding his coffee mug. A somewhat strange–but not unwelcome–addition to the MCU roster of figures!

"Rawr."

“Rawr.”

7. DP001 Headpool & 6. DP003 Dogpool: Okay, honestly, most of the Deadpool Corps could have made this list, but I really thought we might see Kidpool at some point, and Lady Deadpool was almost a given. But freakin’ Dogpool?! And Headpool–not that people didn’t like that character, but he’s a disembodied head–how do you make that in Clix form? I would have thought he would end up as some sort of Bystander Token. Instead, he’s a pretty important support piece for a variety of Meta Builds.

And freakin’ Dogpool is almost as good–maybe just a tad bit overcosted. But definitely useful, especially with the right Word Balloons. The only weirder Deadpool Corps. member would have been Championpool, but we didn’t get him. At least, not yet.

Dr Bong

5. DP040 Doctor Bong: I mean, really? We really got this guy this year? This actually happened, and we’re all cool with it? Even in a set called Deadpool, this was pretty amazing. I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised. What’s really crazy is that ol’ Doc Bong is actually kind of sneaky-good for his points! Running Shot Pulse Wave (even with a 9 Attack) is really good, and he’s actually got a support dial (with access to Outwit and Perplex!). Bizarre character, bizarre power-set; just a really weird package.

Cosmic X-23

4. DP104 Cosmic X-23: X-23? Not my favorite character, but sure. She’s pretty popular. I get it. She would not be out of place in a Deadpool set. But Cosmic X-23?! Whaaa… ? Of all the characters who have ever been Captain Universe, X-23 is the one WizKids gives us (I realize we’ve gotten a few in the past, but c’mon!). Her 100 Point dial is insane–not insanely good, or insanely bad, just insane as in “it seems like this was designed by someone not right in the head.” The 275 Point dial is good, not great, but it looks like a lot of fun at least.

Doorman Deathurge

3. GOTG041 Deathurge: As a big GLA fan, this one kind of tickled my funny bone. At some point around the end of GLA: Misassembled, Doorman was killed, but he was brought back by an entity named Oblivion to serve as his avatar Deathurge! That’s what this figure is, complete with the GLA keyword. I really love that this figure exists in Modern; I just never thought we’d see it! Incidentally, Deathurge finally gives GLA Themed Teams a Primary Attacker (not the best, but he has multiple options for dealing penetrating damage and still, 1 option is better than 0 options).

Zombie Skrull

2. GOTG061 Skrull: The Zombie Chase no one asked for! This character is so crappy I couldn’t even find a decent image of him; instead, you get a random Zombie-ish looking Skrull who’s impersonating Reed Richards for some reason. This character is the only Zombie Chase who’s not Unique–you can play as many of these crappy Zombies as you want! Yay!!

Why this wasn’t a Chase Zombie Thanos, I have no idea. Biggest waste of a Chase slot I can think of…

zoom-blacklantern

1. FL053B Zoom: Okay, this one is kind of a cheat. If you’d asked me coming into this year if I thought we’d see a Black Lantern Zoom, I’d have said yes, so I can’t say that this character was completely unexpected. However, I would have bet dollars to donuts that he’d have come in the War of Light OP Expansion. The fact that we got him in Flash came as a complete shocker to me. A pleasant shocker (eeeewwww), since I managed to pull one. But a shocker (okay, I’ll stop now) nonetheless.

 

Okay! Those were my Top Ten most unexpected figures from 2014! What were yours? Feel free to post ’em in the Comments section below.

And be back here tomorrow night for Night Eight of the Twelve Nights of Clix-mas. Hmmm… might be time for a Weekly Roundup…

 

Superman and His Amazing Friends? I don’t remember that cartoon… (Or a set review for SLoSH)

I'm not even in this set, but I'm still in this article. Why? Because... I'm Batman!!!

I’m not even in this set, but I’m still in this article. Because… I’m Batman!!!

About the set:

I liked this set in terms of playability, but as far as big name characters it’s doesn’t have a lot. No Batman, no Wonder Woman, no Green Lantern, no Flash, and barely a Superman. A true title for this set would be Legions of Heroes, Villians, and Doom.

As for playability most of these figures aren’t going to completely change the meta, but they are all at least average. There aren’t many real stinkers. Even the generics (blight, daxamites, science police) are all pretty good. It should be fun for sealed play.

The chases are pretty cool and just like previous sets their all share the same trait. It’s an awesome trait designed to literally end the “Hammers raining from the sky” meta all by itself. You’ll want at least one in your collection for that cheesy guy that still plays the Book of the Skulls at your local venue.

The current meta:

In my listings below I judge the current meta based on what I’ve seen from recent tournament reports. (Mostly from the ROC) Unlike the last time I looked at the Meta, today’s Meta is wide open. There has been a movement away from resources, team bases, and colossal figures at tournament venues by player demand. That combined with the watch list changes has caused the field to be wide open. Brother Voodoo seems to be the consensus for the most powerful figure available, but beyond that there seem to be no other patterns in winning tournament teams. Almost anything has a shot now.

My 5 honorable mentions for best figures in the set:

5. SLOSH046 Superboy – This is a great figure that in another set would likely have made the top ten. What’s the problem? SLOSH005B Mon-El is in this set with the exact same point cost, almost the same keywords, and purpose on the battlefield. There just aren’t many times you’re going to reach for Superboy when you have Mon-El available. That’s also why you aren’t going to see another mention of SLOSH018 Ultra-Boy in this review.

4. SLOSH038 Black Manta – He’s probably not going to win the next ROC, but his trait is fun and it seems like a really good representation of the character. On the right map he’s literally invisible. On the wrong map he’ll look like a fish out of water.

3. SLOSH021 Wildfire – I loves me some stop clicks. Stop clicks with Regeneration are even better. Add Impervious to that same click and it’s just awesome. This is a tentpole that won’t be KOed without a fight. The only thing keeping him from making the top ten is that his combat values are low for his point cost.

2. SLOSH022 Gates – If you’re going to play the Legion of Super Heroes on your team then this answers the age old question of how to carry a bunch of flying characters. Even outside of this set he can carry any flyers you have. Green Lanterns – check. Kryptonians –check. Once his taxi usefulness is at an end he can be an effective tie up piece thanks to his high movement and defensive ability.

1. SLOSH041 Universo – He has an incredible array of defensive powers for his point cost. Unfortunately, his offense is only mind control. If you’re opponent is playing lots of small characters then this guy is great. If your opponent is playing 1 300 point character, then Universo’s usefulness will be limited.

The top ten figures from the SloSH set:

10. SLOSH201 Cosmic Boy – At 70 points Cosmic Boy can be a great support piece, but the real reason he made it to the top ten is his “welcome to the legion” trait. Suddenly all your wildcard pieces can gain almost any TA and not lose theme team. Try this: SLOSH201 Cosmic Boy + SLOSH005B Mon-El + TT001R Robin = 295 points of win. Batman, Superman, and Titans TA all together on a theme team!

9.  SLOSH037A The Riddler – You can leave this guy in your starting area if you wanted and he could irritate your opponent all game. He has stealth to keep him safe and smoke cloud to frustrate opponents. For 55 points his perplex anywhere power seems really good.

8. SLOSH049 Solomon Grundy – For 200 points you get one of the Hardest to KO figures we’ve ever seen. He’s essentially 11 click long (or more) with a stop click after click 8. He’s got super strength and outwit for his entire dial and invulnerability is his worst defensive power. If you give him a team that supports him well (aka a tker) then he can do quite well.

7. SLOSH027 Kalibak – Step 1 grab object. Step 2 clear tokens. Step 3 three teleport and hit opposing tent pole for 6 damage on the other side of the board! You’ll want to wait for good positioning so he doesn’t get piled on by the opposing team after teleporting, but this guy in the right circumstances can end a match very quickly.

6. SLOSH024 Lex Luthor – Back in 2002 CT043 Invisible Girl showed us that 18 defense with defend is a great thing to have. It’s still true today. Lex here is a capable attacker and makes a wonderful leader for just about any team of smaller characters. Probably the best Lex ever made.

5. SLOSH055E Validus – 12 Attack with 8 range, running shot, and psychic blast makes for a great ranged attacker. His defense isn’t great, but trait granted super strength and his crazy pulse-wave-every-turn trait make him just as deadly up close as he is at range.

4. SLOSH048 Tellus – This figure has good defenses, but the only reason to play him is his “LINK TELEPATHICALLYtrait. I’m not sure of the exact way to break it yet, but it seems like this is the best candidate in the set for a new watch list. Someone is going to figure out a way to make this trait unfair.

3. SLOSH057 Lydea Mallor – All of the chases are at least good. This one is the best. She’s a close combat attacker that resembles JL001 Batman, but she also flies and has that crazy trait that nerfs resources to uselessness. Oh and a fun stop click power at the end. I loves me some stop clicks (with regeneration and a built in escape mode).

2. SLOSH042E Helspont – This piece does everything well. 7 range and outwit for offense. Impervious, shape change, and self healing for defense. TK, leadership, and perplex for support. Just a really solid character.

1. SLOSH005B Mon-El – 12 attack, 10 range, hypersonic speed, super strength, 18 impervious/defend, Superman TA, Wildcard, 175 points. This is the best 175 point character I have ever seen. This is likely the best tent pole character under 200 that I have ever seen. 10 Range rarely show ups on modern figures under 200 points. The same thing with 12 attack (unless you’re batman, wolverine, or hawkeye). To have them both on the same figure is just awesome. Add in the defend that provides 19d to team mates and you’ve got a winner.

The five worst figures from the SloSH set:

5. SLOSH047A White Witch – 87 points for a character with that hardest promotion power power ever printed. I’ve rarely pulled off regular promotions, good luck with this. Her MYSTICAL ENERGY power is situational and in general your opponent can mostly ignore her and focus on your figures that actually do something.

4. SLOSH051 Takion – This character wields ultimate power… for 3 clicks. Then his dial turns into incompatible powers. Steal Energy and Energy Shield Deflection? That’s not a great combo.

3. SLOSH052 Highfather – His trait stopping the opponent’s highest cost character from attacking had better come in handy because he doesn’t offer much else. If an opponent’s best character is 100 points and you’re spending 130 points to stop it, then your opponent has the advantage. Plus you’ll have to leave him in the back, because one successful attack on him cancels his whole trait.

2. SLOSH037B Edward Nigma – A character’s normal version should not outshine its prime in usefulness. This one has that problem. His mind control is good, but he has to be within 6 to use it and with only shape change for defense he’s likely going to get shot up setting up his attack.

1. SLOSH050 Toyman – Attaching toys mostly provide defensive abilities, but that’s pointless because he has no offensive capabilities. Outwit is the limit of his support capabilities on click one. He’s 87 points for him and 1 attached toy, but his dial without a toy would be worth 40 points at best. He has mastermind, but you wouldn’t want to use it because any other figure you could put damage on is probably better. He’s completely ignorable in any real battle.

Weekly Roundup!! 01/12/2014-01/18/2014

Roundup

The third week of the New Year has come and gone; here’s what happened in the Clix world this week!

Podcasts:

Dial H for Heroclix was brand again this week (yay for consistency!). The guys discussed which Clix they most want to see that have never been previously made, and they also revealed the results of the most recent “Best Build” contest–all while the Colts hopelessly struggle in their futile playoff contest against New England.

Duo Attack was dark again this week. No news on if and when it will return. As this was arguably the most entertaining Clix podcast around, I’d definitely be saddened if it just fades away.

–The Quarry was back with Episode 5! Lots of info from the latest ROC Super Qualifier, but interviews and conversations with the winner and other from the tourney.

Push to Regen still hasn’t posted Episode 30 (on iTunes at least), but, per their Facebook page, we’re “getting some awesome info in the next episode when it drops!” courtesy of a pop-in from WizKids’s own Brian Roll!

Previews:

–A major SLOSH preview for Toyman! He’s a Super Rare who gets better if you collect all his toys and attach two to his base. He may be more trouble than he’s worth, but his sculpt looks extremely intricate and he’s certainly an interesting concept. With DeadPool and War of the Light coming this summer, we’re only gonna see more “attach x and/or y to character Z’s base and gain Bonus A and Bonus B” characters. Hmmm… that sentence confused even me.

Angel was the latest preview from X-Men: Days of Future Past!

ROC:

–Big changes for the ROC. After the events at Tulsa, there were MAJOR changes to the current format. The biggest change in my opinion was the outright banning of anything bigger than a peanut base. That means no more Team Bases, no more Shuma-Gorath or any other Colossal with a large base (you’re still safe, Pacific Rim Colossals!! … except that you’re not Modern Age, so you’re still disqualified until sometime after March!), and that also means that the ROC Meta just got turned on its ear!

Critical Missives:

–Two big articles this week! HypeFox started some conversations with his article on the Top Ten MovieClix of 2013, and–

–Ninwashui unveiled a sick new Armor-keyworded team that may replace the now banned Mind Control Shuma-Gorath teams at ROC tournaments–the Mind Control Iron Pharaoh team!

And with that, we’ll be back with more thoughts, reviews, analysis & opinions next week!

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