To Infinity… And Beyond!! (Or, A List of the Top Ten Pieces in Avengers Infinity!!!)

Were waiting

So we’ve been waiting for an Avengers Infinity Top Ten Set Review…

So have I guys!

But since HypeFox is still working on his, I thought I’d drop mine… hmmm… how about right now!!

But first…

Some Notes About the Set:

  • The packs were more expensive, but worth it. Each one had seemingly two chances to pull something cool. In my Dune Buggy pack I pulled a chase and in a pack with 4 regular sized uncommon and common figures you’re going to get a Colossal rare or Super Rare.
  • The abstract entities are godlike in the comics, but none are very good for their cost in HeroClix. AIG023R Eternity may be the lone exception. Thankfully they are good for display purposes and people will likely seek them out for that reason.
  • Although there were only two really bad characters in this set (AI003 Black Widow, AI027 Starfox), I wasn’t real impressed by the Space Knights. They were ok, but not interesting and likely wouldn’t do well as a team. Unfortunately they were literally every Prime in the set. Which means this was another set with lackluster Prime figures. Which is a real bummer when you buy a brick and get a Prime instead of a Chase.
  • Early on I was worried that every colossal in this set would be a Colossal Retaliator. I was glad to see that wasn’t the case.
  • I love that the Infinity Watch got such nice remakes. Maxam was a great new figure. Now we just need a modern Mole Man. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Do we though? I mean, he was in like one issue of Infinity Watch! Maxam was in a ton! It was great that the GG version of him had the IW Keyword, but really, he was basically just their landlord. This is the Infinity Watch roster we really wanted!]
  • Why did we not get a Thanos with the Reality Stone? All the other Infinity Watch members made the set with their respective stone Traits. Missed opportunity. [EDITOR’S NOTE: It seems like a huge oversight. The only thing I can think of is that we might get him as a Con Exclusive next year. It’s possible that this was their intention all along, but that they were already too far down the road with the Thanos-Copter as a ConEx this year. Alternatively, Reality Gem Thanos could show up randomly in another cosmic set or cosmic-adjacent set (the only thing on the schedule that’s even remotely fits this description is Battleworld in October). Remember, Thanos is coming back in Avengers 4, so there will still be a bunch of Thanos tie-in products from Marvel licensees arriving next year.]

Okay! Now on to some…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Adam-Warlock

5) AI038 Adam Warlock (125 points) – With most of his stats and powers he appears to be just an average attacker. However push him to click 2 and he gains a special power that allows him to do what no one else in modern Clix can: “OUTSIDE OF ETERNITY, CHAOS AND ORDER: Outwit. FREE: Choose a target opposing character within range and line of fire. Until your next turn, that character can’t use PROTECTED: Outwit and its powers lose Protected: Outwit.

Throw in a trait that grants steal energy for ALL attacks and then passes regular Steal Energy to another piece when KOed and I can see him being quite successful with the right support around him. If he had his special power on his first click he would be on the cusp of being Meta.

He’s also one of HypeFox’s favorite Marvel heroes, so listing him as a mere Honorable Mention will annoy him to no end.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: ]

Spider Mobile.jpg

4) AIG015 Spider-Mobile (50 points) – Don’t think of it as a vehicle, think of it as armor. It’s armor that grants another piece with (hopefully) great stats 7 extra clicks of health for just 50 points. For Example, if you use Chase Thor from this set as a pilot then all 7 clicks will have a constant 12 attack and 4 damage the whole dial. And once you get through those clicks your opponent still faces an angry Thor on click 2 or 3.  However the real reason to play this piece is the Trait: SPIDER SPOTLIGHT LOCKED ON: FREE: Improved Targeting: Hindering. Choose a character within range and line of fire. That character can’t use Shape Change or Stealth this turn.” We’ve seen characters before that allow your team to ignore stealth (JW052 Green Lantern, ADW038 Jessica Jones, WKM17-013 Dazzler, etc…), but I’ve never seen a character that will also allow others to ignore Shape Change.

Photon.jpg

3) AI049 Photon (90 Points) – The best thing she brings to the table is a Special Power that hurts opposing bystanders the likes of which the game has never seen before. Additionally she has a Trait that would be good to build a team around. “THE 5TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: DIVERSITY: Flurry. Once per turn, when Photon’s attack roll has a 5, friendly characters modify their defense +1 for every two printed keywords they have until your next turn.”

(Hint: CWSOP002 Iron Man has 6 keywords!)

She’s good up close with Traited Flurry and Pulse Wave that starts showing up on click 2. If you are planning to use her at range then you should probably bring another character with Enhancement. She also has the best Stop Clicks of any of the Chases with your choice of using Flurry or RCE to go along with her Precision Strike.

Vision.jpg

2) AI005 Vision (100 points) – Vision’s Special move power is what puts him on this list. “WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT ME: Phasing/Teleport. When Vision is given a MOVE action, after resolutions he may make an attack (close or range).”

Unfortunately, his 10 attack and three damage aren’t going to scare many people. So make sure to bring some other characters along that can help those values.

The Unseen.jpg

1) AI043 Unseen (65 points) – On the eve of NFAOS056 Nick Fury retiring from Modern they decided to include another version of him from that same “Original Sin” storyline in this set… albeit with some major focus/role changes. This new piece is similar in that they both have Probability Control, almost every form of Improved Targeting known to man and a way to turn off powers. Where the new version is better is that it’s almost exactly half the point cost of the original and can free action smoke cloud after moving. All it’s missing is offense. Like any form of offense at all. Time will tell if a 65 point support character is Meta, but I am just hesitant enough about it that it didn’t quite make the top 10.

Speaking of which… here is my…

TOP TEN PIECES IN AVENGERS INFINITY!!:

Gamora.jpg

10) AI020 Gamora (65 points) – For 65 points you get a very efficient close combat piece who is dangerous on every click. What sets her apart from other similar characters are her 12 starting attack, relatively low cost, and Traited Probability control that passes to another friendly character when she is KOed: TIME GEM CHOOSES ITS BEARER: Probability Control with minimum range value 8 // When Gamora is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, choose a friendly character. For the rest of the game, that character can use Probability Control.”

The only things keeping her from being higher on this list are a weak defense and the existence of AI030 Mantis who fills a similar roll and costs less.

Sentry 459

9) AIG013R Sentry #459 (150 points) – There is a new Trait introduced on this set that was seen on quite a few Colossal figures that shows some promise thanks to the new rules for Quake called Mass Destruction. It reads, MASS DESTRUCTION: Super Strength. When Sentry #459 is given a MOVE action, after resolutions destroy all adjacent pieces of blocking terrain, then he can use Quake at no cost.” In my opinion this 150 dial is the most efficient character to feature that Trait.

It has better combat values then all of the other similarly costed characters with “Mass Destruction” and the Green Hulk is the only other “Mass Destruction” piece that comes close to being as useful in combat.

Giant Girl.jpg

8) AIG001 Giant-Girl (70 points) – Giant Girl has roughly 250 thousand different starting lines. I feel like the 70 point line isn’t too expensive and doesn’t make it very easy for the opponent to KO her before she gets an attack off.

To be honest I’d probably vary her point value according the team I was playing with her. The best parts about her is that she can Colossal Retaliate on any click, gets bigger when she KOs someone, and she makes a great Taxi for as low as 10 points. I didn’t include her Fast Forces or title character version on this list because I felt their combat values were just not up to snuff.

Iron Man 1.jpg

7) FFAI001E Iron Man (50 points) – Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, just a really efficient piece for the points. His great movement values make him a very good Taxi. His 4 clicks of Invulnerability make him tougher than just about every other 50 point piece. And his ability to see through Stealth is just the cherry on top.

Cosmo

6) AI039 Cosmo (70 points) – This is one of the Guardians pieces in the new set with a Trait that grants Protected: Outwit or +1 to Attack and Defense. There are very few situations where I’d chose Protected: Outwit with this or any of the Guardians pieces. +1 to Attack and Defense is just too good.

Now let me tell you what’s special about Cosmo. He has Outwit and Ignores Hindering for Targeting which a great combo. He also TK and Willpower on his first click. So on turn one move everyone up and on turn 2 use TK without taking push damage. Because of his Trait he has 19 starting defense and can get up to 12 Attack with his multi-target Mind Control. But the real kicker is his unique special power starting on click two that reads “YOU HAVE LOUD BRAIN: Free: Choose an opposing character within range. Until your next turn, that character can’t be given POWER actions.” That’s a free action and doesn’t require line of fire. There are lots of Power actions in the game, but the first ones I will be looking to use this on are Charge, Running Shot, and Hypersonic Speed.

Nadia Van Wasp.jpg 5) AI044 Wasp (70 points) – While she isn’t great on offense without some help, her defenses are excellent. She has a special Traited Shape Change that reads PYM PARTICLES IN MY BLOOD, RED ROOM TRAINING IN MY MIND: Shape Change. When Wasp uses it and succeeds, after resolutions the attacker is dealt 1 penetrating damage.” It reminds me of TMT002 Loki and WF030 The Wizard. If I was facing her I would attack her last. She also gives you the option of Outwit on click 1 or a Special Perplex when you push to click 2.

Mantis

4) AI030 Mantis (50 points) – Like AI020 Gamora she is an efficient close combat piece that features a 12 starting Attack Value. The advantages that Mantis has over Gamora are a better Defense, an extra click of life, a lower point cost, and IM:Hindering. While Gamora has a better Trait, Mantis’s trait is no slouch either. It reads: I WILL HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: Friendly characters within 4 squares have “FREE: This character can’t use Battle Fury or Earthbound/Neutralized this turn.” At very least that can help you carry Battle Fury characters and you could potentially build a team around it.

Quasar

3) AI037 Quasar (125 points) – Whenever Quasar hits with a ranged attack he gets to use Barrier as a few action. That can be crippling to the opposing team. If he does that more than a couple of times in a game, you’re likely going to win. So it’s up to you to do everything you can to make that happen. Run him with someone like ADW038 Jessica Jones to counter Stealth. You should also include some good close combat pieces to discourage your opponent from basing him.

Tonys car

2) AIG012 Tony Stark’s Car (10 Points) – As a 100 point vehicle this piece is Ok, but as Special Terrain it’s Meta.

Everyone knows special terrain can be useful because of the WKDP17-008 Boxing Ring. Unfortunately every Special Terrain created since then has been less powerful.

Until now.

This car has a power that reads, It’s still rolling. Use as cover:” Adjacent friendly characters can use Energy Shield/Deflection.” It also has an option to move it one square at the risk of KOing it. I would never do that. As long as your opponent can’t shoot you across the car, then they won’t be able to KO it. I would place the car within firing range of the opposing starting zone and then stand in front of the car for the whole game. You still get ESD and the opponent won’t be able to KO the car. 10 points to give your whole team ESD for the whole game is a steal. Buy this now while it’s still cheap.

Starfox.jpg

1) AI048 Starfox (80 points) – Hmm. This character has a double Perplex and the Eternal keyword. Where have I seen that before? I wonder if there is some top meta piece out there that he would work well with?

Chase Starfox is still a great piece in it’s own right. We all know that a double Perplex can be deadly, but Starfox also sports the best of the Chase Traits. it reads, THE 4TH VIRTUE OF LIFE: PASSION: Flurry. Once per turn, when Starfox’s attack roll has a 4, after resolutions heal each friendly character 1 click if they are adjacent to another friendly character.” So whenever you roll any 4 while attacking with this guy he will heal your entire team for 1 click of damage regardless of where they are on the board (as long they have a friendly piece next them.) That’s huge. I don’t ever remember seeing any other figure capable of a full team heal. And this isn’t even it’s own action, it’s just part of him attacking.

His whole dial also features Steal Energy so when he gets damaged he has an additional option to heal up. He’s not an offensive powerhouse, but with his Trait, Stop Click, Power Cosmic TA, and 12 starting attack — he’s the best character in this set.

 

The Totally Awesome Set!! (Or, a Top Ten Set Review of Avengers Defenders War!!)

AVD War.png

Well now! It’s been awhile, but I’m finally back, and my return to writing articles here on Critical Missives couldn’t have come at a better time!

Because Avengers Defenders War is here, and it’s so much more than “Marvel’s Joker’s Wild,” as some around here (HypeFox) have dubbed it, although there are some such comparisons to be made..

To wit:

(AKA, Some Notes About the Set:)

Porcupine

Yup. If you open Porcupine in a meaningful tournament, you are definitely “FIKKT.”

  • The Commons and Uncommons are both exciting  and good, but the Rares kinda suck. And by “kinda” I mean, like, they are really, truly, awfully garbage-y. There are MAYBE three Rares that might ever see play from me in this set. Opening a pack with ADW049 Porcupine or ADW043 Machete as your Rare is just a real downer. 
Gladiator

Pull me as your Rare in Sealed and you’ll have the same look on your face.

  • While I had some very good experiences using this set in Sealed, most people (HypeFox) were not as enthusiastic. I spoke to one person playing sealed at a Wizkids Open whose Rares were ADW042 Gladiator and ADW041 Foggy Nelson. In fact, Gladiator was his most expensive piece at 60 points. It’s hard to face off against pieces that are 150 points or more like ADW040 Count Nefaria when nothing you have to use is over 60 points. Those boosters might as well have come with a note telling you what time Battle Royals were going to start.

Ron Burgandy Wizkids

  • There were no Primes in this set. That meant a case might have 3 SR’s and a Chase in one brick, and just 3 SR’s in the other. So if you bought just a brick you weren’t guaranteed a Chase or a Prime.

Sir Not Appearing.png

  • Big pictures of Thor and Namor on the boxes, no trace of  them in set. I’m still waiting to pull one.

Shifting Focus key

  • And finally, on a personal level, I really love Shifting Focus and I hope they do more of it in sets to come.

Okay! Enough of that! Let’s get into some…

TOP FIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Vision Phasing

5. ADW006 Vision —  50 Points — Common: I don’t remember ever seeing a dial with 5 clicks of Invincible and Impervious for 50 Points. It’s also unusual to see a 50 Point dial with Indomitable. Add to that an offense that lets him do 3 Damage through reducers and you’ve got yourself a great package.

His only weaknesses are a complete lack of range and no move and attack save for two top clicks of Sidestep. Thankfully, both of those weaknesses can be fixed with a free action when you shift to ADW024 Vision because, oh yeah, HE ALSO SHIFTS FOCUS IN CASE HE WASN’T ALREADY OVERPOWERED FOR HIS POINTS!

Hulk Gray

4. ADW021 Hulk —  75 Points — Uncommon: For 75 points you get 6 Clicks featuring Invincible and then Impervious. He has 4 Damage for his entire dial and Traited Super Strength to add to the damage even more (and add knockback under the new rules that are coming out). When he does get hurt, his combination of Flurry and Steal Energy will help minimize the pain.

He’s very undercosted for his points which is why Wizkids added a negative Trait to his card (LEAVE HULK ALONE!: At the beginning of your turn, if Hulk was targeted with an attack since your last turn, place an Anger token on his card. If Hulk wasn’t targeted with an attack since your last turn, remove an Anger token from his card. After placing or removing Anger tokens, if Hulk has 5 Anger tokens or more he is immediately KO’d.). Fortunately for Hulk enthusiasts, Wizkids was too conservative with the trait and I have a hard time imagining it ever mattering in a game. 

Wasp Costume Change.gif

3. ADW023 Wasp —  40 Points — Uncommon: I’ll bet a fair amount of you reading this article will think that that this an unusual choice. But I love this piece. She is one part Secondary Attacker and one part Support Figure. Offensively she is similar to ADW035 Dr. Strange, but instead of hiding behind your other characters she can remain in the open. Why? Because this 40 point character has a 21 defense against ranged attacks! Psychic Blast allows her to bypass damage reducers when she wants to get offensive or she can Costume Change to ADW023 Wasp and use her dual target Incapacitate. Her supporting Leadership power allows her to remove tokens from a much higher point character and her small size also allows almost anyone to carry her.

Batroc.jpg

2. ADW050 Batroc —  40 Points — Rare: Batroc usually doesn’t get much respect in the comics, but in the HeroClix world he’s the real deal. Even though his Attack and Defense values are average, he really stands out in three areas: His low point cost of 40; his Improved Movement that ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain and also Characters; and his Special Movement Power Zey Call Me… Ze Lee-Pair. It reads,Batroc can use Sidestep. When he has one action token, he may use Sidestep twice this turn and may be given a free action to make a close attack.” If he starts a turn with one action token, he can move up to 4 spaces (ignoring most terrain and moving through characters) and make a free action attack with Precision Strike. And after all that, he still clears tokens!

Klaw.jpg

1. ADW059 Klaw —  110 Points — Super Rare: Klaw is that rare balance of strong offense, defense, and movement. On offense he’s got a starting 4 Damage Value and the ability to pick any Attack Power once each turn. That can be Psychic Blast, Pulse Wave, or even Telekinesis if the situation warrants it. He also has a Movement Special Power that lets him ignore almost all terrain and Sidestep as many as 6 squares each turn.

That means he could Sidestep through a wall and then Pulse Wave someone on the other side. On defense he has Can’t Hurt What’s Made of Sound which states,Klaw can use Super Senses. If Klaw would take more than 2 damage, he takes 2 damage instead.” The only thing keeping him from going higher on this list are low(-ish) Attack Values and a lack of Willpower.

All of which brings us to…

THE TOP TEN FIGURES IN AVENGERS DEFENDERS WAR!!

Ghost Rider

10. ADW064 Ghost Rider —  75 Points — Super Rare: This is the best of the mounted figures that move through opposing forces in a straight line, but all three in this set are worth owning. He starts with his super movement power that lets you do 2 Penetrating Damage by attacking every opposing figure in a straight line.  On defense he starts with Invulnerability and Indomitable.

What sets him apart from the other mounted figures is that when he hits an opposing figure he can move them one space to either side of the path he traveled. Taking into account that he ignores most terrain this could make him very good against opposing Stealthy characters or really any piece that relies on adjacency (defense balls, Mastermind, etc.).

Nuke

9. ADW048 Nuke —  70 Points — Super Rare:  I love characters that can heal themselves and Nuke has that covered. At the start of his turn he can choose the Red Pill for +1 attack in close combat, the Blue Pill for Precision Strike, or the White Pill for a one click heal in lieu of attacking this turn.

He starts with Running Shot, Energy Explosion (which combos nicely with the Blue Pill and Precision Strike) and when he gets damaged he gains Charge plus Super Strength (which is when you’ll want to start popping Red Pills to grant him +1 attack). When it’s time to clear tokens a White Pill will heal some of the damage he’s taken. He’s not going to take down a 150 point (or more) figure single-handedly, but he offers a lot for just 70 points.

Totally Awesome Hulk

8. ADW052 (Totally Awesome) Hulk —  160 Points — Super Rare: I’ll say it again. I love characters that can heal themselves. Before you play him (or play against him) his healing isn’t obvious. He is one of those pieces that is better in practice than on paper.

His BATTLING MONSTERS! Trait (BATTLING MONSTERS!: When Hulk hits an opposing character with the Monster keyword or with a printed damage value of 4 or more, after actions resolve remove an action token from him.) doesn’t come in handy that often, but his BEST HULK EVER Trait is one of the best Traits I’ve ever seen. It reads, “Hulk can use Super Strength. When he KO’s an opposing character, heal him a number of clicks equal to the damage that would have been taken minus the actual damage taken.” When you combine the Traited Super Strength with his printed 4 damage on every click, he can dish out a lot of damage. That leads to high damage KOs which in turn power his healing.

I used him in Sealed to take first place during a Prerelease. In all three games he was knocked down to at least his second to last click, but ended each game near the top of his dial. While he can’t do everything himself, with the proper supporting figures he can soak up damage and KO his way to good health.

CountNefaria

7. ADW040 Count Nefaria —  200 Points — Rare: He has bad keywords (Lethal Legion, Maggia, Ruler), but a pretty decent dial for 200 points. He starts with Running Shot, Psychic Blast, Invincible to go along with his Stealth. His 7 Range and Stealth helps keep Outwit from targeting him on his first three clicks and Flight means that his movement won’t be hampered by hiding in Hindering Terrain.

The reason why he is so high on this list is his improved form of regeneration “IONIC RESERVES.” He has it sprinkled through out his dial. It says, “Count Nefaria can use Invulnerability and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration and has one action token, he doesn’t subtract 2 from the d6 roll.” With a lucky roll he could regenerate for 6 clicks of healing!

Chairdevil

6. ADW068 Daredevil (AKA Chair Devil)—  80 Points — Chase: For 80 Points you get the 6 clicks with the Mystics TA, Traited Stealth, Precision Strike, and Super Senses. He has better than average attack and Flurry in the middle of his dial to make that Precision Strike hurt.

That might be enough to justify his point cost right there, but his Trait “LEADER OF THE HAND” allows him to generate nearly unlimited tie up figures with Stealth and the Hydra TA. It reads, “Once per turn, give Daredevil a power action to place a #adw015 Hand Ninja from outside the game in a square of hindering terrain within range and line of fire. If a friendly character with The Hand keyword was KO’d since your last turn, this is a free action instead.

So at the beginning of the game you can make a few ADW015 Hand Ninja before the other force even gets close. Then for the rest of the game when ANY other member of the Hand on your team gets KOed you can make another ADW015 Hand Ninja as a free action on your turn.

Doc Strange SF

5. ADW035 Dr. Strange —  50 Points — Rare: This version of the Doctor is equal parts Finger Bang DXF017 Deadpool (Sidestep, Psy Blast) and DXF059B Wiz Kid (+1 to stats to adjacent characters)Add to that his Shifting Focus versions that Transport your team (ADW001 Dr. Strange) or Defend it (ADW019 Dr. Strange) and you’ve got a great figure and one of the most versatile pieces in the set!

Punisher Rocket Launcher.png

4. ADW030 Punisher-–  50 Points — Uncommon: Everyone who attended an ADW Prerelease knows about (Rocket Launcher) ADW009 Punisher. That guy dished out ranged group damage that far exceeds his 50 point value. Unfortunately, as easily as he can dish out the damage he can also easily take it in return. That means that most of the time you will need to use the much more subtle ADW030 Punisher.

This close combat version of the Punisher features an improved form of BCF, Combat Reflexes, Indomitable, Wildcard TA, and most importantly Stealth. This dial alone is worth the 50 points even if you never switch forms. So keep him in that form until it’s just the right time to strike and then “say hello to my little friend!” for fun and profit!

Iron Man ADW.jpg

3. ADW053 Iron Man —  165 Points — Super Rare: So the first thing everyone thinks of when they see a Primary Attacker character in Modern that allows them to pick a power is “how does that character compare to JW053B Jakeem Thunder?”

Here are Iron Man’s advantages:

  • Better Keywords
  • Slightly better combat values
  • Better powers before you start picking powers (including damage reducers)
  • He can gain new powers via a free action, not just at the start of turn

Here are Jakeem’s advantages:

  • 1 click longer dial
  • 25 points less cost
  • 1 square longer range
  • Can chose a Defense Power
  • Doesn’t lose existing powers when he gains new powers
  • Choosing powers is Traited and lasts the whole dial
  • Has a Team Ability

JW053B Jakeem Thunder is still a better piece, but there are some situations where Iron Man is better. Keeping in mind that Jakeem Thunder is the piece to beat right now in competitive play, coming close means that this Iron Man is a piece you should look to own.

RiRi Williams.jpg

2. ADW071 Iron Heart—  25 Points — Chase: She is one part ADW007 Black Panther (cheap Outwit), one part JW025 Hawkman (cheap Taxi),  and one part JW060V The Joker (she doesn’t die easy).

Her Sidestep, Flight, and 10 Movement make her a top tier Taxi and at 25 points there is no Taxi piece cheaper in Modern Age. She starts with Outwit, but she shuffles among all the best supporting powers (Outwit, Perplex and Probability Control) as she takes damage.

Her 18 defense is bolstered by the Trait ARMOR’S FALLING APART ON ME. It reads, “Iron Heart begins the game with 1 Broken Armor token. When she is dealt damage, instead roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. If the result is equal to or less than the number of Broken Armor tokens, she is KO’d. If not, turn her to that click number and give her another Broken Armor token. This can’t be ignored.” So the first time she takes damage she has an 17% chance of being KOed. After 2 hits it’s 33%. After 3 it’s 50%. On average she will be KOed after 3 hits, but it can take as many as 6 hits to KO her if you have lucky rolls. Also, it’s only the number of hits that count, not the amount of damage, not even if it’s Pulse Wave damage. It’s all the same to RiRi.

WF061 Superman with an Ultra Heavy Object will do 8 damage to any other character, but it still is just one broken token for Iron Heart. WF048 Zatara can sacrifice himself to do a 4 damage Pulse Wave attack. Iron Heart will just take one broken token in place of that damage. That’s insane for 25 points.

Dr. Strange Earth's Guardian.png

1. ADW051 Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian—  80 Points — Super Rare (Title Character): One of my main complaints about DXF060 Deadpool, Merc With A Mouth is that his keywords (Initiative and X-Factor) don’t leave a lot of options for team building. In fact they kinda suck. Well, Wizkids must have heard those complaints because Dr. Strange was made with the Avengers and Mystical keywords. If you can’t find good team building options with those keywords then I have nothing for you.

His dial alone is almost worth 80 points. 7 range with Sidestep, 11 Attack, Psychic Blast, 3 Damage, and Probability Control should do well on offense. Defensively, 18 Defense, the Mystics TA, and Energy Shield/Deflection are above average for his point cost. He also has 6 clicks of life and his values for attack and defense stay relatively the same throughout.

He has three Title Character Abilities. His first ability reads “Every Scrap Of Hidden Sorcery: Modify Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian’s or an adjacent friendly character’s damage value by +1 this turn.” That’s a great effect and I would use that often, but it’s his third title ability that really blows me away. It says, “Sorceror Supreme: For the rest of the game, as long as Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is on the map you may reroll an attack roll each turn.” That’s huge. It’s in addition to any use of Probability Control your team might have, and it lets him join the ranks of the only two other characters in Modern who can affect your rolls anywhere on the board: SMWW060 Mr. Mxyzptlk and TMNT2029 Renet Tilley.

And that’s why Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian is the best character in this set.

“Ultron! We Would Have Words With Thee!” (Or, a Figure by Figure Preview of the Age of Ultron SLOP 1st Wave!!)

Ultron We Would Have Words With Thee

Alrighty! Welcome back!

Today we’re gonna take a look at the figure rundown for the first Wave of Age of Ultron, which will be coming to a venue near you in the next few weeks!! We’ll be looking at them mostly in the context of Sealed play, since that’s how most of you will be introduced to them, but we will offer our take on how we think a few key pieces will impact Modern Age as well.

Now that we’re this close to the event, folks have already started opening booster Bricks prematurely (and probably in violation of their vendor agreement) to sell singles on eBay and on other platforms.

Nope. Not these guys. They had permission to open their Brick, and produced a mighty fine Preview.

Nope. Not these guys. They had permission to open their Brick, and produced a mighty fine Preview for us all. 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We at Critical Missives have never opened Bricks early, and we do NOT encourage, support or condone other entities breaking vendor agreements to do so. But, since the information is now out there, we have made the editorial decision to report on it.]

Additionally, WizKids themselves have released some previews, so we now know most of the figures in Wave 1.

If you want to go into Month 1 blind and unspoiled, turn away now! Otherwise, sail on!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: All of the Wave 1 figures are odd-numbered.]

AGE OF ULTRON: WAVE 1 FIGURE LIST:

Hank Pym AOU

AAOU001 Hank Pym100/50 PointsCommon: Not a lot needs to be said. He was already spoiled by WizKids, and you can see his whole dial and power set in the Units tab of HCRealms.com. Or, y’know, in the tiny picture above. There will be Morphing in this set. Oh yes. [Best Yoda Voice] There… will… be…

Ant-Man AOU

AAOU003 Ant-Man100/50 PointsCommon: Once again, a dial that’s already been spoiled. There will be more Hank Pym’s to come, by the way, for anyone who is, y’know, completely obsessed with Hank Pym. And whose Hank Pym love was not satiated by the Hank Pym Boxed set, which featured, like, six more Hank Pyms.

Wasp AOU

AAOU005 Wasp70 PointsCommon: So this is actually Janet, not Hank Pym. She does sport the ever popular Lady Liberators keyword to go with her expected Avengers and Celebrity keywords. No Traits, she obviously is a Flyer, and she of course has the “Tiny” Symbol. She starts with (not pictured) an 8 Movement (with Running Shot), 10 Attack Value (with Incapoopitate), 17 native Defense (with Super Senses) and 2 Damage with a Special Power (Founding Member: Wasp can use Shape Change. When she does, she may increase the result by 1 for each adjacent friendly character with a shared keyword (a roll of 1 still fails).).

Like her, don’t love her. Super Senses and Improved Shape Change are normally a great combo, but with so much Precision Strike running around in this Wave, often times it’ll just be the Shape Change. She’s probably most useful as a tie-up piece with Incapacitate, but if you send her away from her teammates to tie-up other pieces, she’ll basically just have regular Shape Change and a very hittable 17 Defense.

In Constructed, I can see some uses for her, but I’d stay away in AOU Sealed unless she was the only fig that fit the point structure of my Build.

Yellowjacket AOU

AAOU007 Yellowjacket85 PointsCommon: This looks like the Rita DeMara version. She comes with two really good Traits. The first (Criminal Past, Reluctant Avenger, and Future Guardian: Yellowjacket can use Shape Change and is a Wild Card.) gives her some defensive options; the second (Stolen Pym Particle Technology: At the beginning of your turn, you may choose “Normal Size” or “Tiny Size.” Yellowjacket possesses the chosen combat symbol until you choose again.) lets her float between two different sizes, so she can be Carried out initially (if she’s Tiny Sized) and then spring back to Normal Size if you need to, say, block line of fire or something.

Her top dial features an 11 Movement (with Sidestep), 10 Attack (with Precision Strike), 17 Defense (with Super Senses) and 2 Damage (with Perplex!). She has a 6 Range. Plus, she’s got a truckload of great keywords, including Avengers, Masters of Evil, Guardians of the Galaxy and Scientist, one of the best generic keywords right now.

I expect to see her played a lot in AOU Sealed, especially since she’s a Common that features top dial Perplex (Perp and Outwit are gold in Sealed). She may also see a lot of house play at your local venue, too, since she fits on so many different teams.

So far, Yellowjacket is the early contender for this year’s  “White Ranger Iron Fist Memorial Commendation” award, which is given annually to the best Storyline Organized Play Common Figure.

"Memorial? Uhhh, guys? I'm not dead yet. In fact, I haven't even retired! I'm still Modern Age!"

Memorial? Uhhh, guys? I’m not dead yet. In fact, I haven’t even been retired! I’m still Modern Age!

Suuuuure you are, Danny. Sure you are.

Alexis AOU

AAOU009 Alexis65 PointsCommon: Another character I wasn’t too familiar with, Alexis is actually a newer creation that came out of the pages of AvengersAI. If ol’ Rita doesn’t win this year’s White Ranger, then Alexis almost surely will.

For 65 Points, you get an Avenger (and Robot-) keyworded figure who is a Flyer (read: Taxi), starts with 9 Movement (with Phasing), 10 Attack (and she’s another piece with Precision Strike–Heaven help you if you just have Super Senses, like most of the other Commons in this set), 17 Defense with Energy Shield/Deflection and a native 3 Damage with Probability Control (uh, what I just said about Perp and Outwit in Sealed? That goes double for Prob Control)!!

Now, she has no Traits, no Improved Targeting of any kind, no Willpower/Indomitable and only a 4 Range. But securing a Taxi that also offers Prob and is a more-than-capable Tertiary Attacker for only 65 Points? You are going to be seeing a lot of her in AOU Sealed.

Monica Chang AOU

AAOU011 Monica Chang65 PointsCommon: Another AvengersA.I. character. I actually think she debuted in the Ultimate universe first, but I could be wrong. Regardless, she was an important UnClix’d S.H.I.E.L.D. character that WizKids has finally made for us.

No Traits, No Improved Targeting. Her Range is 6 with 1 Bolt. She does have the S.H.I.E.L.D. and Scientist keywords, along with the S.H.I.E.L.D. TA, and she starts with Stealth and the odd combination of Penetrating/Psychic Blast and Combat Reflexes. I like the Stealth/Combat Reflexes combo, but Pen/Psy won’t help her when she’s based.

Where she really earns her keep is with her Damage Special Power (SHIELD Division Chief: Counter Cyber-Terrorism: Monica Chang can use Enhancement and Perplex. When she uses Perplex, she may modify a combat value by -2 instead if the target has the Armor or Robot keyword.).

In Constructed, there are better options. In Sealed, wow!! She can shut down a LOT of pieces in this set. I personally like Alexis a little bit better for the points, but Monica will be EXTREMELY useful in AOU Sealed.

Victor Mancha AOU

AAOU013 Victor Mancha100 PointsCommon: A somewhat odd piece in the context of the whole set. Victor has Avengers, Robot and Runaways keywords, and he’s a Flyer with top dial Sidestep. He also has Indomitable and an 11 Attack with TK, which are all things that the other Commons in this set mostly lack. He can also do 3 Damage, which is never a bad thing.

But at 100 Points, there are better attackers and cheaper Taxi’s in this Wave. Down dial, he becomes both a better supporting piece with a Special Defense Power (Magnetic Bubble: Victor Mancha can use Barrier, ESD, and Toughness. Friendly characters adjacent to Victor Mancha when he uses Barrier can use Sidestep this turn.) and a better attacker, since he picks up a Running Shot/Pulse Wave combination.

He’s solid for his points, but I think there are better options in this set.

Ultron Drone AOU

AAOU015 Ultron Drone50 PointsCommon: Not much to say here. He’s your basic Swarm-bot that gets (slightly) better the closer it is to other characters with “Ultron” in their name.

Iron Man AOU

AAOU017 Iron Man90 PointsUncommon: This Iron Man comes with a lightning rod Trait (The Original Invincible Iron Man!: If the first ranged combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Iron Man, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.) that makes him somewhat compelling. Just keeping him in the back while you press the rest of your forces forward almost makes him worth his points for that alone.

He does also offer Charge, Super Strength and Outwit, so he’s an average secondary attacker as well.

Hulk AOU

AAOU019 Hulk 80 PointsUncommon: Basically the close combat version of the Iron Man above, Hulk even comes with a very similar Trait (The Original Incredible Hulk: If the first close combat attack made during an opponent’s turn doesn’t target Hulk, modify the attacker’s attack and damage values by -1.).

His combat values are outstanding for his cost (he even does 4 Damage top dial), but he’s extremely schizophrenic, due to his other Trait (With Each New Dawn, the Weakling Banner Comes Back: At the beginning of your turn, roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 1-2, until your next turn modify Hulk’s combat values by -2 can he can use Outwit, Perplex, and Shape Change and can’t use any other power he possesses. This ability can’t be ignored.).

So basically, you have either a phenomenally good Secondary Attacker (relative to what it costs to field him) or a PRETTY good supporting piece. The problem is, you may not know which figure you have until it’s too late.

Black Knight AOU

AAOU021 Black Knight115 PointsUncommon: Charge and Exploit Weakness are always good, and he starts with an 11 Attack Value. The problem is that he immediately loses that 11 Attack by click 2, he has no Willpower unless he’s already KO’d a character, and one of his Traits (By Sersi’s Side, From One Universe to the Next: If Black Knight is adjacent to a friendly character named Sersi, both characters modify their defense values by +1 unless already modified by this effect.) is completely useless in this set (since the only Modern Sersi we have is in Avengers Assemble. Theoretically, it is possible that your venue might give you one AOU Wave 1 Booster and one AA booster, and that you MIGHT pull both of those characters, but even then they may not be worth playing together).

He has Traited B/C/F and Steal Energy, which will help offset the fact that he doesn’t have Willpower, but it just seems like there are much better ways to spend 115 Points in this set.

She-Hulk AOU

AAOU023 She-Hulk130/75 PointsUncommon: Another figure that’s already been previewed on Heroclix.com. I love her Trait (File for Change of Venue: If She-Hulk isn’t part of a themed team, the first time this game you wouldn’t win the roll for first player, you may roll again and add +1 to the result.), especially when used on an Arcade team. It’s not clear if you would get the +1 modifier on the second roll for Map Choice, but just the ability to try for Arcade’s map a second time if you lose the first roll is huge.

Machine Man AOU

AAOU025 Machine Man120 PointsUncommon: More of a novelty attacker than anything else, Machine Man is a close combatant without Charge or a very high Damage Value. His Trait (Extendable Body Parts: When Machine Man makes a close combat attack, squares within a range of 3 and line of fire are considered adjacent.) somewhat mitigates the first problem, and Super Strength will help with the second.

120 Points seems about right for what he does, and he has some versatility to him, but if he’s your Secondary Attacker, you Damage Output Potential is probably low.

TESS-One

AAOU027 TESS-One150 PointsUncommon: Once again, we have a close combat figure with a significant cost that doesn’t have Charge. Sidestep is better than nothing, but it ain’t Charge.

The ability to move through (and destroy) Blocking Terrain is a big plus, but again we have another figure that’s saddled with yet another narrowly useful Trait (Total Elimination of Super-Soldiers: As long as an opposing character on the map is 100 or more points and named Captain America, TESS-One can use Willpower. When attacking such a character, TESS-One’s damage value is modified by +1.) that will NEVER help you in AOU Sealed. Why? Because, SPOILER ALERT: There is no Captain America in Wave 1.

Frankly, you’re paying for a lot of powers abilities in this dial that you’ll probably never get a chance to effectively use. RCE? Great! Only a 5 Range? Less great (although Sidestep actually will help here…).

The one real positive with TESS-One is that it is really hard to kill. It’s Defense actually gets better (a LOT better) down dial, and it picks up a Movement Special (Rebuilding From The Rubble: At the beginning of your turn, if TESS-One occupies a square containing a debris marker, heal TESS-One of 1 damage.) that gives it a way to (somewhat) reliably heal a click every turn.

Ultron-8 AOU

AAOU029 Ultron-8120/30 PointsUncommon: And now we have our first real Ultron. Get used to seeing his Trait (Autonomous or Drone Mode: Ultron-8 costs 120 points, or costs 30 points and begins on the click #1 after the orange KO. Until KO’d, Ultron-8 is considered 120 points.), cuz most of the Ultrons have some form of it. The idea is to play multiple versions of a single Ultron, and your opponent will really have no way of knowing which one is which, because their dials will be exact replicas of each other… except that the Drones only have 2 clicks of life.

As for the dial itself, it’s pretty solid. I’d rather play this Ultron at 120 Points than Machine Man, that’s for sure.

Vision AOU

AAOU031 Vision100 PointsRare: This is the semi-evil, fresh on the scene, son-of-Ultron version of Vision, and he’s exactly as he should be! If you pull him in Sealed, just pray that you also pull an Ultron–ANY Ultron!

His Trait (Secret Programming: When a friendly character whose name includes Ultron is given a move action and actions resolve, Vision may be given a move action as a free action.) pretty much completely makes up for the fact that he only starts with Sidestep, and his Movement Special Power (He’s Coming… Through the Wall!: Vision can use Sidestep. When Vision uses Sidestep or is given a move action, he can use Improved Movement:Ignores Blocking Terrain.) works quite gracefully with his Trait.

He also adds Indomitable, Super Senses and Shape Change to go with his Penetrating/Psychic Blast. His 10 Attack is pretty pedestrian, but in this set that’s really par for the course.

This is a much better Vision than his Age of Ultron Movie cousin, even though they cost the same amount of points.

Hercules AOU

AAOU033 Hercules220/130 PointsRare: The first real solid close combat brick of the set, with improved Charge, Traited Super Strength, Impervious or Invincible for much of his dial and a lot of CCE and Battle Fury (which will help with the surprising amount of Shape Change in this set). If you pull him, you’re probably playing him.

I like his 220 Dial in a 400 Point event, but I LOVE his 130 Point dial in just about any format. Yes, he’s a little top heavy at 130, but man, he is going to be scary to face.

He also gives us a Modern Age Herc to bring in with his Avengers ID card, which is great as well. Definitely a needed figure.

Protector AOU

AAOU035 Protector100 PointsRare: There are two big things to remember about Protector. The first is that he’s one of the few (gosh, there’s like, I dunno, 3 or 4) characters to appear in the same Set/Wave as his Avengers ID Card. So, theoretically, you COULD pull both Protector AND his ID card.

Secondly, when it comes to calling for his help via an ID card… that’s probably the best way to play him! On his own, there’s nothing very special about him. He has Sidestep, he flies, he has a 10 Attack with NO Attack powers and he does a ho-hum 3 Damage. He does offer Probability Control and an 18 Defense Value (with Defend), which is nice, but hardly game breaking.

If you could get all that for just one important turn, however, and you only had to spend 5 Points to do it… well, Protector just became very exciting, didn’t he? All of a sudden, you’re opponent has to hit an 18 Defense to hit anybody, and he probably has to do it at least twice, since Protector has that Prob at his disposal.

In Constructed, he offers another alternative for Avengers and Kree teams, but honestly, he’s one of the best ID Card Call-Ins, so that’s how I’d expect to see him used most often.

Grim Reaper AOU

AAOU037 Grim Reaper119 PointsRare: Wow. Another Trait (Deadly Sibling Rivalry: Give Grim Reaper a free action when he is within 4 squares of a character named Wonder Man and modify all of Grim Reaper’s combat values except damage by +1 until your next turn. When you do, deal Grim Reaper 1 unavoidable damage at the end of this turn.) that gives its owner NOTHING in Sealed. I’m betting we’ll probably see a Wonder Man in Wave 2, which will mean nothing to you if you happen to pull Grim Reaper here in one of your packs.

He’s basically a 119 Point gamble. While he has a tiny amount of Range (4 squares), if you play him, you’re planning on Charging folks and hitting them with his special Energy Stealing B/C/F, since his native Damage never climbs above 2. If he were, say, 79 Points, he might at least be interesting. At 119 Points, he just doesn’t do enough to effect the game (even the Prob Control they gave him doesn’t show up until his last two clicks).

We needed a new Grim Reaper, but this is the one Rare/Super Rare/Chase that I’m hoping I never see in a box that I’m opening for Sealed.

Jocasta AOU

AAOU039 Jocasta130/25 PointsRare: Jocasta was already previewed by WizKids, so there isn’t a lot more to say. Since she can work like an Entity, she’s definitely one of the “buzziest” pieces in the set, but her real talents will shine through more in Constructed that they will in Sealed.

Very solid piece, and a nice tweak of the Entity Possession Trait. This is one of my personal “big wants” from the set.

Ultron-5 AOU

AAOU041 A & B Ultron-5120/60/30 PointsRare: AAOU41A is basically a (slightly overcosted) Leadership engine for Masters of Evil teams, while the B-side is very much a swarm dial that operates as a Switch Clix with the same Autonomous or Drone Mode Trait that all the Ultrons have in this set.

Goliath AOU

AAOU043 Goliath140/100/50 PointsSuper Rare: A SR Hank Pym. Yay?

Well, you might be cheering after you see his dial. For 140 Points, he actually has one of the the best Close Combat dials in the set. The Morph power is nice, but in most cases, your better off just sticking with Goliath. His top dial Movement Special is amazing (Trample: Goliath can use Charge. When he does and moves in a direct line, after actions resolve, he may make an additional close combat attack targeting all opposing characters whose square he moved through but didn’t already target with an attack this turn. For this attack, each hit character is dealt 3 damage.), but he only keeps it for one click. He does pick it back up on clicks 3 and 4, though, and with top dial Invincible, it’ll be tough for someone to knock him all the way past those “money” clicks (God, especially in this set).

Goliath brings a lot to the table AND leaves you a bunch of room for supporting figs. If your lucky enough to pull him in Sealed, he’s a definite play.

Black Panther AOU

AAOU045 Black Panther140 PointsSuper Rare: Wow. The hits keep coming with the Super Rares! This is pretty much the quintessential version of Black Panther. He was Previewed by WizKids already, but I’m going to go through his dial anyway because I really love this T’Challa.

First of all, his keyword line is jammed pack with everything from great names like Avengers and Illuminati to the best generics like Mystical and Scientist.

He ignores Elevated and Hindering Terrain on movement, so his mobility is awesome, and he’s also going to be extremely difficult to find at range due to his fantastic Trait (Cloaking Tech: Black Panther can use Stealth and Toughness. When it isn’t your turn, lines of fire to him are blocked if he is adjacent to Blocking Terrain.). Pay very close attention to that wording–it’s very similar to the wording on IIM038 Iron Man‘s Personal Cloaking Device Trait. WizKids already ruled that Iron Man’s Trait gets around Pulse Wave, and I’d imagine they’ll rule that T’Challa’s works the same way.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: On second look, Black Panther’s Trait says Lines of Fire are “BLOCKED,” while Iron Man’s says they “CAN’T BE DRAWN.” It’s a slight difference; we’ll have to wait and see what comes up in the Event System Rules Forum to know for sure.]

All of which means that if you can keep T’Challa adjacent to Blocking Terrain (maybe with a supporting character who sports Barrier?), he’s pretty much invulnerable to any sort of ranged attack.

His Movement Special Power (Spring from the Shadows: Black Panther can use Charge. When Black Panther occupies Hindering Terrain or is adjacent to Blocking Terrain, he can use Sidestep.) goes hand in hand with his Trait, and his Damage Special adds Leadership and Outwit.

On top of all that… he probably has the best sculpt in the set. Another of my biggest wants from the set.

He’s an absolute monster in Sealed, especially with the right supporting pieces behind him (or, really, the right map), and I think he even has potential in the Meta (maybe not a lot, but still) simply based on that ridiculously good Trait. You can’t KO what you can’t see.

Quasar AOU

AAOU047 Quasar225/125 PointsSuper Rare: Wow! Now this is a ranged Primary Attacker! His dial almost feels like something out of Justice League: Trinity War or Guardians of the Galaxy rather than this current cycle of Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron.

He has two dial options, and they’re both terrific. At 225 Points, he is going to be a heavy hitter that can fling 5 natural, penetrating damage up to 9 squares away. In this set, that might as well be 100 damage. He’s going to one-shot some opposing support characters, and it’s going to be tough to retaliate effectively over that distance.

Plus, his first three (of NINE!!) clicks feature Invincible, so even if your opponent retaliates heavy, it’s going to be tough to make any headway. Especially since Quasar has the Power Cosmic TA, so you can’t counter his defenses.

His 125 Point dial is great as well, but for different reasons. His Defense actually gets BETTER against ranged attacks, and he picks up a Damage Special that partially imprisons anyone he hits (Contain Standard Operating Procedure: When Quasar targets and damages a single opposing character, after action resolve, he can use Barrier as a free action, but may only place blocking terrain markers adjacent to the hit character.).

On top of all that, if your opponent does hit him, Quasar goes right into an Attack Special Power that allows him to Steal Energy even with ranged attacks!

Basically, the only piece Quasar really needs to fear in this Wave is probably Black Panther, only because T’Challa is impossible to hit from range.

If you pull Quasar and don’t play him, you’re either an idiot or you’re trying to impress someone for some reason, even though you’ll really just come off as an annoying D-bag. Don’t be either of those guys. They’re A-holes. Play Quasar if you get him.

This is what you look like if you pull Quasar and don't play him.

This is what you look like if you pull Quasar and don’t play him.

MODAM AOU

AAOU049 M.O.D.A.M. — 131 PointsSuper Rare: The latest Preview from WizKids. She’s a fun character, but she’s also limited in what she wants to do by her 5 Range.

Ultron-1 AOU

AAOU051 A & B Ultron-1120/60/30 PointsSuper Rare: Okay, so if Black Panther has the best sculpt, this is probably a close second.

The A-dial is a nifty little trickster who comes packing a couple of cool Traits, including one that really narrows your opponent’s options if you hit (Total Mind Wipe: Once per game, when Ultron-1 hits an opposing character, you may give that character a Mind-Wipe token. A character with a Mind-Wipe token can’t attack Ultron-1 unless that character and Ultron-1 are the only characters on the map.). 

His down dial Defense Special (Self-Upgrade: Ultron-1 can use Impervious and Regeneration. When he uses Regeneration and the result is 5 or 6, place an Upgrade token on this card.) offers the chance to gain Upgrade tokens, each of which gives him +1 to all combat values.

He’s not the bruiser that some of the other pieces in this set are, but the longer he’s left alone, the deadlier he gets.

The B-Dial offers the normal Autonomous or Drone options and adds a fantastic Defense Special (The True Creator of Me is… Myself: When a friendly character with the Autonomous or Drone Mode trait is KO’d, you may roll a d6 that can’t be rerolled. On a result of 4-6, place that character in your starting zone on its click #1 after the orange KO.) that can keep the Ultron assembly line going.

Ultron-7 AOU Chase

AAOU053 A & B Ultron-7150/125/30 PointsChase: Ultron-7 A is a close combat bruiser who turns into a ranged attacker with a Running Shot/Special Pulse Wave power in the middle of his dial. He has a top dial Damage Special that helps teammates (Hatred of the Horde: Ultron-7 can use Battle Fury and Leadership. Opposing characters that are adjacent to a character friendly to your force can’t use Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control.), but otherwise his dial is surprisingly straightforward for a Chase.

The B-dial is a surprisingly sturdy (for its points) ranged attacker, but nothing to write home about. Someone is going to find a way to break all these Drones into a great army, but it’s not going to be me.

Ultron AOU

AAOU55 A & B Ultron300/120/30 PointsChase: Here he is–Ultron himself. At 300 Points, you’d expect a lot from his A-dial, and you might end up a bit disappointed. He doesn’t even have a move-and-attack power top dial–just Phasing/Teleport. And his Attack Value never goes above an 11–until you get to his two Stop Clicks (they appear on consecutive clicks).

Once you get to his Stop Clicks, Ultron will wreck house–provided there is an opposing character within 5 squares that he can Charge (or 8 Squares if you’d rather Quake fools).

In Sealed, you can probably get away with this–especially in a 400 Point game. In Constructed, he’s so easily outmaneuvered that it’s almost comical.

The B-Dial is a glorified Robot Taxi that can moonlight as a Secondary Attacker.

So there you have it! Last year’s Storyline OP featured Chases that were so good they were broken and had to be (mildly) nerfed by a Watch List fix. This year, the Chases are confusing and almost a waste of time, in my opinion. The Super Rare slot is definitely where it’s at. Outside of, say, M.O.D.A.M., there’s not a loser in the bunch (even the Ultron was pretty unique and original).

Good luck with your Month One pulls, and we’ll see you back here soon for our traditional dueling Top Ten Set Reviews for Avengers Assemble! Those should start dropping next week!

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

Avengers poster

Hello again!

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

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

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

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

 

AvU

HEROES VS. VILLAINS!!

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

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

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

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

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

The Special Scenario Rules:

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

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

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

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

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

Special Character Rules:

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

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

 

THE ROSTERS:

 

Avengers 1 MCU

Heroes:

 AAOU003 Captain AmericaCommon125 Points

AAOU101 Iron Man Mk. 43Starter Pack150 

AAOU005 ThorCommon200

AAOU008E HulkCommon250

AAOU013 Black WidowMass Market Rare 80

AAOU009 HawkeyeCore Hobby Rare94

AAOU010 Scarlet WitchCore Hobby Rare55

AAOU014 Quicksilver Mass Market Rare63

AAOU011 VisionCore Hobby Rare100

IM3016 War MachineMass Market Rare220

CATWS006 FalconCommon105

AAOU015 Nick FuryMass Market Rare45

AVM206 Agent CoulsonCommon50

CATWS011 Maria HillCore Hobby Rare60

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

 

Marvel Villains

Villains:

AVM211 LokiChase220 Points

AVM041 Red SkullChase170

IM3008 Aldrich KillianCommon35

TDW004 MalekithCommon350

CATWS008 Winter SoldierCommon100 

GOTGM106 RonanStarter Pack300

AAOU016 Baron StruckerMass Market Rare95

AAOU018 Ultron PrimeMass Market Chase250

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

AAOU007 Ultron SentryCommon40

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

 

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

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

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

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

What to Expect When You’re Expecting… a New Avengers Movie Set!! (Or, A Brief Look at What We Know About the Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Set!!)

Age of Ultron Avengers

 

Well, here we are again, with news breaking just before a new set comes out. Thanks to Cool Stuff Inc. (and a few other sources), we now know plenty about the Core Hobby version of the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie set!!

I’ve been looking forward to this set for several reasons, none more so than the fact that the first Mass Market Avengers Movie Set is what got me back into Clix in the first place (bought a few on a whim–pulled a Loki Chase in my first pack and was hooked!).

A few quick notes before we get into the individual figures:

–We only really know the top dial for each character so far. That’s why we’re not handing out grades yet. This is strictly a preview/spoiler.

–Most of the core Avengers from the first film have a common Trait called Avengers Assemble! The effects vary with each character, but usually it makes your opponent choose between two effects every time your Avenger hits one or more of his characters. For example, Iron Man makes your opponent choose between letting you summon an Iron Legion figure or pumping up the Defense Value of all your friendly characters by +1. Not bad. Hawkeye’s is straight filthy (borderline broken!), but we’ll get to him in due time.

So, with that in mind, here is a list of figures that we know of so far, with some armchair analysis from yours truly:

 

Age of Ultron Iron Man

001 Iron Man (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: He can be played at 250 or 185 Points. This seems to essentially be another version of ol’ Shellhead circa Iron Man 3, except they were able to give him some Traits and Special Powers (like “The House Party Protocol” and “The Clean Slate Protocol”) that may have been spoilers had this piece come out in that set. This Iron Man should play a little like Chaos War Gravity Feed Ultron in that Tony Stark can summon “Iron Legion” drones pretty easily.

He’s also a Transporter, which gives the 250-point version a top dial option of either Hypersonic Speed with a 10 Attack or a 12 Attack Running Shot that can cover 13 squares. And while he has no Improved Targeting, his Avengers Initiative Team Ability will let him bust Stealth all day long!

250 Points is almost your entire squad, but if you call in a few members of the Iron Legion to start the game, suddenly it’ll be a lot harder to out action you.

 

Age of Ultron Iron Legion

002 Iron Legion (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: Another holdover from Iron Man 3, this is basically one of the “empty shells” that Tony calls to his aid for the climax of that movie. It’s okay for its 50 point cost, but the fact that you can call them into play (depending on what you roll, it’ll either come in at full strength or on its yellow dial) for the cost of one power action if you’re playing Iron Man makes them an awesome bargain. His top dial has Running Shot (albeit with just a 5 Range), Toughness, 10 Attack, 3 native Damage and Enhancement. Plus Indomitable. Solid piece.

 

Age of Ultron Captain America

003 Captain America (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: He’s available for 125 or 80 Points, and he’s about what you’d expect:  a competent close combatant. He has some vulnerability at range, but he’s got some tricks up his sleeve for opposing swarm teams. A solid close combat piece.

 

Age of Ultron Test Subject

004 Test Subject (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: A 30-Point generic that’s comes with what are essentially 3 different dials, all of which offer at least something useful for his Points.

 

Age of Ultron Thor

005 Thor (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: A brick that can pack a punch from range at either the 200 or 150 Point level. At some point on his dial he gets Energy Explosion, Pulse Wave or Penetrating/Psychic Blast. A little reminiscent of his AvX version, except with the Avengers Initiative Team Ability, this Thor can obliterate Stealthed foes as well.

 

Age of Ultron Hydra Soldier

 006 Hydra Soldier  (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: 60 Point foot soldier with the always useful Hydra Team ability and absolutely no Range Value of his own. Strange. For hardcore Hydra teams only.

 

Age of Ultron Ultron Sentry

007 Ultron Sentry  (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: Basically the evil version of Iron Legion, this a drone that Ultron himself should be able to bring into being. Nothing too exciting.

 

Age of Ultron Hulk

008 Hulk  (Common to Core Hobby and Mass Market)

Analysis: We don’t know how many clicks this Hulk has, but it’s probably a lot. He dial comes in 3 sizes too: 300, 250 or 200 Points. He’s Giant Sized with no Range, so his Avengers Initiative Team Ability is almost wasted. But as much as any figure in this set, Hulk will really be made or broken by the values and length of the rest of his dial.

 

Age of Ultron Hawkeye

009 Hawkeye  (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: The figure of the set. He’s got the best Avengers Assemble! Trait (either all hit characters are dealt an additional 1 Unavoidable Damage after actions resolve, or Hawkeye doesn’t get an action token. Holy smokes, he’s good!!), he’s rocking a top dial of 8 Range with 3 Bolts, Sharpshooter, Sidestep, Stealth, Precision Strike, Willpower and 3 Damage! Triple Bolt Precision Strike WITH Avengers Intiative TA equals a bad day for your opponent! Plus, when he’s making a Range Combat attack, he pumps his Attack Value by +1 for each target (Yup! That means he can potentially have a 13 Attack!!). And, if he targets someone and hits them but decides to deal damage elsewhere, he can still give that hit character an action token. Genius!! All this for 94 Points!

When Chaos War Hawkeye was retired last year, I didn’t think we’d ever see his like again. Not only have we seen his like again, but it’s ANOTHER freaking Hawkeye!! Wizkids must hate Green Arrow…

This is the biggest Meta-baiting piece in the set that I have seen so far…

 

Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch

010 Scarlet Witch (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: Finally an Avenger without the broken Avengers Assemble Trait. Sheesh! She’s only 55 Points, and, as you might expect, she’s a complete supporting piece, with Perplex top dial and Probability Control down dial.

 

Age of Ultron Vision

011 Vision (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: This is one of the coolest Vision sculpts ever. Having said that, he has NO Traits or Special Powers of any kind, so he’s kinda hard to judge until we get a look at his full dial.

 

Age of Ultron Mk 1

012 Ultron Mk 1 (Rare to Core Hobby)

Analysis: A solid piece that can be played at 120 or 65, depending on circumstances. This figure also has a chance to resurrect itself once per game. 4 Damage top dial is niiiiiiiiice.

 

Age of Ultron Hulkbuster

017 Hulkbuster (Core Hobby Chase)

Analysis: Your choice of either 300 or 225 Points of ass-whoop. He’s got a cool, unique sculpt, and his Avengers Assemble! Trait is almost as good. He’s a big can of beef that’s designed to take on other kinds of beef. Against other giant characters, he’s pretty fantastic. Against ordinary characters, not as much.

 

Some Final Notes:

Based on what we know, we are expecting the Target/Mass Market Rares to include:

–Baron Strucker (90% confident on this one)

–Black Widow (95% sure on this)

–Nick Fury (60% confident)

–Ultron Prime is probably the Mass Market Chase, but there’s a chance he could merely be another Mass Market Rare and that the Red Skull will be the Chase. We shall see!

 

Well, thanks for checking in with us! We’ll revisit this set (along with the Starter, which WizKids has officially started spoiling) in April!

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

 

(P.S.: That awesome artwork of Ultron sitting on the Lincoln Memorial was created by a guy named Matt Broox, apparently on a whim. It’s awesome! Hope you enjoyed it!)

I Must’ve Forgot–You Can’t Trust Me!! (Or, The Weekly Roundup for 04/13/2014!!)

Roundup

I’m back!

So we’re not too far off from our normal schedule. Oh, hey, remember how, during the last Weekly Roundup I told you the weather had warmed up and things were getting back to normal here in Southeastern Michigan?

Well, it hit 80 here two days ago.

And looking out my window now, I see a fresh dusting of #$&^%#$%#%#^$(^% SNOW!! AGAIN!! COME THE #$#@ ON ALREADY!!

Man!! Y’know what? I can’t deal with this anymore! Let’s just get right to it, shall we? Let’s get right into…

 

THE WEEKLY ROUNDUP!! Hop to it, ‘Clix Nation!

PODCASTS:

Dial H

Dial H for Heroclix returned with a full-sized episode–Number 40! This week the guys discuss all the War of the Light Dials (mostly prize support) that have been spoiled. If you still want to see what entries have been inspired by the Dial H April Dial Design Contest (this thing seems to grow every month!), you can do so right here (the idea this month is for all the competitors to design their own Fast Forces team! I’m working on a Cull Obsidian Fast Forces as I write this. Proxima Midnight was Week 1, Ebony Maw was Week 2, and now I’m completing the team this week with Thanos, Corvus Glaive, Supergiant and Black Dwarf).

Clixcast

ClixCast, dark again, checked it, wrecked it, let’s move on (with apologies to Tag Team).

Push to Regen

–Push to Regen was new on April 5th. Not sure when their next show was, but check their Podbean for updates!

This is Ultimate Play, b!tches!

The Quarry latest episode is still… Episode 15! No news yet on when an edited version of the mysterious 13th Episode will appear…

 

Welcome... to the ROC!

Welcome… to the ROC!

ROC:

–Up to date upcoming tourney listings, which you can find right here!

-ROC’ing the UK results!

ROC Event rule change! That… applies only to the members of the ROC Board. Huh?! Actually, this is just cleaning up some eligibility language and basically says that members of the ROC Board and others in a position of authority must turn over any money they win to… the ROC. To further the ROC’s goal of global domination!!

Preview

Previews:

-Do you like the Heroes for Hire? Do you want to play a HfH team with Misty Knight or Colleen Wing, but you don’t have the Super Rare Duo piece from ASM? Well, buy a few packs of Deadpool when it’s released in May, and you’re likely to get both of them! They’re both Commons; Misty Knight has more top dial damage dealing capabilities, but if you’re a gambling man, Colleen Wing gets B/C/F down dial. Both are kind of average, in my opinion, but they each have decent keywords and give you more options for Heroes for Hire.

-Lots o’ Green Lanterns from War of the Light were revealed, dials and all, by Newsarama! Don’t know that any of the figures spoiled will really affect the Meta (these guys all cost a lot without being totally viable as primary attackers), but they sure look like a lot of fun, and some of them may get way better with the new Construct mechanic!

-Speaking of, the Green Lantern Power Battery was also spoiled! If you thought the Phoenix Force was confusing, just wait! The Power Battery is a pseudo-character that stays in play the entire game and can be attacked and KO’d like a character (although it’s almost impossible to damage it?!?) and can cost up to 70 points (Good Lord!).

-Not to be forgotten in all the War of the Light frenzy, Cable is going to be a Super Rare in Deadpool! And he’s really expensive for what he does. Still, I like him better than AvX Cable.

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for "Entertainment News."

Yep, after 2 months, this was the best image I could come up with for “Entertainment News.”

Entertainment News:

-Once again, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out in theaters now and it is awesome! It was number one at the box office for a second week in a row. There are two scenes AFTER the credits start rolling, it moves the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a bold new direction, but most of all… it was fun! Great story, some great reveals… and oh, by the way, DON’T WATCH AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. UNTIL YOU WATCH CAP 2!! Speaking of which…

"I have a tattoo that says 'SPOILER ALERT.'"

“I have a tattoo that says ‘SPOILER ALERT.'”

-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. … Holy Schnikes. I can’t write SPOILER ALERT enough to talk about this show, but last week did NOT disappoint. If you like rollercoasters, watch this damn show! Some terrific turns last week; can’t wait for tonight’s ep! By the way, the title of this week’s Weekly Roundup is a Twentyonepilots lyric from their hit song “Holding On To You,” but it might as well have been the title of last week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Critical Missives:

–Just one new article last week, but it was a doozy! 3000+ words that covered figures who get a particularly nice bump from AvX!

That’s all I got this week! See ya later this week for more Clix goodness!

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