Fast Five: The Five Worst Figures in Uncanny X-Men!!

FAST FIVE

So, we just talked about the 10 best pieces in Uncanny X-Men. But who are the worst?

Yep, we’re giving the cream of the dreck their own article today! Let’s count them down from worst to even worst-ier to most worst-est!

Wolverine Star Trek

Oh wow! So this happened once…

5. UXM006 Wolverine — 50 Points — Common: Uncanny X-Men actually doesn’t have a ton of crap. The Common slots are much better comparatively than, say, World’s Finest.

Having said that, this is not a great Wolverine. The designers tried to shove everything the character can do in the comics into a tiny, 50 Point blended drink of a dial, but it doesn’t quite taste right.

With no Willpower, no top dial reducers and a survival Trait (HEALING FACTOR: When Wolverine clears action tokens, you may heal him 1 click.) that definitely ISN’T the best there is at what it does (at most, it MIGHT go off once or twice in a game for one Click of healing at a time), this version of Logan is entirely dependent on basing someone and praying that the opposition has no way of dealing with his Combat Reflexes (such as Outwit, or, y’know, just sniping him). His 10 Attack Value is fine for his point level, but it’s still nothing to write home about.

Now, I’ve seen some chatter about his last Click, and it is a monster: Flurry with B/C/F, Battle Fury to ignore Shape Change and a 13 Attack Value! Yay!! Except you’ll rarely if ever get to it. And even if you do, that Flurry means that he better already be basing someone, otherwise he’s probably not going to survive long enough to ever use his last Click abilities.

(*Finding a way to give him JLTWS106 Wrath for 8 Points would go a long way towards fixing much of what ails this iteration of Wolverine. But his native dial on its own is not very good.)

Blockbuster

That awkward moment when you think you just made a dramatic entrance by punching through a wall but you suddenly realize that the exertion involved in doing so actually made you crap your pants.

4. UXM010 Blockbuster — 65 Points — Common: 65 Points of slow-moving molasses. He can Charge up to a (measly) three squares on his top dial (only); after that, he’s entirely dependent on the grace of friendly taxis or a TK’er.

By the time he finally gets to someone, the game could be half over. And even if you do drop everything and focus the rest of your team on getting Blockbuster where he needs to go, his 10 Attack Value still has a great chance of missing.

Honestly, I didn’t love that Wolverine we just talked about at 50 Points, but that dial was still clearly better than Blockbuster’s–for 15 LESS points.

Super_Sabre_2

3. UXM032 Super Sabre70 PointsUncommon: At 70 Points, you’re paying Secondary Attacker money for a character who’s more like a Tertiary Attacker. And that first click is just brutal: 10 Attack with Hypersonic Speed, Force Blast, a native 2 Damage and a Defense Value of just 17 with ES/D.

If you can get him down dial (not easy to do without getting him KO’d), he finally picks up some Precision Strike, but that’s about the only power on his dial that will allow you to cut though dampeners.

Basically, if you are choosing to use Super Sabre, you’re already putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Cameron_Hodge_(Earth-616)

2. UXM058 Cameron Hodge200 PointsSuper Rare: He’s got a long(-ish) dial… a couple of survivability Traits (MYSTICAL TELEPATHIC IMMUNITY: Cameron Hodge can’t be targeted by Mind Control or Penetrating/Psychic Blast.)(PHENOMENAL REPAIR RATE AND PHASING MODULE: When Cameron Hodge has two action tokens, he can use Super Senses. At the beginning of your turn, if Cameron Hodge has two action tokens, he can use Regeneration as a free action. ) that actually work… and that’s about it.

Do you want your 200 Point tentpole to start with Stealth top dial? I really don’t, unless the piece also has some sort of Traited Sidestep or something. The middle of his dial is actually somewhat useful, with a limited Charge of up to four squares and an Attack Special Power (IMPALE: Give Cameron Hodge a close action to make a close attack targeting a character within 3 squares and line of fire. Damage dealt from this attack is penetrating and the hit character may be placed in a square within 3 squares and line of fire of Cameron Hodge.) that augments his Threat Range another three squares.

But his limited mobility (his starting Movement Value is 7 and it NEVER goes higher, and since he’s a peanut base he can’t be TK’d) is a real issue, and with only 100 points left to support him, there’s very little you can do about it. The fact that he starts out as a ranged attacker with no move and attack, no Improved Targeting and only a 6 Range isn’t helping his case as a Primary Attacker, either.

If you pull a Cameron and decide to play him at some point, you really have to get comfortable living in the middle of his dial, where his mobility and damage are at their highest. But if I’m paying 200 Points for a piece, I really expect more bang for my theoretical buck.

Phoenix

Okay… gonna use Ranged Combat Expert and, uh, I’ll put everything into Attack. Again.

1. UXM053B Phoenix250 Points — Super Rare PRIME: Yup. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, I hate, hate HATED this version of Phoenix… at least in 300 Point games. In UXM Sealed, she would probably wreck face, just because most of the rest of that set is filled with little 50 Point facehuggers that she can one-shot… if she can see them, that is.

And that’s one of her main problems, especially in 300 Point Constructed. She has no Improved Targeting, so even with a native 9 Range she can be completely defeated by something as simple as basic Stealth on an opposing figure. Even Energy Shield/Deflection poses a big problem for her when she’s on her top dial, since she’s rocking just a 10 Attack.

She does have a Stop Click at the end of her dial, and she has Pulse Wave on her last two clicks along with a 19 Defense. But if you’re playing an opponent with access to Prob and/or Perplex at that point, she’s really quite beatable. Honestly, 60 Point Peggy Carter would actually be a nightmare for this piece to face.

(Yes, I know, every piece has bad matchups, but still…)

The other thing I really dislike about this piece is that her non-Prime version (UXM053A Phoenix) is 140-150 Points of bonkers fun with a dial that’s constantly changing… but you need the Prime version on your sideboard to get the most out of her. So even if you just want to play the better, funner version of this piece, you still need to get really lucky OR shell out about $50 or so just to play the A-side the way you want to. Lame.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece was originally $75-$80 right after the set came out. Most Heroclix figures depreciate a healthy amount after a month or so post-release, but Phoenix Prime has lost almost half of her value on the open market. Looks like the word is out about her dial… ]

But hey–at least her sculpt is pretty cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Team Ideas – The Many Faces of Manifold

Avengers commuting to work.

This is how Avengers commute to work.

Idea

So Avengers Assembled brought us AVAS037 Manifold. He’s a great transport character, but unlike the very similar SLOSH022 Gates, you need to share a Keyword with Manifold for him to Carry your team and ignore combat symbols. He’s got the Avengers Keyword, but there are plenty of good flyers with the Avengers keyword. He’s also got the Secret Warriors Keyword… and he is the only figure in Modern Age that has it. Bummer, right?

Thankfully, that is not the case! Why? Because of ATA033 Secret Warriors!! It states: “Before you reveal your force, choose the H.A.M.M.E.R., Hydra, or S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword. Characters using this team ability also possess the chosen keyword. Uncopyable.” Due to the strange wording I checked online and there is a ruling saying that this ATA works like you think it should (i.e., Manifold would get the chosen keyword… “As You Build your force.”). Manifold can get the H.A.M.M.E.R., Hydra, or S.H.I.E.L.D keywords as long as everyone else on the team has those keywords. Essentially he is a walking Quinjet for those keywords (which all happen to sorely need good transportation, natch). This is something I have been looking for since I drafted Hal Jordan into S.H.I.E.L.D. last year. 

Here are some teams that explore how Manifold’s extra mobility really helps these keywords that are full of mostly grounded characters.

Wolverine Agent of Hydra

I just added Sue Storm, Agent of Hydra to my most needed in HeroClix list. C’mon Wizkids, I didn’t get even get my Captain Marvel Constantine in Trinity War. You owe me. 

Team Name: The Hand’s Lawnmower Man

Keyword Theme: The Hand

RosterDP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra, AVAS037 Manifold (with ATA033 Secret Warriors), DP006 Hand Ninja, DP006 Hand Ninja, DP006 Hand Ninja, WOLR106 Power Battery (Star Sapphires) – (WOLR306 Star Sapphire Ring, WOLR200.11 Bulldozer (Green), WOLR202.11 Bulldozer (Red), WOLR206.11 Bulldozer (Violet))

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: This a simple team with a simple plan.

AVAS037 Manifold Carries the three Hand Ninjas while hiding behind their Stealth. When a prime target wanders into his killbox (which, in this Build, has an incredibly impressive Threat Range of 11 squares! Don’t worry, we’ll do the math on that in a second.) it’s time for Manifold to strike with his 3 Ninja cargo!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay, let’s do some quick Heroclix math (and remember, class, you have to show your work): Manifold can move 10 squares while using Carry and he can drop his Hand-y passengers off in the adjacent squares ahead of him, where they can each make close combat actions AS FREE ACTIONS. (The fact that the attacks are Free Actions is the only reason this works–Ninwashui will explain why they’re Free Actions in a second when he gets to their Special Damage Power). 10+1=11 square melee Threat Range for Manifold and the Hand Ninjas! Great job class!]

So Manifold Phases forward Carrying his secret ninja payload and drops them adjacent to a fat, juicy, sizzling opposing character just begging to be lit up. All three DP006 Hand Ninjas [EDITOR’S NOTE: They are freaking AMAZING in this Build.] can then immediately attack due to their Special Damage Power “THERE’S ALWAYS MORE NINJAS: When Hand Ninja is adjacent to at least one friendly character with the Hand keyword, Hand Ninja can make a close combat attack as a free action.” On the offensive side these guys have a 10 Attack Value, Precision Strike, and the option of generating automatic Knockback due to their Bulldozer constructs. This can add extra damage by knocking people off of Elevated ledges or repeatedly bouncing them into walls.

It will also be easier for them to hit because DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra is on the board, and he happens to be badass in a can. He has a Trait that says “MY KIND OF HYDRA: When friendly characters use the Hydra team ability, they can also affect close combat attacks and don’t need line of fire to the target.” On the defensive side, Hand Ninjas will have Stealth, Shape Change and Mystics (once they have a Construct), and their Trait “RETURN FROM DEATH: When Hand Ninja would be KO’d while adjacent to a friendly character with The Hand keyword, roll a d6. On a result of 5-6, Hand Ninja isn’t KO’d and after actions resolve, is placed in your starting area on click #2 instead.

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

Two words about Hand Ninjas: Killing Machines.

Since Wolverine isn’t being carried by Manifold, he can either choose a different target to go after or he can arrive the following turn after your big attack to shore up your line of ninjas. Manifold is mostly there for transportation, but his TK and Barrier can also help the team out if they get in a pinch (as you can pull back an attacker or block lines of fire as needed, natch.).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Stop trying to bring “natch” back, Ninwa. It ain’t going to happen.]

As the Hand Ninjas fall in battle, their constructs can be reassigned to Wolverine and Manifold as needed.

daisy johnson

This is how I know we will be getting more Secret Warriors in a future set.

Team Name: The Secret Warriors of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Keyword Theme: S.H.I.E.L.D.

RosterCATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow, AVAS037 Manifold (with ATA033 Secret Warriors), CATWS013 Agent 13, CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Edwin Jarvis ID CardFIR100 The Book of the Skull (FIR101 Kuurth’s Hammer, FIR106 Nul’s Hammer, FIR107 Angrir’s Hammer)

Total = 300 Points

How it Works: CATWS017 Captain America and Black Widow was easily the most powerful character to come out of the Winter Soldier set. It has a few short comings as a Primary Attacker that are now easily overcome by this team.

The piece’s biggest weakness was that it could not be Carried (since it has the “Duo” Symbol), so it always arrived a little late to the battle–and with a action token already weighing on it. Now with AVAS037 Manifold, that is no longer a problem. Manifold says “PORTALS OF SPACE AND TIME: Manifold can use the Carry ability. When he does, he may carry up to 3 friendly characters regardless of their combat symbols if they each share a keyword with him. When Manifold is given a move action and actions resolve, you may give him a free action and friendly characters adjacent when this action was given modify their defense values by +1 until your next turn.” Now, a lot of folks looked at Manifold’s Trait and said, “Hey, he can Carry flyers!” Well, the Duo Symbol is also a Combat Symbol. Thus, Manifold can Carry a single base Duo figure.

Angrir’s Hammer takes care of  Captain America and Black Widow‘s Attack Value (which was already a solid 11) and lets them use Steal Energy with their duo attack! CATWS005 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent lets them use Empower for close encounters and the S.H.I.E.L.D. T/A for long distance fights. However, his number one reason to be on the team is “TAKE A BULLET IN THE LINE OF DUTY: When a friendly character with the S.H.I.E.L.D. keyword and a higher point value is within 8 squares, that character can use Mastermind, but only to deal damage to friendly characters with the name S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent.” That should let your Primary Attacker completely ignore the first damage it might otherwise take. CATWS013 Agent 13 is on the team both for limiting opposing free actions and for bypassing opposing defenses. Giving her Kuurth’s Hammer should allow her to make it to her targets easier and allow her to clear away any troublesome walls or Barrier tokens.

And if you give Manifold Nul’s Hammer, he can use the Willpower it gives him to use Carry and Barrier more often. Or, the +2 Attack Value and Running Shot (plus the slight bump to his Range Value) it also grants makes him a decent Secondary Attacker.

Portrait of an Avenger.

Eden decides whether to stick with S.H.I.E.L.D. or join Hydra…

So there you have it. In the never-ending war between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, one man may make the difference between a world a chaos… or a world of order. Which Build would you rather play?

Sound off in the Comments below!

Local Tournament Report – 10/15/14 Comics & More

Local Tournament Report

 

Okay! Here are the results from The Build 6, the game I had been preparing for earlier in the week!

The Format: 300 points, Modern Age, Anything Goes. Although those who play too much cheese will henceforth be shunned and be nicknamed “Limburger”.

Where is a robotic fly swatter when you really need it?

“Hmmm… I see my 3D graffiti project is already ahead of schedule.”

What I Played: “A Superior Way to Die”: (Scientist Theme)

DP060 Superior Spider-Man (w/ secret Avengers ATA)

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0

(Sideboarded) DP099A Spider-Bot (Mark 2) * 2

(Sideboarded) DP099B Spider-Bot (Mark 1) * 6

Total= 300 Points

 

The bloodiest game of basketball ever played...

The bloodiest game of basketball ever played.

Round 1: Facing DP050 Wolverine and X-23 (Magik shard) , DP007B The Professor (Emma Frost Shard), DOFP011 Destiny, AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (all shards).

An indoor map was chosen for this battle. I started this match the way I would start every match tonight:  by adding two Spiderbot Mark 1’s to Superior Spider-Man’s base on turns one and two, which gave SSM +2 to his Super Senses rolls for the remainder of the game.

Early on, it was a standoff. My opponent slowly moved up his Duo Figure and The Professor. He had no range, so he couldn’t hit me, but the Duo’s Trait (SNEAK AND KILL: Wolverine and X-Men can use Sidestep and Stealth. Unhindered lines of fire drawn to Wolverine and X-23 during an opponent’s turn are blocked unless Wolverine and X-23 have 2 action tokens or are adjacent to an opposing character not on its starting click.) combined with the Professor’s Defense Special Power (SECRET MASTERMIND: When adjacent to a friendly character, The Professor can’t be targeted by opposing characters.) meant that I couldn’t target his figures with a ranged attack either.

As he advanced, I retreated. I tried to hold Wolverine and X-23 in place with a Plasticity-sporting Spiderbot. Poison from the Phoenix Force made that a non-issue. Finally, I saw an opportunity. He was placing his figures in such a manner that I couldn’t shoot past the two that were advancing and hit destiny. However, I was able to roll a 6 for spider-bot creation and place it so that it could move and tie up destiny the same turn. That kept Destiny out of the fight for almost the rest of the game. Unfortunately, that put me close enough to his other figures that I knew I was going to get Charged that next turn.

The Professor moved up next to me and to tried to Outwit Superior Spidey’s Super Senses. I reminded my opponent of my ATA, and he did nothing with The Professor’s Outwit at that moment. Then he Charged and used Blades/Claws/Fangs with Flurry with his duo figure. Both attacks missed! Wow! I didn’t even have to roll Super Senses. That is some bad luck for my opponent. On my turn, I struck back and hit with a heavy object I was holding and the Duo took 3 (because of the Colossus Shard) That was my second action token. Then, on his turn, Superior suffered double Poison from both The Professor and W/X-23. They missed two more attacks due to Super Senses and then also missed their healing roll with a 1! Now that Spider-Man was injured I could ignore W/X-23’s hiding trait and attack them from range. Iron Monger did just that and hit them for two more damage. I took the Action Tokens off Superior.

On my opponent’s turn, Superior took two more Poison damage and healed for one click. When control was ceded back to me, Superior Rid Himself of That Weakling Parker (RIDDING MYSELF OF THE WEAKLING PARKER: Give Superior Spider-Man a free action and roll a d6. Once per game, on a result of 3-6, for the rest of the game modify Superior Spider-Man’s attack and damage by +1 and damage dealt by him can’t be reduced below 2.) via a Special Attack Power and proceeded to Flurry W/X-23 for the KO. Unfortunately, he took Mystics damage for it and was down to his final click. Iron Monger mopped up The Professor on the next turn taking another Mystics damage in the process. He was left on click three.

Meanwhile, Destiny had finally evaded my Plasticity bot and was on the run. It took several tries but my team finally cornered her, with Iron Monger ready to attack. Superior used Perplex on Iron Monger–then my opponent reminded me of Destiny’s IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN AGAINST THE FUTURE Trait (IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAN AGAINST THE FUTURE: After an opposing character within 8 squares uses Outwit, Perplex, or Probability Control and actions resolve, deal that character 1 damage if it has not already taken damage from this effect this turn.). Yup! I had just KOed my Superior Spider-Man by using Perplex! Smart. Veeeerrrry smart!

I KO’d Destiny shortly after that, but what should have been a rout turned out to be very close in points.

 

Who is Krampus? He destroys hopes and dreams. Especially mine it turns out...

Who is Krampus? He’s a Christmas monster who destroys hopes and dreams. Especially mine, it turns out…

Round 2: Facing WKWK-002 Krampus (w/Utility belt), SLOSH042 Helspont, DP018 Blind Al, NMLR100 Utility Belt w/NMLR101 Gas Pellets/Smoke Grenade. FYIThis was the best combo team I have ever seen.

The game started off innocently enough. I made a Spiderbot, attached it, and moved up towards my opponent. Then the combo struck…

My opponent used Blind AL to do one damage to Helspont. Helspont used his I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO Movement Special (I INFILTRATED YOU LONG AGO: Give Helspont a double power action and select an opposing character of a lower point value. Place Helspont and the chosen character in each other’s squares, and after actions resolve, Helspont may be given a close or ranged combat attack as a free action.) to switch places with Iron Monger 2.0. He’s now next to Superior Spider-Man and he gets to make a free attack. He misses but that’s not the bad part. Iron Monger is now next to Krampus. Krampus is obviously still in his starting area. Krampus uses Capture (with +3 to attack due to Blind Al’s Perplex, the Belt’s bonus, and a Perplex from Helspont). Iron Monger is captured. I haven’t even had my second turn yet and I’ve lost half my team…

The rest of the game plays like any normal game. It’s mostly a one-on-one with Helspont versus Spider-Man. I attached a second Spiderbot to Superior’s base. Over the next ten turns we exchanged attacks back and forth. I had a good streak going of hitting my Super Senses rolls. He wasn’t landing anything. Plus I had spawned some extra Mark I Spiderbots and at least twice they were able to use Exploit Weakness to do damage to Helspont. Unfortunately, for every attack that landed the next attack was stopped short by a Shape Change roll and when Helspont hits Shape Change, he automatically heals one click. All of my characters were only hitting for one at a time and he managed to heal as much as we were hurting him.

At one point Spider-Man lands on click 5 and it looked like he could finally turn things around by Ridding Himself of That Weakling Parker, but then Spidey missed Super Senses for the second turn in row and was KOed shortly after. Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecccch!!!

astros-butt-slide

This is what it’s feels like to face a first turn Krampus capture.

So… that happened.

 

"Obviously, the embodiment of Will is a floating space shark fish. With crazy, shimmery fins. What the $@#& were YOU expecting?"

Giant glowing space sharks. Why does it always have to be giant glowing space sharks?

Round 3: Facing M10A009E Iron Man (Possessed by WOL068P Predator) and AVX102 Lei-Kung the Thunderer (Possessed by WOL062P Ion).  Entity Theme Team. The entire game the Entities gave only some minor stat bumps. However, the powers they granted were ridiculous. Ion granted Lei-Kung Impervious, TK, and Outwit. Predator granted M10 Iron Man Shape Change along with the Quintessence and Mystics Team Abilities.

I started the game by attaching two Spiderbots to Superior before we closed in on each other. My opponent got in the first shot by using TK to move up Iron Man. Iron Man targeted Iron Monger 2.0 and missed. Due to elevation Iron Man had been forced to come close enough to my forces that I could make a Plasticity Spider-Bot adjacent to Iron Man. I did that and passed turn. My opponent responded by moving up Lei-Kung to Outwit Plasticity, and Iron Man tried to break away for a Running Shot. He missed the break away roll and was now double tokened. And then it was my turn.

Spider-man Charged in for a hit with a heavy item on Iron Man, but Impervious reduced the damage to just one. Iron Monger took a ranged shot and missed Iron Man. While it was still my turn I created another Spiderbot adjacent to both Lei Kung and Iron Man. My Opponent realized he was now stuck, but in short order he wisely figured out that he could use Lei-Kung’s Quake to push the bots away before they exploded, but each turn I was remaking them as fast as he could Quake.

That’s pretty much how the game went. Spider-man eventually took enough close combat damage from Iron Man (and pushing damage) to get to click 5. Once there, Doc Ock Rid Himself of That Weakling Parker and things really looked bad for my opponent. Iron Man was KOed by a Flurry the next turn. Then it was my team versus Lei Kung. At one point it looked like he would KO Spider-Man with Precision Strike, but he missed and I used Outwit to counter that power for the rest of the game. Lei Kung stuck around for a quite a while using Quake and Impervious to hold me off, but I was able to KO him just as time was being called.

The Result: My team managed to take second place out of the 6 people attending. With no Resources, Entities, or Team Bases, I was proud of that result.

What I Learned:

  • There now exists a combo that can ruin your team before your second turn. I checked and in the other two games that team played the combo didn’t quite work. In the first game Speed Demon crossed the board in two turns (which he had since Krampus had to double token to try his Capture maneuver) to KO Krampus before he could remove a Captured Iron Pharoah from the game. In the other match, Krampus actually rolled a three and missed the Capture roll. However, in my game the combo was completely deadly and unstoppable. Assuming the best Hypersonic character in the game isn’t left free on the board and your opponent can roll better than a three, I don’t know how you stop this combo. It can even take out a 200 point team base in one shot. It’s stupid and broken. Don’t get me wrong, I think my opponent was a genius  for playing it, but I am kind of bummed something like that exists in HeroClix at the moment. [Editor’s Note: I actually kind of love it. It’s creative, and there’s still a lot that can go wrong–especially if you’re up against a good Hypersonic piece, as you pointed out. And with Flash on the horizon, we’re about to get a bunch more good to great HS pieces. Also, wouldn’t Super Senses and Shape Change also potentially throw a huge monkey wrench into that combo? So, y’know… seems fair to me. Especially since it worked out for me but not for you. Ha!]
  • It thought Helspont was well worth his points during my Slosh Review, but I had never seen him in action before. It turns out I was right.
  • Superior Spider-Man was well worth his points. I want to try him again soon with some other figures on his team. Maybe with Zola next time. The one thing I would never do is play him without the Secret Avengers ATA. That is absolutely required to get the best out of him.
  • Iron Monger 2.0 was only okay for his points. The threat of exploding Spiderbots was neat, but it really happened only once the whole day. Without his Trait getting much use he’s really just not worth the points.

The Merc and The Meta (Or, A Second Opinion of the Top Ten Figures in Deadpool!!)

"Good Morning!"

“Good Morning!”

So, Ninwashui has chimed in with his Top Ten list for the new Deadpool set, WITH NO REGARD TO MY OWN OPINION!! Obviously, I could not let this besmirchment stand!

Here then, for the DeadPool set, is your…

Second Opinion!!

That's high praise!!

“That’s high praise!!”

 Some General Notes About the Set:

–While there are obviously some powerful individual pieces, I thought that the overall “Power Level” of this set fell slightly below Invincible Iron Man and SL0SH… and that’s OKAY! The fact that we got a ton of weird characters that I never thought I’d see made (Grasshopper? Sweet! Now my GLA team can–wait, there was more than one Grasshopper?), plus some much-needed Modern Age updates to some figures who have been conspicuously absent until now.

–Having said that, I would still agree with Ninwashui’s assessment that this set was more consistent in terms of the usefulness of the characters; I just feel that the previous two sets both had higher ceilings in terms of the power level of their best pieces. Still, since most of the characters were consistently useful, coming up with a Top Ten (and 5 Honorable Mentions) was pretty tough; so tough, in fact, that I was forced to cheat and list a TOP TWELVE!! Even still, there are some good figures in this set that just aren’t gonna get mentioned here, cuz there’s a lot to like.

–After getting to play a couple games with WizKids’s brand new mechanic, I can say that the Word Balloon feature turned out better than I expected. I thought these were all going to be kitschy, trite add-ons that simply granted silly powers that would only be used once in a blue moon, especially after seeing the “I Never Miss With the Sheep Gun” balloon (Man, I’ve had so many theoretical conversations about the impossibly far flung, Rube Goldberg Machine-induced scenarios in which plopping a Sheep token next to an opposing figure will turn the tide of a game, and while it’s early days yet, I think I’ll be okay if that’s the one Balloon I never pull). Boy, was I wrong.

"I was wrong on this one."

“I was wrong–this is awesome.”

First of all, they’ve made it really flavorful and probably avoided themselves future headaches by creating such a small pool of eligible characters (Deadpool Corps. members and Ultimate DeadPool and ThorPool, etc.). Fewer affected characters means there’s a lot less chance to break the game. And then, within that framework, they created some Word Balloons that are good enough to make you WANT to play a DeadPool. “Hammer Time,” “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?,” “My Common Sense is Tingling” and “ ” are all really good, especially when used with DP019A DeadPool, DP019B Evil DeadPool or DP055 DeadPool. In my opinion, those three figs are already all worth their Points to begin with; throw “Hammer Time” on any one of them (for example) and I believe that you’re actually fielding more points than you’re being charged for (remember, Balloons are NOT Resources in and of themselves, so they can be used in tandem with Resources and Relics. And don’t get me started about the “Possessed” ability on the new War of the Light Chases coming this month (Y’know, just when I finish a 4600-word column on Modern Age Chases, WizKids goes ahead and releases these “Entity” Chase pieces that are probably all gonna be Meta in some way–particularly through the aforementioned “Possessed” Trait).

Remember, if there’s one thing that this site has tried to teach ‘Clixers everywhere, it’s Critical Missives Army Build Axiom #1:

CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM #1: DO NOT PAY “RETAIL” POINT PRICES FOR FIGURES WHEN THERE’S A VALUE-PRICED OPTION AVAILABLE!!

Now, the corollary to that is this: Free Points Are Awesome!!

Again, CRITICAL MISSIVES ARMY BUILD AXIOM COROLLARY #1A: WHEN BUILDING YOUR ARMY, FREE POINTS ARE AWESOME!!

If you accept that the 3 DeadPools from this set that I just mentioned are already worth their points, and if you accept that Resources in general are EXTREMELY under costed, then you would have to conclude that the DeadPool set–and the various Merc With a Mouth Traited characters–offer a LOT of value for opportunistic builders. I’ll get into this a little more in the individual profiles, but you can create some RIDICULOUSLY powerful characters who can get bonuses from 2 or even 3 sources that aren’t really even on the map–or at the very least, sources that your opponent can do little to nothing about.

–No ChampionPool? C’mon!! How will we ever have a complete DeadPool Corps.?!

–Probably the most useful group of Super Rares ever. Cable is probably the only Super Rare you’d be disappointed to pull in Sealed (well, maybe Kingpin, but Kingpin is really useful in Modern), and there’s a TON of awesome SR’s that people will be playing even years from now…

The Chases. Yikes! While the Z-Virus mechanic is cool, Marvel Zombies was never really my hot sauce, so I could kind of take or leave them. I think it’s cool that they’ll have their own Zombie Team Base, but… we don’t get that Team Base until August’s Guardians of the Galaxy set, and with the info that’s been released so far, it seems like that set’s gonna have ANOTHER 8 ZOMBIE CHASES!! Blleeecccch! Enough already! Guardians should have 6 Chases–all 6 of the members of the Cull Obsidian from last year’s Infinity storyline. Those are the Chases everyone wants and expects–and it’s about 99% for sure that it’s not gonna happen. It would have been so simple and so appropriate to do the Black Order figures that I have to wonder if WizKids has gone completely insane (Hunter on Dial H for Heroclix has stated that this has dimmed his enthusiasm for the set so much that he probably won’t even buy his customary Brick of GotG, much less a case–and I can’t say I blame him). Grrrr… but enough about the NEXT Marvel set! I’m here today to talk about the set that’s actually been released!

So let’s start with the…

5 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

"Dude... I'm'a 'bout ready to smash the $#!t out this flag over here."

“I punch flags! Then I paint them black and wear them!”

5. DP025 Flag-Smasher119 Points Uncommon: Okay, my understanding of flags as a concept is that they are generally emblems of some significance that have been made out of some sort of flexible cloth material. So how exactly does one “smash” a flag? Flag-Tearer? Okay. Flag-Ripper? Sounds menacing, unless you mumble it out loud, in which case it comes dangerously close to sounding like “Fart-Ripper.” Regardless, either name seems like it would make more sense than the perplexing “Flag-Smasher.” Although, maybe that’s why he has top dial Perplex? All I know for sure is that Flag-Puncher here has a couple of devastating abilities that get him close to my Top Ten (but not quite in it). First, his Trait (WE SHALL BE ONE PEOPLE, AND I SHALL LEAD: Flag-Smasher can use Leadership. When he does and succeeds, choose a copyable Marvel Team ability. Friendly characters with a lower point value can use that ability until your next turn.) is fantastic! You make your Leadership roll, and all of the sudden all your characters have the Mystics TA. Or Avengers Initiative, or any useful copyable TA you can think of. That’s pretty damn fantastic. And while his starting attack is a 10, he has Running Shot, Pulse Wave and Perplex to go with it, so if your opponent isn’t careful, he could be in for a world of hurt.

Even though Flag-Smasher doesn’t have Willpower, that’s okay as well since pushing him onto his second click gives him a fantastic Movement Special (THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD SHALL CRUMBLE, AND BE ONE: Opposing characters that possess or can use a team ability modify their attack and defense value by -1 unless already modified by this effect.). I mean, if he was nine points less, you could team him with Cul Borson and give most of your opponent’s figs -2 to their Attack!

But that Point total is a problem. I would have loved this character at 90-95 points, or maybe an even hundred. At 119, as great as his abilities happen to be, I think he’s a bit over-costed. If he were 20 Points less, he probably would have made my top 5. Still, his skill set is unique enough to keep him on the Honorable Mentions list.

"Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!"

“Man, if it just had eyeholes, this costume would be perfect!”

4. DP053B Whizzer120 Points – Super Rare Prime: Obviously has one of the best Improved Movement abilities in the game (he ignores just about everything), especially when he can use Hypersonic Speed his whole dial. Hypersonic Speed + Flurry on his first three clicks is damn good. On his own, he’s a great piece who’s probably worthy of a Top Ten slot. But he’s an Honorable Mention instead for a few different reasons.

First, he’s got the Squadron Supreme keyword, but he still can’t team with Hyperion from IIM because they’re both Primes. That kinda sorta really sucks.

Second, as cool as his Hypersonic Speed + Flurry Special Movement Power is, his defense is predicated on being right next to the character taking a swing at him (since he has Combat Relfexes), which means that it’s almost NOT in your best interest to speed around the board, attack, and then hide. Not the worst thing in the world, and he does have Super Senses as well, but he definitely needs a different play style from how most people play HS characters to be effective.

And finally, Speed Demon’s just got a better Trait for 10 less points, so as far as speedsters go, I’m’a stick with Speed Demon. Which means this is one of the rare instances when the non-Prime actually offers more goodness for less points than the Prime…

"Rawr."

“Now this doesn’t seem safe at all.”

3. DP003 Dogpool 65 Points – Common: Love this lil’ pup. For 65 Points, you can totally nerf Stealth for one of your opponent’s pieces every turn (“BARK” WHAT’D YA FIND BOY? TIMMY IN THE WELL AGAIN?: Dogpool can use Perplex, but only to decrease a defense value. When he uses Perplex, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain and targeted characters can’t use Stealth this turn.). But what’s really neat is that with a 10 Attack and Precision Strke, he can even sneak some damage in on the biggest of foes! And he picks up Blades/Claws/Fangs further down dial–in Sealed, my opponent nailed one of my best figures twice with that. Unfortunately for him, he rolled 1 twice (and that opponent may or may not have been Ninwashui). Still, he more than proved his worth, and that’s even without a full compliment of Word Balloons (I mean, “Hammer Time” on a dog is just fun…).

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

Now THIS would have made an awesome Duo figure!!

2. DP019A DeadPool135 Points – Uncommon: The star of the set, Deadpool at 135 is like a nice blob of clay that you can mold into whatever sort of primary attacker you need him to be. Want to create mass causalities? Throw on “Hammer Time.” Want to make him harder to hurt? Throw on “4th Wall? What 4th Wall?!” or “Quick! Shield Me With Your Bodies!” Or turn him into a Wildcard–the possibilities are nigh endless (okay, there’s only like 12 different Word Balloons or so, so the possibilities definitely have an end), and that’s before you start adding in bonuses from Resources or Possessing Entities. The fact that there are two even crazier versions of DeadPool in this set is the only reason he’s not in the Top Ten.

I'll be honest, this could even be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

I’ll be honest, this might be Cobra Commander. YOU try finding Secret Empire Number 9 images!

1. DP204 Secret Empire Number 935 Points – Common: Actually, for once, the comments on HCRealms.com’s Units page explain this fig better than I ever could. A user named MrDgreen: “man, enhance and the Hydra TA, these guys are basically walking relics.” Hydra TA, Enhancement (with a respectable 2 damage), Pyschic Blast and ES/D to prolong their already pretty good 5 clicks of life… Their only drawback is that Soldier is their lone useful keyword (no one is fielding any decent Secret Empire Theme Teams, I promise you).

Alright!! We’re done with the appetizer–here’s the Main Course!

THE TOP TEN TWELVE FIGURES IN DEADPOOL!!

The next character in Sprint's "Framily" commercials.

The next character in Sprint’s “Framily” commercials.

12. DP057 Tiamat – 255 Points – Super Rare: The Beast with Two… bases. Tiamat comes on a peanut base, and he/she/it is a complete badass. 9 Clicks that are all painted, plus 1 ridiculous Trait (CHAMPION AND STEED: Once per turn, when an opposing character has taken damage from his attack, give Tiamat any action as a free action. When you do, after action resolve, remove an action token from Tiamat.). Besides the boatload of points it takes to field Tiamat, the only drawback is that Tiamat can’t account for Hindering or Elevated Terrain when he moves (that’s why we have Hammers though, right?). Close Combat figs are always gonna take a backseat to Ranged-Based figures, but man, this is a Monnnnnnnnster!!

"I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!"

“I have Stop Clicks! Sort of!”

11. DP057A/057B Typhoid Mary/Bloody Mary100 Points – Super Rare: One of the most unique figures WizKids has turned out in a while now, due to her Trait (I’M JUST MARY WALKER, SOAP OPERA ACTRESS/ BLOODY MARY, PSYCHOTIC BUTCHER: Each time a new click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponents attack, roll a d6. On a result of 6 stop turning the dial, and Typhoid Mary ignores all further damage dealt this turn. On a result of 4-5 you may replace her with DP #058b Bloody Mary on the same click number and then deal her the remaining damage minus 1.) and the fact that both bases come together! She’s slightly over-costed given that’s she’s mostly a supporting piece to start, but as she gets down dial she turns into a solid damage dealer as well.

WizKids's sculpts get more and more lifelike each set...

WizKids’s sculpts get more and more lifelike each set…

10. DP050 Wolverine and X-23168 Points – Super Rare: Another Close Combat figure that has been gifted with so many abilities that Ranged-based attackers won’t necessarily have the Alpha Strike advantage on them. Their best powers come from an awesome Trait (SNEAK AND KILL: Wolverine and X-Men can use Sidestep and Stealth. Unhindered lines of fire drawn to Wolverine and X-23 during an opponent’s turn are blocked unless Wolverine and X-23 have 2 action tokens or are adjacent to an opposing character not on its starting click.) that combines with their Special Attack Power (SLICE AND DICE: Wolverine and X-23 can use Blades/Claws/Fangs and Flurry. When using Blades/Claws/Fangs, their minimum d6 result is 3. If they hit a character twice during a turn, they may use Incapacitate as a free action, targeting that character.) to give them the coveted Charge, Flurry and Blades/Claws/Fangs combo. So, to review: Top dial, they can move up to 7 squares in one turn and still attack between their Sidestep and Charge, then they get to attack you twice with Flurry and–if they hit both times (not unreasonable to think they will with that 12 Attack)–they also plop an action token on their target. Easy ways for them to heal once they hit Click 3 means that their 7 Clicks of life will seem like it’s almost double that. I can’t quite say that they’ll be a Meta piece, since their Point cost is fairly high even for a Primary Attacker, but man, if I sat down at a ROC and saw this Duo in my opponent’s starting area, I wouldn’t exactly feel too comfortable either.

 

"Rawr!"

“Rawr!”

9. DP060 Superior Spider-Man160 Points – Super Rare: The most powerful Spidey since ASM’s Spider-Man 2099, Sup Spidey is basically Toyman from SL0SH done right. Depending on which Spider Bots you attach, you can either give him a 50-66.6% to evade all attacks not made by Banshee or someone with Precision Strike (and that’s assuming that they hit his 18 Defense to begin with), or you can double his Outwit and Perplex Range. Either choice makes him really hard to deal with (although I’d go with the Super Senses bonus myself). So hard, in fact, we’re gonna do a quick Flash Build with him!

Team NameA Superior Way to Die!!

Theme: Scientist

DP060 Superior Spider-Man160

(w/ the Secret Avengers ATA) – 5

IIM037 Iron Monger 2.0135

Sideline: Like a bazillion Spider-Bots (both Mark 1 and Mark 2).

=300 (Exactly! Yeah!)

This may be one of the most self-explanatory armies we’ve ever published. Iron Monger 2.0’s Trait (REWIRE YOU FOR EXPLOSIVES: When a friendly character is KO’d by an opponent’s attack, you may deal 1 penetrating damage to each opposing character adjacent to that character.) makes friendly characters (like, say, little disposable Spider-Bots) go boom when your opponent deals damage to them. Superior Spider-Man spits out a Spider-Bot as a free action (depending on your d6 roll) every turn, and if your opponent doesn’t kill them, they can start surrounding his figures and causing serious problems (like jacking up each other’s Attack Value and firing off a bunch of Incaps right in a row. A classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. It will take a minute to get everything going, so you’d want a map that slows your opponents roll out a little bit (like that crazy Fires of Apokolips map or whatever it was called from the SLoSH kit).

"Wheeeee."

“Wheeeee.”

8. DP055 DeadPool215 Points – Super Rare: Insanity in a box. He comes with the “Hammer Time” Word Balloon, which pumps his attack up to a 13 and lets him mix some Energy Explosion Marshmellows in with his Pulse Wave Lucky Charms. If you play him with a TK’er, he’s devastating on most maps. You’d want to pull him anyway just for his Word Balloon; the fact that he’s one of the best figures in the set is just gravy. 215 is a lot to sink into one figure, but damn! Keep in mind, too, that he has the Asgardian keyword, so Splitlip and the Book of the Skull sits you down at 265 with a Theme Team and 35 Points left to spend in a 300 Point game. He’s even better in Epic Games.

"The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally."

“The H does not stand for Hero, incidentally.”

7. DP103 Wolverine, Agent of Hydra90 Points – LE: This is the engine that Hand swarm teams needed. He’s less than 100 Points and enables the Hydra TA to work for Close Combat attacks as well. Since most Hand characters (even the generics) already have this TA, it basically turns your Hand swarm into a mobile meat grinder. Hook him up with the Hand ATA to make it nearly impossible to target him until its too late. One of the best Wolverines currently in Modern Age (and since there’s roughly 2000, that’s saying something!). He also has one of the best Charge Special Movement Powers in the game (especially considering his point level).

"I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off."

“I am not a Bruce Lee rip-off.”

6. DP047A Shang-Chi90 Points – Rare: Why does this entire set either cost 90, 100 or 110 Points? Weird. Anyway, Shang-Chi is a Close Combat nightmare. If sets were measured in the effectiveness of their Close Combat pieces, Deadpool would be the best set ever released! Shang-Chi is the beneficiary of another near-broken Trait (COUNTER-BLOCK: Each time an opposing character targets and misses Shag-Chi with an attack, put a Counter token on this card. Give Shang-Chi a free action and remove all Counter tokens to make that many close combat attacks with a locked damage value of 2. At the end of your turn, remove all Counter tokens.). Add in some GREAT keywords (Avengers, Martial Artist and HfH, among others), Empower, a couple of Improved Movements (including Elevated), a 12 Attack, and an 18 Defense with Combat Reflexes, and you have the Phone Book of Modern Age Close Combat abilities. His dial should be in the 120-135 Range; in reality, it’s 90. There ya go.

"Yep! I'm back!"

“Yep! Zombie Electro. Again.”

5. DP064 Electro – 90 Points – Chase: And now we start to get into the figs you can build competitive teams around. Check out my column on the most effective Chase pieces in Modern Age from last week for some suggestions on the shenanigans you can get into with Zombie Maxwell Dillon.

The cover to "Black Talon and the Ex-X-Men #1," the least selling X-book of all time.

The cover to “Ex-X-Men #1,” the least selling X-book of all time.

4. DP043 Black Talon60 Points – Rare: They should call him Black Shenanigans, except that sounds like it could be the title of a racist D.W. Griffith propaganda film from the early-1900’s. So scratch that. But the point remains–with his Damage Special Power (CONTROL OF THE MINDLESS UNDEAD: Black Talon can use Mind Control with a range value of 8, and when he does he may target friendly characters. If all of his targets are friendly, a lower point value, and have the Monster keyword, he may use it as if had 3 bolts.) & Trait (POWER OF THE LIVING LOA: When Black Talon uses Mind Control, you may place a KO’d opposing character in an adjacent square on its starting click, and that character becomes the target. After actions resolve, that character is removed from the game.) someone (as Ninwashui always likes to say) is gonna find a way to break him. One of the early episodes of the Quarry featured an interview with a ROC winner (or judge–I can’t remember) who had determined within his playgroup that the ability to Mind Control friendly characters shouldn’t appear on figures less than, like, 110 Points or something. He had all kinds of mathmatical reasoning and whatnot, I’m sure–just like I’m sure that WizKids heard that interview, chuckled, and then said “Oh yeah?” out loud and to no one in particular. Whether you agree with my half-remembered anecdote or not, giving a friendly Mind Control ability to a 60 Point figure is damn near absurd. Never mind the fact that he can also use Mind Control to target opposing characters WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN KO’D AND THUS REMOVED FROM THE GAME!! I mean, that’s almost an afterthought, and it’s also a near-gamebreaking ability. He will power some ROC Top 16 teams in the near future–count on it.

"The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice... like rainbows?"

“The all-new Thunderbolts! Justice… like rainbows?”

3. DP053A Speed Demon110 Points – Super Rare: Here’s what you need to know: his Trait (SPEED CYCLONE UPLIFT: When Speed Demon moves, after actions resolve, choose an opposing character and roll a d6. If the result is less than the number of distinct squares that Speed Demon moved into or through that are adjacent to that character during the move, you may place that character within line of fire of its square and up to the result away in squares and deal that character half of the result in damage.) is among the most broken currently in Modern and allows him to sneak in a second attack in one turn, except that you don’t even actually make an attack; assuming you can devote six squares out of your 14-square Movement to circle an opposing figure, this will go off on anything less than a roll of 6. Again, this Trait works WHILE HE’S USING HIS HYPERSONIC SPEED and it allows you to place an opposing character where you want him to be, which can really screw up your opponent’s positioning. It’s also probably the best way to go when you need to damage someone without making an attack (to get around the Mystics TA, for example). It’s sick and wrong.

Like his Prime version, the Whizzer, Speed Demon also has an 11 starting Attack with 3 damage. But unlike his Prime version, as Speedy gets down dial he only gets better, picking up a +2 Perplex (on anything but damage) and a Movement Special that keeps HS but adds in a second attack. This means that he’s actually as good–if not BETTER–on click 4 as he is top dial. That’s pretty sick on a 110 Point character. He’s another piece you should be seeing at an ROC soon, given everything that he does and the fact that his insanely good keywords (Among others, HfH, Sinister Syndicate AND Thunderbolts–plenty of options just with those!) make him eligible for a bevy of different armies. Let’s look at a basic Sinister Syndicate Build:

Team Name: Sinister Six-ish

Theme: Sinister Syndicate

DP053A Speed Demon110 Points

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

ASM019 Vulture 61

(w/ Sinister Twelve ATA) – 4

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIB003 Damaged Warbot10

FIR100 The Book of the Skull6

(w/ 7 Hammers attached–all except Greithoth’s) – 21

=300 (Exact-a-mundo again!)

You’ll get +3 to Map Roll and 3 Theme Team Probs. So, with Gulyadkin the Lion’s token, you should have 6 characters at the start of the game, which will hopefully be at least one more than your opponent so that your Sinister Twelve ATA’s go off. Vulture can taxi Alyosha, who can give his pet a free move every turn too, and Speed Demon is, well, Speed Demon, so once you Hammer Up, mobility shouldn’t be an issue. Speed Demon in particular (with a now 12 Attack) should run amok. Not ROC-worthy, because you’re team would be too vulnerable from Range (depending on Map Choice), but this team can dish out a ton of damage!

Gotta love the backwards arm.

Gotta love the backwards arm.

2. DP019B Evil DeadPool100 Points – Uncommon Prime: Just looking at his stats and powers, you’d think his dial was made up of rejected SLoSH Bizarro clicks. But when you look closer, you’ll see an amazing damage dealer whose main flaw–low top dial defense–is easily fixable with a Resource and/or Word Balloon, and his Regeneration Special (WEIRD REGENERATION FROM LEFTOVER PARTS: Evil Deadpool can use Regeneration. Choose an opponent to roll another d6. If the opponent’s roll is higher than your d6 roll, add the two results together and subtract 2. Evil Deadpool is healed of damage equal to this amount instead. Each time Evil Deadpool would heal past his starting click in this way, modify his combat values by +1 for the rest of the game, even if this power is lost.) means that he can survive almost anything that gets thrown at him and actually come back stronger! Put him on a Book of the Skull team, give him “Hammer Time” when he attacks and suddenly you’re opponent is in for a world of hurt–and you still have 170 Points left to support him. Awesome piece!

"Get used to seeing me around, homies."

“Get used to seeing me at every ROC, homies.”

1.DP051 Banshee98 Points – Super Rare: Just stupid for his Points. His Trait (IT’S GOING TO GET A LITTLE LOUD: Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Super Senses. Opposing characters within 6 squares can’t use Impervious, Invincible, or Invulnerability but can use Toughness instead. When Banshee hits a character that can’t use a power due to this trait, increase damage dealt to that character by 1.) shuts down just about every good defensive power and in a lot of cases increases Banshee’s damage by one. I talked about how stupid broken he gets the more Resources etc. that you add to him in last week’s Weekly Roundup. At this point, you should either buy one yourself or be prepared to deal with him–a lot.

(One Final Note: Fast Forces: Deadpool is technically it’s own Micro Set; having said that, I should note that the Elektra and the Rookie Mercy figs from that set would have made my Honorable Mention and Top Ten, respectively had then been part of Deadpool proper. In other words, you’re gonna want that Fast Forces…)

Whew!! 4500 words on Deadpool, and there’s still so much we didn’t cover. But I hope this helps–now get out there and dominate!

Local Tournament Report – 4/23/14 Comics & More

"Instant Karma's gonna get you  Gonna knock you right on the head  You better get yourself together  Pretty soon you're gonna be dead..."

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead…” -A spell by John Lennon

 

The Format: AvX Month 3. Must use at least 1 figure from the starter. Other figures must share a keyword with the starter figure. 500 point modern. No relics, Colossals. You can use the Phoenix force resource and the three parts we’ve received so far (Colossus, Namor, Cyclops).

What I played:

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (with Colossus, Namor, and Cyclops fragments)

AVX014 Magneto

WXM045 Phoenix (With Namor Fragment)

WXM038 Legion (With Cyclops Fragment)

Total = 500 Points

I finally did a build article and stuck to it! You can read about the strategy for my team “TK for the Win” here.

 

"Sure, I may not have Willpower, but--wait, I don't have Willpower? S#!tballs!"

“Sure, I may not have Willpower, but–wait, I don’t have Willpower? S#!tballs!”

Round 1:

Facing:

AVX001 Captain America

SLOSH005B Mon-El

IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC)

Total = 485 Points

My opponent was new to our venue and thus didn’t know about the shared keyword being required. We played on a map similar to Wundagore Mountain [EDITOR’S NOTE: That would be the  Verkhoyansk Mountains Map]. As the armies closed in on each other I was up on elevated terrain in the center of the map. All three of his characters were grounded about a third of the way up. Iron Pharaoh’s falcon lagged behind. Captain America did a Running Shot up a stairs. He tried to target Legion, but I pointed out the stealth. He targeted Magneto and missed. He didn’t use the Pharaoh and Mon-el because they would take pushing damage. On my turn I struck back. Magneto did a Running Shot Pulse Wave for 4 penetrating damage (cap only has 5 range and was close). Then my opponent realized he hadn’t declared Energy Shield with Cap last turn. I offered to let him, but he declined. Phoenix used psychic blast for 4 damage on Cap and that was a KO.

Next turn Mon-el used Hypersonic speed and an object to attack Phoenix. She missed shape change. He hit his attack. She ignored the damage by hitting impervious. Iron Pharaoh had no move and attack so he just walked into a good shooting position. After KO-ing cap I had turned the dial once  and that granted my team sidestep. Phoenix pushed to do a Running Shot and hit Mon-el for 4. Then she used Sidestep to get back to Legion. Legion chose support and healed Phoenix back to her top click. Magneto pushed to Pulse Wave Iron Pharaoh for 4.

The remainder of his team was injured. Mon-el had no move and attack so he flew next to Legion and ended his turn. Legion choose Impervious and Phoenix was in a position to outwit Mon-el’s close combat expert. I cleared tokens. Mon-el decided not to push to have the possibility of doing 1 damage to Legion. The Pharaoh missed Magneto.

The following turn Magneto finished off the Pharaoh with another 4 damage pulse wave. Phoenix outwitted Mon-el’s defense and Legion used Close Combat Expert for the knockout punch.

My opponents team was interesting and I am sure his strategy had merits, but if I was playing that team I would have done a few things differently. I would have left the Pharaoh much farther away from the battle and waited for the Golden Falcon to be a factor. I also would have kept Mon-El directly behind Captain America as much as possible. Mon-el’s special defend along with Cap’s traited Energy Shield could have given cap a 21 defense versus range!

"I'm viable in the Meta. Y'know, If you just give me, like, three more powers. And some slightly better stats. And a resource. And Hope Summers."

“I am VIABLE in the Meta! …Y’know, If you just give me, like, three more powers. And some slightly better stats. And a resource. And a Hope Summers. Or Rachel Summers, or any of my sisters for that matter–you know what? I’m not viable in the Meta.”

 

Round 2:

Facing:

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (with Colossus, Namor, and Cyclops fragments)

AVX009 Cyclops (With Namor Fragment)

AVX010 Emma Frost

AVX101 Cable (With Cyclops Fragment)

IH035 Wolverine

Total = 496 Points

This opponent started the match using Flight from the Phoenix shards to carry his forces around. When I pointed out that the Phoenix Shards only granted Flight and didn’t grant Carry, he realized his mistake. At that point he called the judge over and has his first game changed from a win to a loss. That feat of awesome honesty lost him the first game, but Karma (or luck, or divine intervention) made all my rolls go sour in game two.

So we started the game over and my opponent slowly walked his characters into corner down a 2 square wide hallway created by Elevated Terrain and left them bunched together. Due to my superior movement abilities, my team got the first opportunity to strike. I had Phoenix hit wolverine for 4 penetrating damage.  Magneto was then able to swing in and hit the entire opposing team with a 1 damage Pulse Wave. That was enough to KO Wolverine. Legion used Hypersonic and missed Cyclops’s practically naked 17 defense. Missing a 17 defense on an attack was going to happen several more times this game.

My opponent struck back. He outwitted Magneto’s defense, used Cable’s RCE and +1 attack from the Phoenix Force to spice up his attack to 12 and nailed Magneto for 4 damage. The rest of his team missed Magneto. He had rolled doubles so his resource gave him Sidestep.

Magneto ran back to Legion. Legion pushed to try a support roll, but rolled a 5. Phoenix cleared. My opponent’s team cleared. The next turn he used his 3(!) Outwits to remove all of Phoenix’s Defensive powers and hit her twice for a total of four damage(due to Invuln from the Colossus shard). On my turn my team scattered and tried to use elevated for cover.

Legion eventually did successfully heal Magneto, but only for 1 damage. Cable used Sidestep to fly up to elevated and get another hit in on Magneto. Phoenix had 3 non-penetrating damage showing and I knew that with Cable and Cyclops both having shard-granted Invuln, it wasn’t going to be a fun time taking them on. Still, I had Phoenix base them to save Magneto.

On the last turn before the judge called time Phoenix’s defense was Outwitted and Cyclops hit her for 3 damage and the KO. So I lost the game 70-160. HypeFox pointed out later that this shouldn’t have been a KO. I had forgotten about Phoenix’s shard-granted Invuln and taken too much damage. Karma, you can’t fight it.

 

"Cosplayers love me."

“Cosplayers love me.”

Round 3:

Facing:

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force (with Colossus, Namor, and Cyclops fragments)

FI031 Wolverine (With Namor Fragment)

WXM031 Gambit (With Colossus Fragment)

AVX009E Cyclops (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM063 Psylocke

WXM047B Jubilee

Total = 495 Points

This game was the polar opposite of game 2. I started out by taking the elevated center on the Limbo map. My opponent sent Gambit and Psylocke down the right edge of the map and the remaining characters went down the left hand side. With my move and attack advantage I realized it was going to take him two turns at least for his team from one side to help his team on the other side.

Magneto started with a Pulse Wave aimed at Gambit. Hit for 4 clicks. Phoenix pushed for a Running Shot and that KO’d Gambit. My resource switched to a pink movement power, so Phoenix was able to Sidestep back to adjacency with Legion. Legion choose Hypersonic speed and rolled a 6! He gained +1 to all stats and choose Battle Fury as his second power. He ran in, ignored Shape Change, hit Psylocke for 4 and moved next to Phoenix again.

On my opponent’s turn he cleared Psylocke, moved up Jubilee, marched Wolverine next to Magneto, and attacked Phoenix with Cyclops. She hit her Impervious roll and took one (due to Precision Strike). On my turn, every character I had was double tokened. I chose Impervious with Legion and rolled a 5, healing Phoenix of 1 damage. I cleared. Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jubilee were all double tokened. Psylocke was stuck in hindering and moved 3 steps closer to me. My opponent cleared.

On my turn Magneto executed a Running Shot Pulse Wave with which he hit all opposing characters except for Psylocke for 1. Then Phoenix hit Wolverine for 3 penetrating damage with Psychic Blast, which put the Canucklehead on his stop click. Legion finished him off with a 12 attack, 3 damage RCE (due to the Cyke Shard). After his attack Legion chose Impervious again and rolled a 5, which healed Phoenix to full.

On his last turn Cyclops attacked Phoenix and she rolled Shape Change. He switched to Magneto and missed. Psylocke cleared. On my turn Magneto used Pulse Wave on Cyclops hitting for 4. Phoenix pushed to finish him off. Legion chose Hypersonic Speed again and rolled another 6!. He chose Willpower as a second power. He used Hypersonic to range attack Psylocke and finished her off.

The match was complete blowout, but a lot of that was due to my lucky rolls as opposed to anything my opponent did wrong. I never missed, I was only hit for 1 damage, Phoenix kept making defensive rolls, and my Legion rolls of 5 and 6 were just statistically absurd. I guess Karma was swinging back the other way.

It was an unusual tournament and at the end I did take first place because everyone had at least one loss after 3 rounds.

What I learned:

"Great, I'll probably manifest, like, a dozen more personalities after this."

“Great, I’ll probably manifest, like, a dozen more personalities after this.”

  • WXM038 Legion Legion is definitely worth the points if you play him thinking that you will always be getting Battle fury, or Earthbound, or -2 attack. Until the last game those were literally the only personality quirks I got. If you can plan around those, this guy is the real deal. I ended up using Support, Perplex, Close Combat Expert, Hypersonic Speed, will power, Earthbound (so he could be carried), Battle Fury (to get around shape change) and Impervious (when I knew he was about to take a hit). The three times his savant trait (+1 to all stats AND choose a second power) came up this tournament were sweet. He was a lot of fun and I will want to use him again soon.
  • WXM045 Phoenix was extremely powerful with her running shot and psychic blast, but she seemed to miss a lot (10 starting attack). Also due to my poor rolling her defense was not as strong as it statistically should have been(until the last game). I think I hit Impervious or Shape Change twice all night. Her Outwit was key for me, but I never got to Outwit multiple powers with it. I would use her again.
  • AVX014 Magneto is still awesome. In the two tournaments I’ve used him in now he’s only been KOed once. (Damn you, Hawkeye!) He’s a defensive powerhouse. Just don’t roll low on his Running Shot Pulse Wave.
  • AVX101 Cable by himself isn’t a great figure. However if he’s given Sidestep, R.C.E., AND an opponent with a penchant for missing – he’s very good.
  • Game 2 I faced essentially naked 17 defenses and I kept rolling low. Karma…
  • The Phoenix force resource might be the most complicated game element we’ve gotten yet. Everyone who played it screwed up something about it at least once this tournament.

By your powers combined, I am… the Phoenix! (Or the Build 4/23/2014)

Hmm... 5 people who have powers that combine into a powerful force. Where have I seen that before?

Hmm… 5 people who have powers that combine into a powerful force. Where have I seen that before?

 

Greetings true believers. (Stan Lee stole that from me.) This weeks “article” revolves around different team ideas I’m considering for this month’s AvX tournament at my local venue and copyright infringement. By which I mean, hopefully, the armies below might give you a good idea for your next tournament.

Now on with the show. (Wow that was a cool phrase. I’m an originator.)

The Format: AvX Month 3. 500 Points. You can use the Phoenix force resource and the three parts we’ve received so far (Colossus, Namor, Cyclops). If you need to know what they do look them up on HCrealms. If I told you that would take literally all the time I have to write the rest of this article. It’s not simple or easy to describe.

The Phoenix Force Resource: Through careful analysis, HypeFox and I have determined the best way to use the resource with the pieces we have. It’s the resource itself (12 points), all three fragments (3*3 = 9 points), and 2 assigned characters (2*3 = 6 points). That’s 27 total points. Why do it that way? Because if you leave the Colossus fragment on the resource the 2 assigned people get un-outwit-able (EDITOR’S NOTE: Just say “Unoutwittable.” There! I made it a word now! No more reaching for the “-” key!) poison, flight, and invulnerability! It’s the Invulnerability that makes it all worth it. There have been a lot of clix that are considered very good because of an of un-outwit-able defense on otherwise decent dials. For example SM058 Kal. This means that I have the Namor fragment (which grants nothing useful) and the Cyclops fragment (which grants RCE) to assign to each team I list below. I am also going to note this configuration of the phoenix force resource as “Standard Phoenix Force Resource“.

Now on with the teams!

 

Team 1: TK for the win.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

AVX014 Magneto

WXM045 Phoenix (With Namor Fragment)

WXM038 Legion (With Cyclops Fragment)

Total = 500 Points

The key to success with this team are the proper uses of the TK power and Legions trait. Legion was assigned the RCE fragment so that he can make a strong attack before using his trait to select a new power. That way you can avoid having your ranged attack canceled by rolling battle fury or the -2 to attack emotions. He also gets Invulnerability over all seven clicks to cover defense. That means you should be free to chose a good supporting (Perplex, Outwit, Probability Control), or healing (Regeneration, Support) power. You may have to choose a power (like Running Shot) before you make a successful attack, but want to avoid doing that as much as possible. That’s where Magneto’s TK comes in handy. If you can attack with him first and add a second token then he can TK Legion into battle and let Legion attack without having to use his trait. Remember also that even though all of your character’s fly, Legion can choose to gain Earthbound via his trait and then be carried.

To start the battle have Magneto, Phoenix, and Legion arranged in a straight horizontal line with Legion in the middle. Try to have no tokens on Legion and on one Magneto. If your opponent gets the drop on you then have Legion gain Support on your next turn via his trait and heal up your injured guys. If you get a chance at an opening shot, use Legion to TK Magneto into battle and have Magneto use Running Shot and Pulse Wave. If that’s a second token for Magneto have him use TK to pull a teammate up into battle. If you use TK on Phoenix, she can then use Running Shot and her 8 range to hit almost anywhere on the board. You could also pull Legion up to Magneto in case you need to use Support next turn.

 

Team 2: Revenge of the Nerfed X-Force.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

WXM042 Fantomex

WXM041 Spiral (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM018 Sunspot (With Namor Fragment)

AVX005R Wolverine

WXM010 Shatterstar

Total = 499 Points

I made an entire Revenge of the Nerfed article about the strategies for this team. You shouldn’t need any more explanation than that.

 

Team 3: I finally get to use Iron/Man Iron Patriot.

AVXR100 The Phoenix Force

AVXR101 Fragment – Cyclops

AVXR102 Fragment – Namor

AVXR100X Assigned Character

AVXR100X Assigned Character

IM3017E Iron Man and Iron Patriot (With Cyclops Fragment)

AVX012 Colossus (With Namor Fragment)

Total = 499 Points

Note that this team couldn’t quite fit in the Standard Phoenix Force Resource configuration. (1 point too much) I’ve been looking for a good way to use IM3017E Iron Man and Iron Patriot and this might be it. This team is pretty straightforward with a couple interesting synergies. First, when using a duo attack IM3017E Iron Man and Iron Patriot has a trait that says they get a standard attack and a ranged combat action. With their existing dial that didn’t mean too much, but add the Cyclops fragment to them and that ranged combat action is now RCE. The second interesting synergy is that both pieces in this army have 18 defense with defend. That means that while they are standing together they will each have 18 defense until after your opponent has damaged both of them.

 

Team 4: A balanced team.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

WXM046 Warlock (With Namor Fragment)

 AVX009 Cyclops (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM209 Jean Grey

M10A007 Storm

Total = 500 Points

The Idea here is simple. Warlock consistently uses his Perplex on himself to give himself 20 defense. That along with his Shape Change and Invulnerability should keep him safe as he makes a hell of a distraction for the other team up close by using Pulse Wave and Poison. Everyone else uses Jean Grey’s Enhancement to take good sized pot shots from range.

 

Team 5: The Dune Buggy of Death.

Standard Phoenix Force Resource

AVX012 Colossus(With Namor Fragment)

WXM046 Warlock (With Cyclops Fragment)

WXM033 Forge

WXM017 Jean Grey

Total = 496 Points

  • Step 1: choose Steal Energy or Precision Strike with Warlock’s “ANY SHAPE FOR ANY OCCASION” power.
  • Step 2: use Jean Grey to TK Warlock to a vertical axis containing multiple members of the opposing team within the next 11 squares. Elevated, hindering, and outdoor blocking terrain don’t matter because Warlock gets flying from the Phoenix force. If you’re indoors use Colossus to clear the walls away.
  • Step 3: transform to vehicle.
  • Step 4: Walk Forge and Colossus up to Warlock so they can be carried.
  • Step 5: Use the Perplex from Forge and Warlock to add to Warlock’s attack by 2 and his damage by 1. (you don’t want to miss)
  • Step 6: Ram! Move straight forward 11 spaces and make 1 close combat attack roll targeting everyone you pass through. Every hit person takes 5 damage!

When it’s your opponent’s turn Colossus’s 18 defend and Forge’s healing should be enough to protect Warlock from your opponents counterattack.

 

What will I play: It depends on several factors. I’m probably leaning most towards team 1 and 4. But if I sense an Iron Pharaoh, then I’ll go with team 2. Team 3 is probably more of a fun team. Team 5 would have worked as a complete surprise, but Hypefox is going to read this article before the tournament. I’ll post a my results in a week. Until then, “You stay classy San Diego.” (I swear that’s totally my phase.)

The Build 2, Part 2!! (Or, The Results Are In!!)

Let's... GET IT ON!

Let’s… GET IT ON! For REALS this time!

 

Okay! So… that happened!

Click here if you need to be refreshed on the game type and stipulations! Once you’re caught up, head right back here, cuz the results… are in!

 

Essentially, this is what it came down to. Except I used a lil' older version of ol' Shellhead...

Essentially, this is what it came down to. Except I used a lil’ older version of ol’ Shellhead…

ROUND 1! FIGHT!

My first match was against Ninwashui. He was using AVX009e Cyclops, AVX010e Emma Frost & AVX014 Magneto. Oh, Magneto… I’d forgotten about you and your 20 Defense against ranged attacks. Eeeshh. When rolling for map, we actually tied. On the second roll, I beat him with my superior Theme bonus and took the battle to Wundagore, which ended up being a sizable advantage for me, since his characters had to walk around the long way. Cyclops was, frankly, toast, although in fairness, this was a terrible matchup for that figure. With no taxi, he was tokened by the time he got into the fight, and the Golden Falcon Special Terrain marker was right there to meet him. With the bonuses the Pharaoh gets because Cyke is a “Ruler,” the X-Men’s Fearless Leader went down like a sack of hot, moist and delicious potatoes.

I was able to get one Mind Control through with Brother Voodoo on Magneto, but it ended up being an odd play. I blasted Emma Frost for a healthy amount of damage, but to do so, I had to move Magneto on a Running Shot to the place where Ninwashui probably would have wanted him anyway, so he could start going crazy with Pulse Wave. Luckily for me, my defenses were still pretty high, and even though Mags eventually whittled down Voodoo, Scarlet Witch and Astral Doc Strange, I still had a full Shaman and half an Iron Pharaoh left while Mags was double chipped with no other friendlies to TK anywhere (I think Mags was a couple clicks in, but I could be wrong). Time was called at that point, but it would have been interesting if the match had continued. I believe I still would have won based on where Magneto was at on his dial and the fact that I would have gotten in another Pharaoh attack or two before Magneto could go again (Magneto also buffs the Pharaoh since he too is a “Ruler”).

What I Learned From This Round:

–My strategy for why I built the team I built seems sound at this point. The movement advantage I enjoyed this round certainly paid off in delaying any confrontations until the Golden Falcon soared into the enemy.

–Full dial AvX Magneto is redonkulous. His defense against ranged attacks borders on insane, especially when its combined with Invincible. No matter what angle of attack you take… he’s gonna be around for awhile. The fact that he can run a limited TK for free when he has two action tokens means that even when Mags couldn’t fly or carry, Ninwashui still had a half-decent taxi on his force. He’s got all that PLUS 11 Attack with Pulse Wave and an 8 Range on his first click. He’s a figure I should have been more prepared to face, given that he’s from the freaking AvX Starters. Still, I was taken a bit by surprise by just how powerful he was, particularly in a game that was designed to limit the usefulness of any figure that flies.

–Oh yeah–Iron Pharaoh is really good. You probably know that, but I just thought I’d repeat it in case you’d forgotten.

–Shaman’s “No Flights” spell is a FREE ACTION! Wow. Completely changes the game and it’s not even a power action. Unbelievable! While his no flying shenanigans were the inspiration for this team, his 7 range Perp along with his high defense against ranged attacks were just as important this round.

–Brother Voodoo is Brother Voodoo. He’s sick and wrong. He’s also the first figure that Ninwashui tried to kill. Eventually, he succeeded, but not until the rest of my army had basically taken out the rest of his army. Using Brother Voodoo as bait would be a recurring theme on the night…

 

What's that Wanda? No, not--it's no more "flights!" Wait, which spell did YOU cast?

Wanda, what was that? No, not–it’s “no more FLIGHTS!” Wait, which “no more” spell did you cast?

ROUND 2! FIGHT!!

For the second round, I played R, a player who’s just gotten back into the game after a long hiatus. Even though he’s still gaining familiarity with the new rules and pieces, he’s extremely adept at positioning his pieces and he learns very quickly. Last month, at the venue’s first AvX event, R defeated me soundly in the championship match. I missed some rolls (doesn’t everyone when they lose?), but, to be frank, R outmaneuvered me at every turn that game. His tactics were simply better.

This time, he was playing AVX003E Thor, WXM040 Hope Summers, AVX008 Professor X & AVX005R Wolverine. So how’d it go?

As good a player as R is, this was an absolute nightmare matchup for him. We ended up marching on Wundagore Mountain again, and after another quick spellcasting by Shaman, R’s entire force was stuck on foot. To make matters worse, my two main attack pieces–Iron Pharaoh and Brother Voodoo–could either attack Professor X from more than 8 squares away or could use a billion different FREE actions so that the good Professor’s fantastically good Movement Special Power (I CAN’T LET YOU DO THIS: Professor X can use Mind Control and is not dealt unavoidable damage from it. Opposing characters within range must be given double power actions instead of power actions.) never went off. He killed Astral Dr. Strange and got Brother Voodoo down to his last click, but by that point the Pharaoh had run amok and Shaman had gotten into the fight (he can sling 3 damage with a range of 7 plus a Perplex he can float around to whoever needs it).

What I Learned From This Round:

–Once again, the strategy behind my build paid off. R’s team was solidly constructed; on most other maps, he would have been competitive and Professor X would have caused his opponent a LOT of problems. But the fact that a flier (Thor) was his main taxi and my team was stacked with a lot of Free Actions ultimately lead to his downfall in this match.

–Shaman can do some damage! He’s great to set up your positioning, but he’s not afraid to mix it up himself.

–Iron Pharaoh? Still good. FYI.

This win put me straight into the finals and…

Wait, you're not Cyclops!

Wait, you’re not Cyclops!

ROUND 3!! FIGHT!!

This time I played B., another local regular. He’s a very skilled player who knows about the current Meta but actively prefers to come up with his own creative twists on what he plays. Today was no different. As we sat down to play, B revealed his force:  AVX009 Cyclops, Tab-M004 Wolverine, WXM023A Deathbird and ASM022 Cloak. Can you guess which one of those four blew up my strategy?

It was Cloak! Hadn’t even considered the possibility of facing him (even though he’s got the X-Men keyword!). But his Phasing Movement PLUS Traited Stealth and Carry were a giant headache to deal with for me. He’s only 55 points, but he has 6 (SIX!!) clicks and useful powers all the way down his dial.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Our match started with me finally LOSING map roll and B. choosing to take us right to the Savage Land side of the map. This side of the map had plenty of Hindering Terrain and Water but not much Elevated Terrain, which was really what slows people down after “No Flights” goes off. The other crappy part (for me, I mean) about losing Map Roll is that my opponent got to go first after choosing which side of the map we’d play on, which meant he’d get a taxi turn out of Deathbird before I could hit the NF button.

That ended up being exactly what happened, as he used Cloak and Deathbird to ferry Cyke and Wolverine over to a four-square patch of hindering terrain to keep them safe. This wasn’t a very far advance at all, and it took them over to the other side of the map.

On my first turn, I moved out my Falcon 3 squares, perplexed up Brother Voodoo Attack value with Scarlet Witch and Shaman and sent him out to take Cyke with his Traited Free Action Mind Control (I wanted Cloak, so I could separate him from the group, but his Stealth made him untargetable). With ES/D, Cyclops had a 20 Defense, but Brother Voodoo had a 12 or 13 Attack at this point with all the modifiers plus his own Prob Control, and I ended up hitting with the MC. In turn, Cyclops blasted Cloak for four (which, at the time, I thought would either kill Cloak or at least get him out of Phasing. WRONG!). So I got the Alpha Strike, but boy, would I pay for it in the next couple turns. My last action of the turn was to bust off “No Flights,” which was able to catch everyone in Hindering. Astral Dr. Strange was also sent into the fray, although it’d take a couple turns to get to his grouping. My last action of the turn was to bust off “No Flights,” which was able to catch everyone in Hindering.

On his turn, he mostly de-chipped and/or got his forces out of Hindering (so that when he was ready to Run Shot or Charge, he wouldn’t also have to pay the Hindering Movement bonus). On turn 2, I moved the Falcon out a little more (although he had been careful with his positioning, so Pharaoh still couldn’t touch any of his figs) and tried to Incapacitate Cloak so that B. would have to push him if he wanted to Carry anyone. Even with Strange’s 8 attack I hit–and Cloak promptly hit his Super Senses roll. Tried to use free action MC again with Voodoo but missed.

My opponent retaliated the next turn by blasting Voodoo with Cyke for four. He then offed Strange’s Astral Projection with a Charge/Blades from Wolverine.

My turn. I pushed Voodoo back to Scarlet Witch for a quick heal. The push sent Voodoo to his last click. I moved Wanda into position for a heal next turn. On B.’s turn, he looked at the map 10 different ways before he had to concede that he wasn’t going to be able to base Voodoo and Witch or Outwit Witch’s Support in such a manner that the Falcon couldn’t just swoop over and Outwit his Outwit.

Back to my turn, and I make my Support roll. I need a 6, but I rolled a 3. No problem. Prob it–and I Prob myself right into a Critical Miss–the Nightmare Scenario. The Crit Miss means Voodoo takes 1 damage… and he’s done. So now my opponent has a Cloak who’s down dial quite a bit, but I’m down 2 whole figs–Voodoo and Astral Dr. Strange. My reckless opening gambit that appeared to have paid off actually didn’t, and my opponent presses his advantage on his next turn. I believe he needed a 9 or 10 to hit Scarlet Witch with Cyke–he nails the first roll, and after her defensive Prob ability, he nails a 10 on the second roll. Wanda hits him back for 1 Mystics damage, but she’s toast. Things are looking bad.

My only advantage was that Cyke was now in range of the Golden Falcon. With his “Ruler” keyword (as we’ve discussed before) and the Pharaoh’s Outwit, this is definitely not a fair fight, and within 2 turns, the Pharaoh wipes Cyclops off of the board AND pushes to his superior second click (Iron Pharaoh loses Invuln on his second click for Toughness, but his Attack goes from 10 to 11 and he gains PHARAOH’S SLAVE: Iron Pharaoh can use Mind Control, but only to target characters of fewer points that himself. When he does, after actions resolve, deal 1 unavoidable damage to the character he hit with his Mind Control.) This was huge, because with Cyclops off the board, all of my opponent’s figs were could be targeted by this ability.

The next couple turns were mostly about dechipping and positioning the Falcon (for me) and positioning and advancing with Cloak carrying Deathbird (for him). Yep! B. was using my own spell against me by having his remaining taxi carry his other taxi since I had given her the “Boot” symbol instead of her normal “Flight” icon.

Eventually he was ready (I believe it was right after I dechipped the Pharaoh) and he had Cloak carry Deathbird right up to my Elevated Terrain perch and set Cloak right between Iron Pharaoh and Shaman, my two remaining figs, and he walked Wolvie right up to the staircase, a point from which the Canucklehead could Charage next turn.

On my turn, I attacked Cloak with the Pharaoh and took him out, albeit a turn too late. As my opponent noted, “He did his job.” I’ll say! I debated attacking Deathbird with Shaman, but I decided to Barrier instead to cut off Wolverine from the fray. This was a mistake that ended up being a blessing.

My opponent’s turn. He Outwits the Barrier with Deathbird (Whoops!! Totally forgot about that!) AND marches Wolvie up to hit Shaman for 3. He dechips Deathbird and it’s my turn. Pharaoh has survived (relatively) intact.

This was the break I needed.  I hit Wolvie (who was now on Click 3 I believe) with Pharaoh’s Slave and use him to Flurry/Exploit Deathbird and do a Slave damage to Wolverine. Within 2 turns, Deathbird is dead and both my characters have evacuated the high ground. I miss a Support roll from Shaman on Iron Pharaoh, but it doesn’t matter. Wolverine is essentially immobile, I can start shooting at him from a safe distance with the Golden Falcon, and time is soon called.

This was a grueling game, and there were several moments where I think I was really outplayed. I’m proud of myself for refocusing and getting myself out of said holes, but B. designed a great team and played a great game. He actually ended up with more overall points than me for this particular tournament. But, because of my win here, I went 3-0 and won the whole thing.

What I Learned From This Round:

–Well well well, my map exploitation strategy had one glaring hole–I wasn’t always going win the Map Roll and get Map Choice! Seems like a pretty big oversight, but the Savage Land map wasn’t entirely incompatible with my strategy anyway. Still, worth noting.

–That Cloak is a monster for his points. I’m definitely going to work him into a team of my own at some point. He was useful the whole game; even when surrounded by Wolverine and Deathbird, I still had to attack him because his down dial Poison would have wrecked Shaman. Just a great piece.

–Both Shaman and Iron Pharaoh took a licking and kept on ticking. These are both 5-star pieces in my book. The versatility of this team saw me through in the end. Four of the five pieces I fielded had a way to modify either their own attack values (Iron Pharaoh and Brother Voodoo) or anyone’s values (Shaman and Scarlet Witch with their Top Dial Perplex).

–As proud of this team as I was, I think I learned as much or more about them by watching the way my opponents chose to attack them. 3 different opponents used 3 different strategies. A fun night.

The SPOILS!!

photo (14)

 

AVX101 Cable!!

 

Well, all’s well that ends well! For Ninwashui’s take on the night’s events, click here.

To see what Ninwashui wishes he would have played (and how he would attack the Pharaoh, Tellus and other Modern Age Meta figures), click here!

See you tomorrow for the Weekly Roundup!

 

Revenge of the Nerfed…

X-Force's teams haven't quite been as cool since the Watch List nerfs.

X-Force teams haven’t been quite as cool since the Watch List nerfs.

Everyone remembers WXM010 Shatterstar. No one uses him now because he had an awesome trait that was nerfed to heck. It was the exact same way with his teammate WXM041 Spiral. What if I told you there was a way to use them that would let you beat the well-nigh unstoppable IIM051 Iron Pharaoh (1500 BC) at his own game? If only I had thought of this team before my last game versus the Pharaoh.

The combo pieces are Shatterstar and WXM042 Fantomex. Just teleport Fantomex to the other side of the map and shoot Iron Pharaoh on like turn 3. There you win… Opps! I’m being told that won’t work at all. Fantomex is too many points for Shatterstar to teleport with and the watch list made it so anyone teleported can’t take a non-free action that same turn. Obviously none of this works and I should stop writing now… But wait, I’m still writing so I must know something.

Here’s the deal. It’s true you can’t teleport Fantomex, but nothing says you can’t teleport WXM042BT E.V.A.! So start on turn three with your characters un-tokened and together (because it takes Fantomex a turn to make an E.V.A). Have Shatterstar teleport and base Iron Pharaoh. Put E.V.A. in line of fire one square away. Try to position so you aren’t in the line of fire of the rest of the opposing team. E.V.A. can’t use a non free action that turn, but she can use her outwit to counter the Pharaoh’s defensive ability. Fantomex can now shoot through E.V.A using ranged combat expert to attack the Pharaoh with a 12 attack and hit for 4 damage (which is the sweet spot on the Pharaoh). But what if you miss your Alpha strike? That’s why I mentioned using Spiral earlier. Stand her next to Fantomex and use her probability control to get a second shot. The best part is that an opponent’s probability control is useless, because Fantomex will be well out of range. Include AVX005R Wolverine on your team to round it out to 396 points that can be used in the AvX event.

We’ve gone over what Fantomex and Shatterstar will be doing, but what about your other two characters? Well the same turn that Shatterstar teleports to the other side of the board Spiral should make a portal with one side under Wolverine so that he can use a free action to cross through it on his next turn and come out swinging. You’ll need to put the opposite end of the portal some place where your opponent either can’t move a character over the top of it (like deep in hindering), or where they won’t want to put a character (like adjacent to Shatterstar).

The turn following your Alpha Strike Wolverine and Shatterstar get their chance to chop your opponents to bits in close quarters. The turn after that Fantomex and Spiral will have cleared and can move into the fray via the spiral portal or by just using their advanced movement abilities. Hopefully by then your opponent won’t have much fight left in him.

This team can obviously be adapted to alpha strike any piece that’s necessary to your opponent’s game plan. SLOSH005B Mon-El and SLOSH048 Tellus come to mind as pieces to target, but just about any piece is vulnerable. Don’t try this on SLOSH039 Bizarro

WizKids top executives initial reaction to the reveal of Toyman's dial...

This is what it looked like the last time someone used this plan on Bizarro…

You can change the team to 300 points by dropping Spiral and adding the X-Force ATA. You can also make it close to 500 by adding WXM011A Deathlok. Just like the  Iron Pharaoh combo team I posted here, to the best of my knowledge no one has thought of this combo at the time I published it. If you take this to your local venue it’s likely no one will see this coming. In fact, you might be underestimated by other players for using “nerfed” pieces. Good luck. If you use this team, leave a comment to let me know how you did.