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

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

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

Welcome back!

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

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

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

But first, as always, I have…

SOME NOTES ABOUT THE SET:

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

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

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

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

HONORABLE MENTIONS!!

Black Widow AVAS

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

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

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

AVAS Hawkeye

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

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

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

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

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

Aleph

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

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

For example:

Team Name: Al-eph You Up!!

Theme: None

Roster:

 AVAS003 Aleph 140 Points

AAOU039 Jocasta — 25 (Possessing Aleph)

AVAS020 Juston Seyfert40

AVAS044 Arcade70

WOLR100 Power Battery (Green Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR300 Green Lantern Corps Ring8

WOLR200.04 Wall (Green) — 10

WOLR200.03 Mallet (Green) — 4

=297

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turbo

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

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

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

DMan AVAS

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

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

Okay! Enough foreplay. It’s time for…

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

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

You’re welcome.

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

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

Hulk Last Titan

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

As a 1-Man Army, you have three things in your favor with this Hulk. First, his Trait (THE LAST TITAN: Hulk can use Super Strength and his powers can’t be countered. Hulk begins the game with a Titan token on his card. Once per turn when Hulk damages an opposing character with an attack, place a Titan token on this card.) finally gives you a Hulk that can’t be Outwitted. Second, his top click (and his last click) feature one of the best Movement Specials ever (HULK HATES WORLD: Hulk can use Charge. When he does, he doesn’t halve his speed value and can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering, Ignores (and Destroys) Blocking, Ignores Characters.). If you can manage to pick up an Ultra-Heavy object, you should have a fighting chance to one-shot a significant piece on your opponent’s side before he can really get going. And finally, his Defense Special (ONLY ONE THERE IS: Hulk can use Invulnerability and, if he has no action tokens, Regeneration. When this click is revealed, stop turning the dial and remove a Titan token from this card. Whenever Hulk would take damage, remove a Titan token from this card instead. Hulk can’t place additional Titan tokens on this card. This power can’t be ignored.) gives him a ton of survivability at the end of his dial–no Pulse Wave for the win here.

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

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

Black Widow as Thor

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

Well, what if Thor had Traited Stealth? And the means to continually place down Hindering Terrain tokens to hide in? All of a sudden, Thor would get a lot more interesting. Which is exactly what happens here when Natasha picks up Thor’s Hammer. Her Trait (DARK CLOUDS & DIRTY TRICKS: Black Widow can use Stealth. Give Black Widow a free action and place 2 hindering terrain markers, one in her square and another within range and line of fire. These markers remain on the map until she uses this ability to place markers again.) does exactly what we just talked about for, really, no additional cost (most Thor dials–most GOOD Thor dials–are already 200 Points anyway).

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

Abyss AVAS

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

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

Red Wolf AVAS

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

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

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

Team Name: The Wolfpack

ThemeAnimal

Roster:

AVAS051 Red Wolf80 Points

(with ATA057 Avengers Response Unit) — 3

WOL037 Karu-Sil95

ASM031B Alyosha Kraven70

WOL102 Power Battery (Red Lantern Corps) — 2

WOLR302 Red Lantern Ring8

WOLR202.06 Decoy (Red) — 6

WOLR202.09 Nurse (Red) — 10

WOLR202.13 Stop Sign (Red) — 8

WOLR202.04 Wall (Red) — 10

WOLR202.01 Net (Red) — 8

=300

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

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

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

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

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

Starbrand Prime AVAS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3D Man AVAS

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

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

Living Lightning

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

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

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

Jarvis AVAS

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

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

Hmmm… that might be worth exploring in another article…

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

Loki AVAS

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

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

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

Arcade AVAS

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

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

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

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

Ragnarok AVAS

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

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

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

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

Rick Jones

4. AVAS067 Rick Jones75 PointsChase: His dial is 5 Clicks long for 75 Points, which might seem a tad expensive for a Secondary Attacker (don’t be fooled by the Mind Control and Perplex that show up on Click 2–this is a Secondary Attacker’s dial, not a supporting dial). But when you consider that his first Trait (Summon the Heroes I Grew Up Reading About: At the beginning of the game, place a Captain America Bystander Token (as included with this card) adjacent to Rick Jones. When a Bystander Token placed by Rick Jones is KO’d, place a Bystander Token included with this card adjacent to Rick Jones as per the following: Bystander Token KO’d; Bystander Token Placed; Captain America; Namor. Namor; Blazing Skull. Blazing Skull; Captain America. This ability can’t be ignored.is basically a perpetual motion machine that continuously generates Tertiary Attackers. 

Rick’s second Trait is almost as good (Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, when Rick Jones isn’t on his first click, give Rick Jones a double power action when he is adjacent to an opposing character. Give all opposing characters on the map an action token. For each opposing character you can’t give a token, deal that character 1 Unavoidable Damage.). Did you get all that? In case you didn’t, let me summarize. It said “Galactic Burst of Immobilizing Light: Once per game, take another turn after this one.”

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

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

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

Portrait of an Avenger.

Portrait of an Avenger.

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

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

Goliath

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

Juston Seyfert AVAS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seinfeld Good Luck

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

You’re Welcome!! (Or, A Look at the Best Pieces from the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Set!!)

GotG Title

Welcome back!

Today we’re taking a big look at the recent Guardians of the Galaxy Movie set that just released last week. Before we being, to get you in the right mood, let’s take a look at the poster for the movie:

This is how a movie poster is supposed to look if you want people to want to see the movie. Now, if you would rather have your stars look like they're on the cover of a Betamax Porky's rip-off from the 80's, then you could just throw them in front of your movie's logo set against a boring black background. I'm looking at you, Sex Tape.

This is how a movie poster is supposed to look if you want people to actually see the movie. Now, if you would rather have your stars look like they’re on the cover of a Betamax Porky’s rip-off from the mid-80’s, then by all means you should throw them in front of your movie’s crappy logo and set it all against a boring black background. I’m looking at you, Sex Tape.

Yup! These are our heroes! To see the just-dropped extended trailer, click right here!

Now that everyone’s caught up on where these pieces came from, let’s take a look at the figures themselves (EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re skipping the Starter Set for today–it’ll take us 4000+ words just to get through the Main Set! Look for a Starter Set review next week.)!!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: As promised, you can find the Starter Review right HERE!!)

We’ll go right in order, and at the end of each figure review we’ll grade each piece on a scale of 1-5 Oxygen Filtration Masks!!

 

"I make this look good."

“I make this look good.”

GOTGM001 Star-Lord – 95 Points – Common: A tricksy dial that has move-and-attack powers throughout, depending on how you choose to move. Confusing? Sort of, but it kind of captures the character, I think. His Trait (OXYGEN FILTRATION MASK: Star-Lord ignores damage dealt by Poison.) becomes a bit more interesting in a world where Despotellis is a thing, but his top dial Leadership is almost wasted unless your playing a couple of Guardians from the Movie Starter (more on them later) at their Rookie point level. That he possesses the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ravagers AND Soldier keywords is a definite plus.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this version of Peter Quill actually HAS a Trait called “Oxygen Filtration Mask,” his grade was bumped up by a 1/2 Filtration Mask.)

 

Movie Gamora

GOTGM002 Gamora73 Points – Common: Three Traits on a 73 Point figure! Yay! At least, “yay,” you know, until you actually read them. She starts with a great Improved Movement Trait (DEADLIEST WARRIOR IN THE GALAXY: Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain, May move through squares adjacent to opposing characters, but still needs to break away normally.) that’s immediately undone by the fact that her only native move-and-attack power is Sidestep, which alternates through her dial with Flurry. If you can get her hooked up with a Hammer or the Phoenix Force to provide her with Charge, then this dial starts to become very interesting. Her second Trait (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Gamora attacks an opposing character named Nebula, modify Gamora’s attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Nebula can’t use Shape Change.) will never, ever come into play, because as colossally Meh as this Gamora is, Nebula is even worse. Her final Trait (WORKING BOTH SIDES: When a hindered line of fire is drawn to Gamora, she modifies her defense value by +2 instead of +1.) is moderately useful in keeping her alive against ranged attackers long enough to base them for an attack if you can find the right approach. Still, without any Charge, that’s gonna be a long hike. Now, if any of her Blades/Claws/Fangs slots matched up with her Flurry slots, I’d like her a lot more. Heh. Looking back on what I just wrote, I think I used the word “if” roughly 3021 times. Which probably means that as she stands, she needs A LOT of help to be effective.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Nova Corpsman

GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman45 Points – Common: A bit expensive for their base stats, but on a Nova Corps team(for Magic: The Gathering fans, Nova Corps teams basically work like Sliver decks) , what they add to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword and occupying hindering terrain modify their attack and range values by +1 unless already modified by this effect.) make these guys well worth it. Let’s do a quick Flash Build with ’em!

Team Name: Ain’t Nova But a Thing

Theme: None

Roster:

WOL053 Swamp Thing – 150 Points

GOTGM003 Nova Corpsman – 45

GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey – 75

R100C Power Plant – 30

=300 Points

White Lantern Swamp Thing is an awesome new piece from War of Light. Alongside his great stats and specials, his Trait (RESTORE THE GREEN: Give Swamp Thing a move action, after actions resolve, you may place hindering terrain markers in any clear squares he moved through and he may make a close combat attack targeting one opposing character occupying a hindering terrain marker Swamp Thing just placed. These markers aren’t removed when Swamp Thing is KO’d.) provides just what Nova Corpsman and Rhomann Dey need to gain the Corpsman’s Worldmind benefit, and mid-dial, Swamp Thing can also use those Hindering Terrain markers to keep the others alive with his Damage Special (RESURRECT THE FALLEN: When a friendly character within range and occupying hindering terrain would be KO’d, roll a d6. On a result of 5, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 1 click, and they are now assigned 1 action token. On a result of 6, instead click them to their last non-KO click, heal them 2 clicks, and remove all action tokens they are assigned.). And if Dey does fall, Swamp Thing gets to join the Nova Corps and gains access to the Worldmind! This team won’t win you any tournaments, but it should be pretty fun to play.

There usefulness is pretty narrow, but if you intend on playing Nova Corps teams, either Modern or Golden Age, your gonna want a few of these guys.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Officers

GOTGM004 Nova Corps Officer 55 – Common: For 10 more points, you get a Trait that’s not nearly as good as the Officer’s subordinate (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Friendly Characters) and a mid-dial Movement Special (PULL BACK!: Nova Corps Officer and adjacent friendly characters not on their first click and of a lower point value can use Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain.) that kind of lets you move you cheap characters around the board a little easier IF THEY’RE ALREADY HURT! Uh… thanks?

On second thought, no thanks.

GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Rocket with gun

GOTGM005 Rocket Raccoon90 Points – Common: The breakout character from the movie is also going to be the breakout character from this set. All three versions of Rocket are pretty damn good. This particular Rocket is a straight nuisance from range with his Tiny Size (even if your attacker can see through Hindering, you’re gonna have to hit a 19 at least to touch him–and that’s assuming he’s using his Tactical Genius granted Perplex on Attack values), and with a 17 Defense base stat plus his Evasive Special (EVASIVE: When Rocket Raccoon is targeted with an attack, roll a d6 and subtract 3 (minimum 1). Increase his defense value by the result.), he’s not much easier to deal with up close, either. His damage dealing is fair to above average, and he’s best engaged with a heavy hitter who can deal 5 damage in one shot (cuz chances are you’re not hitting him twice unless you have Precision Strike or can get him in range of a full damage Pulse Wave–especially if he gets to click 4, where even if you somehow hit a 17-18 from range, you still have to get through Shape Change AND Super Senses. As always, let’s check in with Jerry Seinfeld to see if he has any thoughts on trying to hit Rocket with all those defensive abilities we just talked about:

Seinfeld Good Luck

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Highest grade so far! Silly Raccoon!)

 

Sakaaran Soldiers

GOTGM006 Sakaaran Soldier49 Points – Common: Let’s see… Dolphin Movement Symbol and Stealth. Um, okay. That’s solid I guess. 10 Attack with 3 damage top dial is not terrible for 49 Points, and they have the Minions of Thanos and Soldier keywords to go with the (so far at least) completely useless Sakaaran keyword. Their attack from the grave Trait sounds fun (UPON MY DEATH: DESTRUCTION: When Sakaaran Soldier is KO’d, before removing him from the map and even if he is adjacent to an opposing character, make a ranged combat attack with a locked attack value of 9 that can’t be rerolled. The area of effect for this attack is all opposing characters within 4 squares and each hit character is dealt 1 penetrating damage.), as it’s basically a free mini-Pulse Wave, but remember that you’re making that attack with a 9 Attack Value. Not the easiest thing in the world to do, but hey, if you roll a Critical Miss, you won’t have to worry about damaging your figure, since, y’know, they’ll be dead anyway.

GRADE: 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Wait, "Sakaaran Commander," or "Cobra Commander?" I'm confused...

Wait, “Sakaaran Commander,” or “Cobra Commander?” I’m confused…

GOTGM007 Sakaaran Commander74 Points – Common: This is a weird dial. He has Leadership (but only for adjacent characters that share a keyword with him like Minions of Thanos), his mere presence gives friendly Sakaaran Soldiers Running Shot, and he also comes with top dial Enhancement. Yes, WizKids finally designed a support figure that costs more than the attacker its meant to support! 74 Points is too much to pay for a guy you’re only using to prop up 49 point secondary attackers.

GRADE: 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Ronan

GOTGM008 Ronan the Accuser275/200/150 Points – Common: The biggest beast in the set! That 275 Point dial is almost begging to be put together with an Entity (Parallax would probably work best, especially on Click 2), but keep in mind that Ronan inexplicably DOESN’T have the Cosmic keyword, so using an Entity with him would break Theme. I like his Veteran and Rookie dials the best; His 200 Point dial just doesn’t have enough “beef.” 3 damage? Pen/Psy or no, that’s not enough for a 200 Pointer. His Rookie dial gives you almost exactly what his 200 Point dial does, except it does it for 50 less points. His starting Defense goes down one, but to be honest, I’d rather have a 17 Invincible instead of an 18 Impervious any day of the week.

GRADE(S): 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (275 Point Dial); 2 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (200 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (150 Point Dial)

 

Groot 1

GOTGM009 Groot198/90 Points – Core Hobby Rare: A close combat/tie-up nightmare, Groot is a fun character who unfortunately is extremely over-costed for what he does. At 198 Points, Groot is almost certainly going to be your primary attacker, and with an Attack Value that never bests 10 (save for 1 Click), that’s going to be an uphill climb. His Defense Special (I… AM…: When turning the dial, if this click is revealed due to damage taken from an opponent’s attack, stop turning the dial. Groot has Tiny Symbol, can’t be targeted by ranged combat attacks, and is considered smaller than all other characters. If Groot occupies water terrain or your starting area, you may give him a double power action and heal him of 3 damage. This power can’t be ignored.) is one of the best Stop Clicks in the game (can’t even be targeted by ranged attacks? Good Lord!), but his Damage Special is merely good, not great (since he just has the default Outwit Range of 6).

His Rookie dial is much more reasonably costed, and he can still blow up Blocking Terrain (Barrier buster) and tie opposing figures up very well. Plus, he starts with Invincible! He has an even lower Attack Value, but that’s much more easily overcome at 90 Points versus 198.

GRADE(S): 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (198 Point Dial); 3 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (90)

 

Nebula Movie

GOTGM010 Nebula73 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Ugh. No move-and-attack and a Trait that’s useless (SIBLING RIVALRY: When Nebula attacks a character named Gamora, Nebula modifies her attack and damage values by +1. Opposing characters named Gamora can’t use Combat Reflexes.) unless your opponent is specifically playing Gamora. No reducers–just regular Mastermind, which means a character under 73 Points will have to tag along wherever she goes. Of course, chances are high that whatever fodder you choose to tag along with Nebula will be a better piece, so you probably won’t want to transfer damage off of Nebula anyway. Decent Attack Value, but when you consider how hard you’ll have to work just to get her based with someone (remember–outside of some down dial Sidesteop, no native move-and-attack!), it hardly seems worth it when she’s only doing 2-3 Damage before any reducers. No Blades/Claws/Fangs, which seems weird if you’ve seen her big moment in the trailer. Unless you are completely beholden to a Minions of Thanos movie Theme Team (and even then, you should still play GOTGM002 Gamora over Nebula, since Gamora has–SPOILER ALERT!–the Minions of Thanos keyword), stay away. Stay far, far away.

GRADE: 1 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (This hurts, since I’m a big Karen Gillan from her time on Doctor Who. But her agent clearly forgot to demand a decent Clix version of her character…)

 

"I'm not going to be ignored, Peter Quill."

“I’m not going to be ignored, Peter Quill.”

 GOTGM011 Irani Rael 60 Points – Core Hobby Rare: Glenn Close’s Alter Ego is the Maria Hill of Nova Corps teams. She’s very fragile and will just about never deal any damage. She basically stays in your starting area and offers an alternating Perplex or Outwit that she can use counting Range and Line of Fire from any friendly Nova Corps piece. That ability plus her dial is not worth 60 Points, but when you factor in what she brings to the Worldmind (SHARE THROUGH THE WORLDMIND: Friendly characters with the Nova Corps keyword ignore knock back and modify their defense values by +1.), she becomes a much better deal. I’d love her if she was 45 Points; 60 is a LOT to spend on a figure that will never deal any damage under any circumstances. Still, she is the best supporting figure option for Nova teams right now.

(On a side note, how great is this cast? John C. Reilly and Glenn Close as supporting Nova Corps characters? Lee Pace, Karen Gillan and Djimon Hounsou as the villains? Djimon Hounsou’s been nominated for an Oscar! Benecio Del Toro doing weird Benecio Del Toro things as the Collector? Michael Rooker as Blue Michael Rooker? And then you have your main cast, which includes Vin Diesel and 2-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper as supporting characters! Even Peter Serafinowicz (the “What a bunch of A-holes.” Nova Corps Officer from the first trailer) has been in a TON of stuff! I can’t wait for this movie!)

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Yondu Michael Rooker

GOTGM012 Yondu82 Points – Core Hobby Rare: The best Core Hobby Rare, Yondu is kind of like Chaos War Hawkeye-lite. His Keywords aren’t as good (although Ravagers is kind of a sneaky good one), and he’s got a 6 Range instead of 9, but top dial, he can Running Shot for 3 with a Damage Special (ONE. LITTLE. WHISTLE.: When making a ranged combat attack against a single target, modify Yondu’s attack by +2.) that can pump his Attack Value up to 12! Down dial, he has Energy Explosion to go with his 3 BOLTS! With the right support, he can become quite the death dealer.

GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Drax the Destroyer Dave Batista

GOTGM013 Drax the Destroyer94 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A close combat nightmare without the shortcomings that hobbled Groot. Top dial, Drax features Charge, Flurry, Precision Strike, 18 Defense with Toughness and 3 Damage with Battle Fury. He also gets to choose an opposing figure at the beginning of the game and gets +1 while attacking that figure up close (which pumps his Attack Value to 12!). He even has a small Range of 3, which isn’t much, but isn’t 0 either. In one of the weirder Defense Specials I’ve ever seen, Drax has a chance to have 3 Stop Clicks (THERE WAS NOBODY IN IT I WANTED TO SEE: When this click is revealed while taking damage from an attack, roll a d6 and on a result of 5-6, stop turning the dial. Drax the Destroyer can use Regeneration and, if he has one or more action tokens, he can use it as a free action.) that also allows him to use Regeneration for free in certain circumstances.

In a world where Brother Voodoo and other Mind Controllers still run rampant, Drax should be able to carve out a meaningful place. The only thing holding him back is the lack of Indomitable or any Improved Movement, but something like the latter can quickly be fixed with Hammers or Phoenix Force Shards. Well worth his points.

GRADE: 3 and 3/4 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE!!"

“PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE!!”

GOTGM014 Rhomann Dey75 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: A perfectly average Nova Corps member, there are two things that stand out on Rhomann Dey. First, his keywords. He’s rocking Nova Corps, Cosmic (which is always very interesting in an environment with Entities) and Soldier. Second is his Trait (PASSING THE TORCH: When Rhomann Dey is KO’d, choose a friendly character for the rest of the game, that character can use Toughness, has a minimum range value of 6, and has the Nova Corps keyword.). Basically, if he dies, he becomes a bridge to inducting another figure into the Nova Corps, which is really only meaningful if you’re playing enough Nova Corps pieces to make granting access to the Worldmind worth it. Since he’s a Soldier (as are most of his brethren), you can include any piece with the Soldier keyword and pump them up mid-game if that’s the mechanic you’ve constructed your team around.

Having said that, banking on a strategy that includes one of your major pieces dying is almost never reliable–or a good idea. So while Rhomann’s Trait is intriguing, he really stands or falls based on his dial, which is… perfectly average, as I mentioned above. Two Bolt Energy Explosion is almost always useful (even with just a 6 Range), he has top dial Stealth and 3 Damage. Again, no Improved Movement or Targeting (unless you’re running him with other Nova Corps members who can share those powers through the Worldmind), so Stealth may not always be useful. I just have a sinking suspicion that Rhomann is another one of those pieces who will always SEEM more useful than he really is.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

"Who?!"

“Who?!”

GOTGM015 Korath the Pursuer100/50 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, another Kree–although Korath isn’t blue like his brethren. Then again, their Supreme Intelligence is a giant green, blobby face, so it’s probably fictionally racist of me to assume that all Kree would be blue. Regardless, Korath here comes with a split dial that’ll either cost you 100 or 50 Points. His 50 Point dial is fine, but with only three clicks and a 16 Defense with Toughness, he’s not going to last long once the shooting starts. Most short dials like this are support pieces; Korath is still a secondary attacker at this point, so his dial doesn’t necessarily match his role. He’s really only useful here if you need a cheap(-ish) Outwitter for your Kree or Minions of Thanos team. Otherwise, stick to his 100 Point dial, which is much more worthwhile.

At 100 Points, Korath gets a really cool Trait (PURSUER TEMPLATES: During the beginning of the game, choose an opposing character. If that character moved and made an attack since your last turn, give Korath the Pursuer a free action and place him in a square adjacent to that character.), an Attack Special Power (AUGMENTED CYBERNETICS: Give Korath the Pursuer a power action and place an adjacent standard object on his card. Modify Korath the Pursuer’s attack and defense value by +1 for each of these objects on his card. When this power is lost, any objects on his card are removed from the game. This power can’t be countered or ignored.) and a Damage Special (SUBDUE THE TARGET: Korath the Pursuer can use Energy Explosion, Force Blast and Incapacitate.). All of which is to say, you can fairly easily get his Attack Value to 11 or 12 and his Defense to 18 or 19. Then, when you’re ready, you can unleash him on the target you chose for his Trait at the beginning of the game. Depending on the map you’re playing on, you’ll then have all sorts of options via that Damage Special. Is your quarry on Elevated Terrain? Force Blast him off! Is he a big’un with a lot of reducers? Incapacitate him! Does he have a Defense-ball going? Energy Explode it with your Augmented Attack Value! Korath is a versatile piece that requires patience and planning to play effectively, but he’s also a piece that can really punch above his weight class.

 GRADE: 4 Oxygen Filtration Masks (100 Point Dial); 2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (50 Point Dial)

 

The Collector Del Toro

GOTGM016 The Collector150 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Rare: Finally, a figure with Power Cosmic! And a new Victory Condition Trait (I MUST POSSESS IT: During the beginning of the game, after characters have been placed, 1 Collectible token per 100 points of the game’s build total will be placed on the map. Each Collectible must be at least 3 squares away from each other and any starting area. An opponent places half of the Collectibles and you place the remainder. When a character occupies a square with a Collectible, give it a power action, roll a d6, and on a result of 4-6, place the Collectible on its card. If that character is KO’d, return each Collectible into a distinct adjacent square. When all friendly Collectibles are on friendly characters’ cards and those characters occupy your starting area, give the Collector a double power action and all opposing characters are KO’d.)!

That Trait is bonkers, but the Collector’s dial is pretty good for 150 Points. His un-Outwittable Phasing will help if you’re actually trying to collect the tokens, but he can also hold his own in a fight. 18 Invincible (which, again, can’t be countered because of his Power Cosmic TA) is a tough top dial nut to crack! His damage hovers between 3 and 4 for 2/3 of his dial, and the Collectible Token gimmick is just strange enough to distract an opponent from your real strategy, which should still be to wipe his characters off the board. Because the Collector is Cosmic, he’s also Theme Team-able with an Entity. And if all else fails, you can play him with characters who move freely like Despotellis or–in Silver/Golden Age games–Astral Dr. Strange and actually make a run for the Tokens. The point is, at a cost of only 150, you have plenty of options to fill out the rest of your team.

This is a cool addition to the game who scores highly just based on creativity alone!

GRADE: 4 and 1/2 Oxygen Filtration Masks (We have a new leader, ladies and gentlemen!)

 

Star-Lord Gif

GOTGM017 Star-Lord 150 Points – Core Hobby Chase: The first Chase! Yay! I just wish… he was better. I like the sculpt (the only Star-Lord that really features Chris Pratt’s likeness), and Running Shot, 11 Attack with Sharpshooter and Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts) is all good. He’s one of the few figures in the set with Indomitable, he’s got an 18 Defense with Invulnerability top dial, and down dial, his Movement Special (ALL-OUT: Star-Lord can use Running Shot. Once per game when he does, modify his combat values by +2 until actions resolve and then deal him 1 unavoidable damage.) could help turn the tide late in the game if things aren’t going your way or provide that last killshot you need to finish off an opposing figure. And if you push him too far with that and leave him vulnerable, his Trait (SCREAM RIGHT BACK IN HIS FACE: When Star-Lord is KO’d due to an opposing character’s attack, deal that character 2 unavoidable damage.) might take his target with him. Finally, his Damage Special (BURST FIRE: When you make a ranged combat attack that deals damage, you may choose to deal Star-Lord’s printed damage value to hit targets instead of normal damage.) is GREAT… it’s just too bad he doesn’t get it ’til he’s down dial.

All in all though, this feels like a 130 Point dial; at 150, I don’t know if there’s enough room to surround him with what he needs to be effective. A decent Primary Attacker, but that’s about it. Might be more effective in higher point games.

GRADE: 3 Oxygen Filtration Masks

 

Rocket Raccoon Gif

GOTGM018 Rocket Raccoon100 Points – Mass Market Exclusive Chase: 4 Clicks, all of which are awesome. Top dial, the little guy with the big gun gets: Improved Movement (Hindering and Elevated); 8 Movement with Running Shot; 11 Attack with Energy Explosion (with 7 Range and Two Bolts); 19 Defense (19!!) with Super Senses and Tiny Size (which means he’s a minimum 20 if you’re trying to snipe him!); and 3 native Damage with Outwit and Enhancement. His Trait (HOW ABOUT “ROCKET RACCOON AND HIS HUMAN HANGERS-ON”?: Friendly characters adjacent to Rocket Raccoon with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Ravagers keyword modify their attack values by +1.) also lets like-keyworded teammates pump up their Attack Values.

What we have here then is a support piece that makes a very effective secondary attacker. I mean, outside of Despotellis, Rocket doesn’t have a lot of natural predators. I’ve seen some chatter from peeps worrying about his short dial, but man, you still have to hit him first. Considering all that, I’d have to say that this… is the marquee piece in the set!

GRADE: 5 Oxygen Filtration Masks (Yes!! We have our dramatically timed winner for Best Figure in the Set!!)

 

There ya go! Join us next week for a discussion of the Starter Set!

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