WIN-HC-SolarEClix

We’ve been mostly dormant over the summer (THANKS, BURGLARS) but Heroclixin’ still lives. And now there’s new rules to digest. Here’s a glance at what’s better, what’s worse: (plus EDITs from errata not even a week later — or stuff I overlooked the first time)

SPEED POWERS

FLURRY: No change. EDIT: Actually, it gets a minor nerf with it not working with object attacks.

LEAP/CLIMBBoosted to work with any close attack, not just CLOSE

PHASING/TELEPORT: No change.

EARTHBOUND/NEUTRALIZEDBoosted. No longer removes non-standard size symbols.

CHARGE: No change.

MIND CONTROLBoosted to grant move + attack for hit targets and not suffer “feedback” damageNerfed to no longer use most of target’s powers and is now vulnerable to critical misses.

PLASTICITY:  No change… sort of. PAC FINALLY reflects changes made with the 2015 size chart.

FORCE BLAST: It targets now. Unsure if that’s a boost or not.

SIDESTEP: No change.

HYPERSONIC SPEEDNerfed as hell to not work with objects or carry passengers, and requires breakaway after the attack. Got a mild boost to work against Plasticity and move through characters and passive +2 breakaway.

STEALTH:  No change, but mildly nerfed by only heavy objects providing cover.

RUNNING SHOT: No change.

ATTACK POWERS

BLADES/CLAWS/FANGSBoosted to minimum result of -1 printed damage.

ENERGY EXPLOSIONNerfed to no longer combo with RANGE or deal “arrow damage”. Boosted to always deal 2 to all targets and pretty much get around Mastermind.

PULSE WAVEBoosted to ignore DV boosts fromoutside the wave.

QUAKEBoosted to deal normal damage to single target. Nerfed to no longer auto-knockback 2 squares.

SUPER STRENGTHBoosted to deal auto-knockback in melee and increased range on thrown heavy objectsNerfed in that object attacks don’t combo with most melee powers.

INCAPACITATEBoosted by timing change on damage to double-tokened targets to avoid Mystics damage. Nerf: It’s now vulnerable to critical misses.

PENETRATING/PSYCHIC BLAST: No change.

SMOKE CLOUDBoosted; only enemies get the -1 AV and the cloud can’t be lost ahead of its normal duration.

PRECISION STRIKENerfed as hell to only work with solo target, ineffective vs. Mastermind and evasions merely get -1 to rolls instead of zero chance.

POISONBoosted to work in Action phase but nerfed to not work after moving/placing.

STEAL ENERGY:  No change.

TELEKINESISNerfed to only place within 6 rather than 8 squares. Boosted to allow object attack even when based, to place single-based giants/colossals, and to TK yourself!

DEFENSE POWERS

SUPER SENSES: No change, but P STRIKE changes makes it useful again. Nerf: Cannot evade critical hits

TOUGHNESS: No change.

DEFENDNerfed. DV chains impossible due to sharing of printed values only.

COMBAT REFLEXESNerfed. No longer protects from knock back damage if you end up on the power after a hit

ENERGY SHIELD/DEFLECTION: No change.

BARRIERBoosted; barriers can’t be lost ahead of normal duration

MASTERMINDBoosted to make fodder — which includes common keywords now — actual targets rather than just damage sponges. Nerfed to only work on attacks.

WILLPOWER: No change.

INVINCIBLEBoosted to reduce damage by 2 — even penetrating damage — and cap damage taken at 3. Nerfed to do worse against 5 damage.

IMPERVIOUS: No change.

REGENERATIONBoosted to heal half d6 roll. Nerfed to maximum heal of 3 instead of 4, and -1 to any heal result if from a STOP click.

INVULNERABILITY: No change.

DAMAGE POWERS

RANGED COMBAT EXPERT: No change.

BATTLE FURY: No change.

SUPPORTBoosted to minimum heal of 2 instead of 1 and modifications work on both medic and patient. Nerf: -1 to any heal result if from a STOP click.

EXPLOIT WEAKNESS:  No change.

ENHANCEMENT: No change.

PROBABILITY CONTROLNerfed to only work attacks and breakaways.

SHAPE CHANGE:  No change.

CLOSE COMBAT EXPERT:  No change.

EMPOWER: No change.

PERPLEXBoosted to retain modifiers when target’s damaged/healed.

OUTWITBoosted to preemptively deny powers. Nerfed to not counter abilities anymore.

LEADERSHIPBoosted to drop tokens off adjacent fellow keywords and allow automatic +1 action. Nerfed to only allow ONE extra action.

And some other PAC stuff:

IMPROVED TARGETING: DESTROY BLOCKINGNerfed to only wreck one bit of blocking at a time.

IMPROVED MOVEMENT: CHARACTERSNerfed to not ignore characters but only automatically break away. Minor change but could be a corner case.

SWIMBoosted to grant +1 DV against range when in water.

WILD CARDSNerfed to only pick one TA per turn

———

TEAM ABILITIES also got revamped, though only on the WizKids Rules Forum (licensing likely restricts the company from printing them on the physical sheets anymore).

Boosted

AVENGERS / JUSTICE LEAGUE: +1 speed on MOVE action.

BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS / INJUSTICE LEAGUE: Removes token on attack rolls of 10-12

UNDERWORLD: No longer restricted to MOVE action and works with shared keyword instead of TA.

Nerfed

AVENGERS / JUSTICE LEAGUE: No longer “free move”

BATMAN ENEMY / DEFENDERS / JUSTICE SOCIETY / SINISTER SYNDICATE: Only shares printed values, no chaining.

MYSTICS: Deals penetrating, not unavoidable, and only after resolutions instead of immediately. Also uncopyable.

OUTSIDERS: 6 range instead of 10

SUPERMAN ENEMY: One fig MUST be lower points

UNDERWORLD: No longer works with shared TA

Gone(?) There were some no-shows on the list of TAs. One hopes they’re among the “Past Rules” stuff and not gone completely from play…

CRIME SYNDICATE

FANTASTIC FOUR

MORLOCKS

SERPENT SOCIETY

SKRULLS

ULTIMATE X-MEN

WATCHMEN

Exciting times!

A couple of weeks ago, the notorious Heroclix Watch List made its first appearance in a couple of years. Less than two weeks later, we have the results!

 

Felix Faust

WHAT WE SAID

The Realms Open Championship league banned Felix twice. WizKids hasn’t banned a figure in its entire history. Perhaps Felix will be the first, because there’s really no elegant fix for this douchebag of a piece.

Wizkids agreed. Where convention exclusive pieces usually have a long shelf life before rotating out (for example, Bat-Mite was released in spring 2013 and just got retired this June), Felix Faust gets the axe immediately.

Sooo… Not banned. But… Yeah, banned.

“Bye Feliciax”

 

 

 

Jakeem Thunder

WHAT WE SAID:

Should escape the Watch List unscathed for a number of reasons. First, he already has built in balances within his “pick a power” trait: Limited to beginning of turn, limited selection of “grade A” powers. Second, the new version of Outwit will be a gut punch …

Again, Wizkids agreed. Jakeem is not the problem here.

 

Pym Tank

WHAT WE SAID

 it’s rather like Precision Strike in that it’s an element that combos with EVERY SORT of attack with an effective Area of Effect that far exceeds its 8-point price and has almost no counter.

At minimum, it shouldn’t combo with other attacks.

Wizkids more than agreed. Not only is it a no damage attack — which is appropriate because it’s essentially like tossing a grenade — but they took its penetrating damage as well.

Heroclixin’ likes this change. It is enough that the tank forcibly moves Invulnerability-plus figs. It should NOT damage them the same as completely unarmored characters.

It’s called INVULNERABILITY.

More the point: it’s an 8-point piece. Its reward (high) was all out of proportion to its risk/expense (low).

Finally, on a F.U.N. level: use of Pym Particles in a fight is not something that should be easy for any old character not named Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne or Scott (or Cassie) Lang to pull off.

 

 

Goblin King

WHAT WE SAID

Oh, WizKids, you were doing so well with balancing the “pick a power” thing.

Then you go and make Goblin King with NONE of those [balances]. AND protected from Outwit.

Whose design is this???

Heroclixin’s fix: If he picks powers, he can’t use Power Cosmic.

Wizkids went even further, banning from using the team ability at all on his lower point costs. Some have complained that him losing Willpower is the bigger deal. But one of his two power choices can always be Willpower (unlike Jakeem), sooo… This isn’t a problem unless you need easy mode Heroclix.

Same goes for the old loophole that allowed him to have four powers in a turn because he kept his choices until he chose again. Wizkids closed it.

Heroclixin’ is on board with all this.

Frequently when a new HeroClix set releases, a sub theme will emerge as a new favorite for yours truly. In late 2009, it was Guardians of the Galaxy in the Hammer of Thor set. 2014’s The Flash introduced me to The Authority.

This go-round, in the Deadpool+X-Force set, it’s X-Statix.

X-Statix_logo

This isn’t a very optimized crew. There’s hardly ANY of the old “STOPP” formula of pit crew powers.

  • No Support. X-Men team ability is a source of healing, true, but it has its built-in drawback.
  • No Telekinesis. This team is unlikely to ever get first strike.
  • No starting Outwit. By the time it shows up, the team is likely in deep trouble.
  • No Perplex. At all. EVER
  • There’s only starting Probability Control, and only on Doop’s fragile 35-point dial.

 

So these lovable losers are going to have an uphill fight. Let’s look at what they have going for them. We’ll also give HEADLINE TIPS focusing on their shared trait to rack up Headline tokens that’ll grant each a unique effect via different traits and powers.

 

 

U-Go Girl [Deadpool & X-Force 013] 40 points

805407-x2

She’s the team taxi, of course, though only on alternating turns; she can carry 4 friendlies with her keywords when she’s free of action tokens. So barring token removal, once she ferries her crew in, they’re stuck there for the time being. She serves as OK tie-up with Reflexes.

HEADLINE TIPS: Despite 10 AV and Quake, she’s unlikely to gain Headlines. And her benefit — moving as free action — isn’t the best use for them because she generally needs to be free of action tokens to use her taxi skills.

She’s vital to the team, freeing the others up from burning actions getting to the fight.

______________________________________

 

Anarchist [Deadpool & X-Force 030] 75 points

anarchist3

Running Shot and Penetrating/Psychic Blast makes him the best source of early offense and Headlines. He’s also got Poison and Improved Targeting to shoot even in adjacency so tying him up is dangerous and largely pointless for foes. The downside is he’s fragile with only ESD for defense.

HEADLINE TIPS: Spending his Headlines to get penetrating Poison seems like a bit of a waste.

He’s vital to the team as its only real range.

______________________________________

 

Orphan [Deadpool & X-Force 045] 70 points

Guy_Smith_(Earth-616)_from_Official_Handbook_of_the_Marvel_Universe_A-Z_Vol_1_7

The leader is not so great with Leadership that can’t remove tokens from any but one (or two) of the team due to his too-low point cost. He’ll improve with the new rulebook, but until then he’s just a decent close fighter (IM:Hindering 9 Speed Charge, 10 AV Precision). His real worth is his Leadership SP’s ability to shift Headline tokens from character to character. For example, if Anarchist is the only member with a Headline but Dead Girl is needing to heal, Orphan can give her the Headline.

Later in his dial, he gets Outwit, possibly offering the crew a second wind.

HEADLINE TIPS: His trait allows him to spend Headlines to add a die to his attacks. But as tempting as it is to roll extra dice, resist. Wait. Shift the first Headlines to Dead Girl if she doesn’t have any, then store them on Orphan himself. Try not to use more than one for his attacks, as he has a decent shot at regaining the one spent on a hit. And if you have Prob Control, use it on a normal attack FIRST before making the boosted Headline roll in the reroll.

He’s vital to the team for his Leadership and, as noted, to make the Headlines work.

______________________________________

 

Doop [Deadpool & X-Force 046] 90 points / 35 points

Doop_translator

So he’s the sole member with multiple point costs. At 90, he’s the priciest of the lot, bringing Invincible and Close Combat Expert as his contribution. But with only constant Sidestep for movement, he’s rather unlikely to get to use the latter (without being taxied first). And anyway, you might prefer to roll the dice on his “The Unimaginable Power of Doop” trait which has a 33% chance each of either shifting adjacent figures 1 square, or pulling all figs within 4 next to him. On a 5, he grants a friendly fig Power Cosmic for the round and a 6 gives him 10 range and the power to shoot 3 targets (and everyone adjacent to them) for 3 damage each.

But using these results can be fraught with peril. Sometimes the repositioning for the first two options is problematic. The Power Cosmic only really benefits when a friendly has an action token (or enemy Outwit has been an issue). And the Rain of Mjolnirs is hampered by his middling 10 or 9 AV and is no good at all without line of fire.

So it might be more prudent to roll with the little round guy at 35 points as the team’s Prob Control. Though only a scant 2 clicks, he’s protected by Invincible and Regen. The latter gives him potential as an X-Men heal battery.

HEADLINE TIPS: Don’t spend Headlines to reroll his “TUPOD” result unless said result is worse than useless and you REALLY have to get something out of this power action.

Doop is vital at 35 points if only to get ONE of those STOPP powers working on the team’s behalf.

______________________________________

 

Dead Girl [Deadpool & X-Force 051] 75 points

76797-20879-dead-girl

Along with Anarchist, she’s going to be the offensive engine of the team thanks to 11 AV Blades and 3 Exploit. Her drawback is 8 Speed holding her back, even with Flight. She’s going to depend highly on being ferried by U-Go Girl. But she also can serve a secondary role on the team as a healer. So long as she has a Headline token, she heals at turn start, making her a long-lasting X-Men TA battery. And she’s got insurance against KO with 3 or more Headlines.

We also can’t overlook her as a silver bullet against STOP clicks. When she hits, those clicks are unusable for the round.

HEADLINE TIPS: Every Headline should come her way until she has the three needed to dodge KO. She also doesn’t burn them to do her free healing.

She’s vital as the one member of the team with an above average AV, Flight and a degree of “don’t die” ability.

______________________________________

There’s a wrinkle here. If Doop is run at 35 points, this team is 295 points. But at full cost, the team is an unwieldy 350. What to do with the extra 50 points that’s F.U.N.?

In Modern:

Bedlam [026] 40 points

He almost looks like a member of this version of X-Force — and of course has the X-Force keyword to keep the named theme. He nullifies equipment within his 5-square range, so there’s that.

Marrow [043] 40 points

She, on the other hand, doesn’t fit the fun feel of X-Statix. You just add her for the named keyword theme.

Domino [FF 006] 25 points

Likewise for this meta source of Prob even cheaper than Doop.

 

In Golden:

Orphan [Fantastic Forces 091] 50 points

Hey, an actual X-Statix piece! Despite the total lack of moving powers, 11 AV Exploit isn’t bad. He can draw attention from the rest of the team long enough to buy them time, or serve as X-Men TA heals once off his EW clicks.

______________________________________

Speaking of Golden Age, Feats can help greatly at the 400-point build:

Doop: Thanks to two opening clicks of CCE, he can gain a 4-square “charge” with Lunge.

Orphan: It’s pricey, but Contingency Plan on him can really patch the lack of Perplex on the team, especially with U-Go Girl freeing the team from having to burn actions getting into position.

Anarchist: Could use Force Field for the Toughness it grants.

Dead Girl: Because she usually gets carried into the fight, Opportunist can aid her (or Anarchist and Orphan, but they already have their feats) to make sure to land that needed first shot.

But even better is Warbound, which can keep U-Go Girl free of tokens to constantly be able to cart the crew about. Lack of Willpower hampers this feat — and the 40-point feat cap. So with the 3 points left over, lets try either Vault or better yet Alias.

Finally, although it’s not a feat, the old 5-point Yellow Lantern special object can give Anarchist and Dead Girl +1 to AV within 4 squares thanks to their PPB and EW, respectively so they can land those early hits.

______________________________________

(We’ve opted not to cover the original convention exclusive Doop due to his general exclusivity. And at 95 points, he adds little to a force unless facing resources and relics, until the back half of his dial. But if you got him, run him.)

I’m alive!

After the theft of my computer, it’s been hard to stay at this blog. Too many RL things to handle, plus lack of, y’know, a computer and internet to update.

But we’re slowly getting back in the swing of things. I was gifted an old battery-less laptop and the library has free Wi-Fi.

 

I’m also motivated by the re-emergence of the notorious WizKids Watch List, by which problematic HeroClix figures are put on notice that, thanks to errata, their time of easy dominance of the game may be coming to an end.

 

Here’s what’s on the block and Heroclixin’s take on each.

 

Felix Faust

Seeing a repeat appearance here, ol’ Felix has been a long non-favorite in these parts. We’ve written extensively about Felix’s ability to affect the battlefield in a way that would have required an entire team of cheap Outwit figures to replicate.

Originally, Felix’s d20 effects were global; an errata shortly after 2015 Worlds reduced it to his natural range of 7. But that was clearly not sufficient because most of his effects are free and enough inexpensive taxis exist that he doesn’t have to so much as use an action to potentially lock down entire teams long enough for him or his allies to rack up hits and points.

The Realms Open Championship league banned Felix twice. WizKids hasn’t banned a figure in its entire history. Perhaps Felix will be the first, because there’s really no elegant fix for this douchebag of a piece. The closest Heroclixin’ can come up with is the “F.U.N. Fix” we suggested for using this figure in casual play:

“… give Felix a non-free action EVERY TIME he rolls the d20, and don’t roll it if he can’t [take a non-free action].”

It would have been better if this piece had never been made.

 

Jakeem Thunder

Should escape the Watch List unscathed for a number of reasons. First, he already has built in balances within his “pick a power” trait: Limited to beginning of turn, limited selection of “grade A” powers. Second, the new version of Outwit will be a gut punch to his current versatility. Finally, he’s really only problematic when wearing linked dial equipment or a resource.

 

Pym Tank

Heroclixin’ hasn’t talked much about this. But it is problematic on a level that nearly matches Felix. We don’t really have time to get into it, but it’s rather like Precision Strike in that it’s an element that combos with EVERY SORT of attack with an effective Area of Effect that far exceeds its 8-point price and has almost no counter.

At minimum, it shouldn’t combo with other attacks. Using it should be a power action or something. That’s Heroclixin’s stance, short of banning it outright. Only Hank Pym should be able to use it, anyway! IT’S HIS KEYCHAIN

 

Goblin King

Oh, WizKids, you were doing so well with balancing the “pick a power” thing. You wisely made Engineer [Flash 059] unable to pick defense and gave her light natural armor. You held Jakeem to one primo power at a time and at beginning of turn. You made Nico Minoru swap slots for her choices. You forced Element Man to choose one or end up taking damage. You ensured Iron Man had to give up powers to get powers.

Then you go and make Goblin King with NONE of those limitations. AND protected from Outwit.

Whose design is this???

Heroclixin’s fix: If he picks powers, he can’t use Power Cosmic.

YOU KNOW IT’S RIGHT.

 

So we’ll see what WizKids does. Part 2 will discuss the eventual changes.

20170527_020317

That’s a photo of my back door, found kicked in by thieves who stole my computer.

With it went files and software for Pocket checklists and other stuff I used to make this blog fun.

Jerks.

So for the moment, I have to update this blog on the phone, which is difficult.

Heroclixin’ … Down but not out.

 

 

GetOut

GetOut

Avengers Defenders War is out, and I am in the Sunken Place.

So I’m not a completionist in this game. Nevertheless, I have a number of themes I’ve enjoyed collecting because they make me happy. And for these, I am something of a completionist. A sampling:

  • Justice Society keyword
  • Legion of Super-Heroes keyword
  • Masters of Evil keyword
  • Young Avengers keyword
  • Guardians of the Galaxy keyword
  • Nova Corps keyword
  • Iron Man’s many armors
  • Diana’s Wardrobe: Each costume variant of Wonder Woman
  • Kal-El’s Closet: Each costume variant of Superman
  • Every Aquaman, Namor and Atlantis figure
  • Every Black Widow figure
  • Most variants of Captain America
  • Hey, We Thought This Was The Archery Contest: Every character with a bow and arrow

But all of these have been bent or outright broken at points when they simply became too much trouble to keep up. For example, for the Legion, I’m lacking only Supergirl [Crisis ], I think. But she’s a character who’s duplicated about five times over, so I haven’t made acquiring it much of a goal at all. So that theme is bent.

Then there are ones that got BROKE: When the Justice Society added one of HeroClix’s first chase figures, Queen Hippolyta [Origin 217], that destroyed my completionist streak for that theme. Even when I got one later, I was never again pressed to get every JSA-er.

Another example: Iron Man armors. In this case, it was extreme disappointment with a figure that broke me. This collection is largely about the optics, and this one looked so damned stupid that I couldn’t continue.

tabM-003

And so this went from a top priority theme to one that’s……………lower.

But the granddaddy of all my collecting priorities is the Black Box: a collection of every single black character in HeroClix.

Because another thing I decided to do early on in this hobby was to build a competitive team composed solely of such characters. When I started, that was an impossibility. But with time and power creep — as well as an ever-increasing proportion of said characters in the game — it has become not only possible but difficult not to include some melanin-rich representation in some of the top meta builds.

Generally, this has been a breeze to stay on top of. When I started, there were only one or two black characters in a given set. Fantastic Forces had only the Power Man REV trio. I gave the Middle Eastern villainess Asp from the same set honorary Black Box status for YEARS just so I’d be able to build a team.

Fast forward to the past couple of years, which have dramatically increased the number of candidates for the Black Box:

2014 releases:

20151228_192927

2015 releases:

20151228_192950

And my Black Box completion was put to its sorest test this past year with the releases of the first such piece to be a chase, Spider-Punk [Superior Foes of Spider-Man 062], then of Jakeem Thunder [Joker’s Wild 053b], a top-level meta competitive piece in the Super Rare prime slot, almost as scarce as and an orders of magnitude more expensive than older chase figures. I spent more money on that than I ever have on a single piece before (sort of. I sold an older meta SR prime to raise the majority of the funds to buy the JT figure).

But now we come to ADW. And it’s got me feeling like the opening image from “Get Out”.

  • Two new Luke Cages, a common rarity (which I somehow have not pulled from eight packs) and a Fast Forces version.
  • Generic Atlantean Warriors for the Atlantis theme.
  • W’Kabi and Wakanda Warriors, an Uncommon and another generic needed in multiples.
  • Two new Black Widows [026 and 037]. An Uncommon and a Rare.
  • A new Iron Man suit in Iron Man [053]. A Super Rare.
  • Two Masters of Evil, a Rare and a Super Rare.
  • Three new archers in Hawkeye [004, 022, 067], one a CHASE.
  • Two new Cap variants, both unlikely to be remade. A Super Rare and another CHASE.

And the absolute worst, two Super Rares and THREE CHASES to go in the Black Box: Black Panther [058], Man-Ape [061], Captain America [069], Iron Heart [071] and Black Panther [074]. Before now, I never had more than two in any rarity above rare status in one set. Ever.

And let’s not forget the LE The Man Without Fear [101], another Black Panther version, released during an event I can’t run as judge of my venue.

I’m screaming inside.

No, not this one.

BBP

THIS one:

> aou045 cacws006cacw013 cwsop109

Black Panther [Age of Ultron Storyline 045] 140
Black Panther [Captain America: Civil War Starter Set 006] 95
Black Panther [Captain America: Civil War 013] 80
Black Panther [Captain America: Civil War 109] 70
+ Pym Particles 2

= 397 points.

In a bye match I fielded it against Superdoom [Superman/Wonder Woman 059] and President Lex Luthor [WizKids D15-004].

My gameplay was sound. I made AoU Panther a giant with Pym Particles — to make him a taxi and able to attack without triggering Hypertime team ability — and kept him near blocking. The CW starter BP was safely in back, the CW rare’s trait was safe from shooting, and I forgot to use the CWSL Panther’s ability to jump into hindering for Stealth.

Wait…that last bit…Nooooooooo

Sure enough, Superdoom caught that last BP out in the wind and one-shot both him and my chances of winning.

This wasn’t even my first time running this figure. I’d used it RECENTLY. And spammed the HELL out of that ability.

I just don’t understand how I make such terrible FAIL moves like this after so many years.

It was still a fun match, as my opponent was a HUGE Black Panther fan and got almost as much a kick out of just seeing the team as I did playing it.

I just wish I hadn’t made such a FAIL move…