Finally, here’s the Guardians’ own full-size set. We’ll start with the Commons:
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Gamora [Guardians of the Galaxy 001] 55
We cut to the bottom line: At nearly 20 points cheaper than the next-least-expensive one, this bargain-priced version, in HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE, may be the go-to Gamora. Why? She starts with Charge and decent if not stellar combat values. She’s a solid tie-up fig with Combat Reflexes that’s able to deal out serious damage with Close Combat Expert. And, in a first for any Gamora, she can shoot: 5 range rounds out this compact package. The only possible reasons not run her is A) you need the Willpower she lacks or B) she doesn’t fit the version of the comic-accurate team you’re building. We know Heroclixin’ is all about fun, but come on…only one of those is a good reason.
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Drax The Destroyer [Guardians of the Galaxy 002] 100
This Destroyer has the same problem the character’s had for much of his history both in comics and in clix: That singleminded focus on a single target. We see it here in his trait to, via power action, get adjacent to Thanos or Black Order keywords. Trouble is, that leaves him open to attack before he can capitalize on the instant-basing technique. Good thing he’s got Invulnerability to maybe soak up the attacks and Indomitable to push and fight — or run — the next turn. His SP that smashes through Barrier and kills adjacent foes’ use of ESD can help his team, but… HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE is that while he’s not bad, there are better Draxes for the around the cost.
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Mantis [Guardians of the Galaxy 003] 56

At last, this 2008-team member is a HeroClix, and she’s a game changer for the keyword. First, she’s another of those crazy pieces with friendly Mind Control, one of the most effective special abilities in the modern game. It only works on adjacent Guardians, but it’s still beyond excellent — especially because it doubles as normal MC as well. Second, she’s another great tie-up fig for the team with Combat Reflexes and CCE. Her DV is only 16, but there are ways to improve that. Third, at 56 points she’s the cheapest source of Probability Control for the keyword. Fourth and maybe most importantly, her late dial bears both 17 DV Regeneration and decent AV Support, making her a self-healing “pit crew” piece we haven’t seen the likes of in a long time, if ever. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Indispensible for GotG teams and likely many others as well.

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Starhawk [Guardians of the Galaxy 004] 130
The latest version of the One Who Knows brings a tiny bit of Prob Control and Outwit to the team via his Past Lives tokens — at least 2, as many as 6 — which each allow him a one-time use of those two powers per token. But that’s just icing on the main cake of him being a 4-damge Running Shot Psychic Blaster that pushes directly to Hypersonic Speed.
And as long as we’re doing this cake analogy, there are morsels in the batter: When he takes damage from a foe, he can be swapped out for Aleta from the set or vice versa. So if he, say, gets Poisoned off his early unarmored clicks, Aleta can jump in and nullify the threat with her Toughness SP. But even if you don’t go for that option, there’s late Regeneration and Phasing to help. He best fits the 1990s team, but thanks to time-travel state of being, he can find a place on any incarnation.
HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: He’s OK, a combo of a leading attacker and pit crew fig.
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Major Victory [Guardians of the Galaxy 005] 95
So he’s got a weakness to penetrating damage thanks to a trait increasing damage from such. But it’s not a big deal, because he’s on the team for his damage SP granting Leadership, Perplex and especially Telekinesis that he can use twice in a turn if the second is a fellow Guardian. Therefore he’ll be in the back and probably safe from that nasty p-damage. :) But eventually he’ll need to venture forth after initially mobilizing the team to A) continue bolstering the team with Leadership and Perplex and B) leverage penetrating damage of his own via his 11 AV, 4 damage Running Shot PPB combo. Late dial, he goes down swinging with Pulse Wave and Force Blast — nuke ’em and throw ’em all back! He’s a fit for every incarnation of the team except the Bendis one. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: He replaces every previous version of Major Victory/Vance Astro and will make any GotG team better.
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Talon [Guardians of the Galaxy 022] 60
This 1990s team member starts off the uncommons of the set. Like Mantis, he’s a cheap source of Prob Control but much more offensively oriented with Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs. There’s no nutty traits or specials to keep track of. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Simple and straightforward melee fig.
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Yondu [Guardians of the Galaxy 023] 75
Running Shot+Precision Strike at 3 damage is good. But he’s on the team for his ability to shoot through EVERYTHING as a power action. At 8 range, that’s great, and even basing him won’t stop it thanks to Improved Targeting OO> . He’s a founding member of the ’60s team and 1990s team but has made appearances in the 2008 version as well. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: A short dial isn’t enough to stop him from being a strong addition to GotG teams.
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Aleta [Guardians of the Galaxy 024] 130
Starhawk’s better half is possibly also a better piece. She starts with Hypersonic Speed instead of pushing to it — and pushes to Running Shot Pulse Wave. She starts with a SP bearing ESD WITH Toughness instead of just the green DV power. 10 range instead of 8 (though she loses a target). But maybe her best boon to the team is that she shares her ESD with adjacent friendlies during the first half of her dial. Don’t forget she can swap out for Starhawk 003 after taking damage from a foe, though the Ranged Combat Expert and Perplex liberally scattered down her dial may dissuade you from that option. Best fits the 1990s team. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: She doesn’t really have a bad click. Use that ESD SP!
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Moondragon [Guardians of the Galaxy 029] 85
She starts as another TK figure for a 2008 version of the Guardians. But feel free to push to click 2 for Running Shot + Penetrating/Psychic Blast with free Mind Control. AND Outwit. She ends up showing why she gets the Martial Artist keyword with a little chopsockiness in Reflexes and CCE and Precision Strike. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Not bad at all, if not a must-field.
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Star-Lord [Guardians of the Galaxy 030] 110
We wrap up the Uncommons with a look at what may be the most vital Guardian for effective fielding of the team. We could talk about his Professor X-like ability to Outwit from like-keyworded pals’ squares, or his ability to shoot Stealthers — thanks, Improved Targeting! — or his solid AV numbers. But the reason this Star-Lord is the one to play before all others is his trait allowing Guardians to share the highest DV. Suddenly all those mediocre defense numbers don’t matter so much anymore. Not when there are a heaping handful of 18s or higher to share, making the team much more survivable, without even having to consider adjacency like with the older Guardians’ Defenders TA. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Seriously, only an irrational dislike for the Bendis-era Guardians version of the character should prevent one from building around this Star-Lord.
There’s too much for us to finish without breaking our promise to deliver this part before week’s end, especially with us running off for the weekend. So look for the second half of this installment — and the conclusion of the entire F.U.N. Focus on the Guardians — next week.

Until now, this FUN Focus has looked at the pieces in ascending order of point cost. But to keep things a bit simpler for us, what with multiple characters getting multiple point costs, we’re reordering things according to set number.

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Star-Lord [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 001] 95
The first of the Chris Pratt-inspired Star-Lords brings the character’s usual penchant for running and gunning either via his opening Attack SP “Short Duration Flight” that allows him to use Leap/Climb and take a shot if he moves half-speed or less or his Speed SP “Espionage Battle Suit” granting Running Shot and Stealth. These two powers alternate, so he’s always got moving attack powers and Stealth. He needs the latter to protect his very short and unarmored dial. No Willpower is a problem, but Outwit is a single push away, with a great 8 range. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Could do better with your Star-Lord. Could do worse.

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Gamora [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 002] 73

She’s got problems. 1) No range and no Charge makes it a little difficult to get her attack in. 2) 3 damage with Blades/Claws/Fangs isn’t really what you want to see. 3) Flurry + Precision + 2 damage isn’t so great. Just think how good it’d be if some of those power combos were swapped instead of appearing on alternating clicks. 4) Her defense is nothing special despite a +2 DV bonus in hindering against shooters. She needs help with that DV to be worth using over, well, almost any other version of Gamora. HEROCLIXIN’G TAKE: The last Guardians-keyworded Gamora we’d pick to fill the character’s slot.

 

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Rocket Raccoon [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 005] 90
As much as we liked the original Rocket Raccoon in Hammer of Thor, it’s unlikely we’ll ever use him again if the points allow. This one offers so much: Perma-Perplex-lite, Running Shot, better AV and damage, and a DV bonus (18-20!!!!) vs. most attacks. Add to all this his Tiny Size status enabling him to get in position much more easily and it’s clear that HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE is he’s a solid pick.
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Groot [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 009]  198
Outwit…for many clicks. Plasticity…that reaches two squares out. Solid 4 damage for many clicks. Great armor. Indomitable. A stop click with a guaranteed heal trick if you can get him to water or his start zone — not a problem since the same power makes him taxiable by any ally and he can’t be shot. But…his AV and DV numbers are a little lacking for his very high point cost. And despite his Improved Movement: Wall-buster ability, he’s really slow. His 90-point level has the same trouble with poor AV, though the average DV goes up a bit — and he needs it, given his very short dial at this cost. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: The Outwit/Plasticity SP is still enough to make this Groot stand a bit taller than the rest.
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Drax the Destroyer [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 013] 94
He’s got some real cons: Starting Battle Fury keeps him from being carried into the fight, which is bad ’cause he’s a bit slow. With no Willpower. His damage is a tad low and he only bears Toughness for armor. But he’s got serious pros: Charge+Flurry+Precision Strike as an early combo. Later, a SP packages Close Combat Expert+Combat Reflexes. And then there are his stop clicks — yes, CLICKS — with Regeneration (free if he has any action tokens). Granted, these clicks aren’t guaranteed stop clicks: they only work on a 5-6 roll. But he’s got three of them and he gets to roll for each one. We like those odds. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Our first choice as for the Drax role in ANY Guardians team. Don’t forget that beginning of game trait to select a target for him get a close-combat +1 AV against.
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Star-Lord [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 017] 150

Decent stats with unusual-for-the-character Invulnerability and Willpower are welcome. But the Invuln’s gone so fast. And his “All-Out” SP is not so hot when one considers taking self-damage MIGHT NOT be a good move on the back end of the dial. Even with his “KO me, take 2 damage” trait in play, you may not want to sacrifice such a costly part of your team. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Neat but too top-heavy.

 

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Rocket Raccoon [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 018] 100

At an even 100 points, he’s the priciest RR in the game. Is he worth it? Let’s see:
  • There’s another Outwit piece for a team that kinda needed some.
  • Tiny Size = portable Enhancement for all other non-raccoon-sized allies. He offers +1 AV for adjacent GotG pals, so there’s another boon to his size.
  • Good range (7) and Improved Movement Elevated and Hindering work well with his Running Shot.
  • And he starts with a base 19 DV Super Senses.
HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: He has a short life but who cares?
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Star-Lord [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 101] 75
Pros: He’s a relatively cheap Running Shot/PPBlaster, a combo that used to more than cost twice as much to get on the team [see Adam Warlock from part 3: Galactic Guardians]. A nice damage SP, “Leading The Attack,” can help press an advantage by allowing adjacent fellow keyworders to act with 2 tokens. An Empower+Enhancement SP and Perplex are scattered on his dial so he’s a constant boon to the team, and he bears a one-time Pulse Wave bomb trait that will prove VERY useful. Cons: He’s also VERY short-lived, lacking the Stealth or ESD or armor that aids other Star-Lords in surviving and his range is a bit lacking, which will put him in further peril. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: The bargain-priced Star-Lord is still worth running in a pinch, esp. with Indomitable pals he can keep active.
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Rocket Raccoon  [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 102] 75
Ahhhh, there’s that inexpensive opening Outwit the team’s needed forever. Tiny Size and Willpower mean more actions for shooting “Two Big Guns” — like ranged Flurry — with Improved Targeting: Hindering and Characters. Being able to thusly fire from behind pals helps cover his lack of defense, a middling 17 with only Stealth to cover at first. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: A great pick of the litter of Rockets.
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Gamora [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 103] 100 / 75
This one is much more like it, starting with Charge, her trait offering an AV and damage boost against a target, and CCE-plus. She’s the costliest of the Gamoras, though. Fortunately, there’s a 75-point level that unfortunately only offers same problems as Gamora 002 — lack of opening Charge — but less life and lower DV. Still, HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE is that either price is a good one to pay for a solid Gamora on the team.
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Drax The Destroyer [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 104] 125

This Drax is a lot more durable than ALL the ones that have come before: Impervious, Invincible, and Invulnerability each make a run on his otherwise rather short dial. He also hits harder with Charge, Exploit Weakness and Super Strength leading the way. Don’t overlook his 6 range and the same Hadron trait as Star-Lord, giving him one-time-use Pulse Wave. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Though he’s not our favorite — Drax 013 above is — he’s well worth the extra points for the easier-to-use dial.

 

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Groot [Guardians of the Galaxy Movie 105] 100/75

At last, a Groot with a decent Speed value! It’s too bad he lacks the opening Charge to truly leverage it. Instead, he’ll need to rely on his two SPs: A Speed one that negates the benefits of hindering terrain for foes within 6 squares and a DV one that not only bears Invulnerability and Defend but grants Toughness to adjacent allies. Never push him off this click if you can help it — and with Indomitable, you shouldn’t have to. If you’d prefer a more actively fighting Groot, cut him to his 75-point dial, which trades away the starting special stuff but retains the Giant Reach + Super Strength + CCE powers to deal big hurt along with that starting Charge we lamented earlier. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: While we prefer our Groots to be high-cost monsters, there’s no downside to this, the cheapest Groot of the game.

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OK. One more part coming up next week. Watch for the F.U.N. Focus on the Guardians of the Galaxy full-sized set, which gave us even more Guardians than I expected!

 OK, finally time to start this, because Heroclixin’ has seen the film. Liked it, didn’t quite love it. But almost. Recommended.
Which clix are recommended, though? Read on.
Yellowjacket [Clobberin’ Time 027] 37
A Guardian by keyword alone, she appeared in the 1990s series as a refugee from the 20th Century. And this Vet, coming from an early set, is predictably terrible. With Incap as her only power and AV of just 8 and lower, the only thing she’s good for is being the dirt-cheapest member of the team and a mediocre taxi. Use her as sacrificial tie-up/meat shield/point filler if at all. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Don’t quite hate her — barely
Rita DeMara [Clobberin’ Time 109] 43
The LE of the above Yellowjacket, she packs on 6 extra points to gain the Spider-Man Ally TA. This, at least, allows her to copy the Defenders TA that many Guardians sport to make her a more efficient sacrifice. But near her price point, there are better pieces to play. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: No.
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R Vance Astro  (Supernova 058) 49: 
This Rookie is  junk with terrible stats despite the solid 8 range and Incapacitate. Only play him if you’re aiming for a comic-accurate 1969 series original lineup, and then only if you’ve got to squeeze down to this version for points’ sake. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Junk otherwise

Still a lot sturdier than she looks!

R Aleta (Supernova 043) 51:
 Unless you’re trying to field a comic- or movie-accurate team for the more recent series, you should put her in every GotG keyword team you can. Telekinesis doubles the team’s effectiveness. Barrier, too, helps, and she’s got multiple clicks of both. In fact, she was nearly the best Barrier specialist of all in Heroclixin’s Top Ten a few years back. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Love her.
E Vance Astro  (Supernova 059) 70: 

The Experienced Vance adds considerable cost over the Rookie but gains two starting clicks of Invulnerability and 3 damage to make him the most durable and damaging of the three versions, actually. But the lack of the shield just makes him less fun, in my opinion. :) Stunning Blow is an OK feat to use, though I hate to add points to him. Save him for old-school GotG builds. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Do we even still own this piece?
Vance Astrovik (Supernova 208) 72
The LE of Vance Astro, he trades off the opening Invulnerability of the Exp. for  Toughness, Force Blast and Leadership. He’s really not very good down the dial but he does get a second shot at living with a pair of Regen clicks. Again, he’s only for comic-accurate teams from the 1969 or 1990 series. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Not a fan
Aleta  (Supernova 044) 75
Here’s what Heroclixin’ wrote about her as a Barrier specialist: “Very much on the high end for a Barrier specialist, and her attack values are middling for her cost and role as a sniper. But 10 range is great for the power. Better still is that, with Running Shot and Telekinesis appearing after Barrier’s gone, she has great utility in the mid- to late-game action. Her Defenders TA could be useful. Adding the Guardians of the Galaxy ATA protects her from Outwit.” And it’s all still true. It’s hard to recommend her over the Rookie, though. Use her best on 1990s team builds. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Don’t love her

Major Victory [Supernova 060] 84

10 range and 3 damage and Impervious on his first click is about the only thing worthy on this piece. Well, there’s some Leadership, too, but he’s maybe the third piece you’d reach for on this team for that power. Thus, he’s utterly unpushable. But if he does lose that bit of life, at least he’s got Energy Shield/Deflection to help. Another good thing about him? He has a 17 DV to loan via the Defenders TA. He’s best saved for keyword-specific builds of any size, though he thematically best fits the second and third series. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: It’s all about the shield for F.U.N.’s sake
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One-Who-Knows  (Supernova) 123
The LE of the Aleta/Starhawk REV, this piece is on your team for his 10 range Probability Control, double-target Energy Explosion and 17 DV (for fellow Defenders). There’s also a smattering of other useful powers down the dial — Running Shot, Hypersonic Speed, Outwit, Ranged Combat Expert — but he’s pretty soft-shelled. The time-traveling character is at home on any incarnation of the team but is naturally a better fit on high build totals where he’s not the focal point. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: We knows we like

V Starhawk (Supernova) 144: Though he boasts an extreme 12 range and Running Shot to start, his opening AV is markedly inferior for the cost.  But he gains Hypersonic Speed mid-dial, and his attack numbers ramp up nicely. He’s probably a stronger piece feated with either Elite Sniper or Trick Shot, but those feats each bump his price well over 150 points and he might not be worth it. Save him for 400 and up. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: Top cost, second rate

Ooooo!! Iz COMIK ACCURITE!!!!!

 Yondu (Avengers 048) 53:

He’s cheap Running Shot + 3 damage and Energy Explosion. Though he fits with either old- or new-school GotG, he’s still one of the last I tend to pick, frankly. HEROCLIXIN’S TAKE: For archery themes only

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Next time (early next week), we peek at the next batch of Guardians put out in Heroclix.

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In the early days of Heroclixin’, battle reports starring the Guardians of the Galaxy were like a regular thing, practically. Now with a new movie on the scene, equally new HeroClix are emerging. This F.U.N. Focus is a new look at all the pieces available to the theme, set by set.

But first, a little bit of context.

The Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t just one team or series; it’s been about four or five.

The first was a quartet that fought as a resistance force against the galaxy-dominating Badoon in like 3000 AD, appearing in late Silver Age/early Bronze Age comics in the ’70s. Core members included Charlie-27, Martinex, Yondu and Vance Astro.

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It was created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan.

The second series was published in the early ’90s, expanding on the original concept and introducing a lot of new characters to the core team such as Aleta/Starhawk, Nikki, Hollywood and the Keeper.

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Written and drawn by Jim Valentino, it lasted 62 issues.

The third team was a completely new one starring Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Adam Warlock and Groot, set in the present time instead of the future. But as early as issue 2, it frequently tied into the original Guardians characters as the new team careened through time.

From left to right: Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord, Adam Warlock, Drax, Phyla-Vell.

This 2008 series by writer team Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA) is Heroclixin’s favorite by far.

The fourth team and series is the current Guardians of the Galaxy comic that’s mostly the previous lineup but with a few more present-day Earth characters on board. Heroclixin’ thinks this Brian Michael Bendis-helmed effort is a great letdown after the excellence of the DnA series.

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(But it’s Bendis, so there might be a great payoff coming down the road.)

The fifth is the movie-based team, which is inspired by the third and fourth incarnations.

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As of this writing, the Heroclixin’ staff has not yet seen the film.

 

We be looking at the figs thusly:

  • Pre-NECA sets
  • pre-“oreo-base” sets
  • Galactic Guardians
  • Movie set
  • Current set

For each piece, we’ll highlight its role on a team and which incarnation it best fits. Stick with us these next couple of weeks.

To wrap up this F.U.N. Focus, here are some pieces that lack the Atlantis keyword but could be useful on non-keyword-yet-thematic builds featuring dolphin speed characters. Starting from the cheapest:

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Mera (Crisis): She’s a got good movement value of 8, but her 15 DV and 7 AV make her the least of the swimming pogs. The real reason to play her, though, is to make use of New 52 Aquaman 005’s trait. Either use Mera as the ultimate tie-up/meat shield that the enemy doesn’t dare harm for fear of Aquaman’s revenge, or sacrifice her immediately. Both methods work.
TEAM UP: Don’t even play her without that Aquaman.

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Veteran Badoon Commander (Supernova): Good for his range, Enhancement (for the few other shooters of Atlantis) and Smoke Cloud (to give Atlantean Warriors their Stealth). 37 points.
TEAM UP: Skrull TA is great for wildcards.

 

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Captain Mako (City of Villains): One of the best indy clix ever, this 52-point chomper offers wildcards the Arachnos TA and good damage potential with Charge, Exploit Weakness, BCF and Flurry (though not all at the same time).
OBJECT LESSONS: Can’t go wrong with either the Red or Yellow Lanterns.

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Unique Abbey Chase (Indy): There’s almost no other swimming source for Outwit than this gal, and none for anywhere as cheap as her 54 points. She’s Stealthy, too, with 6 range and dodgy with Danger Girls TA and Super Senses. She’s not worth busting the theme, but if it’s already broken, try living Dangerously.

TEAM UP: Danger Girl TA is great for wildcard Namors.

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Veteran Marrina (Armor Wars): 9 clicks for only 55 points makes for a heckuva tie-up blocker and Mastermind fodder for Ocean Master. Her starting values and persistent Battle Fury might make her too unwieldy on the wrong team, though — don’t field her without Flashpoint Aquaman to give her a free action Speed boost.

TEAM UP: Seriously. Aquaman [Superman 048]. Because Mera’s TK should be getting used for positioning actual attackers.

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Manphibian: He’s got a great SP that works when he starts in water, but by itself it’s not worth breaking the Atlantis theme. Only add this 60-point creature when your black lagoon of a team is already non-Atlantean.

HITCH A RIDE: Don’t forget he’s a Transporter.

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Aquaman (Justice League common): “Aquanoob,” as I like to call him, lacks any keywords (being an uncomfortable and brief resident of Atlantis) and so is no good for the bonuses of a themed team. But this 68-point Rookie’s “Telepathic Communication” SP, which allows him to Perplex every other dolphin symbol character on his team (except himself), might be better than any number of those bonuses. With Charge (on both ends of his dial), Super Strength (and later, Blades/Claws/Fangs) and “Parry” (Super Senses against close combat), he’s OK in a fight, too.
AVOID: Teaming him with almost every version of Namor/Sub-Mariner…most lack the actual dolphin symbols!

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Black Manta (Arkham Asylum): Also 68 points, this archenemy to Aquaman offers enough to the theme to possibly overlook his blood feud with the hero. The first-ever dolphin Transporter, he has 6-range Psychic Blast (later, Super Strength) and — and here’s the reason to run him if you’ve broken theme — “Pirate,” which grants him Perplex of himself or other swimmers only. He’s also way cheaper than his later versions appearing in Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes/Legion of Doom sets.

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Thor, Frog of Thunder (Hammer of Thor): Though not an actual swimmer, this 72-point chase figure has two Special Powers that work superbly in water. First is another Submerged-like power (though it also grants true Stealth as well). The other, “Leader of the Frog and Alligator Army,” deals 1 damage to all enemies in or bordering water like a 6-square-ranged Poison. Could work well with water-generating characters like Tempest, Fear Itself Attuma or SR Aquaman.

SUIT UP: The 3-point Frog Legs makes him a swimmer, too. Armor Piercing ensures his “Alligator Army” SP has some real bite (sorry).

 

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Mera (Blackest Night): 85 points buys another taxi for the team — one that can Charge in with 11 AV to deal 4 damage without so much as an object in sight. In addition to flying, she’s got the dolphin symbol, too, so she could join the ranks of the Submerged if so feated.
OBJECT LESSON: The Red Lantern is great with her Battle Fury.

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Black Manta [Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes]: At 97 points, this Manta is a lot more pricey than the Arkham version and lacks its Transporter Move and Attack ability. But he’s an Indomitable, Sidestepping taxi with much better attack values. The biggest reason to run him is his excellence on a water map: He one-ups the Submerged effect by being able to hide behind water terrain with actually being in it, serving as a more flexible “stealth shield” for more vulnerable swimmers than usual.

DON’T FORGET: He’s a wildcard, so back him with copyable TAs.

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Black Manta [Legion of Doom]: His price tag almost swept him off the list. But this Manta, with Transporter symbol, Running Shot and 7 range with auto-knockback brings a welcome shooting ability to a swim team. He also can be placed in water up to 8 squares away to serve as an advance sniper in the game’s start, getting both a Speed and DV +2 when in water. Add to all this Indom and, later, Pulse Wave and free Regen in water and his 125-point cost starts to look pretty reasonable. This is the Manta for offense, especially given his Injustice League TA for wildcards to capitalize on.

TEAM UP: Aquaman [Superman 048], Badoon Commander and Atlantean Warrior are all fellow Soldiers, so one could make a keyword team at 400 points to maybe get that watery map choice it likes.

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Aquaman [War of Light]: It’s unbelievable, but here’s another version of this character that lacks the Atlantis keyword! This 129-point Transporter’s combat values are just OK for the price compared with just about every carded Aquaman. You’re really running him for his two traits: “Death: A Watery Grave,” which, along with granting use of Steal Energy, heals him when enemies are KO’d and creates water terrain in clear squares surrounding the victim, and “Summon The Undead Sharks,” which brings in a once-per-game backup quartet of zombie shark bystanders with 10 AV BCF (though they self-KO if they end the turn out of the water) each next to a different foe in his 5 range and 2 extra actions that turn to boot.

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Killer Croc [No Man’s Land 005]: Though too pricey at 173 points, his SP granting Stealth-plus in water is pretty useful — but be careful, as he’s unseen by foe AND friend. His treated 2d6 version of B/C/F rocks, too.
TEAM UP: Two versions of Namor [Fantastic Forces 067 and Wolverine + The X-Men 058] are wildcards who’ll like his high AV and Batman Enemy TA.

 

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All Pacific Rim Kaiju: Ranging between 200 and 600 points, these beasties all have the dolphin symbol, making them work with a number of Atlantis pieces. Each also bears a trait that grants +1 AV and damage while in water. On a non-Atlantis-themed team, they nevertheless fit as any number of colossal sea monsters Aquaman or Namor have summoned from the deep. Could be fun.

TEAM UP: Aquaman [Justice League 002] can Perplex multiples at once. Aquaman [Superman] can give ’em free movement.

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OK, enough dipping the toe in. Get in the pool!

Enjoy team-building and have a nice swim, ‘Clixers!

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What’s scarier than sharks in the open sea? Orcas. See the apex predators of Atlantis — 126 points and higher — in the post below.

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Above 125 points: alpha predators
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Experienced Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Forces): Identical to the 122-point LE, except sporting the Defenders TA, costing 8 more points and strangely missing the three mid-life clicks of Flurry appearing on every other version in this set. The Defenders TA is useless unless you use another, better Namor. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 1 of 5. Only use him on a team of all-Namors or something.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Defenders, The Order

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Tiger Shark (Incredible Hulk): 134 points gets a Master of Evil who can move full speed and attack when starting or finishing the action in water. Nice! Combining it with B/C/F only helps — when, of course, the roll isn’t too low. TS also has a trait allowing him to mark a target he’s bitten and to track them.
His drawback is, ironically, tied to his strength — he pushes poorly. Each successive click drops a stat: First DV, then Speed, then AV…you get the idea. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5 stars

CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Offenders

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Veteran Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Forces): The reigning king of the Fantastic Forces pieces, Vet Subby isn’t bad with a great Charge speed, AV and 16 Invulnerability. He also sports a whopping 11 clicks of life, all with damage reduction. But for his 150-point cost you’re going to run one of the best of Atlantis pieces instead. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Avengers Response Unit, Avengers Heroic Age, Mighty Avengers, Secret Avengers

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Namor (Secret Invasion): This is the piece that showed everyone that Charge and Flurry are compatible powers. (Yeah, two of the Justice League Flashes did it first, but nobody cared.) He’s also the one that showed us a Flight character could be carried (as his SP grants him the Flight ability only, not the Wing symbol). Offering excellent defenses on the first half of his dial and massive offensive potential throughout, he singlehandedly made the Atlantis keyword competitive in his heyday and remains a top-flight bruiser for just 150 points. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 5 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Avengers Response Unit, Avengers Heroic Age, Mighty Avengers, Secret Avengers, Defenders, The Order

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Namor [Wolverine + The X-Men 058]: Another 150-pointer, this Phoenix-empowered version brings a rare dose of shooting ability to the theme [9 range]. He’s also the first with the damage-halving Invincible defense power and Power Cosmic. Second click drops Charge for Hypersonic Speed and Support with a usable 10 AV. Minions of Doom TA means he can play well with other members of the swim team. Even his Phoenix Five trait works for him. Superb as one would expect. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5 stars
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Immortal Contempt

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Namor [AvX 011]: The latest 150-point Subby to emerge, the starter set prince of Atlantis lacks the sheer damage potential of the Secret Invasion piece or the shooting ability of the Phoenix’d version. Instead, he looks more like an upgraded meld of the Fantastic Forces vet and the Secret Invader, with Impervious instead of Invulnerability to start and an end-dial Regen-in-water power that also hides him. He’s also Indomitable, which aids his trait giving him penetrating damage-granting Rage tokens when he gets 2nd tokens or is hit with attacks. X-Men TA could work with certain other Namor/Sub-Mariner figs. At only 6 clicks of life, he’s a risk to run, though. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Defenders, The Order

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Aquaman [Superman]: It’s a bit hard to know how to run Emperor Aquaman because he brings several variant methods of teamwork to the table. Do you:

  • …Move him to leverage his “Invade the Surface” trait to move other swimmers in water 3 squares for free?
  • …use his excellent stats and powers for front-line duty?
  • …use his DPA SP to create water terrain and ruin enemy formations?
  • …push him mercilessly to permanently flood all grounded terrain — ALL OF IT — upon his KO?

That’s a lot of options, and sadly he can’t do them all to really get his 156 points’ worth. But it’s great that he’s all but guaranteed to fulfill most of them. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5 stars.

CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Flashpoint

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Nerkkod: The Worthy, hammer-gifted version of Attuma weighs in at a whopping 215 points but with only 4 range Running Shot and Invulnerability to offer. And Force Blast. And Pulse Wave. And — oh. OH. His trait:

“When Nerkkod occupies water terrain, modify his damage value by +1 and his range becomes 10.”

So. Like many in the theme, he’s particularly good in the drink. But even on dry land, his short-range PW skills could prove very key. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Asgardian, The Worthy, Immortal Contempt, Nova Blast

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Namor [AvX 011]: 225 points gains another Impervious Namor. It’s a lot like Secret Invasion Namor yet less potent despite the extra 75 points. But the points aren’t wasted. First, this Namor is Indomitable, which pays dividends down his dial. Impervious is still a fine upgrade from Invulnerability. His 2nd and 3rd and 5th clicks sport Flurry and Precision Strike, a great combo. He can fly and carry and possibly heal with X-Men TA or his end-dial, only-in-water Regen (which also grants him a Submerged-like effect, along with Toughness).

Is he worth the bank-busting 225 points? Possibly. Is he one of the most accurate Namors in the game? Absolutely. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5 stars.

CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Defenders, The Order

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Namor [Wolverine + The X-Men 058]: At 295 points, he’s by far the most expensive Atlantean of all. The points are NOT wasted at all. First, he’s a HSS beast with 12 AV and 5 damage and 9 range and Power Cosmic and 19 Impervious. He’s also a wildcard and his Phoenix Five trait nerfs damage/attack avoidance powers.

But here’s where he gets good for Atlantis: his opening SP floods all squares of his elevation or lower from his row back to his starting area. YES, ALL. And on his 2nd-4th clicks, he deals penetrating damage to non-fliers/swimmers standing in water terrain.

What else is there to say? He’s the apex predator of the deep blue sea. Don’t forget to field TAs for him to copy! HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Immortal Contempt

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There are some pieces that lack the Atlantis keyword but could be useful on non-keyword-yet-thematic builds featuring dolphin speed characters. See what some of those are next time as this F.U.N. Focus concludes.

This  F.U.N. Focus (previous parts here) continues, being a needed update to a far-too-long article reviewing all characters with the Atlantis keyword in much better bite-sized installments.

These are the main hitters for this keyword: the killer sharks, the maneaters, the 101-125 bracket. It ain’t safe to go in the water!

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101-125 points: maneaters
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Aquaman (Brightest Day): This 105-point version of the character changed the game for Atlantis. Not only is he another solid Charging, Super Strong and Invulnerable attacker, but he also brings more skills to the theme:

  • Close Combat Expert on the first half of his dial so that he can still deal 5 damage even after he’s used his heavy object — or shift his AV to a can’t -miss 11;
  • HSS-lite via his transporter symbol;
  • Another taxi (and one who can tote his own meat shields);
  • One of the longest range values of the theme, 8, via his mid-dial SP “Tentacle Whip” (when in water);
  • Perma-line-of-fire to targets in water using that same SP;
  • Mind Control, contiguous with the SP;
  • the 2nd healer of the theme — one with a usable AV this time;
  • and the biggie: “The Undead Sea,” a Trait that deals 2 damage to all enemies who helped KO an Atlantis member that turn. Suddenly those fragile but long-dialed HT Aquaman pieces and the tougher but short-lived Atlantean Warriors are no longer quite such inviting targets: either they’ll be mostly ignored for fear of the retaliation, making their tie-up/shielding role last longer, or they’ll draw the fire of tougher Invulnerable and Impervious enemies unafraid of the damage, leaving your bigger pieces alone.

As a Transporter, he can’t use Submerged, so he needs meat shields to protect him from range attack. His trait encourages you to build some onto the team and his SP helps him stay effective when hiding behind them and his Transporter ability helps him position them.
This Golden Age piece is best run with the 10-point Armor Piercing feat on larger teams to get the most of his trait and with Lunge to make him a more potent fighter. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5 stars. His weakness is that you won’t want to run his strong but short dial on the front line to preserve his damaging trait, but he’s got the combat ability of a lead attacker.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Armor Piercing, Lunge, Automatic Regeneration

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Aquaman (DC 75th Anniversary) at 106 points feels like a downgrade from his sculptmate Brightest Day Aquaman with only 10 AV and only Move And Attack to grant mobility. But this Aquaman has Leadership, Mind Control (with a +3 AV against Atlantis keyword) and, most of all, his SP “Rise From the Deep” that allows him to warp in water terrain within his speed value and hit with natural 4 damage. It’s enough to give this version of the Sea King a look if you’re certain to have water terrain to use. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5; add a star for mostly-water maps
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Lunge, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League: Generation Lost, Justice League International

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Attuma (Fear Itself): Atlantis teams live and die by the presence or absence of water terrain. This 109-point piece is the cheapest guarantee in the game outside of map choice or, in Golden Age, the Opened Hydrant — and more flexible than both. He bears a trait allowing him to plant six separate water terrain squares 6+ squares away from foes once per game.

That.
Is.
EPIC for Atlantis!!!! Finally, teams aren’t at the total mercy of map design to get use of water-based abilities (even many of the previous “bring your own water” techniques only worked on clear GROUNDED terrain) as this can put water even on rooftops.

Oh, there’s more, too. Foes within 6 squares of him in water can’t take power actions while he’s got his SP, and he’s a solid if unremarkable brick.
Short of it being a DC-only event, no Atlantis team with characters bearing a water-activated ability should be without Fear Itself Attuma.

EVER!

HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5

CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Contingency Plan, Lunge

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Aquaman (Teen Titans 015) If one seeks an Aquaman in this point range, maybe this piece is the best choice. Just like its 80-point level, 110 buys an Invulnerable transporter with an opening SP that grants 7 range and penalty-free AV on Move and Attack ability when starting a turn in water. He’s even more pushable thanks to another click of his DV SP that heals him if he starts a turn with 2 tokens. And unlike the 106-pt. Aquaman, he starts with Super Strength to hit very hard with his 11 AV and natural 4 damage. He’s the only choice for Modern Age games, too. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League Dark, Justice League: New 52, Justice League. Lunge

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Aquaman (Justice League New 52) And then there’s one more Aquaman in this 105-111 range to consider. His 10 AV and 8 (+2 if he starts the turn in water) Speed don’t seem so hot, even backed by Invulnerable 18 DV and 4 damage. But his 8-click dial is longer than most and he really ought to be run with his lady Mera because if she’s KO’d, all his stats get a permanent +1. So running him in Golden Age with the 6-point Mera pog turns him into a starting 11 AV, 9 Speed, 19 DV and 5 damage PLUS Super Strength by as early as turn 2. This Aquaman is definitely worth considering. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5. Add a star if Mera dies.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League Dark, Justice League: New 52, Justice League, Contingency Plan

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Hulkmariner (Incredible Hulk): One of the only Impervious figs in Atlantis, this Hulked-Out hero brings more than just a tough hide to the theme. First, his Sea Smash trait can Neutralize a target with a high enough attack roll, though that’s nothing to count on. Better is his ability to grab extra objects from water terrain much like Garth [Crisis] but without the limitations. Finally, there’s his chance to Revert to either of the GG Namors. 115 points isn’t too much to pay for this. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Hulked Out Heroes (though it’s mostly useless for him)

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Tempest (Crisis): Expensive (116 points) and soft-shelled, the former Aqualad is here for one reason: portable water terrain. His SP duplicates the Opened Hydrant effect, making him a must-run for water-dependent teammates. His Mystics TA, Barrier, double-target 6 range (with Incap and Energy Explosion) and Perplex are welcome icing to this cake. He’s not as essential now, with other sources of water in the game. But he’ll help the Atlantean cause every time he’s fielded. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, New Teen Titans

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Rookie Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Forces): the first non-swimmer on the roster, R Subby offers basic brick and taxi skills. His best point is that he’s a wild card thanks to the Minions of Doom TA. Team him up with the also-116-point Tempest to copy Mystics or with one of the Atlantis characters with Defenders TA(s) or with a Justice Leaguer equipped with one of their many ATAs. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5 stars. Add a half-star if teamed up with good TAs to copy.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis

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Namor (Galactic Guardians 009): Though he starts with fearsome stats — 11 AV Super Strength, 18 DV Invulnerability, 4 damage — it’s all hobbled by only having Transporter Move and Attack to make a first strike, which drops his AV to a middling 9. If he wants to hit harder with his natural 11, he loses his hit-and-run ability. His trait granting adjacent Defenders the Swim ability is pointless to Atlantis. He’s not even a swimmer. Imperious Wet for 120 points. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 1.5 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Defenders, The Order

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Namor (Fantastic Forces): The 122-point LE of the Fantastic Forces REV offers a stronger and longer dial than the Rookie but no TA. No feats necessary, but Mercenary could be useful when teamed with costlier figs with team abilities. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Mercenary

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What’s scarier than sharks in the open sea? Orcas. See the apex predators — 126 points and higher — in Atlantis next time.

 

 

 

 

This new F.U.N. Focus (previous parts here) is a needed update to a far-too-long article reviewing all characters with the Atlantis keyword in much better bite-sized installments.

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76-100 points: sharks
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Namora (Hammer of Thor): At 76 points she’s not only another lite Charging brick from Atlantis, she’s also the first flier and thus a valuable addition who can offer the theme some mobility. She’s been lapped a bit by Transporters just a little more expensive and her armor is soft with only Toughness. But she sports the best average AV so far in the list. Still, forget her unless you’re running Marvel-only. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2 of 5 stars
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged

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Aquaman (Teen Titan 015): The latest version of Aquaman’s an Invulnerable transporter with an opening SP that grants 7 range and penalty-free AV on Move and Attack ability when starting a turn in water. He’s also somewhat pushable thanks to another SP that heals him if he starts a turn with 2 tokens. Pretty good for 80 points. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League Dark, Justice League: New 52, Justice League, Automatic Regeneration, Lunge

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Aqualad (Teen Titans 075): Another transporter, the latest version of the ‘Lad gets a traited version of Super Senses and +3 Speed, but all only when in water. That means this is 82 points you don’t want to spend unless you’ve made SURE there’s going to be water on the map, despite solid stats and powers down the dial — including a surprise pair of Prob Control clicks near the end. That said, he’s one of the few remaining Modern Age Atlantis pieces after this summer’s wave of retirements. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Lunge, New Teen Titans

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I don't yet own a Mera fig, but I got a shot of her at my venue. And, as you see, she can tote her token! (Barely. Squeeze it between her hair and shoulder.)

Mera [DC 75th Anniversary]: Once the first-ever TK fig for Atlantis, this 85-pointer has been supplanted by her far-cheaper self in JL52. But she’s still great for the role, if less easily martyred for the Atlantis cause. Instead, she can be more active by uncharacteristically Phasing about and using Exploit Weakness to do actual fighting. Mind Control and Regen round out the other powers she ought not have but can get some mileage from anyhow. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Automatic Regeneration

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Attuma (Secret Invasion): Despite his lone bit of extra Leadership and weird, highly situational SP Quake, Attuma is really the most traditional sort of brick, starting with the usual Charge+Super Strength+Invuln. combo and keeping Toughness down the line (with Combat Reflexes in water). I’d only bother running him in larger builds where he can be a 2nd-line attacker rather than a main one — his 4 Charge speed is a little sub-par for his 90-point price compared to the 5- and 6-square Charges that others are capable of for many points less. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2 of 5. Save him for a villains-only Atlantis team, maybe.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Armor Piercing

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Namor (Galactic Guardians 203) The original prince of Atlantis finally makes an appearance at the top of this cost bracket. At 100 points, his 8 Speed and lack of opening Super Strength is disappointing. At least he flies and and gets a Speed and DV boost when in water. His SP also allows him to drag a hit nonswimmer into the water with him, but that’s really situational. He’s good with wildcards thanks to having the X-Men TA and access to the Defenders ATA. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Defenders, The Order

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Next are the main hitters for this keyword: the killer sharks, the man-eaters, the 101-125 bracket. It ain’t safe to go in the water.

 

 

 

This new F.U.N. Focus (previous parts here) is a needed update to a far-too-long article reviewing all characters with the Atlantis keyword in much better bite-sized installments. And speaking of bite-sized, last installment looked at the cheapest members of the keyword. Now it’s time to take a gander at pieces that take a bigger bite of your team — and, hopefully, from your opponent’s force!

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51-75 points: barracudas
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Arthur Curry (Hypertime): The last of the Hypertime set, he spends 10 more points over the Vet’s 41 to add Willpower to his top-dial and Toughness/Close Combat Expert to his back half. The former makes him a tiny bit more likely to maybe get that first strike off. The latter makes him a tougher KO than he ought to be, lengthening his very long dial. Sadly, though, his CCE is wasted on a terrible AV — he’ll either need it to give himself a goldfish’s ghost of a chance of hitting with minimal damage — and his similarly weak DV means he will take fire before he can attack unless you can TK him in for that first attack. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Justice League (Silver Age), Lunge, Opportunist

Speaking of Telekinesis:

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Mera [Justice League New 52]: For a long time, Atlantis lacked a TKer. Now there are a couple in the form of Aquaman’s squeeze Mera, and this one’s the cheapest and best. She starts with the power, a special version that grants +3 when moving a foe in water, and rocks a trait allowing her melee attacks against enemies in or next to water within 6 squares. Her damage is very light, and her DV is never stellar, but she’s only 51 points and you may not want her to survive anyhow, depending on if you’re running her paramour from the same set in the game. (More on him in future installments.) Regardless, she’s a must for the mobility-challenged Atlantis team. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 5 of 5. Unless it’s a Modern Age game, you don’t run an Atlantis team without her.

CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Armor Piercing, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League Dark, Justice League: New 52, Justice League

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Experienced Aquaman (Icons): Leadership, 10 AV, JLA TA and 4 range make this 56-point figure a huge upgrade over the Icons Rookie, but less useful overall because of his general mediocrity. Keep him Submerged so he can potentially snipe from watery cover — or make a Contingency Plan with the 12-point Leadership-based feat of the same name. Not both, though, as his cheap cost is his main asset. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Justice League (Silver Age), Contingency Plan

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LE Garth (Crisis): For a massive 25-point increase over the 40-point Aqualad, you get two more clicks of life with Toughness, the same Stealth-plus SP, and, 2nd click in, a SP granting him an extra supply of light objects for 65 points. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance all standard light objects will be carried — if there are any at all in this Modern Age of special objects — and he won’t get to use this. Tough to recommend him over the ‘Lad. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, New Teen Titans

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Ocean Master [DC 75th Anniversary]: Bring on the bad guy. Orm here is the first villain on the Atlantis list, and he looks like crap with a lame 3 range and Mastermind in a theme full of characters who all cost more than him in Modern Age. Good thing he’s Golden Age now, where there are plenty of sub-65-pointers to dump damage onto.

It’s his perma-Prob Control in water that makes him worthy of running. Can’t tell you how many games were won or lost due to the presence or absence of Ocean Master’s PC. Run him with Mastermind fodder and some method of ensuring water terrain and make sure he’s close enough to the action to affect it with either rerolls or by drawing fire from the real fighters. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, The Society, Outsmart

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Aquaman (Justice League 101): Finally, an Aquaman that can first-strike without needing TK! His solid DV SP gives the Atlantis roster its cheapest (at 70 points) Invulnerability. The downside: It comes with an immediate downgrade to Toughness when out of water. But when he can Charge from 6 out from water (thanks to the Surge SP), it’s not so bad. Use him as a 1-2 punch with other pieces. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Justice League (Silver Age)

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Arthur Curry (Justice League 105): Similar to his sculpt-mate above (though with only normal Charge), A.C. offers, for the same cost, more Toughness after his Invulnerability-in-water SP runs out and, via his other SP, a shot at Regen or Close Combat Expert (but only in water) in lieu of the JLA TA. The boost to the latter power, and the Plasticity it’s paired with, really aid this version of the Sea King compared to when Heroclixin’ first looked at him in 2011. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5

CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Lunge, Justice League (Silver Age), Automatic Regeneration

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Veteran Aquaman (Icons): the first real Invulnerability piece on the roster, he still lacks that vital ability to move and attack. Though offering both Regen and Support end-dial, he does so with such low AV and DV numbers that neither is very usable. Once the cream of the Aqua-crop, he’s now just so much mediocre flotsam. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 1 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Contingency Plan, Automatic Regeneration, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League International, Justice League: Generation Lost, Invigorate

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Next time, Heroclixin’ looks at the next set of swimmers: 76-100 points. Be there! The water’s fine!

 

The Fish(men) Fight Back!!!

The Fish(men) Fight Back!!! AGAIN!!!!!

A few years back, I did a far-too-long article reviewing all characters with the Atlantis keyword. This series is a needed update in much better bite-sized installments.

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Below 50 points: shrimps and chum
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Rookie Aquaman (Hypertime): At 27 points, he’s by far the cheapest Atlantean in the game, and until last year was the only character in the whole game at that price point who could do 5 damage unaided by other characters. But his defense is a sad 15 or less with zero protection and he has no move and attack. With his long-for-the-cost 6-click dial, he’s best run as a blocker/tie-up/fodder for better figs. Cheap Leadership has its uses, too. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5 stars. OK to squeeze on but hardly necessary.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Contingency Plan

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Atlantean Warrior (Secret Invasion): Cons are low numbers and a difficult-to-use SP that offers him +2 Speed, Charge and Stealth in water — trouble is, Stealth still needs hindering terrain, and water terrain doesn’t count as such. But Toughness makes him a decent meat shield and tie-up piece against enemy shooters. These 35-point blue guys make good filler and Mastermind/themed-PC fodder. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5 stars. Run in multiples to block for better pieces.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Lunge

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Experienced Aquaman (Hypertime): Same story as the 27-point rookie, only you’re paying 9 more points — a full THIRD of the Rookie’s cost — to add JLA TA and a click of life, essentially. The extra life makes him more effective at the fodder role, though, so there’s that. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 1.5 of 5 stars. Least worthy of the HT Aquamen.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Justice League (Silver Age), Contingency Plan

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Rookie Aquaman (Icons): 39 points buys a lot more Toughness for a more survivable Atlantean, though you’re trading away the good AV of the Hypertime Aquamen. But of them all, he’s the best tie-up/fodder piece in this cost range; use him as such. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2 of 5 stars. Add a star if he’s run with a Mastermind piece or Brightest Day Aquaman.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged

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Aqualad (Crisis): 40 points gives us another soft-shelled, short-lived swimmer. But his built-in super-Stealth in water — no Submerged needed — makes him absolutely invaluable for the Atlantean cause. He blocks LOF to more important pieces while his Willpower makes him ever-ready to Charge, with Super Strength, at any targets forced to approach. It’s a rare event that you wouldn’t have at least one on a Golden Age Atlantis team. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, New Teen Titans

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Veteran Aquaman (Hypertime): The first Aquaman to top 10 AV, perhaps he’s worth running just for that in spite having of the same playability issues as the other Hypertime Sea Kings: no real defense, no move+attack. And at 41 points, he’s beginning to eat up some real points, compared to them. He totally needs help from Telekinesis to get that first strike. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5 stars, esp. with TK.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Justice League (Silver Age)

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These fishmen are nice filler, but Atlantis needs more bite. Look to the next installment for the 51-75 point bracket for that.