Back in December, I did a little Top Ten list of the most-needed changes in HeroClix. Well, about a week ago, WizKids released downloadable updates to the Team Abilities card, introducing a new one (Avengers Initiative), bringing many existing TAs in line with current rules and rulings (such as SHIELD or Quintessence), and giving others tweaks and upgrades, including Outsiders team ability.

The number 9 most needed change to HeroClix just happened. Depending on you feel about the change, Heroclixin’ says either “You’re welcome” or “Our apologies.”


In a week or so (’cause I’m a bit swamped with work and travel lately) look for me to being a final look back at 2011: my Top Ten FAVORITE figures of the year. Like 2010’s list, there isn’t going to be much if ANY overlap with the other lists…

Finally…the worst of the bad. Read on, if you dare.


#2 is sort of a tie.

Purifier (Giant-Size X-Men 002) / William Stryker (Giant-Size X-Men 019)

OK, so admittedly minions, by definition, aren’t supposed to be all that super by themselves without their leaders. But the Purifier is pretty pathetic even by peon standards. 3 clicks of life and Toughness and some range and a click of 2 damage make him decent Mastermind fodder but little more.

Maybe his Minion power will help? He gets Willpower — that’s good — and a hefty +2 AV boost if his leader’s present. Great! But he’s still stuck with just 2 (or less) damage and thus has no way to crack heavy armor, unless his leader can help.

That, then, is the problem. The leader, William Stryker, is just as weak, with only a little Leadership to help his already Willpowered minions to act. Worse, he doesn’t get the much more effective Outwit until mid-dial (and thus almost dead) and by that time, he’s likely to have either lost his Purifiers or he’s getting KOed before they can take advantage of his Outwit.

Since I hate caricatures of religious people like this Stryker guy, I get a little satisfaction from the fact that even though he and the Purifiers are supposed to work well together, they don’t, actually.



Princess Projectra (Superman 038)

Everything’s wrong with this caster of illusions.

  • Why would you pay 70 points to give Super Senses to just ONE fellow Legionnaire only if they stand next to her?
  • Why would you pay 70 points for 4-range Barrier — especially when it really takes 8 range Barrier to really be good at it?
  • Why would you pay 70 points for a weak DV of 16 that, incredibly, only sinks lower and lower after that first click? Super Senses is poor consolation.
  • Why would you pay 70 points for single target, 4-range Mind Control — that you have to PUSH off that precious 16 DV to get to?
  • Why would you pay 70 points for the much better power combo of Stealth and Probability Control, when it doesn’t show until she’s half-dead?


Seriously, the only things good about her are that she’s a flying wildcard, like nearly every OTHER Legion member…and you’ll want to use any one of them before you should even look at her. In fact, the only reason to even glance her way is if you’re trying to build a Legion team…a big one, where she’ll be so barely significant to the action that she’ll be ignored in favor of your big guns — or somehow draw fire from them.

Proof that royalty doesn’t always equal superiority, Princess Projectra takes the crown as the worst HeroClix figure of 2011.

The badness continues and is only getting worse. Behold!…

Human Torch (Captain America 058)

At first, Torchy looks great; 4 damage, Running Shot, and a fair amount of Toughness that other versions of Johnny usually lack. But he’s got this thing called Nova Flame that drags him high (low?) onto the Worst list.

  1. He’s got to push to even get to the Special Power that allows him to TRY to add the Nova Flame. Pushing means he loses that 4 damage and he’s stuck there for a turn, anyway, on top of that.
  2. THEN he’s got to push AGAIN, via double power action, to get the Nova Flame, leaving him a sitting duck AGAIN. Better hope he actually managed to hit something while he’s hurting himself…AGAIN.
  3. Better hope he doesn’t get hit, because taking any little bit of damage from the attackers who fire at this sitting duck removes the Nova Flame and he’ll have to start all over again.

Paying an extra 20 points over the next cheapest versions of the youngest member of the Fantastic Four because of that stupid, almost-useless power makes him one of the worst of the worst ‘Clix of 2011.

No wonder Johnny's cryin' himself a kiddie pool.



Guile (Street Fighter 105)

The famous flat-topped Street Fighter makes the list for having an even more stupidly useless power than Torch’s, his “Flash Kick” that moves him 1 whole square to deal 1 whole damage — MAX! — and add one whole token. If that didn’t sound weak enough, wait — there’s more:

  • It’s a power action, so it doesn’t work with the Street Fighter TA at ALL.
  • His damage is only 2 to start with. Why would you lower it?
  • Because you HAVE to move to do it, it’s basically shut down when he’s based. Sure, you could make a break away roll…to do less damage and give the target a token it’ll clear before Guile does HIS. Yeah, no thanks.
  • Guile has no armor, so if he gets hit while based before or after using this power, he’s stuck on Penetrating/Psychic Blast and Energy Shield/Deflection, both beyond useless in adjacency.
  • Playing keep away is difficult with his paltry 4 range (which is also a problem for his using the above powers).

Continue? Only if you get to switch characters!

This Guile just “ticks” me off. #3 Worst HeroClix of the year.

I’ll give you all until next week to brace yourselves for the very worst of the bad ‘clix 2011 had to offer. In the meantime, have a weekend as good as these ‘Clix are lousy!

Bruno Mannheim (Superman 020)

For almost a C-note, points-wise, you get 16 DV Mastermind and 1 damage? Even with Exploit Weakness, that’s subpar. His 2nd target is almost totally wasted unless he’s using Mind Control against multiples.
But wait — his SP Mind Control only works on 50-points-or-lower characters. So the 2nd target is STILL likely to be dead weight.
He doesn’t get into real fighting shape until halfway through his short, six-click life, and while he’s formidable at that point, he’s also an easily-targeted-and-shot-or Outwitted Giant.

Too many liabilities and too few teams to truly support him — he all but NEEDS the similarly weak Intergang Underbosses around — Bruno Mannheim proves that, in this case, crime most definitely does NOT pay.

Not listenin' to your EXCUSES!!



Jigsaw (Incredible Hulk 024)

The trouble with Jigsaw, other than his mediocre stats, middling range, and inflexible keywords is the fact that he’s GOT to take damage to be at all effective. Trouble is, by the time he’s taken enough shots to be effective, his stats have sunk even lower. So you’re faced with the devil’s choice of boosting his AV to hit for light damage or sacrificing more to hit a little harder but with poor AV; you can’t choose BOTH, ever.

That’s as ugly as his face and reason enough to rate deep in the Top Ten Worst ‘Clix of ’11.


Dhalsim (Street Fighter 103)

This stretchy-limbed character, in the Street Fighter games, is a slow, floaty character that excels at mid- to long-range attacks. But in close, he’s easy to hit despite his teleport moves (which have too much lag to use effectively, in my memory).

  • So why are his only powers Super Senses and Phasing/Teleport?
  • Also, he’s got a full-screen projectile in the form of his Yoga Fireball. Yet he only has 3 range, even shorter than other Street Fighters’.
  • And his damage and DV are too low for a 50-point tie-up piece, which is his chief role.

He’d be worth playing at 20 points cheaper. As he is, though, only two words come to mind:

Yoga FAIL.

Numbers 4 and 3 next time.

Nomad (Captain America 016)
At first, he doesn’t look like he belongs here. Running Shot, 3 damage and Willpower is a winning combination.

  • Then you notice his 4 range. Again, with Running Shot, that’s not a killer. But it keeps him from being one.
  • It also doesn’t help that he’s 63 points. In a game with far more effective fighters at far fewer points, he’s weaksauce.
  • Especially since he’s got ZERO KEYWORDS to pal him up with fellows to help him out, or vice versa!

With all these liabilities, he richly deserves his ranking as the #10 Worst HeroClix of 2011.

Actually, you'll find him in the bottom of your clix storage case. And you'll wish you hadn't found him.


#9 is 
Brute Honor Guard (Halo )

Charge and Flurry, a power combo only made possible through Special Powers and Traits, is one of the game’s very best, and Brute H.G. here has it for much of his dial. So how could he possibly end up being one of the worst clix?

  • Low damage. Flurry is one of those powers that’s markedly better as damage rises. His natural 2 (or lower) damage means he’ll be restricted to hitting soft targets or getting help from Perplex for this combat value. That’s a problem because of his…
  • Low attack value. While not terrible, starting with 9 AV is NOT what you need from a 90-plus-point fighter (Heck, even that stinker Nomad starts with a 10!) who HAS to land his attacks, because…
  • He’s soft. A 17 DV with Defend isn’t good for a close combat fighter at ALL. Even though he’s got a SP that can Force Blast his targets so that they can’t punch him back, it only works if he lands his initial attack. (Sure, you could ignore his Indomitable ability and push to click #2 to pick up Toughness. But that’s a REALLY modest upgrade.)

Add his minimal range of 3 and poor Speed, and it’s no wonder this guy earns the DIShonor of being the #9 Worst HeroClix of 2011.


Who’s #8? None other than Element Woman (Superman 016)
Plasticity, Poison and Exploit Weakness look like they ought to make her playable, not firmly ensconced in the Top Ten Worst list.

  • But her 17 DV with Toughness isn’t really enough to protect her much when she’s in close like her powers demand she be. And once she’s gotten hit — as she usually will be — she just gets worse.
  • This is assuming she can even close in in the first place. Her 7 Speed isn’t very effective with her being unable to fly or Phase, and that value only goes down, never up.
  • One solid hit, and her close combat threat is majorly blunted by her 8 AV (despite Blades/Claws/Fangs). Her DV is also an anemic 15, with Shape Change pretty much showing up too late to be any #$#^@# good.

Like Nomad before her, she’s just too many points for what she doesn’t do. A few powers swapped around, and she’d be good. But as is, well…

You'd beg, too, if you were THIS USELESS.

More badness to come in the days ahead. Commiserate with me!


Not every HeroClix is good. In fact, some are outright mediocre. And in the year 2011, there were a few stinkers.

Or WERE there? Unlike last year, when it was easy to select 10 pretty awful pieces, the candidates this time around were a lot harder to identify.

For example, I selected Major Glenn Talbot as an early front-runner for the 10 Worst list. Sporting the same lousy 33-point cost and 16 DV + Mastermind and 1 damage as LE Bruce Wayne last year, he seemed to fit the mold.

But then I looked at how superbly the Major supports a Soldier team of shooters with his SHIELD TA and non-stop Enhancement and long run of Willpower. Even his Mastermind works OK, what with the copious numbers of cheaper Soldier or Hulkbuster characters in the game.

That’s why, much as I wanted to, I could not put Talbot among the Top Ten Worst HeroClix of 2011 after all.

That's RIGHT. Respect the uniform, MAGGOT!!!


So what ARE the 10 worst? Keep an eye out this week for ’em!

Finishing this highlight of several solid figures that either just missed the top 10 or bring something new to the game that no other piece does but didn’t have an overall good enough dial to carve out a place among the very best.


Darkstar  (Captain America #043) 
Game-Changing Contribution: Free action powers
So many times, when a wishlist of changes to HeroClix is proposed, free Smoke Cloud is nearly always suggested. Darkstar shows why it shouldn’t be. The special power is great on a figure like her, that’s a bit too high-priced to be a mostly support piece. On less-modest dials, it could be absotively, posilutely broken like a window on the business end of a thrown brick.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • General RAAM (009): Free grenades after move action.
  • Cyborg Superman (034): Free TK, but only on objects. Both made the real Top 10, anyway


Cypher (Giant-Size X-Men #012)
Game-Changing Contribution: extra team abilities without paying extra ATA points 
There was an old feat called “Siphon Power” that purportedly allowed a wildcard to copy enemy team abilities, but it was hobbled by A) said wildcard’s inability to share that TA with other wildcards, B) the wildcard’s inability to switch up TAs at will since the Siphon Power’d TA was a once-at-the-beginning-of-turn deal, robbing the normal flexibility of the wildcard ability at C) a staggering cost of 20 points.

Now, Cypher here can copy a single enemy TA and give it to all his friends — not just wildcards — via his “Crack Enemy Communications” trait AND sit back and Perplex his friends’ stats as needed AND he offers both the Brotherhood (good for a support piece like himself) and X-Men TAs. At 38 points, he’s worth THREE Siphon Powers.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • Hellfire Club Guard (Giant-Size X-Men #004): essentially grants Mastermind as an extra TA to Hellfire Clubbers
  • Nick Fury (Captain America 023)  : works wonders for Howling Commandos, SHIELDs and Secret Warriors


Gideon (Giant-Size X-Men #024)
Game-Changing Contribution: Power copy/steal
There were a few characters this year who could grab others’ powers, but none as inexpensively as the ponytailed Gideon here. And while his version is less foolproof than theirs, requiring a die roll based on proximity, he’s the only one who also can grab allies’ powers with no problem.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • Rogue (Giant-Size X-Men #028): also boasts a secondary ability to do free damage, but expensive for the rest of her dial and also hurts friendlies.
  • Parasite (Superman #027): Can’t use pals’ powers.
  • Earth-Man (Superman #023): Can only use Attack slot powers.


Matter-Eater Lad (Superman #025)
Game-Changing Contribution: Easy demolition
His ability to eat terrain for free is unprecedented. Enemies who depend on otherwise indestructible special objects like Mjolnir or the like will fear this 35-point flying wildcard.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • Doorman (Captain America 024): Actually doesn’t wreck terrain.
  • She-Hulk (Incredible Hulk 007): Tied to an attack.
  • She-Hulk (Incredible Hulk 204): Ditto.


Abin Sur (Green Lantern Fast Forces #006)
Game-Changing Contribution: Taxi the taxis
For a long time in HeroClix, characters that could carry other characters were (appropriately) unable to be carried themselves. I mean, the only reason Angel ought to be carting Storm around is if she’s unconscious. That equals getting KO’d in HeroClix. But I digress.

Abin Sur offers so many new tactics for play through his ability to carry flyers on the cheap.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • Darkseid (Superman 052): Not only does he carry them, but one can act afterward…IF it matches his keyword(s) and isn’t too expensive


The Flash (Superman #047)

Game-Changing Contribution: Alpha strike the turtles

Although he’s one of the less impressive Flash figures to hit the game with his decidedly average combat values, he’s utterly unmatched in this context, being the only character in the game who can ALWAYS get the first strike. There’s also his ability to knock folks about with his “Sudden Stop” trait.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • General Thunderbolt Ross (Hulk #208): Though he can hit anywhere, takes him too long to get started. That said, turtles WILL get Alpha-struck against him
  • Krakoa map: lucky die rolls mean one player can get the first strike on this deadly battlefield



That wraps up this quick look at the not-top-flight-but-still-game-changing-pieces-and-elements from 2011. Click on the site next week for the Top Ten WORST HeroClix of last year! Enjoy Super Bowl weekend in the meantime!

Instead of just writing a normal list of honorable mentions, I decided to highlight several solid figures that either just missed the top 10 or bring something new to the game that no other piece does but didn’t have an overall good enough dial to carve out a place among the very best.

First, the almost-rans:

Lobo (Superman #042) 

Every year, there’s that one piece I kinda overlook for the Top Ten, one that could easily take another’s place. This time, it’s Lobo. Boasting the free-heal trait we loved on a pair of recent Wolverine figures with a far longer, more durable dial than either, along with Indomitable and an SP granting him a melee attack that works at range for under 175 points, he’s good enough to be among the best after all.

Seriously. Swap him in. I won’t be mad.

Sauron (Lord of the Rings #208): dropped off by being 335 points and not Modern Age. Otherwise great.

OK, on to the actual list. It’s in no particular order this time, since it’s kinda impossible to actually rank these.


Squirrel Girl (Captain America #056)
Game-Changing Contribution: All-you-can-beat Tie-up/Mastermind fodder
Cheap tie-up pieces are a gameplay staple, and this little chick is a never-ending supply of such. A decent tie-up in her own right, her ability to repeatedly spawn Monkey Joes to lock down enemies is a potential gamechanger.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • Falcon (Captain America #030): but lacking the never-ending factor.
  • Horde tokens (Lord of the Rings): DO have the never-ending factor (mostly) but only allowed in Golden Age for now.
  • Madrox (Giant-Size X-Men #001): requires dice luck 
  • Hydra Agent 003: hurts your team a bit to respawn
  • Humanoid (Incredible Hulk #005): See Madrox


Quake  (Captain America #034)
Game-Changing Contribution: Attacking through walls and other terrain
She’s a bit puny, damage-wise, and fits on only a few themed teams. But her ability to Quake through walls and through a selected target’s Impervious will probably get her at least a look for top-flight tournament teams.

other contributors who missed the prime slot: 

  • Jackal (Beam Rifle) 008: Needs dice luck. But 8 range penetrating damage = good
  • Scientist Supreme (Captain America 033) / Matt Murdock (Incredible Hulk 022): Only can Outwit through walls, and at shorter range
  • Kitty Pryde (Captain America #055): Only does close combat…not as well as Quake does, either, despite costing like 50 points more
  • Moonstone (M-001): Doesn’t work with her range powers
  • She-Hulk (Incredible Hulk 204): Smashes wall after attack, causing possible mobility problems


Aragorn (Lord of the Rings #003) 
Game-Changing Contribution: Redefines the term “free move”
His dial is mostly ordinary and certainly does not glitter. It’s his Epic Action trait that’s gold, making him change all the rules of mobility and positioning. Offensively, it sometimes only gets your team into harm’s way quicker. But defensively, he’s like a get-outta-jail-free card.

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • Aquaman (Superman 048): Only good for swimmers, but usable anytime and great for setting up attacks
  • Nick Fury (Captain America 023): Not a free move but a free token remove for select keywords


General Thunderbolt Ross (Incredible Hulk #208) 
Game-Changing Contribution: Impossible to turtle against
Remember back when I said there were a couple of silver bullets holding Professor X to the lower end of the Top Ten? This guy is one of ’em. By the midgame at the latest, Ross has the ability to explode whatever turtling nuisance the rest of your team can’t get to — or to force your opponent to overextend to get to Ross before he can do it!

other contributors who missed the prime slot:

  • Flash (Superman 047): Also can attack from anywhere on board, but hits much softer

Check out the rest next time.