He's smilin' for a reason.

He’s smilin’ for a reason.


For some reason, WizKids didn’t want giants to use their hands. First, they could only Carry when they had zero tokens. Then, only on move actions. Now, Giants can finally Carry without restriction, just as fliers and Transporters can. They also still ignore Plasticity, and so are among the very few characters who retain great mobility against that improved power.

A big loser in 2011, Giant Reach has grown into the #8 Winner in 2013.


A shooting power takes a bit of a slide:


Energy Explosion

In times past, on occasion, a character with Energy Explosion might be willing to take a shot at an enemy cluster based by an ally because A) the power could be angled to avoid dealing much damage to the friendly and B) it was only 1 damage anyway.

Now, though, EE has the potential to do GREAT harm with its splash damage to your friendly, possibly precluding you from using the power at all. And don’t even THINK about it if you’re a multi-target Sharpshooter trying to use it at point-blank range.

Despite the fact that it WILL show on the Winners’ list, the orange attack power is also the #8 Loser of 2013.


The #7 Winner is:



It’s another power that’s needed a fix, as the very number of objects available to use for attacks has greatly shrunk in the modern game from a guaranteed six to as few as none.

The 2013 ruleset does nothing to fix that, unfortunately. What it does do is allow Super Strong figs to use their muscles for something other than smashing boulders: Now objects can be put down upon movement.

It’s a small change with great implications for the game:

  • It’s a new way other than Telekinesis to move objects around.
  • It’s more helpful to the team, situationally. Superman might be toting an ultra heavy object and can now carry Batman and place the detective and the object in the same square for — voila! — instant Stealthed meat shield.

The only drawback is that objects can’t be grabbed and dropped in the same turn. But it’s still enough to make Super Strength the #7 Winner in 2013.


For every winner, there’s a Loser:

falling on butt


Once upon a time, Combat Reflexes was one of the more useless powers in all of HeroClix. All it did was allow its owner to take knock back from hits that normally didn’t cause it. But you had to declare you were taking that option before you got hit. Or was it AFTER you got hit, but before taking the damage? And did you have to still have Combat Reflexes in order to take the knock back after declaring you were going to use it?

None of this was ever very clear, so for the first few years the light-green defense power was only valued for its immunity to knock back damage. Then it got its upgrade in 2006 to grant +2 DV in close combat and became great.

But that original voluntary knock back thing remained, though rarely used because it required good dial memorization to know when suddenly NOT tying up an opponent is the best policy.

Anyway, it’s gone, replaced with a blanket immunity to knock back. And while that seems like another upgrade, it really is a loss, as evidenced by a character like Star-Lord (Hammer of Thor 025). There were a few times that, knowing he’s about to lose CR and end up in Stealth, I’d opt to take the knock back and lay into targets with his Ranged Combat Expert later from the cover of hindering terrain.

Not possible anymore. Combat Reflexes is the #7 Loser come June 2013.



Another spring in Heroclix, another new rulebook. Last year’s update merely tweaked a few things besides adding the then-new Split and Merge mechanics, compared to 2011’s overhaul.

2013’s making that overhaul look like a cosmetic makeover. There are definite winners and losers again this year. For the next four days, Heroclixin’ will highlight two winners and two losers.


At  #10, we start with the least of the winners:



Reworded last year to finally ignore even hindering terrain for the attack, HeroClix’s ultimate solvent ran into a stumbling block when the wording allowed a couple of ATAs to hide from the yellow attack power in plain sight!

Now Pulse Wave has been rewritten to work as it should — ignoring everything except walls and elevated and blocking terrain — making it the #10 Winner of 2013. Barely a winner, true, but one nonetheless.

And speaking of blocking terrain:



The wall-building power gets an upgrade to minimum 4 range, regardless of the character’s actual range value. But even this 100% positive upgrade only shares the #10 spot because fewer than two dozen characters benefit; the rest of the 300 or so characters with Barrier all have greater than 3 range.


The tiniest Loser:



Before, sitting in a Smoke Cloud only gave you a +1 DV from ranged attacks. But now, unless you’re a Superman Ally or something or can use Smoke Cloud yourself, getting that +1 means also getting a -1 to your attack value.

Putting the cloud between you and the enemy is no help, either — now THEY have the +1 DV against YOUR shots, too.

It’s not a big deal at all for actual Smoke Cloud users. But it’s just enough of an impediment for the rest of the team to get Smoke Cloud on the list as the #10 Loser in the 2013 rules revision.


A notch higher on the Winners’ list is:

iron horse stance


It used to be able to take voluntary knock back. This was a very double-edged ability, as using the option made the character now vulnerable to ranged attacks, perhaps. Now, it’s just immune to knock back. It’s an upgrade that makes Combat Reflexes a #9 Winner in 2013, sharing the slot with…



Flurry / Hypersonic Speed

If you lost either of these powers in mid-action (due to, say, Mystics, Steal Energy or snake eyes) you used to be SOL. But now you’re allowed to make the second hit or run the heck away anyway. That’s a WIN for two of the best offensive Speed powers in the game to share the #9 spot. EDIT: And we may as well add Duo Attack here, too, as it got the same minor upgrade.


Climbing down the Losers’ ladder:



The green attack power lost the ability to do +2 damage against objects and terrain. It was hardly ever used, but this represents a downgrade, making Super Strength the #9 Loser come June 2013.

Continuing the photographic record of how HeroClix can hold their object tokens. Let’s look at the bruiser of the Batman set, Big Barda:

She holds hers OK under her cape IF you use the chintzy lightning on her Mega-Rod to help.


I’ve been planning to publish the Top Ten list I was working on for April originally. But it was shoved into doubt by a sneak preview at a Fear Itself figure that appeared to meet the criteria.

Then the 2013 PAC and its changes completely destroyed that list.

Consequently, Heroclixin’ is beginning an early Top Ten countdown between now and Monday on the 10 biggest winners (and losers) in the 2013 rules update (in the same fashion as the 2011 version two years back).

It’s gonna be F.U.N.!

Continuing this series talking about DC feats and BFC cards that I went back and customized with artwork for fun. (Here’s a link back to the original concept.) Today, Card Arts begins with Origin’s Feat cards.

The next feat of the set is Dissent, another I forgot to include when I uploaded these cards to Heroclixin’:


Again using 2005 art by Barry Kitson from his run on Mark Waid’s reimagined “threeboot” Legion of Super-Heroes series. (It’s of newest member Invisible Kid being shunned.)


Next time, Card Arts continues with another feat in Origin.

Continuing the photographic record of which Super-Strong characters can hold cardboard object tokens. Here are a couple that I missed from the Batman set months back.

Batman (Batman 056) has a good hold under his cape. Maul (Batman 024) doesn’t grip his quite as tightly, but it’s fine and it’s arguably cooler.
Was set to start a new feature tomorrow, but might delay to get a little ahead on the site. Have a great weekend!

So I attended a sealed event and this is what I pulled:

Daimon Hellstrom
Werewolf By Night
Frank Drake

Of the eight-plus contestants, I was one of the only ones not to pull a Super Rare or better. And although I still lack about a third of the Amazing Spider-Man set, every single one of these figs is a double.

I was pouting, yes.

It was 400 points, so the 278-point Sinister Syndicate theme I had available was worthless. Worse, adding Morbius was 11 points over. But I did see a rare themed team opportunity here:

Daimon Hellstrom 113
Morbius 133
Werewolf By Night 81
Frank Drake 55
= only 382 points, but it was a Legion of Monsters themed team, giving me a whopping four Themed Team Probability Control (TTPC) rolls.

(I’d need ’em.)

FIRST ROUND began poorly when my opponent Stephen’s Guyladkin lion Charged to attack Frank Drake in the first round, luckily missing. But then a mental fail cost me dearly when I forgot Frank’s Outwit and the pog Super Sensed his counterattack — and then the OTHER THREE attacks all missed as well. A turn later, Werewolf By Night was KO’d with Frank Drake following fast.

But this is a dice game, and Stephen’s went cold despite his fielding Ancient One and Living Mummy’s probability control. Morbuis beefed up to his top dial as Daimon sniped from a tower to make an unlikely comeback, taking out Spider-Man 2099 even on his mighty final clicks.

SECOND ROUND I faced Chris’s Dracula, Baron Mordo and a Werewolf. Once again, I was knocked to my heels when Mordo immediately Pulse Waved my Werewolf for three clicks. But that opened the Baron to counterattack and, more importantly, Frank Drake’s mega-Outwit against mysticals and monsters. TTPC saved Morbius from a crippling crit hit and again my opponent’s dice went silent. But the biggest turning point was when he forgot to use Dracula’s “Mistform” SP. HUGE error, that, and it gave me the victory when I did not miss my followup attack.

FINAL ROUND was against Serina, fielding two Dr. Stranges (each granting a different team ability to his pals) Kaine, Prodigy and a Zuvembie (with a 2nd one on her sideline). My less-experienced opponent overextended Prodigy with a TK Charge for yet ANOTHER first-strike on my team that fortunately missed. But from there it was a slog through taking Mystics damage (balanced by Steal Energy) and trying to keep the Stranges from coming into play. Eventually I wore the team down to outlast her for the win.

3-0, and the winner of the event! That almost never happens. It was a nice consolation for failing at my USUAL consolation “prize” in sealed events of pulling and playing brand-new (to me) figures.

Continuing the Heroclixin’s photographic record of which Super-Strong characters can hold the game’s cardboard object tokens. Here’s Vixen from Streets of Gotham:

She can’t hold the older skinny tokens I prefer to use…not without using the little slots in the back of the HeroClix base as shown above.

The newer, thicker tokens don’t fit in those slots, though. Fortunately…

…the thick tokens can be wedged between her ankles and her glutes.

It’s been a marathon run, but I’ve finally cleared out the six leftover Fast Forces/Starter set clamshells FULL of never-played figures in my collection and whittled it down to this small case intended for such pieces (the clear one on the right):

…and even it’s only half-filled! It’s a good feeling.

Piece-by-piece, alphabetically:

Blanka (Street Fighter 102) served well as a meat shield for bigger monsters. But that’s about it. He takes up too much space in my ever-more-crowded HC storage for his lack of utility even though he fits a couple of F.U.N. themes.

Dagger (Amazing Spider-Man 203) never got to be the fine healer she’s capable of being thanks to some horrible die rolls in the game. Of the two new Daggers, I might prefer the other one.

Dr. Strange (Amazing Spider-Man 005) fell victim to a lot of Poison Ivy poisoning but I liked the way this piece held up anyway. He’s got a fairly permanent place in my collection.

Franken-Castle (Amazing Spider-Man 101) took the dirtnap in the big game against a Police swarm, never landing a Leadership roll or an attack. But it still took two Flurrying foes forever to put him down for good. Zombie Punisher may see play from me again.

GCPD Detective (Streets of Gotham 004b) is much less effective than her Outwit-wielding “A” version. There’s enough Perplex elsewhere in the Police keyword for me ever to field this chick.

GCPD Officer (Streets of Gotham 001b) was OK. And that’s about all I can say. I’d like to get a 2nd one to drive the GCPD Cruiser while this one rappels all over the map.

Harvey Dent (Streets of Gotham 022) was the engine of his team, swinging over and over with Flurry on an Outwitted target. He never took enough damage to risk becoming Two-Face, either.

The Joker (The Dark Knight Rises 209) is a different sort of bad clown. I’ll save him for a mass Joker team (or leader of a bunch of his thugs and henchmen).

The Joker Thug (Batman 004a and Batman 004b) is a neat piece on Joker-led swarm teams but a little awkward to use, too.

The Joker’s Henchman #2 (The Dark Knight Rises 019) finally joined his brethren on the battlefield. But he never got to use his special Probability Control, because the game was too short. Maybe next time.

Kraven The Hunter (Amazing Spider-Man 031a) did little more than Leap/Climb behind enemy lines and try to get his chosen prey. Didn’t work. But he definitely gave the team chances to win. This clix will hunt.

Punisher (The Incredible Hulk 023) failed his one shot at an approaching Big Barda. Didn’t last long after that, especially after I Weapon Swapped to the pistol version upon a second attack after Barda beat him with a light object. That was a mistake. So far, it just looks like I need to avoid fielding the sniper Punisher under most circumstances.

Robin (DC 10th Anniversary 014) WAY overperforms. First, his Enhancement naturally enhances fellow shooters. Next, his Leap/Climb got him into close quarters with ease. And while his 16 DV does no favors in that position, it does help him attack with 10 AV and 3 damage next turn if he survives. Though a tad more costly than I like, this 52 points isn’t badly spent.

Satanna Hellstrom (Amazing Spider-Man 034) was OK, but she’s not really my type. I prefer good girls to bad ones. I needed the points for Thunderbolts and didn’t have them. Oh well.

Scarlet Spider (Amazing Spider-Man 018) nearly took out Kal by himself (before one of my opponents stole those points from me). That 20 DV in close is pretty awesome.

Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man 054) had too many friends around to leverage his combat boosts when isolated. Still a decent piece, though I may try to trade him for a different armored Spider-Man.


Thus ends the Figure Flush, leaving but a literal handful of never-before-played heroClix in my collection instead of the 175 I started with.


number 3:


When these two are merged like this, not only do the Avengers fight HIM, but even the likes of LOKI fight him. Absolutely should NOT have the keyword, for any reason. Worse still, the Avengers keyword is the best in the game already.


number 2:


Ditto for this crazed chick. The Enchantress who actually works with Shadowpact and the Justice League (Dark, see number 5 from yesterday’s post) and Suicide Squad was the relatively low-powered June Moon. The 250-point powerhouse was the Justice League (Dark)’s FIRST VILLAIN. WHY DOES SHE HAVE THE STUPID KEYWORD?!?!?? Especially with a trait that helps her FIGHT the Justice League?

Rrrrrrrrgh! I’m convinced that those keywords were supposed to only work on her 50-point line. But WK screwed it up.

Which brings us to the number 1:

SUPERMAN (Crisis 105) COSTS 283 POINTS, NOT 238

You can’t tell me there’s really a 79-point difference between this chase and its 317-point, LESS-POWERFUL sculpt-mate for having just three less power slots. The Superman Ally TA CAN’T cost that much more than the Hypertime TA. This was a mistake and should be fixed on the card and the clix.

But it won’t be. So I’m done whining this month.


NEXT MONTH: I’ll have a real Top Ten (the one I intended for this month but ran out of time to finish it, especially since one of the previewed Fear Itself pieces looked to shatter the lineup … until I learned it was fake). TOMORROW: Figure Flush finally finished.


number 6:


It was always ridiculous that Joker could “theme up” with Batman and Robin…JASON TODD Robin. It would be great if that stupidity were permanently reversed the way the old Thunderbolt feat abuse was. As far as I can tell, the only figure that would be adversely affected is Hitman no longer being able to theme up with the Bat Fam. Which would crush the playing dreams of no one ever.


number 5:


Unlike 90% of all HeroClix players, I’ve actually tried to play these pieces and found that the inability to push to the AE figure made them highly unplayable. The new lot are much better.

So why not just make it a global change for Alter Ego powers? Sure, it’d be a big clustergropefest to errata all those character cards for the 10% of all HeroClix players who even care. But so what?


number 4:


It somewhat incenses me that this super-niche team that most of the real Justice League don’t even know about is, for keyword purposes, practically invited to the satellite Watchtower for snacks. Conversely, how’s the glow-in-the-dark Green Lantern get to use the JL Dark ATA? It’s ridiculous. The team should be its own thing with its own ATA.


NEXT: The “never ever ever ever” wish list continues.