So I had this idea for an eventual Top Ten list: The Best Animals for Vixen (Streets of Gotham 028) to run with. Remember, she topped my Favorites of 2012, especially when I thought her “pick a power” trait might be way more awesome than it really is.
It didn’t stop me from trying her out for pretty much the first time since said ruling some time ago on an Animal team in a Modern Age 400-point scenario in which a character on your force can use a game effect similar to White Tiger (Incredible Hulk 020): “Once per game, when White Tiger would be KO’d, you may instead heal her to click #3. If you do, at the beginning of each of your turns while she is on the map, deal 1 unavoidable damage to another friendly character.”
The team really did look like a lineup of partners for Vixen.
Loki (Fear Itself 101) 100
Alyosha Kraven 70
Beast Boy (Pterodactyl) (Batman 019) 60
Ka-Zar (Incredible Hulk) 55
Catwoman (DC 10th Anniversary) 35
and, of course, the 74-point Vixen herself, along with the Justice League: Generation Lost ATA.
FIRST, I faced judge Bill and his Leash (Teen Titans 031), Raizo Kodo (Fear Itself) and four Mole Men (Galactic Guardians) on my new Blitzkrieg DC map. The team should have decimated me on Turn 1 but he couldn’t roll a 5 in three tries. That was the only bullet I needed to dodge to dominate and win this time-shortened game, though I needed one more piece of dice luck to avoid a last-second LOSS.
Best Vixen move: Having been hit to Poison, she Tantu Totemed Loki’s Outwit to get Raizo off his Impervious click.
SECOND round was on the other side of the Blitz pack map against Stephen’s Dracula (Amazing Spider-Man), Asgardian Troll (Fear Itself) and Werewolf times SIX. This one I did narrowly lose in the final rounds when Kraven was taken out by an unlikely hit from a Werewolf that I missed repeated easy shots on earlier.
Best Vixen move: Taking Catwoman’s Willpower to make a shot on an unsuspecting Werewolf. Unfortunately, I crit missed and crippled her ability for the rest of the game.
THIRD round, on the same map, was versus Lenny’s Midnight Sons: Ghost Rider (Amazing Spider-Man), Blade (Amazing Spider-Man 004), Frank Drake and Daimon Hellstrom. Although Loki was again hit early to his far less effective late clicks, I was able to recover and wipe out the enemy.
Best Vixen Move: Possessing the ATA and superior range, she copied Loki’s Outwit to take Frank Drake out of the equation.
By piece (and how each benefited Vixen):
Alyosha Kraven, of course, is THE essential Animal-themed team player; you don’t run this keyword without him. But he’s also great for Vixen aside from his metagame factor, chiefly for his opening Combat Reflexes. More than once, I’d use it to gain a respectable 18 DV from melee on top of her natural ESD. Ideally, his later-dial Outwit will never be usable because he never gets hit, but it’s there if you need it.
Loki (Fear Itself) at 100 points is the new other shortlisted partner for Vixen on Animal teams. That Outwit combines well with her long 8 range to real effect. If she needs some armor, there’s Toughness available, too (though the 30-point level is better for that). Down the line, Loki’s loaded with the other support powers, Perplex and Probability Control, and both certainly come in handy for Mari.
Aside from backing her up, Loki is fine as a Hypersonic Speedy fighter in between all the Outwit and whatnot. He’s also a great taxi, especially at the lower cost.
Beast Boy (Batman 019) in Pterodactyl form gave the team a Charging, weakness-Exploiting attack taxi. It also gives Vixen one more way to deal with armor when she Charges in herself by copying Exploit Weakness.
I morphed BB into the prime Gordian form (Teen Titans 005b) and back for the stat boost after. It slows down the team some, as the alien form can’t carry anyone but fellow Titans. But it always paid off in the end. EDIT: However, this Morph has been ruled illegal because it violates the one-prime-per-force rule despite it being a sideline figure.
Catwoman (DC 10th Anniversary 008) is probably the best Modern Age partner for Vixen in the game, even more than Alyosha. For just 35 points, she helps the African superheroine on defense (via Stealth), offense (Exploit Weakness) and action advantage (Willpower), all on her opening click. Of course, she’s fine as a piece in her own right with the above powers as well.
Ka-Zar (Incredible Hulk) was the one relative dud. As a Duo fig, he was untaxiable so it was very difficult to get him into proper position. He also lacks the high damage that makes Duo Attack a worthy ability and is too cheap for his Leadership to be effective most of the time. He’s helpful enough for a Vixen partner, offering Combat Reflexes or Stealth to aid her defense. And once in a while, she may want to use his Leadership if there’s no better option, I guess.
Finally, there’s the Justice League: Generation Lost ATA, three points that just oughta be put on Vixen from now on. Her AV is low enough that she can use the boost when shooting at her target through hindering.
Heroclixin’ will revisit this subject periodically as new — or old — Animals come up in the game to our attention. Because a Vixen should never be alone.