Finally, here’s the Guardians’ own full-size set. We’ll start with the Commons:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.