It’s the end of the year, when Heroclixin’ looks back at the past 12 months to rank the top figures released based on the following criteria:

  • We’re looking at Modern Age only, just because Heroclixin’ isn’t at all familiar with stuff from Yugioh. (We have a feeling some of that set is darn good, though)
  • We’re considering the 300-point game, which filters out super-high-cost pieces that might otherwise dominate the list.
  • Figures only. Despite the overwhelming effect of resources, they’re not being considered for a Top Ten Clix list.
  • By the same token, any fig that needs a resource or entity to be strong isn’t making the list.
  • But the top characters also need to be able to handle the presence of such tactics as resources or entities.

But this was depending on how the Watch List turned out, and to date, there’s been no update. Heroclixin’ can’t really make a Top Ten if some of the potential frontrunners are going to change drastically like two days later.

Which bums us out. This is kinda Heroclixin’s least favorite list to do. Would like to get it over with.

And perhaps we shall! To heck with the usual countdown. Let’s just look at the cream of the crop.

We’ll start with the HONORABLE MENTIONs that weren’t quite going to rate the list:

  • Helspont [Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes 042]: He made some top-level events, but he needs Blind Al to work his quick switcheroo trick. Speaking of whom…
  • Blind Al [Deadpool 018]: At just 13 in cost, this old lady is included on a lot of teams. But her Perplex only works in the starting area, which isn’t a place most teams function well in. She needs to be teamed with Deadpool or characters with activation clicks to truly be anything other than filler.
  • Mantis [Guardians of the Galaxy 003]: If only her friendly Mind Control weren’t limited to fellow Guardians of the Galaxy only. With Prob Control and good melee skills backed with late-dial Regen and Support, she’s a piece that flirted with top status.
  • Parallax [War of Light 041]: Lack of flight and his scale-tipping price of 250 cost him his spot. 50 points doesn’t buy him enough 3-damage allies to keep him consistently active by smashing squares of blocking terrain.
  • Hal Jordan and Sinestro [War of Light 052]: One Man Army figs like this duo still don’t work. But Halnestro comes close, very close. The Green Lantern Power Battery’s Emotional Spectrum and other free action silver bullets kill this 300-pointer’s chance of making the list.
  • Agent 13 [Captain America: The Winter Soldier 013]: Her inexpensive ability to shut down defense slot powers while tying up with Plasticity and Shape Change seemed like it’d have a bigger impact on the game at first. But her Speed is a little bit on the low side and she really needs to be on a themed team to get the best out of her via her trait. But SHIELD and Spy are NOT the best keywords around.
  • Bullseye [Deadpool 036]: One of the deadliest shooters in the game is held off the top ten by his brittle glass jaw and his inability to use Thunderbolts ATA at will on any team.
  • Weaponer of Qward [War of Light 025]: High cost and lack of flight and Outwit protection were this powerhouse’s drawbacks outside of the sealed environs he dominated.


OK. Visit the rest of the week to see what, in no set-in-stone order (because WATCH LIST), are Heroclixin’s picks for top Modern Age figs released the past 12 months.


In years past, I used to write post after post about various FAILs made during HeroClix games. These were those games where I:

  • forgot to use a key power at a key moment…
  • …even after making another key move for the express purpose of using said power.
  • Or decided to protect a cheap tie-up character or meat shield, leaving a bigger attacker open to shots.
  • Or completely neglected to field a piece I’d built onto the team.
  • Or accidentally under built by 100 points.
  • Or kinda all of the above.

So the good news is that it’s been some time since I can recall making colossal, game-killing mental pratfalls of those magnitudes. No, what I’m writing of today is something else much more innocent-looking, but have led to the same outcome: Losing. I’m talking about the Avalanche Effect. No, not the Marvel character made in 2002’s Clobberin’ Time or this year’s Days of Future Past sets, but rather how very minor decisions in many recent clix games have tended to snowball into crushing losses. These weren’t mistakes, either. But each may as well have been, given the result.  


Exhibit 1: The Hand vs. the Guardians

My Hydra Wolverine, WK Psylocke and a pair of Ninjas [both Hand and Snakeroot] faced Bill’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Groot, Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon.

  • Decided not to use Wolverine’s full-Speed Charge for fear of him being too isolated. He missed his attack anyway.
  • But that left things up to Psylocke to tie up not 1 but 3 foes. It didn’t go well for her, despite 19 DV in close. 
  • Wolverine alone couldn’t take out Groot, Rocket AND Star-Lord.

But what if I’d Charged Star-Lord instead? Chances look much better. A small decision costs me everything in this game. 


Exhibit 2: MODOK = “Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing?” More like “My Offense Dies, Object Kills”

It was an AIM theme team made of almost all generics led by MODOK on the Thunderbolts sub map, facing Tim’s team of Kree. Despite the general lack of Super Strength on the team, I always use objects. Never know when a little extra hindering terrain will come in handy.  This time, though, a light object would seal my doom.

  • I had a shot on Captain Marvel [GotG 007b], who’s Defending and boosting DVs of his teammates. To have a shot in this game, he’s gotta be hit, and hard.
  • There’s a light object between us. I consider using Running Shot to the object,
  • but that A) puts me out of adjacency with AIM Renegades, whose Enhancement and Hydra TA are key for the attack. 
  • I make the attack, but Super Senses saves Cap.
  • That’s OK. I have a backup plan to use the Renegade’s Barrier to wall in MODOK to avoid retaliation.
  • But that darn light object. It keeps me from being able to double up on Barrier tokens
  • Thus it’s a simple matter for Tim to smash one Barrier, then lay enough attacks on MODOK to kill him in one turn.

All because of a light object I placed at the start of the game! Who expects that to make such a doggone difference?  


Exhibit 3: How an Invincible flying Mystic dies in one turn without Outwit, Pulse Wave or penetrating damage of any kind

So I made an unsuccessful Running Shot with Superboy on the Inhumans Fast Forces map and decided it’d be a good idea to move Black Witch adjacent, were she could use his Willpower trait to shoot next turn. I thought about pushing Sensor Girl, whose range I’d Perplexed in prep for this move, to build a Barrier to shield them. But why take the damage? Paul, my opponent, had no Outwit, no Pulse Wave, and no penetrating damage of any sort for two 18 DV Invincible Mystics to worry about. His highest damage that could reach me was 3. So I didn’t push to Barrier. I felt like my 18 DV Invincible flying Mystics would be OK. 

  • Until Black Witch got pinged off Invincible.
  • Then crit hit for 4 damage off the roof.
  • Then took 3 in a Hypersonic attack — ANOTHER crit. 
  • That knocked her into a wall for the KO!!!!

O. M. G. How does that even HAPPEN? Apparently, it happens when I don’t use Barrier in a paranoid fashion.  But then…

Exhibit 4: Too Much Barrier

During War Of Light, I faced a Red Lantern Spectre, who was protected by his ability to deny ranged attacks on his person. I’d set up a character on my force on non-elevated terrain and decided to encircle it with Barrier. But at the last second I changed my mind and built the Barrier as a wall to deny even more lines of fire. Perhaps I was recalling what happened in Exhibit 3. Unfortunately, on this indoor map, one of those block lines of fire was my own from Bedovian to Brother Warth. The crucial turn passed and my opponent wisely moved Warth out of range and where he could use Perplex and Prob to ensure the Parallax I TKed to battle Spectre could do nothing but almost die. Though Kyle-lallax survived to run, my chance of scoring any points, let alone winning, were done. All because of a last-second Barrier shift. Barrier is not my friend…

Exhibit 5: Barrier here instead of there.

I was going against The Bob and his Cobalt Blue and Captain America Sentinel. I’d picked the Central City map and had used Barrier from Doctor in a straight-ish line to guard friendlies from Jenny Quantum’s Pulse Wave.  But I should have put it diagonally. CapBot was able to thread a line of fire that one-shot Doctor, opening up much of my team to Cobalt Blue’s speed-nerfing powers and basically putting me on the defensive for almost the entire match.  All because of one little Barrier square.  

So there you have it: The Avalanche Effect. It’s how I lose all my games lately, it seems.

< shrug >


Wow, I thought I’d set this up to publish a few days ago. Thought wrong. So instead of this appearing on a Wednesday as planned, here it is for a Friday installment.


I was going through memory lane and thinking of some of my favorite clix games of the year. And I thought of one from back in January: 2000 points, Golden Age. I can’t recall if there were any other rules or restrictions. But you can tell from the title what I chose to do.

Yes. That is a totally “Highlander” rule-friendly force of ALL BATMAN.

Batman [Arkham Origins] 140

Batman [Batman Classic TV] 100

Batman [Gotham City Strategy Game] 115

Batman [Streets of Gotham 047] 90 + Justice League [Silver Age] ATA 4

Batman [SoG 051] 101

Batman [SoG 052] 116

Batman [SoG 100] 102

Batman [Batman 001] 100 + Justice League [Silver Age] ATA 4

The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh [Batman 103] 153

Batman [Justice League New 52] 100 + Justice League [Silver Age] ATA 4

Batman [Dark Knight Rises 100] 105

Batman [DC 75th Anniversary 031] 77

Batman [Brave and the Bold 016] 74

Batman [Arkham Asylum 016] 64

Batman [Crisis 200] 90

Batman [Justice League 001] 75 + Justice League [Silver Age] ATA 4

Batman [Origin 214] 53

Dark Knight [Collateral Damage 223] 100 + Justice League [Silver Age] ATA 4

The Bat-Man [Superman 046] 81

The Batman [Dark Knight Rises 029] 140

=1996 points. Each a different sculpt.


In a 2000-point game, the mega cheese can really come out. Especially in an event that allows any figure like this one did — note the normally not-tournament-legal Origin 214 Batman.

Here’s how it went, roughly:

ROUND ONE, opponent Aaron stuck me on the Lord of the Rings Helm’s Deep map, one with very little hindering terrain for Batmen against his Iron Man-heavy force. But Batman always has a plan. I began to smash walls to make patches of hindering for the Stealthy Bats. Unfortunately, moving so many pieces made me forget to use Outwit to counter Iron Man’s Indomitable, which cost me 100 points — the only ones scored in this super-slow-moving game. 0-1.

ROUND TWO was against colossal Ziran. How did THAT happen, after my opening loss? The Batswarm actually passed 2 of the 3 tests [Leadership and 5 team abilities, I think — using that ATA saved me]! But it really isn’t THAT vulnerable.

1 a character that can use Smoke Cloud on their opening click?
2 a character that can use Force Blast on their opening click?
3 a character that can use Battle Fury on their opening click?
4 a character that can use Energy Explosion on their opening click?
5 a character that can use Mind Control on their opening click?
6 at least 5 different team abilities?
7 at least 5 characters of 50 points or less?
8 at least 5 characters with Unique rings?
9 a character that can use Enhancement on their opening click?
10 a character that can use Leadership on their opening click?
11 a character that can use Support on their opening click?
12 a character that can use Defend on their opening click?

The bold ones are all covered on this team, and, if I’m first player, I could use GC Bats’ Utility Belt trait to choose either of the italic ones for the game before Ziran got to test. That leaves only half the list available. POW!

I was stuck on a stark map whose name escapes me with no cover. Good thing I had a few Batmen with Smoke Cloud to give them some anyway. Thanks to some key penetrating damage attacks, the Batmen actually wore Ziran to about mid-dial. But that wasn’t enough to offset losing actual figures. 0-2.

ROUND THREE, my female counterpart chose Fangorn from the Two Towers, a spectacular map for Batman thanks to all the hindering terrain everywhere, to run her hodgepodge of figures from her small collection. I had most of the control of this match because she was a relatively new clixer. But despite an early shot on Legolas, I was unable to finish him off and nearly lost.

FINAL: 1-2. I won fellowship, though, being about the only seasoned player who didn’t bring massive cheese. And, of course, that many Batmen is just all kinds of awesome F.U.N.!

The event: 6 @ 600. 600 points Modern Age, six figures. No more, no less.

It seemed a good chance to try out this figure and trait:


SIX PACK RECRUITING: When you build your force, if G.W. Bridge and exactly four other characters share a keyword, you may choose one friendly character with a point value 150 points or less and that character has the shared keyword.


I’ve also wanted to use all the figures with the “Espionage” traits from the Captain America: Winter Soldier Gravity Feed set in a single force:

Nick Fury [Captain America: Winter Soldier 015] 98p
Captain America [Captain America: Winter Soldier 001] 125p
Black Widow [Captain America: Winter Soldier 003] 114p
Agent 13 [Captain America: Winter Soldier 013] 55p

then the aforementioned G.W. Bridge [Deadpool 041] also shares the SHIELD keyword and can lend it to the sixth member to make this a SHIELD Six Pack:

Falcon [Captain America: Winter Soldier 006] 105p

= 565 points. That’s pretty short on points. I decided that SHIELD had confiscated the Mandarin’s Power Plant resource (after his latest defeat at frequent SHIELD collaborator Tony Stark’s metal-clad hands) with the following attached:

Matter Rearranger
Black Light
Vortex Ring
Impact Beam
Disintegration Beam
Flame Blast

at a total of 22 additional points. I filled 9 of the remaining 13 with Avengers Response Unit ATA on Cap, Fury and Widow.

The basic strategy for this team was to find a decent patch of hindering from which to shoot from. Thanks to all the SHIELD TA on the force, range probably won’t be an issue. But only half the team is Stealthy, so taking fire could be a problem, especially against Energy Explosion, since the crew has to bunch up for best effect.

And, of course, the main reason for running this team is to see what sort of shenanigans occur from the four members with “Espionage” traits! I can’t wait.

Check out a future installment of F.U.N. Fights, usually posted Wednesdays, to see how the Six Pack fares in the field.


No. 1

Toad [Wolverine and the X-Men 006]


MOBILITY: Finally, a TUF that has it together in this arena: All the needed Plasticity and the Leap/Climb to get wherever 9 Speed’ll take him. In fact, if you’re willing to give an action to a higher-point ally, you can effectively double it. Brotherhood of Mutants TA also won’t burn up actions needed for other stuff.

UTILITY: Late dial, Toad gets the ability to use a standard attack power 50% of the time. So while he’s tying up an opponent, he can:

  • hit back and maybe heal [Steal Energy] or
  • gut ’em [Blades/Claws/Fangs] or
  • shove ’em off [Quake] or
  • poison ’em [Poison] or
  • aid his own DV and -1 opponents’ AV [Smoke Cloud] or
  • pull a pal into — or out of — a fight [Telekinesis] or
  • lock down his mark even more [Incapacitate] or
  • kick ’em in the groin [Precision Strike] or
  • blow him up in the FACE [Pulse Wave]

Just knowing all this is possible is enough to draw fire from higher-cost figs even if Toad ISN’T tying up anyone. Especially with 10 AV and 3 damage to wield at that point.

SURVIVABILITY: He starts with just 17 DV + Combat Reflexes. His SP clicks firm up some with 17 Toughness.

EXPENDABILITY: He’s only 40 points, and while his SP clicks are fine, they’re nothing to build a team around. So use him as the TUF he is the crowning example of.

MUSE MASTER: about 10

Others great TUFs that don’t weigh well on the MUSE scale
Ultimate Clayface [No Man’s Land]: He’s slow [starts at 7 and immediately drops to eventual 4] and far too expensive [136], but there’s almost no character that can escape him — not even IM types — and if they try and fail, they get an extra token. Plus he’s got great armor and a Poison SP.
Tar Pit [The Flash]: He’s even slower and nearly as pricey. But he has some needed Improved Movement and multiple ways of mucking with enemies through his tar powers. He’s like an much better version of Golden Glider [see the end of Monday’s intro to the series] — if she could hit with ultra-heavies.
Groot [Guardians of the Galaxy 009]: Whether run as his massive 198 cost or his more modest 90, he uses Plasticity to tie up 2 squares away. Too bad he’s the slowest of all these also-rans.
Anaconda [Deadpool]: Everything’s better with a woman’s touch. 9 speed, THREE-square Plasticity and Invulnerability and Super Strength AND deals penetrating damage when they fail to escape. At 90 points, she’s too much to be a pure TUF, but that’s the only thing wrong.
Grasshopper [Deadpool]: Bereft of good DV or Plasticity, he’s a top TUF for his ability to get anywhere on the board in a turn and to come back from the dead if he’s the only KO on the team. 33 points isn’t too much to pay for that.



No. 4

Rag Doll [The Flash 015]


MOBILITY: Rags here is a relatively zippy 9 Speed, though he lacks Improved Movement. Worse still is that he’s dangerous to taxi due a trait that harms both friend and foe — he deals unavoidable damage to anyone leaving an adjacent square. If you carry him, that character may need to keep carrying him.

UTILITY: At 3 damage, Rag Doll has the highest opening value of any TUF of the list so far. He’s also a supreme board control piece in tight quarters thanks to his trait — it even works against Improved Movement. So he’s supreme even against characters who can’t be tied down. Don’t forget he’s a wild card.

SURVIVABILITY: Solid 17 DV + Reflexes with Shape Change scattered down the dial is par for the course. He’ll need it all to guard his short 5 clicks.

EXPENDABILITY: At 60 points, he’s beginning to push into high cost, but his superiority as a TUF makes him worth it.

MUSEability: 8 of 10


No. 3

Scarecrow [Invincible Iron Man 022]


MOBILITY: On the surface, he’s nothing special with 8 Speed. But he has the ability to generate his own taxi service in his Murder of Crows trait, effectively giving him a little bit of Improved Movement from being carried by his birds.

UTILITY: That same bystander token gives Mr. Crow a few more options in carrying out his TUF role. For one, it has Poison. It also bears ESD, to potentially limit lines of fire on Scarecrow. As for him, late dial he gets Blades and Flurry, making him positively dangerous.

SURVIVABILITY: the same clicks also have Regen, though, so one may wish to try for the heal than the hurt. Hopefully, Scarecrow’s 16 Reflexes and Shape Change do enough to keep him from seeing those late clicks.

EXPENDABILITY: 61 points is on the high end for a dedicated TUF.

MUSE METER: 8 of 10

No. 2
Lockjaw [Inhumans Fast Forces 006]


MOBILITY: He’s got a staggering 12 Speed, which would vault him to the top of the list if he had any Improved Movement at all. Even his 25-point level boasts the next-best value of 11.

UTILITY: The dog is also a great taxi, able to cart 2 pals or 1 normally unCarryable ally. His double base also increases the number of foes who could be tied up.

SURVIVABILITY: Defense value is a problem — it’s 16 or lower, so he’s going to get hit by most anyone who targets him. But he’s a whole NINE clicks long, with 3 of Toughness on top. He’s not dying in less than 3 really BIG hits of 4 or more. The 25-pointer only has 6 naked clicks, but for the cost, it’s good enough.

EXPENDABILITY: Whether 50 points or 25, Lockjaw’s not taking up much of your team.

MUSE level 8 of 10


Who’s the top TUF? Next time reveals all. Plus, a few more that didn’t make the list but are still good at the role

No. 7

Maggia Goon [Invincible Iron Man 004]


MOBILITY: With only 6 Speed Plasticity, this mook doesn’t even belong in this crowd. He’s totally going to need a taxi to really base an opponent.

UTILITY: But he makes up for it some with his SP allowing him to copy the DV of his attacker, making him an excellent meat shield. He also manages to be a minor threat off his first click with Exploit Weakness.

SURVIVABILITY: The aforementioned SP makes him a tougher KO than his poor 15-and-lower natural DV would suggest. At 4 clicks long, he can soak up a couple of average attacks. Beware though: the big target he’s likely to be needed to base may well have the AV to hit. Foes could also use more modest-defensed attackers to clear the way.

EXPENDABILITY: Here’s where he shines the most: He’s only 20 points, by a fair degree the cheapest TUF of the list.

MUSE METER: 6 of 10

No. 6

Big Bertha [Wolverine and the X-Men 039]


MOBILITY: She’s another relative slowpoke among the TUFs with only 7 Speed. But she at least bears Charge and Indomitable to help her get to someone within a couple of turns.

UTILITY: She has Super Strength, making her a potential bruiser. But holding objects makes her impossible to carry, and her mediocre mobility means she rather needs a taxi. This is a bit of a wash.

SURVIVABILITY: On top of Shape Change denying attacks, she’s got her defense SP ignoring all but one damage. That means, absent Outwit [or our No. 8 TUF, Agent 13], Bertha’s gotta be hit 4 separate times to be KO’d, making her an excellent TUF.

EXPENDABILITY: She’s just 56 points and not serving much role beyond TUF duty.

MUSE: 7 of 10


No. 5

Chillblaine [The Flash 011]


MOBILITY: Nothing special about his 8 Speed. But the addition of Sidestep to his opening Plasticity enhances his movement skills.

UTILITY: His 6 range is no good for his scattered Penetrating/Psychic Blast if he’s serving his TUF role. Fortunately, he has a near-full run of Barrier he could employ even while basing the enemy. He also has Incapacitate between the PPB clicks.

SURVIVABILITY: Aside from opening Toughness, he is completely unarmored. But he sports TWO “stop” clicks that force enemies to hit him at least three times for at least 3 damage to KO him

EXPENDABILITY: He’s just 55 points and he only does TUF stuff well.

MUSE METER: about 8 of 10


Numbers 4 through 2 next time.

A tie-up figure [TUF] needs these things to best function as such:

Mobility [to easily base the target foe], Utility [to affect either that foe or the battle at large], Survivability [to not be an easy KO] and Expendability [because a TUF is probably going to be a KO anyway]. 

How well these figs rate on Heroclixin’s MUSE meter determines their spots on the Top Ten.


No. 10

Mob Rule [The Flash 210]


MOBILITY: Mob Rule has none: No IM, no Charge, just 8 Speed with one opening click of Plasticity. This looks like a Fail.

UTILITY: He sports Empower and, later, Precision Strike. Other aspects, such as 3 range, are useless in close combat.

SURVIVABILITY: His 16 DV is not imposing, even with Toughness, though it and his 5-click life will take at least two hits to KO. No, you’re running Mob Rule for his trait that, on a 5-6 roll after damage, brings in 30-point Mob Rules into the game to help make him (and them) great TUFs. The new Mobsters, depending whether you pull in the 009 or another of this 210 one on click #3, bring more 16 Toughness or 16 Combat Reflexes respectively to the role. And both start on Precision Strike.

EXPENDABILITY: Though very economical to start at 40 points, the price for extra tie-up ramps up 30 points for every bit of Mob help he brings in. Still, he’s cheap enough to claw onto the Top Ten.



No. 9

Murmur [The Flash 043]


MOBILITY: Murmur brings 9 Charge along with the prerequisite Plasticity, so he can be an attacker. But this, and his lack of Improved Movement, detracts from his use as a TUF.

UTILITY: That melee ability could come in handy when tying up Outwitters, Perplexers and PCers, because he gets Flurry and a huge +2 attack against those pieces. Late dial, he’s Sidestepping, Willpowered medic, which runs counter to use as a TUF.

SURVIVABILITY: He’s immune to Poison and bears a solid 17 Combat Reflexes. With 6 clicks of life, he’s sure to absorb at least two attacks.

EXPENDABILITY: At a not-so-light 65 points, Murmur is not points to toss away. He’s also a bit too effective a fighter to be a classic TUF. Finally, tied up is not the best place for a medic to be.



No. 8

Agent 13 [Captain America: Winter Soldier 013]


MOBILITY: Like many on the bottom half of this list, she doesn’t rate well on this part of the acrostic. She only clears the basic prereq of having Plasticity and 8 Speed.

UTILITY: Here’s where she starts to shine; she’s got a deadly SP on click 2, so feel free to push her to base a tie-up target whose defense slot powers you need gone, because they can’t use them when she’s adjacent. She a TUF that not only stalls the opposition but helps hurt it.

If she’s on a themed team, she also picks an enemy keyword at game’s start and those foes can’t make multiple free actions per turn.

SURVIVABILITY: She not only starts with 17 DV with Combat Reflexes, but also bears Shape Change for all-important protection from enemy range fighters trying to shoot her off her mark. She takes a small hit in this slot for having to push to her SP and losing a point of DV in the process.

EXPENDABILITY: At 55 points, she’s about right for the TUF role. But her trait and SP are so good and game-making that sacrificing her hurts. She doesn’t rate well in this slot.

MUSE METER: about 6 of 10


Visit next time for the No. 5-7 TUFs in ‘Clix


Been a while since the last Top 10 article series [since JUNE?!? Wow.] To get the once-monthly feature restarted, we’re revisiting one that was all set for back in spring 2013: Top Ten Tie-Up Figures. Heroclixin’ had a list ready to go, but then two things happened.

  1. A shot of Fear Itself’s Monkey King’s first click was teased, and he was already better than about the whole bottom half of the original list. So Heroclixin’ shelved the TUF list until more of the then-secret set was revealed.
  2. Then…Plasticity got its major overhaul in the 2013 Powers And Abilities Card. That tore the list of TUFs into little bitty pieces.

Now, though, we’ve gotten a little distance and perspective and can finally make our call on this, at least for Modern Age figures.

Tie-up figures need these things to best function as such: Mobility, utility, survivability and expendability [MUSE].


The point of using tie-up is to restrict the opponent’s options. More concretely, you’d like to keep, say, an enemy sniper from raining fire down on your 0-range brawlers. To do that, a good TUF needs to be able to reach and base the shooter. It’s also good to have the ability to leave one spot and tie up another square. Therefore, most figs on this list will have at least 8 Speed and some sort of Improved Movement.


Once in position, the ideal TUF will keep the opponent there. That’s why Plasticity is all but a required power now for the role. Additionally, what’s the TUF to do other than sit there and die? Or before it gets there, does it have any purpose? This is a consideration, but not the key one, thanks to the final criterion.


If you’re using a TUF right, an opponent’s top priority will be getting rid of the thing. The more attacks and actions burned against a TUF, the better. Therefore, it needs to be able to absorb or deny big attacks that would otherwise be turned on more vital figs on your force. Armor, 6+ life, Combat Reflexes, Super Senses and Shape Change are found on the best of the best TUFs.


In the end, a TUF is on the team to die so that others may live. That means it needs to be relatively low-cost — no more than 70 points and ideally well under 50 — and not be otherwise vital to the team’s function.


With these factors in mind, here are some excellent TUFs that still don’t QUITE make the Top Ten.

Grymm [Teen Titans 016]: Bearing both Plasticity and Reflexes with Poison for extra use, Grymm nevertheless slips off the list for his short life and 16 DV. But at 53 points and 9 Speed, he’s still great for the role.

Bruce Wayne [Batman 202a]: Only 3 clicks of life dooms him. He’s also a bit too useful as a Telekinetic Perplexer to risk as a TUF. Sometimes, though, sacrificing his 50 cost is the difference between losing a lot more.

Batgirl [No Man’s Land 002]: Stealth can guard her against shooters trying to end her tie-up threat. But she’s nearly 70 points and really functions more as a main or secondary fighter than a dedicated TUF.

Gamora [Guardians of the Galaxy 001]: Also much more of an actual fighter than mere tie-up, though her 55 cost is fairly ideal for the role. Lack of Plasticity and extra attack avoidance cost her spot in the top TUFs.

Shatterstar [Wolverine and the X-Men 010]: He’s far too pricey to make the list, despite a superb 17 DV Reflexes and the unparalleled ability to get into position once per game without restriction — and bring a cheaper pal. He also lacks the Plasticity a top TUF needs.

Monkey King [Fear Itself 003]: No Plasticity and no opening defense aside from Combat Reflexes ironically keeps this fig that first derailed Heroclixin’s 2013 take on the subject off the eventual list. Otherwise, his Flight, 17 Reflexes, 45 cost and dial sprinkled with Shape Change, Toughness, BCF, Flurry and CCE make him one of the best anyway.

Golden Glider [The Flash 025]: Improved Movement: Elevated almost gets her on the list despite a 60-point cost and lack of extra defenses. But she also misses by not having IM: Characters. That would make her ability to drop Plasticity-bearing markers in squares she moves through supreme for tie-up. As it stands, she still works well enough as a TUF to get this honorable mention.


Keep an eye out this week for the list of Top Ten TUFs in earnest.