Wow…we’re not used to being done with our Top Ten retrospectives this early in January. But here we are.

Now let’s look to the future! What are we anticipating this year?

More Mysterio

Longtime readers may remember that doing this in a HeroClix game is one of the site owner’s fondest dreams.

This will never, ever occur in an actual game of HeroClix

But it can never happen because there just aren’t enough actions in a 300-point game to move a dozen Mysterios. Not without help from non-Mysterio elements, which suggests a bigger team, which means that Spider-Man will have a ton of help killing Mysterios.

BUT!…The first Monthly OP kit came out this January. And it has a Mysterio with an ability to create 2 Mysterio bystanders who act without eating up actions. And it’s not a Unique piece. So…maybe…with enough of this LE…we can finally surround a certain arachnid with illusions.

Moreover, July’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man set could also bring a new Mysterio, or even perhaps his quasi-successor, Mysterion.

 

TMNT!

tmnt-fcbd

I haven’t been much of a Turtles fan since I the late 1980s, but we at Heroclixin’ are getting excited for the half-shell heroes on a map anyway!

 

A new rulebook and Powers and Abilities Chart

We lost our 2014 PAC while judging at the ROC World Cup. Meanwhile, WizKids keeps releasing Design Insight articles that not only give a little window into design choices, but are wholesale rewriting the rules. I need to be able to put my hands on an actual physical ruleset. Heroclixin’ was pretty disappointed to hear that the 2016 ruleset may not appear until late year. What the actual hell, WizKids?

 

Batman v Superman

BvSWW

In particular, we’re looking forward to a new Wonder Woman outfit to add to Diana’s Wardrobe — and dreading that one could be a chase figure. But there’s going to be a Fast Forces version that will likely have an identical sculpt, so we’re not that afraid. There will also be a new Aquaman in that pack, and maybe in the set proper.

 

The Black Panther Party

BBP

No, not these guys.

We understand that there will be at least one new Black Panther figure based on the Captain America: Civil War film. Heroclixin’s webmaster cannot wait to field a team filled wall-to-wall with T’Challa.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy OP kit

GOTG is another theme we’re completist on. So the new Gamora, Star-Lord and Drax are on our git-lists. Though what everyone really wanted was that Groot+Rocket duo…

 

Speaking of Aquaman:

There’s a new one in August’s OP kit. We collect all the Aquaman and Atlantis figs.

 

And, of course:

MUCH NEEDED NEW CLIX…

Ms. America. Because we can’t play this team!

Ultimates

Sand. He’s the last character we need to recreate this roster!

jsa2

 

… and MUCH NEEDED REMAKES

Puppet Master. With a new Boomerang almost certain in Superior Foes, he’s the only Infinity Challenge character yet to get a new dial.

Black Cat. She’s almost like a whole new character in the Spider-books after the Superior Spider-Man arc. Be nice to say “Hi, Felicia” to this resurgent villainess.

The whole Fantastic Four. We know half the team is written out of the comics at the moment. But come on: The first family of the Marvel Universe can’t be gone forever.

 

What are YOU most anticipating in 2016? Tell us in the comments!

No. 1

avas055

Ms. Marvel [Avengers Assemble 055]

Weird and awesome, Kamala Khan embiggens her way to the top of the F.U.N. heap.

  • She’s not terribly scary with her stats or damage or anything. And her Embiggen trait leaves her vulnerable to extra attacks that Toughness and Shape Change may not be able to handle. Lack of Willpower and good keywords also hold her back. FELLOWSHIP level: High
  • But that Embiggen tho: Her ability to pick a size at turn’s start gives her great flexibility. Ready to fight? Go giant and gain Super Strength with an extra square of reach. Need an AV boost to hit someone or are double-tokened and need to act anyway? Become colossal and get Close Combat Expert and Colossal Stamina. Want to hide? Select Tiny Size and use Stealth. All this allows her to both act as a taxi or get carried herself. She’s also got a full dial of either normal Shape Change or an SP version that heals her 2 clicks on a 6 roll. Add some mid-dial Plasticity+Reflexes and late Flurry+Invulnerability and you’ve got a great use of 66 points!  UTILITY level: High
  • Only two sparsely populated keywords, Celebrity and Inhumans, holds back the themed teams she can run with. That means her NIFTYNESS is all due to the star power in one of Marvel’s best characters in years! Forget keyword themes and team her with her all-new-all-diff Avengers. She’s a superhero fangirl, so team her up with anybody!  NIFTYNESS Level: Moderately High

Just her appearance on a force practically guarantees it’s a F.U.N. one. And that’s why Ms. Marvel is the No. 1 F.U.N. HeroClix of 2015.

 

_______

“Just a minute,” some longtime reader out there is wondering, “isn’t this ‘F.U.N.’ list of yours just a list of your personal favorites as usual under a different name?”

No, it really isn’t, reader. While there’s a lot of overlap, the positions all changed and some didn’t even make the grade. Here’s what the Faves list would have looked like:

 

10

Fitz [Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD 021]: It’s all about those Hoverbots! And it almost made the F.U.N. list, but it requires a Simmons to really make the grade and she’s not quite Nifty or Useful enough.

 

9

RedSonBats

 

Red Son Batman. From the moment of his revelation, he was a contender to be a favorite with his cheap 55-point cost. Solidified when the dial was shown.

 

8

img_0013-e1401892648873

Superman II [019a] ties with his somewhat less F.U.N. Fast Forces version. I’m always genuinely torn as to which I’ll play when it’s time to reach for Val-Zod here.

 

7

avas013b

3-D Man [Avengers Assemble 013b] was a little bit way too Useful to quite fit onto the F.U.N. list. So he has to be content with being a favorite.

 

6

jltw018r

Aquaman [Trinity War 201]: He’s one of my very favorite heroes, so of course an Aquaman belongs on the Faves list. But not quite among the top ten F.U.N. list. He’s missing the Justice League-related keywords to have seriously been a contender there.

 

5

smww006 smww007 smww026 smww027 smww029 smww047

All the reporters in Superman/Wonder Woman with their “The World Needs To Know” special powers and traits: Newsboy Legion, Investigative Reporter, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane —though hers is named differently — Clark Kent and LE Superman [100] on his “deactivation” click. I work in the journalism field and have a degree in it, so this one does my heart good. One of my standing Heroclixin’ goals now is to run this team and surround a target and use all these SPs/traits on it at once

 

4

smwwG005

The Atom [Superman/Wonder Woman] ties with setmate Titano [Superman/Wonder Woman G005] above as the colossals I really wanted to have from the set. [Well, OK, I wouldn’t have turned down a Solaris.]

 

3

All-New_Captain_America_Vol_1_1_Textless

“Falcon” America [Nick Fury] became an instant favorite the moment his name was confirmed.

 

2

Ms-Marvel-1-Cover-0a970-1

Ms. Marvel [Avengers Assemble] was always going to be on this list, for all the reasons listed in the beginning of this post. But she’s a distant second to my number one:

1

T'Challa_(Earth-616)_vs._Black_Swan_from_New_Avengers_Vol_3_1

Black Panther [Age of Ultron] is far and away my favorite clix of the year. He clocks the competition JUST LIKE THAT.

 

______

That’s enough looking back.  In a few days [cuz we need a break], Heroclixin’ will talk about what we’re looking ahead to in 2016.

 

 

No. 2

janet1

Every Last HeroClix Figure with the “Morph: Many Identities” Trait

Although one of these Hanks made the Top HeroClix of 2015 list, all of them still rate high on the F.U.N. scale. In fact, Heroclixin’ got halfway through an article about how best to morph to each version. Then the late summer/early autumn convention season and the Realms Open Championship World Cup both happened and the thing got shelved for a while. And THEN the new size rules kicked in and really aborted the whole shebang. So we’ve repurposed it for this retrospective.

aou001r

Hank Pym [Age of Ultron 001]: Jumpsuit Henry is made for sealed, what with his anti-Ultron traits. Though Sidestep and Pulse Wave are never unwelcome on a fig, one chiefly fields him for the full dial of Outwit. He also sports Prob Control also with Outwit on his starting and alternating special-powered clicks. On his 50-point level, he loses the Pulse Wave and must push to the SP. This Pym is for the Utility.

aou003r

Ant-Man [003]: With Stealth, Sidestep and Charge AND Poison AND Improved Movement: Characters, Hindering AND Exploit Weakness AND Combat Reflexes, this piece is ready to rumble in close. He also bears a trait allowing him to make an adjacent normal-sized ally tall or small for a turn. The 50-point dial trades the Poison for Precision Strike and the EW for Perplex. 

aou022r

Yellowjacket [022]: If Ant-Man above looked fisticuffs-ready, get a load of YJ’s combo of EW and Precision. He’s also the sole new Pym able to Morph into the old CW figs. If facing any Morph figs like other Pyms or Beast Boy, push to a SP giving him +2 AV and damage fighting them. At 50 points, he starts with this SP. This is the Pym for when you’re ready to get Nifty in a Golden/”Silver” Age game and bring in the old-school Hanks. 

aou043r

Goliath [043]: The first of several larger-than-normal Hanks, he is the most durable of all the Morphers with Invulnerability. Use his Indomitable ability to push the attack. Don’t forget his trait to grow to colossal size, and his Trample SP to Charge in a direct path and step on foes in it for damage. Also note that as a giant, he can serve as a taxi. His 50-point dial functions well in this role as he loses the Charge SP. 

aou044

Giant-Man [044]: This big boy is softer than the above with only Toughness, though his AV and DV are each a point higher. He also lacks Indom and Charge, instead starting with Plasticity — not the best match to Giant Reach. But he can be a decent taxi and has Empower. At half-cost, he starts with Outwit and three clicks of his object and wall-busting Quake SP. You’ll want to push him off Toughness and 9 AV to higher attack values and Invulnerability ASAP.  

Those are the regular Age of Ultron booster pieces, and they’re fairly F.U.N. on their own, being not too scary (despite one being a Heroclixin’ Top Ten piece) but still bringing the Utility and the Niftyness of the Morph trait. But it’s their compatibility with the following pieces from the Legacy of Hank Pym box set and their Ant Swarm bystanders traits that get them near the top of the F.U.N. countdown. 

aouB001

aou201

Hank Pym [201]: Similar in form and function to his sculpt predecessor from Chaos War, the first of the box set Pyms is a Telekinesis/Barrier fig to start, who then pushes to Outwit/Mastermind with a SP granting Blades and EW. 50 points buys the same with the MM on top click. Ant Swarms get Empower when he’s on the board, which can significantly boost a team’s damage output.

aou202

Ant-Man [202]: Plays a bit weird with Phasing and Poison but just 17 DV Super Senses for defense. He’s got 5 range, though, with Precision and Perplex, the real reason to run him at 100 points. At 50, he’s a dangerous tie-up fig that swaps in Close Combat Expert instead of the Perplex and gains 16 DV with a SP bundling Combat Reflexes, Toughness and the ability to heal by KOing Ant Swarms, which also get to “stick” to foes similar to how War of Light standout Despotellis does when this fig is on the board. 

aou043r

Goliath [203]: Much more of a straight-up giant Indomitable brick than the others. He also gets both Super Senses and Prob Control when shot at to counter the greatest vulnerability of Great Size figs. The 50-point Goliath is stripped of his Charge and S.Strength in favor of a sole click of Plasticity+CCE and later clicks of Perplex. As a giant, he can taxi Ant-Swarms. If Morphed into the game, he can swap an adjacent one for a Giant Ant bystander for extra bite:

aouB002

Note: It’s not boosted by the other Ant Swarm-related traits. 

aou022r

Yellowjacket [204]: Running Shot, 11 AV Penetrating/Psychic Blast and Energy Shield/Deflection make this Pym the shooter of the lot at full cost. Half-price buys Force Blast and Willpower to go along with P/PB and Exploit, the latter of which he grants to friendly Ant Swarms as well. 

aou205

Ant-Man [205]: Once again, Puck Pym is all about sky-high 20 DV at the expense of Speed (a putrid Stealthy 4) and offense (8 AV Incapacitate with 6 range). But he’s being fielded for his Outwit as well for his 100 points. At 50, he’s only got 17 Super Senses but adds Sidestep and Poison to start with the same Outwit. Ant Swarm allies, when attacked, deal penetrating damage to non-attacking adjacent foes when the attack fails, like trying to swat the wasp and missing and just making it angry. 

Speaking of wasps…
aou206

Wasp [206]: Another shooting Pym (Running Shot + 5 range + double target Energy Explosion), this one also has Leadership, which could be useful if there are a lot of Ant Swarms (who also get Flight, +3 Speed and Stealth when he’s around). 50 drops RS, EE and Toughness for Sidestep, Blades and Willpower. 

aouG200e

Giant-Man [G200]: At 100 points, this Pym is more than just an Indomitable, colossal bruiser. He also brings Outwit — twice per turn if he damages his target — and Flurry with his Charge to help the odds of hitting 3 squares out thanks to colossal Giant Reach. Invincible gives him a bit of defense against stuff like P/PB, though the 17 DV is only average. At the 50 level, he doesn’t start with the Outwit+Flurry SP, taking more of a supporting role with Sidestep and Empower. Like Goliath 203, he creates a Giant Ant.

_________ 

All these figures rate pretty High on the FELLOWSHIP level, with none being straight up Negative Play Experience pieces. But each brings its own High level of UTILITY to score well on that portion of the acrostic, too. Finally, though, it’s the sheer NIFTYNESS of a swarm of Pyms and his ant friends that give the whole lot of them a High mark here as well. The only reasons the Pyms don’t take the top spots are 1) that one of them is a meta piece, 2) using the whole lot of them can be an overwhelmingly complex affair and can dampen the actual fun of play and 3) come on, there’s a WHOLE LOT OF THEM. We’re not going to make the No. 1 spot a 10-way tie.

 

No. 3

nfaos049

Captain America [Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD 049]

I’m surprised how much I’ve grown to like Marvel’s new mashup of Captain America and the Falcon. And the HeroClix figure nearly tops our list of F.U.N. figs.

  • Falcon America has some nice skills, but he’s just one solitary Outwit from losing FOUR powers he really needs to survive. It’s a huge weakness that keeps this 130-point piece’s FELLOWSHIP level High.
  • But that shield tho: Said special power gives Sam the Invulnerability, ESD, and Super Senses to not fold at the first shot sent his way — a weakness of too many Falcon figs of the past — and the Willpower to press the attack or beat a retreat without taking pushing damage. He also brings in bystander aid in his trio of pigeons and his avian sidekick Redwing to act as tie-up interference pieces and as a pinch-hitting attacker, respectively. UTILITY level: Moderate.
  • With just two keywords, Sam is a bit limited in official themed teams he can join. But the Niftiest thing about him is that he’s named “Captain America” and can thus trigger older Sam Wilson ‘clix that require the presence of a Captain America. The sculpt is also one of the very best of the whole year. NIFTYNESS level: Moderately Low.

Worthy of the mantle…the F.U.N. mantle!

No. 4

aou045

Black Panther [Age of Ultron 045]

Though a favorite character of Heroclixin’s owner, Black Panther has rarely made our Top Ten anything in HeroClix. But the king of the Wakandas deserves this F.U.N. slot oh-so-much.

  • For 140 points, he doesn’t deal a lot of damage top-dial [3] despite Outwit and Precision Strike. He’s thoroughly outdone in this weight class and opponents know it. FELLOWSHIP level: Moderately High
  • But that Cloaking Tech tho: BP’s trait gives him perma-Toughness, Stealth and blocks LOF to him if he’s next to blocking terrain, meaning foes likely have to deal with his 17 DV Reflexes. Meanwhile, his speed SP has him Sidestepping when hidden in either of those ways and Outwitting at will. And oh yeah…Willpower. He’s the first BP to get it. This figure is so strong that you’ve got to restrain yourself from overextending him.  UTILITY level: Moderately High
  • With seven keywords, he’s a fit for any number of themes. A Neato theme is to team him with other characters with multiple “afterimage” sculpts. And we’re just one unclixed character from getting the “all-new, all-different” Ultimates on a board. For all that, though, BP still remains a tad on the staid side, so his NIFTYNESS level is Moderately Low.

Nevertheless, being able to work a battlefield while never making a player feel like a jerk bag while doing it, the king reigns well over the F.U.N. fest.

No. 5

smwwG001

The Atom [Superman/Wonder Woman G001]

All the new colossals from this set are much more F.U.N. than most of the earlier ones. But The Atom here is the only one to make our Top Ten.

  • Colossals are giant targets thanks to the new size rules that make it so only indoor blocking/walls and other colossals cut off lines of fire to them. And Atom’s zero range means he’s almost certainly getting Outwit or shot before he can make his attack move with 10 Charge. Of all these big figs, he’s the least broken, we think. FELLOWSHIP level: High
  • But that Giant Reach tho: Colossals can melee attack 3 squares out now. So that means, assuming his Charge isn’t countered, he can clobber from 9 squares away. There’s also the Smothering Hold SP that grants Plasticity and Sidestep and penetrating damage like a super-Poison at start of turn. Finally, a stop click at the end can turn him into a sort of cruise missile. And all this doesn’t touch his use as a taxi for smaller characters that otherwise couldn’t be carried, or, on themed teams, his ability to heal an ally with the Wonders of the World ATA at the cost of just 5 extra points and a click of damage.  UTILITY level: Moderate
  • As mentioned before, the Wonders are great F.U.N. We also have always liked giants in the game, and Atom here is much more akin to them than to colossals. But probably the most Nifty thing about him is that his full mask and bare arms make him a perfect fit for the “Los Luchadores” theme team! NIFTYNESS level: Moderate

The Atom is huge F.U.N. in HeroClix.

 

No. 6

smww019a

Superman II [Superman/Wonder Woman 019a]

The Wonders of the World team gets a representative on the F.U.N. fig list in Val-Zod here.

  • Dealing only 2 damage from 6 range for 150 points is GOING to give a piece a good Friendliness rating, especially with his very average 17 DV with 1 click of Impervious and no Willpower. FELLOWSHIP level: High
  • But that Incap tho. He has a SP version that bypasses ability to ignore pushing damage. Combined with his Running Shot and staggering 12 AV, he can lock down an opponent pretty well. And if he’s based when using it, he can Incap the same target again for free. Add to that starting Outwit and Superman Ally TA, and you’ve got a great recipe for F.U.N. that only grows as he becomes a Perplexing Hypersonic beater mid-dial and a Battle Fury-driven brute at the end. Finally, on themed teams he can use the Wonders of the World ATA to heal adjacent friends at the cost of taking damage himself. UTILITY level: Moderate
  • N: Wonders of the World is an eminently F.U.N. keyword even though it shares one of Heroclixin’s Top Ten meta figs of 2015, Red Tornado 021.  Super II also works on variant Superman squads. NIFTYNESS level: Moderately Low because being an alternate Superman isn’t THAT Neato.

No need to kneel before this Zod. Just have F.U.N. with him!

 

No. 7

smww056

Faust [Superman/Wonder Woman 056]

The figure designed by the 2014 Worlds Team champs, Faust scores high on the F.U.N.-ometer.

  • Lacking a lick of armor or even the Mystics team ability or Stealth, Faust is so, soooo soft with only Energy Shield/Deflection to protect him at first. Players might be a little nervous about his attack and damage skills, but his low defense numbers nullify the fear factor. FELLOWSHIP level: Solid
  • But those 3 dice tho: Getting to roll three dice and picking the best two for attacks via his Pocket Dimension special power is top tier! Even better is his Shadow Walk SP that allows him to Sidestep and warp from hindering to hindering before doing so. [That’s also a nice game balancing design that subtly encourages you to play him a certain way.] Mid-dial, he gains the ability to get no-attack-roll damage AND healing but forces him to be close — gotta hope Super Senses holds up. If not, maybe he can Regen from his last two clicks with the help of Prob Control…or you just use his regained Shadow Walk to Sidestep to relative safety. UTILITY level: Moderate.
  • A rare Outsiders member — but one thankfully not saddled with the pricey team ability — he also fits on Shadowpact and Checkmate, of all things. Other than that, Heroclixin’ sees Faust a lot like Zatanna: NIFTYNESS level is Low due to most of the appeal coming from the dial.

Still, if it’s F.U.N. you’re wanting, this is a Faust to deal with!

No. 8

jltw056

Zatanna [Trinity War 056]

The famous Justice Leaguer who does magic spells by speaking words backward is made into her best HeroClix version yet with a truly inventive bit of dial design that makes her one of the most F.U.N. figures of 2015:

At 120 points, she’s about 30 points too high to be so soft and short-lived for just 6 clicks. That keeps her pretty Friendly despite some hefty Utility with her Nifty dial. Played normally, she’s a solid — though, as mentioned, overcosted — mid-range shooter with Penetrating/Psychic Blast and Precision Strike with Outwit. But as you start the game, you can choose to swap her dial to click 6 and play her dial backwards, making her into a Sidestepping TK Defend piece with a SP offering a choice of Barrier+Perplex or Enhancement+ProbControl that pushes into Support. Middle clicks sport Pulse Wave and Toughness.

In addition to the sheer Niftyness of her dial, she’s a fixture on Shadowpact and Celebrity themes, as well as Justice League. We at Heroclixin’ are a little sad she doesn’t have the Seven Soldiers keyword, though that’s never going to stop us.

  • FELLOWSHIP level: Moderate. Having the Mystics TA docks her a bit here.
  • UTILITY level: Really High.
  • NIFTYNESS level: Just OK in our estimation. It’s her dial more than anything else that we like, and that’s not worth as much on this scheme.

5102 fo sgif N.U.F. eht fo eno Ylurt!

No. 9

smww061

Batman [Superman/Wonder Woman 061]

This version of the vigilante is so unusual for the Batman variants that populate HeroClix — he’s not Bruce Wayne and he’s an actual terrorist. To be fair, he’s fighting against Red Son Superman and Josef Stalin’s totalitarian regimes and tends to give a few minutes’ warning before he blows stuff up, so he’s kind of a good-guy terrorist. But aside from being an interesting take on the Bat, he’s a F.U.N. fig, too.

  • He starts with Sidestep and Stealth and only 4 range and 2 damage — and no starting Outwit, Willpower or Perplex on those early clicks, which is unusually Friendly for a Batman. FELLOWSHIP level: High
  • That doesn’t mean he’s not rocking Useful stuff anyway. He ignores elevated terrain for movement and sports a trait that, 33% of the time, deals damage when blocking terrain is destroyed or an ally 25 points or more is KO’d. Later in his dial, he gets Outwit in a huge way, able to counter any or all a target’s powers! But at this point, he’s lost both his Stealth and ESD in favor of Charge and Reflexes, so he’s a lot more vulnerable and you really need to put him in harm’s way to truly get the best use of him. UTILITY level: Moderate [because the trait is so left to chance and he’s so soft]
  • Aside from Red Son themes, this fig could be used on Russian themes or Elseworlds Batman themes. Overall, though, we rate his NIFTYNESS level fairly Low.

Still, it’s enough to be one of the most F.U.N. characters in HeroClix. So if you’re fortunate enough to obtain this chase figure, be a freedom fighter!