Robin [Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls 030]
I was thoroughly uninterested in the Thrillkiller subtheme of the Harley Quinn set. But this one eked his way onto my radar. For one thing, I like Robin figures (as far back as 2011). But more than that, I found this dial to be solid as a rock. 11 AV Charge with 3 damage and 18 Reflexes for close combat and Batman Ally with 2 targets for 5 range shooting. There’s also his Thrillkiller ’62 trait that drops tokens off him when attack KOs occur, which can make up somewhat for his lack of Willpower, and his other trait that throws tokens ONTO foes within 6 squares if HE is KO’d. At a cheap 40 points, I don’t mind so much when this triggers.
I will look forward to using him on another all-Robin force and on a meta team.
Friendly/Fellowship: He’s kind of a throwaway piece
Useful/Utility: So use him with abandon. Or use him for wildcard or whatever
Nifty/Nerdcore: Two gun kid Robin!
NEXT: Nobody dies!
Newbie TBT essentially took care of the F.U.N. list for me this year. I was kind of dreading it because there were so many hundreds of clix released in this 15th Anniversary year of HeroClix. But while some of his picks weren’t exactly what I would have selected, most of them absolutely were, and all of them were spot on.
It’s freed me up to list my favorites — which also happen to be FUN figs as well. (Full disclosure: Both Sceritz and TBT chose figures that would have made my favorite and FUN lists, so I’ve left them off my top 10 for more variation between the three of us.)
As is my custom, I open this look back with an example of an older figure from the previous year that I got too late to count among my favorite then:
Donatello [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Heroes In A Half-Shell 025]
I didn’t get this piece until well into 2017. At 100 points, he’s very much the most expensive version of this character available in the game. But I like him because, similar to Black Panther [Age of Ultron 045] from a few years back, he’s the version that feels most complete. He’s got the mobility (IM:Hindering/Elevated). The Stealth of a ninja, the Toughness of a turtle (both via trait, freeing up those slots for other powers). The range of his bo (3) and the repositioning ability other versions have sported (another trait). And the pit crew powers that we’ve come to expect from the smartest of the quartet: Outwit, Perplex and Support.
But there’s a FUN. catch here: he can only use one per turn, and he’s got to select it at turn’s start. I love the balance.
Friendly/Fellowship: 100 points is kind of a lot
Useful/Utility: All sorts of little tricks here tho
Nifty/Nerdcore: Donny is my favorite turtle
So! On to my Top Ten F.U.N. Favorites of 2017 to wrap up our extended look back!
Thor Odinson [The Mighty Thor 049]
“I am Thor, Son of Odin…”
We’ve had a lot of Thors in the past, and many of them filled different roles that always seemed to leave him lacking in some respect. Whether that downfall came in the form of a short dial or lack of sufficient defense, it always bothered me just a little bit. I prefer characters to cost what they are worth.
With that being said, I am hardly upset about this dial being a hefty 175 points for the potential that it brings to the table. It feels almost wrong at this point not to play an him on an Asgardian theme because what he brings to the potential is just that staggering. His dial starts with a 19 Invincible, worthy of a god of thunder and when you think he’s finally down and out, his dial ends with another 19! You aren’t going to be safe with a few good hits. If you’re going after him, you need to go hard.
At the same time, I think his dial is fair. It isn’t exactly easy to build around 175 points in most formats, and you’ll have to make sure you back him up with some pretty decent support. So it’s likely he will be your main attacker. Either that, or you’re going to forgo some of your other utility for the sake of raw aggression with the use of his “Bring the Lightning” for extra attacks or “Restore the Lost Asgardians” to bring in others Asgardians to attack for you.
But here’s the other deal… if you choose to play the long game, as Odinson’s deep dial is surely capable of, then you may have a chance to trade in 8 plot points for “God of Thunder,” which forces opponents to gain two action tokens whenever they would receive action tokens, severely hindering their game. If you can land this with enough time left on the clock, you just might have that match in the bag.
With the ability to deal massive damage, bring other Asgardians into the fray and a dial that make opponents think twice about attacking, I think this is the Thor I was waiting for.
Wiz Kid [Deadpool & X-Force 0059b]
I’ll be honest. Comics-wise, I have very little sentimental for this character. I saw him once in the Inferno storyline that I happened to be reading only because it featured my beloved Illyana Rasputin. What I actually care about is that super Enhancement for 25 points. Do I need say more? He’s a prime, yes. And no, he can’t be carried in most cases because of his Wing symbol and no, he can’t carry others. But he’s bumping adjacent friendly characters’ attack, range and damage up for just those 25 points. There have already been many occasions where this decimated opponents and other than his being a prime and lacking several keywords, he’s not hard to fit on a team at all. In fact, if you don’t have a prime on your non-theme team, go for it.
He starts with 18 defense and Toughness so that at least he can avoid getting too easily one shotted. But his sweet spot is on click 2: He gains Sidestep. Ever had a good enhancer with Sidestep? It’s like a drug, it’s so good. Given that Enhancement and Empower are my favorite powers in the game, it’s no wonder I’m so excited about what this piece brings to the table.
Doctor Strange, Earth’s Guardian [Avengers Defenders War 051]
Oh hey look how Strange, another Doctor…
It is very hard not to fall in love with most of these title characters. They are built like primes, very cost effective and tend to do things that lend a major helping hand to your team. Doctor Strange, Earth’s Guardian is another of these fascinating pieces. I’ve already droned on about my love for Doctor Strange, but I must say this feels like a very definitive version.
He isn’t built like a primary attacker, but his 7 range with Probability Control and Penetrating/Psychic Blast make him a strong secondary with support features that grant him or his allies an extra bump in damage. When it comes time for the inevitable enemy onslaught, depending on the situation he can spend plot points to give all adjacent friendly characters the Mystics team ability (which he has naturally). I find his utility to be quite pervasive. And there isn’t a bad click on his dial. Personally I prefer to turn in 4 plot points for a super Prob, as that is always useful.
Furthermore, the sculpt is excellent, mimicing the cover of “Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic.” All-in-all it is one of my favorites of last year, and an easy go-to figure.
Doctor Strange [Avengers Defenders War 001]
Doctor Strange [Avengers Defenders War 019]
Doctor Strange [Avengers Defenders War 035]
“By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth…”
This Doctor Strange may be one of the best shifting focus sets WizKids has come up with.
I may be biased: Yes, I am a Strange fan. I know, there’s sort of a trend with me and Marvel. But hey, it’s what I was raised on. I love the different ways in which the Strange figures utilize his magical abilities, and this one, though almost purely support, does its job well.
In a nutshell, Doctor Strange [Avengers Defenders War 001] can carry your team in, shift to Doctor Strange [Avengers Defenders War 019] and gear them up for defense, and then when it’s time to fight, provide an excellent damage boost with Doctor Strange [Avengers Defenders War 035] . Remember when we talked about Wiz Kid and what my favorite powers were? Strange does the same thing without the range boost, and with the added ability of being able to shift for the what the situation requires. And he’s only 50 points. It’s beautiful, I tell you, beautiful. Did I mention that he has Sidestep on these dials?
Plus on his defensive dials, defenders using his defend take one less damage. In addition to that, after they take damage he may auto-heal them afterward. There’s a 50/50 chance that he can hurt himself but in some situations this is absolutely worth. As he is wont to say, “Everything has a Cost.” Speaking of which, I think his is very fair. He’s pretty easy to kill if you catch him at the right time, but if you make a misstep he can power his team to tear you apart.
Hawkeye [Avengers Defenders War 067]
No, that’s not a typo…
Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is one of my favorite comic runs, period, and this figure IS Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye… also known as Hawkguy. His Running Shot madness is, well, madness. I’m sure we all know about this at this point but still let’s unpack why this is such insanity. First of all. he can Running Shot multiple times in a row so long as he hits the target he was going after in the previous attack and doesn’t target a character that had been previously targeted during this action. The things that make it deadly are his range and his improved targeting. With a solid 8 and the ability to ignore hindering and characters, it’s very difficult to hide from him.
I have a very hard time not running him for several reasons. First, being that he is the Hawkeye from one my favorite runs, and that his ability is just so darn useful. On top of that he also has a bunch of keywords that I’m prone to using. Plus he’s only 65 points. Yes, you can perplex him twice and put a HENRY on him and he’s hitting with a 12 attack 4 damage (without the damage depletion modifier) on your entire team. It’s deadly and can easily turn the tide of any game.
I am not sure how “fair” that is… but I would like to note that he only has a 16 starting defense with ES/D. It doesn’t balance him as much as it should be but I’ll give him a pass for being a chase figure. Regardless, he’s still one of my favorites and I’ll love him to the end of time.
Beta Ray Bill [The Mighty Thor 063]
I used to dream about a new modern Beta Ray Bill. I’m not joking. Walt Simonson’s Thor run is one of my favorites when it comes to mystical/cosmic Marvel, and the debut of Beta Ray Bill birthed an instant fascination with him as a character. Now we have him again and as a CHASE. His ability to keep opponents from attacking with range from more than 4 squares away is too tempting not to use. It’s so good it makes me feel bad for using it. Then granting him Probability Control on top of that solves a major problem of many Asgardian themes.
If used correctly, Beta Ray is a very high level character. His ability to control tempo is usually not something your opponents are prepared to deal with, and you can use this to your advantage. The top dial with 12 attack and Precision Strike is nothing to balk at either. While is range is lower, you’ll have to deal with whoever is standing next to him as you make your approach, and then you have to get past that 18 defense and the Probability Control.
That special power isn’t on every click, but that doesn’t make him much easier to deal with. When he hits his final STOP click, he can be given a MOVE action, and after resolutions he can Regen for free — which could land him back on that power and battle capable again with a 10 attack and prob. He is an excellent figure, certainly worth the points. (Being able to team him in 400 points with Thor Odinson is just icing.)
Iron Man [Avengers Defenders War 053]
We have way too many Iron Man figures. Some of them are really good. Some of them are “meh.” Others are too good. This one is extremely good and just about right. As far as “Pick-a-Power” pieces go, Iron Man isn’t quite in the meta. He costs too much, isn’t as durable and a single Outwit can take away his ability to pick powers altogether. This, by no means, makes him useless. I like his power picking ability because it’s Iron Man who’s doing it… and with the current level of his suit, it fits him well.
Outside of picking powers, he starts with a nice 18 Invincible and Shape Change at the top of his dial, making him relatively difficult to take down. His lower dial starts with Impervious but the 125 price point makes him appealing as a secondary attacker, or a primary attacker with team room for a strong secondary to help him out. It’s just important to keep him safe. And in a bind, the armor imprisoning tactic proves to be quite useful.
He is one of the more fair PAP pieces, even if difficult to deal with, and I think he may be my favorite in terms of being fair and unique at the same time while still very capable. I’ve enjoyed every game I’ve played with him and plan to use him in many more.
Enchantress [The Mighty Thor 055]
I was waiting for an new Amora, and the Mighty Thor set delivered. The Enchantress is such a perfect finesse manipulation piece, and I’m so happy with how well she turned out. At a slick 80 points, she hides in the shadows, moves your opponents, around, Perplexes your team and dares anyone to attempt an attack on her with super Shape Change. Her Mind Control is a nuisance and even she happens to get hit, then she falls to Prob Control and continues to support her team.
I didn’t know how much I would love her until I played with her. And while she’s more difficult to plan finesse strategies around, she’s capable of causing disarray in the enemy team. She’s well-costed and while annoying, still perfectly fair for her uses. I tend to put her on most teams lately, just for shenanigans. I’ve yet to be disappointed.