Read. Watch. Play! Ep. 12 – The Power of Thor Compels Us

On this week’s RWP, Cliff talks his weekly comics, the guys talk Amazon’s The Tick, and The Mighty Thor Heroclix set releases!

Meta Worthy – Those Pesky Objects

Meta Worthy is an article series that seeks to delve into the current Heroclix meta and explore it fully.

by Jacob Prairie

Last week I took a look at the upcoming rules changes to Outwit. One change will allow any power to be a target for Outwit. This means that even powers granted by equipped objects can be ‘taken away’. However, as we can already see by a few released dials, The Mighty Thor set will include objects that give its wearer several different powers. There are also objects that grant EFFECTS that are not powers (Mace grants Knockback, for example). What if we want to just get rid of those objects or EFFECTS all together? Let’s take a look at a handful of modern figures that accomplish just that.

If you are unfamiliar with the NEW EQUIPMENT rules, you should probably take a look over here before reading on. It will help your understanding, but it’s not vital to get the gist.

**Throughout this article I will refer to both objects and characters that are equipped. In most cases, it will not matter what type of equipment it is. In the cases where it does matter, I will discuss why and what effects it has on gameplay.

For organizational sake, I’ll group the figures into four different categories. One category for figures that remove objects from the game, one for figures that ‘steal’ objects, and one for figures that nullify the EFFECT of an object. The final category will cover figures who may benefit from increased object inclusion.

Figures that Remove Objects:

Leonardo – TMNT3 028

This guy is probably one of the first figures that most people think of when they think of removing objects. What sets him apart from many of the other figures in these lists is that his trait works on both possessors and objects. The downside is that since both players roll 2 dice, and you have to score a higher roll (tie goes to your opponent), you have a slightly less than 50/50 shot to remove the equipment (44.36% to be exact – used and found the probability of beating my opponent’s roll).

As a bonus, Leo is still a pretty solid figure for 75 points. Traited flight (not Wing symbol, so no carrying here) with the ability to increase attack and speed by +1. A solid ranged attacker up top with nice close combat options late. A small host of generic keywords could help to get him onto a theme team, as well.

Firestorm – WKD16-012

One of my go-to Call Ins when it comes to IDs, this Firestorm was one of the most meta worthy OP figures recently – probably only after Doc Oc and maybe Green Arrow. The main upside of this guy has already been stated. As an ID character, you don’t need to build your team around him. For 5 points you have a 12 attack chance (+1 from perplex) to remove an equipment from someone.

His downside is that you have to be able to target and hit someone. Stealth hurts here. Also, if used as an ID character, you’ve only got one shot to remove a single equipment from the opposing team. At 115 points with no reducer up top and only 6 clicks, I can’t see him being played as anything but an ID character.

Donatello – TMNT2003

Alright, so I’m not sure how meta worthy this guy really is, but I’m trying to include anyone who messes with your opponent’s objects. Donnie here can remove any object from the game IF he is given a power action while adjacent to it. As you can tell, that may not happen very often, since he would need to get almost all the way across the map to do it. He also needs to get there before the opponent can equip the object. You could combine him with someone from later in the list (I’m not giving it away yet) for some shenanigans, but that would also be more than ⅓ of your team build.

The intellectual leader of the turtles does have a nifty Outwit ability. He can Outwit and on a roll of a 5-6 can Outwit the same character a second time. Also, if he is pushed to his second click he also can provide some defense with an 18 Defend. None of these things, however, will really make him viable. I’d love to see him work, though.

Dormammu and Loki – ADW 060

Here’s another figure that most likely (I’d love to be proven wrong) won’t see much competitive play. These guys just need to be within 8 squares of an object and they can remove it with a free action and turn it into a Mindless One. This means that on either starting line DormLoki should be able to turn at least one (non-standard) object into a bystander, if not more.

Unfortunately, even on their short dial they will be your largest point figure. This method of removing objects is only something you should consider if you’ve got another plan for these guys. It should not be the main reason you run them.

Figures that ‘steal’ objects:

Black Cat – SFoSM 047 **

Black Cat is one of my favorites from this list. Her object stealing mechanic comes from hitting with an attack. What makes her really stand out is that she doesn’t destroy the object when she hits, she steals it and equips it herself. This is a great way to turn the tables on your opponent. For 50 points. One thing to keep in mind with the new rules is if Black Cat has an equipped object and steals another, she may just drop or destroy the first one, depending on what the UNEQUIP condition is on the object.

Felicia here also has a bunch of other things going for her. Stealth and Combat Reflexes across the dial are nice. Her pseudo-prob helps her to land those object stealing hits – and to avoid being hit. She’s also a Wildcard, which allows for flexibility.

Captain America – WKMP17-004 **

Who doesn’t love this Cap? Similar to Black Cat, Stevie just has to hit someone equipped with an object and it becomes his. All of them! If you are lucky enough to grab more than one object this way you can switch between them at the beginning of your turn. Unlike Black Cat, multiple hits won’t cause you to destroy or drop other objects.

On top of his ability to steal and keep objects, this guy also has pretty decent stats and abilities for a 65 point figure. Attack values of 11s and 10s with precision strike. Move and attacks on most of the dial. And of course this guy has one of the best leaderships in the game right now. As many have noticed before, removing action tokens on up to 150 points of characters anywhere on the map means that every bystander with a token can have it removed. This is one guy I think we will see in or near a winner’s circle fairly soon.

**One thing I’m unsure of is how Captain America’s and Black Cat’s traits interact with things like Bloodaxe on Executioner in the upcoming set. Executioner’s card says:  Executioner starts the game with the TMT #s001 Bloodaxe equipped. Black Cat’s trait says: If you do, you may choose an item equipped to that character that was an object and equip it to Black Cat. The Cap has a similarly worded trait. The question I would have is, “Was Bloodaxe an object before it was equipped?” It may just be to differentiate between object and character, but it may not as well.

Mr. Nobody – WF 006

While not technically ‘stealing’ your opponent’s objects, Mr. Nobody does ‘borrow’ them for a bit. Being able to place your opponent’s objects could really hamper what your opponent was planning to do, especially if they had some TK ready to bring their objects into be equipped on the first turn. You can use this guy to bring objects that anyone can equip (EQUIP: ANY) close enough for your team to put them on, put objects out of easy reach of your opponent, or set up a kill box to lure your opponent into.  

Mr. Nobody also has one of the coolest special powers in the game (I love dropping it on my opponents and seeing them try to comprehend what just happened). Nobody here can take any two opposing figure’s powers that have a color and switch them with each other. This is a great way to get around characters who can’t be Outwitted. Unfortunately, it does take a power action to activate this ability, and beyond that, Nobody offers little else for his steep 55 points.

Figures who Nullify EFFECTS:

Bedlam – DXF 026

This guy probably went largely unnoticed in your Deadpool sealed events and then ended up in a bin somewhere. Honestly, he is 40 points of little else than equipment control. What is really nice about this figure is that he just needs to be within range of a figure in order to shut it down. Someone increases their attack and then uses Running Shot to within 5 of Bedlam. That increase is gone. Someone takes Impervious from Eclipso. Move Bedlam to with 5 and Impervious is gone. Something to note: This only affects stat increases and STANDARD powers from equipment, so special powers and effects that are not powers (again, Knockback from Mace), would not be affected.

Professor X – UXM 100

This version of the professor completely nullifies the EFFECT of equipment on adjacent opposing characters. At 50 points, he’s a little bit of an investment, but on the right team he could be useful. With the changes in Mind Control, he becomes a little better. You could Mind Control an opposing character, have the character make an attack, and then move adjacent to the Professor, opening him up for follow up attacks. Also, with the ability to phase, you can easily get in position to shut someone’s equipment down. Having an 18 Defense with Super Senses isn’t bad, either.

Figures with other Interesting Benefits:

The Atom – WKD16-010

Ok, I know what you’re thinking and I’m thinking the same thing. What could make you ever want to use this guy? Yeah, yeah… I know. However, he does have an interesting ability that allows him to jump from one object to another, anywhere on the map. I guess you could use him to lock down an opposing object until he’s either KOd or until the rest of your team can get there. His JLA Team Ability at least allows that move action to not cost against your total. And he has Outwit. A bit much for 75 points, but there he is.

Hawkgirl – SMWW 020

I find this piece a bit intriguing. If she’s in hindering terrain and can roll a 6 on that die roll, you can bring in an extra 8 points to your team. I still don’t think that’s worth the 75 points you have to invest into her to try to make it work. Maybe it all depends on what other objects we get in this set. She does have Wing Symbol and Perplex, which helps a bit. Probably not enough, though.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this article. If you have any thoughts, comments, feedback, please feel free to do so. The new Heroclix rules will be released online this week (08/21/2017). I’ll give a rundown on the changes and my thoughts about them next week.

Meta Worthy – New Outwit

Meta Worthy is an article series that seeks to delve into the current Heroclix meta and explore it fully.

by Jacob Prairie

Heroclix as we all know it is about to change. WizKids is on track to drop a new rulebook with the upcoming set – a copy will be included in The Mighty Thor starter set – and there are some big changes coming. When the new rules are released I will do a complete rundown on the changes and give an analysis on how those changes affect the game. For now, I’d like to focus on one of the proposed changes: Outwit.

**The following analysis is based on the proposed rules changes. If there are changes to these propositions, I will update this article with any changes that are affected.

Let’s start by looking at the new changes:

Old Outwit:

Give this character a free action to counter a power or a combat ability possessed by a single target opposing character until the beginning of your next turn. Any game effects with a duration specified by the countered power or combat ability are removed. A character using this power must be within range (minimum range 6) and line of fire to the target

New Outwit

FREE: Minimum range value 6. Choose a power (standard or special) and a target opposing character within range and line of fire. The target can’t use the chosen power until your next turn.

How is this different from the current rules? First, this power eliminates two terms we have come to use and understand (sometimes). ‘Can Use’ will become the term to replace both ‘Can Use’ and ‘Possess’. ‘Counter’ will no longer be a term used in Heroclix, being replaced by ‘Can’t Use’.

More importantly, how does this change affect game play? There are two main things that change. 1) Combat Abilities can no longer be countered. Carry, Flight, Move and Attack, Sharpshooter, Indomitable, etc. are now off the table for outwit choices. 2) Outwit will work on ALL POWERS. That’s right, nothing is safe any more. Special powers, traited powers, pick a powers, powers from possessions or equipment, powers from resources, etc. are all options when it comes to outwit.

It’s clear that these changes will have the effect of making game play simpler. There will be little discussion around what can and can’t be outwitted (is it a power? Then yes). Obviously, these changes will have a very big effect on how the game is played going forward. I’d like to take a look at three groups of figures who are affected by these changes; Those who benefit from, those who are weakened by, and those who will be needed to support within the new Outwit rules.

There is also another new term that WizKids will be implementing: Protected: Outwit. Here is what they define this to mean:

Protected: Outwit. Outwit can’t target or deal damage to this character, and any duration of Outwit affecting this character expires. “Can’t be used” doesn’t apply to this keyphrase. Basically, this is the new ‘Can’t be countered’. 

Those who benefit:

Doctor Octopus M16-001

The good Doctor (ok, maybe not so good…) has been a meta staple for a while now. His ability to be carried and then lay out up to 12 damage on a figure from 2 squares away has been of value for quite some time. However, there are a few powers that really hurt the four-armed scientist. Invincible, Impervious, and Invulnerable bring that possible 12 damage down to a possible 4 (or less). Shape Change is the bane of any Flurry-er, since any success on a Shape Change roll shuts out the ability to target that character again this turn. However, with a top dial outwit, Doctor Octopus can eliminate one of those pesky abilities and then lay the smack down. Of course, this new outwit allows for the Dr.’s Flurry to be outwitted, but just make sure your opponent can’t get to you before you are ready to move in and attack.

Black Panther ADW 007

There’s not much to say about this Shifting Focus T’Challa except that for 30 points you get a character with stealth and a move action that doesn’t count against your action total (thanks to the Avengers Team Ability) who can outwit. Such an amazing piece for such few points. You always have the versatility of Shifting him out for a Black Panther with B/C/F and Combat Reflexes.

The Riddler JW 051

For 50 points you get a super-Outwit piece. The Riddler will be perfect to deal with those characters who still cannot be Outwitted (Power Cosmic/Quintessence for example). His Clue marker is not an actual Outwit, so characters who will be Protected: Outwit can still be affected by it. The Riddler also begins with Outwit on his dial. That makes him a double Outwitter. Being able to take two powers away from one figure can be very powerful.

Iron Heart ADW 071

Iron Heart was already a pretty good taxi for 25 points (Wing Symbol, Sidestep, Outwit, possibility to last through 5 hits), but the changes to Outwit make her even stronger. Now you can move in and Outwit anything you want before you either make your attack or prepare for your next turn.

Solaris SMWW G004

Solaris was already one of my favorite Colossal Retaliations. For 25 points it can pop over, hit all opposing characters within 4 squares of the target, and give each hit character and action token (or 1 penetrating if you can’t give an action token). Now, after you retaliate, you can use Outwit with a range of 10 squares. Solaris also has Quintessence team ability and so will be Protected: Outwit.

Shazam! WF 065

Really, any figure who will have Protection: Outwit is going to gain in usefulness with the new changes. An increase in the value of Outwit means we will likely be seeing it more. Anyone who is immune to its effects will similarly gain in usefulness. These figures will still need to be on the look out for the likes of Nick Fury or The Riddler!

Those who are weakened:

Jakeem Thunder JW 053b (and any other pick a power for similar reasons)

With the new changes Jakeem gets hit pretty hard. Now, even if Jakeem wants to pick a defensive reducer, it can be Outwitted before an attack, nullifying the pick a power. Any power can be preemptively Outwitted as well. Using Supreme Intelligence to give Jakeem Stealth and Willpower is one way around this, but it’s not foolproof.

Joker JW 060

This guy is easily one of my favorite modern figures, but he’s about to take a hit. Traited Super Senses don’t mean much against the new Outwit. Neither does a power anywhere on the dial if it’s been Outwitted, even before it shows on the dial. If you’re afraid of Joker having B/C/F and Exploit Weakness, just Outwit one or both of them before he rolls to turn his dial. Joker’s Outwit on his top dial does gain some value, however.

Nick Fury NFaoS 056

One of Nick’s saving graces has always been his traited Shape Change. With the ability to Outwit traited powers comes the ability to nullify one of his greatest strengths. Of course, you still need to be able to see him and get to him, but Nick doesn’t like these new rules too much.

Eclipso SMWW 055 (and any other Equipment or Resource)

Possessions, Special Objects, and Resources allow for some versatility in team builds. However, now all powers (even those from traits or sources other than on a character’s dial) can be Outwitted. Until now, any power granted by these means has only been touchable by a few figures (Nick Fury, Peggy Carter, Riddler, etc.).  

Those who will Support:

Foggy Nelson ADW 041

This guy is straight up protection from Outwit. As long as he is adjacent to a character of 150 points or less, you can keep that figure from being Outwitted. Really solid for 15 points!

Bizarro Batman JW 062

Give this guy a free action and pick a power. That power can’t be countered. This guy seems to work best on either tentpole teams (to keep that tentpole standing) or teams with a large amount of figure with similar powers. I’m not in love with his 60 point cost, even though he is very survivable.

Jessica Jones ADW 038

But wait?! Jessica doesn’t have Outwit… what is this? Jessica is the answer to not being able to use Outwit because of Stealthed characters. Her trait makes it so opposing characters within 6 squares Can’t Use Stealth, allowing your other figures to now target the opposing character with Outwit. She’s a mean 15 points for 4 clicks with toughness, to boot.

Green Lantern JW 052

Similar reasoning for Jessica follows for this guy. Make it so the opponent Can’t Use Stealth and they can be Outwitted. Another great use is to use his barrier to block lines of fire so friendly characters can’t be targeted by opposing Outwit.

With the new rules coming soon, there will be a shift in the meta. How big of a shift will be determined in the first few events post-change. I think you’re likely to see most of the pieces listed here in play. One thing I can say for sure is that I will be rocking a bit more Outwit on my teams, since it is getting quite a boost.

Read. Watch. Play! Ep. 09 – First Strike!

Cliff continues his reading-palooza including a glowing review for the newest IDW crossover, we discuss Netflix buying Millarworld, and then recap the results of the first ever ROC Hawaii State Heroclix Championship.

Read. Watch. Play! Ep. 08 – ROC NY States Results

Cliff brings back the Read part of Read, Watch, Play! Tony talks CW crossover event. Then our hosts recap the ROC NY State Heroclix Championship.