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.

Most Impactful Hour of Devastation Cards

I believe that despite being a small set, Hour of Devastation will have a large impact on the standard format. There are many cards that are somewhat under the radar that have the ability to create new archetypes and cards that might help defeat former great decks such as G/B Constrictor and Mardu vehicles. This list below is what I believe will be the top 10 most impactful cards for constructed, as well as ideas on which decks to put them in, that I have found after testing a significant amount for this upcoming pro tour in Kyoto.

1. Champion of wits

Champion of Wits

This card will add consistency to fringe archetypes that showed up in the past such as Temur Emerge, U/R Zombies, Grixis Gods Pharaoh Gift (I’ll get into that later) and 4 color Haunted Dead/Prized Amalgam decks. Champion of Wits has the potential to propel these decks to being tier one or close to it. This card provides value and increased consistency early, and is also a great creature to emerge Elder Deep Fiend from. I expect this card to be in the top 8 of many local events this weekend and the open in Cincinnati. Buy this card while it is still $2.

2. Hour of Devastation

Hour of Devastation

This is the best board wipe we have seen in a long time in standard. It cleanly deals with Gideon, any creatures that hit the table before it, and also stops indestructible creatures such as Selfless Spirit, Avacyn, and Crested Sunmare. This card will help bring back control in standard and I will be busy working on creature decks that can beat this card.

3. Abrade

Abrade

Finally a good main-deck answer to Heart of Kiran for decks that do not play black, such as my favorite Temur Energy. Abrade is one of the best removal spells printed in a while as it cleanly kills a wide range of things from Oketra’s Monument, to Winding Constrictor, to Gearhulks. Expect to play against this card a lot and try to play more with x-4s.

4. Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

Nichol Bolas, God-Pharaoh

This is a powerful top end that works extremely well in decks that play Chandra to play it as early as turn 4. Bolas is best when its 7 damage to the face ability is relevant, so you want to play bolas in decks with Glorybringer and not in decks that play Torrential Gearhulk. Bolas is meant to be a proactive card and not a reactive one, since it’s best at closing close games.

5. Hour of Promise

Hour of Promise

Hour of Promise is Explosive Vegetation that hit the gym nonstop for a few years. It gets any two lands and comes with 2 zombies most of the time, making it well worth 5 mana and a great reason to play negates in your sideboard this weekend. This card will make it that people can still register Ulamog for standard by fetching 2 Shrine of Forsaken Gods.

6. God- Pharaoh’s Gift

God-Pharaoh’s Gift

I played against a Grixis cycling deck in a standard league online that played this card along with Aarchfiend of Infinir, Curator of Mysteries, Vizier of Tumbling Sands, Glorybringer, Locust God, Insolent Neonate and some other cards. I was defeated soundly and my opponent’s deck felt extremely powerful and very real. I would not be surprised if this card creates a Living End style standard deck that is very good.

7. Claim // Fame

Claim // Fame

My modern decks of choice recently have been Death Shadow variants and this card slots right into Jund and Grixis Shadow. It brings back Death Shadow and Tarmogoyf, giving them haste. Works better in Grixis where they have access to Thought Scour. I will most likely be registering this card at SCG Syracuse if I decide to go there instead of GP Minneapolis.

8. Pride Sovereign

Pride Sovereign

Army in a can creatures are almost always good and that is what this Aslan impersonator does. G/W Tokens is an ideal home for this card, time will tell if that deck has the tools to beat Hour of Devastation and efficient enough removal to hang with the other threats of the format.

9. Crested Sunmare

Crested Sunmare

This card has the potential to have a whole deck built around it as most of the time it’s a 5 mana 10/10. The key with this card is the power level of its support cards and if a good enough core can be built around it I expect this card to see a lot of play. Life-gain is typically not a strong mechanic, but I am confident I’ll be riding this horse to victory at some point.

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10. The New Gods

The Locust GodThe Scarab GodThe Scorpion God

The new gods are more playable than most of the Amonkhet gods, besides Rhonas and Hazoret. Expect to play against these as one-of’s in most mid-range decks that can cast them as they are great mana syncs and are very difficult to get rid of. Try to have access to at least one way to remove them in all of your standard deck lists.

These are my top 10 impactful cards from the new set that I will be expecting to play against at Pro Tour Hour of Devastation and at the tournaments that will be played this weekend. Some of these cards are currently great buys if you will be needing them for this weekend as many cards in this set are being undervalued in my opinion. I hope this article helped you guys out on deck ideas and what you might have to face this release weekend.

Matt Tumavitch

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