Welcome back, True Believers! Today’s team build explores the other side of the Spider-Man coin; his villains, more specifically the Sinister Syndicate.
Spider-Man is a great character, and like Batman, he has a wonderful rogues gallery. Sure, there are some… odd and random super villains for both characters (Calendar Man?), but I’ve always enjoyed Spidey’s rogues. Although I like most of the spider villains, I’m focusing on another strong theme which is the Sinister Syndicate. Although the Synidcate is featured heavily in the new Superior Foes of Spider-Man set, we’ve gotten quite a few members for a good number of years. When I came back to Heroclix in the Summer of 2015, I loved playing Zombie Syndicate because it was so wacky and fun.
I think the reason why I enjoy the Syndicate so much is their team ability. When two members of the Sinister Syndicate are adjacent to each other, when making an attack, they can share the other’s attack value. This makes them very potent as you can get some nice number boosting without using a dedicated support piece and can create team-wide buffs. This brings us to the new trait that some of the new pieces, particularly the Superior Foes, got in the new set:
SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER GUYS: Once per turn for all characters with this trait, if a character uses the Sinister Syndicate team ability to replace their attack value with Shocker’s, that attack generates knock back.
Each of the five members of the Superior Foes that has this trait grants a friendly member some benefit for using a buddies attack value rather than their own. Overdrive grants Sidestep, Beetle gives action tokens, Boomerang grants Precision Strike, Speed Demon grants Probability Control (!), and of course Shocker grants knock back.
Jumping into the pieces, we’re mostly working with the newest Superior Foes set, but we were lucky enough to get a very good Syndicate OP kit in January, and the pieces aren’t too difficult to track down or purchase. If you’ve paid any mind to the competitive scene, then I’m sure you already know about the absolutely disgusting Doctor Octopus LE we got. What a champ! As he’s been out for a good 8 months, I’m going to cover some of the other new members a bit more. Of course, with a theme team, it’s always good to look at different ATA’s that are available. Let’s get to it!
300 Points Sinister Synidcate, Figures & ATA’s only, Modern
- WKM16-003 Mysterio + Sinister Twelve ATA
- SFoSM 033 Beetle + Sinister Twelve ATA
- SFoSM 040 Speed Demon + Sinister Twelve ATA
- SFoSM 042E Boomerang + Sinister Twelve ATA
- AVAS S100 Pym Particles
I love the Sinister Twelve ATA. Giving all your guys a +1 to attack as long as you have more pieces on the map than your opponent is just fantastic for a measly 4 points. Luckily, my absolute favorite of the OP kit practically guarantees that this will happen; Mysterio. Coming in at 50 points, this guy lets you summon two other pieces to the board with Phasing/Teleport, Incap, and the Sinister Syndicate team ability. Plus, their actions don’t count against your total. Use these dudes to block doorways, Line of Fire, or Syndicate into an 11 attack with either Speed Demon or Boomerang and token up whoever you choose. Beetle is a fantastic multi-use piece here as she’s a fantastic taxi with a 10 movement and flight and she has Running Shot that when she uses it let’s her automatically break away. Couple that with Energy Explosion and this is a dynamite little 75 point piece. Oh, and let’s not forget that when someone takes her attack value, they get action tokens, so that’s three pieces that can lock people down. We’ve gone over Speed Demon before and his value is just too good to pass up on another theme team, especially when he grants prob and can share his 11 attack value.
Regarding Boomerang; when I first saw him, I was not impressed at all. However, at the release tournament I pulled him and noticed that on his lower point cost, he’s an exceptional secondary attacker. 11 attack with Precision Strike to get around the pesky spiders, Ranged Combat Expert, and ignoring characters for line of fire make him a beast. Sure, he only has 4 clicks of health, but I honestly feel like he’s worth it. As always, mileage may vary, and I recommend if you want to swap anything out, do it here. The Pym Particles are really great as you can shrink down Speed Demon so that Beetle can carry both him and Boomerang, and it makes him even harder to hit at range.
Let’s jump into that bigger build now.
400 Points Sinister Syndicate, Figures & ATA’s only, Modern
- WKM16-001 Doctor Octopus + Original Sinister Six ATA
- SFoSM FF Kingpin 005 + Original Sinister Six ATA
- SFoSM 029 Overdrive + Original Sinister Six ATA
- SFoSM 039 Mysterio + Original Sinister Six ATA
- SFoSM 043 Electro + Original Sinister Six ATA
- SFoSM 045 Lizard + Original Sinister Six ATA
- SFoSM S101 Symbiote
Wow, that’s a lot of pieces for 400 points. Let’s break this down. Of course, we have to use the OP kit Doctor Octopus. Having a piece that can attack 4 times in one turn, combined with top-dial Outwit is just ludicrous, so I felt like he was a necessary piece. Kingpin is about the best thing we ever could have gotten for a Syndicate team. For a paltry 50 points, we get one of the best team traits in the game:
MY CITY, MY RULES: Kingpin and friendly characters within 8 squares are considered adjacent to each other for the purposes of the Sinister Syndicate team ability.
So Kingpin can just sit back in some hindering terrain or behind some walls and buff his team, allowing them to share his 11 attack value, along with Outwitting anyone who gets close to him. Think about that. For the entire game, your team will have an 11 attack, not to mention what the ATA is granting. For 50 points, I feel that he’s honestly a tad bit better than Baron Zemo.
Overdrive is without-a-doubt my favorite Synidcate piece from Superior Foes. The capability to turn any object into a vehicle, carry four people, and grant empower to them that your opponents can’t get rid of is gold, not to mention he can get them 13 squares rather than around 6-8 for a typical flyer, all for 35 points. The rare Mysterio is a class act, with his better-than-stealth ability. However, the reason we’re playing him is for his Prob control along with being able to totally nerf a tentpole team, giving all your guys Shape Change against one target. Electro is a fantastic little ranged attacker with a glass jaw, but if he hits, he can completely devastate an enemy team on his own. Lastly, Lizard is one of the coolest (and hardest to kill) melee attackers I’ve seen in a while, so he should be a lot of fun and cause plenty of pain. I think the Symbiote would be best on him as it will give him Plasticy and Shape Change, making him that much harder to deal with.
This ATA is a bit different from the last. Rather than giving a flat boost if you have more people, it makes your opponents easier to hit over time.
When a character using this team ability hits an opposing character, mark that character with a Sinister Six token. When a character using this team ability attacks an opposing character marked with one or more Sinister Six tokens, modify their attack value by +1 for each token.
When attacking a single target with one or more Sinister Six tokens, if the target’s name is Spider-Man or possesses the Spider-Man Family keyword or the Spider-Man Ally symbol, modify this character’s damage value by +1.
Pretty beast when you have so many attackers on your team. It’s just 1 point cheaper than the Sinister Twelve ATA and has the potential to be much better.
I tried to do something a little different this week as I kept everything in the Common, Uncommon, or Rare area, aside from two Monthly OP Kit LE’s, but their value is pretty low. Some feedback I got from a reader made me really think about budget builds, and I think the Syndicate is a great candidate for that. I honestly feel that their one of the most plug-and-play theme teams out there and that as long as you can fill your points, you should be fine. Keep in mind that if you do want to use Super Rares, look at SFoSM 053a Kraven, SFoSM 056 Chameleon, and most importantly, CWSLOP 032 Venom. They’re killer pieces and can easily replace some of the characters on these builds.
Join me next week as we look into something a little different. We’re going to take a break from theme teams for a week and talk about some fun modern builds with a bit less restrictions. I’m thinking we’ll do something with a certain big red lizard with a green smoking jacket and a tiny gun. He looks like fun!