The Dark Knight: Building a Modern Competitive Batman Team

Marvel might be my bag, but I’ve always had a fondness for The Dark Knight. We don’t see too much of one of the best pieces in Modern so I want to really take a look at him and change that.

Batman represents the character who is always prepared. No matter what the situation or who Batman is facing, if he has enough time, he will be victorious and I love that about him. His tactical mind is the best there is around and his brilliance is legendary. Wizkids has tried time and time again to capture this essence of the Bat and although there have been some great pieces along the way, nothing even comes close to Trinity War Batman 051.

150 points is a lot to pay for Bruce, but his dial is incredible and should be what all other Batman are compared to. I look at this dial and I still prefer it 10/10 times over the Kingdom Come piece with a whopping 13 attack. For those 150 points, we get 7 clicks of life, 5 range with double bolts, and standard combat symbols, except we do get Indomitable (because the god damn Batman). There are two reasons why this Batman is so good, and they come in the form of his special attack and damage powers. Let’s look at that attack power:

UTILITY BELT: Give Batman a free action and choose a standard attack or damage power. Batman can use that power until your next turn.

This right here turns Bats into a smaller version of Super Skrull, except he doesn’t have to worry about taking damage at the end of the turn, he’s already got Running Shot so he doesn’t need to pick up a movement power (I mean he can’t, but it’s part of the argument), and he’s 20 points less. Most of the time, you’ll end up picking Pulse Wave because why wouldn’t you? But the versatility here is the meat. Now let’s look at our potatoes.

WORLD’S GREATEST DETECTIVE AND STRATEGIST: Batman can use Outwit and Perplex. When he has no action tokens, he can use Probability Control.

Ah, there’s our potatoes! So we get an attacker that has huge numbers, can take any attack or damage power, AND has the three big support powers? Seriously, this guy is undercosted and it shows. With these two power combinations, there’s an argument to be made that Batman is better than Super Skrull. Sure, it would be a hard argument, but it could be made.

As for his values, he starts with that whopping 12 attack, just 1 below KC Batman, and only drops to a 10 on two of his 7 clicks. He keeps an 18 defense on three of his clicks. He has 3 damage on 4 of his clicks. You want a fandom Batman dial? This is it. He’s also got a pretty cool trait as well.

A NEW KIND OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: Adjacent friendly characters with a lower point value and the Justice League keyword can use the Batman Ally team ability. Friendly characters named Superman or Wonder Woman don’t have to be adjacent or a lower point value.

Now at 150 points, the odds are low you’ll end up using this, but it’s icing on his already towering cake. I mean, there aren’t any good, cheap Superman’s out there, are there? Oh wait…

Batman is fantastic, but he absolutely can’t win games alone. What do we need in order to help Batman succeed? A possessor is probably going to help him quite a lot since he only has toughness on his top two clicks. Even though Fury can nuke that, it’s better to have something like Impervious than not. Plus, a possessor will raise our damage value. Batman is already pretty mobile, and he has a lot of tools to keep himself on top click, so TK may not be necessary with him, although it’s always good. At 150 points and a possessor, there’s a good chance we can’t fit another attacker, so we need a strong back line for Bruce to really work his magic.

Let’s take a look at the build:

300 Point Competitive Batman Build

  • TW Batman 051 (Possessed with Brainiac 063) 175 Points
  • AVAS Living Lightning 015 (Possessed with Eclipso 055)105 Points
  • Pandora’s Box Resource with Sloth and Wrath | 20 Points
  • Build Total: 300 Points

Brainiac is fantastic on Bats as he grants Pen/Psy if he needs it, leaving Batman with more options for power picking, or Sidestep to get him closer in range for Pulse Waves. He can also add +1 to our damage, which Bats can then Perplex up to 5 to hit for big damage. Remember, we can always take Super Strength as well and pick up an Ultra Heavy for 6 damage, saving our Perplex for defense. The real Reason I like Brainiac though is that on click 3 and after, we get his special damage power:

WORLD IS RUNNING LIKE CLOCKWORK: Once per turn when an opposing character is given a power action, you may immediately remove an action token from Brainiac.

With a big primary attacker, this is huge as we can effectively use Bruce every turn. If Batman is on click 4, we have this power, along with his special damage which means you can potentially get free Prob on every single turn. Regen at the end of the dial will help keep Batman alive.

Last week, I talked about how good Living Lightning is, and I think he’s a prime candidate here. The one thing Batman isn’t good at is dealing lots of damage to many characters (although he could make this happen), so Living Lighting serves this purpose. With Eclipso, now he’s got some real staying power and a better chance to hit picking up that +1 to attack.

Resource-wise, Pandora’s Box beats out the Round Table/Teleporter here because of what we get out of it for both our pieces. With Batman taking Sloth, he goes up to a 19 defense with Stealth (Batman Team Ability), Impervious, Perplex, and Prob, and when he clears tokens he heals for 1 click. With Living Lighting taking Wrath, he goes up to a 19 defense thanks to having ES/D on dial and now Combat Reflexes, along with Impervious or Stealth thanks to Ecpliso. We’re also getting either Running Shot or Prob from the Box which help both of our characters tremendously, so it’s an easy call.

I realize that this competitive build is only 2 characters, and goes against what I stated in the paragraph before the build about a good back line for Bruce, but looking through the units and what’s modern, there was really only one other team build I was looking at, and that was Justice League. Having the Shifting Focus Superman on the team would eat the same number of points, but we’d lose the second possessor. Sure, we’d get that sweet Justice League ATA that 75% of the time grants a +1 to defense, along with the defensive Superman’s +1 defense to adjacent figures, but it suffers from no Ultron killing potential, so I ditched it.

If you want more of a supportive cast to go with Batman, try out this build instead:

300 Point Competitive Batman Build – More Support

  • TW Batman 051 (Possessed with Brainiac 063) 175 Points
  • SMWW Superman Blue 041E | 50 Points
  • WF Wonder Woman 063R | 25 points
  • SMWW Batman/Superman Robot G002P | 25 points
  • Pandora’s Box Resource with Sloth and Wrath | 20 Points
  • Justice League ATA on all 4 characters | 4 Points
  • Build Total: 299 Points

We’re getting a lot more defense here and we’ve upgraded to a theme team. Sticking with the Batman + Brainiac combo, along with Pandora’s Box (same Relics), that gives us 105 points to play with. This time around, I did want to use that Justice League ATA, as it will grant Batman’s already 18 defense to a 19, and then +1 from Sloth, and another from his own Perplex. That’s a mighty 21 defense. Fantastic.

Superman Blue is a great piece because he’ll both protect Batman from Pulse Wave, and he flies, so he can carry Bruce into Battle. With Sloth, he has both ES/D and Combat Reflexes on an 18, so with the ATA, we’re almost always at a 21 defense on him as well. KC Wonder Woman will be Batman’s dedicated healer and keep him in the fight, and there really isn’t a better healer out there right now (although Night Nurse is on her heals… heals… get it?).

The Batman/Superman Robot serves as a regular retaliator, or he can carry both Superman Blue and Batman since he flies, so he helps us get into position even more. What’s great about this composition is that due to Batman’s trait, he’s giving Superman Blue and Wonder Woman Stealth, and the robot already has it from the Batman team ability. This makes our team incredibly hard to deal with until Mr. Fancy Pants Nick Fury is called in.

I’m not sure which of these builds I like better. I’m missing quite a bit to try either of them out, but I’d really like to.

That wraps up another edition of Clix Fix. I hope you’re enjoying these more competitive-focused articles. They’re a bit challenging for me, but I like it. I’d really like to see Batman played more. I know his cost is a bit high, and we’re seeing less and less of the tentpole teams these days, but I really think Batman has a lot of potential. What are your thoughts?

Join me Thursday for a follow up to last week’s incredibly popular article!


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