TMNT 2 gave us some really nice pieces and it’s tough to say if it was better or worse than the previous set. One thing is for sure; the new Rat King is a BEAST.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets are pretty unique in that they’re the first non-Marvel, non-DC sets to be included in the modern format meaning they are tournament legal. That’s pretty substantial. On top of that, the sets are actually quite good with the original Mirage turtles (the set of commons from the first set) setting the bar for 50 point characters moving forward. It seems a majority of the pieces in these sets are pretty great for their points and the sets themselves seem to have a better ratio of good pieces to poor pieces.
Rat King was released in both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and TMNT 2: Heroes in a Half Shell, and both versions are great in their own right. Today, I want to talk about the newest incarnation.
This guy is just nuts for his point cost. Coming in at an even 100 points, we get 6 clicks of health with 0 range, standard symbols, and the Mystics team ability. He does pick up one improvement which is movement: hindering. He’s got some pretty great keywords in the form of Animal, Diety, Monster, Mystical, and TMNT Villain. His numbers are incredibly solid with an 11 attack for two clicks, never dropping below 10, and 18 defense on his first four clicks, dropping to 17 for his last two. His standard powers are great with Poison and Super Senses present on those first four clicks, Phasing/Teleport on his last three, Outwit on his middle two clicks, and Regen/Shape Change on his last two clicks. The reason why Rat King really shines though are his Trait and Special Powers.
RATS EVERYWHERE… I AM EVERYWHERE: Give Rat King a free action if he occupies hindering terrain. Place him in another square of hindering terrain within 6 squares.
I love free movement, and free teleportation is even better. Because this is a placement effect, there’s no need to roll for Breakaway, and he doesn’t care how many tokens he has. More importantly, Rat King never needs to spend turns positioning; he can simply just free action his way up into the battle and act when he needs to, which lets the lack of Indom sit a little better with us for 100 points.
For his Special Powers, the King has two. He has a Special Movement power on his first three clicks and a Special Damage power on his first two clicks. Let’s take a look at those while we’re at it. First up, the movement power!
PAWNS IN MY GAME: Rat King can use Stealth. He can use Mind Control as if he had a range value of 6 and when he does, he can use Improved Targeting: Ignores Elevated Terrain; Ignores Hindering Terrain; Ignores Blocking Terrain; Ignores Characters.
This is the main reason why Rat King is so tremendously good. When combined with his Trait, Rat King can effectively teleport around the board, getting into the best spot possible and Mind Control you no matter where you’re hiding. Unless you have Battle Fury (or lines of fire can’t be drawn to you), there’s no hiding from the Rat King. Let’s look at his damage power.
GAME FOR THE WORLD: Rat King can use Perplex and Probability Control.
This guy just gets better and better. With an 11 attack up front, he’s already got a great chance at hitting, and the 18 defense makes sure he’s fairly tough to hit. Now you get Prob to make sure you do hit and they don’t, and you get Perplex to boost whatever number you need. Trying to hit a 19 defense for Mind Control? Pump that attack. Worried about being deep in enemy territory? Pump that defense! This guy is a Mind Control Toolbox, and a steal at 100 points!
Alright, so we’ve covered the piece. What are we going to do with him. I want to play off his immense strengths, and nothing is stronger to build around than his trait. Free movement will get you out of a jam 9/10 times and with Phasing/Teleport on those Regen clicks, it can ensure you get WAAAAY the hell out from your opponent if he gets injured. There’s also an incredible counter to Rat King in modern that we need to be aware of: Nighthawk Prime. Yes, everyone’s favorite President is going to make life difficult for our King thanks to his dumb trait:
THE PEOPLE MUST THINK FOR THEMSELVES: Friendly characters can’t be targeted by Mind Control. Opposing characters’ combat values can’t be increased unless they are adjacent to Nighthawk.
Not only does Nighthawk shut down our Perplexing, he kills our Mind Controlling which is what Rat King is totally built around, so we need a counter for him which is no easy task since he has Stealth and Shape Change that is better based on how many people he’s next to. So let’s get into the build!
300 Point Modern Competitive Rat King Build
- BVS 003 Wonder Woman | 105 Points
- TMNT2 024 Rat King | 100 Points
- UXM 003 Storm | 50 Points
- JLTW R101 Pandora’s Box | 28 points (12 for the resource, 4 for each sin)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 ID Card – NFAoS 007b Peggy Carter | 5 Points
- Nightwing ID Card – WKD15-008 Nightwing | 5 Points
- The Atom ID Card – SMWW G001P The Atom | 5 Points
- Build Total: 298 points
As I stated above, hindering terrain is really beneficial to Rat King to allow him to teleport anywhere he wants. Storm is a GREAT piece to utilize this concept. Not only does she give us Free Action Smoke Cloud (which gives us Stealth, +1 to Defense, and -1 to attack to opponents), she has Perplex and Flight. She serves as three different roles on our force and I knew once I started building around Rat King that she was going to be a staple piece. How great will it be to smoke cloud right next to Devil Dino pogs at the beginning of the turn and then port Rat King in for Poison damage on all of them? Need to get Rat King around a corner to make absolutely sure he’s safe? Storm can do that for you.
Wonder Woman is our answer to Nighthawk Prime. I knew that whatever piece I chose needed to be able to deal 6 damage in one shot so they could remove the threat in one go. I thought about Black Bat because she’s so efficient, but Wonder Woman is just a bit more brutal than she is, and has the potential to deal 12 damage for only 105 points. Battle Fury will ensure that Nighthawk can’t use his Shape Change and she can’t be Mind Controlled to whoop your dudes’ asses with her deadly first click. She can also tank a little bit with her 18 Invulnerable, and if you really don’t feel like gambling on Blades, a Perplex to her damage from Rat King and Storm will guarantee she hits for 10 damage. Of course, with her being 5 points higher than Rat King, if a wild Nick Fury shows up, she’ll take the hit rather than our sly Diety.
Pandora’s Box is the winner for a resource here since both Rat King and Wonder Woman have 18 natural defense. With any sin (sans Solth), you can get them to a 20 pretty easily based on whatever you’re facing. I went with options and flooded the box with 4 sins so there’s more versatility. Sloth can give some healing for Rat King or Wonder Woman, while Pride/Lust/Wrath can boost defense and add some nice utility. Speedster on their force? Hand out Lust. Feel like Wonder Woman has a better shot at crits with your prob? Give her Pride. Fearing the Ouwtit on Wonder Woman’s Battle Fury? Wrath will do the trick. Sidestep for all your peeps is always great, too!
The last bit of points was given to ID cards. Unfortunately, no one on our team is 120 points or more, so Nick has to stay home. Instead, I brought Peggy Carter to the party. With her awesome ability to ‘can’t use’ standard powers within 3 squares of her, you can easily get Wonder Woman into the fight, blink in with Rat King at the beginning of the turn, and use him to summon Peggy for maximum damage. Heck, you could bring her in with Wonder Woman and choose Battle Fury so they can be Mind Controlled by Rat King too. Nighthawk is a given and I’ve talked about him in detail in the past. Lastly, I went with The Atom. I got to finally use his ID card with the Retaliator and boy was it disgusting. I like having a character that Storm can call in that they may not be expecting and crushing for 2 damage that they borderline can’t do anything about.
There you have it, my competitive take on Rat King. Have you experimented with this guy at all on a large scale like this? If so, what did you use? What have you been eye balling to run with him to make him brutal?
Take care and I’ll see you guys on Thursday!