Joker’s Wild Set Review

Welcome to the first real set review since Clix Fix was born! It’s time to unwrap the present that Mister J. left on the doorstep and see what this set is all about.

There hasn’t been a set so controversial in some time more so than Joker’s Wild. Critics (myself included) feel a bit of a disappointment with the seemingly randomized keywords (Gotham City/Gotham City Underground/Arkham Asylum/etc.), low point value JSA, odd chases, and fairly loose themes, this set didn’t seem to live up to the hype that most sets have. It’s easy to see why.

Heroclix was borderline reinvented with Uncanny X-Men with the new formula of less brick-type characters and more cheap, specialized dials. It was a tight set and clear themes, and the release of Superior Foes of Spider-Man took it a step further with more tight design. Because of how good these two sets were, and the future Deadpool and X-Force (yeeessss!), there was a lot of pressure for this set to be killer, and it just sort of… fell short. That’s not to say there aren’t good pieces, but the majority of the set is a big pass which is really unfortunate for DC fans.

Remember that my reviews are based on constructed, not sealed so please keep that in mind. To save some time and not have this go on forever, I’ll cover each piece, but I’ll only go into detail into the really interesting or must-have pieces. I’m also implementing a new score system into three categories: No Thanks, Seems Good, and Yes Please! Let’s do this!


COMMONS

001 The Joker – There are a lot of Joker’s in this set (6 to be exact), and this piece just doesn’t do anything for me. No reducers and costing nearly 50 points for poison with the possibility of making it penetrating is just boring. No Thanks.

002 Harley Quinn – 25 Points for Perplex is essentially what you’re getting. If you need cheap Perplex with her Keywords, I guess she’s okay. If theme isn’t an issue, I’ll take Betty Brant. No Thanks.

003 The Joker Thug – We got the totally awesome Thug in Superior Foes, and this guy is very similar. Same point cost, and he has toughness rather than 4 clicks, but starts with a lame 9 attack. Their traits are what makes them good and pretty much must-use pieces if you’re going to play one of the two Super Rare Jokers. Seems Good.

003b Anarky – I like this guy. He’s got good values for his rarity, typical of primes, and he attempts to make the board tough to maneuver around. With some luck, he can deal a lot of damage and destroy walls like crazy. With added Probability Control, I can see this guy seeing some play. Yes Please!

004 Kobra Fanatic – A Charge/Blades pieces for 20 points. That’s what you’re getting. I have horrid luck with Blades, and I just can’t see this guy being of use. No Thanks.

005a/005b Court of Owls Initiate – The only difference between these two is their sculpt. Equality! These peeps are pretty great Mastermind fodder, and I would argue that they’re better than the Joker Thugs since they have Stealth because they’re good on any team rather than just with The Joker. It’s a toss up over which you like better. Seems Good.

006 Thanagarian – For 30 points, you’re giving anyone that can be carried a 3 square boost before using a close combat ability. I just don’t see the use here. Why not just use TK? No Thanks.

007 Commissioner Gordon – Gordon is a nice little boost for ranged attackers on a Batman Family or Gotham City team. He really only excels if he’s the only Police member on your force, so that’s kind of a bummer since it’s a great ability with multiples. Not great, not terrible. Seems Good.

008 Green Arrow – Ah, the first of the JSA. 40 points buys you 6 range with 10 attack, 2 damage, Ranged Combat Expert and Sidestep. He’s also the first to grant the A Simpler Time trait that’s kind of a reverse Superior to the Other Guys, and he gives out +1 defense against ranged attacks. I just don’t like him (or many of the other JSA). He’s so easy to hit and kill and has nothing to help him stay alive. In my opinion No Thanks.

009 Robin – I like that Robin can basically zip in to any character he can see within 5 squares without breaking away and locking them down with Plasticity/Combat Reflexes while buffing via Empower. A nice utility piece for Batman. Seems Good.

010 Wildcat – Wildcat is a piece that will be really good in sealed, but not much help in constructed. Indom is really nice for a 65 point melee piece, and flat out denying Close Combat Expert is pretty neat, but he’s just not really doing much. I see him as another Colossus. He seems good for the points, but probably won’t see any play outside of sealed. No Thanks.

011 Court of Owls Assassin – This guy could be pretty good if he didn’t cost 70 points. Having willpower on a poison piece usually means they’re just going to die before they get a chance to really dish some damage. His later clicks are pretty nice with 11 Flurry, but he’s just so easy to kill. Traited Mastermind? Have you met the abundance of Precision Strike? No Thanks.

012 Amanda Waller – If you’re playing the Squad, she’s pretty much a must-have. Aside from the trait, there’s not much there, but we all know you’re just paying for the trait. Yes Please! (If you aren’t playing Suicide Squad, No Thanks).

013 Colonel Rick Flag, Jr. – Another piece with nothing but Willpower to protect him. His trait to raise his defense is okay, but with the slew of Outsiders we’re getting, I would expect to see that team ability pop up more, making this guy borderline useless. No Thanks.

014 Black Lightning – Man, another piece with nothing but Willpower on defense. At least Black Lightning here has a mean Incap ability with Running Shot and the Outsiders team ability. I can see him having some potential, but that 75 point cost is just too much for no defense. No Thanks.

015 Harvey Bullock – Great on a Police team, but that’s about it. If he’s alone, he has a chance at gaining Sidestep but you have to try and not win map roll. I don’t like pieces that prefer I don’t get to pick where I play. No Thanks.

016 Batman – Oh I see what they did. They took all the power from the commons and made a stupid-good Batman for a common. This guy is the bees-knees. Batman Ally and Outsiders makes him tough to deal with, and unlike Trinity War Batman, this guy ignores most terrain for movement. He’s also got a smaller version of TW Bat’s Utility Belt. Sure, it’s not as impressive, but this guy is a common and has really great combat values. The cherry on top is the ability to grant Outwit to a friendly Outsider once per turn. Brutal. Yes Please!


UNCOMMONS

017 Red Hood – This guy feels a little bit like KC Red Robin with his power suite and opening values. He’s got a move and attack ability (Running Shot) on one click, and he’s super slow after that. He does a little bit of everything, but feels really clunky. 70 points seems like you’re just paying for a power-packed dial, but the powers aren’t that great. No Thanks.

018 Harley Quinn – This Harley isn’t bad. For 35 points, she’s a pretty decent tie-up piece, although the lack of Plasticity makes me sad. She does have Incap and Poison, so she can be a nuisance if you don’t break away, but I’d rather just play a Morlock with traited Stealth. On a themed team, Seems Good. Without, No Thanks.

019 Hourman – A cheap close combat piece with Super Strength and the potential to get light objects for free to potentially deal 4 damage. He’s okay for 25 points, but I just don’t get the gimmick. No Thanks.

020 Tattooed Man –  A pretty decent tie-up piece for the Squad. Shape Change makes him kind of a pain to deal with, but his stats aren’t anything to write home about. No Thanks.

021 Ra’s Al-Ghul – This guy has a pretty big sheet; lots of powers. Wild card is always great on a… WOAH, he’s 140 Points?! Hmm…. well his stats are pretty good with that 12 attack and the Batman Enemy TA so he can share that with his buds. Plus, his trait has a nice one-time heal with no subtractions like Regen. Charge/Flurry is always nice. Oh, and he’s got Outwit and turns off the Batman Ally team ability within 6 squares. Okay, he might be worth his point cost… on the right build. Seems Good.

022 The Atom – 5 damage for 25 points? Sign me up. That’s all there is to say about this guy. Yes Please!

023a Munhunter – That’s a mighty vanilla dial. If you like Incap, he’s your guy. 11 attack with 7 range and the PD team ability is pretty nice. If you don’t like Incap, skip him. Seems Good.

023b Manhunter – I don’t like the same name as the non-prime. I guess Primehunter? I dunno. Anyway, I like that he can kind of adapt based on what you’re playing against, and if you can get him within 5 squares of someone and keep him on clicks 2-4, you’re gonna have some real fun. Seems Good.

024 Technocrat – This guy rocks. Flight and Outsiders already makes him pretty good, but it’s his special damage that really makes him great. Getting 6 damage out of nearly every attack for 80 points is kick ass, and the fact that he ignores elevated terrain for targeting just makes him better. If you can get that attack value higher, he’s gonna be nasty. Yes Please!

025 Hakwman – That first click is really nice for only 30 points. The issue I have is that one hit is most likely taking this guy out. Even if it doesn’t he loses quite a bit from click one. A hyper-specialized close combat piece and among the only JSA that piques my interest. Seems Good.

026 Bronze Tiger – Tiger looks pretty sweet for only 60 points. He’s got some great offensive stats with Charge, Flurry, and Sidestep (which I like since he can take advantage of hindering terrain with Improved Movement). He’s actually got Super Senses for a click and with Precision Strike and 3 damage, he’s going to put on some hurt. Seems Good.

027 Robin – Pretty weak showing for Jason Todd. It seems like he’s torn between dedicated Outwit and wanting to Charge in. Smoke Cloud further pushes the “what do I do with him” as he’s pretty steep in points what he does. His trait is gimmicky and I can’t see it actually being useful. No Thanks.

028 Vicki Vale – She’s got a better version of Outsiders since she stops replacements and pushes into Prob for only 25 points. With Stealth and Willpower, she’s going to be able to get where she can shake things up and stay safe. Yes Please!

029 Calculator – Who liked the Fast Forces Kingpin? If you said yes, this is your guy. He’s got a neat Prob that’s going to really hurt tentpole teams, and his Wild Card makes him play well on virtually any team. I hate that his only keyword is Society, so unlike Kingpin, he’ll break theme for your Batman Villains. Yes Please!

030 Two-Face – Let me say that I really dig the way they made Two-Face change between his two different personalities. Very cool. As for the dial, he’s okay. 18 Defend with Perplex will help keep your guys safe and provide some nice support. I like that he’s got some healing built into his dial that can’t go away, and his unique prob is funny but statistically not very helpful. His “ugly” mode is pretty beastly if you can get him to click 1. Pretty nice for the points. Seems Good.

031 Kobra – I mean, if you’re going to play Strike Force Kobra, I guess he can be good. Otherwise he’s a hardcore pass. Those values for 60 points. Ouch. No Thanks.

032 Merlyn – This guy is a sweet ranged attacker. Running Shot, 11 attack with Precision Strike, 7 range double targets, and 3 damage? What’s not to like there! He also gains Stealth when he’s tokened, so you can effectively Running Shot into cover and chill with Combat Reflexes backing you up. Even if you do get hit with range, he has a chance to completely evade the attack. Killer. Yes Please!


RARES

033 The Joker – His attack swap ability is pretty nice, but the rest of him is very meh. This feels like The Joker when he’s just trying to mess with you. If he had an extra click, he might be decent, but I just don’t see myself playing him for 50 points. No Thanks.

034 Harley Quinn – How do roller skates equal Hypersonic Speed? Regardless, this dial is amazing. Force Blast to keep people away from her while she hangs out with 18 Energy Shields is terrific, and the Perplex makes her adaptable. She’s got a shallow dial so she probably won’t ever see those Outwit clicks, but at least they’re there. Wild Card makes her nearly perfect. Yes Please!

035 Killer Moth – Lots of people asked for him. My advice? Don’t ask Wizkids for obscure characters anymore. What a joke. Extra No Thanks.

036 The Flash – By far the best JSA member in the set. It’s kind of weird that he grants nerfed Super Senses, but doesn’t have it top dial. Still, 12 Hyper with 11 attack, 18 defense, and 2 damage for only 35 points makes him insanely good. Yes Please!

037a Looker – She’s a pretty neat Mind Control piece for only 45 points. The fact that she has Outsiders pushes her from amusing to good, and Flight fills her utility as she can be a taxi. 11 attack gives her a good shot at hitting, too. Seems Good.

037b Looker – Another vampire prime. Look at the stats you get for 100 points. Pretty bad. Oh, and her first click of healing is worse than her initial click since she loses TK. Outsiders doesn’t save her. No Thanks.

038 Talon – Talon is a pretty great ranged attacker with lots of mobility. If he’s paired up with his Court of Owls, he can be a real pain to take out and his end-dial Regen is pretty great combined with Outwit. Still, he’s a tad on the expensive side. Seems Good.

039 El Diablo – He’s slow and doesn’t deal much damage. Fire markers are gimmicky and don’t really work that well. Essentially, he’s Prob for a Squad team. 75 points is a bit much. No Thanks.

040 Sandman – Not a bad counter piece for 30 points. The only thing I don’t like is that he has no way to move and attack meaning the odds of actually pulling off his power is low. Any stealth-busting and this guy is done. However, he can be called in with the Marvel Sandman ID card, so he gets a bump up in rating. Seems Good.

041 The Spectre – Do you need a taxi for your JSA team? Cool, that’s what this guy is and that’s pretty much it. His last click is pretty great, but with only Super Senses to protect him, odds are he’s going down in one hit. No Thanks.

042 Dr. Fate – Now, if you need a taxi for JSA, pick this guy instead. He’s Indom and can use either Empower or Enhancement so he’s gonna boost whoever he carries. Not great, but better than Spectre in my opinion. Seems Good.

043 Lady Shiva – Wow, she’s brutal. 12 attack with Batman Enemy and she gives you a +1 if you use her attack to make a close attack. What’s not to like about donating 13 attack for 50 points? She’s also got a super great Flurry power and Combat Reflexes that nerfs other stat increases. Yes Please!

044 Katana – I really dig this piece. Picking up new powers for every KO she scores (it doesn’t state that she only uses one) means she’s going to effectively double her value against support and swarm. Outsiders is the cherry on top. Yes Please!

045 Deadshot – The flavor on his trait is really neat but really bad. Who wants to pay 80 points for a 10 attack sniper that doesn’t ignore hindering terrain? Not me. The LE Deadshot is much better than this guy. No Thanks.

046 Grace – 125 points seems like a lot but boy is she worth it. She’s got killer damage reduction (in sealed, I really don’t know who’s going to beat her), Outsiders to stop big damage, Super Strength, and free attacks with Indom. She’s a great Outsider. Yes Please!

047 Killer Croc – Very mediocre at best. His attack values drop to a 9 after click 1, and his attack-share only does something if the target is in water terrain which the rest of the Batman enemies don’t want to go near. No Thanks.

048 Firefly – Can I just comment about his sclupt? Man, that’s pretty. Unfortunately this guy just doesn’t justify his points. He’s only got 5 range which means he’s going to be in most people’s charge range and he plummets hard once he’s hit. No Thanks.


SUPER RARES

049 Mr. Freeze – This guy rocks. He takes a lot of what Super Rare Iceman does and adds more. Giving people hit with ice markers a -2 to defense is huge and can really kill a tentpole team. Psychic Blast helps him actually dish some damage, and the fact that at the end of his dial, he not only regens back for free, he also hurts people around him making him really tough to take down. Another gorgeous sculpt. Yes Please!

050 The Penguin – Oh boy. Look what we have here, a borderline baby Devil Dinosaur. Unfortunately the Penguin can’t produce 3 bystanders at a time, but he CAN buff one at a time to really make them deadly. The fact that all penguins he makes are tiny is awesome since they’ll still stop people from moving up, but won’t block your lines of fire. You will 100% see this guy in competitive play. Yes Please!

051 The Riddler – Edward seems incredibly good when you first read him, but in reality he’s very gimmicky and easy to deal with. The fact that you can stop his ‘can’t use’ trait by simply taking a move action is easy to deal with, and since he has to be within 6 squares to who he’s trying to counter makes him easy to just snipe out. Still, he does have Outwit and ‘can’t use’, and will probably see play once NFAoS rotates out. Seems Good/No Thanks.

052 Green Lantern – For 35 points, this guy is pretty great. 10 movement with Flight gives you a nice taxi, and his values aren’t terrible with 10 attack, 17 Energy Shield, and 3 damage complete with 7 range. His free barrier is what really makes him a good piece able to bust Stealth and giving a -1 to defense. Seems Good.

053 Johnny Thunder – He’s okay, but his point cost is just a bit too high. I like his tankiness for 4 clicks, but his stats are otherwise sub-par for the points. You have a small chance to get a +1, but also a -1 which would make him utter doo-doo. Picking a standard power is cool, so it gives him a little push. Seems Good.

053b Jakeem Thunder – Ho-leee crap. This is a Super Rare Prime I can get behind. He’s not as powerful as Super Skrull, but that’s okay in my book. Prob for 5 clicks is fantastic as that’s usually the damage power you want. His limitations on what powers he can pick is a great balance and keeps him from overpowered. Yes Please!

054 Geo-Force – Sealed, this dude is king. Constructed? Giant pass from me. 160 points is a lot to pay for these numbers. 3 damage and 17 defense seem pretty low. His barrier power is nice, but it’s kind of a gimmick and I’m not willing to drop 160 points on that gimmick. Outsiders is a nice benefit, but I really don’t like him. No Thanks.

055 Man-Bat – I’m gonna catch flak for this, but I hate this Man-bat. For such a gorgeous piece, he’s horrible. I don’t like Super Rares that rely on other pieces to be good. If you’re pulling a Super Rare, he should at least be decent on his own, and this guy is awful for the points. No defense? 9 attack on every click but his first? He’s an overcosted Taxi. No Thanks.

056 Plastic Man – He’s just not exciting enough to play. His values are bad, he doesn’t have Plasticity on his best defense to keep him alive, and he doesn’t really do anything except tie pieces up. Very sub-par for Plastic Man. No Thanks.

057 Bane – I know what you’re thinking; you hated Man-Bat’s vanilla dial so this guy sucks too, right? Wrong. This guy is insane. 11 clicks of life for 105 points is good as-is, especially with an 18 defense. His venom pump can push him in ungodly power for his points, and if you manage to get him all the way to click 10 or 11, he’s hitting with 14 attack for 6 damage. Yes Please!

058 Clayface – He’s not bad, but he’s not great either. He’s a really nice tie-up piece and he plays well with Mr. Freeze via his mud marker, but his attack is a little low. Most importantly, he’s lacking Shape Change. How does Clayface not get Shape Change?! Ugh. The design decisions in this set are really weird. Seems Good.

059 The Joker – Holy cow, this Joker is good! Penetrating Poison, stops Precision Strike with Mastermind, and tokens people when he hits. Also, that Stop Click is just insane. 18 Mastermind that can’t be countered or ignored with a 12 attack and 4 damage with Ranged Combat Expert is going to be really nasty to deal with. Yes Please!

060 The Joker – Are you kidding me? We get to choose how many clicks we want for points? 30 points buys you 18 clicks, 40 points buys you 24 clicks, and 50 points buys you 30 clicks. Sure, his power options aren’t great, but that’s not what you’re paying for. The reason to play this Joker is to be an unbelievable nuisance, and boy will he get that job done.From trashing support pieces to tying up tentpoles, this guy has a lot of uses. How about running the Supreme Intelligence with him? For 62 points, you effectively get a clock to put a 900 point colossal on the board. Thanks to the fact that he doesn’t have KO clicks, your opponent will have to burn through it’s entire dial in order to KO it. This guy is huge and we’ve never seen something quite like him. Expect to see him on big teams. Yes Please!


CHASES

All the chases have the same dial in terms of numbers and regular powers, as well as two Stop clicks, so we’re strictly talking about their special powers.

061 Bizarro Wonder Woman – Reverse Incap seems like it could be good, but 3 range is really killer. Once she’s off that 10 attack, that power will be a lot less useful. Still, there’s something to be said in taking tokens off of a tentpole piece. Seems Good.

062 Bizarro Batman – I don’t really like this chase. Outwit protection is nice, but not really for 60 points. If he was 10 points cheaper, I think he would be a pretty damn good piece, but I’m not willing to drop 60. No Thanks.

063 Bizarro Joker – He’s a really nice tie-up piece, probably better than Clayface. With healing Poison, those Stop Clicks are really gonna suck for your opponent. I also like that he gives a -1 to attack to people he bases. Yes Please!

064 Bizarro Hawkgirl – I like her reverse Quake that brings people to her. That can be really good in the right situation. With her special reverse Close Combat Expert, she’s pretty tough to put down, but I just don’t see her being used that often. No Thanks.

065 Bizarro Aquaman – He’s just not that good. There are a lot of pieces that are better at placing water terrain than this guy. In terms of offensiveness ability, if opposing characters have flight, it’s useless. If they have IM: Hindering, it’s useless. No Thanks.

066 Bizarro Green Arrow – This guy is gonna see play. I guarantee it. For 50 points, you’re effectively neutralizing ranged attacks against your tentpole or someone you really need to protect. You have to deal 5 damage to even touch him or someone he’s next to in order to make any kind of dent. Yes Please!


I hope you all enjoyed my review of the new set. Please keep in mind that these ratings are based on my own opinions and that this isn’t a concrete guide on what to purchase. You might really like a piece that I really dislike and that’s okay! The great thing about Heroclix is that almost every piece can be used effectively in the right situation.

See you all next week! It’s going to be a short week since we have Thanksgiving here in the U.S. next Thursday so you’ll have to handle a single article. Take care!

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