The Killing Joke! Building a Modern Joker (059) Team

Yes, the title is a little odd, but with 6 Jokers in the new Joker’s Wild set, I had to clarify which one! Heck, we even have two Killing Joke Jokers! Today, I’m focusing on the dude in the chair with the bright green hair. Hope you brought your Hawaiian shirt and camera!

Of the new Jokers we got, I’m really only a fan of three of them. The common is very meh and I can’t see myself playing him outside of sealed (and after two sealed events, I can say I’m done with the set). The rare is decent, but the fact that he doesn’t have Poison as part of his special attack power is just poor design. The Fast Forces piece is just not my cup of tea and I feel like he doesn’t know what he wants to be. If you want a zany Joker, I guess, but why not just use the HAHAHA Super Rare? Both of the SR’s are outrageous and the Chase is great in his own way.

Enough about each of the Jokers! Let’s move on to what this article is about; the first of the Super Rares, number 059. Based on sculpt, this is the guy that’s sitting backwards in a chair with his camera up. He’s also the one for 140 points. Damn, that’s expensive!

As I normally do in builds that focus on one particular piece, let’s break down The Joker and why he’s good and what we need to make him better. For those 140 points, we get 7 clicks of health which borders on not so good. He’s got 6 range with a single target, standard combat symbols aside from having Indomitable, and the Batman Enemy team ability. He also lacks any Charge/Running Shot/Hypersonic Speed, and has Mastermind on top dial. His numbers aren’t terrible as he’s got a 10 Stealth, 11 Blades, 17 Mastermind, and 3 with a Special power. So why the hell is this guy so good? Let’s look at his traits

IT’S THE LAUGHING THAT WILL KILL YOU: The Joker can use Poison. When he does, damage dealt to characters with a lower point value is penetrating damage.

Okay, yeah. I like that. The Joker should always, always, always have Poison. Not only is a traited Poison better than normal, if someone is less points it’s penetrating. Let’s face it; in today’s game, virtually everyone is less than 140 points and if they aren’t, you probably don’t want to be next to them anyway. Next!

MAD AS A HATTER: Other characters can’t use Precision Strike when attacking The Joker.

Wait, what? Holy cow, that’s incredible! Suddenly that 17 with Mastermind is looking pretty slick! What I really like about this power is that the wording says specifically when attacking The Joker. That means if Joker is part of a multi-target attack, he stops Precision Strike. It’s not going to happen very often, but it’s worded in a way that protects more than just him. Okay, how about that special damage power?

THE KILLING JOKE!: The Joker can use Ranged Combat Expert and Improved Targeting: Ignores Characters. When The Joker hits with an attack, hit characters are each given up to 2 action tokens.

Ah, there we go! Mr. J gets this power on every other click which boosts his damage and offensive capability ten-fold. With the 11 attack and 3 damage, he’s got a great chance of dishing some outstanding damage. On top of that, he, um, “tokens you up* (spoilers) with not one, but two action tokens. That means if you don’t have Willpower, you’re taking an additional damage from the attack and you’re not doing a damn thing next turn. Now this Joker is looking pretty beefy.

The rest of his dial is pretty fantastic too. On his even clicks, he picks up Sidestep, Precision Strike, and Outwit while his odd clicks stay the same with Stealth, and Blades. His defense does shift a little bit; two clicks of Mastermind, two of Super Senses (remember, no Precision Strike against this guy!), two clicks of toughness, and a final special defense. Before we get into the team build, I want to talk about his final click. To do that, we need to look at that special defense power.

YOU’LL HAVE TO KILL ME: STOP. The Joker can use Mastermind.

A stop click with Mastermind. Seems good. Now think about this for a second. Remember when stop clicks were redone? STOP now means that the power can’t be countered or ignored. That means the entire power, not just the stop portion. The big weakness to this Joker would be Outwitting his Mastermind or Super Senses. Now you don’t have that option. With Outwit protection and immunity to Precision Strike, you HAVE to single this guy out in order to kill him. At least this click isn’t good though, right? Wrong. How about 12 Precision Strike, 18 with that defense power, and 4 with his Killing Joke power. Yep, this dude stops on this click and can dish out up to 6 damage and as long as he’s got buddies around, you can’t do anything about it. What a Joker!

Alright, so we’ve covered why this Joker is so good. However, he absolutely needs other pieces to be amazing. It’s not so much about picking up powers as much as it is about who he brings with him to his, um, yeah let’s just skip that part. He does lack any sort of move and attack, so TK is going to be a really crucial addition. Flight for taxi would be nice, but if we can afford TK, it’s going to be better overall. However, with all the new super-taxi’s that can carry more than one person, that might be the safer play. I mention both these options so you can build based on what you want.

I want to take this brief moment to cover something. My builds aren’t meant to be concrete that you have to stick to. These are meant to be inspirations for you to build on. If you don’t have a piece, read why I chose what I did and throw something similar in there. The idea here is to come up with your own ideas based on my thought process. There has been some activity lately talking about me using money pieces and I feel like I have to address this. Most of the people that visit this sight are looking for competitive team builds. For that reason, and the fact that I like using these pieces, I’m going to continue to build as though people aren’t watching what pieces are being used. I’ll stay away from things like Jack Frost and other $100+ dollar figures, I’m sticking to what I’ve been doing. Again, feel free to swap out any money pieces you may not have.

On to the build.

300 Point Joker 059 Build – No Resources

  • JW 059 The Joker | 140 Points
  • JW 066 Bizarro Green Arrow | 50 Points
  • AOU 201e Hank Pym | 50 Points
  • SFSM 029 Overdrive | 35 Points
  • JW 003a The Joker Thug | 10 Points
  • JW 003a The Joker Thug | 10 Points
  • Thor/Nighwing ID Card | 5 Points
  • Sideline: All Morph: Many Identities Ant-Men, AOU 018e Thor/D15-008 Nightwing
  • Build Total: 300 Points

The Joker excels when he has friendly people next to him, and there are two really great ways we can accomplish this. One is via Bystanders and the other is STOP clicks. This team utilizes both of those.

Bizarro Green Arrow is just amazing, and we can already see his presence in the meta. Guaranteeing your safety from ranged attacks for 50 points is just incredible, and the fact that he has two STOP clicks makes him (or any of the Bizarro chases) incredible fodder for The Joker. They’re cheap in points, they have reducers through their entire dials, and half of them are pretty decent. Bizarro Wonder Woman would be another option to keep tokens off of The Joker, but she’s harder to utilize the more damage she takes which is somewhat counter intuitive since Joker wants to throw his damage onto them.

Hank Pym serves as our other damage fodder piece as he can generate ant tokens. Not only does he make dudes to either soak damage or stop movement, he’s incredibly versatile. Hank here has TK, so you can get The Joker into the heat of battle or get him out if needed. Swapping to the common from the set gives you Outwit. The common Ant-Man gives you Perplex and size changing for The Joker. The other LE’s do various things with Ant tokens which is what we really want. The point is that for 50 points, you’re getting an awful lot of versatility. Keep in mind that Outwit is going to be a key factor in taking out the teams natural enemy: Energy Explosion.

Overdrive is a champion taxi and by far my favorite in modern. Sure, Renet Tilley from TMNT 2 is a god and Vanisher from Uncanny X-Men is pretty great, but Overdrive is just so cost efficient both for your wallet and for points. He’ll be our shuttle to get Joker and his gang to where they need to go. More importantly, he’ll keep them together.

The Joker Thugs wrap up the roster as your “oh crap, I absolutely need someone to take this hit and die” as they can flat out take an attack for The Joker if he’s adjacent. These guys are really great at sitting in squares in front of The Joker, but not directly in front of him (so they don’t block Line of Fire) and soaking big Super Strength Ultra Heavy wielding foes. Plus, they’re only 10 points, so why not!

The ID card is up to you. Both call in a healer which will be needed when your Bizarro piece gets down to their STOP clicks, or if Joker gets to his own and he could really use some more protection (or for the lulz to STOP again). Thor is much cheaper than Nightwing money-wise, so I would go that route.

I think that The Joker absolutely has meta potential, so let’s try a kind of weird competitive build.

300 Point Joker 059 Competitive Build

  • JW 059 The Joker 059 | 140 Points
  • JW 050 The Penguin | 40 points
  • UXM 018 Vanisher | 40 Points
  • WF 066r Spectre | 35 Points
  • Rock of Eternity Resource + all Sins | 14 + 14 (2 for each sin) = 28 Points
  • 3 ID Cards (Level 7, Nightwing, one of choice) | 15 Points
  • Build Total: 298 Points

The Joker is pretty tough to kill outright, so he seems like a really cool candidate for the Rock of Eternity. Granted, I’ve never tried the Rock because it’s pretty complicated, but after reading it about three times while building this team, I get the gist. Run around and pick up the sins as fast as you can without taking action tokens and then try and roll 9 to have your Champion become empowered. Based on The Joker’s powerset, I would probably choose the Mighty Path since his combat values and powers are pretty nasty.

At first, I thought TK with Jean would be the best answer since she can do so for free, or twice in one turn. Then I re-read the Rock and it says that it’s a free action to pick up a sin, meaning that The Joker can’t do that twice in a turn (remember, you can’t take the same action more than once in a turn, unless they’re different kinds of actions). So taxi seems like the best option, especially since a taxi will keep friendly pieces next to The Joker so he can keep Masterminding damage while he collects sins. Vanisher wins over Overdrive for one reason: he can push and not blow up. This lets you pick up two sins on the first two turns, and The Joker can just walk over to the third on the following turn. That means by turn 8, you can start rolling to try and achieve godhood.

For Mastermind fodder, I opted for Penguin. 18 defend is nice, he can be carried by standard characters (unlike Devil Dinosaur), and he can make some deadly little Penguins to serve as Ultron killers early in the game while The Joker is picking up sins. Plus, once he generates Penguins, he can have them move with The Joker for free via his own trait.

Spectre seems like a great choice here as you can keep your sins closer to your side of the map and keep Spectre in safety rather than in the middle of the board to get merc’d. Prob is a big piece of the puzzle, and I think we’ll need it pretty heavily with this comp.

Lastly, because The Joker is 140 points, you can get some nice ID cards to go with him. Level 7 for Balls of Fury is always great. Nightwing seems like a great option for some healing if you need it. Hell, you can just abandon that idea and use big characters of 140 or less and have some exterior heavy hitters. Options!

That wraps up my first Super Rare Joker article. I’ll put something together soon for the other super rare Joker as he’s my favorite piece from the new set. I hope you liked these teams and would love to see what you’ve come up with. Remember, these builds are recommendations; anything can be used in place of something that doesn’t work with your financial situation!

See you next week!


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