When Joker’s Wild released a few weeks ago, I talked about how excited I was about the second Super Rare Joker, 060. While I like both of the Super Rares quite a bit, this guy is incredible, and it’s time to take a look at him.
The Joker has always been a character that I’ve felt hasn’t really worked in Heroclix. He’s either been too easy to KO for his points, or cost too much for what he does, or just flat out doesn’t feel like The Joker. The previous Super Rare, 059, would be a case of an arguable ‘too-powerful for the character’ Joker. Luckily, the other Super Rare, the one we’re talking about today, really fits the bill as to who the character is. Earlier this year, we got the best Spider-Man ever printed arguing that he never needs to be made again. I’m making that same argument for this Joker. Even though I don’t read DC comics, this guy is The Joker in my eyes.
Summing up this dial as I normally do with highlight articles is a little tough; this version of The Joker is unlike anything we’ve really seen before in Heroclix. Rather than have a static cost, you get to decide how many points you want to pay to use him: 30, 40, or 50. Based on how much you pay for him, you get a number of Escape tokens (3 for 30, 4 for 40, or 5 for 50). When you look at his dial, he has no KO clicks. His dial just keeps spinning. The catch here is that The Joker has two KO lines; a green starting line, and a red line on click 7. Whenever The Joker crosses one of these lines, you take off an Escape token, and your opponent scores it. Here’s the trait straight from the card:
HAAHAAHOOHUM…: When building your force, The Joker costs 10 points for each Escape token you place on his card (minimum 3, maximum 5). When the Joker heals or takes damage, remove one Escape token from his card for each green or red line crossed. When there are no Escape tokens on his card, KO The Joker. At the end of the game, or if The Joker is KO’ed, your opponent scores no points for The Joker and instead scores 10 points for each Escape token that was removed.
Let’s do the math. For 30 points, or 3 Escape tokens, The Joker has to hit 3 lines on his dial before he’s taken off the map. If there are 6 clicks between each line, that means that for only 30 points, The Joker has to click his dial eighteen times. At 40, he has to click his dial twenty-four times, and if you drop 50 points on him, that’s a total of thirty freakin’ clicks. That’s more health than a Colossal! Even if The Joker had nothing else in his kit, that’s just amazingly good. But of course it gets better. On to his second trait:
HOOHOOHOOHAAHAAHAA: At the beginning of your turn, you may roll a d6 and halve the result. When you do, either heal or damage The Joker that many clicks and he can heal past his starting line.
So not only do we get an incredibly deep dial (man, is that an understatement), we have the ability to heal and damage him at will, prolonging his life or attempting to move to a click that we need. The amount of control this guy has is nuts. How about his last trait?
HEEHEEHAAHAA: The Joker can use Sidestep and Super Senses.
Pretty straight forward. This gives The Joker some free movement on his entire dial and probably the lowest base-line protection out there. Regardless, now take into account the law of averages. Statistically speaking, you’re going to make your Super Senses roll 33% of the time, meaning you’re essentially tacking on another handful of clicks to his pool. Sure, Precision Strike will hurt, but we’ve got clicks for days, son!
Alright, so how about his kit? This is the only aspect that’s fairly weak for The Joker. He comes in with 4 range, single-target, and his powers kind of dance around. Each of his power suites is repeated six clicks down, meaning that click 1 and click 7 are identical, as are 2 and 8, and so on. So, for his first click, he’s got Stealth and Outwit. For his second, he’s got Running Shot and Ranged Combat Expert, followed by Plasticity/Poison, then Flurry/Combat Reflexes, then Charge/Precision Strike, and finally Blades/Exploit Weakness. The combinations are pretty good, but his values are rather poor. 7 movement, 10 attack, 17 defense, and 1 damage on the entire dial. He does have Indomitable, which is really big. Remember though, we get Sidestep and Super Senses traited, so he really has 4 powers on every click.
If you remember back to my Joker’s Wild set review, I made mention that I really wanted to build a team with this Joker using the Supreme Intelligence resource. But why the Supreme Intelligence? Wouldn’t the Round Table be good since Joker soaks a lot of damage? Wouldn’t Pandora’s Box rock on him since Sloth would heal him for even more? Sure, those are valid answers, and I encourage you to look into those teams. However, the second I saw this Joker, I thought of the Supreme Intelligence. If I wasn’t the first one to post that on the Realms, I had to of been in the top 5.
Anyway, the reasoning behind the Supreme Intelligence is how it’s suppose to activate (or how it doesn’t activate because it’s insanely hard to pull off): The resource dial has 19 clicks of health, and every turn you can click it once. However, if the piece that you’ve assigned the resource to hits an opposing character with an attack, you can turn the dial 2 more times. Once you hit click 19, you get to swap the character with the Supreme Intelligence and their dials become linked; when one dies, so does the other. And therein lies the secret. The Joker has an ‘endless’ dial, so if you can manage to pull this off, you’re getting a 900 point Colossal piece on the board which will win you the game.
The issue here is of course time. If you’ve played or seen competitive games, they don’t last that long. That means we need to burn turns as quickly as possible. The absolute fastest we’re getting this to happen would be turn 9. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but trust me, it is. My feeling is there are two routes we can go about this; either slow the opponent down with tokens, or make the map totally unbearable for them to progress and forcing them to pass their turn. I ended up going with tokens because a clogged board will lead to them burning a lot of time trying to decide where to go and how to climb the hurdle you’ve created.
300 Point Joker 060 Competitive Build
- UXM 051 Iceman Possessed by Brainiac | 110 Points + 25 Points = 135 Points
- JW 060V The Joker Possessed by Proteus | 50 Points + 35 Points = 85 Points
- NFAoS FF 004 Fitz | 50 Points
- WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence Resource – Assigned to The Joker | 12 Points
- The Atom ID | 5 Points
- Nightwing ID | 5 Points
- Shang-Chi ID | 5 Points
- Sideline: SMWW G001P The Atom, D15-008 Nightwing, M16-011 Shang-Chi
- Build Total: 297 Points
Iceman is pretty much the king of locking people down. He can pretty much lock down up to three different pieces a turn, and he’s also a flier which means he can carry The Joker around to where he needs to be. Remember, we need The Joker up in their face immediately. With Braniac, this guy is a force to be reckoned with and can hit for a lot of damage, taking Pen/Psy rather than Imperivous and picking up the +1 to damage.
For The Joker, I knew I wanted to do something to buff him and make it easier for him to get the job done. I thought about the Symbiote, but it takes a turn to equip and it’s risky trying to buff your combat values. We don’t have time for that. I went with Proteus for two reasons. A) raising all our combat values by +1 is really great and puts The Joker into decent secondary attacker range. B) the damage that Proteus deals to his host if you roll low can be completely negated via Joker’s own healing trait. Now we get 5 range, 11 attack, and 2 damage for our entire dial.
The last bit of points may seem a little costly, but I really like the package that Fitz brings. Sure, 50 points is a lot for TK, but it’s the rest of his kit that pushes him into greatness for this build. First of all, he has the SHIELD team ability which means Iceman (or The Joker) can get a +1 to their range, and he’s easy enough for Bobby to carry around. Second, he pushes into Perplex, and number boosting is a big deal for The Joker since we do lack any real heavy damage. Third, you get H.E.N.R.Y. for free, which brings Enhancement and Empower to your team in the form of a tiny character, able to be carried by anyone. That’s a heck of a lot of value. With Fitz’ Perplex, Henry’s +1 to damage, and Proteus, The Joker can have a pretty substantial 4 damage. Keep in mind that he’s got Ranged Combat Expert clicks as well, so that makes it much easier for him to dish damage.
For ID cards, I really needed to think about team cost. With Iceman being our only high-point character, that limits what we can do. I went with The Atom because Henry can call him in and he’s sure to be close to the fight. The Atom is great at taking people off their initial clicks or knocking through Impervious/Invulnerable targets which The Joker hates. Nightwing brings us another Perplexer and Healer, which I’ve talked about before, and he hits pretty damn hard in melee. He’s a great helper, and he has Incap which furthers our goal. Finally, I went with Shang-Chi, pretty much for one reason: The Quinjet. If you roll well enough, this guy can solo any character in the game, and the big, bad jet has a tremendous amount of clicks. I feel this is the place you could sub in any ID card you wanted, maybe with Green Arrow or Hawkeye for some Ultron Drone killers. The choice is yours and ID cards are pretty fluid since you can pick what you want based on what you expect to play against.
Is this team perfect? Probably pretty far from it, but it’s a start. I’d really love to see The Joker with the Supreme Intelligence make an appearance in the next round of the WizKids open. If you can find a way to stop your opponent from burning time, it’s a pretty nasty combination of pieces.
Do you have a specific idea for this piece? I’d love to hear it! I’m still waiting to get mine and I seriously cannot wait to experiment with him. Perhaps I’ll do another article at some point that focuses on non-competitive builds with him. I mean, he kind of screams competitive, but I don’t see why it couldn’t work.
I’ll see you guys next week!