Venom Pump YOU up! Building a Modern Bane Team

The newest Super Rare Bane is a pretty neat figure and poses some interesting challenges. Although he has a rather… bland dial, he can pack quite the punch. Let’s see what this Batman villain brings to the table!

It seems that Wizkids wanted to keep all of the staple Batman villains in the Super Rare category, which is kind of weak. For those of us that grew up with Batman: The Animated Series (which is the best damn Batman show/movie/etc.), we were pigeon holed into tracking down almost all the Super Rares from The Joker’s Wild. Some of them were really good (Both Jokers, Mr. Freeze) while some were just bad (Man-Bat, but that sculpt is gorgeous which is why it bums me out that he sucks). Bane here seems like he’s more in the second category when you just look at his dial.

Coming in at 105 points, Bane takes a significant part of your build, but not too much that you can’t do other stuff too. He’s got standard combat symbols with Indomitable, 0 range, and the Batman Enemy Team Ability. His dial is a big ‘ol 11 clicks, meaning Bane comes in at 9.5 points per click of life. That’s pretty great. His numbers are pretty solid, never dropping below a 10 attack and actually getting better once he gets to click 7. His defense starts high with an 18, dips into 16 mid-dial, and creeps back up to an 18. Damage-wise, he’s moderate with 3 for most of his dial, a few clicks of 2, and two final clicks of 4. Movement is Bane’s biggest issue with an 8 up front, immediately dropping to a 7, and eventually hitting the floor at 5. What makes Bane so bland on paper is that his only power is Charge. Yep. Just Charge. So why the hell are we paying 105 points for no powers? I mean, yeah, he’s great at soaking damage and pretty much the definition of a tank, but couldn’t you do a lot better for that role?

As always, there are a couple traits that we have to look at which will redeem Bane and push him closer to the really good category of Batman villains. Bane has two traits, one of which is just This Is How I Deal With The Bat, granting someone +1 attack if they take Bane’s unmodified attack value. Not particularly good as his native values aren’t worthwhile to steal until late-dial. It’s Bane’s second trait that legitimately makes the character.

 VENOM PUMP: Give Bane a free action and place 1 or 2 Venom tokens on his card. Increase Bane’s attack and damage values and reduce damage dealt to him by the number of Venom tokens on his card. At the beginning of your turn, remove all Venom tokens from his card and deal him unavoidable damage equal to the number of Venom tokens removed.

This trait utilizes Bane’s signature Venom Pump to increase his combat capabilities and it doesn’t disappoint. Being able to increase both your attack and your damage means that Bane can effectively be an incredible threat at any point during the game, regardless of which click he’s on. He doesn’t need Super Strength to pound someone for tons of damage, and he doesn’t need a possessor to keep him healthy; his stats get better as he takes damage, so you kind of want him to take some damage. The fact that his Venom Pump also decreases all damage to him by the same amount means that you have a much better source of protection than standard powers because it can’t be outwitted. Penetrating damage (Pen/Psy or Exploit) will still get around this, but I like that they made his trait somewhat defensive as well. Just keep in mind that by pumping for 2 to reduce damage by the same amount, you are 100% guaranteeing that you will take 2 damage on your next turn. You’ll have to outweigh the benefits of a reducer against the possibility of taking more damage when you come to it. One thing is for sure; Bane is the thinking persons bruiser.

With a rather short character explanation, let’s jump into what Bane needs in order to succeed. Movement is really his biggest issue. Since he has no improvements, can’t raise his movement value, and his numbers are low to start, we absolutely need something to get Bane around be it TK or carrying. Perplex is also a really great bet for Bane so you can opt to maybe only Venom Pump for 1, or if you just want to be on defense, just Perplexing defense rather than pumping when you don’t need it. I think a ranged attacker would be in Bane’s best interest as well; like The Hulk, Bane is a great piece to cause a distraction while someone picks off his targets. Empower is also a really big boon to Bane in the same regards to Perplex as guaranteed damage and saving you Venom damage.

For this build, I tried to keep costs down a bit (Bane clocks in under $15), but once I saw a particular piece, I knew 100% that it was a perfect fit, so I apologize ahead of time.

300 Point Modern Bane Build

  • JW 057 Bane | 105 Points
  • TMNT 002 Michelangelo | 50 Points
  • CACWS 005E Winter Soldier + Additional Trait | 45 Points + 5 Points = 50 Points
  • WKDP16-003 Ace the Bathound | 50 Points
  • SFSM 029 Overdrive | 35 Points
  • NFAoS A001 Torso (Hulkbuster) | 10 Points
  • Build Total: 300 Points

I stated that Bane really doesn’t need damage reduction since he can Venom Pump and decrease damage on his own. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like damage reduction. On the contrary, he really digs it! Having the Hulkbuster Torso ensures that we’re reducing all damage 100% of the time no matter what rather than only when we go on the offensive or if we’re in a pickle and need to unnecessarily Venom Pump. You really can’t argue against spending 10 points to give an 11 click monster Invulnerability for his entire dial.

Michelangelo seems like the perfect buddy to troll around with Bane. He’s got Empower so he’ll help dish some damage, and his sick 11 attack value ensures he’ll hit as well. I’ve talked about how much I like this Michelangelo before; the fact that he has Flurry and gives tokens when he hits is just incredible for his points and I really feel that this guy is underappreciated. If you need a budget attacker, seriously get this guy. He’s incredible and easily one of my favorite pieces of 2016.

For a ranged attacker, I ended up running the Civil War starter Winter Soldier on his lower dial. If you don’t have the Civil War starter, you should get it; it has the most recent rules and Powers and Abilities card, so it’s in your best interest. Plus, most if not all the pieces are really good. Anyway, I realize that this version of Bucky only has 3 clicks of health and that’s pretty risky, but look at what we get on him. 11 attack, 8 range, and 2 damage with Ranged Combat Expert means this guy is going to be really nasty when he gets you in his sights. I added the extra 5 points for ranged Shape Change because let’s face it; a dainty sniper always dies from one hit, so you’d be crazy not to pay for this. I love that he pushes to Outwit as well. Very nice.

Overdrive was pulled again. I originally had S.T.A.R. Labs tech for her TK and pushing into Support/Defend which Bane really digs, but that left out transport for Mikey and that just can’t happen. Plus, Overdrive has Empower (even while in his vehicle), so he helps to increase both Bane’s and Mickey’s damage. Overdrive was probably my most used figure in my own personal games. Remember, Chases and Super Rares might be awesome, but Commons and Uncommons usually make your teams and fit so nicely on other teams, so they get repeat use.

I saved Ace for last because I know I’m bound to get some flack for him due to his financial cost. Sure, he’s a pretty damn hard LE to get but he’s so. freaking. perfect. for Bane. We’ve already covered that Perplex is a big boon for Bane, and Ace can do that for him. However, Ace can also Outwit, Probability Control, Empower, and most importantly, Support. For 50 points, Ace can do anything that Bane needs. While this is true for virtually any build, Bane arguably gets more use from Ace than a lot of other characters because his dial is so naked. You get so much value for your 50 points that you’d have to spend a lot more points on a handful of characters to have that same utility. Need some stealth busting for Winter Soldier? Yep, Ace has him covered too. Tertiary close attacker? Ace can do that. Have him pick up Close Combat Expert and that dog has some bite. The best thing of all is that Ace is tiny, so anyone on the team can carry him with no penalty to movement. Bane doesn’t suffer any of his awful speed value to keep his Swiss army knife with him at all times. Go ahead; tell me I’m awful for this pick in terms of finances, but I stand by it 100%.

I have to say, I finished this article up over the course of two days and after sleeping on it, I really like this team comp. I’ll have to get Bane, but I really want to try this and see how well it does. It’s got so much raw damage for 300 points and doesn’t lose steam if one character goes down. We’ve got three characters with an 11 attack, and our main attacker can go up to a 12 on his own. Most teams at the 300 point level struggle with 2 attackers on that level. It has ranged damage that can stay pretty safe, two brutal melee attackers, lockdown, and tons of number buffing. Would this team do well in a 300 point modern ROC event? Probably not, but I think this could work pretty well in the limited format that we’re moving into.


I want to take try one last thing with Bane, and that’s a couple 400 point, go nuts builds where cost isn’t really an issue. There are two 150 point pieces that I think would rock with him and those are Age of Apocalypse Chase Magneto and Nightlantern. Both of these characters have unique ways of buffing Bane; one brings him into a theme team with a lot of strength while the other gives Bane any possessor that he wants. Let’s see how these work out.

400 Point Modern Bane X-Men Theme Team

  • UXM 062 Magneto | 150 Points
  • JW 057 Bane | 105 Points
  • UXM 056 Pixie | 75 Points
  • UXM 021 Cyclops | 50 Points
  • SFSM S101 Symbiote | 6 Points
  • X-Men Blue ATA on all 4 characters | 3 Points each X 4 = 12 Points
  • Build Total: 398 Points
  • X-Men Theme: +4

I love that this Magneto can bring Bane into a really strong theme team. The only issue here is Bane’s odd 105 point cost as he limits how many characters we can have by 5 points. Dammit, Wizkids.

Magneto serves as our main ranged attacker as well as our TK use to get Bane into battle or pull him out when he needs it. With your +4 to map roll, you can probably take something with a fair number of walls and then just rip the ones down that block Bane from getting to his targets (sure, there will be hindering, but you can still TK him at that point). It’s a nice way to surprise someone with lots of damage.

Pixie serves as two rolls; she’s our taxi for this build and she has Perplex. Thankfully, she can carry people with Flight, so we can even taxi our big Mags around making sure we always have the upper hand. Her dial isn’t bad either; that free single smoke cloud marker is quite good since it also gives them -1 to defense.

Cyclops is a weird pick. We have Magneto for range, but Scott here has traited Leadership, and that goes hand in hand with our ATA. The X-Men Blue ATA says whenever you succeed for Leadership, all characters with this ATA get +1 to attack value per turn. That’s killer since Magneto also has it giving us a potential +2 to everyone’s attack, meaning Bane can max on attack quite easily. Plus, if Scott does nail Leadership, he gets Prob. He can still dish a little damage as well with Ranged Combat Expert and 7 range. Worst case scenario, have him as your dedicated TTPC dude.

Instead of the Hulkbuster Torso, I opted for the Symbiote. While it’s not as good, it does give Bane automatic Breakaway and Plasticity, so he’s gonna be tough to get away from and impossible to lock down. And if you want to Pump him for 2 to reduce damage (making the Torso useless for that turn anyway), you get Shape Change on top of that for even more protection. If you’re really feeling dicey, Pump for 2 and roll the d6 for the Symbiote to try and get a +1 to all combat values. What’s bad about 9 Charge, 13 attack, 19 defense, and 6 damage for 111 points?

NEXT!

400 Point Modern Bane + Nightlantern Team

  • WF 037B Nightlantern | 150 Points
  • JW 057 Bane (Amalgam of M-008 Obnoxio The Clown) | 105 Points + 25 Points
  • TMNT 002 Michelangelo | 50 Points
  • WKDP16-003 Ace the Bathound | 50 Points
  • SFSM 007 Betty Brant | 15 Points
  • JWFF S001 Harley’s Hammer | 3 Points
  • Build Total: 398 Points

Yeah, this team is pretty similar to the main team I built, but you’re getting three Bane teams today, so get over it haha!

I did a pretty detailed search on HCRealms for what kind of possessor Bane would work really well with. Since Nighlantern only lets the character use standard powers and they don’t get to buff any numbers, you have to just look at power combinations and clicks of health, which is what I did for Bane. Obnoxio seem like the perfect fit for him. Ideally, I wanted Hypersonic Speed or Steal Energy, but there just weren’t any pieces that were under 105 points and had decently long dials. Obnoxio may not have the most reliable dial in terms of powers, but he’s 12 clicks long and packs a TON of them. On top dial, we can get Sidestep to get closer to the action or Energy Shields to protect Bane while he approaches. Power choices when he gets low and strong include Precision Strike, Plasticity, Prob, Shape Shange, Super Senses, Energy Shields, and Blades. The great thing is that you can go with whoever you want to build Bane in whichever way you choose.

Nightlangern isn’t any slouch, and he brings a lot to our team. With Hypersonic, he’s gonna be a pain for opposing teams as he runs and guns for at least 4 damage. He’s also got TK, so like Magneto, he can get Bane into the fight (plus with that Sidestep from Obnoxio, that’s a biiiiiig swing zone for him). His Green Lantern Team Ability serves as our taxi as well, able to carry everyone on the team. His dial stays strong and he’s a solid ranged harassment piece to pair with Bane’s nasty close combat damage.

Betty joins the team as an ideal choice for Perplex and pushable Support/Defend. I was originally going to run two of her for the main build, but then I came across Ace. Now they’re both here, ready to support Bane and Nightlantern!

Harley’s Hammer is a fantastic piece, and with 5 points to spare, I thought it would be the perfect fit. Although Bane can’t pick it up due to having an Amalgam equipment, Michelangelo could use some love, and the Hammer ensures he can hit from another square out. I like that it also gives him Quake since his token giving only requires him to damage people. If you really need to punish a swarm team, now you can Charge in and Quake, tokening their whole force! It’s all about options!


That wraps up another week of Clix Fix. I hope you dug this Bane article and where I went with him. The problem with writing all these articles is that now I need the damn featured pieces! Must get Bane. Must get Armaggon. Blarg!

Next week, I’ll be doing my breakdown of my favorite pieces from 2016 in a two-part series to close out the year. Stay tuned and I’ll see you next week when this awful year finally ends!

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