Solar Flare: Building a Modern Sunfire Prime Team

Primes can be a lot of fun, but sometimes one or two go unnoticed or just don’t see a lot of play thanks to others stealing the spotlight. Sunfire Prime is one of those pieces. Today I want to look into how we can build a great team around him.

Coming in at 120 points, Sunfire Prime has the X-Men and Avengers team abilities, 6 range with two targets, and flight. He’s just 7 clicks deep which might seem a little shallow for both his point cost and the fact that he takes your prime slot. Thankfully, Sunfire has a really nice trait and a fantastic attack power that make him a pretty vicious primary attacker.

Before diving into his dial, I want to go over his traits and special powers. Let’s begin with his two traits (one of which is pretty useless unless he’s themed):

AVENGERS UNITY DIVISION: When this character is given a move action, after actions resolve he can use the X-Men team ability as a free action.

I’ve never been a fan of this trait, mostly because it’s on a lot of characters that are either high in points that you wouldn’t want to take a chance of them taking damage to begin with, or those that have fairly shallow dials and a single click of damage really hurts them (like Quicksilver). Unless Sunfire is on a theme team or wildcards his X-Men team ability to someone else, it’s a pretty useless trait.

RADIATING INTENSE HEAT: Sunfire can use Energy Shield/Deflection. When Sunfire is hit with a close attack, after actions resolve deal the attacker 1 penetrating damage.

Ah, there’s the good one. I freakin’ love traited Energy Shield/Deflection or Combat Reflexes. It’s one of those things that a lot of people forget about and means that his dial can be packed with more goodies. It also protects him from Outwit, so only folks like Nick Fury, Nighthawk Prime, or those pesky Outsiders can get around it. The other portion of this trait makes it incredibly dangerous to get up close to Sunfire as he just flat out deals penetrating damage when you punch him. It’s not quite Mystics, but it’s up there. That second portion urges you to engage him from a distance, where you’ll have to deal with that ES/D.

Sunfire also has two special powers on his dial. First up, his attack:

SOLAR FLARE: Sunfire can use Energy Explosion, Poison and Pulse Wave.

Wowzers, what an attack power that is! Pulse Wave has been dished out a lot less over the last year, and the combo of Pulse Wave and Energy Explosion is incredibly rare to see. Not only does Shiro get both of those powers, he gets Poison too. That means if you come up next to him to try and deal with him in melee, you’re going to take damage on his turn, and you’re going to take damage when you hit him. Unfortunately, this power is pretty much the bread and butter to Sunfire meaning that a single Outwit can really take him down. Next up is his defense, which is only present on his last click:

INJURED BUT STILL HERE: STOP. Sunfire can use Toughness.

Because Sunfire was part of the X-Men Prime-cycle, he has a final STOP click that his a version can transform into. Having Toughness here is really nice because it makes him immune to Poison himself and small damage won’t kill him. It’s also never a bad thing when your primary attacker has a STOP click.

Now that we know his traits and specials, let’s get into his dial. Sunfire starts off with 9 Running Shot, 11 with Solar Flare, 18 Toughness, and 4 damage which all moves to his second click with a slight drop to 8 movement and 17 defense. Those are really awesome top clicks and gives Sunfire some really nice damage potential. Once he’s passed those two Running Shot clicks, he gets Sidestep for the rest of his dial and drops to a 7, his slowest, on click 4. His attack falls to a 10 and switches to regular ‘ol Poison for four clicks (dropping to 9 on click 5, but going back to 10 on click 6). His defense sticks with the 17 Toughness through click 3 and swaps to Combat Reflexes on clicks 4 through 6 while his defense does drop to a 16 on click 5. Damage is pretty consistent; 4 on clicks 1 and 2, and 3 for the remainder. His final click has 11 attack while he picks Solar Flare back up, and goes back up to a 17 defense with his STOP click.

Although his attack does fall a bit in mid dial, and he does lose reducers, I really like the Combat Reflexes/Energy Shield/Deflection combo he’s got going. This essentially gives Sunfire a very good chance at having an 18+ defense throughout his entire dial. The 9 attack is really the only stinger on his dial and will make you hope you don’t get knocked down to click 5.

Overall, he’s got a very impressive dial and although he might be just a tad bit expensive, he has the potential to dish a lot of damage and cause your opponent to really break down how they go about KO’ing him. Range is tough, but melee will certainly hurt. I like that about this piece. It’s not about his raw power; it’s about what he does to your opponent’s game.

Looking over his kit, I can see Force Blast or other movement powers being powerful allies. Being able to get people off of him so he can Running Shot, pushing people into his Pulse Wave range, or even knocking people adjacent to his targets so they take some free Energy Explosion damage are all valid reasons to play with this mechanic. Sure, TK can be good with him, and the Civil War ATA would be really nice to give him Sidestep, but I like this route. Let’s dive into the team.

300 Point Modern Sunfire Prime Team – No Resources

  • UXM 043b Sunfire Prime | 120 Points
  • TMNT 025 Donatello | 100 Points
  • SFSM 048 Frog-Man | 35 Points
  • FFJW 004 The Penguin | 25 Points
  • SFSM 007 Betty Brant | 15 Points
  • Build Total: 295 Points

I figured Donatello would be the perfect piece to pair up with Sunfire; he ignores hindering and elevated terrain meaning nothing will keep him from sticking around Shiro, and he can use either Outwit, Perplex, or Support each turn to give Sunfire the maximum advantage or keep him in the game. The big reason why Donatello was chosen over one of the other Turtles was his special attack:

RIDE THE BO: When Donatello hits an opposing character, after actions resolve you may place that character within Donatello’s range and line of fire.

This effectively gives Donny a 7 square reach that he can reposition people in (or 4 if he hits with melee). If he plans on doing this, he can Perplex up his own attack to make sure he hits, or can up his range to swing someone even further. Sunfire can also carry him around the map and have him Sidestep away to clear out of the Pulse Wave. What I really like about this Donny is his secret tech with Ultra Light objects. See, Donatello’s power just says that he has to hit an opposing character. When you throw an Ultra Light object, your range effectively becomes 8, meaning that Donatello can pull someone 8 squares away and deposit them 3 squares behind him. This guy lines up shots so easily that it was a no-brainer.

Frog-Man was my first pick when I thought about moving pieces around. The value this little dude has is incredible, and the fact that he can either Sidestep your own pieces by knocking into them, or push people into Sunfire’s range is cash money. Of course, the 10 movement with Leap/Climb is nothing to scoff at either; he’s faster than Shiro is, so you’ll never need to worry about leaving him behind. The amount of free damage and board control this guy brings to the table for such a small point cost is fantastic.

Once I got low in points, I started to search for a good support piece for low points. Ultimately, I wanted Prob, but wanted to stay away from pieces like KC Spectre. That’s when I noticed the Fast Forces Penguin. This guy is awesome with a ranged attacker, and he even has Force Blast on his dial, making him perfect for our comp. Giving Sunfire a +1 to attack and range is huge. Now we can Pulse Wave 4 squares away and our attack is a natural 12. I guarantee that your opponent will forget about that range buff at least once and then it’s lights out. Donny, up Shiro’s damage and let’s sling ’em for 5 in that glorious Pulse Wave!

For the remaining points, I went with Betty Brant. She’s a good fit with the Perplex and pushing even further into another medic. Donny can’t be our sole healer since he’s going to be out in the fray, so it’s best to have someone standing by. This could easily be swapped for Night Nurse since we have 5 extra points, but who doesn’t like pumping Pulse Wave damage? Seems good to me!

I’m pleasantly surprised with this build. Positioning is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted as it can really screw up your opponent’s game plan, and if the board is laid out right, you can get a decent amount of free damage from it. I’m looking forward to testing this build. It might be a little light on attackers, but still seems fun. Have you had any luck with Sunfire? What did you try?

I’m still looking for some suggestions on content from readers in terms of pieces they’d like me to build around or topics to be discussed. If you have any ideas, please feel free to write in or comment below with what you’d like to see. Take care and see you Thursday!


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