How do you build your Heroclix team? What decisions should you make? What’s the best bang for your buck? How do you keep putting out this many team builds? All these questions and more will be answered in this learner’s guide to team building!
Another reader requested that I detail my thought process on how I build my teams, and I think that’s a great idea! I think that a lot of newer players struggle on how exactly they should spear-head team construction as there’s no guide or step-by-step process that WizKids puts out. They pretty much have to run trial and error. That can be fun, but I’m sure some folks would like more information, which is what I’m aiming to do here. As you read through, I’m going to build a team (nothing too fancy, 300 points limited) to help you along and really drive home the different steps.
Are you ready to team build? Cool, me too!
Step 1: Pick an Idea
This is obviously the most basic point; selecting what you want your team to be. Do you want to run a tentpole team (typically built around one large piece and uses the rest of the points as support), a swam team (lots of small-cost characters), or are you trying to build round a specific piece? Maybe you don’t want to pigeon-hole yourself and you want to build a team with several mid-range attackers that all do something different. That’s okay too. Regardless, you can’t build without an idea.
Example: I’ve decided that I really want to build around CWSOP 013 Spider-Man. I really like his power suite for his cost, and his damage potential is pretty nice.
Step 2: Identify Your Goal
What are you trying to do with this piece, or better yet, what would you like to do with this piece? What about them attracted you to them and how can you make that work for you? Instead of just picking pieces that you like and running them together, the best way to build your team is to analyze how your pieces will fit together; synergy is a powerful tool. Based on what your goal for that piece or team is, you can start to fill out the rest of your roster.
Example: I want Spider-Man to do my heavy lifting and be my main damage output since he’s versatile and pretty great for his point cost.
Step 3: Break Down Your Main Piece(s)
Before you can start to piece together options, you have to look at the piece/pieces you’ve chosen and think about what makes them work well and what would make them better. This entire process is detailed in just about every team build I do as I go through the main piece and talk about everything from their dial to their powers, followed up with what would make them stronger, and finally what pieces I chose and why. The tighter your concept is, the stronger and more versatile your team will be. Do not be afraid to evaluate a pieces weaknesses – this will help you better understand them and what your opponent will try and do.
Example: Spider-Man has some insane damage potential for his fairly low cost, but he’s very fragile with only ES/D and Super Senses to protect him. He’s very mobile, is a Wild Card, and is strongest when he’s not based.
Step 4: Look at Keywords
Sometimes this point won’t work if you pick someone like one of the Bizarro chases and they only have a single Keyword, but that usually isn’t the case. When you can use it, Theme is a powerful ally as it grants you a better chance at winning map roll and supplies Theme Team Probability Control. Although Theme is very strong, you don’t have to use it, and many powerful teams that win tournaments aren’t themed. Always take a moment to look over your piece/pieces Keywords and see if there’s anything you can do with it.
Example: Spider-Man has Anti-Registration, Avengers, Celebrity, and Spider-Man Family. Of those, the only thing I don’t like is Anti-Registration as there aren’t many to pick from. He does have Improved Movement: Ignores Elevated and Hindering terrain, so it would probably be in my best interest to win map-roll, so I’ll choose an Avengers theme team as it has the most options.
Step 5: Think About What You Need To Excel
Now that you’ve broken down your piece and you understand it’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to think about what will make them better so you can fill the rest of those points. Maybe mobility is your problem (which often solves most issues), or maybe your combat values aren’t that strong. Perhaps you know that you’re going to play against a lot of Hypesonic speed and you don’t have any Plasticity. These are great examples of what you need to take into consideration to get the most value from your concept.
Example: Damage reduction would be great to help Spider-Man survive initial encounters. Since he automatically breaks away, a flier would be great to maneuver him into position and carry him back to safety once he hits. Wild card is really strong, so some team abilities would be great for him to copy, maybe something like Mystics to penalize people hitting him or Defenders to raise his 17 defense. A healer would be great since he doesn’t have much potential once he gets hurt, but this might be tough to do with the Avengers keyword. Tie-up pieces would also work so that Spidey can pick his battles.
Step 6: Build the Team!
You’ve looked over your starting piece/idea, peeked at keywords, and developed a plan on what you need to make the team succeed, so now the only thing left to do is build the actual team.
Some notes to remember when building:
- If you’re running a Theme team, don’t forget to look at any ATA’s your team might be able to use. These are fantastic ways to inherently add value without slowing you down with things like equipment.
- Speaking of equipment; make sure you look at these too. They’re a great way to boost characters without breaking theme and eating a decent amount of points like Possession does.
- Think about your format and what you expect to see. If you’re only playing at a local LGS, think about common occurrences you see. Maybe one person plays a certain type of team every week with rotating pieces, or maybe someone only plays Mystics. Any information you have can be utilized and help to mold your team.
Example Build: 300 Point Modern Limited
- CWSOP 029 Goliath | 90 Points
- CWSOP 013 Spider-Man | 80 Points
- AVAS 012 Hellcat | 73 Points
- FFOA 006R Captain America | 50 Points
- SFSM S101 Symbiote | 6 points
- Theme Team Bonus: +4 Avengers
- Build Total: 299 Points
With this example team, I took all the previously mentioned facts into consideration. For transportation, I went with Goliath since he’s a giant. Empower will help that Flurry from Spider deal out more damage and the 18 defense with the Defenders team ability means that Spider can pick up that 18, bringing his defense to a 20 from range. When Goliath does get KO’d, he heals everyone 1 click and grants Sidestep for the following turn. Hellcat ignores elevated terrain, so she can keep up with Spider-Man, she’s got Mystics which he can copy, and she flat out stops Shape Change. She’s a nice little tie-up piece. Captain America can either move Spidey to the Symbiote on first turn, or have Goliath move, carrying the web-head, all for free, so he serves as a sort-of-TK’er. I opted for the Symbiote rather than the Hulkbuster Torso for Shape Change (evasion), Plasticity (anit-Hypersonic and easy breakaway), and the change to pump to 12 attack, 4 damage.
This team isn’t the best around, but it gives you an idea of how it all came together. I would have loved to get some ranged damage on the team, but it was a really tight build. That gives you an idea of how it can be improved and changed based on what you need and/or want.
Step 7: Picking a Map
Even if you don’t have a theme team, you should still pick a map to play on that benefits your team composition. Most importantly is indoor or outdoor; if you’ve got giants or colossals, there’s a plus and minus to using each side (indoors, they have more safety but can’t move over blocking terrain and vice-versa). Does your team suffer from elevated terrain, or like the example team I built, does it excel with it? Do you need lots of hindering to keep your pieces safe? These are all very valid points and one of the biggest tips I can give is think about map choice. I’m trying to get better at this myself as it’s one of my weak points.
Example: The Avengers team I built really likes Elevated terrain, but not much else. Blocking isn’t a huge deal since I have no ranged attackers, and only Hellcat and Cap will get caught up in hindering. I would probably opt for the Superior Foes of Spider-Man: Friendly Neighborhood Map as it has lots of elevated and not much else.
Step 8: Run the Team!
This one is easy – play your team. See how it does. Note it’s strengths and weaknesses while you play and think about what changes would improve the overall playability. To build a truly awesome team, it takes practice and making small changes to make the most of it’s roster.
Step 9: HAVE FUN
I can’t stress this enough. Having fun should come above all else. This is a game, and if you aren’t having fun with it, change what you’re doing or what you’re playing. At the end of the day, this is what your goal should be.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction into how I build my teams and hope that it helps you to construct teams in the future. If this ended up coming in handy, let me know in the comments. Of course there are some other more complicated aspects such as sidelining and resource options, but that’s more advanced. Maybe once the ROC schedule rotates back to 300 Modern, I’ll do a small follow-up to this article with ID cards, Resources, and more.
If you didn’t see before, Clix Fix has a new logo and a limited time T-Shirt. The campaign runs until January 27th and will only go live if 10 shirts are purchased. I figured I’d give it a trial run to see if there’s interest. Keep those ideas comin’! See you all on Thursday!