My First WizKids Open – Results and Musings

If you’ve been following along with Clix Fix, you probably know that I attended my first WizKids Open (main event) on Saturday the 4th. It’s time to talk about my team, the people I played against, and the results.

July of 2015. I was at San Diego Comic-Con with my wife. We went to our Marvel Heroes PC game panel and we were informed there was a private party that evening that anyone from the panel could attend. We decided to go, and I met one of my now best friends, who was the Community Manager for the game. After a few drinks and reminiscing of comics and games, he managed to persuade me to get back into Heroclix. Within a month, I was re-learning the game, and that October, I watched the ROC World Cup streamed live online. I didn’t know who anyone was or what the meta was like. I was just a guy trying to learn how people were playing in this day and age.

Fast forward about a little over a year later from that point and I was gearing up to take part in my first WizKids Open. I’ve been talking for a few months about this and I’ve written articles about how to build teams, to looking into the current meta game after large events. Now that event has passed and it’s time to share the team I did end up playing rather than the team I was planning on running and scrapped at nearly the last minute. Buckle up and get ready for this wild ride as I take you through my first WizKids Open!

I arrived shortly before 10 as I was instructed and opted to not take part in some Battle Royale’s before starting as I wanted to meet up with friends and talk with Patrick before the big event started; I do wish I had taken part as the event started a bit late and supply for LE’s managed to run out halfway through the main event. Anyway, tensions were running high; I had never competed like this in anything ever, not just Heroclix. People from all over the state and some outside of California were arriving, all with the same goal.

I tried my best to calm my nerves, and filled out my first ever team sheet. What was that team, you ask? I know this because a lot of you have been asking me what my build was for the past two weeks. It’s cool; that means people are actually interested in what I’m doing, so it puts a smile on my face. Here it is in all it’s glory.

Winter WizKids Open Build – 300 Points, Modern

The basic idea of the team was to use Jakeem as both the main offense on the team that could adapt to any threat he faced and to call in heavy hitters like Green Arrow and Nick. The GF Green Arrow has a lot more firepower than the LE and has a much easier time hitting his targets thanks to the ability to potentially shoot through walls or elevated terrain and Precision Strike. His Running Shot that lets him Sidestep also leaves you no risk as he can easily just disappear from the map once he’s done his damage.

There was some really cool tech with the team in that I would try and real-boy Hank in (meaning calling him in via the Quinjet’s resource dial making him a permanent piece), and then swapping him out for other versions to make ants. Since he’s no longer an ID character, you are able to swap, and since his Morph ability specifically says that the action deals no pushing damage, you get around the part where they can’t ignore pushing damage. It’s a really neat piece of synergy that I really enjoyed.

To be fair, this team wasn’t my creation; this was a team that Aaron Cantu of Two Clicks From KO created and he and I kind of updated it over Skype in terms of which ID cards to run and which pieces to assign to said cards. He had asked to review the team I was leaning towards and offered some other recommendations. I liked this one quite a bit and ended up running the version we tweaked.

Anyway, I filled out my sheet and my friends and I waited for first pairings. My name was called first at table 1, and I faced off against someone that I’ve played before; he and his friends have made a showing at our LGS for bigger scale tournaments, and it was nice to play against a familiar face rather than someone random to help calm my nerves.

Round 1

His team was very close to what I was planning on playing myself; Chase Raphael, Chase Michelangelo, FF April O’Niel, Renet Tilley from TMNT 2, Eclipso on Raph, a full Pandora’s Box, and a lone Level 7 ID card with Peggy Carter.

He won map roll (pretty easily with +4) and put us on the WizKids Offices Premium Map; someplace I really didn’t want to get stuck on since it kind of countered my jets’ movement. He sat in the back corner and powered his turtles up while I carefully maneuvered my pieces up, careful to stay outside his Sidestep + Charge radius. After a few rounds of him powering his turtles with Sins and moving into a room he was behind, I decided to make a play and summon Green Arrow to take an Energy Explosion shot at his team in an attempt to wound Renet off her transportation clicks and KO April, scoring 25 points. I needed a 6 to hit, and had no choice but to move outside of Jakeem’s line of fire for Prob, and I rolled a 5. I was pretty heart broken. He advanced pretty hard on me on his turn, but only managed to get a single hit in with one of the brothers. I real-boy’ed in The Atom, double Perplexed up his attack with Jarvis and Jakeem, flew the coop to get out of his damage range, and smashed his team for 2, KO’ing April and injuring his brothers pretty hard. He chased me down, but wasn’t able to get any of my points on the field before time ran out.

Sidenote: He did have some really funny action tokens with various images of Donald Trump stating that people couldn’t get mad when he tokened his figures. Also, the reverse side was for barrier and had Trumps face hiding behind a wall. It was pretty fantastic.

My first game was done and I felt a tiny bit less nervous, but stoked that I had won my first game; I didn’t come and just bomb out like I could have. Small victories, right?

Score: 1-0

Round 2

My opponent for this game was actually a friend of mine who decided to attend the WKO the week of the event and is a regular at my LGS. He started playing not too long ago but is getting pretty good quickly. I helped him build his team throughout the week based on what he had. I didn’t think we would end up facing off.

He ran Devil Dinosaur, Superior Spider-Man with Brainiac, and the common Storm. It doesn’t seem like much, but with 3 ways for his Spider-Man to roll out of damage, his Prob on attacks, TK with Devil, and his insane dice rolling for Devil pogs, his team was actually pretty nasty.

He won map roll and put us on the Civil War Prison 42 map. First turn, he moved his pieces up slowly into one of the first rooms and summoned his M.O.D.O.K.’s from Devil while carrying Spidey with Storm. I moved up 3 squares with my jet, carrying Jakeem. On second turn, he went balls-out and decided to all-in on my jet, risking pretty much everything on the chance he could KO it in one turn. He took Outwit from Brainiac, Perplexed up his damage, TK’d Superior out within line of fire to Jakeem and Outwitted my Prob. He charged in with a Heavy object and landed his attack on the jet, and then swung again against my now pitiful 16 defense. I failed Super Senses and the damage was perfect; just enough to KO my jet. The issue was that now his Spider-Man was sitting right next to a untokened Jakeem. I smashed him pretty hard with Pulse Wave, and he proceeded to retreat while moving his Modok’s up. I took Hypersonic and pushed with Jakeem to KO Superior with a ranged attack and fell back as quickly as I could, up on points. He assaulted me with his tokens and managed to roll higher than a 9 5 times in a single turn. Still, he couldn’t put Jakeem down, and through some body blocking with Jarvis and summong Nightwing to kill a pog and heal through Tony Zucco, I eeked out the win in the corner as time was called.

I felt bad that he lost since he was still very new to all this, but I had to remind myself that I was here to win. I told him his team was still very good and he had a great shot at beating me if time wasn’t a factor. It was tighter than I thought it would be and I didn’t expect him to all-in like he did. Sometimes it pays off. Unfortunately, he dropped after this round and did a Battle Royale.

Score: 2-0

Round 3

Once again, I was against another friend of mine; a guy that came to one of our bigger tournaments at my LGS and is a genuinely great person. We talked quite a bit when he first arrived, and I knew how competitive his teams were and the caliber of his play. His team was much like the first time we played with slight changes; Resurrection Man, Deadman, HAHA Joker with 5 escape tokens, and a full Pandora’s box with a few ID cards that I honestly didn’t even notice he had, or forgot about mid-game.

At last, I won map roll, so I took us to the Manhattan Bridge to give me some blocking terrain to hide my jet behind and an open field for Jakeem to move about. None of his pieces inherently ignored elevation, so I figured it would give me a good shot to keep my jet safe. He rolled for Res man and got a lot of his symbols rather than powers, including Colossal size which hindered my play a bit since now he could see my jet no matter where I went. He started to power his pieces up with sins while I positioned Jakeem to lock down his Deadman with Plasticity. Once he had some tokens on his guys, I made a break for it, picking Hypersonic speed and Perplexing up my damage, swinging on HAHA Joker on the very last square of the map, earning an escape token and 10 points. I knew that the only way I could win would be to earn tokens while denying any points that I could. If he got my jet, I was done. This also meant I couldn’t afford to call in any ID characters as they would give him 5 points, so this became a total Jakeem game. He got a couple small hits on my jet as it flew around the map, trying to evade his strikes, and when he got to 6 of his sins assigned, I knew I had to change tactics. If he got to god-hood, I was doomed. I swapped to focusing on Deadman and Res Man; see, if all his characters aren’t on the map, he can’t activate god-hood from Pandora’s Box. It might be wasted actions that earn me 0 points, but it at least stops his aggression. This worked out wonderfully as I constantly had one of the two off the board and greatly limited his mobility and offensive power. He got to the point of calling in Black Canary and was about to maneuver for a Pulse Wave on my jet when time was called and we had to stop. Had he hit, he would have gotten the jet and taken the win. I felt bad, but he explained that he could see the game clock and they were pretty late on calling time, so he never would have had the chance to even get her on the board.

We shook hands and congratulated each other on a very good game; he wasn’t salty and I didn’t feel so bad anymore. It’s tough facing undying tech and if you don’t play your cards perfectly, you’ll end up losing.

Score: 3-0

Round 4

Once again, I faced off someone I had played before; my opponent occasionally shows up at our LGS for sealed games, so I vaguely knew him. His team was pretty scary; Mary Marvel with Eclipso, Bizarro Green Arrow, Renet Tilley, and Pandora’s Box with Wrath and Sloth.

He won map roll and put us on the Premium Convention Floor map. He started up by placing Wrath on Mary, moved Renet behind a column and passed turn. I moved my jet up into hindering terrain ever so slightly, picked some defense powers like Plasticity, and passed. He pushed Renet into her board-wide Prob, equipped Bizarrow with Sloth and passed, all while Sidestepping carefully forward with Mary and Arrow. After some delicate turns, he came at Jakeem with Mary and I thankfully made my Impervious roll, avoiding any damage. I went on full offense, but with her 20 defense in melee and my god awful rolls that plagued me the entire game (seriously, I think I rolled 5 or below on 98% of my rolls this game), I just couldn’t get a hit on her. Every Sidestep-breakaway roll was a 1 or a 2, even if I prob’ed them (I couldn’t Prob Mary because of her trait). If I called in a big gun like Nick or Green Arrow, his Bizarrow would just negate their attacks. It was grueling. I finally made a play to get some points as it seemed like my Impervious rolls were holding out, and Hypersonic’ed to get Renet… which missed. With his multiple probs, I just couldn’t hit anything. He ended up completely decimating Jakeem, and I was left with just having fun and taking huge gambles to try and crit-hit with Ants and Green Lantern after calling them in. He eventually killed the jet and I forgot that Jarvis was inside, as I cleaned up my stuff.

I ended up giving him quite a lot of points, but I took a frustrating loss and turned it into a good time for myself, so I wasn’t upset. That’s more important to me as I tend to have a temper when things go that poorly. It was a personal victory and I congratulated him on his gross team.

Score: 3-1

At this point, it was finally time for the cut to top 8. I was anxiously awaiting to hear my name called. Although I was 3-1, just about every team I had played was very good at point denial, so I hadn’t racked up more than 300 points over the course of 4 games which I was a little embarrassed about. Still, I was 3-1 so I had a decent shot.

I was number 7! I had made the cut!

After a sigh of relief, the judge called me over as I went toward the restroom, and explained there was an issue with his math and that I was actually slot 9 and someone else had made it in rather than me. I kind of stormed off to gather my things, pretty upset when one of the regulars was looking over his shoulder and proclaimed that he had indeed done his math right and I was actually in the top 8. A bigger sigh of relief hit, and I instantly felt bad for the guy they just told had made it in because he was probably feeling the same thing I was. It was pretty weak. Then it got worse: they called pairings, and due to points, I was forced to play the same opponent from round 4, the only loss of the day, now in elimination.

Round 5, Quarterfinals

I knew I had to do something different. My same strategy wasn’t going to work here and I wasn’t earning points at all. Every win was narrow. I decided that I needed to stop holding back points and start calling people in as much as I could to out-action his team.

He won map roll again and we played on the same map: Convention Floor. We both started the same way; him equipping and Sidestepping while I picked defensive powers and carefully moved up as well. One thing I will say about this player; he was methodical and quick. He knew what he was going to do every single turn, while I had lots of choices to make with Jakeem and ID cards, so I was rather sluggish. I decided to move my jet up with Jakeem into one of the doorways and chose Plasticity so he had no choice but to engage Jakeem rather than my jet. I picked as many options for me to roll out of damage or avoid big hits and let him take his turn. He sidestepped up with Mary to swing on Jakeem, and if I recall correctly, he missed, probbed it, crit missed, probbed again and crit missed AGAIN. I was blown away. I got a small chance to go on offense, which I took full advantage of. I called in Nightwing as I knew that I needed Zucco’s Perplex to help me hit his massive defense value, and although I missed with my first portion of Flurry on Mary, I hit the second, knocking him into click 4. I can’t remember what happened at this point, but I remember calling in Green Arrow, bumping up his attack and damage from Jarvis and Tony, and Energy Exploding on Bizarrow, nailing the hit. I got Mary down to her last click on one of my turns that Jakeem was clear and took her out. Once that was done, his team pretty much fell apart as he had no offense. I tried a couple hits on Bizarrow, but missed and decided that it wasn’t worth it, and did the same thing as last game: Perplexed my movement, picked Hypersonic Speed, and dashed towards Renet, KO’ing her in one motion. He swept Bizarrow, shook my hand, and proclaimed “good game”.

I had made it! I was one step closer to the final match, and was relieved that I managed to overcome the circumstances and completely wipe not only the first team of the day, but the team that had just decimated me. It was pointed out to me after the game that had I real-boy’ed in Green Lantern, I could have reduced her defense by 1 every turn, but I think I just got caught up in the moment.

Score: 4-1, advance to the semifinals.

Round 6, Semifinals

It was down to me, two other players, and Kevin Afrooz; a team Majestix Apex Insider with multiple WKO and ROC wins under his belt. I was a little rattled at this point, and frankly, I was pretty tired mentally.

My opponent for this match was running Red Son Wonder Woman, Bizarrow, and HAHA Joker with 3 escape tokens, along with a full Pandora’s Box, a Level 7 ID with Nick Fury, a Spider-Man ID with Superior Spider-Man, and a Green Arrow ID with the same GA I was using. He won map roll and we set up on the WizKids Offices.

He started in the corner and started to power up his team while sitting still, passing turns, while I slowly made my way up with my jet. I came around and tried to pincer him, much like I did against the Turtles in round 1. He positioned insanely well in the corner and left me with little options while he just kept powering his team. My issue was that no matter how I came in, I would suffer at the very least a -1 to attack and damage thanks to Wonder Woman’s trait, and if it was range (which I had to do because he kept Wonder Woman in the back line), I would probably get another -1/-1. I decided that the only option I had was to Pulse Wave his team and whittle them down, so that’s what I ended up doing. I got a few good hits on his team, and he retaliated pretty hard, calling in Nick and nuking me for 4-5 damage, and then proceeded to move his team into the center of the map. I pulled Jakeem back to my jet, and pushed the jet to support him, getting him back to click 3. I wound up healing Jakeem to full which was nice and went on the assault again, getting another Pulse Wave on his team. Over the next few turns, I got his Bizarro Green Arrow down to his last click and earned an escape token from Joker, and Wonder Woman was down to about click 3 or 4. By this point, he had god-hood, and he made a good play and swung at my jet, blowing it up. I did manage to take out Green Arrow and I think I got a second token off of Joker, but his Wonder Woman made quick work of the rest of my team. Time was called before he kill Jakeem, but I think if we had one more turn, there was a decent chance I could have won it. I ended up losing by only 40 points.

The Aftermath

Unfortunately, I was eliminated and took 3rd/4th (you share the same prizes) along with Kevin Afrooz. I took home the Red Hulk Spirit of Vengeance, the Pym Box Set, and a set of the Con Bystander tokens, along with (supposedly) a seat at Nationals during the summer at Origins. I really wanted to get Bat Knight and Earth-X Cap, but alas I just couldn’t pull out the victory. My last opponent I faced was an incredibly nice and professional player, always offering advice and pep-talking you through the game to make it feel fun rather than a grind. If I was going to lose to anyone, I was okay with losing to him, and he made it feel a whole lot less salty. I was glad to shake his hand and wish him well in the final match.

I stayed and watched what I could of the last match while I returned texts and messages to friends who wanted to know how I did, but I did catch the tail end of the match. The gentleman who defeated me played against two Nick Fury’s, Overdrive, Pandora’s Box with Sloth, and a Level 7 ID with another Nick on sideline. Amazingly, the Nick player didn’t Watcher’s Eye’s Wonder Woman’s Hypersonic Speed, and he fell victim to the overwhelming onslaught. My final opponent took the overall win.

It was a long day. A fun, but long day. It was quite an experience to go through that and play at that high level. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I think that if you really like Heroclix and think you’re decent, you should at least experience it as there’s just so much you can learn. I will 100% be attending every WKO that’s held here at home, or not far from here, and look forward to future tournaments.

I don’t know if I’ll end up going to Nationals. It’s quite expensive with airfare, lodging, food, and whatever you plan on getting while at the actual event. I also would be traveling alone and staying someplace alone, so I wouldn’t have anyone to help alleviate that cost. San Diego Comic-Con is in July and that’s usually where a lot of my extra funds go, but I haven’t eliminated it yet. It would be another exciting adventure and something I never thought I would do. I’ll keep you all posted on what I plan on doing.

I hope you liked my somewhat detailed analysis of my first WizKids Open. If you’re planning on attending the next round or a future round, I would look into how you deal with things like Bizarro Green Arrow, Jakeem Thunder, and Pandora’s box. Nighthawk Prime seems like he would be really strong right now, at least in my neck of the woods.

How did you do in your WKO if you attended? Did I meet any of you there, or did you notice my team and not know that it was me? Sound off below! See you all next week!


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