I don’t think Wade will mind if we take a day to talk about his one true love, the being Thanos cursed him with Immortality over. Today I’m deadset on making Mistress Death work in modern!
There’s been a lot of talk over the new Super Rare, Mistress Death from Deadpool & X-Force. She’s only 100 points, legitimately cannot die, and has a really brutal trait that if you’re lucky enough to pull off, it’s going to be a lot of trouble for your opponent and gives you a decent shot at wiping their team.
Wait a minute here. Didn’t I say ‘No Thanks’ to Mistress Death on my review of the set? You are correct, dear reader. However, I’ve had a little bit of change of heart with Death. With the right tools, I think she can be quite a deadly force. Besides, if I only build around the overwhelmingly good stuff, how does that reflect on me as a writer? I see Mistress Death as a challenge; a 100 point piece with a kick-ass sculpt challenge, and I’m pushing myself to make this puzzle work.
Before I dive into the detailed analysis of the character, a reminder that the units section still isn’t updated on HCRealms, so I can’t link to any Deadpool & X-Force characters in the build. It’s also going to hinder my build a little bit because it’s harder to search for pieces within the set that will help since I can’t use the advanced search function. Okay, let’s get into it!
Mistress Death comes in at 100 points, with 6 clicks of health, the Power Cosmic team ability, standard combat symbols, and a gigantic 10 range with a single target. Her dial is decent with two very different setups with her attack changing a bit. Her movement starts with 10 Phasing and on click four, she drops to 5 Sidestep. Her attack starts with 12 Pulse Wave (!!!), goes to 11 Pen/Psy on click three, and drops to a naked 9 on clicks five and six. Defense is very steady with a 17 Toughness and shifts to 16 with Super Senses on click four. Damage starts out with 2 Shape Change and shifts to 1 with Outwit on click four. Very steady, very easy to count on.
Positives: Huge movement, big attack values with great powers (Pulse Wave top click with a 12 attack is nothing to scoff at), great powers, and Power Cosmic to keep her protected.
Negatives: Lack of move and attack while she has Pulse Wave makes her hard to work with. Easy to hit and takes damage hard. Low damage values means that even if she does get a single target Pulse Wave off, she’s doing very little.
Before we can judge the whole character, we have three traits to look at.
The Realm of Death Expands: When another standard character is KO’d, remove an action token from Mistress Death.
I can get behind that. Death is going to be really great against Swarm teams and support in that they’ll have a harder time hitting her than bricks and usually a 1 damage, 5 range Pulse Wave will kill off tons of support, keeping her open to do her thing. Just remember that she won’t get to remove the token she was just assigned as the trait doesn’t say “after actions resolve”. NEXT!
You Can’t Kill Death… Or Marry Her, I Tried: When Mistress Death would be KO’d and there is another friendly character on the map, you may instead place her in your starting area on click #3 with 2 action tokens and the opponent scores her. This can’t be ignored.
This is the resurrection ability I was talking about earlier in the post. Because this power can’t be ignored, you can choose that Death never… well, dies. Very appropriate for the character. However, the opponent still scores her if she would be KO’d. That means that if you’re planning on using Death and risking her for her next trait (which you should), you have to plan on completely destroying the opposition or you’re never going to come out on top with points. It’s also worth noting that she resurrects on click 3, so she won’t be able to get back to Pulse Wave unless you have a healer near by. One might argue that the Pen/Psy with her 10 range is actually better than Pulse Wave. Let’s look at that final trait and the reason Mistress Death might see some play.
Touch of Death: When Mistress Death hits with a close attack, immediately place a Touch of Death token on the targets card if it doesn’t already have one. For the rest of the game, when a character with a Touch of Death token is dealt damage by an attack, double the damage dealt.
Ahhhh, there it is! To my knowledge, there’s never been anything like this in Heroclix. Being able to double all damage dealt to a target she hits has a higher potential for damage that roughly any other piece in the game. Some things you should know about this trait is that A) this happens as she hits, so her own damage will be doubled on the hit, and B) this doubles damage dealt, NOT your damage value, so it bypasses the rule of three’s. It’s the same as scoring a critical hit in that it increases the damage dealt. So a character with 4 damage and Super Strength carrying an ultra heavy object is going to hit for 7 damage and end up dealing 14 damage.
That’s a really strong setup that Death has, and it makes her a total nightmare to deal with. If you get in close to her and risk her touch (which she’ll probably land with a 12/11 attack), you just earned yourself double damage. Therein lies the weakness to Mistress Death though. Notice that her Touch of Death power says that when she hits with a close attack; that’s a problem. Going back to her dial, it’s easy to see that she’s setup to be a ranged player and doesn’t care much for melee. She’s kind of confusing in that regard because in order to pull off the reason for playing her, you sacrifice that 10 range, Pen/Psy Blast, and risk donating 100 points with her fragile form.
Now that we have all the cards on the table, let’s look at her overall positives and negatives.
Positives: MONSTROUS damage potential for her team. High attack values with strong powers. Never truly goes away, so there’s always a risk of getting a Touch of Death token. Power Cosmic gives her outwit protection and Willpower. 100 points means she only takes 1/3 of our build. 10 range means she can serve different rolls depending on who you’re facing.
Negatives: Very squishy. Her kit is inherently counter-productive for her goal. Lack of move and attack makes it tough to get her trait to work. Gives a lot of points if the opponent knows how to play against her or hard counters her. Low damage values means she isn’t going to be much of a threat by herself.
So what do we need in order to make Mistress Death work? The biggest challenge with her is the lack of Charge or Hypersonic Speed to get a close attack in, but she can be a very mean tie-up piece. Since there are no possessors in modern that grant Charge or Hypersonic Speed, TK is probably our best bet. We also need some cheap pieces that deal large amounts of damage to take advantage of the Touch of Death trait if she manages to make it work. Enhancement/Empower is also very good as it will naturally add +2 to damage if she touches an opponent. Quake is also an option since she can hit multiple characters and assign tokens to everyone if they group up.
Let’s jump into the first build. I’m doing a few so you can pick your poison.
300 Points Modern Mistress Death Team Build – Limited
- DXF 052 Mistress Death | 100 Points
- UXM FF 002 Jean Grey | 50 Points
- TMNT1 001 Raphael | 50 Points
- TMNT1 002 Michelangelo | 50 Points
- SFSM 029 Overdrive | 35 Points
- SFSM S101 Symbiote | 6 Points
- JW FF S001 Harley’s Hammer | 3 Points
- Build Total: 294 Points
Limited is the first build I’m going with as I think it’s a strong environment for Death. I commented that TK is very strong for her and Jean is just the best there is at that job. As long as Jean and Death are within 8 squares of a target, she can free action TK Death out, let her make an attack to get that Touch of Death token, and then TK her back to safety. This solves both issues of the lack of move and attack and the desire to not have her sitting in the face of the enemy team.
I knew I wanted pieces that dealt high damage for low points, and in my honest opinion, you just don’t get the damage and lock potential that you do out of the common Raphael and Michelangelo from the first Turtles set. Both of these guys have Charge and Flurry with an 11 attack, so they’re going to dish lots of damage. Raph deals penetrating damage, so now you don’t have to worry about them rolling Impervious on your big swings. Meanwhile, Mickey has Empower to boost all your damage up. He also locks down his targets with action tokens which is a big counter play to keep Death healthy. If they can’t take actions, they can’t trigger her KO effect and they don’t get those free 100 points (multiple times).
Overdrive is the perfect taxi to run on this team in that he can carry everyone, and he’s got Sidestep to help reposition after fights. Jean needs a taxi so that she can stay mobile while using her free TK’s, and there’s no better option here since he can carry 4 people, the exact number we have.
Regarding objects, Harley’s Hammer seems like the best item Death can get. Giving her Giant Reach: 2 and Quake means that now she’s going to assign everyone a token and can then sit back and snipe people she needs since she never needs to worry about basing someone again. The Symbiote was used as a filler to help whomever needs the most protection for the rest of the team and gives Plasticity to help lock people in place. I would assign it to either Raph or Mikey. A +1 to all values isn’t bad either since that damage is going to get doubled.
In an ideal situation, this team can deal more damage than I think should be possible in 300 points. Let’s say you TK Death out and Quake, hitting their entire force. That’s 4 damage you’ve assigned to everyone (since the damage she deals is doubled). Mikey Charges in and uses Flurry. He deals a total of 4 damage from his two attacks and assigns tokens to two targets. Raph makes his roll on the Symbiote, getting a +1 to damage, and Charges in to use his own Flurry next to Mikey. He deals 8 penetrating damage thanks to the Empower from Mikey. Even if the Quake only hit two characters, that’s a total of 20 damage you’ve dealt in a single turn. Sure, you could do more with characters with Super Strength, but this build is repeatable and doesn’t rely on objects. Plus, it’s super cheap to purchase.
Okay, next build!
300 Points Modern Mistress Death Team Build – No Resources
- DXP 052 Mistress Death Possessed by Brainiac | 100 Points + 25 Points = 125 Points
- WF 002 Superman | 90 Points
- NFAoS FF004 Fitz | 50 Points
- DXF 059b Wiz Kid | 25 Points
- NFAoS A001 Torso (Hulkbuster) | 10 points
- Sideline: Shifting Focus Supermen
- Build Total: 300 Points
Possession is still very good on Mistress Death; since her ability triggers when she ‘would be KO’d’, you’re arguably going to get more mileage out of a possessor on her than any other piece. Brainiac is a perfect fit here since he gives her Sidestep, a much needed power to get into place. She can also get Impervious to help keep her alive, +1 to damage to increase her doubling, and Outwit to counter pesky damage reducers or Combat Reflexes. He also gives Regen on her last click, so you’ve got a chance at healing her back if she almost bites it. Most importantly, on click 3 when she resurrects, she gets Pulse Wave, and the World Running Like Clockwork power that will help to remove both of her tokens if she resurrects during the middle of your opponent’s turn.
Superman is an excellent support piece to use with her. His Hypersonic form has Flight and a huge movement, so he can take her wherever she needs to go, and then tank up in defense form, giving her a +1 to defense. If she picks +1 to defense from Brainiac, you can have a 19 defense with Shape Change and Impervious to help protect her; seems solid. When it’s time to go on offense, swap to the uncommon that has Super Strength on his entire dial, a trait to help him get objects for free (reocurring heavy damage), and a natural +1 to damage on item attacks. With a native 3 damage, if he hits with a heavy on a Touch of Death victim, that’s 12 damage from one hit. His ranged form even increases damage if they’re double tokened and busts stealth, so you win with all his versions.
TK is still a vital piece of her puzzle, and Fitz is a great runner-up to Jean. Not only does he have TK, he pushes into Perplex, and brings H.E.N.R.Y. along for the team, which is a tiny little guy that Superman can carry along with Death to pump all damage by +1. This will help if Superman is forced into light objects to help max his damage, and now gives Death the potential to deal 8 damage in a turn (+1 damage from Brainiac and Empower/Enhancement from HENRY). Oh, and that Perplex with Fitz is great too and will increase damage even more, or make it easier to hit.
I talked about Wiz Kid in my last team build with Deadpool and he works here as well. Although it’s going to be harder to get him around since we don’t have Pym Particles (you can easily make this fit), he gives everyone a +1 to range, damage, and attack. If you don’t want Superman up in the thick of battle, stick with range. Wiz Kid, HENRY, and Fitz’ Perplex can easily max out his damage and make it easier to hit with a big’ ol 9 range. Now Death has an 11 range to snipe from, and a gigantic 13 attack. Wiz Kid takes your already solid numbers and just amplifies them ten-fold.
I opted for the Hulkbuster Torso to give Superman damage reducers at all times, but this can easily be swapped for the Symbiote and Pym Paticles so that you can make Wiz Kid tiny and make Superman harder to hit. Dealer’s choice here.
Again, there’s so much damage in this build. The potential is out of control with fewer pieces to maneuver, but it does cost considerably more monetarily-wise.
Alright, last one!
300 Point Modern Mistress Death Team Build – No Resources
- WF 037b Nightlantern | 150 Points
- DXF 052 Mistress Death Possessed by Ultragirl Amalgam | 100 Points + 25 Points = 125 Points
- JLTW FF 007 Atomica | 25 Points
- Build Total: 300 Points
Yeah, this one is a little weird, but I really wanted to post it anyways! One way around Mistress Death is to possess her with something that gives her move and attack. Nightlantern does just that, bringing anyone lower points than the person being possessed in as an equipment. This gets around rules with no possession as well since this happens at the beginning of the game.
Ultragirl is a pretty neat pick for Mistress Death; she’s got Hypersonic on her first two clicks, and Charge on her third through fifth clicks, Super Strength on those same clicks, and Invulnerable on top click. This gives Mistress Death everything she needs to both harass early game and get a hit in and dish more damage once the token is applied.
Nightlantern himself is not only a good attacker for his points with Hypersonic, Batman-Ally Stealth, 4 damage, and mega-carry, he’s also got TK so he can project Mistress Death way up and have her Hypersonic to get a big alpha strike in. His dial is strong thoughout and the only reason we don’t see him more is his 150 point cost, along with the 25 points for the amalgam. Leaderhip is also a big deal here since he can just remove tokens from Mistress Death so that she can keep hitting people for more tokens or double damage.
For the last slot, I was torn between Betty Brant/piece of equipment for Nightlantern or Atomica, and I opted for Atomica. Easily carried by either piece on our force, she’s your dedicated Prob piece that’s tough to take down. The Perplex/Support combo from Betty is very good, but I think Prob will suit this team better as it as to all-in in order to be effective.
This setup is probably better in 400 points so that you can build around the 275 points it takes to use Mistress Death + Nightlantern + Amalgam, but it’s possible to make it happen in 300 points. I think this team could be viable at an LGS, but wouldn’t even break top 8 in a real event. It’s fun though, and that’s what matters!
There you have it. Not only did I build around Mistress Death, I built three teams with her, and none shared pieces. How’s that for overcoming an obstacle?! Before I go, I do want to mention one other piece that can work really well with Mistress Death, and that’s the brand new, monthly OP Kit Miss America. She’s got a wonderful power to let someone teleport next to her and make an attack and could serve Mistress Death very well. She’s alo a big bruiser herself, so look into her. I just couldn’t fit her in with the builds I opted with.
I hope you all liked these builds! Let me know if there’s some other pieces I may have missed that work well with Wade’s one true love. See you Thursday!