SMASH Well-Developed Sense of Irony: Building a Modern Hulkpool Team

Welcome back to another issue of the Deadpool Chase Series! We’re going all smashy-smash today with Hulkpool. Sometimes you just need someone to punch all the things.

If you aren’t familiar with the first series here on Clix Fix, this is the fourth article discussing team builds for the Chases from Deadpool & X-Force. Normally I wouldn’t go full-blown on chases as I know they’re a little difficult to get, but these are Deadpool chases dammit, so I’m bending the rules! If you haven’t read the last few articles, you can find them on the Blog section of the site.

Hulkpool is one my favorite chases from the set as his dial is very efficient, his points aren’t too high, and he has some killer potential to just destroy opposing teams. He also brings back an old mechanic that you hopefully won’t end up using, but it’s still neat.  NO MORE LEAD-IN, I DISCUSS CHEESE FACE RED APE MAN NOW.

Compared to his cohort and fellow close combat smasher Championpool, we get a nice 50 point discount, bringing Hulkpool down to only 125 points. He’s got 8 clicks of health, 0 range, has Indomitable, and Improved Movement that lets him move through blocking terrain and destroy it as he does. Keywords are good with Brute, Deadpool Corps, Hulked Out Heroes, Past, and Pirate, with Past being the most noticeable and important. He’s got two Traits and one Special Power that we don’t see until the end of his dial.

Speaking of his dial, it’s one of the strongest of the bunch. Movement starts with 10 Charge, drops to 9 on click three, switches to Sidestep on click four, drops to an 8 on click six, and his last two clicks are 8 with no powers. Attack has Super Strength through his fifth click, and values start at a truly brutal 12, drop to 11 on two, 10 on four, and 9 on six for the remainder of his dial. His defense is strong with 18 Impervious to start for two clicks, dropping to 17 Invulnerable on click three, 16 Toughness on click six, and a naked 16 on his final click. Damage is a little odd at 4 with Probability Control on his first two clicks, a naked 3 on click three, his Special Damage Power on click six which lasts until his final click, and his damage values go from 2 to 1 on his final two clicks.

That’s a really strong dial for a melee piece, and what I really like about it is the top-dial Probability Control. Usually when you play a big bruiser, you’re forced to throw some points into making him better and usually adding Prob as you absolutely need the first hit with that Ultra Heavy Object (or heavy starting later this year). Hulkpool says screw that noise and brings Prob with him to the party. This is probably the best damage power he could have gotten as Battle Fury would stop people from carrying him. Speaking of landing that hit, dealing 7 damage on your first swing is pretty great, but it is a little bit of a bummer that he maxes out there with only a printed 4 rather than 5. Still, I’ll take the trade-off for that sweet 12 attack up front.

Now that we know his dial, let’s look over his traits and Special Damage Power. First up is the trait that all these Chases  share.

DO YOU SEE THE COMIC PANELS TELLING ME WHAT TO DO?: At the beginning of your turn, if Hulkpool has no action tokens, you may attach a comic panel to him, removing an already attached one. He can use the listed effect.

By this point in time, I’m sure you’re used to these. Of the Comic Panels available, Hulkpool is going to probably want Combat Reflexes the most with Energy Shields, Stealth, and Precision Strike on standby. Quake is probably a good bet too since he has a really high attack value and can squish swarm teams. Next!

SMASH WELL-DEVELOPED SENSE OF IRONY!: When Hulkpool hits a single opposing character with a close attack and his attack total is at least 4 greater than the target’s defense value, after actions resolve choose one: heal Hulkpool 3 clicks, or counter all powers on the hit character.

Although this trait is pretty tough to trigger due to you needing to hit for four over their defense value, it’s absolutely worth it. Being able to counter out all of their powers, or heal Hulkpool back up to full health is a big deal and will keep him in the game longer than initially expected. Still, with that 12 attack, most defenses are at 18 these days, so you’ll need to roll a 10 or higher in order to trigger this ability. This trait is more like icing on an already terribly efficient melee piece that adds insult to injury once he lands a strong hit.

I mentioned that his Special Damage Power is a bit of a throwback, so let’s take a look:

REVERT: DEADPOOL: Give Hulkpool a free action and replace him with a character named Deadpool of equal or less points on the same click number -1. That character cannot be replaced.

Holy Cow! If Hulkpool manages to get hit onto his last three clicks and survive until your next turn, you can go all Incredible Hulk and revert him to any character named Deadpool on your sideline. Hmmm… there’s not any good Deadpool in modern with healing is there? Although this power is probably rarely going to see play, it’s neat that instead of just dying off like so many bruisers do, Hulkpool has a shot at changing over to his pre-hulk form and changing how the game is played.

Okay, we know everything about Hulkpool, so let’s do the Positive VS. Negative analysis. Go!

Positives: Very strong dial for the points. Indom keeps him going. Probability Control on a high-point character. Potential to self-heal or counter entire dials. Standard size makes him easy to move around. Walls don’t stop him. Comic Panels add to his versatility. Past Keyword.

Negatives: Dial doesn’t age that well. Revert power can only be used with a deep-dialed Deadpool. Outwit/Penetrating Damage will destroy him, much like any bruiser. Hindering stops him from getting there.

It was a little tough finding negative aspects about Hulkpool because his dial is just really good for the points. It seemed like the longer I wrote about his positives the more different things popped into my head about what makes him so valuable. What really makes Hulkpool awesome compared to Championpool is that since he’s only 125 points as opposed to 175, there’s a much greater chance that he’ll see play and that you’ll actually add him to a force.

In order to make Hulkpool do his job properly, we need a few things. Mobility is always the best thing you can give to a melee piece, so a taxi or TK is almost a must here, and at 125 points, you can easily afford a good one. Hulkpool wants to bash people with objects, so we don’t want to use a lot of Special Objects. With a lack of penetrating damage, it would be great to give him some way to get through reducers. The biggest thing Hulkpool needs is Perplex, or someone to impact defense values on his targets so we have an easier time triggering his trait.

As I’ve done with the rest of the Deadpool Chase builds, 300 Modern is going to be my starting point but with no Resources, and I’ll up the points to 400 for the second build.

300 Point Modern Hulkpool Build – No Resources

We’ve talked enough about Hulkpool, so let’s look at the supporting cast. A taxi and/or TK piece is what we really need to give Hulkpool the reach he needs to land that first strike and not be picked off. Initially I went with the common Storm as she can taxi him around, Perplex up his attack, and throw out Smoke Cloud for free so he could hide in Stealth thanks to the comic panel.

Instead, I immediately shifted everything once I remembered the rare Magneto. This guy does both jobs of taxi and TK for just 40 points more. While it’s true that he doesn’t have Perplex and he can’t generate hindering terrain, he can do something really neat; give Hulkpool ES/D. Now with the Combat Reflexes panel, Hulkpool always has a 20 defense. You can either go the taxi route, grab Stealth at the beginning of the game and hide in the shadows, swapping to Combat Reflexes when you’re ready to strike, or go with Reflexes to bat and TK Hulkpool out. Magneto also serves as a really great secondary attacker with 8 range, 11 attack, and another 4 damage piece. It’s always bad when your big primary attacker goes down and you have nothing left, so Magneto fills that void.

Magneto also has Enhancement, so I knew I wanted someone cheap that could deal a lot of damage from range. The new Solo from the Fast Forces set is incredible and should serve as a great partner to make ranged attacks with. With his neat trait, he can pick anyone on the enemy team and get a +2 when attacking them, meaning he has a 12 attack with Pen/Psy (now three attackers with 11+ attack), and if he’s by Magneto, that’s a third piece with 4 damage. For his special Outwit, he can counter Charge, Super Strength, ES/D, or Enhancement – not the absolute best, but with his 10 range and Phasing, you could easily phase in and counter the Super Strength or Charge on a piece that will retaliate on Hulkpool, so there is some use there.

Betty seemed like a fine option with the points I had left as she can Perplex up Hulkpool’s attack. I was going to go for H.E.N.R.Y. to boost all my damage to 5’s, but we really don’t have an issue dishing damage with the team. Betty will let us either hit hard with Hulky, or make sure one of the other two hit. Hell, how about a 21 defense instead? You got it. The push to heal is always nice too so Magneto or Solo don’t get gimped.

One of the biggest weaknesses for bruisers is multiple enemies being on their top click. The Pym Pocket Tank is perhaps the most busted game element for under 10 points right now, and it will absolutely be a key player in this build. While we can’t take the tank with us if Hulkpool is TK’d, Solo does have a 10 movement with Phasing, so he can easily get the tank where we need it in order for Hulkpool to smash hard. This gives us a free 2 penetrating damage to up to 8 different opposing characters, and repositions them for our ranged attackers to do work. With Hulkpool’s 12 attack and Prob, it’s not a big deal for him to take the -1 to attack in order for this to go off.

For the last piece of the puzzle, I went with the Hulkbuster Left Arm to give Hulkpool Exploit Weakness. What I like about this piece rather than the Torso is that it isn’t necessary to equip. If you really need to alpha strike and there isn’t Impervious which could completely mitigate the attack, just use the Arm as a heavy object for more damage. It’s never a bad thing to have a back-up plan though, so this should keep Hulkpool ahead of the bruiser game.

Briefly, the folks on our sideline are strictly for Reverting. ideally, you’ll want to grab the Prime Deadpool so he can heal like crazy.

There isn’t much going on here, but I think this build is actually quite strong – you just have to make sure you make the first attack or things could go badly. Next up is 400 points a team I actually played the other weekend at my LGS.

400 Point Modern Hulkpool Team – No Resources

There is simply no better mobility piece for Hulkpool than Zatara. Thanks to the Past keyword, Zatara can use his fantastic double Perplex power and up Hulkpool’s attack to a big ‘ol 14, assuring that you hit and having a very good shot at hitting 4 or more over their defense value. TK gives him the control to move our pieces forward and back, although he probably won’t be TK’ing Hulkpool. The only reason he wasn’t on the 300 point build is because he’s still 100 points and for 10 less, Magneto serves as a wonderful secondary attacker whereas Zatara is pretty much a big support piece.

Miss America is going to be our prime TK target, as she can open up her space portal and bring in Hulkpool to smash whatever target she didn’t KO. She’s got very solid values with 10 Charge and Flight and 11 attack, so the odds are pretty good that she’ll land her hit. I actually ended up using Zatara’s Perplex on her on the first strike instead so that she could use the Pym Tank and land the strike.

The Pym Tank shows up again, but that’s because it’s very strong with Miss America. Because she has to place her space portal in a square adjacent to her and her target, if your opponent positions well, or there’s different elevations, this could potentially be completely wasted and Miss America could turn into a 95 point melee piece that doesn’t do anything special. The Pym Tank makes sure that you get to move their pieces around before placing your portal, meaning you can single out a single character or two and guarantee that Hulkpool gets to smash in next.

Heading up the end of the pack are Doop and Green Lantern, both at 35 points. Doop is really strong as he brings Prob for 35 points along with Invincible and Tiny Size, so he’s quite the support piece. With Miss America’s portal though, he actually has a damn good chance at landing a strike and obtaining a Headline Token, meaning he can completely abuse the board. With his and Hulkpool’s Probs and Zatara’s Perplex, there’s a very low chance to miss attacks with the team.

Green Lantern was picked because I had 37 points left open, and there just isn’t a better use of 35 points these days than Green Lantern. I’ve talked about him at lengths due to him showing up in so many competitive teams, so it’s easy to see why I included him. -1 to defense, turning off Stealth (although not really needed in this build), and walling off our figures makes him so versatile. Oh yeah, and he can carry both Hulkpool and Doop, and then place the damn tank afterwards, meaning we’re moving four pieces of the team with just one character. Plus, the dude has 7 range, 10 attack, and 3 damage, and the Past Keyword, so Zatara can double bump him if he needs to.

I’d like to play this team against a large-scale team as I ended up playing against a Squirrel Girl/Tipp-Toe army which made it a bloodbath more or less. I think that this build could be really strong in a 400 point setting.

We’ve reached the half-way point with the Deadpool Chases as Hulkpool ends his reign of destruction! Have you used other pieces with Hulkpool that turned out great? Have a team comp that wrecked house? I’d love to know!

We’ve got 4 more Chases to go and on Thursday we’ll be covering my absolute favorite of the chases; Yar, we be lookin’ into Pirate Deadpool! None of ya will be safe from the pirate talk!


2 thoughts on “SMASH Well-Developed Sense of Irony: Building a Modern Hulkpool Team

Add yours

  1. You can’t revert Hulkpool to Merc with a Mouth due to the revert says named ‘Deadpool’ not ‘containing Deadpool’.


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