Welcome back, Deadpool fans! You’ve inquired, you’ve waited, you’re ready for it; well today your wishes come true. We’re finally talking about what happens when a crazy Merc With A Mouth meets an Alien Symbiote. It’s Venompool!
If you don’t know that it’s Deadpool Chase Month here on Clix Fix, I don’t know what you’re doing and where you’ve been. Today marks the last article in my beloved series centered around the chases from Deadpool & X-Force, and starting in May, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming. For now, let’s enjoy one last ride as we cover arguably the best chase in the entire set.
It’s kind of neat that we started with the first chase, D.E.A.D.P.O.O.L., which is probably the worst of the bunch (although not bad) and we’re ending with the last chase which is the best (at least according to some folks). Venompool is the only regular chase to see top 16 in ROC events at the time of writing this article, and my personal friend Aaron from Two Clicks From KO helmed a Venompool team at the recent Majestix ROC event at the begging of April.
Venompool is the second cheapest chase in the set, coming in at only 80 points. For those points, we get 7 clicks of health, standard combat symbols, and 5 range with a single target. He’s got no team abilities and his keywords are a little weak with just Deadpool Corps and Monster. Venompool does have one thing that none of the other chases had though; he’s unique meaning you can only rock one of this guy. He’s also got Improved Movement which lets him ignore elevated terrain, along with two traits. What really astounds me about Venompool is the design they decided to use. There have been a few appearances through different comics and media of Deadpool with the Venom Symbiote and the version they went with is by far the most rare.
His dial is pretty strong, especially for his point cost, and is a big reason why people desire him. Movement is pretty steady starting with 8 Sidestep, dropping to 7 on click four, and swapping to Flurry on click five. His attack is strong with little powers starting with 11 Poison, dropping to a 10 on click three, losing Poison on four, and dropping to a 9 on click six. He’s a little squishy with 18 and just Super Senses to keep him safe, dropping to a 17 on click three, swapping to Combat Reflexes on click four, dropping to a 16 on six, and finally resting at 16 Regeneration (which looks a lot better with the new rules). His damage is pretty great with 4 Exploit Weakness on top click, but immediately drops to 3 on his second click. He picks up Probability Control on clicks four and five, loses all powers on six, and ends with a natural 2 on his last click.
Overall it’s a strong dial, sans the lack of any good defense power as current day Precision Strike will just gut him. Let’s see his traits. First up… yeah, I’m sure you know.
DO YOU SEE THE COMIC PANELS TELLING ME WHAT TO DO?: At the beginning of your turn, if Venompool has no action tokens, you may attach a comic panel to him, removing an already attached one. He can use the listed effect.
I would argue that Venompool gets the best use out of these panels due to his low point-cost and it seems that the lack of defense options means you get such a nasty dial for a low cost. Stealth is a big deal for him as it will stop snipers who typically have Precision Strike from knocking him out early. You want to get him up close, so Combat Reflexes are going to be strong on him as well.
Enough about those damn panels, let’s see his unique trait.
RETCON EXPONGIFIER GUN: When an opposing character uses Probability Control, after actions resolve, that character cannot use Probability Control for the rest of the game.
Woooaaaahhhh, now that’s a damn good trait! When Venompool was first shown in Scott Porter’s unboxing videos, the clix community went a little crazy with this guy, strictly due to this trait as we didn’t know 7/8ths of the comic panels that were coming. Anyway, having a piece that just flat-out nerfs Probability Control for your opponents is incredibly strong and nerfs two of the biggest players in the current meta in terms of Krang and Jakeem Thunder. Both these guys have access to Prob and Venompool says “yeah, you get that once, bud.” Even if these two aren’t threats in the future, Prob is among the top powers in the game, and to flat-out, board-wide stop it from happening for just 80 points is a really big deal. Let me reiterate; Venompool doesn’t need range or line of fire for this to take effect; it just happens. While folks do get to use their Prob one time and it isn’t a complete shut-off, it’s still monumental as they’ll have to make a big decision on what’s worth re-rolling and what isn’t.
To make sure we know exactly what Venompool can do, let’s check out the Positive VS Negative analysis.
Positives: High damage and attack. Lengthy dial. Completely destroys one of the best powers in the game. Ignores elevated making it easier for him to move around and hide. Comic panels are arguably the best on him. Low cost for a great dial. Penetrating damage and Poison make a lethal combination. 5 range means he can love-tap for a lot.
Negatives: Lack of Charge and Willpower makes him slow. Declines a little fast. No reducers. Missing the Symbiote trait from Superior Foes of Spider-Man (I mean, what the heck?!). Ignores buildings but not shrubbery for movement.
Venompool certainly isn’t a perfect piece by any means. He requires a little work to make him better and see play in the competitive scene. The biggest weaknesses to me are his lack of Willpower, and the fact that he doesn’t have the perfectly-flavored Symbiote trait that we saw last year in the Spider-man set. I honestly don’t know how this happened. Shape Change would have made him a solid A+ figure and would have guaranteed him a spot in high-level play. Still, the fact that he can deal 4 damage at all levels of the game is a big deal (even 3 once he’s off top click), and it’s easy enough in this day and age to grant him extra defenses whether you’re playing Limited or Modern. The important thing is that his kit is very strong. The lack of Charge might seem like a glaring mistake or problem on him, but think about it this way. You can slowly make your way up, carrying him or just using Sidestep so that you don’t get tokens, and once you’re within 7 squares, he can Sidestep and ‘love tap’ for 4 damage from range. Then he can close the gap in the following turns, clearing his token, and following up with 4 penetrating damage.
Venompool is probably the most playable of the chases in 300 points as he brings a lot of damage, fantastic utility for a nasty dial, and he shuts down Prob.
What does this awesome chase need in order to be successful? I pretty much covered that in the last paragraph; he needs mobility and defense to ensure he can actually get to the party before being wiped out. TK could be very useful as, combined with his Sidestep, can get him into the action and land a surprise hit. Taxi’s would also be good because they more often than not are easier at pulling someone out of danger than TK is, and he might need a medivac to get him out of danger. Outwit could also be very strong to counter enemy Precision Strike or reducers so that his Poison can eat through opposing characters as well. Regarding his squishy nature, possession seems to be a strong player for him in Modern and things like the Hulkbuster Torso or Symbiote can be great in Limited; it just depends on how many points you want to spend and if you want to use valuable actions at the beginning of the game picking them up.
For the builds, I want to do two 300 point builds; one will be Limited and one will be Modern, although I’m still going to skip resources and there’s a good reason. The closer we get to June (we’re only a month away!) means that the big resources are going to be rotating, meaning no more Pandora’s Box and no more Quinjet. Plus, these take a lot of time to build (Hello ID cards). Anyway, onward to Limited!
300 Point Modern Limited Venompool Build
- DXF 068 Venompool | 80 Points
- SFSM 040 Speed Demon | 80 Points
- NFAoS 059b Nighthawk | 65 Points
- SFSM 036 Cloak | 35 Points
- JW FF 004 The Penguin | 25 Points
- NFAoS A001 Torso (Hulkbuster) | 10 Points
- AVAS S100 Pym Particles | 2 Points
- All DXF Comic Panels – this is ideal, but not essential
- Build Total: 297 Points
Venompool does a fantastic job of making your opponent hate their life shutting down re-roll capabilities. That means that high defense values are your friend as it makes it even harder to deal with your team.
I went with Speed Demon because he’s a very strong secondary attacker that’s incredibly mobile and can continually deal lots of damage while picking up late-dial Prob along with Venompool. The big benefit to Speed Demon is that as long as he keeps moving, he’s always going to have a 20 defense, making him almost impossible to hit without the aid of Prob.
Nighthawk Prime is what really ties this team together and pushes Venompool over the edge. Now we have high defense values, we’ve turned off their rerolling, and we turn off their combat modifiers. Since the average attack value is 11 on main attackers, that means that opponents have to be able to snag 9 to hit either Venompool or Speed Demon with just one roll (thanks to comic panels on Venompool). Nighthawk also brings Outwit to the party so that Speed Demon can hit hard or allows us to neutralize Precision Strike.
Movement is the other issue with Venompool, so I went with Cloak. While Overdrive would be better in that he can carry everyone on the team, Cloak has 18 Defend with Stealth, Shape Change, and Super Senses. It takes an incredible amount of effort to get to Cloak and actually do something to him. Cloak makes sure that our guys are always going to be difficult to hit, whether they’re on top click or their last click. Speed Demon works wonders with him because he can put out the Speed Shadow marker to attack from while staying based to Cloak and always getting that 18 no matter what (even though he starts with 18 himself). He can also give Cloak his Sinister Syndicate team ability, sharing that 11 attack, Prob when he attacks, and Cloak deals 1 penetrating damage when he hits. That’s some awesome synergy!
I added Penguin because we don’t have any number boosting which is a big deal. Now we can get Venompool to an 12 attack with 6 range which pushes him into quite a deadly tool. If we need Speed Demon to make a hit, we can easily transfer the loyalty over to him and although he won’t profit from the range, 12 attack with 3 damage and Hypersonic is really nice, and can nuke a lot of support pieces.
For equipment, I opted for the Hulkbuster Torso on Venompool as it’s just more reliable than the Symbiote is, and we really don’t have to worry about Pen/Psy since Venompool can either just take Stealth or ES/D, or Nighthawk can just Outwit it. Pym Particles are used to shrink Speed Demon down so that he gets another +1 to defense from range (because everyone will be hitting him from range) and this allows Cloak to carry both our attackers.
For Comic Panels, the usual suspects are big here with Combat Reflexes and ES/D being the big two. Stealth is also a necessary, as are Precision Strike and probably an extra target since we’re buffing Venompool’s range.
Basically, the plan is to move Speed Demon up to the Pym Particles and have Cloak carry Venompool to the Torso on turn 1. Turn 2, they each pick up their equipment pieces since Speed Demon is Indom and rest Cloak. Turn 3, you mount up and pick where you start attacking from. If you’re worried about Nighthawk getting merc’d (I wouldn’t since he has an 18 defense next to Cloak), you can keep him in the backfield next to Penguin, attacking for free every turn to move the loyalty around and getting a +1 to his Shape Change. The team looks really strong and although it only has two true attackers, it can harass really hard and it’s going to be borderline impossible to deal with.
Okay, let’s see what Modern without Resources can do for Venompool!
300 Point Modern Venompool Build – No Resources
- DXF 068 Venompool Possessed by Eclipso | 80 Points + 25 Points = 105 Points
- WF 001 Superman | 90 Points
- TMNT3 023 Shredder Clone | 75 Points
- WF 043 Mercury | 25 Points
- AVAS S100 Pym Particles | 2 Points
- Sideline: Shifting Focus Supermen
- All DXF Comic Panels – this is ideal, but not essential
- Build Total: 297 Points
Possession seems to be the best thing we can give Venompool, and Eclipso is the winner by a hair over Brainiac. This gives us Impervious on a few clicks, along with Shape Change up front if we really want it (if they have a Pen/Psy Stealth buster). Eclipso also grants Prob on two additional clicks and gives the Black Blade of Eclipso on Venompool’s final click, giving us slightly more staying power. Brainiac is a strong contender due to the Outwit and Pen/Psy so that Venompool can deal penetrating damage all the time, but the full-dial Sidestep isn’t really helpful and the defense powers decline more rapidly.
I knew I wanted to go with some more high defense, so I went with the incredibly annoying Shifting Focus Superman. With a 19 defense starting and Invincible, he’s already incredibly tough to cut through, and now he’s giving out a +1 defense to everyone else on our team. Now Venompool can have a 21 defense thanks to a Comic Panel which is going to make him all but impossible to land hits on. All of Superman’s forms are strong, and gives the team some nice versatility in a secondary attacker.
I wanted to work the Shredder Clone into the last build, but I liked Speed Demon a lot. I figured the 18 defense is not only very strong, but the -2 attack to the enemy team and the Prob denial is going to make him an even bigger pain to deal with than normal. The free damage is also very helpful to knock down high defense values. For maximum pain, play both Shredder Clone and Nighthawk Prime with Venompool. That’s just mean.
Superman can carry one character, so I wanted a way to move the other around as both Shredder Clone and Venompool are rather slow. I thought about the Batman/Superman Robot to have both flight and Empower to help our guys do more damage, but he’s a little fragile with just one click. Instead, I went with Mercury with the Pym Particles. Now we can TK the Particles to us on turn 1 and equip it to either Venompool or Shredder Clone and make them tiny, letting Superman carry our team. Or you can just go for the alpha strike with the TK, whichever works best for you.
I don’t know if I like this build better than the last one, but it seems strong and very hard to hit. Maybe not as hard as a JSA team with KC Green Lantern, but there’s no way that I know of to cheat Venompool onto the JSA.
What do you think of these builds? Is there another piece that you think would be amazing with Venompool, or a team comp you’ve developed that should do some real work? I’d love to hear about it – comment below!
Man oh man, with this article coming to an end, that means we have to bid adieu to Deadpool Chase Month here on Clix Fix. It makes me sad. I know some of you guys are a little tired of team builds, but this month was a lot of fun for me. I probably won’t do a full month themed like this because a) it’s a lot of work and b) it would have to be another super strong theme that I really enjoy.
See you guys next month on Tuesday!