It seems like the last set was released just a couple weeks ago and here we are with another set sitting on the horizon. Deadpool Chase Month is over, so let’s get back to regular articles and we’ll start things off with the gigantic set review for A/D War!
There’s been a lot of talk about this set with some folks claiming it the ‘Joker’s Wild‘ of Marvel sets with it’s incredibly low-cost Defenders, nearly identical dials (with one exactly the same), and some power-crazy big guns. I myself really like this set. It’s a little large for my tastes with 73 figures, which puts it over Deadpool & X-Force even with its’ Ultra Chase, but I like the design and a lot of my favorite Marvel characters have some great options.
Avengers Defenders War has a lot of neat aspects. Shifting Focus returns once again in a much bigger way with quite a lot of characters. Throwback figures have shown up too, and we’ve got a neat Chase series that’s kind of like alternate versions of regular characters but not exactly. They remind me of the chases from Avengers Assemble. One thing this set did do is somewhat return to that 50-point formula that we saw debut in Uncanny X-Men with lots of main characters seeing these low cost dials, which I love because every single time I go to build an Avengers team with the big three of Cap, Iron Man, and Thor, I need like 700 points which is a bummer. Oh, we also have no Primes in this set! (you be the judge if that’s a good or bad thing)
Before diving into the review, there is one thing that people seem to be rather bummed about in this set; the Defenders don’t make a very large showing in a set that’s named after them. Instead, we have a very strong sub-theme of Marvel Knights which are the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Defenders. While this works and we get some seriously good pieces out of it, there is a lack of those with the Defenders team ability. A lot of folks are comparing this to the JSA treatment of Joker’s Wild, and it’s easy to see why.
Remember that my reviews are based on constructed, not sealed so please keep that in mind. I’m using the same score system as I do for all my set reviews: No Thanks, Seems Good, and Yes Please! Also, since the set hasn’t been added to the units section, I’m unable to link dials.
001 Dr. Strange – 50 points is a lot to spend on a taxi, and with the new rules coming into place, he’s probably going to get a -2 or -3 for movement when he carries. I like that he can always carry two friendly characters making him a valuable addition to any team rather than just Defenders, but his lack of keywords kind of hurt here. He’ll be a decent taxi for mystical teams. His Defenders Together trait is neat, but I doubt anyone wants his 17 defense. The taxi is almost a must for Defenders teams though. No Thanks.
002 Daredevil – Matt actually has a really strong dial for his 50 point cost. With Charge, 11 attack, and 3 damage that doesn’t drop until his last click, he’s pretty scary. He also ignores both hindering and elevated for movement, so he’s going to get to you no matter what. His trait is icing on the cake. The 4 range might not seem good, but on slicks 3 and 4, that Sidestep will allow him to line up shots. Seems Good.
003 Hulk – In sealed, this guy is a beast. In constructed, not so much. While Hulk has 7 clicks and Indom for just 80 points, his attack values are pretty bad. However, the free Quake from Leap/Climb is very strong (as Chipmunk Hunk has shown us), and his Defenders Together trait gives a +1 defense in melee with his big 18. Still, 80 points is a lot for this dial. If you need a tank, he’s your guy. Seems Good.
004 Hawkeye – This dial looks awfully familiar. Oh yeah, it’s an exact copy of Green Arrow from Joker’s Wild, but Clint here only costs 30 points. There’s simply no reason to pass on this dial. 6 range with 10/4, 11/3, or 12/2 is super strong, and his Defenders Together granting +1 defense against range makes him a good team player. I want like, all the Hawkeye’s… Yes Please!
005 Wasp – Janet earns the second Shifting Focus slot, but changes the name to Time For A Costume Change. For 40 points, this piece is really strong; Running Shot + Incap with two targets and an ungodly 19 defense tiny size makes her a royal pain. Sure, she’s only 4 clicks, but that’s expected these days at 40. Yes Please!
006 Vision – I’m so pumped that Vision gets Shfiting Focus! This guy is incredible and simply put, throws that common Colossus with a single click of Invincible into the trash. 18 Invincible for two clicks going into 17 Impervious for three more? Indom? 3 damage all the way through? Exploit? This guy is just amazing and I can’t wait to use him. Yes Please!
007 Black Panther – How many of you remember playing rookie Black Panther from Infinity Challenge? If you’re like me and miss that dude, you’re going to love this throwback figure. 30 points buys you Stealth, Outwit, and the Avengers team ability allowing T’Challa to move around for power countering without burning actions, PLUS he gets Shifting Focus. This is a steal and with the buffs to Outwit, I seriously expect to see Panther in the competitive environment. Yes Please!
008 Luke Cage – 18 Invulnerable that can’t be penetrated is pretty fantastic. I dig that Luke has Charge on one click and pushes into Plasticity for the rest of his dial, meaning he’s 100% going to base and push for max damage. Wild card or perma-10 attack and good damage throughout makes him a nice piece, but nothing too crazy. Seems Good.
009 Punisher – Well, well. Looks like Frank got Shifting Focus too. There’s no better way to put this; the damage potential you get from this 50 point common is crazy. Although he only gets it on two clicks, he starts with an 11 attack so he’ll probably hit. If he does, that’s 4 to his target and 3 to everyone adjacent. The Marvel Knights trait puts him over the top. Yes Please!
010 Iron Man – I don’t really care for this dial, but it is an Iron Man dial for just 55 points and feels like the character. If you’re looking for budget Avengers, sure, get him. If not, he’s probably a pass. He doesn’t really dish a lot of damage until his 3rd click, so he’s a risky play. The once per game special Regen is nice. No Thanks.
011 Captain America – Where common Iron Man fails, Cap succeeds all over the place. He’s 5 points cheaper, has better values with consistent 3 damage, and has a crazy-good Leadership power, letting him succeed on 4-6 and on a 6, he removes an action token on every friendly Avenger within his 5 range. Holy cow! Yes Please!
012 Iron Fist – There’s nothing special going on with Iron Fists’ dial, just a lot of value. With powers on every slot on every click, you’ve always got options with him. Typical of the character, he’s very strong in melee, but can easily be picked off. It’s pretty nice that he has both Precision Strike and Exploit Weakness though, making sure he hits for damage no matter what. He’s just a good piece. Seems Good.
013 Whiplash – I just don’t see myself or anyone using this guy. Sure, you’re getting 5 clicks for 40 points, and he can token you after hitting, but he’s just so lacking. No Thanks.
014 Wakandan Warrior – Do you have Black Panther on your team? No? Completely pass. Yes? Okay, they’re decent, but nothing to right home about. 9 attack really kills them. The only real value to these guys is if you’re playing the Super Rare Black Panther from this set. No Thanks.
015 Hand Ninja – The new Hand Ninja’s are pretty great. Stealth and the Hydra team ability with 3 clicks is worth 10 points easily. They also get Empower if they’re in hindering terrain which makes them valuable in both range and melee. Great support fighters for a cheap cost. Yes Please!
016 Atlantean Warrior – I can’t help but really dig these guys, and I think it’s because I really enjoy playing the Civil War Namor who pumps out pogs with the exact same starting line. What’s neat about them is that they get their own bonus of +1 attack with that Namor, meaning for 25 points, you’re getting 11 attack. Yes Please!
017 Elektra – Elektra is our last Shifting Focus piece, and this one is pretty nasty. Sidestep, Stealth, and ignoring hindering and elevated lets he get anywhere and hide on her approach like she does. Once she gets to you, she’s got a full dial of Exploit Weakness and a killer 11 attack up front. The Marvel Knights trait makes her that much better. Yes Please!
018 Black Panther – The flip of the coin and our second S.F. piece for T’Challa. This version is okay with Charge, Blades, and Combat Reflexes for just 30 points, and he does bump to an 11 attack on clicks two and three. However, I just don’t see him being the pick over the Stealth/Outwit piece. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sideline him though. On his own – No Thanks. With other Black Panther – Yes Please!
019 Dr. Strange – If you’re playing a Defenders team, straight up you want this guy. Sidestep his whole dial, 18 defense on four clicks, Defend, reduces damage by an additional 1 if a Defender shares his value, and if an adjacent friendly character takes damage from an attack, you get to heal them 1 damage. There’s simply no reason to run him on a Defenders team. Heck, he’s even good as just a defense heavy piece. I can’t wait to try him with Overdrive. Yes Please!
020 Daredevil – Matt is actually pretty good in his old Mustard Yellow garbs. While he lacks move and attack, 30 points buys you Sidestep, 10 attack and 2 Close Combat Expert the whole way through. The lack of named keywords is a boner, but he can do some work. Seems Good.
021 Hulk – This is the lower rarity Hulk that I really like. Insanely good powers and values for just 75 points with Indom make him a really scary threat. He starts low (kind of?) and ends very high with Steal Energy on the back of half of his dial making him stick around a lot longer than he should. Traited Super Strength means he can always dish at least 5 damage. The downside is that if he’s attacked 5 turns in a row, he’s immediatley KO’d. Still, a decent player should be able to ensure this doesn’t happen. Yes Please!
022 Hawkeye – The dial here is almost exactly the same as the common, except we get one more click of health, a top dial Running Shot, and a special attack power much like the LE Green Arrow. Unless I need Avengers theme, I think I’d rather have the common. He’s not terrible; I just don’t feel like he’s 20 points better. Seems Good.
023 Wasp – B-side Costume Change. This version of Wasp is also killer with 18 ES/D tiny size, Sidestep, Avengers Team Ability, Pen/Psy, and another killer Leadership power allowing her to act like she’s 100 points, and when she succeeds, you get two more actions. Another bargain for 40 points. Yes Please!
024 Vision – The intangible Vision is actually better than the dense common with 6 range, Pen/Psy, and 19 Super Senses for two clicks. While he won’t deal as much damage as the other, he’s very hard to put down. The pair of these two is going to an incredible use of 50 points. Yes Please!
025 Swordsman – I’m not sure how this dial got priced at just 40 points. 5 clicks, Sidestep, 11 Blades, and 17 Willpower is pretty damn good for the points. He never drops below a 10 and has a pretty good back end too. His trait is situational, but if it happens, he’s worth his weight in gold. Yes Please!
026 Black Widow – I don’t know what it is, but I’m just never impressed by Natasha’s dials, and this one follows that trend. While 11 attack is nice, she just doesn’t do anything for me. Her damage is minimal and it feels like Wasp is the superior piece if you want to use Incap. No Thanks.
027 Karen Paige – Karen is kind of a throwback to the old Con Artist that use to plague boards. 20 points and pushing to Perplex with 3 clicks of health is all there, but Karen gets some nice upgrades. She has Super Senses to keep her out of trouble, can use Sidestep, and on her first click, she increases all friendly characters attack values by +1 if she’s within 3 squares of an opposing character. She rocks. Plain and simple. Yes Please!
028 Ben Urich – For 10 points, you get someone who can turn off Mastermind or Shape Change every turn for someone within 4 squares. With his Willpower, you’re not really going to have trouble doing this. There’s simply no reason not to pick up Ben for 10 points. Yes Please!
029 Black Panther – Here’s our 50 point panther, and he looks pretty sweet. If you don’t want to mess around with the Shifting Focus, this is your guy. Stealth and Outwit with 18 Toughness makes him a formidable counter piece, and his dial ages pretty well. With traited Leap/Climb and Super Senses, he’s going to be hard to take down. Adding the Marvel Knights trait again makes him that much better. He’s basically a more well-rounded panther than the cheaper SF pieces. Seems Good.
030 Punisher – Jesus, 030 and still uncommons. This version of Frank is your close combat piece to swap from Rockets. With Stealth his entire dial, Indom, and Combat Reflexes, his main use is going to be to get into position to use his Rocket Launcher. He does have a decent attack value up front, and a neat Blades power, but overall his dial alone isn’t outstanding. On his own – No Thanks. With other Punisher – Yes Please!
031 Zaran – Take the common Hawkeye and swap his Ranged Combat Expert for a trait that lets him pick between that and Close Combat Expert and you get Zaran. Oh wait, you only get 3 range. Pass. No Thanks.
032 W’Kabi – Just like the Wakandan Generics, if you’re playing Black Panther, you run this guy. If not, you pass. His dial is just wimpy for 60 points compared to the rest of the stuff in the set. No Thanks.
033 Kirigi – Kirigi’s dial is kind of a mess in that his first two clicks don’t gel in terms of the power combinations. Super Strength and Stealth is odd. He gets pretty nasty on click 3, and he does have a STOP click on 6. If he’s on a Hand team, he has the potential to be practically immortal, but I see that as being almost impossible to pull off more than once. No Thanks.
034 Elektra – For Elektra’s other SF piece, we get a lot of red on her dial. More often than not, you’ll use the common to move into position and then swap to this version to deal damage; her special movement lets her attack every adjacent opposing characters, and she’s got Blades. She can potentially deal 64 damage in a single turn. Huge damage? Check. Good numbers? Check. Marvel Knights? Check. Improved Movement? Check. Yes Please!
035 Dr. Strange – It seems the more rare the Dr. Strange, the better he is. For 50 points, you get 6 range that ignores characters for Line of Fire, 11 Pen/Psy, Empower, Enhancement, and a Unique Modifier that also gives whomever he buffs +1 to attack. His defense is crap, but Defenders will help there. If you dare take his value, you get a flat +1 to defense which is nice (and remember you can chain them). Yes Please!
036 Swordsman – I actually like this Swordsman better even though he’s easier to hit. Two clicks with 11 attack, Charge, and a really nifty Blades power that can either be penetrating and token giving or complete movement lock down through his whole dial gives him a lot of potential. Masters of Evil team ability will make this guy nasty as he can just keep getting to people and neutralizing them. Yes Please!
037 Black Widow – She seems very similar to her uncommon counterpart, so she’s not very exciting to me. She’s clearly the better piece with the Marvel Knights trait, but still nothing great. No Thanks.
038 Jessica Jones – I have no clue how Karen Paige is 5 points more than Jessica. Anyways, there isn’t much to talk about with Jessica. She’s very good, turning off Stealth within 6 squares, Leap/Climb to get there, and the Marvel Knights trait to possibly give her a decent attack value. She’s incredibly kick-ass for 15 points. Yes Please!
039 Purple Man – This guy is incredible, plain and simple. 12 attack Mind Control that drops a Pheromone token on you which he can later use to Mastermind to you regardless of value anywhere on the map. While he’s squishy, if you can pull off his Mind Control, he’s going to be a mess. Yes Please!
040 Count Nefaria – This is a really strong dial, and in sealed, he’s going to be a monster. He’s still pretty good in constructed with three clicks of special Regen, Stealth on top of a monster first three clicks, and incredible values throughout. I personally don’t see myself playing him as I would rather play something like Dark Angel for the same points, but he’s pretty good. Seems Good.
041 Foggy Nelson – If you’re getting just one rare (why would you?), get Foggy. For 15 points, you get to pick a friendly character of 150 points or less every turn and as long as they’re adjacent to Foggy, their powers can’t be countered and their values can’t be decreased. With Sidestep and Willpower, this is going to be very easy to accomplish. I will gladly pay 15 points to protect my Ultra Chase Deadpool and cannot wait to get him. Yes Please!
042 Gladiator – Gladiator doesn’t do anything for me. He’s got Blades and he can use it from range, but he’s already got a 3 damage value meaning it’s only a 50% shot he’ll deal more. There’s just nothing special here. No Thanks.
043 Machete – This guy is like the Twin Katana Foot Soldiers, but without the powers to back him up. Straight pass. No Thanks.
044 Gargoyle – About the only thing you’d want Gargoyle for is his mid-dial Probability Control and the fact that his Defenders Together trait grants Probability Control too. Aside from that, he’s a 75 point Charge/Blades/Exploit piece. Nothing special. No Thanks.
045 Nighthawk – Nighthawk is a bit better than Gargoyle for 5 less points. Although his Defenders Together only lets you reroll one attack die, he’s a bit more aggressive. Charge, Flurry, Stealth, and Outwit give him a nasty opening click and pushes into a very nice 18 Combat Reflexes with 2 Close Combat Expert. Still not the best, but much better than Gargoyle and can consistently deal more damage. Seems Good.
046 The Owl – This is yet another dial that I look at and question the point cost compared to some of the commons and uncommons. Outwit is nice, but why not just play Nighthawk and pick up Flurry? Flight is cool, but he can’t carry since he doesn’t have the Wing symbol. Traited Toughness is good, but isn’t enough to offset his cost. No Thanks.
047 Hellcat – She’s got an okay dial for 45 points, and her Defenders Together trait gives Super Senses, but her damage power is completely weird. Empower is nice, but the fact that she can use Prob when Jessica Jones is attacking is so odd because she doesn’t share any keywords with her. At all. No versions of Jessica Jones matches up with her. So in order to make her work, you have to sacrifice Theme Team. Why wouldn’t you just play a Probability Control piece at that rate? Still, the dial isn’t bad. Seems Good.
048 Nuke – I love the way Nuke works because it really fits his character with a neat mechanic. It gives him some real versatility and that makes him quite a bit better. The Thunderbolts keyword is especially nice as he’ll combo pretty well with Baron Zemo from last year. Overall a solid piece but isn’t earth-shattering. Seems Good.
049 Porcupine – He’s fun! That’s about it. Realistically, he’s an expensive tie-up piece that probably won’t survive more than 2 hits in which his special ability will trigger. No Thanks.
050 Batroc – I would like to reverse my Foggy pick. If you’re only getting one rare, screw Foggy – get Batroc. I don’t see how this dial is only 40 points. Batroc here ignores everything but blocking for movement, and can attack literally every. single. turn. He’s also got Precision Strike which means he’s also going to deal at least 1 damage every time he does. Still have that OP Kit Shang-Chi? Cool, throw him away – Batroc is much better at the perpetual motion thing and is over 30 points cheaper. He’s even got 5 clicks of health and decent values to boot. I predict him popping up in competitive. Yes Please!
051 Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian – Our second Title Character, Strange here is by far the best sorcerer in the set. Dial-wise, he’s got a couple of strong ranged clicks up front, shifts to two melee clicks, and then ‘run-away’ mode on his last two. Prob up front arguably makes him better than Deadpool, although he lacks Indom and is 10 more points. He does have Mystics, but without Running Shot, it seems Deadpool edges out on the dial.
Regarding his title abilities, he comes in with 2 rather than 3, and has some great effects. Adding one gives himself or an adjacent ally +1 damage, subtracting 1 gives adjacent ally’s the Mystics team ability until your next turn, and subtracting 4 says that for the rest of the game as long as he’s on the map, you can reroll an attack roll each turn. Although Deadpool’s Nighthawk Prime power is significant, these seem to be much better in terms of helping your team. If you KO him, he deals 2 unavoidable damage to your closest friendly character which seems a lot better than tokening your entire force like Wade did. Overall, it’s up to you which is better. In my personal opinion, he’s verrrrry close, but not quite as good. Of course, he’s a Yes Please!
052 Hulk – Amadeus is the Hulk for me! Hitting Monsters or big damage characters removes a token from him, he’s got traited Super Strength, and whenever he ‘overkills someone’ by dealing more damage than necessary, he heals for the overage. He’s got a fantastic dial to boot, and although he’s 160 points, he’s going to wreck shop, especially against the bigger guys that can tangle with him. 19 Regen on his last click is pretty beefy too. Oh yeah, he’s also got Outwit and if none of your characters has a power or ability countered, he’s got Perplex. Yes Please!
053 Iron Man – There’s already talk about this Iron Man becoming a competitive piece, and it’s easy to figure out why; pick-a-power. Although he’s not quite Jakeem, he’s got better keywords, has Indom, and already has reducers built-in. The lack of Flight is really perplexing though as even his mold is flying. I don’t quite know if he’ll end up contending with Jakeem, but you’ll most likely see him pop-up in competitive play. Yes Please!
054 Captain America – ‘Old Cap’ is quite the support piece for your Avengers or SHIELD team. Stealth on his whole dial keeps him safe which is good, and he’s got the average 5 clicks for 50 points. His nifty trait gives him a 50% shot of removing tokens off of any friendly character that’s healed which could easily be abused (Hi, title Deadpool!), and he’s got Outwit, Perplex, and Leadership as if he was 200 points. That’s huge. Easily an A+ support piece. Yes Please!
055 Man-Thing – Easily an auto-include for Defenders, Man-Thing is also very good by himself. His Defenders Together lets folks reduce penetrating damage (!) and auto-miss on Mind Control which is really nifty. While his first two clicks don’t look that great, his single STOP click shifts him to a giant with 5 range, Sidestep, 11 Pen/Psy, 19 Impervious, and 4 damage. Combine this with Mystics and Man-Thing is actually pretty damn strong. He’s also got the Thunderbolts Keyword, so bonus! Yes Please!
056 Moondragon – Heather is an odd piece in that she doesn’t instinctively want to start attacking which is odd for 85 points. No, Heather is better suited being a Defenders support piece first with TK, Perplex, and sharing her defense with Defenders Together. When she does, she gets Arrogant tokens that increase her attack and damage by +1 but she loses them all when she misses. That means she really wants to stay back and accumulate tokens before she comes out with a 13 attack with Pen/Psy and 6 damage. Her later dial is fantastic too with Mind Control with 3 targets and a some great melee options. Overall she’s a decent pick, but a little clunky for my tastes. Seems Good.
057 Kingpin – Full-dial Mastermind is going to be a lot better with the new rule changes, so Kingpin is going to see an uptick in his playability. His values are strong and he’s got an awesome trait that only allows him to take 1 damage, so unless you have Pulse Wave, Fisk is sticking around. The ability to give someone who shares a keyword with him Exploit Weakness is pretty great and Leadership to go with is great too. He’s kind of a steal for 75 points. Yes Please!
058 Black Panther – Call me crazy, but I don’t really care for this Panther. Really, the only point in playing him is strictly if you want to play a swarm Wakandan team. While it’s true that newer Wakandan pieces could make him a bit more valuable, there’s just not a lot out there right now to make him worth a hard look. Also, that Leadership power is pretty odd; I’d rather pay 80 points and have it summon on a 4-6. No Thanks.
059 Klaw – While I might be in the minority that doesn’t like the SR Panther, I dig Klaw. He’s got a very good movement power that’s almost as good as the Rare Deadpool, the ability to pick any attack power, and a really good Super Senses/Invulerable-type power. His values are strong, but his lack of Willpower and 110 points is a little too rich. Overall, he Seems Good.
060 Dormammu and Loki – These two are liked a suped-up version of every token producer we have in the game right now, and they’re guaranteed to put out at least 4 tokens a game (3 objects for you and having at least 1 character over 25 points). Their dial is a little lackluster for the point costs, both full and lower, but they do seem very strong on their second click, so they’re very push friendly. Unfortunately, the Mindless Ones aren’t that great with only a 9 attack. The real issue here is that their 150 point line isn’t worth the stats. They’re unfortunately a hard pass for me. No Thanks.
061 Man-Ape – This seems to be a very plain dial for 100 points. There’s no tricks here aside from moving through hindering terrain, and traited Steal Energy. He lacks Willpower, plummets in attack value, only has a single click of Invulnerable, and just isn’t a very efficient use of points. I give Wiz Kids points for a lot of these unclixed characters, but their dials aren’t impressive. No Thanks.
062 Moon Knight – Moonie is a little expensive for 110 points, but like the two we got last year, he’s very good. He ignores hindering and elevated which is fantastic, has a really good dial with strong values, and is a down-right terror. Whenever one of your pieces is damaged from an attack, Moon Knight gets to remove a token, and if they happen to be KO’d, you can place him in their square which rocks. Charge and Running Shot is probably the best combo movement power in the game as he can do whatever the heck he wants, and his single STOP click with Regen and Invul is just brutal (with Flurry and 11 attack, 4 damage). With strong values and Perplex up top, Moon Knight is a seriously strong piece. He won’t see competitive, but he should do well at your LGS. Yes Pleas!
063 Ant-Man – This guy is a bit of a conundrum and I find that people either really like him or strongly dislike him. He’s mobile, tiny, and has the Despotellis effect where he can hitch a ride with an opponent that’s next to him. His value lies in his damage power where he can use Perplex and if he targets an opposing character, they can’t target him. Because he’s always going to be next to them, that makes him very good at turning off ranged attackers and he can drop their defense so he and others can take shots. Still, he’s 80 points, and his dial isn’t that great. He would have been much better for 50 points with a drop in stats or powers. Keep in mind that since he’s placed after actions resolve, whomever he’s stuck to can still make attacks with things like Running Shot. Seems Good.
064 Ghost Rider – Ghost Rider, Valkyrie, and Black Knight are all peanut bases that have an effect if they move through characters in a direct path. Johnny has three point values with 100, 75, and 50, making him very playable, and each line is pretty strong. Only blocking terrain stops him from moving, and he’s got the fantastic Marvel Knights trait. His move-through people power is pretty nasty granting Sidestep and he gets to pick dealing 3 damage or 2 penetrating damage to everyone. Although it doesn’t have the potential that Valkyrie does, it’s more consistent, and his point values are easier to work with. I would almost never play him at 100 as the 75 point line starts better with an increase in defense. Yes Please!
065 Valkyrie – Unlike Johnny, she’s a flat 75 points, and has some pretty good values, but a distinct lack of reducers. Her Defenders Together trait heals characters of 1 click which is very strong. Her attack values do get a little weak which is unfortunate. If you’re looking for big damage, Valkyrie is the peanut base you want of the trio; she gets to hit everyone for their own Blades rolls that can’t be ignored (yes, I know it doesn’t actually say Blades). She’s got the potential to do incredible amounts of damage, but I think Ghost Rider is the better pick here. Yes Please!
066 Black Knight – Again, 75 points and 6 clicks, just like Valkyrie. Black Knight is a bit safer with 18 Toughness up front and Steal Energy in the back-end of his dial. His Defenders Together trait is strictly about him, healing him of 1 damage. Something I didn’t cover in Valkyrie is that both her and Black Knight’s movement powers are Traits making them uncoutnerable whereas Ghost Rider’s is an actual power on the dial. Anyway, Black Knight gets to hit each person with Exploit Weakness with a 3 damage base. That pretty much ties him with Ghost Rider, except he doesn’t have to choose which he does; it’s just 3 penetrating damage. Still, he does start with a 10 attack, so it’s tougher to trigger but only slightly. Yes Please!
Fair warning; these chases are pretty much incredible. Sorry for your wallets and mine.
067 Hawkeye – You want an A+ range attacker? How about one for under 70 points? How about he also ignores characters and hindering? Okay, how about he can also hit everyone on the map for one action? Okay, great, go get this Hawkeye. 8 Range, 6 clicks, 5/6 of his attack values are 11, and able to Running Shot which triggers another Running Shot, which triggers another Running Shot and so on until you run out of targets. With Precision Strike, who cares that his damage value is only 2. This guy is going to destroy and at only 65 points, he’s incredibly potent and puts the Chase Yondu to absolute shame. I’m just glad that the Hawkeye ID card is rotating out as this would change the game pretty dramatically. Yes Please!
068 Daredevil – His dial is strong and if you’re planning on running a bunch of those Hand Ninjas or just Hand in particular, you’re going to really love life. However, if you’re not playing The Hand, he drops in power quite a bit. What’s really neat about him is that not only does he have Mystics, he’s got Super Senses that if he succeeds, he deals the attacker 1 unavoidable damage, so you’re taking damage whether you hit him or not. With traited Stealth, that makes him a royal pain to deal with for only 80 points. This shows you what the ‘Lord’ SR Black Panther could be, but skimped out on. Yes Please!
069 Captain America – Samantha Wilson might look a little lackluster for a chase at first glance, but she’s very strong. For 70 points, you’re getting some really strong values with 11 attack for three clicks, Super Strength, and dial of Perplex/Probability Control. Already, that’s a strong dial. What really makes her awesome is that if she’s carried, she modifies the characters speed by +3 and if she has no action tokens, she can be given a non-free action afterwards. Real quickly, just think about this:
Overdrive + Captain America + Doctor Octopus LE
With these three, if you drive to where there’s a heavy object, you can power action Doc Oc to activate Flurry twice, carry both of them, Perplex Cap’s attack up, Charge picking up the object, then finishing with Doc Oc. That’s 17 damage in a single turn that can reach almost all the way across the map and you still have 115 points open. She’s a very strong piece and should do some solid work for Alpha Strikers. Yes Please!
070 Rachel Cole-Alves – Okay, so 90 points, she has 11 attack until her last click, is Indom, 3 damage for most of her dial, and has a once-per-game traited replacement effect STOP click? Okay, that seems really good. What else? Oh yeah, she can give herself and an adjacent figure any two powers between Blades, Energy Explosion, Pen/Psy, Precision Strike, and Ranged Combat Expert. Pick-A-Power has shown how strong it is, and she gets to do this for herself and a buddy. She also counts as The Punisher for all game effects, even off the map, so she can drive Frank’s Punisher Van. She’s an incredibly solid ranged attacker (or melee with those free Blades). Yes Please!
071 Iron Heart – There seems to be a disagreement on whether Iron Heart is a god or utter trash for 25 points; in my opinion she’s in the former category. Sure, she can potentially be KO’d in one hit, but she could also potentially live through 5 hits. While that’s going on, you’re getting a full dial of support powers and Flight with Sidestep on half of her clicks. Her opening click is also pretty strong with 10 attack and 18 defense. Basically, for 25 points, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Even if she’s KO’d in one hit, how many 25 point support pieces are living through one attack? Not many, and none of those can act as a taxi while using all three support powers. Yes Please!
072 Captain America – Hydra Cap is quite the talk of the town, and it’s easy to see why. With the ability to instantly grant theme team to Avengers and handing out the Hydra team ability to them as well gives you an incredible amount of options. He’s got SHIELD, Hydra, and the Avengers team abilities making him a dream for Wild Cards. He also gets to pick an opposing character at the start of the game and whenever that character hits Cap, you roll a d6 and on a 4-6, it just deals no damage to him. Sure, it turns off after a success, but a one-time get out of jail free card is fantastic. Not to mention his crazy-good dial with a 12 attack, 7 clicks of life, Leadership (hello new rules!) and insane point cost of just 75. It seems like the point formula has all but died with this guy. Yes Please!
073 Hulk – Finally we get a monstrous Hulk that doesn’t take our entire build. Hulk has some fairly lackluster opening clicks of just 10 attack Precision Strike and 17 Invincible for 200 points. Thankfully, he has a STOP click on his 3rd click where he gets completely out of hand. He ignores hindering and elevated for movement, so you can’t hide from him, and has traited Super Strength and Colossal Stamina, and whenever he’s damaged by an attack, his values go up by +1 until he clears. Now those starting values aren’t looking so bad. However, it’s that STOP click that makes him nuts. Now he ignores characters, destroys blocking terrain, and he doesn’t halve his value during his 11 Charge (12 on click 4). He also picks up Impervious and his powers can’t be countered with solid values. Towards the end of his dial, he can use Quake with his printed damage value which is nice. The only downside to this Hulk is that he’s only 8 clicks for 200 points. Still, he’s pretty damn incredible and the combo of him and the SR makes me want to throw all my other Hulks away. Yes Please!
074 Black Panther – Shuri seems like she’s the weakest of the chases, but take a closer look. She’s got very good values and power combinations, ignores hindering and elevated (there’s a lot in this set), and has quite a lot of defensive options. Stealth, Combat Reflexes, and Super Senses, and that Stealth is traited along with Sidestep. She’s also got that fantastic Outwit that also reduces the targets defense value by 1. She’s like a silver bullet for big bruisers. While she might not be brutally strong, she’s still a pretty good value for 105 points. She won’t see competitive play, but it’s still a nice piece. Yes Please!
Once again, we have another gigantic set review; sorry about that. I thought about breaking these reviews up into two articles, but I think most of you would rather have one long article with everything rather than jumping between two.
Please keep in mind that these ratings are based on my own opinions and that this isn’t a concrete guide on what to purchase. You might really like a piece that I really dislike and that’s okay! The great thing about Heroclix is that almost every piece can be used effectively in the right situation.
I’m looking forward to my prerelease this week and the release the week after. Good luck to those that have yet to attend an event for this set yet. See ya Thursday!