So you want to make the jump and play competitively, or at least you want to up your game and potentially break into competitive play, or maybe you just want a shot at winning your next event. What pieces do you need in your box?
Today’s article isn’t about the very long list of pieces that are required to win competitive events. Rather, this is about what staples you need in order to have a shot at the high-level scene. I’m sure there are plenty of you out there that aren’t big-time players and have fun at your LGS every week, but you’re looking for something more. This article is for you.
This isn’t going to be about Jakeem Thunder, or Krang, or the Shredder Elite, or any other main-board pieces that teams are built around. This is going to be about the side characters that are a good bet to have and will help you construct that team once you get around to figuring out what you want to play.
There are going to be some rules here though.
- This is going to focus on post-rotation coming up in June. That means you won’t see anything from Flash, Trinity War, Age of Ultron, or any of the other sets that are going to be retired in a month. There’s no point in hunting these down now and if you’ve been interested in any of these pieces, simply wait another month and prices will drop.
- Some of these pieces are going to cost a decent chunk of change. I hate to tell you this, but if you’re planning on becoming a high-level player and want to attend WKO’s and ROC’s, you’re going to have to drop some change if you want a shot. It’s the nature of the beast.
- There is no focus here on which type of format you’re playing or themes. This is simply a primer on which pieces are genuinely needed as your cast and from that cast, you’ll assemble an actual force. There may be things here that you’ll never use, but nonetheless, they’re strong pieces.
- DO NOT USE THIS GUIDE AS A MUST-HAVE LIST. These are simply recommendations, and you should pick and choose what you want and/or like. I’ve made it pretty clear from day 1 here on Clix Fix that I don’t profess to have all the answers, nor should you build my teams piece for piece. These are meant to fuel you and develop your own ideas.
Now then, let’s get this under way. I’m going to start from the oldest sets first, so we’ll go from Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and work our way up to Deadpool & X-Force. The newest set, Avengers Defenders War is going to stay out of this for now because we don’t know what impact that set will have just yet, and if you’re really curious, check out the review I did and read up on the characters.
Now then, let’s get this started.
NFAoS 007b Peggy Carter – There is simply no reason that you shouldn’t have Peggy at this point in time. The cost-to-benefit ratio for this piece is incredible with a less than $10 price tag. While she does take your prime slot, she’s easy to call-in and can be a nasty piece that completely ruins your opponent’s plans. She’s seen tons of play and if there’s a single prime that isn’t Jakeem that you should get, it’s Peggy, even more so than Nighthawk.
NFAoS 056 Nick Fury – While I mentioned that this was more for supporting cast, Nick here has kind of taken that seat with his ID card. Almost extinct on main boards, Nick is the most powerful ID call-in you can get, and any competitive player should have him in their arsenal. Nick is most likely going to take a hit with the new rules, but if you don’t have him, you should really get him.
NFAoS 059b Nighthawk – Nighhawk changes the game in a lot of ways, and he’s incredible for his points. Completely disrupting the likes of Krang and any teams based on modifiers or Super Strength to get the job done. Mind Control is getting a large buff, and Nighthawk completely protects your team. He’s also got Outwit which is getting the biggest buff which will catapult him back onto teams.
NFAoS ID Cards (Mainly Level 7) – With the rotation of Avengers Assemble and Age of Ultron, many of the strong ID cards are rotating out, meaning folks will scramble for what’s left that possibly weren’t that great originally. Level 7 is still the king of them all, and you’ll 100% need one of these. 5 Points is all it takes to have a contingency plan.
NFAoS FF 099 H.E.N.R.Y. – For 15 points, you get Empower, Enhancement, Phasing, and a tiny character that anyone can carry. He’s absolutely a staple and I wish I had more than one.
SMWW 055 Eclipso – Possession is a must. There’s no getting around it. For 25 points, you instantly make a character better, and both the modern possessors have Outwit early in their dials, meaning they’re getting stronger. Eclipso has lots of health, great numbers, mid-dial Prob, and a Blades that helps your character heal. 100% needed.
SMWW 060 Mr. Mxyzptlk – (Mix-Yez-Spit-Lick) is going to get a huge power spike since Probability Control is getting nerfed making him one of the few characters that can change Blades, Regen, and Support rolls. Mxy has seen tons of competitive play and it’s easy to see why. This is a piece I would recommend buying before the rules change in June.
SMWW 063 Brainiac – Eclipso is grant, Brainiac is amazing. Top-dial Outwit, Pulse Wave for most of his dial, Sidestep on every click, Regen at the end, and his amazing token removal. While his stats aren’t mind-blowing, Brainiac is going to be the go-to possessor moving forward. Seriously, get him before he rises in price.
SMWW Colossal Retaliators (Mainly The Atom) – While it’s somewhat of a memory thanks to the limited format, retaliators are a big deal and incredibly efficient. The Atom is one of the best uses of 15 points, and is a wonderful insurance plan to make sure you hit for 2 damage no matter what against multiple foes. If you have to only pick three, get The Atom, Brimstone, and Solaris in that order. War Wheel is a fantastic taxi as well.
WF Shifting Focus Supermen – While they’ve seen bits of play here and there, you never know when you’ll need this incredibly versatile attacker or team defender. He’s cheap and efficient and although he might not rank as high as some of the pieces on this list, there’s no denying how strong he is for the points.
WF 006 Mr. Nobody – Yes, he’s really on this list. Mr. Nobody will probably see an increase in play thanks to the fact that all characters will inherently be allowed to use light objects, and this guy lets you place all objects. He’s an ace that everyone should have in their collection.
WF 013 Black Cat – You might be laughing right now that I’ve included this on the list, but for 13 points, you get another body for one of the best keywords; Mystical. With it’s limited Probability Control, the cat can be quite the nuisance and it’s monetary cost is virtually non-existent.
WF 041 Mary Marvel – While the loss of Ultra Heavies will affect Mary, she’s still an insanely strong piece for such a low cost. The change to Regen is also going to hurt her somewhat, but with her protection from the 3 main support powers, she’s the type of tentpole that budget players 100% need.
WF 043 Mercury – Simply put, there’s no cheaper TK in the game. If you’re not playing theme and you can’t fit Jean Grey, Mercury is your next stop.
WF 046 Klarion the Witch-Boy – If you’ve read my articles before, you know how insanely strong Klarion is, and frankly it’s my belief that no player should be without this piece. His value is over-the-top bonkers and every game he’s played, he pulls more than his own weight. 100% a staple piece.
WF 066 Spectre – While Spectre seems like a main-board piece for 120 points, he’s only played for his Probablity Control from anywhere within 12 squares. That puts him into Support rather than attacker, and he’s again another amazing piece for Mystical teams.
WF ID Cards – Pick up any of these while you still can that have a good piece in modern. Since two sets with ID cards are rotating out, the cards from World’s Finest are going to go from costly to crazy. Cards like Nightwing and The Atom are only going to increase even higher than they were before. Aside from those two, priority should be on Green Arrow, Green Lantern, The Flash, and Firestorm.
WF FF 004 Nightwing – 25 points with Outsiders is something every player should have. From nuking Krang to disrupting enemy plans, there’s so much value here for such a small cost. If you can’t get Nighthawk Prime, be sure you at least get him. Both is ideal.
CACW 007 Redwing – No only are you getting a highly mobile piece to base ranged characters, you’re also getting a piece that can reduce defense values. The big play here though is that with the new Hydra Cap, Redwing is a 20 point Avenger that brings the powerful Avengers Initiative team ability for any Wild Cards you may have.
TMNT 013 Baxter Stockman – If you’re playing Robots, you’re probably playing Baxter. With free heals, Outwit on top dial with the new changes, and a very economic price tag or 30 points, he’s a must-have in your support column.
UXM 008 Morlock – While Plasticity is getting a small nerf around Hypersonic Speed, Morlocks are still valuable in that they only have one click, making them perfect fodder for things that trigger on your pieces dying. I recommend owning at least one or two.
UXM 018 Vanisher – ah, the birth of super-taxi’s. While Vanisher has gone a little overlooked, it’s important to note that he doesn’t burn an action for moving from your pool. He also goes into late-dial Prob making him valuable at all stages of the game.
UXM 023b Kitty Pryde – While Kitty hasn’t really seen play, she’s a very powerful tool in that she does what big tanks fear in that she hands out tokens en mass. This pick is totally up to you, but I think she’s something that could prove useful based on what your see played in your area.
UXM 029 Magneto – Good TK’ers are always must-have items, and Magneto is no exception here. While he’s a little costly in that Jean is the same price, his once-per-game free Running Shot can catch people off-guard or can destroy a wall when your opponent thinks their safe. He has options, which a lot of TK’ers don’t have.
UXM 043a Sunfire – 50 points for Running Shot + Pulse Wave. There’s really nothing more worth mentioning here. We’ve seen a slight decrease in Pulse Wave pieces, and Shiro is very efficient.
UXM 047 Mystique – She’s fallen off somewhat in competitive play, but Mystique is one of those pieces that a lot of people don’t plan against when she’s revealed. She’s incredibly versatile and an incredibly safe piece in points. Even if she isn’t your style, you should probably have one.
UXM 057 Proteus – While he’s not a traditional possessor, Proteus does give +1 to all your combat values for a piece of 100 points or less making him very strong. He’s also got a killer dial if you manage to get him out on the board (via a Morlock). Again, any possessor should be in your kit.
UXM FF 002 Jean Grey – The mother of all TK pieces, she’s probably in the top 10 competitive support pieces you should own. Able to consistently use TK for free every turn, or pulling off a double TK in a round makes Jean worth well over her 50 point price tag.
CWSOP 105 Night Nurse – If you’re looking for a medic, there’s no better option in the entire game than Night Nurse. As of late, she’s pushed Baxter out as Krang’s go-to healer, and at 20 points, there’s no reason she shouldn’t be in your support queue.
SFSM 005 Thug – If you have a theme team and 10 points open, Thug is your guy. If you don’t have a theme team and have 10 points open, Thug is still your guy. 4 clicks for 10 points with actually fairly decent values makes Thug a must-have piece.
SFSM 007 Betty Brant – I’ve talked about Betty a lot here and in my opinion, there’s no better Perplex piece in the game right now. She also slows enemy fliers, and has a killer Support click on her back-end. Every click is gold for 15 points.
SFSM 029 Overdrive – Coming in as the second best taxi, Overdrive one-up’s everything Vanisher does. Able to carry fliers, impossible to one-shot, and coming in at 5 points less, Overdrive is another must-own, super cheap piece.
SFSM 046 Mephisto – What a versatile piece Mephisto is. Able to grant Prob to token armies, Perplex, and move pieces around make him a valuable asset at his lower point line. At higher points, you get a STOP click, killer values, Running Shot + Pulse Wave, and a mean ID summoner.
SFSM 048 Frog-Man – What a terrific piece that’s disguised as something silly. The tempo disruption that Frog-Man brings for his minuscule point cost is well worth it. He’s also very good at moving your own pieces for free.
SFSM 054 Devil Dinosaur – Dancing on the line of main piece to build around and very good support, Devil is one of those pieces that should be in everyone’s box. There’s so much value here for 100 points and while that might be a lot for one piece in competitive, he’s absolutely worth it.
SFSM 056 Chameleon – I don’t think Chameleon has gotten the play that he deserves. Think about taking three of these 60 point or less pieces and having access to all of them every game. Time and time again, I’ve said versatility is the key, and Chameleon is overflowing with it.
SFSM FF 005 Kingpin – Are you ever planning on playing the Sinister Syndicate? If you answered yes, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t already own this Kingpin. With Outwit on top, he’s only going to get better and should continue to be a main-stay for Doc Oc/Syndicate teams.
TMNT2 029 Renet Tilley – There is simply no better taxi in the game as Renet. Long range and able to carry 4 people, good keywords, and a special Prob that’s actually better than KC Spectre makes Renet a top pick. She’ll continue to see heavy play for a long time.
JW 002 Harley Quinn – While Betty is a very cheap Perplex piece, Harley has Stealth to protect her and doesn’t need to push to get there. That makes Harley more efficient as she doesn’t eat your actions for two straight turns.
JW 003b Anarky – Not only does this prime have killer stats for his cost and Prob up front, he does a tremendous job of making the board a terror to move through. While he hasn’t seen too much play, he’s a strong pick.
JW 022 The Atom – Nothing is going to put out damage like The Atom for just 25 points. When paired with Jakeem or Green Lantern, he’s an absolute terror for a laughable point cost. He’s also an incredible tie-up piece for JSA teams with Combat Reflexes up front.
JW 036 The Flash – Another staple JSA member, The Flash is very good at what he does which is run fast and beat down support pieces with no reducers. Again, if you’re playing JSA, one or two of this guy will make your team really thrive. He’s still a very good pick on his own as well, and a killer ID card summon for only 35 points.
JW 042 Dr. Fate – Take H.E.N.R.Y., add in flight for carrying, give him Indom, JSA, and 18 with ES/D and you get Dr. Fate. While he hasn’t seen as much play as his other JSA friends, he’s a very strong piece, and has great keywords that makes him a wonderful single-figure taxi.
JW 050 The Penguin – If the token generation is all you care about from Devil Dinosaur, The Penguin is your guy. Shaving off 60 points, The Penguin is better in a lot of ways. He has no limit to the amount of penguins he can create and he’s able to buff one at a time. His keywords are trashy, but he’s a very strong piece for for just 40 points.
JW 052 Green Lantern – If there is just one piece I could recommend you get before any others on this list, it is 100%, without-a-doubt Green Lantern. Someone wasn’t paying attention when they costed him. 7 Range, killer stats, ES/D with 17, Flight for taxi, fantastic keywords, and his incredible Light Wall Marker/free single barrier make him one of the best figures to come out in a long time. Literally every single team he’s played on makes that team better. If you don’t own him, change that. Right now. If you can, get two. I need to get a second one myself.
JW 060 The Joker – While undying will take a big hit once rotation happens, The Joker is poised to be the hardest piece to kill in Modern. Again, versatility is the name of the game here, and Joker does a tremendous job of keeping people on their toes. Top-dial Outwit is going to be even stronger with him.
JW 063 Bizarro Joker – There is simply no better tie-up piece in the game. Period. As long as you don’t mind his only keyword, Bizarro Joker is a terror in close quarters, and has been on a few winning teams to help back his status.
JW 066 Bizarro Green Arrow – I can’t recall the last support piece that changed the meta as much as Bizarrow has. Single-target Pulse Wave? Nope. Ranged Combat Expert? Nope. Nick Fury call-in for a big snipe? Nope. This guy shuts down so many things in the game that he’s a must-have for anyone looking to make the jump to high-level play. Again, a horrible solemn keyword, but it’s worth the cost.
JW FF 004 The Penguin – Another killer 25 point piece that can repeatedly grant +1 to attack and range for virtually your entire team. Thanks to his ability to transfer loyalty to anyone you want on a free action attack, you can pass this bonus around several times in a turn making him a miniature possessor/resource.
TMNT3 014 Mohawk Punk – Believe it or not, these guys have seen some play. Although Thugs are 5 points cheaper and have one more click of health, these guys have Plasticity on two clicks with Blades, making them a lot more deadly.
TMNT3 023 Shredder Clone – While he goes into the main attacker column more than support, everyone should have Shredder Clone. There’s (currently) no better attacker for 75 points and he’s not that expensive to acquire. He’s got incredible stats and makes life total hell for tentpoles.
TMNT3 026 Michelangelo – With a 75 point cost, he’s a bit on the expensive side for support, but hear me out on this one. Not only does he have Prob on top dial, he also grants your entire team Sidestep with his free Smoke Cloud. He also doubles as quite the secondary attacker that can potentially have strong values based on the map.
DXF Shifting Focus Deadpool – While Superman is stronger, Deadpool is very efficient and has lots of options. If you can get the Rare Prime, you get a wonderful 75 point piece that can theme with almost anything you can think of in some way and is nearly impossible to kill.
DXF 014 Cable – True, he’s an attacker rather than support, but for a budget, Cable does everything you want him to do for 120 points. This dial is chock-full of awesomeness and once the new Outwit hits, he could be a decent piece with Jakeem seeing a slight fall in play.
DXF 019 Dr. Killbrew – This guy is such a killer supporting piece that raises so many values that I’m surprised he hasn’t seen that much play as of yet. Outwit on top along with Stealth and the incredible boosting he can do, along with perhaps the best healing in the game on his later clicks make him a huge bang for your buck.
DXF 040 Princess Python – While this set has yet to see some serious play, I think Princess Python could be a fairly big deal. New Mind Control on two clicks and a killer pog that can act either twice in a row or continually act every turn is quite a bargain for 30 points.
DXF 046 Doop – While his higher point cost isn’t really worth it, Doop is incredible at low points. 35 points is on the cheap side for Prob, and Doop has Invincible, Sidestep, the X-Men team ability to help heal (or keep him alive), and a small potential to completely change the game. A+ figure.
DXF 059a Hammer – With a recent ruling by WizKids pointing out his insane damage potential, Hammer makes a fantastic secondary or tertiary attacker. With the SHIELD team ability, he can absolutely fall into support until he’s needed.
DXF 059b Wiz Kid – As long as you have some way to move Wiz Kid around, there is simply no piece that will contribute more to your damage output than Wiz Kid for the points. Take that unique Penguin, add in damage, and make it happen for all adjacent characters and you get a stupid surge in power level. Lately, Wiz Kid has been seen tooling around with Krang for fantastic effect.
DXF FF 006 Domino – 25 points for Stealth and Prob along with Super Senses make Neena a huge asset. She’s already seen some play as the cheapest Probability Control option that isn’t just instantly vaporized. If you need Prob on your team, grab her.
I know that some of these pieces I took some liberty on and that I could be wrong about a few of them, but I feel like these are the pieces from main sets that you really need in your collection to make that jump into the competitive scene. Are there more out there that I forgot about? Probably. I went through each set on the Realms and scanned through until I saw something that I knew was needed and added it, so this list should be complete for the most part. However, I have no problems adding something more to it.
I also know that there are a couple of ‘attackers’ on this list rather than supporting cast, but I felt that they were really necessary for every collection and none of them are more than say $12, so I decided to add them.
What are your thoughts on this list? Anything you can think of that I should add here? Is this helpful to you to figure out what the next step is? I’d love to hear about it!
Before wrapping this article up, I wanted to let you all know that I’m taking a week off from Clix Fix starting on Monday. The Chase series took a bit out of me and my wife and I are taking a mini-vacation and driving up to Disneyland which means I have a lot of work to get done and less time to write. I don’t want to degrade the integrity of the content, so I’m just going to take a week break which I haven’t done since starting this blog series back in August of 2016. I hope you all understand. I’ll see you back here on Monday the 15th! Take care of yourselves!