Every year, WizKids rotates out a decent chunk of clix usually around 2 years old to keep the game fresh and limit what can be played competitively. What does this mean? What’s rotating? What big pieces do we lose?
If you’re a modern player, this isn’t news. We’re used to sets rotating and killing values on a decent chunk of our pieces in the late Spring every year. If you’re a golden age player, than I hate to tell you this, but you can probably just skip today’s article as it doesn’t really have any baring on you.
Last year was especially brutal as it seemed like Guardians of the Galaxy rotated a year earlier than intended. This left a lot of players wondering where the next rotation for 2017 was going to cut off. After a few months of silence, WizKids finally revealed what was going the way of the Beast Boy (that was a poor dinosaur joke. I apologize. I’ll leave now). Let’s take a look at just what’s leaving us, along with some explanation for each of those areas to answer those big questions at the top of the article.
5-Figure Booster Sets
- The Flash
- Justice League Trinity War
- Avengers Assemble
- Age of Ultron
We’re losing 4 main sets, which is par for the course and a bit gentler than last year.
From The Flash, the big losses here are Star Labs Tech and KC Flash. Star Labs is a terribly efficient TK piece that pushes into a great support piece and has some nice keywords. She’s been a staple for the last couple years. KC Flash hasn’t shown up too much, but it’s been enough to mention his parting. That and the fact that all the KC pieces are no longer Modern.
Trinity War had a few more pieces that lingered into the current scene. Super Rare Batman, Lex Luthor, John Constantine (to a certain extent), Deadman, and Pandora’s Box are the big hits. Batman was another piece that dropped off a bit in play, but there’s simply no better Batman around. This guy is what we all want Batman to be, and it will be a shame to lose him. I’m keeping mine because he is the definitive Bats dial to me. Lex was only really played with ID cards, but he was a strong force that was tough to deal with. Constantine pretty much got relegated to an ID summon, but is a very strong support piece with Mystics. Deadman was one of the key figures for undying team, so that’s quite a big one to lose, even if he wasn’t particularly strong in terms of power.
Pandora’s Box is a big deal as it was the last team-boosting resource that actually made life difficult for your opponent and was relatively cheap and easy to fit onto teams. Each of the sins answered a decent amount of problems and this will fundamentally change how Modern games are played.
Avengers Assemble sees the biggest hit yet as something more than pieces are being rotated; ID cards. Like the Box, this will completely change how things are moving forward. For actual pieces, we lose Triathlon, Juston Seyfert, Jarvis, King Thor, and The Pym Particles. While Triathlon and King Thor were used as ID summons (Triathlon being an incredibly efficient damage piece for 60 points and King Thor being a game-ender), Jarvis and Juston are much bigger hits. Jarvis was seen a lot with the Quinjet and even made it on my Winter WKO team. Juston is probably the biggest hit as he’s the first actual piece we’ve hit in this list to be a Meta staple. Gone are the days of Krang running around making two attacks a turn, or Bat-Knight ramming teams for free. This is a very big hit and frankly, I’m pumped to see him go.
ID cards take a few hits with Hawkeye, Ronin, Manifold, and Triathlon. Hawkeye is by far the biggest as he was the go-to sniper to call in.
Age of Ultron comes incredibly close to changing the Meta scene just by itself as we lose a huge chunk of what you see today. Morphing Hank Pyms/Ant-Mans, Thor, She-Hulk, Jocasta, Ultron Drones, and The Quinjet are all leaving us, along with a slew of other ID cards. More than anything on this list so far, this is the big one. Ultron drones leaving will completely revamp how Modern is played as we can no longer cheat 120 points worth of characters onto the map for 30 points. The Quinjet is also a gigantic hit as, along with Pandora’s Box, it’s one of the last truly ‘strong’ resources, and comes complete with a dynamite dial to boot. Morphing Pyms were the first Shifting Focus pieces in a way, and were incredibly efficient for 50 points. We lose our first of the new possessors, even though Jocasta didn’t see too much play. As for Thor and She-Hulk, they were pretty strong call-ins with Thor being the poor mans Nightwing (thanks WizKids), and She-Hulk being a brutal Charge + Flurry piece.
ID cards lose another large dose with Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor. We do also lose the Avengers Round Table, but the Justice League Teleporter is staying and they’re exactly the same and why can’t we just use this instead of buying a new piece that’s exactly the same?!
Fast Forces Packs
- The Flash – The Rogues
- Justice League – Crime Syndicate
- Age of Ultron – Classic Avengers
Fast Forces tend to not contribute too much to modern, so I’ll keep this in one convenient paragraph. We lose nothing of note in Rogues. In the Crime Syndicate, we lose Atmoica whom was by far the most competitive of these offing up 25 points for Probability Control that could be carried by anyone. We’ll see if Doop can carry on her legacy. From the Classic Avengers, none of the pieces were really big in the Meta aside from maybe Captain America once upon a time, but the Hank Pym ID card is a hit, especially with the new retaliator.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (Movie)
There’s only one piece worth talking about, and that’s Hawkeye. This guy was the king of call-ins and was terribly efficient. With him leaving along with his ID card, expect Green Arrow to be the new go-to sniper (but that dude doesn’t see through hindering like Hawkeye does).
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (Movie)
I suppose you could make an argument that Hulk is rotating, even though he wasn’t competitive. He’s still a fun piece and to-date, the new standard for 300 point beat sticks. Scarlet Witch leaving is a small footnote as she popped up on the radar for a hot second a couple months ago.
Convention Exclusive Characters: 2013
- DC HeroClix: D-005 Batman
- DC HeroClix: D-006 Pandora
- DC HeroClix: D-007 Phantom Stranger
- DC HeroClix: D-008 Question
- DC HeroClix: D-009 Superman and Wonder Woman
- DC HeroClix: D-010 Bat-Mite
- DC HeroClix: D-011 Gentleman Ghost
- DC HeroClix: D-T001 Trinity of Sin
- Marvel HeroClix: M-005 Mephisto
- Marvel HeroClix: M-006 Old Man Logan
- Marvel HeroClix: M-007 Death Mask
- Marvel HeroClix: M-008 Obnoxio the Clown
- Marvel HeroClix: M-G001 Shuma Gorath
- Other HeroClix: WK-001 Holiday Elf
We’re finally losing a good chunk of Convention Pieces! There’s only two pieces from 2013 that are worth mentioning; Bat-Mite (not to be confused with the KC Bat-Knight), and Shuma Gorath. Bat-Mite recently saw a small comeback in the last year with Juston and Krang, and it’ll be nice to lose another piece that changes how the game works. Shuma wasn’t a big deal until about two weeks ago when he won the Canadian Nationals. That just goes to show how these older pieces are still very good under the right circumstances. Shuma is a beastly 200 points and it’s a bummer he’s leaving.
Convention Exclusive Characters: 2014
- DC HeroClix: D-012 Batman
- DC HeroClix: D-013 World’s Finest
- DC HeroClix: D-014 Jonah Hex
- DC HeroClix: D-015 Amazo
- (NOTE: DC HeroClix: D-016 Batman is NOT being rotated at this time. While created a bit earlier, he wasn’t released until 2016 and will be rotated in the future along with other 2016 Con LEs)
- DC HeroClix: D-017 Resurrection Man
- DC HeroClix: D-G001 Anti-Monitor (Black Lantern)
- Marvel HeroClix: M-009 Wolverine
- Marvel HeroClix: M-010 Spider-Man
- Marvel HeroClix: M-011 Iceman
- Marvel HeroClix: M-012 Firestar
- Marvel HeroClix: M-013 Ms. Lion
- Marvel HeroClix: M-014 Whiplash
- Marvel HeroClix: M-015 Doop
- Marvel HeroClix: M-016 Hulk and Red She-Hulk
- (NOTE: Marvel HeroClix: M-017 Doctor Nemesis is NOT being rotated at this time. While created a bit earlier, he wasn’t released until 2016 and will be rotated in the future along with other 2016 Con LEs)
- Marvel HeroClix: M-018 Impossible Man
- Marvel HeroClix: M-G002 Zombie Galactus
- Marvel HeroClix: M-G003 Sentinel (Captain America)
- Marvel HeroClix: M-T001 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
- Other HeroClix: WK-002 Krampus
Two years worth of exclusives is bigger than expected. Luckily, this is fairly tame in terms of what we lose like 2013. Resurrection Man is a bit of a hit as he was another member of the undying team and saw a… resurrection in play this year (DAMMIT, I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it). On the Marvel side, we lose another kind-of undying member in Doop who was really nasty with the Sloth relic, and you could argue Zombie Galactus. He’s worth mentioning even though he doesn’t see play. There will no longer be any type of Galactus in Modern. Tears from my eyes.
Monthly Organized Play Sets
- September 2014 Marvel X-Men (M-019 Angel, M-020 Psylocke, M-021 Rogue)
- October 2014 DC Gen13 (D-018 John Lynch, D-019 Sarah Rainmaker, D-020 Cheshire)
- November 2014 Marvel Excalibur (M-022 Pete Wisdom, M-023 Captain Britain, M-024 Cannonball)
- December 2014 DC Justice League (D-021 Black Canary, D-022 Wonder Woman, D-023 Wonder Girl)
There’s only one piece to talk about here that hurts, and that’s Black Canary. She was only used as a call-in for Running Shot + Pulse Wave, but that hurts. Pulse Wave is the great equalizer, and it was awesome to add 5 points to your force and have a one-time-use, break the glass in case of emergency figure. Like Nova before her, folks are going to have to look elsewhere for cheap situational Pulse Wave.
- DC HeroClix: Justice League Strategy Game
- Marvel HeroClix: Age of Ultron Legacy of Hank Pym Box Set
- Marvel HeroClix Free Comic Book Day 2015: Avengers Quick-Start Kit
While the Legacy of Hank Pym set is technically an ‘other release’, I grouped it with Age of Ultron since it’s linked to that set. There’s nothing of serious note here.
- In addition to the above game elements, all Additional Team Abilities (ATAs) will be rotated from Modern Age play as well.
Wow. In case you didn’t know this, ATA’s are no longer a thing. Whether you agree with this or not, it is a relatively large loss in what your options are with a team. There are simply way too many ATA’s for me to talk about which ones of note we lose, so it’s best to just wipe them from your memory. If you’re a Golden Age player, or your LGS doesn’t agree with this, you can simply choose to not follow this rule. It really only matters if you’re playing at a new venue or planning on competing. My personal feeling is that I’m fine with ATA’s leaving the game as they’re very situational.
Okay, we’re done looking over what’s leaving. How did you do? I did okay. Lost a decent chunk of pieces. Perhaps the biggest losses for me are the chunk of ID cards, the Quinjet, Morphing Hank Pyms, Batman, and Zombie G-Man.
Like every rotation, this is going to completely change how Modern is played, but I feel this one is on almost the same level of last year’s. In case you don’t remember or weren’t playing then, the big deal last year was that War of Light rotated out, which took all the Power Batteries and Entities, as well as all the Zombies from Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy. While Batteries were a damn blight on the game (in my opinion of course), Ultron Drones are up there. Adding in 35 points (30 for the drone + 5 points for an ID card) to your build and being able to call in 120 points worth of death for a single turn that could easily be removed on the same turn to deny points was a big strategy and these guys found their way on almost every build out there that wasn’t themed.
The Quinjet and Pandora’s Box leaving shakes things up in the resource department as we slowly make our way to a resource-less Modern Age. I don’t know how I feel about resources dying off. On the one hand, they take the game to the next level and can elevate your team and pieces to do something really neat. On the other hand, they can be completely and utterly unfair like all the Power Batteries (I’m looking at you, Green!), and the Book of the Skull. While Pandora’s Box wasn’t as lethal as these older resources, it made a name for itself in the last year and it’s a bit sad to see it go. The Quinjet on the other hand was a brutal piece that exacerbated an already terrible problem with ID cards. I’m just bummed we’re losing such a cool looking piece that’s relevant to the comics. It was neat to use the jet and say that’s how your Avengers got to the fight.
While the ID cards we lose are problematic as that mechanic isn’t going anywhere (seriously, there’s just no way folks are going to stop using these because Drones are gone), a majority of those played today are in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and World’s Finest, so we won’t see a big hit in their play until next year (see below).
So What Does This All Mean?
Let’s briefly talk about where the cut-off left us. The oldest set in Modern will now be Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., meaning two things. One – Nick Fury and Felix Faust are sticking around for another year. Two – we can accurately assess where rotation will cut to next year. See, last year with everything rotating through Guardians of the Galaxy, it left us with this… confusion as to where WizKids would cut to this year. It seemed that every piece got two shots at Worlds, which takes place in June in just a couple weeks. Because of that, we all assumed that Guardians would be safe as it had come out in August of 2014 and hadn’t actually seen two years of play. Instead, WizKids did a weird semi-rotation where the set was legal for Worlds, but rotated on July 1st.
This line of thinking led some of us to believe that Age of Ultron was going to stick around. See, AoU was a Storyline Organized Play set, or SLOP, and didn’t conclude until August. That means that the Quinjet only had one shot at Worlds, which it won last year. Based on the ‘two shots at Worlds’ evidence, some of us thought either they would keep AoU around for another year, or do another weird rotation. That clearly isn’t the case. With the return to cutting up to August sets, we can kind of guesstimate what we’ll see rotate in approximately 365 more days.
What Will Rotate in 2018?
- Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (100% will rotate)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (100% will rotate)
- World’s Finest (100% will rotate)
- Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Boredom)
- Captain America: Civil War (Movie)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Uncanny X-Men
- Civil War SLOP
This is of course a guess, but based on what rotated this year, all of these sets will have hit 2 years old by next Summer, meaning they should get the axe. This also doesn’t include Con LE figures or OP kits as I have no clue where they’ll cut (but we’ll most likely lose all 2015 Con LE’s). What will change based on next year? ID cards will no longer be a thing. KC will again retreat into Golden Age. Nick Fury will be gone! Felix Faust will finally leave us all alone. All possession will be retired. Next year marks probably the biggest change yet as we’ll see Heroclix sort of devolve into a more simpler game with less pieces that work on the sidelines. What will we see in the next year with The Mighty Thor, and Harley Quinn and the DC Girls? Only time will tell. Either way, it’s a little worrying that the game is going to fundamentally change at the Modern level.
Okay, I’m Prepped For Rotation. Now What?
Remember that super-cool article I did a few weeks back that talked about what pieces you should get ahold of for dipping into competitive play? You don’t? Oh, well lucky you, I’ve linked it here! That list was completely geared for rotation. It’s almost like I planned this out ahead of time (I didn’t. I’m lying to you. Just go with it).
Some of you might be worrying that this is the end, and that your favorite piece is being rotated driving it’s worth down. I say to you, relax. This happens. It’s part of the game, and I can almost guarantee that something cool will come out that you’ll have to have.
Moving forward, it seems that with these big mix-ups to resources leaving only The Punisher Van, Supreme Intelligence, and Justice League Teleporter, and the loss of drones, players will look for new ways to win games and abuse what’s available. We’ve already seen that start to happen with Jakeem Thunder, the new Iron Man (which by the way, was errata’d to have Flight, in case you didn’t know), and the newly revealed Goblin King from What If… are proving that pick-a-power is taking the place of the older mechanics. It seems that WizKids would rather give us pieces that can do a variety of things on their own rather than having to buy a single piece and then a possessor, and then a resource in order to make a decent competitive team. Say what you will about the prices of pieces like Jakeem, but it’s kind of better than having to buy so many pieces and transporting an army, like the Warhammer and War Machine crowd do.
At the end of the day, the game will move forward and in a month or two, you’ll probably forget all about these figures that rotated out. Oh, I almost forgot to mention when rotation was happening. Silly me.
2017 ROTATION IS AS OF JUNE 1ST.
That’s right, in just two days. I hope you got a chance to play these pieces before they rotated.
I hope you all enjoyed this article and found it to be helpful. What pieces did you lose that you’re bummed about? What are you hoping comes out in the next year or two to help with that loss? Anything you’re stoked to see leave? How upset are you that Felix Faust wasn’t rotated early? Feel free to answer any of these or anything else in the comments below.
My plan is to start up the Two Clicks From KO blog this week, so stay tuned. I got a promotion at work as an Art Director, so I’ll be losing a bit of my free time. The debut article is written and now the site just needs to be retuned. So, I’ll see you all here on Clix Fix next Tuesday, and make sure to visit www.TwoClicksFromKO.Wordpress.com starting on Thursday (FINGERS CROSSED). See ya!