This past week featured the 2017 Heroclix Nationals and Worlds at Origins in Columbus Ohio, and we have a new champion that has been crowned for both events. Today I’d like to talk about their teams in-depth.
We’re two thirds of the way through the major summer happenings in Heroclix. With 2017 Nationals and Worlds concluded, the only thing we have left is the new rules coming August before things slow down for a month or two before we gear up for the last big event of the year with the ROC world cup in October. Anyways, the teams that are played in these events are the cream of the crop as nothing is off limits (that’s Modern) and players vie for a chance to design their own figure and win crazy prizes.
Thursday, June 15th held the U.S. Nationals, and at the end of the day, it came down to Dustin Seeders and PJ Bolin playing for the crown, with Dustin coming out on top. The next day was another incredibly long one with Worlds taking place and the final matchup of Howard Brock and Matthew Greichunos. Howard ended up taking the big win (and his 3v3 team took the win on Saturday as well!) and showed us that the meta isn’t all Jakeem and Felix Faust. Let’s take a look at both teams, starting with Dustin’s Nationals-winning team.
2017 U.S. Nationals Winning Team (Dustin Seeders) – 300 Points Modern
- JW 053b Jakeem Thunder | 140 Points
- WKD-027 Felix Faust | 80 Points
- JW 066 Bizarro Green Arrow | 50 Points
- WKM-R001 Supreme Intelligence Resource (assigned to Jakeem) | 12 Points
- WKMP17-007 Pym Pocket Tank | 8 Points
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 ID Card | 5 Points
- Spider-Man ID Card | 5 Points
- Sideline: NFAoS 056 Nick Fury, WI 038r Cosmic Spider-Man
- Build Total: 300 points
Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t it seemed like newer sets have pushed people into not playing tentpole teams? It certainly seems that way, but Dustin (and many other competitive players) opted for a tentpole build with everyone’s favorite Super Rare Prime, Jakeem Thunder. As many of you knew, either from reading my past articles or just being on the up-and-up with competitive play, Supreme Intelligence was going to be the go-to resource once rotation hit. For a measly 12 points, S.I. gives Jakeem Willpower which is probably his biggest weakness and puts him around the same playing level as Goblin King, but he’s 23 points cheaper which is a big deal. Aside from the added Willpower, there’s no real secrets to S.I. While it can get into some other nice powers, it’s purpose is allowing Jakeem the freedom to act two turns in a row without burning his only defense power option. The Stealth is a nice bonus, too.
While the ROC may have re-banned Faust after the nonsense at last year’s world cup, WizKids has done no such thing, and as I detailed in my post-rotation article, we’re stuck with this jerk for another year. Luckily, that only means we’ll be seeing him in WKO events. Anyways, Dustin used the vast majority of his remaining points on Felix Faust, and when combined with Jakeem, this creates a disgusting power couple that can react to whatever you bring while locking you out of random game elements. Faust is complete control, and his presence was felt during the week’s events. I’ve talked about Faust at lengths before, so you should know what he does by now. It is important to note though that Jakeem can easily position Faust to be within 7 squares for his errata’d powers and then shell up for defense.
Bizarro Green Arrow rounds out Dustins small team as the ultimate protection from range for his two power pieces, and again, we’ve seen this guy do work before. As long as Bizarrow stays close to the rest of the team, it’s incredibly difficult to get the first hit, and he shuts down both Nick Fury and Cosmic Spider-Man as ID call-ins. I’m surprised that in the featured matches that were shown (that I saw), virtually no one had the Chase Hawkeye on a Level 7 ID card in case they faced Bizarrow. I wonder if people sort of forgot about him or didn’t think he was a threat any longer. Regardless, this is just another way for Dustin’s team to take options away from you.
One thing you’ll see in common in just about every. single. build from Nationals and Worlds is the Pym Pocket Tank. For 8 points, the amount of damage this provides is just insane, and with the current rules, Jakeem can easily carry either Faust or Bizarrow along with the tank because of it’s tiny size. What’s important to note about the tank is that when it does activate in an attack, the placement isn’t actual an attack of any kind, meaning Shape Change and Super Senses don’t get a chance to trigger, nor does Mystics zap the tank with unavoidable damage. Having a piece that does what The Atom can do but doesn’t need the trigger of one of your characters being hurt first and getting to reposition everyone it hits makes this piece a must-own for competitive. While it might be an easy 50 points afterwards, you’re borderline guaranteed to take more than that once it’s activated. Before moving on, it seems that the Bridge map from Uncanny X-Men is seeing some high-level play because if your 4-man team sits on one of the elevated spaces in the starting zones, you’re immune to a tank hit because it can’t be placed. Elevation is the biggest counter to this.
Rounding out the end of Dustin’s build were two ID cards with S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 and Spider-Man, and they seem to be the go-to ID cards currently. Level 7 has been around for a while, and we all know that it can call-in the golden boy Nick Fury, but Spider-Man is brand new, and you can thank What If… for that. At 75 points, Cosmic Spider-man is probably the best ID call-in the game right now as he’s cheap so your main attacker doesn’t have to take the token, he shoots through everything but characters, and has 11 attack with 4 penetrating damage. That’s a hell of a bargain, and a great option for 5 points. This is probably the number 1 reason why Cosmic Spider-Man is so expensive, and I can imagine that his ID card is only going to shoot up in price.
Note: Dustin may have had some other characters sidelined for his ID cards, but I couldn’t find anything, so please excuse me if I skipped some.
Summary: Dustin’s team is a brutal build that maximizes damage and controls just about everything you try and do. If Faust rolls well, he can completely dominate the game and his opponent will have virtually no choice but to watch as everything unfolds.
Moving on to Howard Brock’s World’s winning team, we see something pretty radically different in terms of a high-level build. See if you can spot it before I start discussing the team.
2017 Worlds Winning Team (Howard Brock) – 300 Points Modern
- WI 040e Goblin King | 175 Points
- JW 060 The Joker (3 escape tokens) | 30 Points
- WF 043 Mercury | 25 Points
- ADW 071 Iron Heart | 25 Points
- SMWW G001p The Atom | 15 Points
- WKMP17-007 Pym Pocket Tank | 8 Points
- SFSM S101 Symbiote | 6 Points
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 ID Card | 5 Points
- Spider-Man ID Card | 5 Points
- Nightwing ID Card | 5 Points
- Sideline: NFAoS 056 Nick Fury, WI 038r Cosmic Spider-Man, D15-008 Nightwing
- Build Total: 299 Points
Did you catch it? Notice a game element missing from Howard’s build? There’s no resource! When was the last time we had a team without a resource do well, or even win a large-scale event, let alone Worlds? I honestly have no clue because it was probably before I got back into the game in 2014.
Howard opted for the new and disgusting Goblin King at 175 points rather than running Jakeem Thunder, and he showed why this piece will be the new contender in the meta. Although he’s 35 points more than Jakeem, he isn’t limited in what he picks, he can pick his powers whenever he wants, and has Power Cosmic to grant Willpower and counter Outwit. Although he might be the same type of character that Jakeem is (albeit with a little more salt thrown in), I’m really excited to see Jakeem be dethroned. How many events have we seen with Jakeem on top, or with multiple slots in top 4? You might argue and say this is the same thing, but it’s refreshing to see A) something new and B) a Marvel character come out on top for me. Personal opinion, folks!
What’s better than having a disgusting monster that can’t have his powers countered? How about being able to redirect all damage dealt to him at the same time, regardless of the source? Howard included HAHA Joker at 30 points as the King’s Mastermind fodder and source of Outwit. When his opponents were free to act, all he had to do was pick up Mastermind and keep Joker close and that narrow window you had to inflict any harm on him suddenly became a lot smaller. We’ve seen The Joker do work in the past, so it’s no surprise to see him here.
Mercury is a pretty easy pick and simple enough to describe; he’s the cheapest source of TK in the game (and of all-time). There really isn’t anything else to cover here. You could note that adding in a source of TK gives him even more swing on his Goblin King, but that’s kind of stating the obvious (which is what I just did. Yay me).
I’m particularly proud of Iron Heart being on this team. If you remember just a few weeks ago when we were still in the honeymoon phase of Avengers Defenders War, there seemed to be a rather tense discussion on whether or not Iron Heart was a ridiculously strong or absolutely worthless piece, and I was heavily on the side of the former. I knew that she had a place in the meta and it just took one person to make her work. Little did I know that she would be on the winning team for Worlds! Iron Heart provides so much utility for only 25 points, it’s not even funny. She serves as the team’s taxi (GK can take Earthbound, or she can shuttle Joker after GK is TK’d), is another source of Outwit, and can be a back-up source for Mastermind. Since she can’t be one-shotted, she is incredibly potent and brings so much value to your team for such a small investment. Also, because her ability is a trait, fancy-pants Nick Fury can’t do anything about it. Only Pulse Wave gets around her, and who wants to Pulse Wave a 25 point piece for 6 damage? I can’t think of anyone.
Remember how I talked about how the Pocket Tank is like The Atom, but doesn’t have to wait for conditions to be met? This team says “I want both” and has two sources to drop 2 penetrating damage that gets around dodging abilities, and it only costs 23 points. I’ve talked about The Atom enough in the last year to make myself blue in the face, and I just covered the Pym Tank, so there isn’t too much more to cover here.
Although Howard didn’t run a resource, he did run a special object with the Symbiote. Thanks to Mercury’s TK, he can easily equip this to Goblin King on turn 1, and this grants his already super-powered machine to pick up even more utility, granting him permanent Shape Change, Plasticity, and automatic breakaway. Howard even credited the Symbiote as being the key piece to his build as the free Shape Change saved him more times than he could count. Let it be known that we are entering the age where special objects just might be the better pick over a resource.
For ID cards, the team went the same route as Dustin, but added in Nightwing, and he’s another piece I’ve talked about at-lengths. Although he does have to use his only attacker to call Nightwing in, he can easily take support powers and boost him up to a 4 damage (5 with the Tony Zucco pog) and maximize damage on the turn his King is down. Also, who doesn’t want healing for a 175 point beat stick?
Summary: Howard’s team is equal parts brutal and calculating with every little piece adding to make the whole a destructive machine. One thing to point out is that his entire team is incredibly hard to kill. Goblin King taking Mastermind along with so many other powers, HAHA Joker, and Iron Heart as the three pieces that will be up in your face, yet none of them can easily be KO’d. This adds a whole other layer to the team and really cements your fate.
Of these two teams, I really like Howard’s Goblin King team. With pieces like Iron Heart and Mercury, it’s a bit of freshness than what we’re used to seeing. Faust isn’t present, which makes me insanely happy as the community has sort of collectively agreed that he’s incredibly undercosted. At the front of it all is a gigantic Marvel character with an Infinity Gauntlet trait, so I’m sort of pre-disposed to like this team build.
As more information comes out concerning teams, I’ll try and highlight some other builds. I did manage to see a Punisher Van team that was really neat, and would love to talk about that since it’s one of only three resources and we just got, like, 80 new Punishers (so many options!). For now, reflect on what the meta holds as this will be the staple moving forward until something comes forward to beat it. At WKO’s, plan on seeing more Faust as he can easily be combined with either Jakeem or Goblin King. At ROC’s, plan on mirror builds of Howard’s team showing up, or small tweaks to it. Plan on seeing Jakeem + Goblin King builds as they’re fleshed out a bit more.
I hope you all enjoyed this look into the two winning teams from this past week. Which of these two is the team you would run or like better? Did you see or hear about a team that you enjoyed that you’d like to see featured here? Comment below and include any builds from the events and I’ll see what I can do about covering them. Heck, maybe I’ll do a multi-build article where I run through 5-10 teams in one day with shorter descriptions; who knows!
In the meantime, I hope you’ve all been enjoying my articles on Two Clicks From KO. I’m trying to balance which content gets posted on which website so that you’re all getting the same amount of information as you were before. It’s free, just like Clix Fix, so I encourage you to check us out! See you next week (and Thursday on Two Clicks)!