Colossal Retaliation is a somewhat newer mechanic that’s seen an awful lot of play in the competitive scene, and is one of the best ways to utilize a low amount of points. But which of these big pieces should you use? Who’s worth getting?
I’ve been wanting to do this article for some time, but I felt I should wait because we’re in the middle of the Summer Colossal Event where we’re getting a new retaliator every month, and The Mighty Thor is just around the corner with a whole slew of new big folk which I assume have retaliation powers thanks to the photo I grabbed during Comic-Con. Instead, I figured I would just make this a two-parter article (or more if we get even more retaliators in X-Men: First Class). Problem solved! So today I’ll be focusing on the retaliators that are coming up on two years old from Superman/Wonder Woman (a set that was all about Superman with like 5 Wonder Woman’s), along with the LE’s we’ve seen so far.
In case you aren’t aware of retaliators, they all cost a relatively low amount of points, have single click of health, and usually have a special power called Colossal Indifference, which reads like so:
COLOSSAL INDIFFERENCE: -Character- can use Toughness. If -Character- began the game on the 15-point starting line, he can’t attack smaller characters except via Colossal Retaliation. When this power is revealed due to damage taken from an opposing character’s attack, stop turning the dial. This power can’t be countered or ignored.
Rather than a typical rating system, I want to talk about why each retaliator is good as I firmly believe that every single one of these pieces has their place. I will, however, give you my recommendation of whether you should get the figure or not as they’re quite big and tend to take up a decent amount of room in storage. I’m also going to be taking out the typical language at the start of each retaliation power to save some room, which is “Give -Name Here- a free action if no other Colossal Retalliation power has been activated this turn and choose an opposing character that attacked The Atom or damaged a friendly character since your last turn.”
Let’s get this show on the road!
SMWW G001 – The Atom
Cost: 15 Points
Keywords: Soldier, Wonders of the World
4 Sidestep, 11 Atomic Punch, 17 Colossal Indifference/Indomitable, 2 Empower. 0 Range
Atomic Punch: Place The Atom such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then do so with an area of effect that includes all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Opposing character can’t use Combat Reflexes, Shape Change, or Super Senses for this attack. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.
The Atom is more or less the pillar of what a retaliator should be; he’s only 15 points, has Sidestep to help him carry people around without taking actions and getting tokens, and has Indom and Empower to always be helpful when he can’t attack. He’s got a fantastic generic Keyword with Soldier which makes him very easy to include in a theme team as well. The best part about The Atom though is that his Atomic Punch is just so darn good. Hitting everyone in a 5 square diameter for 2 penetrating damage that ignores three combat abilities which typical hinder your attack is just amazing. The biggest reason that The Atom sees so much play though is this:
He has an ID card, meaning any team can run him for just 5 points, and virtually anyone on the team can call him in. This makes The Atom probably the best retaliator in the game and the best to place on a team if you just want raw damage.
Should I get him? Yes, no questions asked. Everyone should have The Atom.
SMWW G002 – Batman/Superman Robot
Cost: 25 Points
Keywords: Cosmic, Justice League, Robot, Toy
Team Abilities: Batman, Superman
6 Asteroid-Level Impact/Flight, 11 Colossal Indifference, 18 Impervious/Indomitable, 3 Empower, 8 Range/Two Targets
Asteroid-Level Impact: Place Batman/Superman Robot such that it can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then do so with an area of effect that includes all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage. After actions resolve, destroy all blocking terrain within the area of effect of the attack and place debris markers in all clear terrain within the area of effect of the attack.
While the Bat/Supes Robot is 10 more points than The Atom, he’s an impressive piece. The big reason why this retaliator is good is because he gives two of the best team abilities in the game for wild cards and has Impervious, making him a durable yet effective multi-use piece (don’t forget Empower, too!). As for his retaliaton, it’s not quite as good as The Atom, but the fact that it leaves a crater of hindering terrain and destroys all walls is a very good aspect. This guy is perfect for a team that doesn’t do well with lots of blocking terrain, but can handle hindering just fine. If you’re running a Robot theme team, there’s honestly no reason to leave him out of the fun.
Should I get him? Yes. He’s not quite as good as The Atom, but he has more use overall in a game and has less of a chance of getting KO’d in a single hit.
SMWW G003 – Brimstone
Cost: 20 Points
Keywords: Apokolips, Robot
4 Flaming Sword, 11 Attack, 17 Colossal Indifference/Indomitable, 2 Plasma Leak. 6 Range
Flaming Sword: Place Brimstone such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character along a direct line, then do so with an area of effect that includes all characters along that direct line of fire to the target. Roll a d6, and each hit character is dealt damage equal to the result instead of normal damage.
Brimstone is the only retaliator that I’m personally missing, and that makes me really sad as he’s potentially the most deadly. While he’s the slowest of our first three, he can damage pieces without having to activate his retaliation with his special damage power, Plasma Leak, which lets him use Poison but the damage is penetrating. Potentially getting free penetrating damage on 12 pieces is a big deal. As for his retaliation, it’s not the strongest of the bunch as it doesn’t have any big effects, and can only hit a maximum of three targets. You also need two good dice rolls to make it worthwhile (one for the attack, and one for damage). Brimstone is played more for the fact that he’s a cheap piece that deals free damage.
Should I get him? Unlike the first two, he’s a toss-up. If you like his kit, sure, but he’s passable.
SMWW G004 – Solaris
Cost: 25 Points
Keywords: Cosmic, Future, Robot, Ruler
Team Abilities: Quintessence
Improved Targeting: Hindering, 2 Replace Your Sun and Rule/Flight, 12 Attack, 19 Colossal Indifference, 2 Outwit, 10 Range/Two Targets
Replace Your Sun and Rule: Place Solaris such that it can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then do so with an area of effect that includes all opposing characters within 4 squares of the target. Hit characters are each given an action token instead of normal damage. Any character you can’t give an action to is dealt 1 penetrating damage instead.
Solaris has a very different retaliation power as he doesn’t focus on dealing a lot of damage, instead opting for lots of control by tokening opposing characters in a 9-square diameter. With that 12 attack, unlike the other big guys, he’s going to hit. The real strength from Solaris comes not from his retaliation, but from his kit. For 25 points you get a colossal that sees through hindering and has a 10-range Outwit, along with Quintessence and a 19 defense to keep him safe. Sure, his 2 movement is awful, but with the changes to Outwit coming, Solaris is going to see a huge boost in power, and will be one of the few pieces under 30 points that can Outwit through Stealth.
Should I get him? If you want him strictly for retaliation, you could pass him up. However, he’s almost a must with the new rules.
SMWW G005 – Titano
Cost: 20 Points
Keywords: Animal, Brute, Metropolis
4 Plasticity, 10 Two-Fist Punch, 16 Colossal Indifference, 3 Damage, 5 Range
Two-Fist Punch: Place Titano such that he can make a close combat attack targeting the chosen character, then make two separate close combat attacks targeting the chosen character each with an area of effect that includes all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage.
Without a doubt, Titano is the worst of the bunch, but that doesn’t mean he’s bad necessarily. As long as you can get his attack up, the ability to make two separate attacks against quite a lot of opposing characters for 3 damage each is pretty nice, and because it says ‘instead of normal damage’, we don’t have to worry about the damage depletion modifier. Titano also has Plasticity, so when he jumps in the fray, he’s either locking everyone down, or forcing one of those pieces to attack him. Sure, he won’t last long with a 16 defense, but he’s still eating an action. Animal theme teams love this dumb ape.
Should I get him? Titano is the first pass on the list in my opinion. The others at the same cost or lower are just strictly better.
SMWW G006 – War Wheel
Cost: 15 Points
Keywords: Armor, Past, Soldier, Vehicle
9 Sidestep, 10 Attack, 18 Colossal Indifference/Indomitable, 3 Damage, 7 Range/Triple Targets, Traited Crush With Giant Spikes
Crush With Giant Spikes: Place War Wheel in any 4 squares in the same rows or columns that contain both all of War Wheel and the chosen character. Make a close combat attack whose area of effect is all characters in those rows or columns between where War Wheel began this action and the squares it currently occupies. Hit characters are each dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage.
War Wheel by far has the worst retaliation power. First of all, it’s a power action rather than a free action since it’s from a trait. Second, it’s really sub-par in terms of how it attacks and who it attacks, often times only targeting one character. Like Brimstone and Solaris, War Wheel is played more for it’s dial than it’s power. With 9 movement and Sidestep, it’s one of the most efficient taxi’s in the game, and with the Past and Soldier keywords, it can serve as a very good taxi for certain theme teams. It’s also fantastic at blocking line of fire so that it takes a hit rather than it’s precious cargo.
Should I get it? Unless you want the Past/Soldier taxi for Mr. Nick Fury, War Wheel is a strong pass.
WKMP17-001 – Giant-Man
Cost: 15 Points
Keywords: Avengers, Scientist
5 Wing Sweep, 10 Quake, 18 Toughness/Indom, 3 Colossal Indifference (Different Wording)
Wing Sweep: Place Giant-Man such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and also target all other characters within 3 squares and line of fire. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage and hit characters without the wing speed symbol are knocked back.
Hank (Scott pictured) has a pretty neat power that lets him sweep up to 9 characters with his giant airplane wing for 3 damage that also knocks back everyone without Flight. Overall, it’s a mediocre retaliation power, but The Atom is strictly better for the points. Giant-Man also has a different Colossal Indifference wording that doesn’t grant him Toughness on his STOP click, meaning he’s actually easier to KO than the rest. Add that with his exclusivity and you have a very passable piece.
Should I get him? Nope. If you have The Atom, you’re good, unless you really want a retaliator for your Avengers teams.
WI G001 – Ameridroid
Cost: 15 Points
Keywords: Past, Robot, Scientist, Skeleton Crew, Soldier
5 Ragdoll Throw, 9 Attack, 16 Colossal Indifference, 3 Close Combat Expert, 6 Range/Single Target
Ragdoll Throw: Place Ameridroid such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and also target all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage. After actions resolve, place the chosen character in any square within 6 squares and line of fire of Ameridroid.
Wait, this dude has a 9 attack? Why would I want him? Well you see, Ameridroid is unlike any other retaliator in that he doesn’t have to hit in order to use his ability. While he’s awful if you’re looking for a cheap source of damage, he’s probably the most useful of everyone on this list as placing a character up to 9 squares away without requiring a hit is huge. Rather than being a force of damage, he just opts to give someone over for your team to just annihilate with no help from their friends. With fantastic keywords, he’s easy to fit on theme teams and will most likely pull his weight in every game.
Should I get him? Absolutely. Ameridroid is one of the only colossals that sees main-board play in big events, which should tell you that he’s a good piece.
WKM17-G001p – Dormammu
Cost: 35 Points
Keywords: Diety, Mystical Ruler
Team Abilities: Mystics
5 Phasing, 11 Rearrange Reality, 19 Colossal Indifference, 2 Damage, 7 Range/Single Target, Dealmaker Trait
Rearrange Reality: Place Dormammu such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and also target all other characters within 2 squares. This attack ignores Shape Change, Super Senses, and the Mystics Team ability. Each hit character is dealt 2 penetrating damage instead of normal damage. After actions resolve, you may place any number of single-base hit characters in each other’s squares.
Woah, 35 points for a retaliator is very different from what we’ve seen. Thankfully, Dormammu is extremely good for those 35 points. With an effect similar to The Atom that ignores a few abilities (and Mystics!), but the added utility of swapping positioning around is quite a big deal, and is worth those extra 20 points. On top of that, Dormammu has his Dealmaker trait that allows him to roll 3 dice rather than 2, and his attacks can’t be rerolled, meaning he’s almost always going to hit. Finally, the Mystics team ability does something that no other retaliator does; pushes people to leave him alone, meaning he’ll stick around a lot longer than anyone else on this list.
Should I get him? Yep, he’s another great option, and he looks bad ass.
WKDP17-001 – Sinestro
Cost: 25 Points
Keywords: Armor, Sinestro Corps
9 Bolt to the Brain/Flight, 10 Attack, 17 Colossal Indifference/Indomitable, 2 Perplex, 10 Range/Triple Target, Armored Immunity Trait
Bolt to the Brain: Place Sinestro such that he can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and also target all other characters adjacent to that character. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage and can’t make an attack during their next turn.
I love this figure because I remember when the original (pictured) was released waaay back in the day. Anyways, this guy is just terrific. While his impact zone might be small, he pretty much lobotomizes anyone he hits which prevents them from making any attacks on the following turn, on top of dealing 3 damage. Anything that prevents your opponent from doing something should be heavily considered, especially when they have a 10 range Perplex to boot to help the rest of your team while he isn’t doing anything aside from carrying people around. Oh yeah, and his Armored Immunity trait allows him to ignore Pen/Psy and Exploit, along with Mind Control and Incap, giving him a lot of staying power. He could potentially be the best new retaliator in the game.
Should I get him? If you can find him, 100%. Since he’s a con exclusive this year, he’s a little expensive and hard to find, but if you have the chance, he’s wonderful.
EW G001 – The Skyscraper Wonder Woman
Cost: 15 Points
Keywords: Cosmic, Robot
7 Magnetic Skin, 10 Attack, 17 Bury You in Sand/Indomitable, 3 Colossal Indifference, 7 Range
Bury You in Sand: Place The Skyscraper Wonder Woman such that it can make a close attack targeting the chosen character and also target all other characters within 2 squares of the target. Hit characters are each dealt 3 damage instead of normal damage and can’t move or be placed or make range attacks during their next turns.
Both What If and Elseworlds had supremely good retaliators at 15 points that kind of redefine what these characters can do. While Ameridroid was all about positioning rather than hitting, SWW here is all about decimating your opponent. She’s got the typical 3 damage to characters within 2 squares of her target, but she also completely guts them by not allowing any hit targets to move, be placed, or make ranged attacks which means they can do… nothing. Just free actions. Remember how Titano was good because of the Plasticity? How about her Magnetic Skin power that gives her Plasticity and Sidestep, and if someone fails breakaway against her, they get an action token (or unavoidable damage). She’s a taxi like The Atom, a lock-down like Sinestro, and a tie-up like Titano, all rolled into one 15 point package.
Should I get her? YES. Honestly, the only other retaliator that even comes close is The Atom.
That’s all the retaliators we have out so far, but there’s still more to come. If my calculations are correct, there should be two more LE’s for this summer for LGS play, and The Mighty Thor most likely has a whole new group on it’s way in less than a month, so there should be a Part 2 happening if I’m indeed correct. If not, I’ll do a short follow-up with at least any other new pieces that come out this year that have the same mechanic.
What are your thoughts on which pieces I recommended? Think I judged something too harshly or gave it too much of a pat on the back? Who is your favorite of the bunch? I’d love to hear about it!
Another week in the bag for your favorite Heroclix Blog! I hope you enjoyed this article and be sure to check out our Thursday piece on Two Clicks From KO. See ya next time!