There weren’t a terrible amount of bricks in the newest X-Men set, so I figured it would be good to build around one of them – specifically a character a lot of people were excited to see. Face your Shi’ar Overlord! It’s Kid Gladiator!
I don’t know too much about Kid Gladiator; I tend to stay away from X books because there are so many and he’s only shown up in a few books that I do read. However, I know of his father quite well and I know that Kid Gladiator has basically the same abilities. Both of them are powered by their confidence, and this dial represents that pretty well. When Kid Gladiator is on his top clicks, he’s quite a pain to deal with.
Kid Gladiator is 120 points on top dial and has a 70 point line. At full, you get 7 clicks of health and at 70, just 4 clicks; average at top value and pretty low for his smaller option. He has 6 range with a single target and standard symbols except for Flight. He’s also got a nice suite of Keywords with Cosmic, Imperial Guard, Shi’ar, and X-men, although two of those really aren’t that helpful in today’s game.
As I mentioned above, he starts his dial off very strong but declines rather quickly. Movement is fantastic with 12 Hypersonic Speed on top, dropping to 11 on two, 10 Charge on three and four, 9 Sidestep for five and six, and dropping to 8 Sidestep on seven. His attack fluctuates a bit with both powers and values starting with 11, then 10 on two, picking up Super Strength on three and four, dropping to a 9 Quake on five, then back up to a 10 on six, and ending on a strong 11. Defenses are pretty steady with 17 and a special power on his first three clicks, swapping to Invulnerability on click four, dropping to 16 on five, and ending his last two clicks with 16 Toughness. For damage, we have lots of vanilla numbers. 4 on clicks one and two, 3 on three and four, 3 Ranged Combat Expert on five, dropping to 2 on six and seven. What I like about this dial is that there’s potential to do some big damage on every click.
Sure, his top two clicks is where you want to live, but look at the rest of the combinations. On clicks three and four, he transfers to your typical Charge/Super Strength piece, but with 10 movement and a native 3 damage, so he hits for 5. On his last three clicks, Sidestep works very with Ranged Combat Expert, and Quake gives him the option to deal with swarms. If he makes it to his last click, he’s still incredibly dangerous. The dial is a lot better than it seems, if you can get passed that mid-dial 9 attack value.
Kubark does have two traits going for him as well, one of which is the reason you play him. But first…
X-STUDENT: When this character’s or an adjacent friendly character’s attack roll includes exactly one 5, modify one target’s defense -1.
I like this trait. It’s not overpowered, and it’s frequency to activate really isn’t as high as you might think, but it’s good. A great passive that can mean a world of difference if you roll the right number.
Now then, his trait that makes the dial:
ALL GLORY FOR YOUR IMPERIAL OVERLORD!: When Kid Gladiator KO’s an opposing character, modify his combat values +1 until another friendly character KO’s an opposing character.
That’s a hell of a trait. Arguably the worst part about Kid Gladiator is his stats and how (aside from Movement) they aren’t anything to write home about. Yes, he can hit hard on his top click, but a lot of dials do that. As he deteriorates, he’s much easier to take down. This trait throws that out the window and has the potential to make Kid Gladiator last a long time and take down practically anyone while doing it. It has a wonderful way of giving the experience that his incredibly confident once he lands that first KO, which is what I really like to see in Heroclix. The more accurate a character feels while playing them, the better.
An important point to note is that this trait does stack. When he KO’s an opposing character, a trigger with a duration goes into effect and increases his combat values, and that duration is based on when someone else on your team KO’s an opposing character. If you manage to KO another character with Kid Gladiator before anyone else on your team does, another trigger will go off with the same duration. Essentially, you can reach the rule of three threshold and end up with +3 to all combat values if you KO three figures. How does 15 Hypersonic, 14 attack, 20 defense, and 7 damage sound for 120 points? Works for me!
Last up is his special defense power, which is actually incredibly good:
YOU FOOLS! I SHALL NOT BE IGNORED!: Impervious. Kid Gladiator has PROTECTED: Outwit, but only from opposing characters of less points.
Impervious is my favorite of the defense powers because of the chance to take no damage from attacks, and being immune to Outwit tacked on is a gigantic upgrade. Typically with these type of figures, a single Ape Batman or Black Panther will completely ruin their day and make them worm food, but not Kubark. Remember that this is PROTECTED, not Protected, so everything on his dial is safe from the terror that is Outwit, at least for his first three clicks. That means prioritize characters with Pen/Psy and Exploit Weakness to keep KG safe!
Kubark has a much better dial than I initially thought. While he certainly isn’t a competitive piece, with the right team he can do a lot of work and be an absolute terror to deal with.
Keys to Success
With big movement and high damage, there isn’t really anything that he needs in a supporting cast to get the job done; he has those tools. For Kid Gladiator, it’s all about how you can manipulate the battlefield and your opponent’s dials.
More than anything, Kid Gladiator is going to thrive off of characters than can hit for a decent chunk of damage, but not KO people. You certainly don’t want a situation where you accidentally take someone down with your 50 point figure and end up losing a +2 or +3 to your stats. We want Kubark doing all the heavy lifting, so he wants characters who can eat through dials slowly. Poison and free damage is a great way of doing this. Typically characters that work this way will do small pieces of damage and leave people weak for KG to finish them off.
With no Willpower, Leadership is a very good option to be able to double up on attacks. We really don’t want to push Kid Gladiator since those top two clicks are his bread and butter, but it will be difficult if he dives too far. For that reason, TK is a good bet to yo-yo him thanks to his Hypersonic Speed. Support could work as well to help him get back up to his top clicks, but if he accumulates KO’s, it’s going to be tough to actually land a heal unless your medic has Defend.
A Theme Team is also a very good bet for him so that you can choose a map that’s outdoors with lots of cover. This will allow Kid Gladiator to zoom around and take pot shots (remember that he has 6 range, which means 3 for Hypersonic), and get back into safety.
Today I want to present two teams; one that’s themed and the other is a free-for-all with characters that are just good pairs with the kid. Both teams are going to be 300 Modern with no Resources.
300 Modern Kid Gladiator Team – X-Team is Best Team
- XXS057 Kid Gladiator | 120 Points
- UXM051 Iceman | 110 Points
- XXS013 Hellion | 40 Points
- XXS007a Moira MacTaggart | 25 Points
- WKDP17-008 Boxing Ring | 5 Points
- X-Men Theme: +4
- Build Total: 300 Points
I really like Iceman as the Murtaugh to Kid Gladiator’s Riggs. He does a stellar job of locking people down and dishing out a decent chunk of damage, but he won’t KO anyone that’s 50 points or more (most of the time). Like the kid, he has high movement, Flight to get around terrain, and his Running Shot will help him keep up. Iceman also takes the focus off of KG because he’s more of a nuisance and will help to maximize the up-time of our primary attacker. The amount of control he puts down on the field is crazy, and will help to keep people in place so that whether KG needs a turn to clear or not, you get that chance to take ’em out.
Hellion is a fantastic option to get the both of the guys around, and really does a good job of sling-shotting our team into alpha strike range. We really don’t care how low Hellion gets from his multiple TK’s since he’s on the team to perform one job, and that’s at the beginning of the game. Also, if your opponent comes to hunt him, that means they have to run to your side of the map where you no longer have to extend pretty far to reach them; a much easier KO for the kid. Once he’s done with TK’ing on turn 1, he’s a great Theme Team prob piece, and he has Leadership up top to help pull tokens if you need it. One thing to note; in case you didn’t know, Hellion has to finish all of his TK’s before you can take any other action, so you can’t TK an object to a character, have them equip it, and then TK them out.
Moira rounds out the squad as perhaps the best X-Men around. At just 25 points, we get Perplex for either KG to nail that first strike guaranteed, help Iceman connect for two lock-downs, or pump defense, Leadership to keep KG going, and pushes into Outwit to help cancel out big reducers like Invincible or a nuisance like Shape Change. Plus she brings a student ID to the party, which I highly recommend Leech for this build, or Chamber to give Iceman some added damage from Enhancement. There’s just so much value here for 25 points.
For the remaining 5 points, I was going to opt for the Spear from The Mighty Thor to give Kid Gladiator Giant Reach: 2, and that’s still a very good option, but I went with the boxing ring. This is an insane place for the kid to sit in because it throws out Pen/Psy as an option to punch through his defense. Sure, they can jump in with Exploit Weakness and try and get through, but he’s going to hit back a lot harder most likely, and get a benefit for doing so. Since both our attackers have Flight, there’s no downside to including this. Oh, and it’s also a safe spot for Moira and Hellion to sit and pull tokens off KG while he uses Hypersonic.
This team is a little risky because Iceman is pretty easy to KO and the lack of Support does hurt, but it’s very heavy on offense with just two pieces. No Willpower or Indom hurts, but two sources of Leadership should theoretically help in that department.
Next up, let’s remove the stipulation of Theme Team and just use some creativity to make a unique team comp.
300 Modern Kid Gladiator Team – Sometimes Theme Isn’t The Answer
- XXS057 Kid Gladiator | 120 points
- TMNT3023 Shredder Clone | 75 Points
- TMT013b Red Leader | 50 Points
- XXS013 Hellion | 40 points
- SFSMS101 Symbiote | 6 Points
- WFID-020 Nightwing | 5 Points
- TMTS102 Asgardian Shield | 4 Points
- Sideline: D15-008 Nightwing
- Build Total: 300 Points
When I think of free damage, Shredders immediately come to mind. Free penetrating damage after moving is crazy, and if you’ve been paying any attention to tournament results lately, you probably know how big of a deal Shredders are right now. For wallet’s sake, I opted for Shredder Clone, and it isn’t a horrible choice. While he isn’t Mini Shredder, he does have a very good kit, and his damage output is rather low as a guarantee. Blades are there, but you probably don’t want to use them. He’s our source of causing chaos and whittling opposing pieces down.
Just because KG is all about pumping his stats doesn’t mean you can’t do that to start out to make sure he gets there. Red Leader works incredibly well by giving us a total of +3 to his stats anywhere we want. If you know an exact dial length with easy defenses, pump that damage value to a 7 and pick up that first KO right away. Once you start racking up KO’s, you can swap that number pumping over to Shredder Clone so that he can easily pick people apart and get his defense high as well. The idea here is to boost the kid right off the bat so that he max’s on stats quickly and Red Leader can then keep the rest of the team unkillable.
Hellion makes another appearance as the fourth member of the team to get our two main players out there (and Red Leader, too). I just went over him in the last build, so no point in doubling up here.
This time, I’m using two pieces of equipment; the Symbiote and the Asgardian Shield for an even 10 points. Ultimately, I recommend the Symbiote on the Shredder Clone since he already has ES/D, and he’s going to be up in your opponent’s face all game, and giving the kid the Shield to help him in the early stages from getting sniped off. Hellion will be key here to help us equip both objects on first turn. If range isn’t really an issue, or you doubt Shredder Clone will have issues, by all means put that Symbiote on Kid Gladiator and make him unstoppable. It’s pretty nasty when a Hypersonic piece that keeps getting better and better doesn’t need to breakaway and has an uncounterable Shape Change (sans Battle Fury).
I still really wanted to get a medic on the team, so I went with the Nightwing ID card while he’s still legal. While it’s true that only the kid can call him in, you get a fantastic Zucco pog with Perplex and Support to help heal him up, and Red Leader can make sure that Nightwing can KO practically anyone to drop those +1 values on Kid Gladiator to heal him up. While it sucks to lose all the increases, it’s much better to get him fully healed up and start over than to have him on his last legs. This part of the team isn’t necessary, and the boxing ring can work on this build as well.
While I’ll admit that there are probably a lot better figures to pair up with Kid Gladiator (please let me know in the comments section!), I think this is a pretty neat team that I threw together rather quickly. Al Jhor Dan is a primary candidate to be KG’s go-to support buddy as he can practically pick up anything to help get there. Still, I think this team could be rather annoying to play against.
Like most pieces that I write about which I don’t own, I have a certain fondness to use Kid Gladiator now. One of the great things about forcing yourself to build around certain pieces is that you see them in a new light, and now I really appreciate his dial. Just don’t ever play him for 70 points!
What are your thoughts on this team? Did I royally miss a great pairing with him (I’m almost positive I did)? What team have you had success with while playing him? Let me know in the comments section as I love hearing your feedback and don’t see much of it!
That wraps up another week here at Clix Fix! I’ll see you all next week on Two Clicks From KO!