New Comic Day Battles: PHOENIX RISING

Posted on March 23, 2011


I pulled this 297-point one-woman army in a sealed tournament this weekend. So I just had to play her.

Phoenix (Giant-Size X-Men) 297

= 297 points. My strategy: to simply Hypersonic hit-and-run until nothing’s left. Simple but hard to do when the opponent has at least 3 actions to my 1.

FIRST ROUND I faced Jay’s Skullbuster, Domino, and Caliban on his choice of the Bridge map. This map’s elevated terrain on the ends is my potentially insurmountable advantage; Jay’s two Stealthy characters and just as many with penetrating damage powers are his.


  • I miss my first four attempts to hit Skullbuster, whose Penetrating/Psychic Blast can ruin my day in a hurry. The last miss leaves me completely exposed.
  • Skullbuster doesn’t miss. Without the ability to run to safety and still fight, Phoenix is eventually completely overwhelmed, especially when Regeneration rolls completely fail.

0-1. My mistake was attempting to hit and run on my last miss against Skullbuster, knowing I couldn’t get to safety. I should have moved in for a close-range hit and then remained in base contact to prevent the easy Running Shot Psychic Blast, instead forcing the breakaway attempt.


SECOND ROUND was against Sammy, a very young player running SR Archangel, Wolverine and Skullbuster on the Tank map. He’s not nearly as good a player yet, and despite an opening-attack critical miss on my part, I cruise to an easy wipeout. 1-1.


FINAL ROUND was on the School Ruins — my choice — against Paul’s Emma Frost, Stryfe and Beast.


  • I picked this map for thematic reasons and for the walls. But Paul had picked this map in both matches, and knew how to play it perfectly, stationing the Stealthy Stryfe in position to TK Emma from hiding in a corner to wherever she needed to be to best Psychic Blast Phoenix off her game.  Plus, there was absolutely no way I could get to either enemy without being open to a massive counterattack.
  • I set up too close and got hit first, negating my hit & run ability and getting attacked 3 times for every one time I could hit back.
  • And unfortunately, about 75% of my attacks weren’t hits. I did more damage to Beast with Poison and his own pushing than anything.
  • Though I managed to escape a couple of times with Regeneration rolls and her own self-reviving ability, a final terribly-timed critical miss stranded me in the middle of a HSS attack without damage reducers, enabling even the near-dead Emma to take Phoenix out. Unbelievable…and not comic-accurate at all.

Then again, as I quipped in my loss: "Phoenix always dies."

I think it’s a guarantee…tentpole forces lose if they miss more than three times before taking out any opponents. But there was nearly as much user error as poor dice rolling. My biggest mistake in this match was playing my opponent’s game instead of changing the game. I should have HSS-shot out the wall Emma was hiding behind…that would have left me with enough spare movement to get to a defensible position that would still grant attack opportunites.

This has me hot to try her out again, to redeem my losses! PHOENIX WILL RISE AGAIN!!!