Top Ten 2011 rules winners & losers: #2 & #1

Posted on April 29, 2011

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Finally at the end!

The #2 WINNER is:

BATTLE FURY

Battle Fury has long been little more than a detriment: it keeps one from making ranged attacks or being carried. Sure, it protected one from Mind Control, but how often does that help ya?

Well, it’s finally gotten a couple of upgrades. First, it now ignores that other light-blue power…Incapacitate. Second, it ignores Shape Change (including the variety used by the Skrulls/Danger Girl team abilities). And, of course, the power retains its other qualities, especially its discounting effect on point cost.

With a pair of completely positive changes and no drawbacks, Battle Fury is nearly the biggest winner of 2011’s ruleset.

The #2 LOSER?

GIANTS.

Otherwise known as Giant Walking Targets, these tall ones have always been magnets for ranged attacks, and the introduction of multiple elevations to the game does nothing to alleviate that weakness…it maybe makes it a little worse.

But the biggest harm they suffer has nothing to do with their own abilities, but rather a change to another. Friendly Giants can no longer be moved with Telekinesis. This used to be a nice little way of addressing Giants’ difficulty in getting into a fight without being shot to pieces first, or getting them out of trouble. It’s gone now.

Another game change is the removal of canceling. Until now, a character could cancel its powers/abilities during a turn. This was good for a few characters who possessed the Giant symbol via a Special Power, allowing them to “shrink” to normal size for a turn and avoid enemy lines of fire — something other Giants can’t do. Now these part-time Giants (Crisis Mordru, M+M Box and especially SI Yellowjacket Skrull) are just as vulnerable as the regular ones.

Giants do get a few new plusses: they can interact with higher elevations at will (though that works both ways for line of fire), or carry regardless of tokens (though only on move actions) and their Great Size and Giant Reach abilities can’t be countered. But their inherent positioning issues are still too big a liability, making them nearly the biggest losers of all.

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And the #1 WINNER after the 2011 rulebook kicks in May 1st is:

PULSE WAVE

It’s always been the ultimate answer to any power in HeroClix.

  • Stealth blocking LOF? Not to Pulse Wave.
  • Impervious target? Not to Pulse Wave?
  • Your opponent keeps forcing rerolls with Prob Control? Not if they’re Pulse Waved.

Basically the only defense against it was to hide behind blocking terrain or a Barrier. But when the 2008 rules shut down ranged attacks in adjacency, Pulse Wave got its own rock to its scissors — a tied-up PWer couldn’t use the power, as Pulse Wave is a ranged attack.

That’s no longer the case in 2011. Pulse Wave can now be used even when based. This is super for every single character with the power, ranging from the great (Hammer of Thor’s Odin and Ultron just got terrifyingly stronger still) to the small (Arkham Asylum’s Human Bomb and Johnny Sorrow are smiling now, even though you can’t see their faces). And the ever-frightening Nova Blast feat will certainly come back in vogue for Golden Age games.

This fantastically simple yet powerful improvement to one of the game’s strongest powers makes Pulse Wave the #1 winner of the 2011 rulebook!

The #1 biggest LOSER on May 1st?

TRANSPORTERS’ MOVE AND ATTACK

Apparently undercosted at its inception and even moreso once true Hypersonic Speed lost its second option, the powers that be decided to remove its ability to fire at full range. This doesn’t affect those with no range, but folks like GX Archangel and FF Hawkeye take a hit.

Um...Aquaman...? The new rules kill Manta enough. You don't need to kill him anymore.

(And, frankly, Brightest Day Aquaman’s latter-dial doesn’t dig this change so much, either.)

With a huge negative and no counterbalancing positives, Move And Attack is the biggest loser with the 2011 rules. But that won’t stop anyone from using it if they’ve got it!

Thanks for reading!

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