Top Ten Duos in HeroClix: an introduction

Posted on July 30, 2012


Duo figures have been a curiosity and a controversy since their introduction in 2007’s Avengers set. It’s not hard to see why. It’s true that some characters are so close as to be inseparable and the duo status fits perfectly. But critics say that’s not the case for any but a select few characters. They also complain that it’s a cheap way of filling out character “selection” without actually making real individual dials of them.

But let’s look objectively at duo status.

Being a duo is doubly good because:

  • Duo Attack is like Flurry, only with the potential for range. Unlike the red Speed power, which sometimes fails due to the target no longer being eligible for the 2nd hit, either of the duo attacks can be ranged. It also usually can’t be lost in the 2nd attack.
  • The new Split ability can radically shift games, depending on circumstances. It’s also a sneaky way to get some characters onto a theme team that they wouldn’t qualify for initially.

Being a Duo is twice-bad because:

  • The 2nd attack is always weaker, with a -1 damage (minimum 1). Low damage on duos is practically worthless.
  • It doesn’t work with most powers. Like Hypersonic Speed, its interactions are limited to Steal Energy and Super Strength.
  • Duos can’t be carried. The duo symbol prevents it in most cases. Many can’t even be TKed, either, due to being multibased figures.
  • The Split maneuver requires some serious dial memorization ability and planning for not a whole of bang for the buck, generally speaking.

So you see that Duo Attack, the chief ability the duo symbol grants, is definitely not among the upper echelon of powers in HeroClix. Many of the the top ten in this list, you’ll find, specifically have abilities, powers and traits that help them overcome the liabilities of the duo class.

  1. In fact, one of the criteria to make Heroclixin’s Top Ten Duos? Whether it’s ever better for the piece to use Duo Attack over some other power or ability in a fight.
  2. A second consideration is: How well does the piece overcome duos’ liabilities?
  3. Thirdly, the piece needs a role outside of its status as a duo piece. But that role should not overshadow its ability as a duo. Specifically, being a duo should enhance its role.
  4. Does the Split Ability offer any benefit? It’s OK if it doesn’t but better if it does.
  5. Finally, one more criterion to make the list (and this is a hard-and-fast one): NO PART-TIME DUOS. They have to be a duo figure all dial long. That rules out a lot of contenders like:
  • Cable / Deadpool
  • Dr. Doom & Kang
  • Gambit / Rogue
  • Goodness & Mercy
  • Superman & The Flash
  • Superman & Superman

Be here tomorrow for numbers 10, 9 and 8 of Heroclixin’s Top Ten Duos.