Fighting Fire With F.U.N.: Ziran The Tester.

Posted on September 21, 2012


Some stuff in this game just ain’t fun.

You know the stuff. The powergamer pieces that represent an arms race to ever-more-broken game effects and keep you from playing that ridiculous “Clix With Serious Tail” team-up of Squirrel Girl and Tigra and Beast Boy and Hellboy you’ve been wanting to play. Or that keep you reaching for the same 20 efficient figures because you don’t want to get dragged EVERY week by the other players doing the same.

Ziran the Tester is chief among offenders in this regard.

I suck your fun out with my hands. MY HANDS!

There are a lot of characters and game elements that can punish opponents with solid power combos, huge damage numbers, ease of attacking and staunch defenses. There aren’t many that punish opponents equally for building such into their team or largely leaving same OFF.

Pretty much any team that could conceivably pass all his tests won’t have a prayer of dealing with his Multi-Attacking 13 AV, 5 damage and 20 Impervious first click. Conversely, any team actually built to take on a powerful colossal like him might have its key players nerfed or dead before the game even starts, because said team is unlikely to pass all (or any!) of the tests.

In order to pass them all, a team has to meet these conditions on the opening click:

  1. -Smoke Cloud: No colossal-killing team is going to waste points on this power.
  2. -Force Blast: Same here. It’s just not a power that appears often on powerful pieces.
  3. -Battle Fury: There’s a chance that this might show on a 600-plus team. But it’s not one to build around.
  4. -Energy Explosion: Same here. It’s a power that just kinda shows up and is rarely used by tough figs.
  5. -Mind Control: Trying to MC a big colossal is pretty suicidal. It’s unlikely to be on a team that can fight one.
  6. -5 Team Abilities: With ATAs and multiple team symbols on characters, this condition is easier to meet than others. But by itself it won’t be nearly enough. And if you’re playing a themed team? Forget it!
  7. -5 figures costing 50 points or less: A true colossal-fighting team might have a cheap “pit crew” of supporters to meet this test. Might. But that’s around 200 points of  non-fighting power you can’t really afford to build to face this sort of monster.
  8. -5 Unique rings: With Uniques far less common in the post-REV era, this one could be a bust. It’s certainly not a prerequisite for battling colossals anymore.And really — needing FIVE of all these things? At 600 points, that’s really tough! If I weren’t the F.U.N. guy (emphasis on the F, for Fellowship), I’d want to slap the guy who came up with this requirement.
  9. -Enhancement: This cheap power is actually likely to make it onto a colossal-kill squad, although it’s a little rare. Better hope you get tested on this!
  10. -Leadership: Similarly, Leadership tends to show up on a lot of opening clicks and on a number of tough pieces. 
  11. -Support: It’s not nearly the must-have power it used to be, and healers are kinda rare. 
  12. -Defend: Similarly, top-dial Defend pieces are a little soft to go against the likes of Ziran. A colossal-hunting team needs to be about maximum offense.

Here’s one of the only Modern Age teams that is guaranteed to pass:

Hawkgirl (Brightest Day) (Battle Fury)
Major Glenn Talbot (Incredible Hulk) +  Hulkbusters ATA  (Enhancement, Unique #1, <50pts #1, TA #1)
Empath (Giant-Size X-Men) (MC, <50pts #2, TA #2)
Sgt. Rock (DC 75th Anniversary) (Defend, Leadership)
Astral Dr. Strange (Galactic Guardian 014b) (Smoke Cloud, <50pts #3)
Agent Coulson (Avengers Movie) (Unique #2, <50pts #4, TA #3)
Tarot  (Giant-Size X-Men) (Unique #3, <50pts #5)
S.H.I.E.L.D. Specialist (Captain America) (Support)
Bob, Agent of Hydra (Captain America) (Energy Explosion, Unique #4, TA #4)
Adam Warlock (Galactic Guardian 032) (Unique #5, TA #5)
GCPD Riot Officer (Dark Knight Rises 011a) (Force Blast)

599 points of “Yay.” This team barely has a chance a dealing any damage to Ziran, much less winning.

So what’s a Heroclixin’ fan to do, knowing that in any game of 600 points or higher this colossal killjoy might show up to spoil your F.U.N.?

Answer: Boost the U-factor (Utility and Usefulness) of your otherwise Friendly and Nifty team with the 33-point Donald Blake (Chaos War).

Not only does the good doctor pass one of the tests (Support) and possibly two more (below 50 points, possible ATA), but he also can either A) heal up victims of Ziran’s test penalties or B) absorb  4 of the 6 clicks Ziran doles out upon complete test failure, leaving your more important figures barely hurt, if at all.

Thus Ziran’s effect on your game is blunted. Of course, you’ve still got one of the most powerful colossals in the game to contend with, but at least you’re not at half-strength from the get-go!


This is a bit of a sneak peek at what I’ll be writing for much of October, the Halloween month. ‘Cause there’s a lot more in HeroClix to be scared of!