Top Ten Winners/Losers in 2013’s changes: #4 & #3

Posted on May 2, 2013





There were fewer powers less useful than Force Blast, before. Though occasionally good for stopping a tie-up threat or dealing easy knockback — and knockback damage — to a properly positioned high-DV, unarmored target, for the most part the purple Speed power was just so much wasted points in the slot. Usually, your power action was better spent doing something else — ANYTHING else.

But in 2013, Force Blast now has a passive effect — its user’s hits can always generate knockback, if they like. So that enemy shooter you just hit can get shoved out of retaliation range. Or that fig that had your buddy tied up gets pushed away.

Such a simple, elegant upgrade to a power that needed one makes Force Blast a welcome #4 Winner in Summer 2013.

It’s not alone in the slot, though.




Hardly useless, the pair still get an upgrade from merely dealing +2 damage to getting the option to modify AV +2 instead, or granting +1 to both stats. Putting the “expert” in these powers rates a shared spot in the #4 Winner’s spot.


The #4 Losers also tie.



One of the three “free-range” supporting powers, Prob Control now finds its effect hacked from the old default 10 squares to six, or whatever its user’s range is, whichever is higher. Whoops, it just got a lot harder for the likes of John Constantine or Destiny to affect the game from the safety of the back field. And with PC’s outsized effect on HeroClix games, these characters will be taking more fire than before.

There’s no rerolling this result: Probability Control will be the #4 Loser in HeroClix this summer.



Another of the three “free-range” powers, Perplex also finds its effect hacked from the old default 10 squares to six, or whatever its user’s range is, whichever is higher. That’s actually sort of good news, as a fellow Perplexer might be able to buff your range to get to ‘Plex a target — or use one of the other powers affected by this new rule.

But this is still a heck of a blow to this most versatile of supporting powers. No amount of modifiers keeps Perplex from sharing the #4 Loser slot in 2013.



#3 in the “Win” column:



This power has needed an upgrade for a while, appearing among the ten powers/abilities/rules needing a change about this time last year. My suggestions went a bit too far (3-die roll and ignore hindering terrain for LOF). I didn’t even consider the worst aspect of Mind Control: that after all those die rolls the power needs to be effective, you’re still taking automatic damage for controlling anything more than a peon. If you’re dealing with a tentpole, or worse, a colossal, you could very well hurt yourself badly for very little return.

(Case in point: I once tried to use Mouth of Sauron to MC colossal Thanos in a last-ditch effort to turn the game for my cause. Mouth succeeded; Thanos did not. Mouth was instantly KO’d by the unavoidable damage.)

Well, Mind Control has improved in a big way. First: it’s more flexible, being a combat action instead of a power action and thus making it compatible with Running Shot or Charge (in those cases where game effects allow these Speed Powers to coexist). Second: up to 150 points can be MC’d safely, and Third: only one click of damage is dealt for higher costs.

Mind Control is still an iffy power for its expense (you still have to land the attack, then possibly have to break away the target from its erstwhile allies, or land an attack on same, then take your feedback damage at worst and your action token at the very least). But it’s a darn sight better than it was and so is the #3 Winner in 2013.


The Loser is also mental.


One of the three “free-range” powers like Probability Control and Perplex, Outwit also finds its effect hacked from the old default 10 squares to six, or whatever its user’s range is, whichever is higher. And it’s worse for Outwit than for the others because while they can sit in relative safety in the rear guard rerolling allies’ attacks and boosting their stats, the Outwitter has to get the enemy in range, leaving the Outwitter itself far more vulnerable to attack.

BP beatup

Outwit is so much more dangerous to use now that it’s the biggest loser of the “OPP” triptych, and the #3 Loser of all.

Posted in: HeroClix top ten